Agder within Norway
|• Total||16,434.12 km2 (6,345.25 sq mi)|
|• Density||19/km2 (48/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
Agderis a county (fylke) and historical district of Norway in Norway's southernmost region.
Before 1 January 2020, the region was divided in two counties, Vest-Agder and Aust-Agder.Since the early 1900s, the term Sørlandet ("south country") has been commonly used for this region, sometimes with the inclusion of neighbouring Rogaland. Before that, the area was considered a part of Western Norway.
The area was a medieval petty kingdom, and after Norway's unification became known as Egdafylki and later Agdesiden, a county within the kingdom of Norway. The name Agder was not used after 1662, when the area was split into smaller governmental units called Nedenæs, Råbyggelaget, Lister, and Mandal. The name was resurrected in 1919 when two counties of Norway that roughly corresponded to the old Agdesiden county were renamed Aust-Agder (East Agder) and Vest-Agder (West Agder). Even before the two counties joined in 2020, they cooperated in many ways; the University of Agder had sites in both Aust-Agder and Vest-Agder, as did many other institutions, such as the Diocese of Agder og Telemark, the Agder Court of Appeal, and the Agder Police District.
The name Agder is older than the Norwegian language. Its meaning is not known. Just as the Norwegian language derives from Old Norse, Agder derives from the Old Norse word Agðir. In the early Viking Age, before Harald Fairhair, Agðir was a petty kingdom inhabited by a people named after it, the Egðir.
Nothing in Old Norse gives any hint as to the word's meaning; it was not produced (from known segments) in Old Norse, which means the name is older still. The Egðir are believed to be the same etymologically as the Augandzi people mentioned in the Getica of Jordanes, who wrote of Scandza (Scandinavia) in the 6th century. If Jordanes's Scandza is a palatalized form of *Scandia, then Augandzi is likely a palatalized form of *Augandii, residents of *Augandia.
A name of that period would have to be closer to Proto-Germanic; in fact, a word of that period does present itself and fits the geographical lore of the times: *agwjō (meaning "island"),which Jordanes and all his predecessors writing of Scandinavia believed it to be. A simple metathesis produces a possibly late form, *augjo-, but this derivation is speculative. There is no other evidence on Auganza, and its connection to Egder is hypothetical too.
Agder has 25 municipalities.
|No.||Municipality No.||Name||Created||Former Municipality No.||Former County|
|1||4201||Risør||January 1, 2020||0901 Risør||Aust-Agder|
|2||4202||Grimstad||January 1, 2020||0904 Grimstad|
|3||4203||Arendal||January 1, 2020||0906 Arendal|
|4||4204||Kristiansand||January 1, 2020||1001 Kristiansand|
|5||4205||Lindesnes||January 1, 2020||1002 Mandal|
|6||4206||Farsund||January 1, 2020||1003 Farsund|
|7||4207||Flekkefjord||January 1, 2020||1004 Flekkefjord|
|8||4211||Gjerstad||January 1, 2020||0911 Gjerstad||Aust-Agder|
|9||4212||Vegårshei||January 1, 2020||0912 Vegårshei|
|10||4213||Tvedestrand||January 1, 2020||0914 Tvedestrand|
|11||4214||Froland||January 1, 2020||0919 Froland|
|12||4215||Lillesand||January 1, 2020||0926 Lillesand|
|13||4216||Birkenes||January 1, 2020||0928 Birkenes|
|14||4217||Åmli||January 1, 2020||0929 Åmli|
|15||4218||Iveland||January 1, 2020||0935 Iveland|
|16||4219||Evje og Hornnes||January 1, 2020||0937 Evje og Hornnes|
|17||4220||Bygland||January 1, 2020||0938 Bygland|
|18||4221||Valle||January 1, 2020||0940 Valle|
|19||4222||Bykle||January 1, 2020||0941 Bykle|
|20||4223||Vennesla||January 1, 2020||1014 Vennesla||Vest-Agder|
|21||4224||Åseral||January 1, 2020||1026 Åseral|
|22||4225||Lyngdal||January 1, 2020||1027 Audnedal|
|23||4226||Hægebostad||January 1, 2020||1034 Hægebostad|
|24||4227||Kvinesdal||January 1, 2020||1037 Kvinesdal|
|25||4228||Sirdal||January 1, 2020||1046 Sirdal|
Norway of the Viking Age was divided into petty kingdoms ruled by chiefs who contended for land, maritime supremacy or political ascendance and sought alliances or control through marriage with other royal families, either voluntary or forced. These circumstances produced the generally turbulent and heroic lives recorded in the Heimskringla .
For example, the Ynglinga saga tells us that Harald Redbeard, chief of Agðir, refused his daughter Åsa to Gudröd Halvdanson, on which event Gudröd invaded Agðir, killed Harald and his son Gyrd, and took Åsa whether she would or no. She bore a son, Halvdan (the Black), obviously named after his deceased grandfather, and later arranged to have Gudröd assassinated. Among the royal families these events seem to have been rather ordinary. Her word was the last in the argument, as her grandson, Harald Fairhair, unified Norway.
Prior to the Viking Age is a gap in the history of the region for a few hundred years, but in Jordanes we also find regions of the same but earlier forms of names, presumably also petty kingdoms under now unknown chiefs. The previous most credible source, Ptolemy, gives the briefest of sketches, only citing all of Norway as the Chaedini ("country people"). Perhaps the difference between kingdoms were not sufficiently important to cite them individually.
Prior to then the most credible and respected source, Tacitus in Germania Chapter 44 described the Suiones, who were divided into civitates (kingdoms?) along the coast of Scandinavia and were unusual in owning fleets of a special type of ship. These were pointed on both ends and were driven by banks of oars that could be rearranged or shipped for river passage. They did not depend on sail (so Tacitus says) but other than that they do not differ from Viking ships. These civitates went all the way around Scandinavia to the Arctic, or at least to regions of very long days, where they stopped.
It seems clear that in the Roman Iron Age Norway was populated by people of the same identity as Sweden, who were called the Suiones by Latin sources. In settling the coast at some point in prehistory they had been divided into civitates by the terrain. These states took on mainly geographical names or names of individuals or mythological characters. Agder was one of them.
After the unification of Norway by Harold Fairhair and army and allies in the 10th century, all the civitates became provinces (fylker) and after their conversion to Christianity they became dioceses or parishes. The development of Old Norse into local dialects and the dissimilation of customs due to isolation added an ethnic flavor to the area, which is cherished today.
Harald I Fairhair is portrayed by medieval Norwegian historians as the first King of Norway. According to traditions current in Norway and Iceland in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, he reigned from c. 872 to 930. Supposedly, two of his sons, Eric Bloodaxe and Haakon the Good, succeeded Harald to become kings after his death.
Gudrød the Hunter, also known as Gudrød the Magnificent, is a legendary character portrayed in the Norse sagas as a Norwegian petty king in the early 9th century. According to the sagas, he was the father of Halfdan the Black, and thus the grandfather of Harald Fairhair, the first king of unified Norway. He is considered by modern historians to be of a more mythical nature than other ancestors of Harald and Halfdan, and he can not be identified historically. Historians have in turn made a number of proposals seeking to identify him with various would-be contemporary historical figures.
Gard Agdi appears in the legendary genealogies of Hversu Noregr byggdist as one of the three sons of Nór, the legendary first king of Norway, and as ruler and ancestor of rulers over southwestern Norway. The surname Agdi may refer to Agdir (Agðir), the southernmost region of Norway, represented today by the counties of Aust-Agder and Vest-Agder.
Ynglingatal or Ynglinga tal is a Skaldic poem cited by Snorri Sturluson in the Ynglinga saga, the first saga of Snorri's Heimskringla. Þjóðólfr of Hvinir (Thjodolf), who was a poet for Harald Fairhair, is traditionally credited with its authorship. Snorri quotes frequently from this poem and cites it as one of the sources of the saga. The composition of the poem is dated to the 9th c.
Ranrike was the old name for a part of Viken, corresponding to southeast Norway and the northern half of the modern Swedish province of Bohuslän. When folklore and culture is concerned the usage has been revived to refer to northern Bohuslän.
Romerike is a traditional district located north-east of Oslo, in what is today south-eastern Norway. It consists of the Viken municipalities Lillestrøm, Lørenskog, Nittedal, Rælingen and Aurskog-Høland in the southern end, and Ullensaker, Gjerdrum, Nannestad, Nes, Eidsvoll and Hurdal in the northern end .
Vingulmark is the old name for the area in Norway which today makes up the counties of Østfold, western parts of Akershus, and eastern parts of Buskerud, and includes the site of Norway's capital, Oslo. During the Middle Ages, Vingulmark was an administrative unit limited to Oslo, Bærum and Asker.
Gandalf Alfgeirsson was a legendary king of the petty kingdom Vingulmark, in south-eastern Norway and south-western Sweden He is portrayed in Snorri Sturluson's saga Heimskringla.
Håkon Grjotgardsson was the first Earl of Lade and an ally of Harald Fairhair, King of Norway.
Sigurd Syr was a Norwegian petty king of Ringerike, a region in Buskerud. He was notable in Norwegian history largely through his association with Kings Harald Hardrada and Olaf II of Norway. By his marriage with Åsta Gudbrandsdatter after her first husband Harald Grenske had died, Sigurd Syr was stepfather of King Olaf II and the father of King Harald III.
Bjørn Farmann was a king of Vestfold. Bjørn was one of the sons of King Harald Fairhair of Norway. In late tradition, Bjørn Farmann was made the great-grandfather of Olaf II of Norway, through a son Gudrød Bjørnsson.
The petty kingdoms of Norway were the entities from which the later Kingdom of Norway was founded. Before the unification of Norway in 872 and during the period of fragmentation after King Harald Fairhair's death Norway was divided in several small kingdoms. Some could have been as small as a cluster of villages and others comprised several of today's counties.
Af Upplendinga konunum is a short tale of the Norwegian part of the so-called Yngling. The saga consists of two short chapters in just over one book page, and are reproduced in Hauksbók. Af Upplendinga konunum does not exist in other manuscripts. The author is unknown, but he probably had a common source with Snorri Sturluson. Af Upplendinga konunum appears to be a simplified and shortened version of Snorri's far more famous Ynglinga Saga, but one does not think Snorri is the source for the author of About Uplanders kings . Rather, it rather seems that the Af Upplendinga konunum is somewhat older than Snorri's Ynglinga Saga.
Harald Granraude was a semi-legendary Norwegian petty king of Agder who lived in the 9th century.
Åsa Haraldsdottir of Agder was a semi-legendary Norwegian Viking Age queen regnant of the petty kingdom of Agder. According to sagas referencing the clan Yngling (Ynglingaätten), she was the mother of Halfdan the Black and grandmother of King Harald Fairhair.
Tromøya or Tromøy is the largest island in Southern Norway. The 28.6-square-kilometre (11.0 sq mi) island is entirely located in the municipality of Arendal in Agder county, Norway. The island has about 5,300 residents which gives it a population density of about 185 inhabitants per square kilometre (480/sq mi). The island is located directly across the harbor from the town of Arendal. The highest point on the island is the 95-metre (312 ft) tall Vardåsen. The island is separated from the mainland to the north by the Tromøysundet strait and it is separated from the island of Hisøya to the southwest by the Galtesundet strait.
The Unification of Norway is the process by which Norway merged from several petty kingdoms into a single kingdom, predecessor to modern Kingdom of Norway.
Halfdan Long-Leg was a Viking-Age warrior who lived in the latter half of the 9th century. He was the son of King Harald Fairhair and a Sami woman named Snæfrithr Svásadottir.
Ringerike is a traditional district in Norway, commonly consisting of the municipalities Hole, and Ringerike in Buskerud county. In older times, Ringerike had a larger range which went westward, to the municipalities Krødsherad, Modum, and Sigdal, also in Buskerud.