Thorgils Skarthi (hare-lip)(Old Norse: Þorgils Skarði) was a Viking leader and poet. He is associated with the founding of Scarborough, England.
Thorgils Skarthi is reputed to have founded Skarðaborg in North Yorkshire, England about 966. The new settlement was later burned to the ground by Tostig Godwinson, Earl of Northumbria and Lord of the Manor of Hougun.
Tostig Godwinson was an Anglo-Saxon Earl of Northumbria and brother of King Harold Godwinson. After being exiled by his brother, Tostig supported the Norwegian king Harald Hardrada's invasion of England, and was killed at the Battle of Stamford Bridge.
Earl of Northumbria was a title in the Anglo-Danish, late Anglo-Saxon, and early Anglo-Norman period in England. The earldom of Northumbria was the successor of the earldom of Bamburgh. In the seventh century, the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Bernicia and Deira were united in the kingdom of Northumbria, but this was destroyed by the Vikings in 867. Southern Northumbria, the former Deira, then became the Viking kingdom of York, while English earls ruled the former northern kingdom of Bernicia from their base at Bamburgh. The northern part of Bernicia was lost to the Scots, probably in the late tenth century. In 1006 Uhtred the Bold was earl of Bamburgh, and Æthelred the Unready appointed him earl of York as well, re-uniting the area of Northumbria still under English control into a single earldom. Uhtred was murdered in 1016, and Cnut then appointed Eric of Hlathir earl of Northumbria at York, but Uhtred's dynasty held onto Bernicia until 1041, when the earldom was again united. A descendant of Uhtred, Gospatric, was appointed earl by William the Conqueror in 1067, but William expelled him in 1072. Gospatric was then given lands in Scotland, and his descendants became earls of Dunbar. The earldom of Northumbria was broken up in the early Norman period and dissolved into the earldoms of York and Northumberland, with much land going to the prince-bishopric of Durham.
The Manor of Hougun is the historic name for an area which now forms part of the county of Cumbria in north-west England. Of the three most northern counties of England surveyed in the Domesday Book of 1086, only the southern band of land in the south of Cumbria was recorded. The westernmost entries for Cumbria, covering the Duddon and Furness Peninsulas are largely recorded as part of the Manor of Hougun. The entry in Domesday Book covering Hougun refers to the time when it was held by Tostig Godwinson, Earl of Northumbria.
Thorgils Skarthi is described in the Kormáks saga which is principally about his brother, the Icelandic skald, Kormákr Ögmundarson who was the court poet of Norwegian nobleman Sigurd Haakonsson.English chronicler Robert Mannyng of Brunne in his book Story of Inglande (1338) quoted from two lost romances about Þorgils Skarði, including that he had a brother called Fleyn. If so, Kormákr may have had the nickname Fleinn. In that case he may have founded Flamborough in Yorkshire (from Old Norse Fleinaborg). Thorgils and Kormákr came to England (ca. 965) not long after the expedition of King Harald Greycloak of Norway to Bjarmaland, today the area of Arkhangelsk in northern Russia.
Kormáks saga is one of the Icelanders' sagas. It tells of the tenth-century Icelandic poet, Kormákr Ögmundarson, and Steingerðr, the love of his life. The saga preserves a significant amount of poetry attributed to Kormákr, much of it dealing with his love for Steingerðr. Though the saga is believed to have been among the earliest sagas composed it is well preserved. The unknown author clearly relies on oral tradition and seems unwilling to add much of his own or even to fully integrate the different accounts he knew of Kormákr. Often he does little more than briefly set the scenes for Kormákr's stanzas.
Skald, or skáld, is generally a term used for poets who composed at the courts of Scandinavian leaders during the Viking Age and into the Middle Ages. Skaldic poetry forms one of two main groupings of Old Norse poetry, the other being the anonymous Eddic poetry.
Kormákr Ögmundarson was a 10th-century Icelandic skald. He is the protagonist of Kormáks saga which preserves a significant amount of poetry attributed to him. According to Skáldatal he was also the court poet of Sigurðr Hlaðajarl and fragments of a drápa to the jarl are preserved in Skáldskaparmál.
Harald Sigurdsson, given the epithet Hardrada in the sagas, was King of Norway from 1046 to 1066. In addition, he unsuccessfully claimed the Danish throne until 1064 and the English throne in 1066. Before becoming king, Harald had spent around fifteen years in exile as a mercenary and military commander in Kievan Rus' and of the Varangian Guard in the Byzantine Empire.
The Battle of Stamford Bridge took place at the village of Stamford Bridge, East Riding of Yorkshire, in England on 25 September 1066, between an English army under King Harold Godwinson and an invading Norwegian force led by King Harald Hardrada and the English king's brother Tostig Godwinson. After a bloody battle, both Hardrada and Tostig along with most of the Norwegians were killed. Although Harold Godwinson repelled the Norwegian invaders, his army was defeated by the Normans at Hastings less than three weeks later. The battle has traditionally been presented as symbolising the end of the Viking Age, although major Scandinavian campaigns in Britain and Ireland occurred in the following decades, such as those of King Sweyn Estrithson of Denmark in 1069–1070 and King Magnus Barefoot of Norway in 1098 and 1102–1103.
The Orkneyinga saga is a historical narrative of the history of the Orkney and Shetland islands and their relationship with other local polities, particularly Norway and Scotland. The saga has "no parallel in the social and literary record of Scotland" and is "the only medieval chronicle to have Orkney as the central place of action". The main focus of the work is the line of jarls who ruled the Earldom of Orkney, which constituted the Norðreyjar or Northern Isles of both Orkney and Shetland and there are frequent references to both archipelagoes throughout.
Magnus Haraldsson was King of Norway from 1066 to 1069, jointly with his brother Olaf Kyrre from 1067. He was not included in official Norwegian regnal lists until modern times, but has since been counted as Magnus II.
Thorgil Sprakling was a Danish chieftain (stormand). His grandsons became kings of Denmark and England.
Sigurd Håkonsson was a Norwegian nobleman and Jarl of Lade in Trøndelag.
Eric Håkonsson was Earl of Lade, Governor of Norway and Earl of Northumbria. He was the son of Earl Hákon Sigurðarson and brother of the legendary Aud Haakonsdottir of Lade. He participated in the Battle of Hjörungavágr, the Battle of Svolder and the conquest of England by King Canute the Great.
Sigvatr Þórðarson or Sigvat the Skald (995-1045) was an Icelandic skald. He was a court poet to King Olaf II of Norway, as well as Canute the Great, Magnus the Good and Anund Jacob, by whose reigns his floruit can be dated to the earlier eleventh century. Sigvatr was the best known of the court skalds of King Olaf and also served as his marshal (stallare).
Paul Thorfinnsson and Erlend Thorfinnsson were brothers who ruled together as Earls of Orkney. Paul and Erlend were the sons of Thorfinn Sigurdsson and Ingibiorg Finnsdottir. Through Ingibiorg's father Finn Arnesson and his wife, the family was related to the Norwegian Kings Olav II and Harald II. They are both described as "tall, handsome men, shrewd and gentle, taking rather more after their mother's side of the family. Their lives and times are recounted in the Orkneyinga Saga, which was first written down in the early 13th century by an unknown Icelandic author.
Gunnlaugs saga ormstungu or the Saga of Gunnlaugr Serpent-Tongue is one of the Icelanders' sagas. Composed at the end of the 13th century, it is preserved complete in a slightly younger manuscript. It contains 25 verses of skaldic poetry attributed to the main characters.
The raven banner was a flag, possibly totemic in nature, flown by various Viking chieftains and other Scandinavian rulers during the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries. The flag, as depicted in Norse artwork, was roughly triangular, with a rounded outside edge on which there hung a series of tabs or tassels. It bore a resemblance to ornately carved "weather-vanes" used aboard Viking longships.
The Álfablót or the Elven sacrifice is a pagan Scandinavian sacrifice to the elves towards the end of autumn, when the crops had been harvested and the animals were most fat. Unlike the great blóts at Uppsala and Mære, the álfablót was a local celebration at the homesteads and they were mainly administered by the lady of the household. Nothing is known about the particular rites because they were surrounded by secrecy and strangers were not welcome to the homesteads during the celebrations. However, since the elves were collective powers with a close connection to ancestors and fertility, it is possible that the álfablót concerned ancestor worship and the life force of the family. It also appears that Odin was implied and that the master of the household was called Ölvir when administering the rites. The first element of Ölvir means "beer", which was an important element in Norse pagan sacrifices generally.
Olvir Hnufa or Ölvir hnúfa was a Norwegian hersir and skald of the late ninth and early tenth centuries, known from, among other sources, Egil's Saga, Skaldatal and the Prose Edda. Olvir was the son of the viking Berle-Kari and brother-in-law of Kveldulf Bjalfason, who married Olvir's sister Salbjorg Karadottir; he was thus uncle to Skallagrim and Thorolf Kveldulfsson and great uncle to the famous poet Egil Skallagrimsson. Olvir also had a brother named Eyvind Lambi. Olvir was a prominent member of the court of King Harald Fairhair, who united Norway under his rule in the late ninth or early tenth century. Among other famous skalds, he served as one of King Harald's court poets. He also served as a warrior in Harald's retinue, and fought at the pivotal Battle of Hafrsfjord on the king's flagship. He is best known for his involvement in the conflict between Harald and Olvir's kinsman Thorolf Kveldulfsson, which ended with the latter's death. Only a few fragments of Olvir's poetry survive.
Elisaveta Yaroslavna of Kiev, was a Princess of Kiev and Queen Consort of King Harald III of Norway.
Auðunn illskælda was a Norwegian 9th century skald. Skáldatal lists him as one of Harald Finehair's skalds. Egils saga Skallagrímssonar notes that he was Harald's oldest skald, and had earlier been a skald for Harald's father Hálfdan svarti. He was called illskælda because he had once in a drápa about Harald copied a refrain from another skald called Úlfr Sebbason. The drápa was subsequently called Stolinstefja "the drápa with the stolen refrain". Only a few stanzas of his works are known today.
Magnus Haraldsson was a King of Norway from 1142 until his death around 1145, reigning together with three of his brothers. He was a son of Harald IV Gille of Norway by an unknown concubine.