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27 Jul

Kingdom of Norway (9th – 13th c.)

The traditional date of the establishment of the Kingdom of Norway is year 872 when Harold I or Harold Fairhair (872-930) was crowned King of Norway. His successors King Haakon the Good (c.934-961), Olaf Tryggvason (c.995-1000) and Olaf Haraldsson (St. Olaf) (1015-1028) completed the Christianization of Norway. Norway was ruled by Canute the Great after Olaf’s death in 1028 but the Danish rule collapsed after Canute’s death in 1035. The Norwegian throne was assumed by Olaf’s son Magnus the Good (1035-1047).

History of the Kingdom of Norway in the 11th and 12th centuries was marked by struggles over succession which were accompanied by social and economic conflicts, and resulted in the so-called civil war era. The warring fractions eventually divided into two conflict groups: the birchlegs, the adherents of King Sverre (1184-1202) who defeated and killed King Magnus Erlingsson (1161-1184) and the baglers who supported the descendants of King Magnus Erlingsson in their claim to the Norwegian throne. The struggles between both fractions ended when both rival kings died in 1217. Both fractions recognized Haakon Haakonsson or Haakon IV (1217-1263) as King of Norway.

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