Harald IV of Norway

Harald IV of Norway

Infobox Monarch | name=Harald Gille
title= King of Norway

reign= 1130 – 1136
date1= 1130
date2= 1136
queen= Ingrid Ragnvaldsdottir
Royal house= Fairhair?
father= Magnus Barefoot (Claimed)
issue= Inge
date of birth= 1103
place of birth= Ireland
date of death= 1136
place of death=
place of burial=

Harald Gille (Old Norse "Haraldr gilli" or "Haraldr gillikristr") (1103 – 1136), king of Norway, was born in Ireland. His byname Gille is probably from "Gilla Críst", i.e. servant of Christ.

Around 1127, he went to Norway and declared he was a son of King Magnus Barefoot, who had visited Ireland just before his death in 1103, and consequently a half-brother of the reigning king, Sigurd.

He appears to have submitted successfully to the ordeal by fire, and the alleged relationship was acknowledged by Sigurd on condition that Harald did not claim any share in the government of the kingdom during his lifetime or that of his son Magnus. Living on friendly terms with the king, Harald kept this agreement until Sigurd’s death in 1130. Then war broke out between himself and Magnus, and after several battles the latter was captured in 1135, his eyes were put out, and he was thrown into prison.

Harald now ruled the country until 1136, when he was murdered by Sigurd Slembedjakn, another bastard son of Magnus Barefoot.

Harald was married to Ingrid Ragnvaldsdottir, and had a son Inge with her. He also had sons with other women: Sigurd, Eystein and Magnus. All four sons were subsequently kings of Norway.

Approximately from his accession to the throne, the civil wars period of Norwegian history started, that lasted from 1130 to 1217. During this period there were several interlocked conflicts of varying scale and intensity. The background for these conflicts were the unclear Norwegian succession laws, social conditions and the struggle between Church and King. There were two main parties, firstly known by varying names or no names at all, but finally condensed into parties of Bagler and Birkebeiner. The rallying point regularly was a royal son, who was set up as the head figure of the party in question, to oppose the rule of the king from the contesting party.





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