Haakon I of Norway

Haakon I of Norway

Infobox Norwegian Royalty|monarch
name =Hákon I the Good
title =King of Norway

caption =Hákon the Good, by Peter Nicolai Arbo
reign =934 – 961
coronation =
predecessor =Eric Bloodaxe
successor =Harald Greyhide
issue =Tora
royal house =
royal house =Fairhair dynasty
house-type =Dynasty
father =Harald Fairhair
mother =Tora Mosterstong
date of birth =c. 920
place of birth =Håkonshella, Hordaland, Norway
date of death =961
place of death =Håkonshella, Hordaland (fatally wounded in the Battle of Fitjar)
date of burial =
place of burial =Seim, Hordaland, Norway|

Haakon I (Old Norse: "Hákon Aðalsteinsfóstri", Norwegian: "Håkon Adalsteinsfostre"), (c. 920–961), surnamed the Good, was the third king of Norway and the youngest son of Harald Fairhair. [web cite|url=http://columbia.thefreedictionary.com/Haakon+I+of+Norway|title=Haakon I|work=The Free Dictionary]

Haakon was fostered by King Athelstan of England, as part of a peace agreement made by his father. [cite web|url=http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07116b.htm|title=Hakon the Good|work=Catholic Encyclopedia |accessdate=2007-02-18] The English king brought him up in the Christian religion, and on the news of his father’s death provided him with ships and men for an expedition against his half-brother Eirik Bloodaxe, who had been proclaimed king. On his arrival in Norway, Haakon gained the support of the landowners by promising to give up the rights of taxation claimed by his father over inherited real property.

Eirik fled to the Orkney Islands and later to the Kingdom of Jorvik, eventually meeting a violent death on Stainmore, Westmorland, in 954 along with his son, Haeric. His sons allied themselves with the Danes, but were invariably defeated by Haakon, who was successful in everything he undertook except in his attempt to introduce Christianity, which aroused an opposition he did not feel strong enough to face. He was mortally wounded at the Battle of Fitjar in 961, after a final victory over Eirik’s sons. So entirely did even his immediate circle ignore his religion that Eyvindr Skáldaspillir, his court poet composed a poem, "Hákonarmál", on his death representing his welcome by his ancestors' gods into Valhalla.

The succession issue was settled as Harald II, third son of Eirik, ascended the throne. However the Norwegians were severely tormented by years of war and welcomed the Danish invading force led by Harold Bluetooth.

In Modern Literature

* Haakon I is a major character in "The Mother of the Kings" by the Danish-American writer Poul Anderson.




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