Eystein I of Norway

Eystein I of Norway
Bust of Eystein I, now on display at Bergen Museum

Eystein I Magnusson (ca. 1088 – August 29, 1123) (Norwegian: Øystein) was king of Norway from 1103 to 1123.[1]



Eystein became king, together with his brothers Sigurd and Olaf, when his father Magnus Barefoot died in 1103. Olaf died in 1115 at a young age, leaving Eystein and Sigurd as co-rulers until Eystein's death in 1123, when Sigurd became the sole ruler of Norway.

Many historians view Sigurd and Eystein's rule as a golden age for the medieval Kingdom of Norway.[citation needed] The country was able to flourish both in wealth and expansion. While Sigurd was on crusade from 1107 to 1111, Eystein served as regent for the whole country. His relationship to Sigurd was strained, but open conflict was avoided. Whereas Sigurd made Norway known abroad, Eystein worked for economic and cultural progress within Norway. After returning to Norway in 1111, Sigurd came back to a flourishing and prosperous kingdom. King Eystein had used all his energy and willpower to create a strong and stable country, and the church had especially gained from this.

Eystein constructed several churches, a port in Agdenes at the south end of the mouth of the Trondheimsfjord and hostels for travellers. He also brought Jämtland under Norwegian rule, according to the saga of Sigurd and his brothers in the Heimskringla.

Eystein seems to have been particularly active in Bergen. Among other things, he moved the royal seat from Alrekstad (Årstad) to Holmen outer harbor, and here he erected a royal hall, which according to Snorri was the most imposing wooden building that was erected in Norway. Eystein is also believed to have founded Munkeliv Abbey, which he equipped with a large land. The interest of the King in Bergen had most likely related to the economic development in the early 1100's. The dried fish trade, of which Bergen was a hub, was by then underway between Bergen and the seaport of Grimsby in the east of England.[2]

Eystein married Ingebjørg Guttormsdatter, who was from a prominent noble family in Gudbrandsdalen. Their marriage was part of King Eystein's alliance-building in the eastern part of Norway. They ad a daughter, Maria Øysteinsdatter, who was the mother of royal pretender Olav Ugjæva (Olaf the Unlucky). Olaf was named king in 1166, during the civil war era in Norway, but was subsequently defeated by Magnus V (Magnus Erlingsson) and forced to flee the country.[3]

A royal bust in marble with the inscription Eystein REX from Munkeliv Abbey is dated to slightly before the middle of the 1100s. The sculpture is now in the Bergen Museum (Historisk museum i Bergen).


External links


Eystein Magnusson
Cadet branch of the Fairhair dynasty
Born: 1088 Died: August 29 1123
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Magnus Barefoot
King of Norway
with Olaf Magnusson (1103–1115)
Sigurd Jorsalfar
Succeeded by
Sigurd Jorsalfar

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Eystein II of Norway — Infobox Monarch | name=Eystein II Haraldsson title= King of Norway reign= 1142 ndash; 1157 date1= 1142 date2= 1157 queen= Ragna Nikolasdatter Royal house= Fairhair father= Harald IV of Norway mother= Bjaðök issue= Eystein Meyla (d. 1176) date of… …   Wikipedia

  • Eystein Meyla — Battle of Re Illustration for Heimskringla Erik Werenskiold, 1899 Eystein Meyla (Øystein Øysteinsson Møyla) was elected a rival King of Norway during the Norwegian Civil War period.[1 …   Wikipedia

  • Eystein — is the name of: *Eystein Halfdansson (fl. c. 730), king of Romerike and Vestfold in what is now Norway *Eystein Magnusson (1088? ndash; 1123), king of Norway *Eystein Haraldson (died 1157), king of Norway *Eystein Meyla, also known as Eystein… …   Wikipedia

  • Norway — • Scandinavian country Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Norway     Norway     † Catholic En …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Eystein Erlendsson — (norvégien: Øystein Erlendsson, latin: Augustinus Nidrosiensis) (mort le 26 janvier 1188) fut un archevêque de Nidaros de 1157/1161 à sa mort en 1188. Sommaire 1 Origine 2 Implication dans la guerre civile …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Eystein Halfdansson — (Old Norse: Eysteinn Hálfdansson) was the son of Halfdan Hvitbeinn of the House of Yngling according to Heimskringla. He inherited the throne of Romerike. He was known by his nickname Eysteinn Fart, an Old Norse name, possibly meaning the swift …   Wikipedia

  • Eystein Ivarsson — Eystein Glumra also called Eystein Ivarsson (dead ca 830 in Nord Trøndelag, Norway) was Jarl (Earl) of Oplande and Hedmark in Norway, the son of Ivar Halfdan and the father of Ragnvald Eysteinsson. He was married to Åsa Ragnvaldsdatter …   Wikipedia

  • Eystein I Magnusson — ▪ king of Norway Norwegian  Øystein Magnusson   born 1088/89 died Aug. 22, 1122       king of Norway (1103–22) whose reign with his brother Sigurd I Jerusalemfarer (Sigurd I Magnusson) was the longest joint rule in the history of Norway.       An …   Universalium

  • Norway — /nawr way/, n. Norwegian, Norge. a kingdom in N Europe, in the W part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. 4,404,456; 124,555 sq. mi. (322,597 sq. km). Cap.: Oslo. * * * Norway Introduction Norway Background: Despite its neutrality, Norway was not able …   Universalium

  • Sigurd II of Norway — Infobox Monarch | name=Sigurd Munn title= King of Norway reign= 1136 ndash; 6 February 1155 date1= 1136 date2= 6 February 1155 queen= none Royal house= Fairhair father= Harald Gille mother= Tora Guttormsdotter issue= Haakon Herdebrei Sigurd… …   Wikipedia