Sigurd Syr


Sigurd Syr

Sigurd Syr Halfdansson (sometimes spelled "Halvdansson") (c. 970-1018) was a petty king in Northern Ostlandet of Norway.The traditional view of his pedigree has been that he was a great-grandson of Harald I of Norway, however this is questioned by recent historians and genealogists. He was subking of Ringerike, an ancient territory in the county of Buskerud, southern Norway. Sigurd was stepfather of King Olav II of Norway and father of Harald III of Norway, through his marriage with Åsta Gudbrandsdatter.fn|1

The identification that Sigurd's father would have been Halfdan of Hadafylke, a putative male-line grandson of Harald I of Norway (via Harald's son Sigurd Rise), is based on Icelandic saga material from around two centuries later, and is assessed unlikely for example by Sjöström 2007 p 259. Historically, there are no contemporary attestations of such a Halfdan.

Sigurd Syr was baptized into the Christian faith in 988. According to the Heimskringla, "...King Olaf Trygvason came to Ringerike to spread Christianity, Sigurd Syr and his wife allowed themselves to be baptized..."fn|2,fn|3

His nickname "Syr" means "sow", and was not complimentary.

Sigurd Syr was a prudent man, taciturn and generally modest, although very wealthy. He was known as a good caretaker of his peoples' businesses, personally involved in their oversight, and he was knowledgeable about the local Norwegian economy. He was not fond of the pomp and ceremony of nobility, but participated in his role.

Sigurd Syr wasn't personally very ambitious, but he fully supported his stepson, King Olaf Haraldsson's ambitions of leadership and command. In 1014, he successfully petitioned his peers, the other Norwegian district Kings, to garner their support for a new war against Sweden, Denmark and England that commenced in 1015. This war was his stepson's cause.

13th century historian and mythographer Snorri Sturluson is the author of the Heimskringla, the source of the information currently documented in this article.

References

*fnb|1 [http://www.american-pictures.com/genealogy/persons/per05273.htm Sigurd "Syr" King of Ringerike genealogy entry at american-pictures.com retrieved Sept 12, 2005]
*fnb|2 [http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/King_Olaf_Trygvason%27s_Saga%2C_Part_II#Olaf_Haraldson_Baptized. Wikisource text "King Olaf Trygvason's Saga, Part II", "Section 24, Olaf Haraldson Baptized"]
*fnb|3 [http://www.worldwideschool.org/library/books/hst/european/heimskringla/HeimskringlaVolume3/toc.html World Wide School "Heimskringla - Norwegian Kings - Vol. 3" Book V, Chapter 67, by Snorri Sturlson [sic] at www.worldwideschool.org] (Norway)

* Sjöström (2007): "Scandinavian medieval descendants of Charlemagne: A detailed genealogy of the issue of Agnes Haakonsdottir, of the so-called Fairhair dynasty", Foundations - Journal of the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy 2 (2007:4, July), ISSN 1479-5078, pp 253..276

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