Heimskringla, the Chronicle of the Kings of Norway

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Author: Snorri Sturluson

2. Of the Forces of Harald and Magnus.

When the two relations, Harald and Magnus, had been about three years kings of Norway (A.D. 1131-1133), they both passed the fourth winter (A.D. 1134) in the town of Nidaros, and invited each other as guests; but their people were always ready for a fight. In spring King Magnus sailed southwards along the land with his fleet, and drew all the men he could obtain out of each district, and sounded his friends if they would strengthen him with their power to take the kingly dignity from Harald, and give him such a portion of the kingdom, as might be suitable; representing to them that King Harald had already renounced the kingdom by oath. King Magnus obtained the consent of many powerful men. The same spring Harald went to the Uplands, and by the upper roads eastwards to Viken; and when he heard what King Magnus was doing, he also drew together men on his side. Wheresoever the two parties went they killed the cattle, or even the people, upon the farms of the adverse party. King Magnus had by far the most people, for the main strength of the country lay open to him for collecting men from it. King Harald was in Viken on the east side of the fjord, and collected men, while they were doing each other damage in property and life. King Harald had with him Kristrod, his brother by his mother’s side, and many other lendermen; but King Magnus had many more. King Harald was with his forces at a place called Fors in Ranrike, and went from thence towards the sea. The evening before Saint Lawrence day (August 10), they had their supper at a place called Fyrileif, while the guard kept a watch on horseback all around the house. The watchmen observed King Magnus’s army hastening towards the house, and consisting of full 6000 men, while King Harald had but 1500. Now come the watchmen who had to bring the news to King Harald of what was going on and say that King Magnus’s army was now very near the town.

The king says, "What will my relation King Magnus Sigurdson have? He wants not surely to fight us."

Thjostolf Alason replies, "You must certainly, sire, make preparation for that, both for yourself and your, men. King Magnus has been drawing together an army all the summer for the purpose of giving you battle when he meets you."

Then King Harald stood up, and ordered his men to take their arms. "We shall fight, if our relative King Magnus wants to fight us."

Then the war-horns sounded, and all Harald’s men went out from the house to an enclosed field, and set up their banners. King Harald had on two shirts of ring-mail, but his brother Kristrod had no armour on; and a gallant man he was. When King Magnus and his men saw King Harald’s troop they drew up and made their array, and made their line so long that they could surround the whole of King Harald’s troop. So says Haldor Skvaldre: —

"King Magnus on the battle-plain
From his long troop-line had great gain;
The plain was drenched with warm blood,
Which lay a red and reeking flood."

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Chicago: Snorri Sturluson, "2. Of the Forces of Harald and Magnus.," Heimskringla, the Chronicle of the Kings of Norway, ed. CM01B10.Txt - 149 Kb, CM01B10.Zip - 56 Kb and trans. Stanley Young in Heimskringla, the Chronicle of the Kings of Norway (New York: The Modern Library Publishers, 1918), Original Sources, accessed October 4, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L9DEHXZY4GIMCTA.

MLA: Sturluson, Snorri. "2. Of the Forces of Harald and Magnus." Heimskringla, the Chronicle of the Kings of Norway, edited by CM01B10.Txt - 149 Kb, CM01B10.Zip - 56 Kb, and translated by Stanley Young, in Heimskringla, the Chronicle of the Kings of Norway, New York, The Modern Library Publishers, 1918, Original Sources. 4 Oct. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L9DEHXZY4GIMCTA.

Harvard: Sturluson, S, '2. Of the Forces of Harald and Magnus.' in Heimskringla, the Chronicle of the Kings of Norway, ed. and trans. . cited in 1918, Heimskringla, the Chronicle of the Kings of Norway, The Modern Library Publishers, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 4 October 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L9DEHXZY4GIMCTA.