The Fairhair Dynasty is traditionally regarded as the first royal dynasty of the united Norway, a branch of Ynglings. It was founded by king Haraldr hinn hárfagri around 890 CE. Its last ruler was (according to traditional royal genealogy) Olav IV who died in 1387. But its more likely that only three generations of Fairhair rules were in power. In the 13th century, the Hereditary Kingdom of Norway was confirmed by explicit laws and the monarchy was regarded to belong to this Fairhair dynasty.
The concept of a "Fairhair dynasty" is probably an invention from the later mediaeval period, when rivalry between throne pretenders made it appropriate to trace royal lineages back to the 9th century in order to gain legitimacy for their rule. According to the medievalist Claus Krag, the claim that Norwegian kings after the 10th century was descendants of Harald Hairfair dates from about 1150. The Norwegian kings constructed a false genealogy to the Fairhair dynasty in order to claim the territories around Oslo ("Vika"), which most of the time had been paying taxes to the Danish kingdom.
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