Talk:Battle of Hafrsfjord

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Could we have the poem in Old Norse, please? Instead of Bokmål?--Wiglaf 06:37, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Happy now? -- Egil 14:56, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Yes. Although, I love the Norwegian language, Old Norse is too elegant a language not to show :).--Wiglaf 21:11, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Common misconceptions about the battle of H.[edit]

The main source of knowledge of this battle is from Snorri's sagas written 350 years ‘‘after’’ the events took place. A lot of misconceptions arise when readers reads Snorris's great literature as if it was some sort of journalistic first hand account!

When the kingdom of Norway was firmly established in the 13th century, it became apparent to trace the history of the kingdom to a "big bang" that started the whole thing. Hafrsfjord was then chosen to represent the decisive event, thus neglecting other events.

  • Snorri's sagas are NOT written during the Viking period. (Which ended more than 100 yrs before Heimskringla was written.)
  • The conventional year of the battle, 872, is a 19th century invention.
  • "Norway" (Norvegr) was a purely geographical term in the 9th century, denoting the coastline from Lindesnes to Troms (NOT the South Easter parts of the country, e.g. around Oslo). Its significance as a political entity is a later construction.
  • King Harald did not "control" Norway after the battle of Hafrsfjord. Communications were so poor that his realm continued to be ruled by local chieftains paying taxes to Harald.



There should be a description of the battle in plain English, people shouldn't have to try decipher that poem to get an account of the battle. For example the poem does not make it explicitly clear whether the battle was a naval one.

No. This poem is the only primary source we have of the battle. So any "plain English" description that goes beyond the description of the battle in this poem is likely to be pure fiction.


Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Battle of Hafrsfjord/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Unref, needs infobox. Otherwise pretty good. ErikTheBikeMan (talk) 02:13, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Last edited at 02:13, 9 October 2008 (UTC). Substituted at 19:47, 1 May 2016 (UTC)