Talk:Birger Jarl

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Several questions[edit]

Several questions:

  1. Who was Fr. Hedberg?
  2. Is it true that Mechtild was the mother of Bengt in 1254 even though she wasn't married to Birger until 1261?
  3. Who is the king who was Ingeborg Eriksdotter's father? Is it the Erik Eriksson who's mentioned in the next sentence?
Ingeborg Eriksdotter's father was Erik Knutsson (d. 1216). Ingeborg's brother was Erik Eriksson (a.k.a. Erik the lame) who made his brother-in-law (i.e. Birger) Jarl in 1248. Erik "the lame" Eriksson was the last of the House of Erik.

-- Zoe

1. Havent the slighest these were old thing, which I didnt wrote. 2. Really have to check this up, thanks for noticing. She was married to Abel of denmark before, well see into this. 3. As above stated, Erik Knutsson was Ingeborgs father, not her brother.

So now Id be most interested to know

  1. In what source did you find Erik Knutsson as Ingeborgs brother?

Glad for your interest in scandinavian genealogy. // :) Dan Koehl

I just put in what wrote in response to my 3rd question above. If this is wrong, who WAS her brother? -- Zoe
As named above (by Erik Eriksson. Erik Knutsson was the father to both of them, that why they are sister and brothers. I was really thinking, because yesterday actually someone asked for genealogy information, that I should make someting more graphical. Is there any standard for such things, or can I just make a /link to genealogy? Dan again.
You might consider creating a page Kings of Sweden and indicating the relationships there. -- Zoe
Theres already a list List_of_Swedish_monarchs. I meant a graphical thing/Dan

Now noticing that someone has written that Birger married the daughter of Abel, with whom she was actually married with. It sure isnt easy to put this in order, when so many want to write so much, but wrong...Dan Koehl 23:47 Dec 9, 2002 (UTC)

It is better not to name the family that Birger jarl belonged to as "Folkunga", nowadays most historians namen it "Bjälbo-ätten" (Bjälbo-family) as Folkunga in their time was an opposition of Birger jarl and his sons. First in the 17th century, due to some confusion the historians started to name Bjälbo as Folkunga.

One source added[edit]

Today I added one source to the article and removed the templates from the top of the page (to add them to two sections needing attention). More sources and some copy-editing is still necessary though.
/ Mats Halldin (talk) 09:17, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Date of birth[edit]

The source I used for the article clearly say he must have been older than 50 (...han kan knappast ha varit född så sent som 1216. Fadern Magnus Minnesköld antas nämligen ha dött senast 1210. En hyfsad gissning är att Birger fötts något eller några år innan faderns bortgång.) I don't claim the Lindström brothers are the ideal NPOV reference, but preferably another source should be used before replacing the information in the article.
/ Mats Halldin (talk) 11:33, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Sorry about this. Added reference. The traditional dating mentioned in the article would have made him around 60 at the time of his death, however recent publications take 10 years off from his age after the examination of his bones. I don't know on which grounds his father has been though to have died before 1210, but that seems to be incorrect then. --Drieakko 11:54, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I'd also point out the fact that Birger was very interested in getting more offspring his entire life and binding other dynasties to his own. He had his first daughter in 1238. Assuming that he was born already before 1210, that would make him closer to 30 then, which sounds uncharacteristic. Putting him closer to 20 sounds more believable. --Drieakko 12:00, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
OK, sounds believable. The source I used, which admits itself the information is "a fair guess", is however still used for the Early life section, so the information in the article is still contradictory. Maybe it perfectly well illustrates how much is knowledge and/or speculations concerning Sweden during the 13th century. I don't understand Finnish, but I'll gladly assume your reference is more credible than mine, so, please, feel free to substitute information I've added.
/ Mats Halldin (talk) 12:35, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
The contradiction is difficult to tackle since Magnus Minnesköld is regarded Birger's father on fairly strong grounds, but he is also usually regarded to have died in 1208. All the pieces don't add up, so someone has it wrong, we just don't know for sure who. Perhaps Magnus Minnesköld, born around 1150, had another son, Magnus, who has been merged together with his father and who would have been the actual father of Birger. --Drieakko 12:41, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Mm, I tried to make this clear in the article by shovelling things around a bit. Again, don't hesitate to rework it.
/ Mats Halldin (talk) 16:01, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

The foundations of a Swedish kingdom?[edit]

I lifted out the assertion that Birger Jarl's reforms laid the foundations for a Swedish kingdom[1]. I know there is a tendency among some Swedish historians to put everything as late as possible, and I guess they still have an axe to grind against gothicismus and national romanticism. A kind of antithesis to what they perceive as fusty old stuff. However, there are scholars who disagree with their way of presenting Swedish history, e.g. Mats G. Larsson who deals with Sweden's past as a Germanic kingdom. On WP we have to follow NPOV and we have to have a functional terminology in English. This means that we have to be very careful with what a particular Swedish historian means with "kungarike" in a specific context and with how this should be translated into English. IMHO, it is a trifle pathetic to have a statement that implies that there was still no Swedish kingdom in the early 13th century while we have a List of Swedish monarchs that begins with Eric the Victorious (10th century).--Berig 17:05, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

There were Swedish monarchs before him, but they were typically mentioned as kings over the Suiones. The English article Eric the Victorious mentions him as king over Swedes, but the Swedish article calls him Sveakung. As the reference given in the article describes it (and as I know Swedish history), Birger Jarl was the first to rule both Svealand and Götaland and therefore the first Swedish king in the modern sense of the word (i.e. the first king over what was to become the Kingdom of Sweden). That is, there were several kingdoms in present-day Sweden before Birger. I don't understand what is lost in translation.
/ Mats Halldin (talk) 18:02, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
We cannot and must not translate word for word from Swedish to English (no professional translator does that), and above all we have to handle each historian critically like they handle each other. There are several ways of understanding what the "kingdom of Sweden" is and I maintain that we have follow:
1) The mainstream regnal list of Sweden, where it is either Eric the Victorious or Olof Skötkonung who begin as "Kings of Sweden" in the 10th century. The only reason why it does not begin earlier with kings such as Björn at Haugi is that all the preceding sources are contradictory.
2) The mainstream translation of Svear into English, which is Swedes and Swedish, and this is something we have to abide by here.
The notion that [Sverige= Svealand + Götaland] is *one way* of defining the Sweden of the high middle ages, while there is another: Svearike/Svitjod=Sverige (my own point of view, BTW). Moreoever, the first king to rule Svealand and Götland is unfortunately unknown, and it was certainly not Birger Jarl.--Berig 18:25, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
OK, I must admit my knowledge don't permit me to argue much more about this. However, the first part of that section is still saying "thus making [Birger Jarl] the last Swedish jarl ever and the first truly Swedish king" using the same source as the section where you removed this information. So the article is sort of contradictory at this time. Maybe there is a need for a second source here?
/ Mats Halldin (talk) 18:59, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
It must be changed since Birger Jarl was never a king, at least not formally.--Berig 19:28, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Just a side note: any information why almost all the Christian kings in the Svea rike seem to have been from Geatish clans, while the election of the king was still a privilege of the Svea nobles? --Drieakko 18:57, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

When the old dynasty died out, the man who was closest in succession was Stenkil, a Geat whose family had married into the royal dynasty. After Stenkil, there were naturally many Geats who were close in succession. Mats G. Bengtsson in Götarnas riken makes the interpretation that it was the strong Swedish presence among the noblemen of Västergötland that is behind it. Toponymic evidence shows that there were enclaves of Swedes in Västergötland, who were there more or less to enforce loyalty. So it is only natural that the Swedish royal dynasty had many close relatives in Västergötland.--Berig 19:03, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
AFAIK, there were many attempts to bring the svear and götar closer to each other (basically to fight the Danes more successfully). These attempts failed as old hierarchies prevented the amalgamation of the two. A compromise was to allow the svear to elect their leaders, while picking them from among the götar made the political situation more stable.
/ Mats Halldin (talk) 19:10, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
That is a very simple and realistic explanation.--Berig 19:28, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks to both, sounds very reasonable. --Drieakko 04:24, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

The thing is that we don't exactly know how kings were elected. For example, traditionally it has been said that Ragnvald Knaphövde was first chosen by people in Mälardalen, but we have no proof for that, and the only sources that actually says something about it, says that he was chosen in Östergötland. In short, it might well happen that people in Mälardalen had nothing to say in who was to become king around the year 1130. Further, labels of ethnicity are not so easy to work with, and very early on we find examples were words like Svía and Sveær should be translated as Swedes. See for example Håkon Håkonssons saga and äldre västgötalagen. In short, the premise is not defined, and therefore it is not a good question. Mats G. Larsson is a right wing provincialist, and does not represent main stream thoughts. Åke Hyenstrand and Carl Löfving are far better choices if one wants to learn about this time period. (talk) 14:26, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Right, but I guess this does not affect the article in question, does it? To my knowledge, Berig gave a great summary of various ways to interpret "Swedishness" during the Middle ages. However, as you say, ethnicity is always problematic to work with, the article Swedish people is a good example but far from the most problematic of course. A few questions: What "is not a good question"? Does "mainstream thoughts" mean commonly accepted interpretations in Sweden?
/ Mats Halldin (talk) 16:19, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

That is right Mats. I just wanted to explain since Drieakko asked a question. Possibly I didn't phrase it very well. What I mean with "not a good question", is that the premises of the question are unproven or undefined. Yes, mainstream thoughts are those held by the majority of historians today. Simply put, the problem with many of the articles about Swedish history is that they lag some 20-30 years. Today, discontinuity is emphasized, also when medieval historians speak of Sweden they have to define it in some measurable way, or they are off into the land of myths. So when we talk of Sweden it has to be understood that we are talking of different kinds of Sweden :) It is often misunderstood since we use the same word all the time. Books can be written about this, but I'll try to be brief and explain. What present day research seems to tell us is that for some 100 years we have been having a myth of a dynamically growing Sweden from a base in Mälardalen, and that in reality this cannot be proven. Rather, there are very strong evidences saying that an eventual kingdom in Mälardalen was subjugated under Danish/Geatish power in the tenth century. We should not be surprised to find that this was the case. It is enough to understand that power was frail, and that the individual could create his own fortune. Add to this that we are talking about some 700 years of history, and that we actually have evidence of changing fortunes. Presently there is work on a new Swedish history, it will be published by Norstedts and there will be programs on tv4. Hopefully, with it, the provincial view will finally be buried. I hope this made some sense to you Mats. It is rather difficult to explain a very vast subject in a short article like this :) mvh, Marcus (talk) 23:58, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Birger jarl or Birger Jarl[edit]

Should this article be "Birger jarl" or "Birger Jarl"? Robert Greer (talk) 20:05, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

"Birger jarl" is more correct, but "Birger Jarl" is much more common. I think the former is the best name for this article.
/ Mats Halldin (talk) 18:20, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
A reader of English is likely (and right) to question why we are using Swedish name format (jarl) for this name, otherwise completely unheard of in English. Birger Jarl seems to me to be the only possible correct title in English. Otherwise we'll have Swedes in here changing article names to John the baptist and Jesus christ, won't we?
"Jarl" is a title even in English. Titles with names always start with a capital letter. I just can't fathom what this one exception is all about? SergeWoodzing (talk) 02:05, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
PS A (now blocked) Swede wrote above (2½ years ago) that "Birger jarl" is more correct - sure it is, in Swedish. SergeWoodzing (talk) 02:09, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Another Swede moved this from Birger Jarl 3 years ago stating that titles (with names) are not capitalized. Sure they're not - in Swedish. (Sorry about sounding irritable but I do so much clean-up of things like this by headstrong users who do not know enough English but act as if they do. It all keeps me from contributing more substantially, and it can get very tedious and tiring.) SergeWoodzing (talk) 02:27, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved per discussion below. This move is not a statement for or against the suggestion at the bottom of the discussion regarding, for example, Birger, Duke of Sweden. That's probably a question for a separate move request; for now it's clear that Birger Jarl is an improvement over Birger jarl. - GTBacchus(talk) 03:17, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Birger jarlBirger Jarl — See section just above! Swedish language policy has been used, but does not apply here. SergeWoodzing (talk) 02:27, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

  • Support On English Wikipedia we follow English capitalisation rules. On Swedish Wikipedia they follow Swedish capitalisation rules. This is a proper name and so, in English, gets capitalised. Skinsmoke (talk) 06:58, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment: The world "jarl" is not a name, it is a title, such as : "Earl Birger". If Birger Jarl is used, it should not be because "Jarl" is mistaken for a surname. -- (talk) 11:44, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
On English Wikipedia we follow English capitalisation rules. On Swedish Wikipedia they follow Swedish capitalisation rules. This is a title given with a proper name and so, in English, gets capitalised. SergeWoodzing (talk) 23:02, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
What ever English capitalisation rules - and I am absolutely positive you now them better than me - I believe it is important to avoid his title being mistaken for a name. I may be wrong, of course, but I do not think the English language equeals names with titles; the English language, as does the Swedish, seem to differ between names and titles. The word "jarl", here, means: Jarl (title). I could be good to be informed about this when making a decision. -- (talk) 23:34, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment In English, it doesn't matter whether Jarl/jarl was part of his name or a title. The name/title Birger Jarl is a proper noun as a whole, and is therefore capitalised. An analogy is that the French would say il a dit que le roi Louis est mort, but in English it would be He said that King Louis is dead. Skinsmoke (talk) 04:06, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree fully. Besides, I count a total of 4 times that it has been clarified beyond the slightest doubt above that "jarl" is a title. Seems odd that that is not fully clear to everyone here yet. No one has asstered that it is a personal name. Why go on and on about that? SergeWoodzing (talk) 14:56, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for your explanation, Skinsmoke. And SergeWoodzing, I see that you have written in your edit summary: " IT HAS BEEN CLEARLY STATED: TITLE NOT NAME". I see no reason to why any one should be upset. I have not seen that this has been stated in this section at all. My intention was to point this out, so every one taking part in the vote should have all the facts. I see no reason to why you should scream because of a good intention? My appology if I have offended anyone. Have a good day. -- (talk) 19:07, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, my apology for screaming - I was using a tricky keyboard. If you haven't seen how clearly it has been established in this discussion, both here and in the previous section to which the move request is referred, that we only are talking about a title, not a personal name, then I'm sorry about that, too. It is so clear to me that I couldn't imagine you actually had read what we've written above and still missed that. You good intentions here are obvious. SergeWoodzing (talk) 20:56, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Support This case seems clear.--Barend (talk) 09:28, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment Shouldn't it be Earl Birger, or aren't titles usually translated in article titles? /Grillo (talk) 23:40, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
This is a very good point. The problem is that "jarl", as used in Swedish then, was closer to what would translate more accurately into "Duke" in English, whereas the word and equivalent of "jarl" developed into "Earl" with time. Birger also was chiefly known in his time as Dux Sueciae = Duke of Sweden. I would even more strongly support Birger, Duke of Sweden than my own proposal above. The current article name is ng in any case. SergeWoodzing (talk) 16:46, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

File:Birger-jarl-2010.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Portrait bust[edit]

number 1
number 2

Asking other neutral editors to comment on which of these two images, in the sizes shown in this article, is the clearest and best to portray Birger. Please refer to number 1 or number 2. My question has the condition that one does not enlarge the photo by clicking on it (as I think most readers won't) but views it as is (as I think most readers will). SergeWoodzing (talk) 19:59, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Lighting is a bit flat in the image to the right, but it shows much finer detail. The image on the left (uploaded by Woodzing) is rather noisy, which was increased by enhancing contrast. See also commons:Category:Birger jarl. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 20:19, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Searchtool-80%.png Response to third opinion request:
Hi guys, I'm from the 3O Board. I think both photos are good selections. But, between the two, I have to side with Number 2. Number 1 appears pixilated, even when not blown up. (Sorry, Serge, nothing personal!) —JoelWhy (talk) 20:49, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Thank you anyway, JoelWhy! Your eyesight and perception are different than mine. SergeWoodzing (talk) 12:54, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Birger jarl (Forssén).jpg

Here is a photo made from scaffolding high up in the church by Axel Forssén. It might be public domain (if published in Sweden before 1969). Maybe Woodzing knows a publication date. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 21:29, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Forssén died 1961, I found out. So I uploaded the image in Nationalencyklopedin to File:Birger jarl (Forssén).jpg. Problem solved, I hope. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 22:12, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
good choice! --An-d (talk) 10:32, 15 January 2012 (UTC) (photographer of nr.2)

Swedish prince[edit]

In the broader sense of the word, as prince consort to a Princess of Sweden, and as regent, and as the father of 2 kings, Birger can be called a Swedish prince as far as catregories go. Much too definite statements (as if we knew!) about what he was or was not called during his lifetime don't enter into that. The fact that several scholars consider him the great-grandson of a Swedish king, additonally, invalidates any definite claim made by a Wikipedian in 2016, that he had no royal blood. Reinstating category. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 10:54, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

The titles "prince" and "princess" does not seem to have been in use at that point in Sweden – SAOB gives the earliest citations from the 17th century [2], so it is quite unlikely that they would have been in use 400 years before that. The fact that he was regent or that he fathered two kings has nothing to do with his own status. The useage here seems to come solely from the fact that he held no other royal title of his own (compare e.g. Frederick VIII of Denmark, who no one in their right minds would call a "prince of Sweden"). Neither would one call Ivar Axelsson (Tott) a prince, nor the almost unknown Håkan Svensson (Bölja). Or, to take examples from England, John Hastings, 2nd Earl of Pembroke or Timothy Laurence.

One can perhaps call the children of medieval and early modern Swedish royals for princes and princesses, but really, just being married to such a person did not necessarily confer extraordinary rank.

Andejons (talk) 14:23, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps an RfC would be appropriate to see if neutral editors would agree with your strict dictionary usage of the word "prince" or with my broader version for early times when distinctions were nowhere near as pricise as they are today. There may be many many more medieval men whom we call princes, practically, without being able to source each and every title. Is your reaction the same to this statement: Birger jarl var en svensk furste? --SergeWoodzing (talk) 15:15, 25 March 2016 (UTC)
That would depend on the context. If the implication was that he held the title, then it would be false. If it was used in the sense of a general leader, then it would be OK, even if potentially confusing and possibly better rephrased. I don't see a lot of room for interpretating the categories like that though. If you think an RfC would help, please do submit one.
Andejons (talk) 17:26, 25 March 2016 (UTC)
So far, so good then. If the category were Princes of Sweden I could see your point better. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 12:55, 26 March 2016 (UTC)
I can not see how he could be a prince of any other state. The category also includes Bogusław IX, which hardly can be called anything than a potential heir to the throne, so the category does not seem to imply that it is about "princes from Sweden".
Andejons (talk) 08:12, 27 March 2016 (UTC)