Talk:Eiríkr Hákonarson

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Merge duplicate[edit]

Eric of Hlathir IP Address 09:37, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Are they the same person? They should be merged. Srnec 04:55, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Done. Interesting how one article was only concerned with his Norwegian career while the other was only concerned with his English career :) Haukur 23:36, 30 April 2006 (UTC)


Let's try to do this in an organized way and try to get a reasonably comprehensive list of the historical sources which mention Eiríkr.

Kings' sagas[edit]

  • Heimskringla - Treats Eiríkr extensively. Available online; both the original text and at least one English translation.
  • Fagrskinna - Treats Eiríkr extensively. You can read some of the recent English translation through Google Books.
  • Morkinskinna - Doesn't treat Eiríkr at all, starts in 1030.
  • Ágrip - Treats Eiríkr somewhat. Unfortunately I haven't got a copy at hand and I can't find anything online.
  • Knýtlinga saga - The most extensive source, I think, on Eiríkr's career in England
  • Historia Norvegiæ - Treats Eiríkr somewhat. A recent English translation is on Google Books.
  • Theodricus - Does mention Eiríkr and apparently tells about his conversion to Christianity.
  • Jómsvíkinga saga - Lots of stuff, though perhaps not very reliable.

The later kings' sagas are almost completely derivative works from these. Haukur 23:36, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Icelanders' sagas[edit]

Not very reliable as history but interesting nevertheless.

English sources[edit]

Perhaps not so informative, but there's a few letters in the Diplomatarium Norvegicum [1] where "Yrric dux" is listed as a witness, youngest being from 1023 Fornadan (t) 06:50, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

This is actually very interesting! We can see that Yric dux features frequently as a witness in charters between 1018 and 1023 but not at all after that while his son continues to show up. This indicates quite strongly, I should think, that he died in 1023 or shortly after that. It seems that there is some dispute on the authenticity of some charters; see [2]

Other sources[edit]

  • Adam of Bremen - Nothing, it seems. He describes the battle of Svolder with Sveinn of Denmark in the role of Óláfr's major opponent.
  • Gesta Danorum - Nothing I can find, which is just weird. See here for a Danish translation of what should be the relevant section[7]


Why the use of Eirik and Eiríkr over Eric? What is the difference between Eirik and Eiríkr? Why isn't the English Eric employed? I raised this issue (naming) several times in Scotland-related articles employing hard-to-pronounce Gaelic names over well known Anglicisations. I was charged by some with "targetting" Scots, so, in the name of equality, I am targetting Norsemen too. This is an English encyclopaedia which should employ English usages where they exist and are accepted. As Eric is, it should be used. Furthermore, Eirik is not necessarily the contemporary usage as the sources cited indicate. I don't know about problems of consistency this will cause, but that's not my problem: my problem is this article's use of forms with which most Anglophones are not familiar and cannot properly pronounce.

As an aside, Stenton gives a death date of 1031. Srnec 03:54, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Stenton is wrong, then :)
As for the naming convention I've been following the 1998 English edition and translation of Encomium Emmae and the 2004 English translation of Fagrskinna, both of which use "Eiríkr". As does Christiansen's 2002 book. The issue is open for discussion of course, as we want to optimize for accuracy, readability, consistency and standard modern scholarly practice. Glad to have your input. Haukur 08:34, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I don't know if one form is more accurate than another. I think Eric is by far more readable. I am not sure what's more consistent on Wikipedia: I think the articles on the many Erics of Sweden use that form, but otherwise I'm unsure. As to scholarly practice, you seem to have shown that Eiríkr predominates today. I just wonder why modern scholarly practice is more important than past practice. Does modern include the entire post-medieval period or just the past one or two hundred years? Or does it only cover contemporary scholarship? If the last, I have problems with that. But Stenton, still the utmost authority on Anglo-Saxon England, calls him Eric if that means anything. I would prefer, for reasons of readability, where consistency and accuracy are in doubt, to use Eric as the name at the tops of the page and throughout the article, with the other forms cited for completeness. Srnec 14:59, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

You raise a lot of interesting issues. I'll give my thoughts on some of them. First, I think you're right that "Eric" is, at least in some sense, more readable. Second, you're right that we have article titles like Eric I of Norway and Eric VI of Sweden (but also Eirik II of Norway so it's not quite consistent). I think that a high level of Anglicization is expected for the names of royalty where familiar names tend to be used if at all available. If Eiríkr Hákonarson had ever called himself king I would be fine with having his article at "Eric II of Norway". But he wasn't quite royalty and he is a somewhat more obscure historical character than the kings so I'm not quite sure how to apply this.
As for medieval usage I haven't made a complete study but what I've seen so far is that the Latin charters witnessed by Eiríkr during his life have "Yric dux" (most commonly) or "Yrric dux" or "Iric dux". The Encomium Emmae, written in Latin in 1041 or 1042, has the form "Eric" and titles him as "dux et princeps provintiae quae Nordwega dicitur".
The Anglo-Saxon chronicle (written in Old English, of course) has "Irke"[8] (a dative form) or "Yric"[9] or "Yrice"[10] (a dative form) or "Eiric"[11]. (Maybe I missed a variant.)
Old Norse texts are usually published in normalized orthography where the name is "Eiríkr". In diplomatic editions you will probably find forms like "Eirikr" or "Eiricr" or "Eirijkr" but I don't have any at hand at the moment so don't take it as gospel.
I've got to run now, will address the rest of the question later. I'm actually more worried about the patronym :) Haukur 15:58, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree that Anglicisation is not so important for nonroyalty. Your citations provide evidence of many variant forms (including contempraneous use of Eric) and I think its best to include a short section in the article detailing the many ways his name and titles were rendered in and around his own time. Finally, I would employ Eric throughout the article for readability, though the title and the opening paragraph need not conform to this. Srnec 17:36, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Okay, that sounds like a reasonable compromise. I'll try to implement some version of this later tonight and then we'll see if you and Fornadan can live with it. Haukur 20:31, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Okay, try this. I moved the page to Eiríkr Hákonarson which is unambiguous and seemingly preferred in modern scholarship. I think it's better as a page title than the very ambiguous Eric of Norway - and Eric of Hlathir seems somewhat eccentric to me (why "Hlathir" rather than "Hladir" or "Hlaðir" or "Lade"? It's not a title I would ever have guessed). I then added a footnote laying out some of the name variants and used "Eric" throughout the article text as the form probably most readable as we have discussed. This is somewhat against my personal preference but I can live with it if you can.
Wikipedia tends to be somewhat inconsistent in its name usage since its various editors have different preferences and access to different sources. I used to want to harmonize usage but I've decided it's not that important and it tends to annoy people. Ultimately it's not that important and redirects solve most of the problems that arise. Haukur 22:15, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Looks improved to me. Srnec 00:15, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. 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. don't move. —Nightstallion (?) 10:44, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Move request[edit]

He was a medieval ruler, almost a king but not nominally such. Naming conventions direct him to be titled by English first name(s) and with his main title. His title of course could be earl, but I am aware of Jarl being a somewhat specific case in medieval Scandinavia, and I am willing to follow the exception of a honorific being not translatable without resulting to confusion. Analogous examples are Robert I, Duke of Burgundy and Valdemar, Duke of Finland. Maed 12:02, 1 June 2006 (UTC)


Please add and sign with ~~~~ a one-sentence comment here.
  • Support as nom. Maed 13:01, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose The current name use was arrived at through a compromise between everyone working on the article just a few weeks ago. It is in accordance with usage of the sources of the article, most of which are in English. The proposed move would yield an eccentric and obsolete form and the gain is unclear to me. Haukur 13:19, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose Whether or not it should be moved, it should definitely not be moved to what has been suggested. --Barend 15:40, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose Angus McLellan (Talk) 16:18, 1 June 2006 (UTC)


Strictly speaking he has no title, only a rank. Anyway I don't really think it matters as long as the patronym is included (Dropping the patronym is not remotely a good idea). The current name is unambiguous though and there doesn't seem to be any standard naming in English, so I don't really see the point. If you take a look at the similar articles in Category:Norwegian earls you'll see that with the exception of two Scottish immigrants no articles include title. Fornadan (t) 12:11, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Jarl of Lade is regarded as a substantive title. The present name is very difficult to, e.g, link to, and is repulsive to those who wish English to be used. besides, it does not follow the naming convention of European rulers. Maed 13:04, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Agree with Fornadan on all counts (and I'm not sure that I'd take Maol Íosa V as being anything other than a last resort disambiguation of someone who couldn't be dab'd by patronym). Angus McLellan (Talk) 12:20, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Whether or not it should be moved at all, the new title which has been suggested, Eric Haconson, Jarl of Lade, is a bad suggestion. Eiríkr to Eric, well OK, if one has to choose English name variants, which I oppose but seems to be standard policy. Hákonarson to Haconson? No! The English form of Hákon is Haakon, as you can see in Category:Norwegian monarchs. So if this part of the name has to be changed, it should be to Haakonsson. Whether or not a title should be included at all is a question in itself, but jarl? jarl and earl share the same article in wikipedia, so earl would seem the logical choice, rather than jarl. of Lade? This gives the impression that what he ruled was Lade, which is not the case, Lade was his family's seat. It would be like calling Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom Elizabeth II of Windsor - could be defendend I suppose, but not wikipedia policy. To summarise: I don't think the article needs to be moved, but if it is moved, find a better alternative. --Barend 15:40, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Sometimes, the family seat is the name, irrespective of what is ruled. Prince of Orange was leader of the Netherlands, but we cannot use the latter as the title. I would be happy if Eric was commonly titled by the realm he ruked, but tell me whether he was or not? I know that Ladejarl has been used of him, but no clear other territorial designation. The title should be included, whatever is the best title. Well, Haconson/Hakonarson is something I would drop altogether (but were there some people who feel it is something indispensable?). This guy however should be "Eric", as that's the common usage. Maed 19:47, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

We've already had Campbell's Encomium Emmae Reginae and Finlay's Fargskinna cited above. Pulsiano et al, Medieval Scandinavia: An Encyclopedia, also uses Eiríkr Hákonarson. Lee Hollander's translation of the Heimskringla calls him Eirík Hákonarson. The New Cambridge Medieval History indexes him as Erik Earl Hákonsson (the actual text just calls him Erik). Angus McLellan (Talk) 21:34, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
This would argue, in light of WP:UE, that Erik would be an improvement; I agree with the present patronymic. Septentrionalis 23:36, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. 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.


I'm getting the impression you're trying to get this up to WP:FA... 's that right? ;) —Nightstallion (?) 10:46, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Yes, that would be nice :) but it will take a long time and there are still some books I don't have. Haukur 11:16, 6 June 2006 (UTC)


Scottish control of Lothian was strengthened with Máel Coluim II's victory over the Northumbrians and the Battle of Carham (1018).

If I may quote from the text: "And in 1017 Canute...gave...Northumbria to Eric...Eric remained as earl of Northumbria until his death. His earlship is primarily notable in that it is never recorded that he ever fought with the Scots or the Britons of Strathclyde, who were usually constantly threatening Northumbria...Eric's death can not strictly be placed more precisely than between 1023 and 1033."

However, Máel Coluim II of Scotland won a victory over the the Northumbrians at the Battle of Carham in 1018. Clearly that battle falls in the time period when Eric was earl of Northumbria. My sources are multiple, but for example:

A History of Northumberland, in Three Parts by John Hodgson, John Hodgson-Hinde, James Raine - 1858 - Page 162 - "Symeon, in his Church History, gives an account of this battle, fought at Carham on the Tweed, AD 1018."

The ruler of Northumberland at this time is named as Eadulf not Eric. Though of course Northumberland was a dual Earldom and Eric had the Southern, Yorkshire, end; I find it hard to think, given the scale of the battle, that Eric would not have had even a small involvement. It does apear that after the battle a state of peace prevails between Northumberland and Scotland. Possibly some more research required here.

Additional, the date given for Eric gaining his Earldom is the death of Uchtread in 1016.

Eiríkr was earl of (southern) Northumbria, based on York, not of Northumberland. Northumberland was included in Uchtred and Eadwulf's earldom of Bernicia, the frontier between the two being about the Tees. Richard Fletcher's Bloodfeud is quite good on Northumbria in this period. Hope this helps, Angus McLellan (Talk) 19:09, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Moving without discussion to Eric Haakonsson[edit]

I dont like this "Eric Haakonsson", semi-modern-Norwegian spelling. I dont think it was right to move this article boldly to Eric Haakonsson without discussion, when there had been an existing talk thread above #Naming where an agreement was reached (between Haukur and Srnec).

Thhist who performed the move commented "We use anglicised names" however, "Eirik Hakonarson (Earl of Norway)" is also anglicized spelling, and it is the one that as appears in Penguin classics translation of Icelandic sagas.

WP:UE on foreign names advises using prevalent spelling as used by RS. Since primary sources of substances are almost all Old Icelandic literature, I think scholarly commentaries on them (in English) are likely to fall on the "Eiríkr Hákonarson" or "Eirik Hakonarson" spelling.

As a crude measure, I did a search (with +"Norway" as filter to constrain to English language books) and the count on the current name was rather low:

  • "Eric Haakonson" 8; "Erik Haakonson" 15
  • "Eirik Haakonsson" 7
  • "Eric Hakonson" 24; "Erik Hakonson" 24
  • "Eirik Hakonarson" 98, "Eirikr Hakonarson" 70 "Eirík Hákonarson 98

--Kiyoweap (talk) 20:30, 3 January 2017 (UTC)

The undiscussed move from Eiríkr Hákonarson should be reverted. I would kindly ask an admin to just do it, or else propose it as uncontroversial at WP:RM. I myself am not a fan of normalised Old Norse orthography, but its preponderance in this case is clear and the current title is unusual. Srnec (talk) 01:18, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

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