Talk:Harald Fairhair

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Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. 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 debate was No Consensus and no discussion in over a week. —Wknight94 (talk) 19:21, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Survey 1: Harald I of NorwayHarald Fairhair[edit]

Almost always known by a cognomen, so per Wikipedia:Naming conventions (names and titles) article should be so named. Google books results overwhelmingly favour Harald Fairhair, Harald I results usually referring to Harold Harefoot rather than the subject of this article. Angus McLellan (Talk) 17:24, 12 September 2006 (UTC)Add

"* Support" or "* Oppose" followed by an optional one-sentence explanation, then sign your opinion with ~~~~

  • Support as proposer. Angus McLellan (Talk) 17:26, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
  • OpposeInge 23:09, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Support as overwhelming usage; when we adopt something of this sort we should use it, rather than compromising. Septentrionalis 18:25, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Support, overwhelmingly known as such. Haukur 09:09, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose - the standard usage should be Harald I of Norway, with redirects for people who type otherwise. --Leifern 14:04, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Survey 2: Harald I of NorwayHarald I Fairhair[edit]

This kind of formulation is hardly ever used in the course of articles or books, but it's very common in dictionaries. It could be a good compromise. Sigo 14:49, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

"* Support" or "* Oppose" followed by an optional one-sentence explanation, then sign your opinion with ~~~~

  • Support. Sigo 14:49, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. --Barend 16:25, 13 September 2006 (UTC) Or rather, I support Harald I Fairhair of Norway
  • Oppose The only reason to go with Harald Fairhair is that that is the only recognizable name for him for many readers. Tweaking it defeats this; and the of Norway convention exists only to disambiguate; Harald Fairhair is already unambiguous. Septentrionalis 18:25, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Comment: of Norway is not there to disambiguate. If that were the case, why use article titles such as Sverre of Norway, Guttorm of Norway, Sigurd I of Norway, etc.? These royal names were only in use in Norway. --Barend 22:50, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

The relevant guideline justifies this as "pre-emptive disambiguation". That's why the articles are so titled. I'm not sure I agree, myself, but consensus seems to be clear; and it is certainly possible that we will have a Sigurd I of Denmark, sometime when Northern names are back in fashion. Septentrionalis 01:09, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose - the standard usage should be Harald I of Norway, with redirects for people who type otherwise. --Leifern 14:04, 19 September 2006 (UTC)


What about Harald I Fairhair ? Sigo 19:44, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

I tried all manner of variants on Google books, and "Har?ld Fairhair" wins by miles. It's very unusual to see "Harald I" mentioned. As I said, if your try "Harald-I Norway"/"Harold-I Norway", most of the results are for Harald son of Knut of Denmark, i.e. Harald Harefoot/Harald I of England.
The scores are: "Harald Fairhair" 990; "Harold Fairhair" 739; "Harold-I Norway" less than 304 (based on the first page, about 30% of 304, say 90); "Harald-I Norway" 107 (based on the first page, about 20% of 107, say 20). That comes to as much as 16:1 in favour of Fairhair. And there are another 100 or so using "Harold Finehair" and around 100 more using "Harald Hárfagri". There's no justification for the number "I" appearing really. Angus McLellan
Harald I Fairhair certainly is very unusual, and I wouldn't use it in an article (I'd use Harald Fairhair or Haraldr hárfagri). But I find this solution convenient for the titles, since it creates consistency: the numeral would be used for every king, which would be particularly convenient for the categories: instead of having Olaf Tryggvason first, and Olaf Haraldsson next, Olaf I Haraldsson will appear first, and next Olaf II Tryggvason. It's clearer and more logical. It may be the reason for this form being used in the index of The Cambridge History of Scandinavia and on the official webpage of the Norwegian royal family, whose link was given by Barend here.
I nevertheless support the use of cognomens or patronyms, with or without a numeral, but how should the article about Olaf II of Norway be called: Olaf Haraldsson, Olaf the Stout or Saint Olaf? Saint Olaf is more widespread, but the use of the word "saint" is very uncommon on Wikipedia (there must be a policy about that). Sigo 22:59, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Now all the Norwegian kings have the same standard article naming. This also has the advantage of imediately identifying the subject as a monarch. A naming convention for king articles exist. This should in any case not be changed on this article alone. Inge 23:13, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
The only problem I have with these names (Bloodaxe, Fairhair, etc.) is that they create inconsistencies which may (or may not) be more confusing to people unfamiliar with the subject matter than the current (rare) forms. Certainly I wouldn't expect the form "Eric I of Norway" to appear anywhere in the actual article, as "Eric Bloodaxe" would, but I am comfortable with the current titling. If it is changed, I won't complain (I may even be glad). Let me just if Google Books and like searches are really relevant? If I were writing a book, I would probably have little cause to use the form "Eric I of Norway," if I were encyclopaedist on the other hand... Srnec 03:41, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
This is precisely right. The reason for the present convention is to distinguish Harold I of England (to which Harald I of England should redirect) from Harald I of Norway wihtout arguing over which Harald I is more well-known. Septentrionalis 18:25, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
A naming convention exists witch gives the example of William the Conqueror and states his article should be named William I of England. Isn't William I at least as well known as William the Conqueror as Harald I is known as Harald Fairhair? "Harald Fairhair" might have a higher google-score, but I don't think google is an authority on this matter. This renaming proposal should better be taken up on the naming convention talk page and implemented for all articles if it passes. Doing it on this one article alone is not a good policy and taking this discussion on tour of the similar articles is just silly.Inge 07:52, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
The point about William the Conqueror is that calling him William I may be unusual but it is not strange (for example, the title of Frank Barlow: William I and the Norman Conquest). By contrast, calling Charlemagne Charles I would be strange. This is an empirical question: is there English usage for Harald I, comparable to "William I" or isn't there? Septentrionalis 17:48, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
I think it dangerously inconsistent to title every single person by the standard of most common name in English usage. This would indeed demand that William I of England be moved to William the Conqueror. Kings and other persons who form part of a succession should be named according to a convention applicable to all of them unless an exception is necessary. No exception is here necessary, only desirable to some. If the convention is epithets and nicknames, or patronymics, lets move all rulers to their epithets, even if not commonly used. If the convention is ordinals, lets leave it as is, even if the ordinal is not commony used. I think consistency in titling is more important than having a title that is most commonly used. The first line of the article can provide any important information on naming. It is clear that the numeral system is better for consistency than the nickname system. The real question comes down to whether or not there is more support for consistency or the preferable individual names. Srnec 22:56, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
The guideline says what it says, and either it is well considered and should be borne in mind, or it is not and should be ignored in favour of the requirement to use the most common English form. The only difference is that the qualification overwhelmingly and the preventively disambiguate clause appear in the guideline, but not in general naming policy. It can't be trotted out every time an editor wants to perpetuate ancient, inaccurate conventions, and ignored whenever it is proposed to improve things by following normal usages as the guideline foresees. As for consistency, it is simply not possible for English or Norwegian rulers without imposing some arbitrary ruling as to who is or is not to be counted as a ruler of England or Norway. Are we to have two Edward III's of England or does the second of them become Edward VI ? Why shouldn't Sigurd Slembe be Sigurd II and what happens to Sigurd Munn if he is ? Consistency is never going to happen, not within "lists of rulers of X" and not across lists. Angus McLellan (Talk) 00:45, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
There exists an "official" line of Norwegian kings. This has been published and re-published several times and the poster version is very popular in Norwegian schools. Those are the ones who are given numerals and ...of Norway. The other pretenders and rival kings are named as a regular person of that time. This forms a good basis for consistency. We here might disagree with some of the decisions made by the historians behind that list, but basing our naming policy on other evaluations would be original research. Again my main point is consistency and that this decision should me made for all monarch articles, not only for Harald I of Norway. Inge 10:06, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
I would support applying the (quasi-)official list as a rule of nomenclature for Norwegian monarchs on Wikipedia. Srnec 01:24, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
The Manual of Style section on names and titles states "Pre-emptively disambiguate the names of monarchs, of modern countries in the format "{Monarch's first name and ordinal} of {Country}"". And "This is an exception to the general rule of most common English name." I believe we should follow this or propose a change on that talk page. Inge 11:28, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
The same guideline also says, under exceptions: "If a monarch or prince is overwhelmingly known, in English, by a cognomen, it may be used, and there is then no need to disambiguate by adding Country." Since it would be surprising to omit Harald's epithet, variously translated as Fairhair or Finehair, this is a case where the exception applies. Angus McLellan (Talk) 11:33, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
The guideline gives the oportunity to decide to go against the general rule, yes. I would like to point out that nobody is forcing you to refer to him as Harald I of Norway it's just the article name itself that should follow a common style. I could argue that no name of a Norwegian king is overwhelmingly known in English. You also point out the problem of Fairhair or Finehair. Whitch one do we choose? And then we have Wikipedia:WikiProject Norways entry on monarchs. This is a consensus of a lesser group and therefore not as authoritative, but it is more consise in its conclution. We still need a good consensus here to go against it.
Olaf I of Norway, Harald III of Norway and Magnus I of Norway it seems have been linked to this survey and the outfall here might affect them as well. Is that intentional? If so it should be properly informed to users involved. I don't see any information regarding that anywhere on this page. Inge 11:59, 19 September 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.

Other proposals[edit]

  • I agree with using Harald Fairhair and Olaf Tryggvason, and probably Magnus the Good.
  • I oppose using Harald Hardraade or any of its cognates, because we can only use one spelling, and there are half-a-dozen. It is easier to remember Harald III than remember how we're spelling the cognomen this week.
  • I'm on the fence about Olaf Kyrre; I'm not sure how invariably he's called that in English. Septentrionalis 18:25, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
About other proposals : I find it confusing to use so many different kinds of names:
  • English translation of the nickname (Harald Fairhair);
  • Patronym (Olaf Tryggvason);
  • Numeral (Olaf II of Norway);
  • Untranslated nicknames (Harald Hardrada).
Sigo 19:42, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
I based the proposals on the guidelines. These are the most common, overwhelmingly so in most cases, English-language names. Harald Hardrada (I don't like that particular form, but it wins a hit-counting contest) is overwhelmingly more common than Harald III, indeed Harald Sigurdsson is more common than Harald III. For Olaf Kyrre, things are rather less clear-cut as it isn't so easy to tell which Olaf Haraldsson is being referred to. What is clear is that Olaf III is very uncommon, outnumbered by far more than 5 to 1 by Olaf Kyrre on Google books. Consistency is fine, but if a byname is how overwhelming how someone is known, the guidelines say they should be known that way on WP. As an aside, there is a related requested move at Talk:Edmund II of England. Whatever we do here, Norwegian kings will never be named consistently thanks to the Bagler kings. As for Olaf II, I don't think that the fact that Saint Olaf doesn't have a requested move opened yet should be taken as meaning that he never will. Angus McLellan (Talk) 10:22, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Consistency is the reason why I support the use of numerals. As you stated about Edmund II of England, several sources use Edmund II Ironside. So I support: Harald I Fairhair, Olaf I Tryggvason, Magnus I the Good, Harald III Hard-ruler (this translation is quite common) and Olaf III Kyrre (because the Englis translation is scarcely used). By the way, I think that William I the Conqueror would be much better than William I of England. Sigo 14:22, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

In the pantheon of kings, pretenders, usurpers, etc., to the Norwegian throne, there are many names for the same person. In Norwegian, most of them aren't even referred to as "king such and such" most of the time. We should stick to a standard, non-confusing way of referring to them and redirect and disambiguate as necessary. Harald I of Norway is commonly known in Norway as Harald Hårfagre, and "Harald Fairhair" is a slightly inadequate translation of this term. --Leifern 14:07, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Out of curiosity, what do you feel is inadequate about it? Haukur 14:13, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 05:10, 10 November 2007 (UTC)


Someone unilaterally changed Harald's birthdate; I reverted because it was inconsistent with the rest of the article, needs to be discussed here on the talk page, and because they had also changed Ole Bull's birth year, with no reason given. I'm not sure what the dates here are based on - they don't match the Encyclopedia Brittanica dates, for instance - but changing them unilaterally doesn't seem to be the solution. Brianyoumans (talk) 13:59, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Maps are not complete?[edit]

Quote from the Orkneys article: "In response, Norwegian king Harald Hårfagre ("Harald Fair Hair") annexed the Northern Isles (comprising Orkney and Shetland) in 875". Orkney and Shetland, and possibly other insular possessions(?) should be included in the maps? Narssarssuaq (talk) 14:55, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Request Move (2011)[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. Vegaswikian (talk) 02:13, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Harald I of NorwayHarald Fairhair — More common name. Regnal numbers are modern invention. Nicknames are accepted article titles for monarchs on wikipedia as shown by Harald Hardrada, Harald Bluetooth, Eric Bloodaxe, Sweyn Forkbeard, Gorm the Old, Eric the Victorious, Emund the Old, William the Conqueror, William the Lion, Robert the Bruce. Arguements with consistency with other Norwegian monarchs can be disregarded by the simple fact that Harald Hardrada and Harald Bluetooth were Norwegian kings.--Queen Elizabeth II's Little Spy (talk) 05:15, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

  • Oppose, as we should avoid using nicknames & stick with the regal numbering. GoodDay (talk) 18:54, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Consensus can change and all, but I don't think it has yet in this area. It certainly hasn't for me personally.
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 22:09, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
    The consensus is no longer effective and it isn't some stone set rule for every single monarch. Originally all the monarchs were at "Name # of Place", most which are entirely made up by wikipedia and is never used in scholarly sources. Now things are changing and monarchs can be at their well known nicknames like all the examples I gave above.
  • Support as above. The kings of Norway are no longer uniform, so we should follow overwhelming usage here. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:29, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment See this Googe Books Ngram Viewer. It clearly show that Harald Fairhair, Harald Hairfair, and even the less common Harald Finehair is more prevalent than this title of Harald I of Norway.--Queen Elizabeth II's Little Spy (talk) 09:15, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. I'm certain that this is the most common name I've seen in books dealing with the early history of the Hebrides and whatnot.--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 09:25, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. We should not be inventing names in the face of WP:COMMONNAME. Ben MacDui 19:39, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Support Wikipedia looks amateurish when it invents its own name for people who are overwhelmingly known by a different name in every reliable source. DrKiernan (talk) 13:50, 11 July 2011 (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.