Online Encyclopedia

HARALD IV

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V12, Page 935 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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HARALD IV. (d. 1136), king of Norway, surnamed Gylle (probably from Gylle Krist, i.e. servant of Christ), was born in Ireland about 1103. About 1127 he went to Norway and declared he was a son of King Magnus III. (Barefoot), who had visited Ireland just before his death in 1103, and consequently a half-brother of the reigning king, Sigurd. He appears to have submitted successfully to the ordeal of fire, and the alleged relationship was acknowledged by Sigurd on condition that Harald did not claim any share in the government of the kingdom during his lifetime or that of his son Magnus. Living on friendly terms with the king, Harald kept this agreement until Sigurd's death in 1130. Then war broke out between himself and Magnus, and after several battles the latter was captured in 1134, his eyes were put out, and he was thrown into prison. Harald now ruled the country until 1136, when he was murdered by Sigurd Slembi-Diakn, another bastard son of Magnus Barefoot. Four of Harald's sons, Sigurd, Ingi, Eysteinn and Magnus, were subsequently kings of Norway.
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