The Chronicle of The Kings of Norway

by Snorri Sturlson | c.1179-1241 | 320,198 words

The "Heimskringla" of Snorri Sturlason is a collection of sagas concerning the various rulers of Norway, from about A.D. 850 to the year A.D. 1177....

Part 76 - Of King Harald

That winter (A.D. 1065) King Harald went up to Raumarike, and had many people with him; and he accused the bondes there of having kept from him his scat and duties, and of having aided his enemies to raise disturbance against him. He seized on the bondes and maimed some, killed others, and robbed many of all their property. They who could do it fled from him. He burned everything in the districts and laid them altogether waste.

So says Thiodolf: —

"He who the island-people drove,
When they against his power strove,
Now bridle's Raumarike's men,
Marching his forces through their glen.
To punish them the fire he lights
That shines afar off in dark nights
From house and yard, and, as he says,
Will warn the man who disobeys."

Thereafter the king went up to Hedemark, burnt the dwellings, and made no less waste and havoc there than in Raumarike. From thence he went to Hadeland and Ringerike, burning and ravaging all the land.

So says Thiodolf: —

"The bonde's household goods are seen
Before his door upon the green,
Smoking and singed: and sparks red hot
Glow in the thatched roof of his cot.
In Hedemark the bondes pray
The king his crushing hand to stay;
In Ringerike and Hadeland,
None 'gainst his fiery wrath can stand."

Then the bondes left all to the king's mercy. After the death of King Magnus fifteen years had passed when the battle at Nis-river took place, and afterwards two years elapsed before Harald and Svein made peace.

So says Thiodolf: —

"The Hordland king under the land
At anchor lay close to the strand,
At last, prepared with shield and spear
The peace was settled the third year."

After this peace the disturbances with the people of the Upland districts lasted a year and a half.

So says Thiodolf: —

"No easy task it is to say
How the king brought beneath his sway
The Upland bondes, and would give
Nought but their ploughs from which to live.
The king in eighteen months brought down
Their bonde power, and raised his own,
And the great honour he has gained
Will still in memory be retained."

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