Thursday, 14 December 2017

My latest article: The Crusader's daughter

One of the most interesting women in medieval Norwegian history was Kristin Sigurdsdatter (c. 1125-178). After he father, King Sigurd the Crusader, had gone mad and died in 1130 and her brother, King Magnus the Blind, had been blinded, castrated and mutilated by their uncle Harald Gilchrist and later killed she was the only one left of the crusader's family, but eventually her son, Magnus Erlingsson, won the crown back from Harald Gilchrist's line. On several occasions Kristin herself took an active part in the wars for the throne, for instance when she spied on King Håkon the Broadshouldered and thereby revealed his schemes and paved her own son's way to the throne, or when she went to Denmark to negotiate a peace treaty with her cousin, King Valdemar the Great.
Kristin also travelled to Constantinople and possibly to Jerusalem, and she lived to see that her husband, Erling Wryneck, executed her illegitimate son so that he would not challenge his half-brother for the throne. This interesting woman's life is the topic of an article I have written for the yearbook of Etne Historical Society (the village where she lived as a married woman), which may be ordered from (external link). She also features in my new book, Hellig krig om Norges krone - Tronstrid, borgerkrig og korstog fra Sigurd Jorsalfare til kong Sverre ("Holy War for the Crown of Norway: Wars of Succession, Civil Wars and Crusades from Sigurd the Crusader to King Sverre").

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