Note for:   Rögnvald Rognvald (Ragnvald) Norse 16C Olavsson,    -          Index
Individual note:   Roi de Vestfold (vers 795 - 850)
King Ragnvald the Mountain-High of Vestfold.


Note for:   Halvdan III "le Noir" Norse 17C Gudrodsson ,    -          Index
Individual note:   Roi de Norvège (825 - vers 870)


Note for:   Sigtryg Norse 10F - Vestfold,   (600) -          Index
Individual note:   Petty king in the Vend district


Note for:   Harald III Hardråde "hard ruler" Norse 22D Sigurdsson,   1015 -          Index
Individual note:   the king of Norway from 1047 until 1066.

Harald was the youngest of King Olaf II's three half-brothers born to Åsta Gudbrandsdatter. When Harald was 15, King Olaf was killed defending his throne from Canute the Great in 1030 at the Battle of Stiklestad. Harald took part in the battle and although wounded managed to escape before leaving Norway in exile. He was able to form a band of warriors out of men who had also been exiled as a result of Olaf's death. In 1031 Harald and his men reached the land of the Kievan Rus where they served the armies of Yaroslav I the Wise, the King of the Rus. Harald is thought to have taken part in King Yaroslav's campaign against the Poles and was appointed joint commander of defense forces.

Some years after Harald and his men had entered the land of the Rus, they packed up and left for the heart of the Byzantine Empire, the city of Constantinople. At the time, the Byzantine Empire was the wealthiest empire in Medieval Europe and the Near East. Harald and his men pledged themselves to the service of the armies of the empire. Harald's forces joined the elite mercenary unit known as the Varangian Guard. It was not long until Harald had proven himself in battle and gained the respect of his fellow guardsmen. Harald became the leader of the entire force and used this power to undertake his own missions. Harald's forces won a great many victories in North Africa, Syria and Sicily. Through ingenuity, he and his men were able to besiege and defeat a number of castles. A contemporary source reports such tactics as attaching burning resin to birds, setting the castle ablaze, and feigning reluctance to fight, only to launch an attack at the most advantageous moment. Harald was able to build a large fortune in plunder from his victories.

Harald was killed at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, outside the city of York, England. The battle took place on 25 September 1066. Harald died fighting against the forces of King Harold Godwinson of England. He had come to England with the idea of claiming the English Throne as his own. He based this claim on a supposed agreement between Magnus and Harthacanute whereby if either died without heir, the other would inherit both England and Norway.

He landed in Northern England with a force of around 15,000 men and 300 longboats (50 men in each boat), and had won a great victory on 20 September against the first English forces he met at the Battle of Fulford two miles south of York. Some speculate that Harald's defeat at the Battle of Stamford Bridge was the result of his belief that King Harold Godwinson was prepared to surrender. This was not the case, and Harald's army was destroyed at Stamford Bridge. His army was so heavily beaten that less than 25 of the 300 recorded longboats Harald used to transport his forces to England were used to carry the survivors back to Norway. Not long after his victory over King Harald, Harold Godwinson was defeated by William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings. The fact that Harold had to make a forced march against Hardrada, fight at Stamford Bridge and then move at utmost speed back south to meet the Norman invasion, all in a matter of days, is widely seen as a primary factor in William's hard-fought victory at Hastings.

Harald was the last great Viking king of Norway and his invasion of England and death at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066 proved a true watershed moment. It marked the end of the Viking age. In Norway, Harald's death also marked the beginning of the Christian era: the Middle Ages. His body was taken to Trondheim in 1067 and buried in the Church of St. Mary. About 100 years later his body was reinterred in Helgeseter monastery which was demolished sometime in the 1600s


Note for:   Mstislav `The Bold' Rus' Novgorod 92 Mstislavich,   (1180) - 1228         Index
Individual note:   Mstislav Mstislavich the Bold was one of the most popular and active princes of Kievan Rus' in the decades preceding Mongol invasion of Rus. He was the maternal grandfather of Alexander Nevsky and King Leo of Galicia.

He was the son of Mstislav the Brave of Smolensk by a princess of Ryazan. In 1193 and 1203, his bravery in the Kypchak wars brought him fame all over Kievan Rus'. At that time, he married a daughter of Kypchak Khan Kotian. In 1209 he was mentioned as a ruler of Toropets. A year later, he was invited by the Novgorodians to become their prince.

On his way to Novgorod, Mstislav delivered the key town of Torzhok from a siege laid to it by Vsevolod III of Vladimir. He led two successful Novgorodian campaigns against the Chudes in 1212 and 1214. In 1215, he expelled Vsevolod IV from Kiev and elevated his uncle Mstislav Romanovich to the throne.

In 1216, Mstislav mustered a large coalition of princes of Rus' which defeated Vladimir-Suzdal on the Lipitsa River. After that he installed his ally Konstantin of Rostov as Grand Prince of Vladimir and married his own daughter to Yaroslav of Vladimir, who had fortified himself in Torzhok. In the meantime, his other enemies had him deposed in Novgorod, and Mstislav had to abandon Northern Rus for Halych. In 1219, he concluded peace with his chief rival, Danylo of Halych, who thereupon married Mstislav's daughter Anna.

In 1223, seeking to secure his authority among other princes, he gathered another coalition which attacked an advance-guard of Genghis Khan at the Kalka River. He was one of the few to survive the ill-fated battle. To facilitate his escape, he destroyed ferry boats on the Dnieper River, thereby leaving his fellow princes to the mercy of Mongols.

Mstislav reigned in Halych until 1227, when boyar intrigues constrained him to leave the city to his son-in-law, Andrew of Hungary. Thereupon he retired to Torchesk, where he died in 1228.