"The Russian maiden scorns me": how the Viking Harald the Harsh achieved love of the daughter of Yaroslav the Wise

King of Norway Harald III the Severe went down in history as a brave soldier, a successful politician and the king of the Vikings, with the death which ended the three-century expansion of the Scandinavians. However, it is also famous as the author of love poems, dedicated to the daughter of Yaroslav the Wise. Woo for the first time, Viking had received from the Prince's refusal, but after 10 years he still was the son of Kiev ruler.

"The Russian maiden scorns me": how the Viking Harald the Harsh achieved love of the daughter of Yaroslav the Wise

The Icelandic historian Snorri Sturluson in his Royal arch sagas Heimskringla writes that on 29 July 1030 in the battle against the supporters of the Danish king killed king Olaf Haraldsson. Participated in the battle, and half-brother of Olaf, the young Harald Sigurdarson. The historian reports that Harald was wounded, was hiding from his pursuers and 1031 ran: "to the East to Gardariki to the king Articlave", as the Norsemen called the Rus and Yaroslav, subsequently surnamed "the Wise."

"The Russian maiden scorns me": how the Viking Harald the Harsh achieved love of the daughter of Yaroslav the WiseAlthough the young Viking was only 15 years old, he established himself as a brave and skillful soldier, which the Kiev Prince gladly accepted the service. Harald faithfully served Yaroslav, collected for him a tribute and commanded the campaign in the Polish lands. Snorri writes that after three winters in the year 1034 "left Harald in the way in Grekland (Greece), and he had a lot of troops. He held then the path to Miklagard (Constantinople)".

In Kiev Harald built themselves quite a career, but for some reason, left Russia. The answer gives the Saga of "Moldy leather", recorded in 1220. It says that Viking made a lot of feats and Jaroslav appreciated it, but "the king of Yarislav and Duchess Ingigerd had a daughter by the name of Elisabeth (or Elizabeth in the Slavic manner Elisava)".

The fresco of the XI century, the Cathedral of St. Sophia in Kiev. Daughter Of Yaroslav The Wise. Elizabeth the second on the right

Harald started a conversation with the king, do not want to give him the girl to wife, saying he is known to his relatives and ancestors, and partly by their behavior. Yaroslav replied that he did not give Elizabeth a foreigner who does not have a state to manage money for a worthy ransom princely daughter.

"The Russian maiden scorns me": how the Viking Harald the Harsh achieved love of the daughter of Yaroslav the WiseHowever, the Prince respected the warrior and said at the time to "hold" 12-year-old daughter. Harald decided that one way out — to go to Constantinople, new York of that time. Only in the Byzantine Empire, he would be able to earn money and fame that he wanted to get married and the future conquest of Norway.

In Constantinople the 18-year-old Harald had arrived with five hundred fellow-Vikings and was in his element. His unit was immediately put in charge of the elite Varangian guard, which protected the Byzantine Emperor. Harald denounced the pirates of Anatolia and Syria, 4 years participated in the Sicilian campaign, and in 1042 during the suppression of the rebellious Bulgarians personally killed their king Peter Delyana.

"The Russian maiden scorns me": how the Viking Harald the Harsh achieved love of the daughter of Yaroslav the Wise

The Byzantine Varangian guard. The chronicle of John Skylitzes, XII century

Earned in the campaigns and looting money he sent for storage to his future father-in-law, and Yaroslav is not in vain called "the Wise." The Prince of Kiev, seeing what great wealth sends Harald, understand that this man has a great future and a long ten years has given Elizabeth married.

"The Russian maiden scorns me": how the Viking Harald the Harsh achieved love of the daughter of Yaroslav the Wise

The Byzantines landed in Sicily and defeat the Arabs. The image in the Chronicles of John Skylitzes, XII century

During the next Palace coup in which the Vikings were directly involved, Harald fell into disgrace and fled to Russia to Elizabeth, which he apparently truly loved.

Snorri Sturluson writes that after 10 years of service, returning from Constantinople with the money, "...which no one in the Northern lands not seen in the possession of one person," Harald folded his sixteen poems, called "Chant of joy". They harsh the Vikings in poetic form told as smashing the enemy army, survived at sea a terrible storm, he is a master manipulator of ships, ride skiing, ride a horse and wield a sword.

"The Russian maiden scorns me": how the Viking Harald the Harsh achieved love of the daughter of Yaroslav the Wise

Each visa ended with the phrase: "And the virgin Russian still despises me." In Kiev Harald received from Yaroslav earned wealth and winter 1043-1044, married Elizabeth. Except skalds marriage confirms a medieval historian, Adam of Bremen and the Icelandic annals. Before the wedding Harald at the request of the future father-in-law went Hiking on Constantinople, which did not have time to escalate into war and ended the world.

In the spring of 1044 years with huge wealth, the faithful warriors and wife Harald sent home and two years later became king of Norway. He successfully fought with Denmark and Sweden, which strengthened its position in Scandinavia, and for the strict rule and the suppression of internal uprisings earned the nickname "Harsh". Elizabeth gave birth to the king's daughters-twins — Mary and Ingigerd.

"The Russian maiden scorns me": how the Viking Harald the Harsh achieved love of the daughter of Yaroslav the Wise

In 1046, violating the Christian laws, Harald married the daughter of an influential Norwegian nobleman named Ingigerda. From this marriage he had sons Magnus and Olaf. Likely second marriage the king sought allies among the local nobility, which reluctantly accepted it. But Elizabeth Harald continued to love: this is confirmed by the fact that during a campaign in England in 1066 he, according to the sagas Heimskringla and "Hulda", took the first wife and daughters with him.

"The Russian maiden scorns me": how the Viking Harald the Harsh achieved love of the daughter of Yaroslav the Wise

Family king left on the Orkney Islands, and he and his soldiers went out to conquer the throne of England. Harald, as befits a Viking who died in battle. In September 1066 the battle of Stamford bridge the Saxon arrow had hit the throat of the king, and he choked with blood.

"The Russian maiden scorns me": how the Viking Harald the Harsh achieved love of the daughter of Yaroslav the WiseIn the Saga "Hulda" says: "in the day and the hour" when the arrow killed Harold, died, and the daughter of king Mary. The remaining wife and daughter, waiting for the winter, went to Scandinavia. After that, the Russian Princess Elizabeth disappears from the pages of the sagas, and Ingigerda married to the Danish king Olaf Sveinsson. Elizabeth was not the plight of the daughters of Yaroslav the Wise. Her younger sister Eupraxia married the Emperor of Germany, who was a pervert.

Keywords: Byzantium | The Vikings | Marriage | Poet | Russia | Scandinavia

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