Alternate History

1000-1099 (The Kalmar Union)

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West Scandinavia - Bjarni Herjolfsson returns to Hordaland and relates to King Haakon II about the new land to the West.

Olaf II of Viken dies at the battle of Swold, as does Haakon II of Hordaland. Haakon has already divided his realms and Sveinn I takes over as regent while his brother Eirik retains the Earldom of Lade. As a reward for its involvement in the action at Swold Denmark hands Svealand significant land in Hordaland and it takes over nominal control. Sweyn I rules directly in Viken.

After this point Lade largely follows its own path. The kings of the 2 southern kingdoms are rarely powerful enough to challenge the Earls of Lade's independence, though they do submit to Viken's technical overlordship. Lade's wealth and power is largely derived from trading with Iceland and Vinland as well as the Sami of the interior.

Hungary - Stephen I accepts baptism pulling the new kingdom into christendom and earning himself future sainthood.


Leifia - In Greenland once more Bjarni Herjolfsson sells Leif Ericsson his ship and points him in the direction of the new land. Leif passes a land of flat stones (Helluland) (OTL Baffin Island), a land of forests (Markland) (OTL Labrador) and finally comes ashore on a new island that is more open.


Leifia - Spending the winter on the island Leif returns to Greenland with a consignment of Markland timber and a further boatload of grapes from the new island, thereafter known as Vinland (OTL Newfoundland). During his return Leif and his rescue another ship bound for Greenland that has got lost. A second expedition is launched by the Greenlanders by Leif's brother Thorvald, finding the spot of Leif's previous settlement at Leifsbutha.


Vinland - After spending a miserable winter on the headland, Thorvald abandons Leifsbutha to try and find a more sheltered spot on the West coast opposite Markland. They run aground losing a keel at Kjalarnes but find a suitable spot in a bay they name Hop.


Vinland - Ice bound for much of the winter Thorvald abandons Hop, collects a consignment of Markland timber and Vinland grapes and returns to Greenland. He returns in time to see the marriage of his and Leif's brother Thorstein and Gudrid, daughter of the captain Leif rescued two years before. Thorvald and Thorstein gather a much larger expedition and return to Vinland, once again occupying Leifsbutha.

Greenland - Settlers have claimed all habitable land on the Greenlandic coast. There are worries that the colony will not be able to absorb the numbers coming from Iceland.


Vinland - Thorvald (as the elder brother) and his followers take Leifsbutha as his farm. Thorstein travels south along the east coast to find a suitable second settlement for himself and his followers. Thorstein encounters natives who he calls Skraelings and the party is attacked by them. However a settlement at Thorshavn is created where Thorstein and his followers overwinter.


Vinland - Thorstein and his family travel back to Greenland via Leifsbutha and Markland, leaving a few men guarding Thorshavn. Thorvald explores the eastern coast of Vinland, encountering more bands of Skraelings but these encounters are not violent. Thorstein dies in Greenland.


North Atlantic -Thorvald delivers a fresh batch of timber to the growing Greenland colony before returning to Vinland with a few more men and some livestock. Gudrid marries a Icelander, Thorfinn Karlsefni. They travel to Iceland to trade ivory and relate news of the new Vinland settlements. Gudrid and Thorfinn are baptised at Reykjavik.



Vinland - Gudrid and Thorfinn, with a smallish band of Icelandic settlers, return to Thorshavn to find it abandoned. Thorvald says he does not know what happened to them and lends stores of food and timber to help rebuild the hamlet. Gudrid gives birth to the first native Vinlander, a boy named Snorri. Skraelings approach the resettled hamlet and barter beans found further to the south for milk.


Vinland - Freydis, sister of Leif and Thorvald, and sister-in-law of Gudrid, arrives in Vinland with two Icelandic ships. She settles to the south of Thorshavn in a bay they call Groenvik. A Skraeling raid is averted in the new settlement when Thorfinn arrives in the south to welcome his kinsmen. The two more northerly settlements send their regular consignment of timber back to Greenland.


File:Harald III Horda (The Kalmar Union).png
Hordaland - Sveinn I Haakonarson dies.

Harald III Eiriksson succeeds him, throwing off the Svealand connection in the process.

North Atlantic - Thorvald delivers his yearly load of timber to Greenland and then sails on to Iceland to ask for more men. He spends winter in Iceland and gathers a band of norse families willing to settle in Vinland.


Britannia - Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark invades England. By the end of the year the English army has collapsed. Aethelred II flees the country.

Vinland - After a decade of settlement Vinland's Norse population stands at 258. Skraeling population is estimated at 1500.


Harald II Denmark (The Kalmar Union)

Harald II, King of Denmark (1014-1018)

West Scandinavia - Sweyn I of Denmark-England-Viken dies.

Harald II succeeds his father in Denmark and in Viken (as Harald III).

Britannia - Cnut is proclaimed king of England by the Danes but the English recall Aethelred II.

Ireland - At the battle of Clontarf Leinister and a Norse alliance of Dublin, Orkney and Man destroys the army of Munster. Dublin regains independence under Sigtrygg Silkbeard. The title of High-king passes to Maelmorda of Leinister, Sigtrygg's uncle.

Vinland - Freydis and her family begin to export timber to Iceland which is becoming less frequented by the eastern kingdoms. Thorvald dies. A single farmstead is left at Leifsbutha while its remaining settlers either return to Greenland or join Thorshavn. One of Thorfinn's thralls makes the first circumnavigation of Vinland.


File:Olaf I Horda (The Kalmar Union).png
Hordaland - Harald III Eiriksson is deposed by Olaf I Haraldsson, returning Hordaland to the Fairhair dynasty.

North Atlantic - Leif Ericsson introduces Christianity to Greenland. Iceland is riven with religious strife. Many families leave to join Vinland settling South-East of Groenvik at Isafjordhur (OTL St John's). Sweyn I of Denmark-Anglia puts pressure on the Icelanders to accept Christianity.


Knut der Große cropped

Cnut I, King of Anglia (1016-1032), King of Denmark and Viken (1018-1032)

Vinland - Vinland's first Althing is convened at Thorshavn to deal with the (relative) overcrowding in the bay and rules for trading with the Skraelings.
Edmund II Ironside (The Kalmar Union)

Edmund II, King of Wessex (1016-1031)

Britannia - Aethelred II dies. Edmund II Ironside is crowned. At the battle of Assandun Cnut defeats Edmund. England is divided: Edmund takes Wessex, Cnut takes Mercia, Anglia and Northumbria.


Anglia - Cnut marries Aethelred II's widow Emma of Normandy in an attempt to reconcile both the English nobles and those in Normandy.


Britannia - Cnut and Edmund revise their treaty. Cnut will hold off all Viking attacks on Wessex and renounces the Wessex throne in return for Anglia's safe keeping while he goes East to deal with Denmark.

West Scandinavia - Harald II (III) dies. Cnut I adds Denmark and Viken to his realms, setting his son Sveinn Knutsson as his regent in Viken. Almost immediately Sveinn is embroiled in a continuous war with Olaf I.

Vinland - At the 3rd Althing the host is roughly split between those following Gudrid and those following Freydis. Sources are unclear what causes the feud. Animosity simmers throughout the Winter.

North Atlantic - Iceland receives a bishop from Bremen, who immediately sends further emmissaries to the colonies of Greenland and Vinland. Following a nasty encounter with the Skraelings on the Eastern coast, Thorfinn dies. Gudrid returns to Greenland leaving the thriving settlement at Thorshavn.



Vinland - Vinland's first church is built at Thorshavn as the population accepts Christianity from the Bishop's emissaries. At the Althing Freydis accepts baptism, and pledges fealty to Sweyn I of Denmark-Anglia, unaware he is dead. This act sets a major precedent - as the Western colonies of Greenland and Vinland are wholly dependent on the good will of Iceland, Hordaland and eventually Denmark.

North Atlantic - Iceland's Althing accepts Christianity as the public religion with pagan rituals tolerated at home. One of the agreements is that the practice of exposing unwanted babies is stopped. Immigration from Iceland to Greenland and Vinland (and also Man and Dublin) immediately steps up. Leif Ericsson dies in Greenland.


Freydis I (The Kalmar Union)

Freydis I, 'first' Queen of Vinland (c.1021-1026)

Vinland - After another particularly brutal attack on an isolated farmstead, a war band is raised by Freydis and they annihilate a Skraeling camp to the South.

The Althing debates how to properly defend the colony and this inevitably leads to discussion of who is in charge. Republican Icelanders prefer to see the continuing yearly Althing. Older Greenlanders and others would prefer to have a lord. After some heated discussion Freydis is elected Queen of Vinland. (Though it is quite possible this is just a medieval invention to justify the later royal house - the Vinlanders probably saw her as just the leader of the Althing).

North Atlantic - The first direct voyage from Vinland to Iceland is completed (although the ship did end up sailing to the Faroes first by mistake).


Anund Svea (The Kalmar Union)

Anund Kolbranna, King of Svealand (1022-1050)

Svealand - Olof I Skotkonung dies. He was apparently uninterested in war and as a result Svealand lost most of its influence in Norway and the Baltic.

His son Anund Kolbranna suceeds him.


Lade - Eirik Haakonarson Earl of Lade dies. Haakon Eiriksson succeeds him.

Vinland - Surprising a Skraeling hunting expedition, a war-band from Thorshavn captures many hostages. During the few weeks of captivity a limited exchange of understanding takes place. The Skraelings seem fascinated by the Vinlanders agriculture and livestock. A few Skraelings begin to gravitate towards the Norse hamlets, working on the farms and learning various techniques. Cnut I sends news of his victory over the Swedes and Geats to the Western colonies. Freydis again sends her fealty, though is annoyed no real assistance has been given to the colony.


Vinland - Skraelings working on the farm of Grimm die from a mystery ailment. Contact is made with further Skraelings in Markland by that summer's timber expedition. They are chased away. Freydis dies.


Hordaland - Olaf I Haraldsson dies in battle with Cnut. Hordaland again is controlled by the Earls of Lade under authority of Cnut as high king of Norway.


Vinland - Sheep are imported from Iceland. Unknown to Vinlanders, disease they have brought over from Europe is spreading amongst the Skraelings and with no natural immunity it is decimating them. After Freydis's death the yearly Althing elects a different speaker each year.


Vinland - A Skraeling chief reports his clan has virtually been wiped out by disease. He and his remaining followers are baptised and pledge allegiance to the Norse. Alongside his scouts the Norse partially explore the interior of Vinland.



File:Edward III Wessex (The Kalmar Union).png
Viken - Olaf I is canonised.

Vinland - Snorri Thorfinnsson returns from Greenland.

Wessex - Edmund II dies. Edward III is crowned.

France - Robert II dies. He is succeeded by Henry I.


The Heirs of Cnut II
King of Denmark (1032-1042) King of Viken (1032-1035) King of Anglia (1032-1059)
Harthacnut (The Kalmar Union) Sveinn I Viken (The Kalmar Union) Harald I Harefoot (The Kalmar Union)
Harthacnut (Cnut III) Sveinn Knutsson Harald I

West Scandinavia - Cnut II dies.
Anglia passes to Harald I.
Sveinn Knutsson takes full power in Viken.
Harthacnut takes power in Denmark. There is tension between the two half-brothers and Anglia is threatened with invasion.


West Scandinavia - Magnus I ejects Sveinn I Knutsson from Viken and gets recognition of his authority in Hordaland.

Vinland - Snorri is elected speaker of the Althing. Using family connections to Greenland he soon monopolises the trade between the two colonies.

Aragon - Ramiro I splits Aragon away from Navarre.


Vinland - Snorri restricts the flow of sheep and other livestock to his supporters. That summer is poor and famine hits Vinland.


Vinland - Many settlers abandon Thorshavn and either return to Greenland or travel elsewhere - islands to the west of Vinland or to the east of Thorshavn, even Markland receives its first permanent settlement.


Vinland - Skraelings attack many outlying farms.

Hungary - Stephen I dies. Hungary enters a period of instability as he has no direct heirs, but for the moment his nephew, the pro-Holy Roman Empire Peter Orseolo, succeeds.


Hafdis I (The Kalmar Union)

Hafdis I, Queen of Vinland (1039-1058)

Vinland - Snorri dies in a Skraeling attack on Thorshavn.

The Althing refuses to have another man who can so comprehensively control the entire fate of the island as its leader again. Freydis's unmarried daughter, Hafdis I Thorirssdottir, is elected speaker. That summer's harvest is much better, a sign to the Vinlanders that Hafdis will be a good leader. Vinlanders defeat a Skraeling warparty.



West Scandinavia - Magnus I begins war preparations to invade Denmark. Magnus I and Harthacnut sign peace at Gota, bequeathing their respective kingdoms to the other on their death.

Vinland - Hafdis I moves the Althing down to Isafjordhur. The chiefs of 5 Skraeling tribes meet the leaders of 6 Norse settlements. A general peace is concluded. The Norse are recognised as rulers of the island. In return the Skraelings are given help to develop their own settlements. Beothuk is established in the South-West corner of Vinland. The Skraeling population stabilises.


Anglia - An invasion by Harthacnut's half-brother Edward (OTL Edward the Confessor) is defeated at the battle of London alongside forces from Wessex. Edward III had no wish to see a cousin on the Anglian throne as a rival to his own dynasty coupled with probable fresh invasions from Scandinavia.

Hungary - Samuel Aba seizes the throne of Hungary from Peter Orseolo.


Denmark - Harthacnut dies. Magnus I invades Denmark to secure his part of the peace.

Anglia - Harald I begins preparations to invade Denmark as sole direct heir to Cnut II. However he is constantly frustrated by rebellions in Mercia, and incursions from Wessex and Hordaland.

Vinland - Hafdis I divides the coast into 36 portions even though many are uninhabited. Each portion is to send 2 representatives to the Althing each summer. Boat building begins at Groenvik.


Vinland - The settlements on Markland, Ingolfursey (OTL Anticosti Island) and Gudridsaeyjar (OTL Fogo Islands) affirm their allegiance to the Althing. Cornish traders reach Greenland and Vinland.

Leifia - Vinlanders explore their surroundings, Westwards down the Breidurras (OTL St Lawrence River) as far as Godifoss (OTL Niagra), Southwards as far as Langaeyja (OTL Long Island), and up the coast of Markland into Issjo (OTL Hudson Bay).


Hungary - Peter Orseolo seizes the Hungarian throne once more but is forced to accept Imperial supremacy.


Vinland - The Skraelings are comprehensively Christianised by Icelandic priests. The lack of livestock forces many Vinlanders to begin sea fishing. A population boom begins.


Harald IV Horda (The Kalmar Union)

Harald IV Hardrada, King of Hordaland (1046-1066)

Hordaland - Harald IV Hardrada seizes power in Hordaland.

Hungary - Peter Orseolo is deposed by nobles seeking to restore paganism to Hungary.


Sweyn II Denmark (The Kalmar Union)

Sweyn II, King of Denmark (1047-1074)

West Scandinavia - Magnus I dies while planning invasion of Anglia.

Sweyn II Estridsson succeeds in Denmark-Viken, as nephew of Cnut II. He is often opposed in the battlefield by Harald Hardrada when trying to exercise power in Viken.

Hungary - Pro-Christian nobles promote Andrew I to the throne.



Svealand - Anund Kolbranna of Svealand dies attempting to subjugate Estonia. His brother Emund succeeds him.


Wessex - The kingdom of Cornwall is forceably incorporated into Wessex. Many Cornish flee abroad to Brittany, Ireland and even Vinland.


Rome - Pope Leo IX hears of the conversion of Vinland. It is probable he has no idea of where Vinland is or how many people live there. (About 700.)

Vinland - Several ships of Cornish settlers arrive in Vinland escaping the Wessex invasion of their homeland. They settle at Pyronaber. Under pressure from Bremen the Bishop of Iceland again cracks down on the practice of exposing unwanted babies. As a result Iceland's excess population begins to move westwards. This ensures a regular influx of new settlers and expansion of settled land.


File:Edgar II Wessex (The Kalmar Union).png
Wessex - Edward III dies. His son Edgar is only 6 but the Wessex nobles are unwilling to see any other claimant on the throne. Edgar II is crowned.


Sigrun Vin (The Kalmar Union)

Sigrun, Queen of Vinland (1058-1064)

Vinland - Hafdis I dies at Isafjordhur.

Her sister Sigrun is elected speaker as Hafdis's two sons are at sea and her daughter is only 6.



Aelfwine Anglia (The Kalmar Union)

Aelfwine, King of Anglia (1059-1074)

Anglia - Harald I dies. Aelfwine is crowned.

Vinland - Hafdis's son Styrmir returns to Vinland and rebels against Sigrun, leading a Skraeling war band on raids.



File:Stenkil Goth (The Kalmar Union).png
East Scandinavia - Emund of Svealand dies.

Svealand passes to Stenkil of Gothenland but the Svealand nobles withhold the crown. Sweyn II mediates accepting Stenkil as king of both Svealand and Gothenland but on his death the two kingdoms will be split again.

France - Henry I dies. He is succeeded by Philip I.


Vinland - Sigrun defeats Styrmir at Oxa with Cornish assistance and horses brought from Iceland.

Hungary - Andrew I dies. The crown of Hungary passes to his brother Bela I.


Aragon - Ramiro I dies. The crown of Aragon passes to Sancho Ramirez.

Hungary - Bela I dies. His nephew Solomon succeeds but he is constantly at war with his cousins.


Thorey I (The Kalmar Union)

Thorey I, Queen of Vinland (1064-1116)

Vinland - Sigrun dies.

Despite her young age, Hafdis's daughter Thorey I Hjorlefiursdottir is elected speaker. Henceforth the Althing declares the speaker role to be passed down materalineally through the Eiriksson/Eiriksdottir family line. The men of the Eiriksson family are to be 'rewarded' for their loyalty with grants of land to be developed and settled - the beginning of the earl system in Leifia. Iron is discovered on Bjallasaey (OTL Bell Island).


Magnus II Horda (The Kalmar Union)

Magnus II Haraldsson, King of Hordaland (1066-1069)

Anglia - Harald IV Hardrada is defeated and killed at the battle of Stamford Bridge as he attempts to seize Jorvik and Anglia.

Hordaland passes to Magnus II Haraldsson.

File:Eric I Goth (The Kalmar Union).png
East Scandinavia - Stenkil dies.

Svealand (and Gothenland to some extent) are plunged into an extended succession crisis. Eric Stenkilsson suceeds in Gothenland but dies later in the year attempting to assert his right over all the other pretenders. Sweyn II invades and secures Gothenland promising the local nobles not to join it to Denmark.


Olaf II Horda (The Kalmar Union)

Olaf II Kyrre, King of Hordaland (1069-1093)

Hordaland - Magnus I Haraldsson dies.

Olaf II Kyrre succeeds in Hordaland.



The Heirs of Sweyn II
King of Denmark (1074-1080) King of Viken (1074-1099) King of Gothenland (1074-1095)
Harald III Denmark (The Kalmar Union) Cnut IV Denmark (The Kalmar Union) Olaf I Goth (The Kalmar Union)
Harald III Hen Cnut II Olaf I

Scandinavia - Sweyn II dies. His realms are split between his sons. Harald III Hen takes Denmark. Cnut II takes Viken. Olaf I takes Gothenland. Cnut II immediately begins operations against his brothers.

Hungary - Under continued pressure Solomon abdicates. He is succeeded by his long-time enemy Geza I.

Henry I - British Library Royal 20 A ii f6v (detail)

Sweyn II, King of Anglia (1074-1097)

Anglia - Aelfwine dies. Sweyn II Aelfwinsson is crowned.


Hungary - Geza I dies. His brother St. Ladislaus I succeeds.


North Atlantic - Adam of Bremen records the histories of the North Altantic colonies in his Descriptio Insularum Aquilonis based on the reports of the bishop of Iceland. A glowing hagiography of Hafdis I is written in Iceland and distributed in Europe.



West Scandinavia - Harald III Hen dies. Cnut II (IV) claims Denmark and gives younger brother Niels regency in Viken.


Rome - Pope Gregory VII canonises Hadfis I, sends a bishop and a crown to Vinland recognising the growing community and its rulers. He probably hopes they will return with support against the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV.


Vinland - Thorey I is crowned Queen by the new bishop of Vinland.

Most arable coastal land has now been claimed on Vinland and is split up into various farms. Colonisation of the interior is slower. 36 Vinland counties return representatives to the Althing. Of these 3 are Cornish/Breton, 15 are Skraeling and 18 are Norse. There are 2 Markland counties, 2 Ingolfursey counties and 1 Gudridsaeyjar county (all Norse). A further 3 counties from Kyreyja (OTL Prince Edward Island) and 4 from Eikland (OTL Nova Scotia) (all Norse) pledge allegiance to Vinland.


File:Inge I Svea (The Kalmar Union).png
Svealand - With Oluf I's help, Inge I the Elder finally defeats his opponents to claim the throne of Svealand.


North Atlantic - The first Skraelings are taken to Europe. The expedition by Thorey's older brother Halfdan is recorded as visiting Reykjavik, Yorvik, Odense and Uppsala before journeying Southwards to Rome with gifts of walrus ivory and furs. At Odense Halfdan (styled Earl of Kyreyja) reconfirms Vinland and its neighbours' fealty to the Danish crown. Coal is found on Eikland.


Vinland - Halfdan returns to Vinland with a Papal banner, horses from Denmark (with stirrups) and war-axes from Yorvik. Isafjordhur builds Vinland's first stave church.



File:Haakon III Horda (The Kalmar Union).png
Hordaland - Olaf II Kyrre dies.

Haakon III Magnusson takes Hordaland in the face of opposition from his cousin Magnus who raises an army from Viken.


Magnus III Horda (The Kalmar Union)

Magnus III, King of Hordaland (1094-1105)

Hordaland - Haakon III dies before the armies meet. Magnus III Barefoot is crowned king of Hordaland.

Aragon - Sancho Ramirez dies. He is succeeded by Peter I.


Gothenland - Oluf I dies. Gothenland descends into a period of instability.

Europe - Pope Urban II preaches for a crusade to assist the Byzantines and retake the Holy Land.

Hungary - St. Ladislaus I dies. His nephew Coloman succeeds.


Britannia - Sweyn II pawns Mercia to Edgar II so he can go on crusade.


Harald II Anglia (The Kalmar Union)

Harald II Godwinsson, King of Anglia (1097-1098)

Britannia - Sweyn II dies of plague soon after the Battle of Nicea. Edgar II claims Mercia as part of the Wessex kingdom as heir of Aethelstan. Sweyn's highest noble Harald II Godwinson is elected king as there are no others with enough power to oppose Edgar. But many of his fellow nobles oppose the coronation and his position is weak. Edgar defeats a joint Anglian/Frisian army to secure Mercia.


Britannia - With friendly relations in both Lade and Viken, Magnus II Barefoot campaigns in Britannia.

Anglia - Cnut IV having heard of Sweyn's death and Harald's coronation almost simultaneously, invades Anglia to remove the usurper Harald II Godwinson. He is crowned as Cnut II of Anglia and installs his son Charles as regent. Signs peace with Edgar II confirming the loss of Mercia.


Britannia - Magnus II Barefoot is proclaimed king of Mann, The Isles and Orkney. Extends Mann's rule over Ynys Mons and defines the border with Scotland via treaty.

The Heirs of Cnut IV
King of Denmark (1099-1103) King of Viken (1099-1137) King of Anglia (1099-1130)
Eric I Denmark (The Kalmar Union) Niels I Viken (The Kalmar Union) Charles I Anglia (The Kalmar Union)
Erik I Niels I Charles I

Danish Empire - Cnut IV dies in a peasant revolt in Schleswig. His brother Eric I (previously Earl of Schleswig) becomes king of Denmark.
Niels I takes Viken.
Charles I takes Anglia. He is also the heir apparent, through his mother, to Flanders.

Holy Land - The First Crusade captures Jerusalem.

Gothenland - Gothenland returns to the native dynasty via Olaf I's daughter Ulvhild and her marriage to Hakan.

The Kalmar Union Timelines
Preceeding Century Timeline Next Century
850-999 1000-1099 1100-1199

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