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Olaf IV of Hordaland (The Kalmar Union)

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Olaf IV
King of Hordaland
Reign 4th January, 1210 - 26th May, 1226
Predecessor Haakon V
Successor Eric II
Spouse Astrid Kviden
Issue Eric II

Kristin (Christina)
Sigurd
Ingebord
Haakon VI
Elisiv

Full name
Olaf Haakonsson
House Maddad
Father Harald Maddadsson
Mother Ragnhild Bårdsdotter
Born 1st February, 1170
Bergen, Hordaland
Died 26th May, 1226
Bergen, Hordaland

Olaf IV remains one of Hordaland's more obscure monarchs. This is perhaps surprising considering Hordaland itself was emerging from obscurity on Europe's fringes.

Much of his life would be spent in the shadow of his father, the victorious conqueror or Hordaland Haakon V. It is known Olaf campaigned for his father in Scotland and was rewarded with land around Stavanger. He was almost forty by the time his father died, a veteran commander and probably quite rich in his own right.

His foreign policy firmly followed his father's interference in Scotland, but instead of working to undermine it Olaf switched to supporting the failing state against Anglian attacks. Charles II had effectively annexed Scotland in 1214 and though there was no explicit threat against Orkney's territory Olaf certainly felt like Anglia had grabbed too much power in Britannia. Several Scottish lords remained in exile in Bergen at Olaf's expense. And though Olaf would not cross the sea for himself again Hordalandic and Orcadian troops were certainly present when Scotland revolted in 1217. His third son Haakon would marry Matilda of Scotland.

Marriage policies also saw his eldest daughter Kristin married to Sancho III of Leon whilst his third married into Manx nobility to strengthen ties there.

Olaf's reign saw the adoption of a number of continental European traits, namely the chivalric-romantic ideals espoused in French and German literature and magnificent royal buildings built in stone. Despite this minor cultural shift and the psychical presence of the new buildings Olaf appears little in the records and he seems to have actively promoted his father's achievements over his own legacy.

Olaf would die in 1226 and would be succeeded by his eldest son Eric. His youngest son Haakon would also rule Hordaland during the middle of the century.

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