Haakon IV


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Haakon IV

(Haakon Haakonsson), 1204–63, king of Norway (1217–63), illegitimate son of Haakon III and grandson of Sverre. Secretly reared by the Birkebeiner faction (see SverreSverre
, d. 1202, king of Norway (1184–1202). He claimed to be the illegitimate son of King Sigurd; the question of his paternity is still disputed. He spent his childhood in the Faeroe Islands, was educated for the priesthood, and went to Norway in 1176.
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), he was chosen king (1217) on the death of Haakon III's successor, King Inge. Haakon Haakonsson overcame the rival claims of Earle Skule (Inge's brother), and in 1223 a great council at Bergen reaffirmed his kingship. Skule, after a renewed attempt at rebellion, was slain by the Birkebeiners in 1240. Haakon, then recognized by Pope Innocent IV, was solemnly crowned in 1247 at Bergen by a papal legate. Under Haakon IV medieval Norway reached its zenith. Iceland and Greenland were acquired, and important legal reforms were carried out. Haakon's court was splendid, and Old Norse literature flowered during his reign. Snorri SturlusonSnorri Sturluson or Sturleson
, 1178–1241, Icelandic chieftain, historian, critic, and saga teller, the leading figure in medieval Norse literature.
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 lived for some time at the court. Haakon died at Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands when campaigning against Scotland. He was succeeded by his son, Magnus VI.
References in periodicals archive ?
In 1263, King Haakon IV of Norway tried to invade Scotland with a fleet of 200 long ships.