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Encyclopedia > Harald II of Norway

Harald II (-976), surnamed Gråfell (Norwegian) / Graafeld (Danish) / "Greyhide" (English), was the son of Eric Bloodaxe and a grandson of Harald Finehair. After his father's death, he and his brothers allied with King Harald Gormson of Denmark against King Haakon. After Haakon's death at Fitjar in 961, Harald and his brothers became kings of Norway, but they had little authority outside Western Norway. Harald, by being the oldest, was the most powerful of the brothers. He attempted to strengthen his rule by killing the local rulers Sigurd Haakonsson, Tryggve Olavsson and Gudrød Bjørnsson. In 976, he was tricked into coming to Denmark and murdered.

He undertook a viking expedition to Bjarmaland, in northern Russia.

Preceded by:
Haakon I
King of Norway Succeeded by:
Harald III

This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica.

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