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FORNJOT “THE ANCIENT GIANT”, KING OF FINLAND AND KVENLAND

Born about 530
Father of Kari

“Themorrisclan.com” says: “Old Russian tales tell of a Finnish prince who hired a giant to help him conquer Russia from Estonia to Kiev. The giant’s name was Calewa (Kaleva). After finishing this task the prince gave the giant Kvenland as his own kingdom.”

Research suggests that Fornjot was:

– A giant  (jötun), as indicated by his name
– Finland’s first and most powerful ruler
– Kalev of the Kalevala, the epic poem of Finland
– The first known direct paternal ancestor of William I of England
– A terminal ancestor of many European noble families and modern Icelandic families

He was:

– The subject of the Fundinn Noregr, the History of Norway
– Written about in Sagas of the Orkneyingers

Viking voyages

Viking voyages

THE ORKNEYINGERS’ SAGA

This is the history of the capture of the Orkney Islands in Scotland by the King of Norway. It combines oral tradition with historical fact.

The saga was translated from Norse to English by George W. Dasent in 1894.

(The following portion relates to King Fornjot and his sons.)

1.  There was a king named Fornjot, he ruled over those lands which are called Finland and Kvenland;  that is to the east of that bight of the sea which goes northward to meet Gandvik;  that we call the Helsingbight.  Fornjot had three sons;  one was named Hler, whom we call Ægir, the second Logi, the third Kari;  he was the father of Frost, the father of Snow the old, his son’s name was Thorri;  he (Thorri) had two sons, one was named Norr and the other Gorr;  his daughter’s name was Goi.  Thorri was a great sacrificer, he had a sacrifice every year at midwinter;  that they called Thorri’s sacrifice;  from that the month took its name.  One winter there were these tidings at Thorri’s sacrifice, that Goi was lost and gone, and they set out to search for her, but she was not found.  And when that month passed away Thorri made them take to sacrifice, and sacrifice for this, that they might know surely where Goi was hidden away.  That they called Goi’s sacrifice, but for all that they could hear nothing of her.  Four winters after those brothers vowed a vow that they would search for her;  and so share the search between them, that Norr should search on land, but Gorr should search the outscars and islands, and he went on board ship.  Each of those brothers had many men with him.  Gorr held on with his ships out along the sea-bight, and so into Alland’s (1) sea;  after that he views the Swedish scars far and wide, and all the isles that lie in the East salt sea;  after that to the Gothland scars, and thence to Denmark, and views there all the isles;  he found there his kinsmen, they who were come from Hler the old out of Hler’s isle, (2) and he held on then still with his voyage and hears nothing of his sister.  But Norr his brother bided till snow lay on the heaths, and it was good going on snow-shoon.  After that he fared forth from Kvenland and inside the sea-bight, and they came thither where those men were who are called Lapps, that is at the back of Finmark.  But the Lapps wished to forbid them a passage, and there arose a battle;  and that might and magic followed Norr and his men;  that their foes became as swine (3) as soon as they heard the war-cry and saw weapons drawn, and the Lapps betook themselves to flight.  But Norr fared thence west on the Keel, (4) and was long out, so that they knew nothing of men, and shot beasts and birds for meat for themselves;  they fared on till they came where the waters turned to the westward from the fells.  Then they fared along with the waters, and came to a sea;  there before them was a firth as big as it were a sea-bight;  there was a mickle tilths, and great dales came down to the firth.  There was a gathering of folk against them, and they straightway made ready to battle with Norr, and their quarrel fared as was to be looked for.  All that folk either fell or fled, but Norr and his men overcame them as weeds over cornfields.  Norr fared round all the firth and laid it under him, and made himself king over those districts that lay there inside the firth.  Norr tarried there the summer over till it snowed upon the hearths;  then he shaped his course up along the dale which goes south from the firth;  that firth is now called Drontheim.  Some of his men he lets fare the coast way round Mæren;  he laid under him all withersoever he came.  And when he comes south over the fell that lay to the south of the dalebight, he went on still south along the dales, until he came to a great water which they called Mjösen.  Then he turns west again on to the fell, because it had been told him that his men had come off worsted before that king whose name was Sokni.  Then they came into that district which they called Valders.  Thence they fared to the sea, and came into a long firth and a narrow, which is now called Sogn;  there was their meeting with Sokni, and they had there a mickle battle, because their witchcraft had no hold on Sokni.  Norr went hard forward, and he and Sokni came to handstrokes.  There fell Sokni and many of his folk.

2.  After that Norr fared on into the firth that goes north from Sogn.  There Sokni had ruled before in what is now called Sokni’s dale.  There Norr tarried a long time, and that is now called Norafirth.  There came to meet him Gorr his brother, and neither of them had then heard anything of Goi.  Gorr too had laid under him all the outer land as he had fared from the south, and then those brothers shared the lands between them.  Norr had all the mainland, but Gorr shall have all those isles between which and the mainland he passes in a ship with a fixed rudder.  And after that Norr fares to the Uplands, and came to what is now called Heidmörk (5);  there that king ruled whose name was Hrolf of the Hill;  he was the son of Svadi the giant from north of the Dovrefell.  Hrolf had taken away from Kvenland Goi, Thorri’s daughter;  he went at once to meet Norr, and offered him single combat;  they fought long together and neither was wounded.  After that they made their quarrel up, and Norr got Hrolf’s sister, but Hrolf got Goi to wife.  Thence Norr turned back to the realm which he had laid under him, that he called Norway;  he ruled that realm while he lived, and his sons after him, and they shared the land amongst them, and so the realms began to get smaller and smaller as the kings got more and more numerous, and so they were divided into provinces.

3.  Gorr had the isles, and for that he was called a sea-king;  his sons were they Heiti and Beiti, they were sea-kings and mighty overbearing men.  They made many inroads on the realm of Norr’s sons, and they had many battles, and now one, now the other won the day.  Beiti ran into Drontheim and warred there;  he lay where it is now called Beitsea and Beitstede;  thence he made them drag his ship from the innermost bight of Beitstede, and so north over Elduneck, that is where the Naumdales come down from the north.  He sat himself on the poop and held the tiller in his hand, and claimed for his own all that land that then lay on the larboard, and that is many tilths and much land.  Heiti, Gorr’s son, was father of Sveiði the sea-king, the father of Halfdan the old, the father of Ivar the Uplanders’ earl, the father of Eystein the noisy, the father of earl Rognvald the mighty and the wise in council. (6)

4.  Earl Rognvald joined Harold fair-hair when he seized the land, but he (Harold) gave him lordship over both the Mæren and Romsdale; (7) he had to wife Ragnhilda the daughter of Hrolf nosy;  their son was Hrolf who won Normandy, he was so tall that horses could not carry him;  for that he was called Ganging-Hrolf;  from him are come the Rouen Jarls and the English Kings;  their son was also Ivar, and Thorir the silent.  Rognvald had also base-born sons, their names were Hallad and Hrollaug and Einar, he was the youngest.  Harold fair-hair fared one summer west across the sea to chastise the Vikings, when he was weary at the peacelessness of those who harried in Norway in summer, but were in the winter in Shetland or the Orkneys.  He laid under him Shetland and the Orkneys and the Southern Isles;  he fared west too as far as Man, and laid waste the tilths of Man.  He had there many battles, and took as his own lands so far west that no king of Norway has ever owned land further west since.  And in one battle, Ivar, son of earl Rögnvald, fell.  But when king Harold sailed from the west, then he gave to earl Rognvald, as an atonement for his son, Shetland and the Orkneys;  but earl Rognvald gave both lands to Sigurd his brother:  he was one of king Harold’s forecastle men.  The king gave Sigurd the title of earl when he went from the west, and Sigurd stayed behind there in the west.

1.  The sea in which are the Åland Isles in the Gulf of Bothnia.

2.  Now Læssö in the Cattegat.

3.  That is, were panic stricken and rushed wildly about.

4.  Keel:  The ridge of mountains which forms the watershed, backbone, or keel, between Sweden and Norway.

5.  Now Hedemark.

6.  He was called Rognvald the mighty and wise in council, and men say both were true names.” R. L.

7.  Both the Mæren” are North and South Mæren, which are divided the one from the other by the Romsdale firth.  They stretch north-eastward along the coast from Stadt to Naumdale.”

For sources and more information, please see:

http://www.webexhibits.org/vinland/archeological.html
http://alignment2012.com/fornjot.html
http://www.themorrisclan.com/GENEALOGY/FORNJOT.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_of_Kvenland
http://www.geocities.com/missourimule_2000/kingsoffinland.html
http://mypages.allwest.com/~rognan/genealogy/pafg3064.htm#75451
http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/ice/is3/is302.htm
http://oaks.nvg.org/an6ra16.html

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