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Scandinavians/Norsemen/Vikings/Danes... Time to clear this up once and for all.

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by RobinHat, Sep 15, 2009.

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  1. RobinHat

    RobinHat Warlord

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    No this is no simplification. Although there is some debate, several Norman sources say he originated from Faxe in Denmark - none directly say he originated from Norway.

    I know this is no proof of anything, but there is a recent memorial stone in Faxe of Rollo:

    It reads: Rolf of Faxe, called Rollo, founded Normandy 911 AD

    Other sources speak of a Hrolf Grange of Iceland, who may have been Rollo, but it is also likely that these were two completely different men who both settled in Normandy.

    I am sorry if I once again let my emotions run away with me earlier but I still disagree with Öjevind Lång on the Greenlandic points (some unnamed Greenlandic websites don't prove anything).

    I don't believe I have 'glorified' Denmark, as I have been accused of. Any simplifications I have made have been to make a point - something I realise is a mistake, and something I have apologised for, and apologise for again now.

    I have no intention of getting into arguments or flame wars with anyone and I once again apologise for stepping on people's toes.

    Also, the accusation that I am patriotic or 'transferred nationalist' or whatever is so stupid... I am about as left wing as you can possibly get. I simply believe Danish history to be very overlooked and neglected.
     
  2. Spiralis

    Spiralis Chieftain

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    I'll quote Encyclopædia Britannica: "According to later Scandinavian sagas, Rollo, making himself independent of King Harald I of Norway, sailed off to raid Scotland, England, Flanders, and France on pirating expeditions."

    The main Norman source is Dudo of Saint-Quentin. Neither he nor the Scandinavian sagas are a very reliable source. They are written some time after the events, they have "legendary" elements and they are glorifying the kings/dukes and their history. (Snorri Sturlason and St.Dudo of Saint-Quentin are writing to the current rulers, not just about them.) It's also strange that Rollo isn't mentioned by contemporary Danish historians. "Conquerring" Normandy is something I would have mentioned if I were to write the history of Denmark in medieavel times.
    We can imagine that Richard I, Duke of Normandy, wanted to give the impression that he was of Danish royal decent, not the grandson of an outcast from Norway. Also, the Normans/French did not seperate the Norwegians from the Danes at this time, and often called both of them Danes. After all, they spoke the same language, shared culture, and sometimes even shared kings.
    According to the Scandinavian sagas Rollo was the son of Ragnvald Mørejarl who had his estate on the island Giske, outside of Ålesund. This estate included a place called Fauske, in Sykkylven. Dudo descripes Rollo's home in Dacia (not to be confused with the real Dacia in the Balkans) as a place surrounded with high mountains on every side. This is certainly true for Fauske, and I know Denmark isn't excactly famous for it's high mountains.

    Since you showed a statue I'll show one.
    "In connection with the millennium celebration of the conquest of Normandy in 911, Ålesund received the 2,65 metres tall bronze statue of Rollo as a gift from the city of Rouen in 1911."

    I'm not saying that Rollo was Norwegian, and that he is the same person as Gange-Rolv from the Scandinavian sagas. I'm simply pointing out that there is an ongoing debate and that it's not possible to know for sure where Rollo really came from. ;)
     
  3. Öjevind Lång

    Öjevind Lång Deity

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    I can't resist replying to this one. No, whatever Wikipedia says, there is no "ongoing debate" about who conquered Normandy. It is significant that the conquerors were stated to be Danes by the Norman chronicler Dudo in the following century - he was somewhat nearer the event in space and time than the Icelander Snorri, who lived 3 centuries later in a distant land and who, on top of that, always tried to magnify Norway, the mother country of Iceland, as much as possible. Dudo did not need to worry about annoying the Duke of Normandy by calling him a Dane if he was, only if he wasn't. On top of that, linguistic evidence, particularly with reference to Scandinavian-derived place-names in Normandy, proves beyond any doubt that the Normans were descended from Danes. There were dialectical and lexical differences between the various parts of Scamdinavia even abck then.

    Wikipedia seems to be even more unreliable than I thought.
     
  4. Loppan Torkel

    Loppan Torkel Deity

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    The conquerors were Danes, but it's specifically Rollo's origin that's debatable.
    Spoiler :
    For an attempt to prove that Rollo was a Swede, see Eng. Hist. Review, III (1892), 214. A summary of the whole debate over Rollo's nationality is given by H. Prentout, Essai sur les origines et la fondation du Duché de Normandie, Paris, 1911, p. 153 ff. Cf. L. Weibull, Hist. Tidskrift f. Skåneland, IV (1910-13), p. 205, Rollo o. Gånge-Rolf. :mischief:
     
  5. Spiralis

    Spiralis Chieftain

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    "Rollo, Robert 1., 927, vikingehøvding, stamfader til det normanniske dynasti i Normandiet og England. Rollo anførte en vikingehær, som i begyndelsen af 900-t. opererede i Nordfrankrig. I 911 overlod Karl 3. den Enfoldige ham områderne omkring Seinens nedre løb mellem floderne Bresle, Epte og Risle, mod at han beskyttede riget mod andre vikinger; Rollo blev i denne forbindelse døbt. Han omtales herefter som greve af Rouen. 924 fik han også landet mellem Risle og Vire, det centrale Normandiet. Rollos nationalitet, norsk eller dansk, er omstridt" http://www.denstoredanske.dk/Rejser...og_Sverige/Vikingetiden/Rollo?highlight=rollo

    "Gange-Rolv, norrønt Gongu-Hrólfr, «Rolv som går» (fordi ingen hest kan bære ham), Ca. 900, ifølge sagaene sønn av Ragnvald Mørejarl. Ble i Harald Hårfagres styringstid lyst fredløs i Norge på grunn av strandhogg. Han er ifølge norsk-islandsk tradisjon identisk med den Rollo som 911 grunnla hertugdømmet Normandie i Frankrike og ble stamfar til den normanniske hertugslekt. Om hans avstamning har det hersket uenighet, i første rekke mellom danske og norske historikere. Den danske historiker Johannes Steenstrup hevdet i sitt store verk Normannerne (1876–82) at Rollo var dansk, under henvisning til den franske krønikeskriver Dudo av St. Quentin (død før 1043). Dudos skildring både av Rollo og av Danmark er imidlertid høyst fantasifull og delvis uriktig. Spørsmålet om Rollos nasjonalitet er fortsatt uløst. Mens britiske, franske og norske forskere stort sett har tillit til den norsk-islandske overlevering, har danske, svenske og tyske historikere fulgt Dudo." http://snl.no/Gange-Rolv

    Dudo wrote about Dacia when he supposedly meant Denmark. He talked about a country Danube to the Schythian Black Sea, surrounded with high alps. The people that live their call themselves Greeks or Danes, according to him. I hope this is not the only source you rely on when boldly declaring that there is no debate about whether Rollo was Danish or Norwegian.

    Still, I'm not saying that he was Norwegian, just that there still is debate about where he came from. :p
     
  6. Rubbaduck

    Rubbaduck Artificial waterfowl

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    I do believe that there is no intended or noticeable patriotism, however from my viewpoint, you come off slightly on the side of 'glorifying' Denmark, which I guess relates to the bolded part: Almost always when you look closely to the history of a nation, particularly a less known one, you get this sensation of it being underestimated and deserving higher recognition - a sort enthusiasm over it.

    You do also have sound arguments for the position but need to bear in mind that Civ(I own only IV, forgive me for any inaccuracy) tends to represent the general public view, often American, of the culture in question, and emphasize their best known elements. For Scandinavia this translates to horned helmets, dual-battle axes and long beards, even if those never existed, exist largely in works of fiction or went out of style centuries ago.

    This could be worked around with Denmark as a representative of the Viking age
    Scandinavians and Sweden represent... Well, the Swedish Empire. There is however another even more urgent splitting in line: The Native Americans; And the Celts wouldn't mind one either. Actually these moves would be more in line with how the Mesoamericans and Rome/Greece/Byzantium exist as separate civilizations.


    Yeah I know I came out really rambling and nonsensical but I'm too lazy to edit it...:rolleyes:
     
  7. Öjevind Lång

    Öjevind Lång Deity

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    Since hardly anything is known about Rollo, he could theoretically have been from anywhere. However, it is incontestable that the founders of Normandy (or at the very least the great majority of them) were Danes. There is enough toponymical and linguistic evidence for *that*. That Dudo confused Denmark with Dacia is less interesting than his statement that Rollo and his followers were Danes. He, writing three generations after the conquest, knew they were Danes even if he quite possibly would have been hard put to it to locate Denmark on a map. It doesn't matter if some Norwegians in Ålesund gave the city of Rouen a statue of Rollo in 1911 to reinforce an unhistorical claim to the founding of Normandy. Neither does it matter what Snorri (who, due to the ethnic origins of the Icelanders, consistently tried to promote the Norwegians at the cost of the other Scandiavians) wrote on distant Iceland centuries afterwards.

    In response to another poster: to let the Danes alone represent "the Vikings" makes no sense to me. As I said, the Vikings came from all the Scandinavian countries. Accordingly, I still maintain that "the Scandinavians" would be the best name for their civilization in the game, as it was in Civ III.
     
  8. Spiralis

    Spiralis Chieftain

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    A historian writing about an event three generations after it occured should, in theory, give the most realistic image of what really happened. But that isn't necesarrily the case. Being a reliable source isn't just about being close to the events. (In fact neither Snorri nor Dudo ever met Rollo, and both had to rely on secondary sources.)

    A poor anecdote: The year is 1943. A Nazi-historian is writing about the «Second Reich». He is without doubt closer to the events than a modern historian, he even has acess to primary sources, persons who lived in Germany between 1871 to 1918. This doesn't mean that he automaticly is the most reliable source?

    The statue of Rollo was given to Ålesund from Rouen, but I totally agree with you. It doesn't prove anything. I just posted it because RobbinHat posted a picture of memorial stone in Denmark, not to prove something.

    This is what Britannica Encyclopædia has to say about Dudo and his work: «The work, De moribus et actis primorum Normanniae ducum (“Concerning the Customs and Deeds of the First Dukes of the Normans”), was completed sometime between 1015 and 1026. Trained as a poet, Dudo wrote his history as an apologetic for the Norman dukes. Its inaccurate and legendary character makes it a relatively untrustworthy document for earlier events; but, as a record of local oral tradition, contemporary chansons de geste, and rare firsthand information on the emerging Norman court, the chronicle remains highly important.»

    This is what it says about Snorri Sturluson: «Snorri based the Heimskringla on earlier histories, but he gathered much fresh material of his own. He particularly valued poems transmitted orally from the time of the original historical events they described, and he selected those poetic traditions that seemed to be both authoritative and reflective of contemporary politics and human nature. His genius lay in his power to present all that he perceived critically as a historian with the immediacy of drama

    None of the sources can be utterly trusted. But discrediting one of them, and trusting the other without doubt? I have never said with certainty that Rollo was Norwegian. But the fact is, it is highly debatable.
    (I have never said that there was an debate about where the army came from. If I have, I apologize.)

    Britannica Encyclopædia once again: «According to later Scandinavian sagas, Rollo, making himself independent of King Harald I of Norway, sailed off to raid Scotland, England, Flanders, and France on pirating expeditions. Early in the 10th century, Rollo’s Danish army attacked France, and he established himself in an area along the Seine River.»

    Yes, some people believe that he was a Norwegian leading a mainly Danish army.

    This did get a bit to long, and a bit to serious. We're all Scandinavians, this is the internet. :lol:

    I agree with Ørjan about the naming of the civilization. Scandinavia, or maybe Northmen, would be a good choice.

    Earlier someone said that there should be two civilizations, both Sweden and Denmark. It would be fun, but come on. It's the same culture, and there are other cultures that should be represented before we get two civs. :)
     
  9. RobinHat

    RobinHat Warlord

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    The problem here is that you are in a sense making the same mistake as Firaxis. You are viewing the 'vikings' as being one civ.
    What I am saying is that the 'Danish Civ' should be a civ in it self. It should not represent all Vikings. The 'Viking' civ should not be renamed the 'Danish Civ', but rather removed all together.

    Then we can start over and get it more right with a seperate Danish Civ and a seperate Swedish civ. Just as the Mongolian Civ is justified by the power of Genghis Khan and Kublai Khan, and just as the Carthaginian Civ is justified by Hamilcar and Hannibal and their challenge of Rome and dominance over much of the Mediterranean, the Danish Civ would be justified by the immense power it was in Northern Europe under Svend Forkbeard and Canute the Great. The Swedish Civ would be justified by being one of the most powerful European nations of the 16th and 17th Century.

    So my whole point is removing the Viking civ all together, because let's face it, it was never a united empire - and Danes, Norwegians, Swedes and Icelanders have an equal right to call themselves decendants of true 'vikings'.

    No, I want people to acknowledge that these were different peoples and different, often warring, nations - just as the Celts and Native Americans were a variety of different peoples and nations.

    Well, Germany and Holland or Spain and Portugal also have similar culture, yet these have seperate civs. And I agree that others have an equal claim (Celts and Native Americans for example), and I believe they too should be more diverse, but this specific discussion is regarding the Viking Civ. :)
     
  10. veBear

    veBear Slumerican Citizen

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    DANISH EMPIRE!! NOT IF HELL WAS UNLEASHED UPON EARTH!!
    I'm a norwegian, i got something to tell you.
    1. Harald Hardraade wasn't a vassal of Denmark. Under his rule, Denmark was a part of NORWAY!
    2. Norway did never want to be a part of Denmark after the end of the Kalmar Union. In this union there were three councils, and to gain rule the danish council set their king as monarch of norway, while the norwegian council did not confirm or want this.

    So if it has to be danes, then DANE Empire would be better.

    PS.
    If you want to know my source, read the 'History of Norway' series.
     
  11. RobinHat

    RobinHat Warlord

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    No it wasn't.

    There was indeed three councils but Denmark was by far the dominant part of the Kalmar Union (even the Swedes agree on this) and this was the main reason why Sweden left the Kalmar Union - because of Denmark calling most of the shots (Margrethe I was even known in some Swedish circles as 'King No-Pants'). And whether you like it or not, Norway remained under Danish rule until 1814.

    And this differs from 'Danish' how?

    Doesn't sound like a book worth reading if it claims that Denmark was a part of Norway ruled by Harald Harderåde. The only Norwegian king to have ruled both nations was Magnus the Good (who was chosen by both Danish and Norwegian lords after the political strife that errupted after the death of Canute the Great).
     
  12. Sian

    Sian Emperor

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    ealier someone said something about that Denmark never was one of the big colonial powers ... but I think thats somewhat wrong

    Greenland, Faroe Islands and Iceland was all under Dano-Norwegian rule, and so was Virgin Islands (St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John), Christiansborg (now Osu) in Ghana (and a ton of smaller settlements/forts up and down the gold coast) and Tranquebar, India (with outlaying areas such as Nicobar islands) ... Futhermore they also at different times owned parts of Estonia

    So while not one of the biggest colony powers (that honor goes to Britain, Spain, Portogal, Dutch and France) Denmark as such was certainly a colonial power
     
  13. CaptainPuma

    CaptainPuma Chieftain

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    You are wrong. Harald Hardråde was indeed king of Denmark for a period of one year from 1046, when Magnus the Good agreed to share the throne with his uncle Hardråde (a common arrangement in that period), and until 1047, when Magnus died and upon his deathbed declared Svein Estridsson heir to the throne of Denmark, and Hardråde heir to the throne of Norway
     
  14. RobinHat

    RobinHat Warlord

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    Magnus the Good was king of Norway and Denmark for 5 years. For a period of just under 1 year (1046-1047) Magnus was forced to accept joint rule with his uncle Harald Harderåde (effectively making Magnus king of Denmark and Harald king of Norway) until Magnus was driven out by Svend Estridsen in 1047. Svend had difficulties holding on to the power of the throne and the balance of power tipped back and forth between the two for months until Magnus died that year and gave power of Denmark to Svend, and Norway to Harald.

    That does not make 'Denmark a part of Norway ruled by Harald Harderåde'.
     
  15. CaptainPuma

    CaptainPuma Chieftain

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    Yes... I already know that, because that is what I wrote.

    That is not how I would have phrased it. But the inescapable fact remains that Harald Hardråde shared rule over Denmark and Norway, even only for a year.
     
  16. RobinHat

    RobinHat Warlord

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    I am not disagreeing with you. But you wrote:

    Which I am not.

    Harald only contested Magnus for rule of Norway. He never had any rule over Denmark. This is proved by the fact that Svend became king after Magnus' death. If Harald were king of Denmark, Svend would have had to have toppled Harald from power too.

    I know this is nitpicking, but Harald Harderåde never ruled Denmark. Take a look at any list of Danish kings - Harald is not on there.
     
  17. veBear

    veBear Slumerican Citizen

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    Harald Hardraade were king king of Norway and at least was the man controlling Denmark after defeating Svend. While he maybe was'nt a directly morach, he did have the controll over it.

    And just to have it said the History of Norway books are written by a well known and distinguished factual and literary writer, and these are his most famous books, all factual. His name is Karsten Alnæs.

    And if you want to know why Dane Empire, it's simply because a matter of nationalism. We norwegians have a very strong feeling of ourself being one people, and being under Denmark in Civ is just something of the worst that could happen. At least Dane isn't compleatly the same as Danish, but i would myself prefer Norse Empire. Scandinavian Empire simply don't fit. It is a to modern used term.

    But you want know what i think could be an idea for Civ V? Three leaders for each civ... AND flag and empire name are now determined by LEADERS! This could mean a Danish/Norwegian/Swedish Empire as one Civ with the same UU and UB. Here are two examples.
    Spoiler :

    The Scandinavians
    - Knud den Mektige (Cnut) - Danish Empire
    - Harald Hardråde (Hardraada) - Norwegian Empire
    - ''A Swedish Great King'' - Swedish Empire

    The Greeks
    - Alexander the Great - Macedonian Empire
    - Pericles - Athenian/Ionian Empire
    - Kleomenes - Spartan/Pellponnesian Empire

    The Celts
    - Brennus - Gaul Empire
    - Boudica - Briton Empire
    - ''A Great Iberian Warlord'' - Iberian Empire

    Hope that the civ guys would like and accept this idea, but i doubt.

    Anyway, sorry if i were a bit non-polite in the last post, it's just that, as i said earlier, we norwegians don't want other people to rule them and have a strong desire for freedom of our own country. (This means of course the good way of nationalism, not the bad, which Hitler were a fan of, and as most of the other people in the world, we surely don't like him him)

    PS.
    If they named it Danish Empire in Civ V, I would boycott civ ;)
     
  18. RobinHat

    RobinHat Warlord

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    I'm not sure what you are talking about here. After the death of Magnus, Harald launched an attack on Denmark, burning down Hedeby in the process, but he never defeated Svend and the two made peace in 1064.
    Harald never ruled Denmark. End of story.

    I'm sure he is, but if he claims that Harald Harderåde was at any point ruler of Denmark, then he has misunderstood something.

    Come on now... So your nationalism extends to a point of being insulted if other people get a civ? So does that mean we should get rid of the English Civ to prevent Irishmen or Scots from being offended?
    The reason why Denmark deserves a Civ is because it actually was a large and powerful empire at one point. That is all. I am not saying that Norway should be a part of the Danish or Swedish Empire in the game.

    Interesting idea, but it would be easier to simply make seperate civs. No matter how you look upon it, the three Scandinavian countries were never a united empire (and no, Kalmar doesn't count - it was a mutual protection pact and trade alliance where the Danes called too many shots and it failed).
    As for the Celts, they are just as wrong as the 'Viking Civ' and should either be removed completely or split up.

    I've never liked the argument that people use saying that 'The Greek and Indian Civs should also be split up as they were also many different states'. Although this is undeniably true, they are in fact united nations now - unlike Scandinavia, which always has been, and still is, seperate nations.

    This is all fair enough, but you shouldn't let your patriotism blind you to historical facts. Even though you don't like the idea that Norway was under Danish rule for hundreds of years, it actually was, and there is nothing you can do about it.
    Why not just accept that as part of your history and be happy with the fact that Norway today is one of the wealthiest and most prosperous countries in the world?
    I love Norway and you are very admired by a lot of people - especially in Denmark.

    Named what? I can only repeat that I am not advocating a rename of the Viking Civ. I want the Viking Civ removed (because, let's face it - there never was a united Viking Civ), and I want the Danish and the Swedish Civs added.
    Both these nations have histories of great power in seperate times and deserve seperate civs.
    Norway was never a power-factor in the same way as the other two. I am really sorry to hurt your feelings but it is in fact the truth.
     
  19. bob rulz

    bob rulz Prince

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    This has been a fascinating read...I love history and I'm entranced by the intense historical debate that has occurred in here. I have learned more about Scandinavian history in a thread on the CivFanatics forum than I did in school. :lol: (Not that Scandinavia is exactly a focus on history classes in the U.S., but that's not the point.)

    Anyway, this is how I see it:

    I was actually thinking just a couple of weeks ago that Sweden should be a separate civ in the game. The Swedish Empire of the Middle Ages was among the most powerful in Europe and consistently challenged all of its neighboring empires, even coming close to handicapping the emergence of Russia at one point. Calling the civilization "Scandinavia" would imply that it refers to all of the Scandinavian countries at all points in time equally. Seeing as the "Vikings" were primarily Norwegian and Dane (and yes, some Swedish as well, but you can't argue that it was primarily the other two), and Sweden was a distinct power often at odds with Denmark (which as has been noted numerous times, controlled Norway at the time), calling the civilization "Scandinavia" would be innacurate, especially considering that the culture of the Viking raiders (yes I know I just said "raiders raiders" but bear with me) was distinctly different from that of the organized Christian powers of Denmark and Sweden during the Middle Ages (and, again, Denmark and Sweden were distinctly different empires at this time).

    I think that the best compromise would be to include the Vikings (I realize that they were never a united empire, but I believe that for notoriety and gameplay purposes, it is not such a bad idea to include them) and Sweden, which would constitute medieval Sweden.

    Numerous other changes could be made to increase historical accuracy and reduce the clutter, including removing the farcical Celts, Native Americans, and Holy Roman Empire (among other changes that could be made, but this is about Scandinavia so let's not get too specific). Howver, I believe that this is an acceptable compromise on the Scandinavia issue.
     
  20. CaptainPuma

    CaptainPuma Chieftain

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    Yes, I guess it is kind of nitpicky. There seems to be a case to be made that Hardråde never ruled Denmark in any fashion, and that he actually did for a year, if in name only.

    I tried to find a source to back up your claim that Hardråde ruled only Norway and Magnus the good ruled only Denmark during their year of joint rulership bout couldn't find it. I would be thankful if someone pointed it out to me. I did find a reference to Harald and Svend being both declared kings of Denmark (in a manner similar to Magnus/Harald) by the Danish Landthing upon Magnus' death, but I couldn't find the source.
    What is clear is that Estridsson had more support among the Danish chieftains, and was soon recognized as sole ruler by the majority. Hardråde certainly entertained ambitions to rule Denmark for a long time after becoming king of Norway, defeating Estridsson soundly at the Battle of Niså, and plundering Danish lands almost continually until 1064, when he finally gave up the claim to the throne of Denmark and set his eyes on England instead.

    So yeah... I guess that from what has been presented so far the evidence isn't overwhelming either way.
     
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