Was Viking king Halfdan the Black an African?

Aug 2011
1,541
Sweden
The Hreimskringla (Chronicle of the Kings of Norway, written c.1225) states clearly that
"Halfdan grew up..., and soon became stout and strong; and, by reason of his black hair, was called Halfdan the Black."
The guy simply had black hair and a black beard, and therefore got his name. Big deal.
 
Jan 2013
5,835
Canberra, Australia
Just think of Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former Danish PM, now NATO Secretary-General.

He has black hair and a very swarthy complexion, but he is a pure Dane so far as I know.

It is simply a fact that there is a minority of black-haired swarthy individuals among the Scandinavian peoples, who in the majority are light-skinned and relatively fair-haired. Most probably they have preserved the pigmentation of the first humans who settled in northern Europe after the last glaciation, and have not undergone the genetic mutations that caused depigmentation of skin and iris in high latitudes with less intense sunlight.
 
Aug 2011
1,541
Sweden
Just think of Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former Danish PM, now NATO Secretary-General.

He has black hair and a very swarthy complexion, but he is a pure Dane so far as I know.

It is simply a fact that there is a minority of black-haired swarthy individuals among the Scandinavian peoples, who in the majority are light-skinned and relatively fair-haired. Most probably they have preserved the pigmentation of the first humans who settled in northern Europe after the last glaciation, and have not undergone the genetic mutations that caused depigmentation of skin and iris in high latitudes with less intense sunlight.
I don't know about the background of AFR or your suggestion. But there have been many possibilities for southern and perhaps more dark people to enter any "lighter" land for a very long time.
 
Well, maybe. Alternatively "swarthy" meant precisely "brown skinned" to Ben Franklin as well. He just had no idea what he was talking about. I think that's the other glaring possibility here.:zany:
Not really. Franklin was living in Philadelphia at the time and would have clear and direct exposure to the Rhinelanders immigrating into and through Philly in that period. In fact, the pamphlet that contains that phrase was partially written in response to said immigration.
 

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