Was Viking king Halfdan the Black an African?

Dec 2011
556
Texas
Could the mother be a Moorish woman? A slave brought up North, then taken as booty? Who knows.

algerian moors are black.
Ummm not all Moorish were black. It is almost like saying all Germans are blond & blue eyes. There were & are many more Moors that were not black.

These are Moorish troops as you can see here:





Modern Moors in Morocco.


This goes with the same as the Egyptians... Not all Egyptians were black as well, many were not. If anything the Egyptians & the Moors in the past were multi-ethnic and multi-racial.
 
Last edited:
Jan 2013
5,835
Canberra, Australia
From the article on the skeletons in the Oseborg ship[-burial:

To answer the question of whether the two women were related, Dr Tom Gilbert at the Panum Institute in Copenhagen managed to obtain a DNA profile from the younger of the two, which profile indicates that her sample falls into the haplogroup U7. This finding is interesting, as this haplogroup is nearly absent in modern Europeans but is common in Iranians. Perhaps this could mean that the young lady's ancestors came from the district around the Black Sea, as Snorri Sturlusson notes in his Saga.
The above DNA result by no means proves that the younger woman came from the Balck Sea area.

Since haplogroup U7 is not entirely absent from modern Europeans, the fact that her mitochondrial DNA belongs to that group could simply means that she was one of the small minority of Europeans that have that haplogroup.

It is also possible that that haplogroup was more common among early medieval Europeans than it is now, due to genetic drift, ie certain lineages dying out at random.

Any claim that DNA indicates geographical origin is questionable; all it shows is genetic closeness or distance between indivduals. There is no DNA that is specific to any area or human group, since human groups differ only in the frequency of different variants of a gene, not it the actual variants themselves.
 

Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,378
Most likely he just had a head of black hair.

Viking nicknames based on hair color were not uncommon. The black for black hair, the red for red hair, ect.
 

pablo668

Ad Honorem
Apr 2010
2,187
Perth, Western Australia. or....hickville.
It's a pity they didn't have bar-codes back then.

Sven the bar-code.

Did they even have receding hair lines back then?
 

Haesten

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,733
Fragmentary Annals of Ireland, FA 330 (Haesten-Bjorn Ironside raid)

http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T100017/

So Ragnall came with his three sons to the Orkneys. Ragnall stayed there then, with his youngest son. The older sons, however, filled with arrogance and rashness, proceeded with a large army, having mustered that army from all quarters, to march against the Franks and Saxons. They thought that their father would return to Norway immediately after their departure.

Then their arrogance and their youthfulness incited them to voyage across the Cantabrian Ocean (i.e. the sea that is between Ireland and Spain) and they reached Spain, and they did many evil things in Spain, both destroying and plundering. After that they proceeded across the Gaditanean Straits (i.e. the place where the Irish Sea sic goes into the surrounding

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p.121
ocean), so that they reached Africa, and they waged war against the Mauritanians, and made a great slaughter of the Mauritanians. However, as they were going to this battle, one of the sons said to the other, ‘Brother,’ he said, ‘we are very foolish and mad to be killing ourselves going from country to country throughout the world, and not to be defending our own patrimony, and doing the will of our father, for he is alone now, sad and discouraged in a land not his own, since the other son whom we left along with him has been slain, as has been revealed to me.’ It would seem that that was revealed to him in a dream vision; and his Ragnall's other son was slain in battle; and moreover, the father himself barely escaped from that battle—which dream proved to be true.

While he was saying that, they saw the Mauritanian forces coming towards them, and when the son who spoke the above words saw that, he leaped suddenly into the battle, and attacked the king of the Mauritanians, and gave him a blow with a great sword and cut off his hand. There was hard fighting on both sides in this battle, and neither of them won the victory from the other in that battle. But all returned to camp, after many among them had been slain. However, they challenged each other to come to battle the next day.

The king of the Mauritanians escaped from the camp and fled in the night after his hand had been cut off. When the morning came, the Norwegians seized their weapons and readied themselves firmly and bravely for the battle. The Mauritanians, however, when they noticed that their king had departed, fled after they had been terribly slain. Thereupon the Norwegians swept across the country, and they devastated and burned the whole land. Then they brought a great host of them captive with them to Ireland, i.e. those are the black men. For Mauri is the same as nigri; 'Mauritania' is the same as nigritudo. Hardly one in three of the Norwegians escaped, between those who were slain, and those who drowned in the Gaditanian Straits. Now those black men remained in Ireland for a long time. Mauritania is located across from the Balearic Islands.
 
Nov 2010
6,890
Cornwall
Fragmentary Annals of Ireland, FA 330 (Haesten-Bjorn Ironside raid)

Fragmentary Annals of Ireland

So Ragnall came with his three sons to the Orkneys. Ragnall stayed there then, with his youngest son. The older sons, however, filled with arrogance and rashness, proceeded with a large army, having mustered that army from all quarters, to march against the Franks and Saxons. They thought that their father would return to Norway immediately after their departure.

Then their arrogance and their youthfulness incited them to voyage across the Cantabrian Ocean (i.e. the sea that is between Ireland and Spain) and they reached Spain, and they did many evil things in Spain, both destroying and plundering. After that they proceeded across the Gaditanean Straits (i.e. the place where the Irish Sea sic goes into the surrounding

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

p.121
ocean), so that they reached Africa, and they waged war against the Mauritanians, and made a great slaughter of the Mauritanians. However, as they were going to this battle, one of the sons said to the other, ‘Brother,’ he said, ‘we are very foolish and mad to be killing ourselves going from country to country throughout the world, and not to be defending our own patrimony, and doing the will of our father, for he is alone now, sad and discouraged in a land not his own, since the other son whom we left along with him has been slain, as has been revealed to me.’ It would seem that that was revealed to him in a dream vision; and his Ragnall's other son was slain in battle; and moreover, the father himself barely escaped from that battle—which dream proved to be true.

While he was saying that, they saw the Mauritanian forces coming towards them, and when the son who spoke the above words saw that, he leaped suddenly into the battle, and attacked the king of the Mauritanians, and gave him a blow with a great sword and cut off his hand. There was hard fighting on both sides in this battle, and neither of them won the victory from the other in that battle. But all returned to camp, after many among them had been slain. However, they challenged each other to come to battle the next day.

The king of the Mauritanians escaped from the camp and fled in the night after his hand had been cut off. When the morning came, the Norwegians seized their weapons and readied themselves firmly and bravely for the battle. The Mauritanians, however, when they noticed that their king had departed, fled after they had been terribly slain. Thereupon the Norwegians swept across the country, and they devastated and burned the whole land. Then they brought a great host of them captive with them to Ireland, i.e. those are the black men. For Mauri is the same as nigri; 'Mauritania' is the same as nigritudo. Hardly one in three of the Norwegians escaped, between those who were slain, and those who drowned in the Gaditanian Straits. Now those black men remained in Ireland for a long time. Mauritania is located across from the Balearic Islands.
Dates in 'chronicles' often differ but this account gives a year of 867, rather after the big Viking raid on Seville etc in 844. However in 859 we have this little gem, albeit lifted from Wiki:

"Nevertheless, in 859, Danish [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirates"]pirates[/ame] sailed through Gibraltar and raided the little [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morocco"]Moroccan[/ame] state of [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Nekor"]Nekor[/ame]. The king's harem had to be ransomed back by the emir of Cordoba"

In 860 they had another little adventure:

"In 860, a new fleet of sixty-two ships[47] led by [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hastein"]Hastein[/ame] and Björn Ironside.[46] attacked Galicia (northwestern Spain), the Portuguese shores and Sevilla.[47] The fleet then crossed over to Africa and sacked [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nekor"]Nekor[/ame].[47] They then returned to Spain, stopping at the Balearic Islands,[48] and attacked Pamplona after crossing the Ebru river and captured the king of Navarra, García Íñiguez, who paid a ransom for his release"

One wonders whether the 2 raids on Nekor were one and the same? In any case I would hazard a guess that any 'blackness' referred to is once again to do with dark olive-colour type skin, in this time pre-Almoravid and Almohad in Morocco. As opposed to 'black' as in sub-Saharan Africa.
 

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