Sigefrid, King of Denmark

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About Sigefrid, King of Denmark

SIGEFRID [Sigurd] ([750]-798). First "King of Haithabu". The Annales Fuldenses record that "Sigifridi regis Danorum" sent "Halbdani…cum sociis suis" as missi to a council held by Charles I King of the Franks at "Lippia"[9]. One child:

a) ONUND ([790]-).



The RFA’s first mention of Widukind is linked to its first mention of Norsemen. The initial appearance of Widukind in the RFA declares that he was “in revolt along with a few others” and was the only Saxon not to attend the general assembly Charlemagne held at Paderborn in 777. The original entry states that Widukind had “fled with his companions into Nordmannia,” and the revised entry glosses this by saying that he “had fled to Sigifrid, king of the Danes.”

Widukind escaped the mass Saxon execution in 782 by again fleeing into “Nordmannia,” after he was once more the lone Saxon absent from Charlemagne’s assembly, this time “at the source of the River Lippe.” As in the 777 entry, Widukind is linked to the Danes; “Norse emissaries of King Sigifrid, Halptani with his companions, also appeared at this assembly.”

The Saxon-Danish connection continued. In 798, Saxons rebels killed Charlemagne’s envoy as he returned from a visit to Sigifrid, leading to Charlemagne becoming “savagely aroused.” It has been suggested that Charlemagne’s negotiations with the Danes specifically concerned their continued harboring of Saxon fugitives, and that the forced relocation of Saxons from Nordalbingia to closer to the Rhineland area was to prevent them from escaping into Denmark or being encouraged to further rebellion by the Danes. As late as 823, there seems to have been a dispute between Franks and Danes over the Norsemen harboring Saxon fugitives.

Primary/ Earliest Sources for Sigurd

Sigfred is mentioned in the Frankish sources. He for one had negotiations with Charlemagne's envoy
In the summer of 782, Charlemagne led his armed forces to the sources of the Lippe River, staying there for some time. On this occasion, he received envoys from Sigfred,
In 798 Charlemagne sent one of his trustees, Godeskalk, on a diplomatic mission to Sigfred. On his return, Godeskalk was slain by the rebellious Saxons living to the north-east of the Elbe
According to D. Schwennicke (1984), Europäische Stammtafeln, Vol. II. Marburg. Tafel 104. he was married to Sigfreds daughter Geva.

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Sigefrid, King of Denmark's Timeline