Magnus Berrføtt (Magnus III Bareleg) 1093-1103


 The history of 
Magnus Berrføtt's coinage 

Olav Kyrre's marriage with a Danish princess proved barren. When Olav died, his illegitimate son, Magnus Berrføtt, became co-regent with his cousin, Håkon Toresfostre. On Håkon's death in 1094, Magnus became sole regent. 

Magnus Berrføtt appears to have resembled his grandfather, Harald Hardråde (Harald the Ruthless) more than his peace-loving father, Olav Kyrre. Magnus was eager to wage war abroad to expand his kingdom. In Irish as well as in Scottish sagas, he is portrayed as a great warrior. In Nordic sagas we find him referred to as "Warrior Magnus". 

His most significant achievement as king was the conquest of the Orkneys and the Hebrides. Magnus had travelled westward to resolve a conflict among the earls on the Orkneys and to settle strife between Norwegian and Celtic chieftains in Ireland, the Hebrides and on the Isle of Man. He succeeded in restoring peace and order on the Orkneys and in conquering the Hebrides and the Isle of Man. The expansion of his kingdom was recognised by the Scottish kings. Soon, however, there was new strife in the Hebrides. Magnus once again set sail to the west and was killed in battle in Ireland. leaving three sons who, shortly after his death, succeeded him as joint kings: Øystein (Eystein I), Sigurd, who was given the epithet "Jorsalfare" (the crusader), and Olav (Olaf IV). 

Opinion is divided as to why Magnus was given the epithet "Bareleg". Snorri Sturluson (Icelandic poet, historian, and chieftain) attributed it to Magnus having adopted Scottish apparel, with legs naked under a short kilt. Others claim the epithet was based on an episode where he had to flee from attackers without having time to put on his shoes. A third explanation is that he rode barefoot as the Irish did. 

Monetary unit: 
Mint site: 
Kaupang (Nidaros)