Asa (c. 800–c. 850)

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Asa (c. 800–c. 850)

Norwegian queen and regent. Born around 800 in Agdir, Norway; died around 850 in Agdir; daughter of King Harald Redbeard of Agdir; married King Gudrod of Vestfold; children: one son, Halfdan "the Swarthy," king of Agdir.

Asa's life has been preserved through traditional Scandinavian sagas, which are often as much fiction as fact. However, the basic facts of the Norwegian queen's career may be ascertained. Born into the royal family of Agdir in the 9th century, Asa was kidnapped and forced to marry Gudrod of Vestfold, rival of her father, Harald Redbeard. Gudrod probably was responsible for Harald's death at the time of Asa's abduction. Asa gave birth to one child with Gudrod, her son Halfdan. After Halfdan's birth, Asa supposedly murdered Gudrod to avenge her father and took her child back to Agdir, where, as heir to his grandfather Harald, the infant was made king. Asa ruled as regent for her son until he came of age.

Laura York , Anza, California

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