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940), king of Limerick, the probable father of Maccus and Gofraid.This may be relevant, since both these brothers and a certain Eric have been described as rulers of 'the Isles' (Hebrides) (see below).
There is no consensus on how to solve this problem.
An early suggestion is that the name for the king in York in the Life of Cathróe has been erroneously supplanted for Eric's predecessor Amlaíb Cuarán (Olaf Sihtricsson), whose (second) wife Dúnflaith was an Irishwoman.
The dominant theme of the sagas about Harald's numerous sons is the struggle for the Norwegian throne, in particular the way it manifests itself in the careers of Haakon and his foil Eric.
Current opinion veers towards a more critical attitude towards the use of sagas as historical sources for the period before the 11th century, but conclusive answers cannot be offered.
Eric's soubriquet blóðøx, ‘Bloodaxe’ or 'Bloody-axe', is of uncertain origin and context.
Historians have reconstructed a narrative of Eric's life and career from the scant available historical data.
There is a distinction between contemporary or near contemporary sources for Eric's period as ruler of Northumbria, and the entirely saga-based sources that detail the life of Eric of Norway, a chieftain who ruled the Norwegian Westland in the 930s. Such sources reproduce only a hazy image of Eric's activities in Anglo-Saxon England.In the early part of the 12th century, John of Worcester had reason to believe that Eric (Yrcus) was of royal Scandinavian stock (Danica stirpe progenitum, a phrase used earlier for the Hiberno-Norse ruler of Northumbria, Sihtric Cáech).This appears to match with independent tradition from Norwegian synoptic histories and Icelandic sagas, which are explicit in identifying Eric of Northumbria as a son of the Norwegian king Harald (I) Fairhair.In a letter addressed to Pope Boniface VIII, King Edward I (r. Lappenberg and Charles Plummer, for instance, identified Eric with Harald's son Hiring.1272–1307) remembered a certain Eric (Yricius) as having been a king of Scotland subject to the English king. The only authority for this son's existence is Adam of Bremen, who in his Gesta (c.According to Heimskringla, Harald had appointed his sons as client kings over the various districts of the kingdom, and intended Eric, his favourite son, to inherit the throne after his death.