A hersir was a local
militarycommander of a hundred and owed allegiance to a jarl or king. They were also aspiring landowners, and, like the middle classin many feudalsocieties, supported the kings in their centralizationof power. The hersir was often equipped with a conical helmetand a short mail coat. Most would wield an iron sword, mostly augmented with a wooden shield. They were also known to wield one- or even two-handed axes. The hersir would always fight on foot, usually as part of a shield wall formation. Another formation was also used the Svinfylkingwhich was a variation to the shield wall but with several wedge like formations pointing towards the enemy creating a zig zag pattern. Although excellent against other foot troops the Vikings were frequently defeated by mounted troops. [ [http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_hersir.html Hersir, Viking ] ]
By the end of the 10th century, the independence of the herse was gone, and he was now a regional servant of the Norwegian king. [ [http://www.ospreypublishing.com/title_detail.php/title=P3184~per=41 Osprey Publishing - Viking Hersir 793–1066 AD ] ]
It was also the name of a man in "
Rígsþula" whose daughter Ernamarried Jarl, the first earl.
A Swedish hersir, Jarlabanke Sigfastsson, has become notable for the c. 20
Jarlabanke Runestonesthat he raised together with his relatives.
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