Hasting, Or Hastings a Scandinavian viking, or sea rover, born about 812, some say in Scandinavia, others in Normandy, others at Tran-quilla (modern Trancost) on the Seine. He attached himself to a band of Northmen who had established themselves on the island of Biese, over whom he soon gained the chief command on sea and land. His first achievement was the devastation of the banks of the Loire as far as Tours (about 845). He next undertook an expedition against Spain; but meeting a repulse at Corunna, he retraced his course toward France, sacked Bordeaux, and carried fire and sword as far as Toulouse and Tarbes. The people of the latter city celebrate to this day the anniversary of a victory gained by their forefathers over Hasting on May 21. Refitting at the mouth of the Adour, he sailed again for the coast of the peninsula, took Lisbon, pillaged the city for 13 days, burned Seville, and marched upon Cordova, but was arrested by the allied forces of the Moors and Christians. Returning with reenforcements, he destroyed the great mosque of Algeciras and compelled Alfonso the Great, king of Leon, to seek refuge at Oviedo. Majorca, Minorca, and Provence, in their turn, became also the scenes of Hasting's incursions.
He next made a descent upon Tuscany, and planned a voyage to Rome. Steering along the coast into the bay now known as the gulf of Spezia, he descried a city (Luna, now Luni). Not doubting that he was approaching Rome, he disembarked his troops, and sent ambassadors to say to the emperor, as he supposed, that, fresh from the conquest of France, he desired only to obtain supplies and means to refit his fleet. For himself, weary of a roving life, he sought to lay down his command and thenceforth to repose in the bosom of the church. The count of Luna and the bishop came out to meet him, and administered baptism, but declined to admit him or any of his followers within the city walls. Hasting then feigned death; and a vast funeral train, passing into the city, deposited the bier before the cathedral altar. The chief then sprang up and struck the bishop to the earth; and the mourners, throwing off their long robes, cut their way back to the city gates, and let in their comrades. The city was won, but Hasting soon learned to his surprise that he was not master of Rome. After other exploits he once more appeared upon the coast of Normandy. Count Robert of Anjou and the duke of Aquitaine surprised him at Brisarthe, near Angers, from which place, after a furious battle, in which both the Frankish leaders were slain, Hasting ascended the Loire, plundered every town on its banks, and sailed for England to join a Danish invasion.
Repulsed by Alfred the Great, he reappeared upon the Loire, and wrung from Charles the Fat possession in perpetuity of the county of Chartres. He now sought a home in Denmark, where at a great age his identity is lost in the confusion of the chronicles, which attribute to him the subsequent exploits of a number of vikings who assumed his name.