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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Vol. II. Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: from c. 1035 to c. 1300

1. Royal Biographies

1. Kings of Norway (KEG)
2. Kings of Denmark (KEG)

(Vol. II. Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: from c. 1035 to c. 1300 > 8. Introduction > 5. Biographies > 1. Royal Biographies > 2. Kings of Denmark)

2. Kings of Denmark (KEG)

(subheadings only)

a. Eiríkr I inn góði Sveinsson (r. 1095-1103)

Saga: Knýtl.

Eiríkr inn góði ‘the Good’ was the son of Sveinn Úlfsson, and he became king upon the death of his brother, Óláfr, in 1095 (see Genealogy II in ÍF 35). Eiríkr died in Paphos, Cyprus, on 10 July 1103. See Knýtl (ÍF 35, 212-39; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1986, 105-23). See also Saxo (2005, II, xii.1,1-8,1, pp. 62-83), Mork (Mork 1928-32, 329; Andersson and Gade 2000, 307), Fsk (ÍF 29, 311; Finlay 2004, 249-50), Hkr (ÍF 28, 207, 228-9; Hollander 1991, 666, 680), H-Hr (Fms 7, 62-3).

Events documented in poetry: Eiríkr’s campaigns against the heathens in the east and his reception in Russia pre-1095 (Mark Eirdr 3); his return to Denmark (Mark Eirdr 4); his generosity, justice and sapientia (Mark Eirdr 5-7); his journey to Rome, Venice and Bari and his return to Rome (Mark Eirdr 8-10); his stay in Rome and the Pope’s promise to establish an archbishopric on Danish soil (Mark Eirdr 11); the Pope granting all Eiríkr’s requests (Mark Eirdr 12); Eiríkr mobilising the Danish army for an attack on Wendland, which had fallen into the hands of Emperor Henry IV of Saxony (Mark Eirdr 13); the Wendish campaign (Mark Eirdr 14-21); Eiríkr’s return to Denmark (Mark Eirdr 22); his erection of five stone churches in Denmark (Mark Eirdr 23); the king of France sending him gifts and guides for his pilgrimage to Jerusalem (Mark Eirdr 24); the establishment of the archbishopric in Lund and the election of Ǫzurr as the first Danish archbishop (Mark Eirdr 25); Eiríkr embarking on his journey to Jerusalem (Mark Eirdr 26); his reception en route (Mark Eirdr 27); the gifts given to him by the emperor of Constantinople (Mark Eirdr 28); his death in Cyprus in 1103 (Mark Eirdr 29).

b. Sveinn II Úlfsson (r. 1047-1074/76)

Sagas: Mgóð, HSig, MH, Ólkyrr (Ágr, Flat, Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, Mork, Theodoricus), Knýtl.

Sveinn Úlfsson (Sven Estridson) was the son of the Danish jarl Úlfr Þorgilsson and Ástríðr, the sister of Knútr inn ríki (Cnut the Great; see Genealogy II in ÍF 35). Although Sveinn had sworn allegiance to Magnús inn góði of Norway and had become his jarl, he claimed the throne of Denmark upon the death of Hǫrðaknútr Knútsson (according to the agreement between Magnús and Hǫrðaknútr, Magnús was to inherit Denmark). Sveinn became the ruler of Denmark when Magnús died in 1047, and he held on to the throne despite years of attacks from Haraldr harðráði of Norway. In 1064 a peace treaty was forged between Sveinn and Haraldr, but after Haraldr’s death in 1066, Sveinn laid claim to the throne of Norway. Shortly thereafter he renounced that claim, betrothed his daughter, Ingiríðr, to Óláfr, and turned his attention to England (1069), but the Danish attempt (in collaboration with Anglo-Saxon noblemen) to overthrow the English king, William the Conqueror, was unsuccessful. Sveinn died on 28 April 1074 or 1076. See Theodoricus (MHN 48-51, 54-6; McDougall and McDougall 1998, 37-9, 43-5), Ágr (ÍF 29, 34-5, 37-8; Ágr 1995, 48-51, 54-7), Mork (Mork 1928-32, 35-7, 49-52, 88-93, 102-3, 137-45, 148, 155-69, 175-87, 204-26, 262-3, 286-8; Andersson and Gade 2000, 113-14, 123-7, 150-4, 158-9, 179-84, 187, 194-204, 208-15, 225-39, 262, 277-9), Fsk (ÍF 29, 204, 218-25, 238-41, 243, 248-61, 263-71, 273-5, 297-9; Finlay 2004, 164, 175-81, 193, 199-208, 210-19, 237-9), Hkr (ÍF 28, 36-41, 46-65, 91-7, 102-18, 130-5, 139-62, 167, 172-3, 201-2, 207-8; Hollander 1991, 439-40, 557-60, 563-75, 590-607, 615-16, 618, 622-36, 640, 643-4, 662-3, 666), H-Hr (Fms 6, 51-5, 74-91, 113, 172-9, 218-19, 221-32, 251-65, 268, 275-77, 290-333, 341, 397-9, 435-8, 443), Flat (Flat 1860-8, III, 273-5, 283-5, 306-8, 313-14, 326-32, 334-43, 347-8, 351, 359-72, 387, 411-15). See also ÓH (ÍF 27, 275-7; Hollander 1991, 438-40), Knýtl (ÍF 35, 128-38; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1986, 44-50), Saxo (2005, I, 10, 21, 1-22, 6, pp. 684-93, II, 11, 1, 1-9, 5, pp. 8-31), , Saga hins heilaga Eðvarðar (Flat 1860-8, III, 468, 470).

Events documented in poetry: For the poetry commemorating Sveinn’s dealings with Magnús inn góði, Haraldr harðráði and Óláfr kyrri, see their Biographies above. See also Anon (Knýtl).

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