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24. Danmark's History - Magnus the Good

Introduction - Magnus the Good - Magnus as king of Norway - Magnus as king of Denmark - The testimony of the coins - The Battle of Lyrskov Hede - The Attack on Jomsborg - Magnus as a Candidate for the English Throne - The Death and Burial of Magnus the Good - Links og Litterature -

Introduction

Magnus Olavsson was 11 years old, when he was elected King of Norway in 1035. He was the son of Olav the Holy and thus of Harald Fairhair's descent. His father was elevated to saint by the Catholic Church already in 1031, which certainly had strengthened his candidacy. Everything indicates that he also became king of all Denmark by 1042 at Hardicanute's death in England.
Magnus the Good's Saga
Introduction illustation in Magnus the Good's Saga in Heimskringla the National Edition.

In Denmark he is known for his victory over the Wends on Lyrskov Heath near the town of Slesvig in 1043. He was soon challenged by Svend Estridsen in Denmark and by his uncle, Harald Hardrada in Norway. Like so many others of his time, he did not become old, already in 1047, he died on his ship at a coast of Denmark in the age of only 23 years.
Timeline for Denmark's history
Timeline of history of Denmark based on Royal dynasties - They all descend from "Hardegon, the son of a certain Sven" that captured at least part of Denmark around the year 917. It is of advantage to divide the list of kings and thereby Denmark's history into some manageable groups or dynasties, as it gives a good overview.
The Knytlings have got their navn from Hardecnut, søn of Hardegon. He is called Knud I and was father of Gorm the Old. Magnus the Good was the son of the Norwegian Catholic saint, Olav the Holy; His reign appears as an interregnum to the rule of Svend Estridsen and his sons and grandsons. Svend Estridsen was the grandson of Svend Tveskæg.
The rivaling kings, Sven, Knud and Valdemar, were all the candidates for kingship descending from Svend Estridsen, but the period appears as an interregnum to the period of the Valdemars.
Many historians, probably most, only considers Valdemar I the Great, his son Knud VI and Valdemar II Sejr (victory) as the Valdemars. But no one has a patent on the definition, and it seems the author natural and appropriate also to include their direct male descendants - including Erik IV Plovpenning, Abel and Christoffer I - until Christoffer II, who was the last king before the period without king.
Valdemar IV Atterdag was not a union king, but it was his daughter Margrete I and his grandson Oluf. You could say that Valdemar IV Atterdag laid the foundations of the Kalmar Union with Norway and Sweden.
The first kings of the dynasty of the Oldenborgs were also Union kings but only for short periods.
The Oldenborg line died out with the childless Frederik VII in 1863. The throne was then taken over by Christian IX of Glücksborg.

Magnus the Good

The historian Palle Lauring believed that the epithet "the Good" refers to particular religious achievements, and is derived from the old name for a man with a religious responsibility at a pagan cult site, a "gode". Magnus is sharing the nickname with Harald Bluetooth, who was the first Christian Danish king and ordered the Danes to follow his example and embrace the Christian faith. The English king, Edward the Confessor, was also highly religious, and he is also called "good" in Magnus the Good's Saga, namely "Eadvard the Good". Similarly, Håkon Adelstensfostre was also called Haakon the Good, probably because he, unlike very most Norwegians of his time, was a christian.

St. Olaf on catolic online
St. Olaf in Catolic Online. His dayis 29. of July.

Magnus was the son of Olav the Holy and one of his service women named Alfhild. In Olav's Saga is told about his birth in 1024: "But in the spring it became apparent that Alvhild was with child, and the king's trusted men knew that he was the father of that child." So it happened one night that Alvhild became sick; there were few people present, some women, a priest and Sigvat Skald with a few others. Alvhild suffered a lot and was close to death: she gave birth to a boy, and for a while they did not know, whether there was life in the child. But when the child drew breath - though very weakly - the priest asked Sigvat to go and tell the king. He answered: "Not for anything I dare wake up the king, for he forbids every man to disrupt his sleep, before he wakes up by himself. I will accept evil words, but give it a name." So they did the child was baptized and called Magnus."

When King Olav woke up, he was informed of the events of the night, and immediately he summoned Sigvat Skjald and blamed him for baptizing his son without his permission. "Why did you let the boy call Magnus? It is not a name of our family." Sigvat replied that he had named the boy after Charlemagne's epithet, as he called Carolus Magnus in latin.

Newly baptized may be very eager, and it is easy to imagine that the young Magnus was elected King of Norway and Denmark, especially because he excelled religiously by being the son of a Catholic saint.

King Magnus
Old picture of Magnus den Gode from the period 1500-1795. In the saga of Harald Hardrada the simple but honest Reidar says to King Magnus: "Then I will, Lord! soon annotate that your one eye sits a little higher up than the other." "It has a man before noticed, "the King said," and it was my kinsman, King Harald". In the picture Magnus's left eye is also slightly higher up than the right. The Icelandic professor Arni Magnusson gave his manuscript collection to the University of Copenhagen by his death in 1730. Some may have read in Heimskringla that Magnus one eye was a trifle high and made a drawing equivalent - From The Royal Library.

When King Olav fled from Norway in 1028, chased by a great army led by the Norwegian noble men, he was accompanied by Queen Astrid, their daughter Ulvhild and his son Magnus, who was then four years old. The fugitive king and his family found asylum with their brother-in-law, grand duke Jaroslav in Garda. There Magnus grew up during the next seven years, until he in 1035 was brought to Norway and named king at the age of eleven years.

Harald Hardradas Saga tells of Magnus that: "He was a man of medium height, with regular and light facial features, blond hair, articulate and resolute, confident and very generous, a good warrior and extremely skilled in weapons and victorious; He was the friendliest of all kings, so that both friends and enemies praised him."

This is confirmed by the Roskilde Chronicle:"He (Olav the Holy) was followed on the throne by Magnus; he was still a boy, but high-minded and beautiful to look at the outside."

The difference between Harald Hårderådes and Magnus' personality is a recurring theme in Harald Harrada's Saga. Harald is mean, particular, aggressive and irreconcilable; While Magnus is generous, friendly, flexible and open minded - also towards more common people. As a true king, he won the loyalty of his men with the gold that he received from Harald, when he was appointed as his fellow king.

Magnus was a descendant of Harald Fairhair through his father, and it has been an important reason why he was elected king as an 11 year old boy. But an equally important reason may have been that he was the son of a Catholic saint. In the saga of Harald Hardrada, the skjald Thjodolf says: "From the North Holy Magnus leads his navy".

Ejnar Tambeskjælver and his men visit Samsø with Magnus' corpse
Ejnar Tambeskjælver and his men visit the island of Samsø with Magnus' corpse and meet the old blind man. Illustration in Heimskringla National Edition by Wilhelm Wetlesen.

Same Saga tells of Magnus' holiness: "This destiny came to a son of a distinguished women to lose his memory, and almost he seemed completely to have lost his mind. His mother went to King Harald and asked him to give a good advice about to how to treat him."- Harald replied," I will also give you an advice: I think I know what is the probem with your son; He never has any dream, but it is not the nature of man, never to dream: go then tomorrow with him to where King Magnus has washed himself and let your son drink of the king's washbasin. Then let him attend mass, and though he is overwhelmed by heaviness or yawning, do not let him sleep, then go to the place, where King Magnus has been lying and let the boy sleep there, then a dream will probably show up for him" - "This boy became since a good man, good natured and intelligent, and the medical advice King Harald had given him came well to his benefit."

Harald Hardrada's Saga also tells another episode that testifies Magnus' holiness. When Einar Tambeskælver and his men sailed Magnus' body home to Norway, they visited the island of Samsø on a place, where Magnus had often been: "There on the island was a blind poor man that the king had always supported much for God's sake, when he landed there on the place" Ejnar Tambeskælver collected some food from the ships and gave it to him.

But the old man was not completely satisfied: "However, I will still ask you, if there is some inferior thing that King Magnus has owned that you will give me for consolation and remembrance." Einar then found in his purse a small gold ring that had belonged to Magnus, and let the old man have it. He held it up to his eyes and said crying: "I showed me a lot of help through your gift, but the King has shown me even greater mercy, so that I now never again need others' support, to make my life; So long I have been blind, now I am seeing with both eyes."

Borgund stave church
Borgund Stave Church in Lærdal by the Sognefjord northeast of Bergen in Norway. It was built in 1180 a hundred years after the reign of Magnus the Gods. It is the least changed of the Norwegian stave churches. The church is a so-called long church and has dragon heads on the gables, carved portal and gallery. The churches in Magnus' time, both in Norway and Denmark, have probably looked like, perhaps they were a little smaller. Foto Petr Smerkl, Wikipedia.

In Adam of Bremen, Magnus is described as a sympathetic and beloved king - a skolie says: "He was a pious and moral young man. Therefore God gave him victory everywhere."; And elsewhere: "Furthermore, for the sake of his righteousness and manhood, King Magnus was loved by the Danes, but feared by the Slaves, who, after Knud's death, became enemies of Denmark."

Olav the Holy's daughter with his lawful queen, Astrid, was called Ulfhild, and thus she was Magnus's half sister. Adam of Bremen says, she married the Duke Bernhard of Saxony's son Ordulf in 1042. Then she disappears from history.

Harald Hardradas Saga says that Magnus had a brother named Thore, who by all accounts was mentally handicapped.

The saga tells that during a feast Harald had been placed at the same table as Thore, and this he was very little satisfied with: "King Magnus' brother Thorer, on the other hand, sat on the other bench opposite King Harald. Thorer spoke only little and about insignificant things; King Harald found it a shame for himself, that he was sitting such that he had to drink with him, and sang several times the following verse to him, when he heard him say something:

Keep silent you, Thorer!
crazy you are;
Pilfer-Guest, I heard,
your father was named.


With "Pilfer-Guest" Harald meant Olav the Holy, whom he thus meant was Thorer's father. In addition, the saga takes it asself-evident that Harald Hardrada wanted to find Thorer and if possible kill him, when he was given the opportunity, which also supports him being son of Olav.

The altar of Urnes stave church
The altar in Urnes stave church at the Sognefjord in Norway. The timber for the church was felled 1129-1130 that is less than a hundred years after Magnus' reign. Photo Green Global Travel.

When Magnus - following Heimskringla - lay dying on his ship out of Jutland Einar Tampeskælver said: "Also give good advice, sir! With regard to your brother Thorer; He does not have anything good to expect from Harald, well, hardly he can keep his life"

Magnus thus arranged that some good men followed Thorer to land, where they hid in the forest. When the lurs sounded and announced Magnus' death, they went to Svend Estridsen, where they were well received.

Harald Hardrada's saga tells us that Magnus had a daughter: " - It also contributed a lot to increasing the sorrow of Magnus' most devoted friends, that he did not leave any offspring without a daughter, who was still young and was called Ragnhild." She got married to Hakon Ivarson, who was given the title of the earl. According to Morkinskinna, they got the daughter Sunniva, who had the son Håkon Sunnivasson, Magnus' grandchild, and this Håkon married Ragnhild, daughter of Svend Estridsen or Erik Ejegod. Ragnhild and Håkon's son, Erik Lam, became King of Denmark.

Magnus as king of Norway

Olav the Holy's Saga tells that already the night after the battle at Stiklestad in 1030, miracles occurred at his holy corpse. A blind beggar strayed into the shed, in which a peasant had placed Olav's corpse. He rubbed his eyes with the water that the body was washed in and was immediately cured for his blindness.

The saga says that: "This winter many men in Trondheim talked about that King Olav was a true holy man and that many miracles happened that prooved his holiness. Many started to do prayers to King Olav about things that they found important to them. Many men got help from these prayers, some got recovery, some luck on travels or others such good things that they seemed to need."

Gardar around the year 900
Ejnar Tambeskjælver's and Kalv Arnesøn's route. Gardar around the yeat 900 included both Kiev and Novgorod.

Already in 1031 he was elevated to be a Catholic saint, and now there was no end to the miracles, Olav's hair and beard grew in spite of that he was dead: "The following summer, there was much talk about the holiness of King Olav, and everyone now spoke quite differently about the king. Of those, who had gone against him in full enmity and did not in anything want to accept the truth about him, many now believed that the king most likely was holy."

Olavs saga tells that early in the spring of 1034, Ejnar Tambeskjælver and Kalv Arnesøn set out to Gardarige to bring back Olav the Holy's son Magnus and make him king of Norway. In the harvest - that is late autumn - they came to Aldeigjukborg (Staraja Ladoga) at Ladoga Lake. With King Jarisleiv's permission they proceeded to Holmgård (Novgorod), where they met Magnus, who was then 10 years old.

It was agreed that the group of Norwegians became Magnus' faithful men: "But when they came to Holmgård, it was confirmed between them that the Norwegians, who had come thither, went into the service of Magnus and became his men, and it tied with oaths Kalv and all the men, who had been against King Olav on Stiklastader. Magnus gave them promises and full conciliation, and attached it with oath that he should be fully loyal to them, if he won kingdom in Norway; He should become Kalv Arnesøn's foster son, but Kalv should have the duty to undertake all actions that Magnus believed would get him a greater or more free kingdom than before."

King Svend - the son of Canute the Great - and his men attempted no resistance, when they in 1035 learned that King Olav's holy son had come to the country, and the people flocked around him: "But as soon as King Svein's men were told that King Olav's son Magnus had come thither in the country, they fled following many the roads and saved themselves; no resistance was done against Magnus." Along with his mother, Ælfgifu, Svend fled to Denmark, where he soon after died.

The skjald Tjodolv says:

But Svein since fled,
Let down by everyone from the country.
As a fugitive (I heard) away
Alfiva's Søn escaped.


The Sct. Olav frontal in Nidaros
The St. Olavs frontal with the holy king in the middle. It was painted around 1330 on wooden boards. The painting is called a "frontal", because it is located in front of the altar in the Nidaros Cathedral, where Olav was laid to rest behind the altar. The four motifs in each corner are episodes of his life, separated by the four evangelists. Photo: Stein Wiik, Universitetets Oldsagssamling.
In the Middle Ages Olav's shrine consisted of the three caskets. One inside the other. The innermost was the original wooden coffin from Stiklestad, covered by precious fabrics. The middle one was a precious shrine, according to Snorre Sturlasson donated by Magnus the Good, the saint king's son. This shrine was probably made of wood and covered with silver plates with religious motifs in relief adorned with cut rock crystal, gems and other valuables. This shrine was 2 meters long, about 80 cm wide and high, with a curved underside and on the upper side there was a lid. The lid was shaped like a roof with carved heads in the gable tips. It was with hinges in the back and hasper in the front. In 1530 century Archbishop Olav Engelbrektsson described the outer casket: "- St. Olav shrine, which was studded with silver. There was no bottom in it. It was put on the outside of two other caskets, and in the inner casket was Holy Olav's body - ".
Magister Øystein Ekroll has recently summarized our knowledge of the destiny of the Olav shrine: In connection with the civil war in Denmark-Norway around 1530, Archbishop Olav Engelbrektsson in 1537 moved it together with other relics to his castle on Steinvikholmen near Skatval further into the fjord. He himself went to Holland to get help from the deposed King, Christian II. However, he died in Holland and Christian II's return never materialized. The crew of his castle surrendered to the new king, Christian III - or perhaps his general - who was deeply religious and had personal connection with Luther - and was determined to pull up the Catholic faith with root and abolish all its signs and symbols. You could say that he acted with the same brutality, as Olav himself did, when he introduced the Catholic Christianity in Norway in his time.
In a list of captured equipment from the castle can be read: "Sankt Oluff's casket, which is similar to St. Augustine's casket, which is clad with silver, a sanctuary shrine, which is of copper and is gold-plated, a sanctuary shrine, which is of wood and is studded with silver." Everything was broken and melted down and sent to Copenhagen.
Surprisingly, the inner original wooden chest with Olaf's remains was left behind in the Archbishop's castle after the conquerors had left it. It was moved several times, and finally buried in Nidaros Cathedral. Later, in 1568, "Earth filled in the grave with St. Olav's body" , whatever it may mean, to stop the many pilgrimages to the grave. It is assumed that Olav today is buried in an unknown place in Nidaros Cathedral or outside in the cemetery.

Magnus' Saga continues: "King Magnus let make a shrine, adorned with gold and silver and had put the precious stone in it. But this shrine was both in size and other appearance made as a funeral coffin with galleries below and above a lid formed as a roof, and from there up above with heads and roof; the lid is hinged at the rear, but with hasps in front, and it was locked with a key. Since, King Magnus let king Olav's shrine lay in this shrine. Many miracle happened there by King Olav's shrine."

But Magnus did not keep his promise of full conciliation and forgiveness for those, who had fought against his father.

Magnus the Good and Asmund
Magnus and his guardman Asmund stood on the gallery and saw Hårek from Tjotta go to land from his ship. Asmund said he wanted to kill Hårek. "Take rather my ax", Magnus said. Drawing in Heimskringla by Halvdan Egedius.

The leader of the peasant army at Stiklestad, Tore Hund: " - travelled away from the country shortly after the fall of King Olaf. Tore went out to Jorsaler, and it is the many men's saying that he did not return."

Another of peasants' leaders, Hårek from Tjotta, sailed to Trondheim to meet King Magnus. When he went ashore, he was cut down by one of the king's men, who held a grudge against him for other reasons: "Asmund struck in the head of Hårek, so that the ax immediately stood down in the brain; It was Hårek's death."

Kalf Arneson, who was one of the three men that wounded and killed King Olav at Stiklestad: "- had at first most power with King Magnus for some time. But then some reminded the king of where Kalv had been on Stiklastader; It then became a little more difficult for Kalv to win the king's mind."

On the battlefield of Stiklestad the king reminded Kalv that he had stood quite close to his father, King Olav, when he fell. That night went Calf aboard his ship that: " - lay ready at the quayside, all his movables had been taken aboard, and his housecarls were aboard. They steered at night out through the fjord, and Kalv sailed day and night as the wind allowed. He sailed then west over the ocean and stayed there long time, ravaging in Scotland and Ireland and the Suder Isles (Hebrides)."

Magnus the Good and Kalv Arneson on the battlefield at Stiklestad
"Magnus the Good and Kalv Arneson on the battlefield at Stiklestad. Drawing by H. Egedius in Heimskringla Nationaludgaven - Wikipedia.

A boy of 12-13 years probably did not had have such big plans to seize the leading peasants' property; but some of his advisers have probably reminded him that the situation was an incomparable opportunity to strengthen the royal economy - just like emperors and kings often have done throughout history, before the welfare state's inexorable tax collection was invented.

The saga recounts: "Then the peasants began murmuring and spoke among themselves: "I wonder what this king is thinking about, when he breaks against us the laws that king Haakon the Good gave? May be he does not remember that we have never tolerated injustice? He will get the same treatment as his father or other such chiefs."

It is said that Sigvat Skjald warned the king with a long poem called "Bersåglesviser" starting:

There is unrest among Sognings.
Sigvat has warned the king
against tempting people-conflict;


"After this warning, the king changed his mind; Also many others spoke such words to the king. It went so far that the king had a conversation with the wisest men, and they agreed on their laws. Since then, King Magnus wrote the law that is still in Trondhjem, and is called Grågås." Magnus' laws - which have not been passed down to present day - have the name in common with an Icelandic law-collection from the free-state period.

Magnus as king of Denmark

Several sources tell us that the two very young kings Hardicanute of Denmark and Magnus of Norway agreed that if one of them died without having a son, then the other would inherit his kingdom.

Hardicanute and Magnus the Good meet at the mouth of Gøtaelv
Hardicanute and Magnus the Good meet at the mouth of Gøtaelv. Illustration to Heimskringla National Edition by Halvdan Egedius.

Magnus' Saga says: In the spring after - perhaps in 1036 - both kings ordered leding, and the words were said about them that they would battle at the elv. But when both the armies sought each other, the chieftains of both armies sent messengers to their kinsmen and friends, and it followed with both's messages that there should be peace between the kings. But as both kings were young and childish, the mighty men chosen in both countries held the kingdoms government for them; It then came so far that a negotiation meeting between the kings was agreed. Since they met themselves, and there was then spoken of conciliation, and it came to the agreement that the kings swore themselves into brothers unity and made peace between them, as long as both their lives lasted, and if one of them died without a son, the one of them, who lived the longest, should take over the other's kingdom and subjects. Twelve men, those who were the chiefs of each kingdom, swore with the kings that this settlement was to be kept as long as either of them lived. Then the kings parted, and each sailed home to his kingdom, and this settlement was held as long as they lived."

It is confirmed by the Roskilde Cronicle: "Hardicanute and Norway's King Magnus made then the agreement among themselves, and confirmed it with oath on saint relics, that the one, who lived longest, was to take the first deceased's kingdom and with inheritance right possess both kingdoms."

Denmark at Snorre's time from Heimskringla national edition
Denmark at Snorre's time from Heimskringla national edition.

It is very possible that such an agreement was concluded; These kinds of agreements used in this period; The English King Edward the Confessor promised his kingdom to God and every man after his death. He promised his kingdom to William of Normandy, if he died first, which he actually did. In addition, he might have promised his kingdom to his earl Harold Godwinson. Adam of Bremen also believes that he promised Svend Estridsen the kingdom of England after his death: "As he now feared that Svend should claim sovereignty over the Angles, he concluded the settlement with his rival, that he appointed him his immediate successor on the throne of England, even though if he at his death would leave behind own sons. Thus Svend was reassured and returned to Denmark." It's a bit uncertainly confirmed by Ry Kloster Annaler: "Edwards, king of England, Sven's brother urged him to pay taxes and pronounced him the kingdom's heir after him".

But Adam of Bremen, who - compared to other sources - sat on history's first parquet, does not know anything about such an agreement between Magnus and Hardicanute.

By all accounts, Magnus was present in Denmark already between 1040 and 1042 while Hardicanute still lived and stayed in England. Adam tells that Hardicanute from England sent his cousin, Svend Estridsen, back to Denmark to protect the land against Magnus: "However, Knud's other son, the Norwegian King Svend, died. Then the Norwegians elected Magnus, who was a son of Holy Olaf outside marriage. Magnus immediately attacked Denmark, and became king over two kingdoms, while the Danish King Hardicanute dwelt in England with his army. Soon, however, he hired warriors against Magnus and put Svend, his cousin, over the fleet. Svend was overcome by Magnus, returned to England and found Hardicanute dead." In fact, Adam writes quite directly that Magnus took power in Denmark already during the absence of Hardicanute while he was still alive. This has Adam of Bremen directly from his conversations with Svend Estridsen himself, so we must believe that it is quite reliable.

Magnus went over Sjælland, burning and plundering
Magnus went over Sjælland, burning and plundering by Wilhelm Wetlesen in Magnus' Saga in Heimskringla Nationaludgaven.

It is easy to imagine a scenario, where thousands of newly converted Christian Danes enthusiastly flocked around the saint king's son. As the skjald Thjodolf said, "From the north, holy Magnus's his navy leads." As Saxo wrote, "If the religion, which has now grown old in this country, had the same power and authority today, as it had with our ancestors, when it was still in its infancy and had barely taken root"

Already a few months after Hardicanute's death in June 1042 Magnus took further steps to ensure his rule of Denmark. Adam of Bremen says that the archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen accompanied by Duke Bernhard of Saxony and the bishops Thietmar of Hildesheim and Rudolf of Slesvig went up to Slesvig to meet with King Magnus. At this meeting, King Magnus' sister, whose name was Ulfhild, was engaged to Duke Bernhard's son, Ordulf. As a result of this connection the Saxon duke immediately after the wedding did Magnus the favour of murdering Harald Thorkilsøn - Thorkil the Tall's son - when, in November 1042 - he was returning to Denmark from Rome. Harald was of an old and distinguished Sjælland lineage, son of the famous commander, and an English princess and thus a possible candidate as a king.

Svein Ulfson rides from Svitjod
Svein Ulfson rides from Svitjod by Halvdan Egedius in Magnus' Saga in Heimskringla Nationaludgaven.

Magnus' Saga tells Magnus got royal power in Denmark immediately after Hardicanute's death: "King Magnus Olavsøn was informed of Hardicanute's death; Then immediately he sent men south to Denmark and informed them to remind the men, who had bound themselves to him by oath, when conciliation and agreement were made between Magnus and Hardicanute, of their words; He also let the word follow that he himself would come to Denmark with his army in the summer." If we are to believe Magnus' Saga, he thus came to Denmark in the summer of 1042 or 1043 - but however, as mentioned above, we have reasons to believe that he already in Hardicanute's absence was present and had achieved power in Denmark.

Magnus' Saga lists three reasons, why he was chosen as king of Denmark: "But as the chieftains, who were most esteemed in Denmark, were bound with oaths to King Magnus and would keep their words and oaths, they helped much to win the people; In addition the second was that King Knut the mighty and all his descendants were dead; The third reason was that by then King Olav's holiness and his miracles were known over all countries."

After Hardicanute's death Svend Estridsen left England and joined initially Magnus; "Svein was a man named, son of Ulv Jarl, who was the son of Torgils Sprakalegg; Svein's mother was Astrid, daughter of King Svein Tjugeskjeg; she was same-father sister of Knut the Mighty and same-mother sister of the sveaking Olav Eirikson; Their mother was Queen Sigrid Storråde, daughter of Skågul-Toste. Svein Ulvsøn had then lived a long time with his kinsmen the sveakings, ever since his father Ulv Jarl had fallen, as it is written in Knut the Old's Saga that he let kill his brother in law Ulv Jarl in Roeskelda."

Svend Estridsen was brave, intelligent, eloquent and "had all the qualities that adorn a good chieftain". He and Magnus became friends, and it is said that: "Since the king and Svein spoke much together in private."

Havhingsten fra Glendalough
"Havhingsten fra Glendalough" at the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde. It is a full-scale reconstruction of the Viking ship Skuldelev 2, which was found on the bottom of Roskilde Fjord, and which is exhibited in the museum. It was built of wood that was cut in 1042 - the same year as Magnus became king of Denmark - in Ireland and has been repaired several times with wood cut around the Irish Sea. It ended its days as sea barrier outside Roskilde in about 1070. It was such ships that Magnus commanded in the raids against Denmark, and it was by all accounts on the deck of such a ship that died in 1047. Own photo.

King Magnus wanted to make Svend his earl in Denmark: "I want to announce of the chieftains and all the commoner" - "I also promised them to give them a chieftain to defence and government of the country; I do not see any man so well suited in all parts as Svein Ulvsøn."

But the old Einar Tambeskelder did not agree: "Too great earl, too great earl, foster son!"

Magnus rejected him angrily: "It seems to me as if you think that some are too big earls, and the other is good for nothing." Svend then laid his hands on a casket with saint relics and swore allegiance to King Magnus.

Svend quickly became very popular in Denmark: "There he was well received by all commoners. He then took a hird and soon became a great chieftain; In the winter he travelled all over the country and made friends with the great men, he was also on good terms with the commoners."

But Svend soon broke his fidelity oath and made himself a king in Denmark: "The same winter, as Svein Ulvsøn had got the administration of the reign of the Danes and he had made himself friend of many great men and gained the common people's favor, he let himself receive name of king, and in that ouncil many chieftains took part."

The testimony of the coins

There is no full clarity about the political conditions in Denmark in the period before and after Canute the Great's, under the government of Hardicanute, and especially with regard to the subsequent power distribution between Magnus and Svend. But much suggests that Magnus had good support in Jutland, where he also was legally elected at Viborg Ting, and Svend had his power base in Skåne, which he gradually extended to the islands. At Magnus' death he became king of all of Denmark.

Ælnoth, the English monk from Odense, confirms: "After many hostile attacks and bloody clashes between Magnus, the leader of the Northerners and Westerners, and Sven with the byname Magnus, the leader of the Easterners and Southerners, both fierce opponents, and after the end of the memorable war between Harald Fairhair and the same Sven Magnus over the rule of Denmark."

Analyzes of many coin findings also confirm this assumption:

Coin minted in Lund with Hardicanute's name
Coin of special national type minted in Lund with Hardcanut's name; It is supposed to have been minted, while Hardicanute was a co-king under Canute. The mint-master is Aslac. It's hard to see what the motif is, perhaps the dragon Fafner, who broods over the gold. Photo from Niels Jørgen Jensen's & Mogens Skjoldager's Dansk Mønt.

Already around 1030 or possibly earlier, coins of a particular national type wereminted in Lund - decorated with a dragon or similar - sometimes with Canute's and somtimes with Hardicanute's name, which we can believe reflects the story that the young Hardicanute was elected king, Canute's anger and the killing of Ulf Jarl.

Earliest in 1040 another type coins of traditional English type with Hardicanute name was minted - however along with several other strange royal names like Ethelred and Harald; which must reflect Hardicanute as king after Canute's death in 1035.

Coin minted in Lund with Hardicanute's name
Coin of traditional English type minted in Lund with Hardicanute's name. Photo from Niels Jørgen Jensen's & Mogens Skjoldager's Dansk Mønt.

After Hardicanute's death in 1042 similar coins appeared minted in Lund, but now with Magnus' name - still mixed with strange royal names such as Edward and Ethelred. Which must reflect that the people of Skåne now considered Magnus as king.

Then suddenly a sudden change occurred on the front-side of the coins, as the king's names deliberately were made unreadable, while the back sides, as before, correctly indicated both the coin master and the place. The quality and weight of the coins remained unchanged and production seemed to have taken place with the same volumen as before. We must think that this reflects a period, when it was uncertain, who was king in Skåne, and in order not to get into trouble, the workshop chose to make the king's name unreadable. We must believe they represent the time around 1043, where Svend Estridsen challenged and displaced Magnus from Skåne.
Magnus coins in Odense
Coins minted by Magnus the Good in Odense - Drawing from Niels Jørgen Jensen's & Mogens Skjoldager's Dansk Mønt.

The coin masters Alfnoth and Outhinkarl disappear from the back of the coins from Lund at the same time as the king's names are rendered unreadable. At the same time or soon after a series Magnus coins are produced in Odense with some of the same stamps, which previously were used in Lund. From this can be concluded that Odense's first coins were struck by Magnus, partly by means of stamps and coin masters, who came from Lund. This may reflect that Magnus now was displaced from Skåne and perhaps also from Sjælland.

Coin minted in Lund by Svend Estridsen
Coin of Byzantine type minted in Lund by Svend Estridsen. The mint master is Wulfet. The motif is an angel that stands to the right and handles a banner to the king on the left - Photo Classical Numismatic Group.
Magnus's power was based on religion, and Svend tried to match him.

Then follows in Odense a new series of coins with Svend's name - in one case titled REX. This must indicate that after a some time Magnus was also displaced from Fyn. Which fits with Magnus' saga: "But when Svein learned that King Magnus had let a large part of his army departure from him, and also that he was in south of Jutland, Svein rode down from Svitjod and then had a great army. which the Svea king had given him. But when Svein came to Scania the people took well against him and regarded him to be the king; much people came to him. since he went to Sjælland, and took he was well received, and he laid everything under him. Then he went to Funen and laid all the islands under him, and the people went under him. Svein had a great army and many ships."

Medieval coin workshop
Medieval coin workshop. It is probably the coin master sitting at the table in the back of the room. Most likely it looked pretty similar in Magnus's time.

Svend Aggesen confirms that Magnus had his power base in western Denmark and Svend was supported by the eastern part: "Svend approached him, and it came to a battle close to Helgenæs, where Magnus won victory and conquered Jvlland, Fyen and Venden."

There are indications that Magnus was not king-acclaimed all over Denmark, but only in North Jutland; The saga goes on: "Since then, King Magnus orderet ting to be gathered in Vebjårg, where the Danes take their kings in both old and new times. But on that thing, the Danes took Magnus Olavson to king over all the Danish realm. King Magnus spent a long time in Denmark in the summertime and all the people cheered him and showed him obedience. " Svend was probably cheered on the islands, since the saga says: " - he let himself receive name of king, and in that ouncil many chieftains took part."

It is also what Magnus' Saga says: "King Magnus turned at once with the army against Svein, whom he called his earl, although the Danes called him king. King Magnus got ships and armed the army; Both now got a lot of people. Then there were many chieftains in Svein's army from Skåne, Halland and Fyn but King Magnus had most Norwegians and Jutes."

The Battle of Lyrskov Hede

The location of Lyrskov Hede Lyrskov Hede is located northwest of Slesvig. The place is today called Lürschau. Detail from Gustav Rosendal: "Sønderjylland i Middelalderen" from 1913.

Magnus became famous and loved by the Danes for his victory in the Battle of Lyrskov Hede near Slesvig, where he thwarted a Slavic invasion. As Adam writes: "King Magnus was, for the sake of his righteousness and manhood, loved by the Danes, but feared by the Slaves, who, after Knud's death, became Denmark's enemies."

His willingness to defend the country made him so beloved that he was able to gather Danish warriors around him and continue the fight for his cause: "By this happy victory Magnus greatly won the favor of the commoners, and strengthened by the help they eagerly gave him, he began again to pursue his rival to the kingdom, so much more ardently as the luck had increased the love that the people of the country had for him."

Adam mentions the Battle of Lyrskov Hede first and the attack on Jomsborg somewhat later, so we must believe that this is also the chronological order. It fits with the Knytlinge Saga believe that Svend Estridsen participated in the battle on Magnus' side: "Another battle shot King Magnus had in the autumn the day before the Michaelmas (29. September) in Jutland close to north of Hedeby on Lyrskov's Hede at Skotborg Å." - "Some report that Svend Ulfsøn has been present in this battle on King Magnus' side, and that their settlement by that time still had been maintained."

The Magnus Stone in Skibelund Krat
The Magnus Stone in Skibelund Krat Magnus stenen i Skibelund Krat at Vejen north of the stream Kongeåen. It was erected in 1898, when the border ran precisely along Kongeåen. The stone is carved by Niels Skovgård and shows King Magnus with the ax Hel raise high above his head followed by his warriors. In the air is seen the bell Glad that hung in Norway, but his fighters could still hear it during the battle. On the backside is a poem by Thor Lange:

"Magnus, the proudness of two kingdoms,
Let God, your kings-soul
see that the border-marks of the North
Again are moved forward against south."


Adam tells about the events that led to the battle: "The slaves' Duke Ratibor was killed by the Danes. This Ratibor was a Christian and a very great man among the barbarians. Eight sons he had namely, all of whom were slave princes, but all fell by the hands of the Danes when they would avenge their father's death. In order to take revenge over Ratibor's death, the Vendlers already then arrived with an army and moved forward to Ribe that they would destroy. At the same time King Magnus came from Norway approaching Hedeby. Soon he had assembled the Danish troops that came from everywhere, and with them he took positions on the plains of Hedeby against the pagans, when they returned from Denmark. It is said there fell 15,000 on the battlefield, and thus the Christians had peace and joy, as long as Magnus lived."

The story of the twelve sons, who had fallen for the Danes' hands is confirmed by Saxo: "The leader of the Wends' army was the most prominent of the Wendic great men, who had lost twelve sons, who were running pirate-raids in Denmark, and now he had fallen into Jutland with sword in hand to avenge their deaths. As the people of the country now strongly asked Magnus to make battle with this enemy, he ignored his rival, turned his weapons against the foreign enemy rather than against the domestic and thought no more of himself, but only of the general well"

Portal from now pulled down stave church
from now pulled down stave church With motif from the story of Sigurd Fafnersbane. Photo Pinterest.

Heimskringla believes that the Wendish army came from the south, while Adam believes that it came from the north heading back to Wendland. Most likely Adam again is right, as it must have taken some time for Magnus to assemble an army.

Magnus' army consisted of Norwegians and Danes reinforced with a large group Saxons under Duke Otta, whose son had newly been married to "Ulvhild, daughter of King Olav den Holy, sister of King Magnus".

Magnus has probably chosen the plain at Lyrskov because the Wends were supposed to come along the the ancient Army Road to get home through the opening in Danevirke, thereby avoiding Slien and the marshland at Hollingstedt around the Trene-Ejder system. Dannevirke was apparently not manned. Furthermore, the Wends had there to cross a stream and that would give Magnus' army a tactical advantage.

"King ordered the entire army to be blown together and ordered all men dress in their army cloths; They lay out at night under their shields, for they were told that the army of Wends had come near them," Magnus' Saga says.

The king could not sleep "He slept little that night and sang his prayers", but towards morning he dozed and dreamed that "he saw the holy king Olav, his father, who spoke to him:"You are now very sick in mind and full of fear, because the Wends are against you with a great army; But do not be afraid of the heathen army, even they are many together. I will follow you in this battle; Start the fight against the Wends, when you hear my lur."

But when the king woke up, he told his dream. It took to brighten the day; Then all the people heard the sound of a bell in the air, and King Magnus's men, who had been in Nidaros, knew that it was as if Glad was ringing; the bell that King Olav had given to Clement Church in Kaupangen. "Then King Magnus stood up and shouted that the army horn should be blown."

The Battle of Lyrskov Hede
Slaget på Lyrskov Hede. Fra Magnus den Godes Saga i Heimskringla. Tegning af Halvdan Egedius i Nationaludgaven.

The Holy Olav had the right timing, because the bell sounded precisely while the enemy was crossing the stream: "Then the Wends' Army came across the stream against them; Then the whole army of the king ran up directly against the heathens. King Magnus threw off the chain mail, he had a red silk shirt, and took the hand the ax, Hel, as King Olav had had. King Magnus ran in front of all other men against the army and imidiately chopped with both hands one man after another."

"This battle did not last long; the king's men were very hot-tempered and where they came together, the Wends fell as thick as when the sand was thrown up by the waves; But those who stood behind them turned around to flee and they were chopped down as a cattle." Magnus' Saga says.

The Attack on Jomsborg

Magnus attacks Jomsborg, which was still attached to Denmark: "But when spring came" - Which must be no earlier than 1044 - "King Magnus had a large army and with that he sailed south to Denmark." There he heard that "The Wends in Jomsborg had fallen from obedience to him" - "But when King Magnus heard that he commanded from Denmark a great ship army and sailed with the whole army in the summer south to Vendland."

Sun compass from Jomsborg Sun compass from Greenland
Left: Sun compass of oak used by the Vikings, found on Usedom-Wollin and exhibited in Muzeum Szczecin. The disc has a diameter of 81-86 mm and is 9 mm thick. The tree is dated to the first half of the 11. century. Photo Skandinavisk Arkeologiforum.
Right: Part of the solar compass found in Uunartoq in Greenland in 1948. Some of the scratches are "gnom lines" that are used to mark the position of the shadow of a gnome on different days of the year. Photo Viking Navigation by Søren Thirslund.

Following Magnus' Saga, he then destroyed Jomsborg completely, he "won immediately the castle, killing many people, burned the castle and the land around widely, making the largest vandalism."

Adam of Bremen is less sure of Magnus' victory in Wendland:"At the head of a large Danish fleet King Magnus departed to the mighty Slaves-city Jomne, which he besieged. The losses were equal on both sides. Though, Magnus put terror in all Slaves."

Saxo writes: "- for after several battles with different outcomes, he subjected Slavenland."

Most named Jomsvikings came from Sjælland and Skåne; Historically, Jomsborg seemed connected to eastern Denmark; It can easily be thought that the attack was an episode in the war between Magnus - with support in Jutland - and Svend - with support in Skåne and Sjælland.

Magnus as a Candidate for the English Throne

Edward the Confessor on the Bayeux Tapestry Edward the Confessor on the Bayeux Tapestry. "Edward Rex" can be read above him - From Today In British History.

After Magnus had become king of both Norway and Denmark he directed his attention to England. Magnus' Saga says: "But after he had acquired Denmark, he sent send men west to England. They traveled to King Jatvard" - who is Edward the Confessor - "And brought him King Magnus's letter and seal. But the letter said with King Magnus's greeting: "You have know the agreements that I and Hårdeknut made between us that the one who lived after the other, if he died without a son, should take land and subjects that he had. Now it has happened, as I know that you know that I have taken all the Realm of the Danes as inheritance; At his death, he had no less England than Denmark, and I now claim to be entitled to England following correct agreements. I want you to give up the kingdom to me, but in other case I will seek to take it with force with armies from both Denmark and Norway; Then the one will rule the countries that wins victory."

Edward the Confessor answered: "But if King Magnus comes here to the country with his army, I will not gather army against him, and he will be able to acquire the England and prior to take my life. Tell him my words thus." The messengers returned to King Magnus and told him all their errand. The king responded slowly and spoke as follows: "I think it is the most right and appropriate to let King Jatvard have his kingdom in peace for me, but hold on to the kingdom that God has made me win." It is not very logical, but one can imagine that Magnus had the idea that he still had trouble gaining full control of Denmark and therefore England had to wait.

Emma of Normandy
The king's mother Emma of Normandy, who promised to help the saint king's son to kingship in England. From Encomium Emmae - Wikipedia.

Magnus's claim for royal power in England had wide-spread support in 1043, in particular from Emma, Edward the Confessor's own mother, and Canute the Great's widow. Two of her sons, Hardicanute and Alfred, were both dead, and Gunhild, her daughter with Knud, was also dead. She was very religiously interested and had a close relationship with many clerics. She may have thought that a son of a saint might be a good candidate as king. Some believe that she also considered Edward to be the one of her sons, who was least suited as king.

After the episode with Magnus in the year 1043 Edward confiscated his mother's vast and extensive estates with which she should have promised to help Magnus. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says that he "took all his mother's estates and more, because she had previously kept them from him too hard."

We remember that Svend Estridsen had also sought to become an English king. Adam wrote about Edward the Confessor: "As he now feared that Svend should claim sovereignty over the Angles, he concluded a settlements with his rival, appointing him as his immediate successor on the throne of England, even though he at his death would leave behind own sons." - It says in Magnus' Saga: "Since the king and Svein spoke much together in private" Maybe they talked about such topics.

The Death and Burial of Magnus the Good

Magnus the Good's Death has been a great challenge for historians, as the story of his death is told very differently in different sources.

The scenario must have been that Magnus and Harald Hårderåde arrived in Denmark in spring 1047 with their fleet to finally expel Svend. The newly converted Christian Danes flocked to the saint king's son, and a large army pursued Svend from island to island.

As Svend had his original followers in Skåne and a good relationship with the Swedish king, we must believe he fled to the east, which is also mentioned in several sources, making it likely that Magnus died on or near an eastern island or Skåne.

Svend Estridsen fleeing north in Scania
Svend Estridsen fleeing north in Scania. Illustration in Magnus the Good's Saga in Heimskringla Nationaludgaven by Wilhelm Wetlesen.

Adam of Bremen was a comtemporary he had personally spoken to Svend Estridsen, who must have known what happened. Adam simply writes: "Magnus ruled at that time both kingdoms, both of Danes' and the Norwegians'; Jacob still ruled in Sweden. With support from him and Tuf Jarl, Sven displaced Magnus from Denmark. Magnus renewed the war, but died on board the ships." Which obvious indicates that he died on a ship. Adam did not do any effort to tell the details. It must have been something that everybody knew.

The Roskilde Chronicle was completed hundred years after the events; it says: "Sven, Hardeknuts sister-son, that is son of Æstrid and that Ulf, whom old Knut did kill, met him and fought with him, both on the sea, as well as on horse, but was finally defeated and fled to Sweden. When he in Lund prepared to flee to Sweden, see then a messenger arrived from Sjæland, who reported that King Magnus was dead." Which indicates that Magnus died on Sjælland or on a ship on the coast of Sjælland, as the message came from there.

The Norwegian monk Thjodrek wrote about 1160:"Historia de antiquitate regum Norwagiensium", where it says: "King Magnus sailed to Denmark and expelled Sven, who had completely subjected the land, which expulsion of Sven he only survived one year; when he felt death was approaching, he sent his brother on the mother's side, Thore, to Sven and handed him the Kingdom of Denmark, because it belonged to him according to law of inheritancelaw". Here it is indicated that Magnus may possibly have died of illness, but not where.
Udsnit af det islandske dokument Hulda, som indeholder kongssagaerne
Sample of a single page out of 248 in the original Icelandic manuscripts called Hulda from the fourteenth century, which contains the Norwegian Kings' Saga. It is a really nice handwriting. Foto from håndskrift.ku.dk Nordisk Forskningsinstitut.

The oldest kings' saga, called Agrip, brings almost the same story, except that Magnus dies on Sjælland: "Magnus ruled since Denmark and half of Norway in peace and quiet." - "And got a diease on Sjæland and died there one winter later than his father brother, Harald, came to the country, then he was 24 years old." - "But in his disease he sent his same-mother brother, Thore, to Sven Ulfssøn, with the task that he should inform him, not his death, but that he had given him the kingdom; but Sven seemed, however, to estimate that he was dead, and received happily the great gift." It is apparent that the Icelandic sagas - with their story about Magnus's disease and Thorer as a messenger - are very similar to the story of Thjodrek Munk.

Svend Aggesens Denmark's history was completed in 1185. It says: "When King Knut was dead, his sister's son Sven, whom the brother of his mother had previously taken in oath appointing him as king, joined the government, but only enjoyed short-term peace, for King Magnus of Norway, St. Olaf's son out of wedlock, attacked Denmark with a war fleet. King Sven met him at the Helgenæs and delivered him a battle, but Magnus won and won Jutland, Funen and Slavia. But when he, after victory, prepared to pursue Sven over to Skåne, suddenly his horse became scared and threw him off so that he hit a tree and died. It's a little different story, than we have so far extracted from the sagas, but tells us that Magnus died on Sjælland - but not on a ship and not by sickness.

Part of a page of Saxo's original manuscript
Section of the Angers fragment, which is a page of Saxo's original manuscript. There are only a few original pages left today. Saxo's work was preserved, because Christiern Pedersen, who was Christian II's man, found the original Latin manuscript in Paris and got it printed and published. Later it was translated into Danish by Anders Sørensen Vedel, Grundtvig, Frederik Winkel Horns and Karsten Friis-Jensen.

Also, about 1185 Saxo completed his Gesta Danorum, which says: "Sven felt doubt of being able to accomplish anything, and travelled, as we have said, to Skåne, for then again to go to Sweden, from where he originated on the father's side. Magnus pursued him furiously, but when he came past the town of Alexstad, his horse became sard of a hare, so that he accidently hit the protruding branhes of a tree-trunk resulting his death. His corpse was brought to Norway and buried in Throndhjem." Here, too, it is suggested that Magnus died from a fall from a horse, but in Skåne and not on Sjælland and not on a ship.

Ry Klosters Annals, also known as King Erik's Chronicle, was completed in 1288, that is two hundred years after the events. Here is reported: "King Magnus came - according to his with Hardeknut concluded covenant of succession - against Sven, had victory and subdued him. Edward, England's king, Svens brother, forced him to pay taxes and declare him for heir of the kingdom after him. Then came King Magnus second time to wage war against Sven, with an innumerable army as the sand of the sea, and sailed into Øresund, but as he carelessly would jump from one ship to another, he fell into the water and drowned." This is also a slightly different story, than we can extract from the sagas. Here he dies on a ship - as Adam said - on the coast of Sjælland.

Magnus the Good is buried in the Nidaros Dom
Magnus the Good is buried in the Nidaros Dome, but the grave is not marked and we are not entirely sure, where it is. Own photo.

Harald Hårderådes Saga in Heimskringla - believed to be from the 1200's - stands alone with the message that Magnus died at the coast of Jutland: "The kings lay long at Jutland in the harvest;" Then it is reported that Magnus got fever, he took leave of his men, and sent his brother Thore to Svend Estridsen with the message: "You should also proclaim King Svend this, that I give him the whole realm of the Danes, and he should have and keep it from now free and saved for every man."

As Professor P. A. Munch pointed out, the Icelandic tradition and Historia Norwagiensium have many similarities with each other. One can believe that they are all based on the same source, and thus can be considered one source that is special by that Magnus died of disease, and he died off the coast of Jutland.

Adam is unconditional the most reliable source, and he says that Magnus died on his ship. We must stick to that.

Historia Norwagiensium and most of the Icelandic tradition say that he died off the coast of Jutland, while all other sources report that he died at or on Sjælland or in Skåne. If Magnus and Harald pursued the fugitive Svend to the east, it is also most likely that he died on Sjælland or in Skåne.

Most reports are operating with a messenger, who traveled to Svend with the statement from Magnus that he leaves the realm of the Danes to him. This must necessarily have been dictated to the messenger after Magnus' accident, but before his death. This means that one can imagine that Magnus had an accident - on his horse or on the sea - and was seriously wounded brought to his ship, where he instructed the messenger, said goodbye to his men and thereafter died.

Magnus den Godes grav i Nidaros Domkirke
Magister Øystein Ekroll indicates the place, where he thinks that Magnus the Good rests under the floor in the Nidarosdome, by all accounts, the only preserved Norwegian royal tomb from the Middle Ages. Øystein Ekroll is the first amanuensis at the Nidaros cathedral restoration work, which he has worked with since 1992. He has done a great job to find the tombs of the Norwegian medieval kingdoms. Photo Aftenposten.

Only if Magnus died off the Jutland coast it would be natural for Ejnar Tambeskjælver and his men to call Samsø on their way home to Norway with Magnus' corpse. Therefore, one can believe that the episode of the blind man on the island of Samsø is inserted to illustrate Magnus' holiness.

With very high probability, Magnus the Good is buried in the Nidaros Cathedral, also known as Trondheim Cathedral, originally Kristkirken, but the grave is not marked.

In Harald Hardradas Saga is said that Harald let Ejnar Tambeskjælver and his son Einride murder in the palace, and they "were buried in the Olav Church at the grave to King Magnus Olavsson". Harald later built a stone church, St. Mary's Church, and it is almost certain that Olav's body was transferred to there, and it is likely that his son Magnus also was. Harald's son, Olaf Kyrre, built an even bigger stone church called the Christ Church. Olavs and Magnus' earthly remains were moved to there. All saga texts are consistently telling us that Magnus rests in Kristkirken, but today it is not known with complete certainty where. The Flateyjarbok from 1380 states, however: "The body was buried in Kristkirken outside the choir, but now it is in the choir in front of the Archbishop's tomb," But due to many later rebuilding and extensions, the sentence is difficult to interpret today.

Links og Literatur

Olav den helliges saga Heimskringla
Roskildekrøniken Heimskringla
Adam af Bremens Kirkehistorie Heimskringla
Svend Aggesen Heimskringla
Knytlinge Saga Oldnordiske Sagaer Bind 11
Heimskringla og andre sagaer Nettsted olhov.net
Encomium Emmae Reginae Allistair Campell - Royal Historical Society.
Danske mønter som historisk kildemateriale i 1000-tallet af C. J. Becker.
Magnus den godes saga Heimskringla
Harald Hårderådes Saga (C.C.Rafn) Heimskringla
St. Olavs skrin Wikipedia
St. Olaf Catolic Online
Saxo Grammaticus Heimskringla
Full text of "Danmark under Svend Estridsen og hans Sønner" Archive.com
An alternative interpretation of the Viking sundial artefact The Royal Society
Om Stedet, hvor Kong Magnus den Gode døde Heimskringla
Numismatiske bidrag til Danmarks historie i 1040'rne Niels Jørgen Jensens & Mogens Skjoldagers Dansk Mønt
Dansk Mønt Niels Jørgen Jensens & Mogens Skjoldager
The Danish History, Books I-IX by Grammaticus Saxo Project Gutenberg
En norsk kongegrav Aftenposten
Danmarks Historie 4 - Ole Fenger - Gyldendal og Politikken.
Snorres Heimskringla - Nationaludgave Oslo 1930.
Saxo Grammaticus oversat af Fr. Winkel Horn - Sesam.
Illustreret Danmarkshistorie for Folket 8. del af Claus Deluran - Ekstrabladets Forlag.

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