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31. Erik Emune

32. Denmark's History - Erik Lam

Introduction - Erik Lam - Erik as King of Denmark - Erik's Wife and Child - King Erik Lam's Death and Burial - Links and Literature -

Introduction

Following the killing of Erik Emune on Urnehoved Things in Southern Jutland in 1137, his ally, Erik Lam, was elected king. His byname is said to describe his peaceful and sociable personality. Despite his nickname, he was personally brave.

Erik Lam
Erik Lam on copper engraving from the Royal Library drawn in the years 1500-1795. There is probably no portrait likeness. Photo Wikimedia Commons.

In all likelihood, Erik Lam was Erik Emune's trusted man and followed him through thick and thin throughout the Civil War. Some even mention that Erik Lam commanded the rider army that appeared at Fodevig. Except for the appointment of Eskil as archbishop, he stuck loyally to the decisions of Erik Emune, and he finished his reign by recommending Erik Emune's son, Svend to be the new king.

Helmold only says of him that he had the epithet "Spache" and was a compromise candidate because the three royal sons Svend, Knud and Valdemar were still children. This view of Erik Lam's royal election is consistent with what is found at Saxo and in the Roskilde Chronicle. Erik Emune's son, Svend, was probably a young teenager, Magnus the Strong's son, Knud, was a child, and Knud Lavard's son, Valdemar, was only about four years old. From his hide-out in Sweden, Harald Kesja's only surviving son, Olaf, waged war on Denmark.

Erik Lam's reign lasted for ten years, from 1137 to 1147..
Royal Dynasties through Denmark's history
Royal Dynasties through Denmark's history. But all kings - except Magnus the Good - descended from "Hardegon, the son of a certain Sven", who conquered most of Jutland in 917. However, it gives a good overview to divide the list of kings and thereby Denmark's history into manageable sections.
The Knutlings' genus has its name from Hardecnudth, son of Hardegon. He is also called Knud 1. and was possibly Gorm the Old's Father. Magnus the Good, who was king in 1047, was the son of the Norwegian saint king Olav; his reign forms a transitional period before Sweyn Estridson and his sons and grandsons' time.
The warring kings, Svend, Knud and Valdemar, around 1157, were all descendants of Sweyn Estridson; their time was an interregnum to the Valdemars' era.
Many historians, probably most, only include Valdemar the Great, his son Knud 6. and Valdemar Sejr to the Valdemars. But one cannot claim such a definition, and it seems appropriate for the author to include also their direct male descendants - including Erik Plovpenning, Abel and Christoffer 1. - until Christoffer 2. who was the last king before Denmark's kingless period around 1340.
Valdemar Atterdag was not king of the Kalmar Union, but that became his grandson Olaf, and his daughter Margrete 1. was queen of the Scandinavian Union. One can say - with a little good will - that Valdemar Atterdag re-erected Denmark and thus the possibility of the Kalmar Union with Norway and Sweden.
The early Oldenborg kings were also kings of the Union, but only for shorter periods.
The Civil War the Count's Feud in 1536 was an important turning point in the history of Denmark. As a result of the Lutheran Reformation, the kings took possession of the third of Denmark's agricultural land that belonged to the church. This incredible wealth made it possible to overcome Denmark's old nobility and create the absolute monarchy, which was a major cause of Denmark's historical downturn thereafter. In 1848, a democratic constitution was introduced without any internal fighting or acts of violence.
The Oldenborger royal line died out in 1863 with the childless Frederik 7. The throne was then given to Christian 9. of Glucksborg.

During Erik Lam's reign, the late Archbishop Asser's brother's son, Eskild, was appointed his successor as Archbishop of Lund.

The Vends continued to ravage on the small islands and along the coasts. He made some expeditions to Venden, but apparently without much success.

Sweyn Estridson was followed by five of his sons after each other, then a grandson and finally a son of Erik Ejegod's daughter
Sweyn Estridson was followed by five of his sons after each other, then a grandson - namely Erik Emune - and finally Erik Lam, who was the son of Erik Ejegod's daughter. In this way, it was Erik Ejegod who led Gorm the Old and Svend Estridsen's family line to be kings in future generations.

Olaf, Harald Kesja's only surviving son, claimed the inheritance after his father, which Erik Emune most likely already had distributed among his followers. Erik Lam rejected this claim, which led to a three-year civil war in Skaane. Olaf was eventually defeated and killed in a battle at Helsingborg in 1141.

Erik Lam is the only Danish king who voluntarily renounced the throne. He abdicated in 1146, became a monk in Odense and died the same year from disease.

Knytlinge Saga gives him a good judgment: "He was a mighty king in his country and peaceful, and no chieftains rose against him. Erik the Spage was eight years King of Denmark. He renounced government, went to a monastery, and died as a monk in Odense, and was greatly mourned by the people."

Erik Lam

Erik Lam was in many ways of royal ancestry. Knytlinge Saga reports: "Furthermore, King Erik (Ejegod) had a daughter, who was married to a man named Hakon the Norwegian; he was also called Hakon Sunniveson, as his mother was Sunniva, a daughter of the Earl Hakon Ivarson and King Magnus the Good's daughter Ragnhild. Hakon the Norwegian and King Erik's Daughter Ragnhild had a son named Erik Lam, who will be referred to later."

Baptismal font in Essenbaek Church
Romanesque baptismal font in Essenbaek Church in Assentoft at Randers- Photo Lokayatika Wikimedia Commons.

Erik's father, Hakon the Norwegian or Hakon Jutlander, that he was also called, was one of the original conspirators in the conspiracy, which intended to murder Knud Lavard. But he withdrew from it when he realized what the meaning was. Saxo says: "When Hagen Jutlander noticed what the talking, which at first had been properly enough, was ultimately about, and he would not take part in advice against Knud's life, he withdrew immediately out of the unhappy conspiracy and left the group."

Afterward, Hagen took active part in the uprising against King Niels: "Since Hagen Sunniva's son, as I have mentioned, Bodil's son, Peter, and Skjalm Hvide's sons brought forward uncompromising appeal of the performed crime; everywhere where the came they on the tings bemoaned their friend's shameful murder."

Therefore, since he had such an active father, one must believe that Hagen's son, Erik Lam, was somewhat younger than his uncle, Erik Emune. Perhaps he was in his late twenties when he became king in 1146. There is nowhere mentioned that Erik Lam was a young man when King Erik Emune was killed at Urnehoved Ting.

Erik Lam was born on the island of Fyn. Saxo says: "When some years had passed, he noticed on Sjaelland that he had a fever, and then he went to Fyn, where he came from, to give up his breath where he first had seen the light of day."

Romanesque stonework in Skelby Church on Falster
Romanesque stonework in Skelby Church on Falster. Jesus is crucified. Foto Nordens Kirker.

Apparently, Erik had some kind of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality. Ordinarily, he was friendly and sociable, some historians even write that he had a "Honey-mild tenderness in his being", but in battle, he was a howling berserk.

Helmold describes Erik as a quiet and calm man: "But as these (Svend, Knud and Valdemar) still were only young children, the Danes decided to put a certain Herik with the epithet Spak as their guardian to take care of the kingdom and the kings' sons; and this was a peace-loving man. who ruled the land entrusted to him in undisturbed tranquility." The Roskilde Chronicle writes about him that he was "more simple than it was decent for the royal dignity"

But in battle, he did not hold back. Saxo says: "But his life he used to pay so little heed that his people had to take good care of him when he was going to battle so that he should not rush against the enemy completely alone." Knistlinge Saga tells that he was the only one who did not flee when Erik Emune was killed on Urnehoved Ting: "When Erik was killed, his men fled except for his sister's son Erik Haakonson, who became king after him".

Maybe he wanted to be like his famous ancestor, Magnus the Good, who was precise was known for being young, brave and generous - at the forefront of the battle and open and kind also to ordinary people.

In describing an episode in the war against Olaf in Skaane, Saxo expresses suspicion that Erik staged himself: "Strange it was that he on that occasion he could allow himself to be ensnared by such superstition and be credulous enough in this way to be blind, otherwise he used to be so brave that he considered it necessary to be held back by his warriors, so that he would not frantically rush against the enemy, but this time, like for fear, he stayed away from the battle and watched how his army was beaten, because he was not present."

Erik Lam defends Erik Emunes's body
Erik Lam defends Erik Emunes's body. Tegning Louis Moe.

Knytlinge Saga gives Erik Lam a good reputation: "Erik Lam was a wise man and friendly, the Danes called him Erik the Spage."

Especially the main Roskilde chronicle contribute to give Erik the bad press, as the weak king, that we know well: "When Erik (Emune) now was dead and buried in Ribe, the country's chieftains came together and chose Erik the Third to be king, a sister's son of the said Erik (Emune). He was a simple-minded man, more than it was appropriate for his royal dignity; he was without firmness in all his ways and an annihilation both of the kingdom and the priesthood." Saxo continues the theme: He lacked both cleverness and eloquence."

Why does the Roskilde Chronicle judge Erik so negatively? In Erik Lam's time, mainly monks and priests could read and write, and they did so in Latin. The Roskilde Chronicle is certainly written by a clergy associated with the cathedral in Roskilde, who had his own interests.

We remember that during the last time of Erik Emune's reign, Eskild was bishop of Roskilde. Saxo reports that he led a rebellion against King Erik "in the name of freedom". Erik (Emune) struck down the rebellion and sentenced bishop Eskild a large monetary fine. The rebellion caused that Erik Emune got an aversion to Eskil. Out of enmity against him, Erik (Emune) forced Lund's ruling assembly to elect Rike to be archbishop after Asser. But immediately after Erik's killing, the Lund canonicals simply remade the election, though this violated the canonical rules, and chose Eskil.

Coin issued by Erik Lam
Coin issued by Erik Lam. He is apparently clean shaved. In his right hand, he holds a sword of the usual type of the 1100's. On his left is a flower. On the backside is a straight-armed cross with a French lily in all four ends. The French lily, fleur-de-lis, symbolizes the Trinity and thus the right Catholic faith. There are thus four fleur-de-lis, and we can believe that he thus wants to signal an extraordinary devotion to the Christian God and the Catholic religion - like his ancestor Magnus the Good. Foto Wikimedia Commons.

Historian Roland Scheel points out that the explanation must be found in the very last remarks in the main Chronicle:: "At that time there was a violent struggle between the bishop of Slesvig, Rike, and the bishop of Roskilde, Eskil, over the Archbishop seat of Lund. This battle, however, had the venerable Peder Bodilson stopped by his wise counsel and his wise cunning and settled on the condition that Eskild should have the archbishop seat. Regardless that Rike was elected by the Scanian priesthood and people, he followed the said Peder's advice, avoided strife and war, and took the bishop seat of Roskilde, despite the objections of clerics and laymen."

But if Eskild were to be both archbishop and bishop in Roskilde, then that would mean that the archdiocese's seat had to be moved from Lund to Roskilde, which must have been what the Roskilde canniks' really wished.

But the new king, Erik Lam, felt that the archdiocese's seat should be in Lund, as it had always been, and he supported Rike's deployment as a bishop in Roskilde despite local protests, and this has caused the unknown author of Roskilde Chronicle to stamp him like a weak king, since he could not make this - in their opinion - absolutely obvious decision.

Erik as King of Denmark

Erik Lam was elected king of the Danish chieftains. Roskilde Chronicle says: "When Erik was now dead and buried in Ribe, the country's chiefs came together and chose Erik the third as king, a sister's son of the said Erik."

Apart from the civil war in Skaane and the Vendish plunder raids, Erik Lam's reign was a good time. "As soon as the king was killed, immediately came another Erik to government.", Svend Aggesen writes, "It was he, who, by his goodness, was bynamed Lam. In his time there was the greatest superfluity of all things."

Helmold writes that Erik Lam was elected king as a kind of guardian of the three minor royal princes: "Svejn Heriksson, Waldemar Kanutson and Kanut Magnusson", while Knytlinge Saga and Saxo are more specific and says that Erik was chosen as the custodian of Knud Lavard's son Valdemar. Saxo says: "Kristjern (Erik Emune's comrade in arms from the civil war) declared, however, that Valdemar, whose father he had avenged, was most worthy of having the Crown, but his mother, who judged that this honor, with which there were so many and great dangers, and which scarcely a the adult could bear, would become the ruin of so young a boy, refused to surrender him to Kristjern when he asked her to deliver him, and said that the royal dignity had to be entrusted to people older than him." It is most likely that Helmold is right and Knytlinge Saga's and Saxo's accounts of the motive for Erik's choice as king are post-rationalizations in the light of later developments.

Romanesque stone art in Skelby Church on Falster
Romanesque stone art on baptismal font in Skelby Church in Falster. Jesus is apprehended by Roman soldiers. Photo Nordens Kirker.

King Erik lived mostly in Lund, and he expanded the fortification of the city, which Erik Emune is said to have begun, Knytlinge Saga tells: "He mostly resided in Lund, and that city he improved a lot, so that no city in all of Denmark during his time was more powerful. He had a stone wall erected around the city so that it was completely surrounded by a wall, which was maintained long afterward."

There were good reasons why Erik lived most in Skaane. This part of the country was attacked very quickly after his ascension by Harald Kesja's only surviving son, Olaf, who demanded: "his inheritance, his ancestral estate, which his uncle had confiscated during the civil war." Saxo continues: "Caused by this requirement, Erik referred to the old law that anyone who offends the kingdom must be punished by losing his estate. His Father had waged war in Denmark with foreign warriors, and was therefore exposed to the punishment said by this law." Here Erik Lam was guilty of blatant hypocrisy; he probably himself had led an army of 300 German armored riders in the Battle of Fodevig.

"Olaf seized eagerly the opportunity that thus offered itself, to raise a rebellion." - "and now no he was no longer content with claiming the inheritance of his fathers, but claimed the whole kingdom."

"However, temporarily he hid his hatred and decided slyly to surprise the king, and tried for this purpose to come over him at night, once he stayed in Arnedal Inn at Lund" But Erik's guards were at their post and the assault was rejected.

But Olaf had the support and sympathy of the Skaane people and they chose him as king: "But when Erik left Skaane shortly afterward, he returned, called for ting in Arnedal, where he met and by enticing the common people with promises of greater freedom he persuaded them to crown him as king.

Romanesque granite baptismal font
Baptismal font in Romanesque granite style in Malling Church south of Aarhus. Foto Nico-dk/Niels Jepsen Wikipedia.

Shortly after Erik Emune's death, Eskild had regained his position as Archbishop of Lund - thanks to Erik Lam - and now felt called to stop Olaf: "This offended Eskild, and he led the Lund citizens to battle with him, but his zeal was greater than his luck. He lost the battle, and when he had fled into the city he was soon after besieged there, and eventually had to give hostages and swear loyalty to save his life."

But Eskild did not keep his enforced promise: "Since, when Olaf had departed, however, he saw his opportunity to flee, and showed by this, his great boldness, that he put his love for Erik over the consideration of the hostages as well as his oath, and that he did not consider it a sin breaking an enforced oath for the sake of a voluntary friendship. The king paid him, when he came to him on Sjaelland, for his devotion and constancy by giving him rich land estates and several villages."

"However, as the Skaane people eagerly supported Olaf, the king himself, who, by the archbishop's escape, had been beaten without even having been present, went with a numerous fleet over to the place on the Skaane coast, which commonly is called Landore (maybe Skanoer not far from Fodevig or somewhere near Landskrona) , to bring his luck back on feet." But the king feared that it was bad luck for a king to go ashore at this place - "relying on an old superstition that when a king went ashore there, he would not live to the end of the year." Therefore he appointed an archbishop to lead the army: " and put Eskild in chare of it. This understood, however, better to be in charge of a bishop-seat than an army, so it worked out for him just as badly as before."
Jesus is taken down from the cross, motif over the cathedral door in Ribe Cathedral
Jesus is taken down from the cross, relief from the 11. century over the Kathoved Door in Ribe Cathedral. Photo Ribe Katedralskole.

Olaf celebrated the victory by appointing his own archbishop, who was also named Eskil: "Of this victory, Olaf became so over-confident, as if he had already completely done away with Erik, that he with no regard to the Church confiscated not only the estate of the king but also the estate of the Archbishop-seat, and remembering that it was now the second time Eskild had defied him, he made - to add Eskild a humiliation - a man, also called Eskild, Archbishop in his place."

After the easy victories, Olaf became careless and overconfident: "He then pretended to have completely crushed his rival and deprived him of all power in the last battle, left his weapons in Lund and traveled without fear around completely unarmed."

Relief from the Church of Our Lady in Aalborg
Relief from the Church of Our Lady in Aalborg. Photo Wikimedia Commons.

"When the King was told, he gathered from everywhere all the small ships he could get hold of, and at night he transferred his army from Sjaelland to Skaane, his friends in Skaane lighting up by fire made by flintstones."

King Erik then overcame Olaf in a big battle: "The false Archbishop was of the real one deprived of the sign of his dignity, and then the king let him hang. The warriors took the weapons of the enemies (in Lund?) as a welcome prey, and with them, they eventually overcame Olaf in a battle at the village of Glumstorp."

This was the turning point of the war. Olaf lost the initiative and the broad support of the region's population, and he introduced a kind of guerrilla war: "He fled to Gotaland, but a few days after he returned through Blekinge, he was again put to flight by Erik, but when he had entered the narrow openings between some rocks, he cut down, relying on the protection they gave him, those who were closest to the heels of him. He also attacked the enemy in the back with part of his army and finished with this force almost entirely the citizens of Lund." Which tells that the inhabitants of Lund had turned against him.

"As his affairs had only little progress in Skaane, he carried the war over to Sjaelland, keen to turn his fortune around by changing places, but when he was at Buddingeaa (near Gladsaxe) he was defeated by the people of the country under the leadership of Rike, he fled over to Halland. From there he returned to Sjaelland, and when he was told by the peasants that the bishop was staying in the village of Ramloese (in North Sjaelland) , he stayed secretly there in the neighborhood at night."

Bishop Rike and his clerks
Bishop Rike and his clerks. Drawing Louis Moe.

Olaf now had only a few faithful men with him and led a "hit and run" strategy: "In the morning during the eighth song, he came to know the place where the bishop had his sleeping-room, and now bade his warriors break the door. The bishop's servants, who rushed to defend him, were murdered on the threshold." - "and at the same time the clerks, that he had with him and who had his letters and his ring in custody, barred the next door with quilts and pillows. When Olaf could not take the house with arms, he set fire to it." Bispen stuck his head out of a door to negotiate but got it chopped off. "Having thus avenged himself by committing a wicked murder, Olaf rushed down to the shore, and as secretly as he had left his ships, just as hurried he came down to them again and fled on them, before the King, who stayed there in the neighborhood, had been told what had happened."

The bishops of the time were very militarily active, and it may be considered fair that Olaf killed one of them, it can happen in war. But that's not how the piano played: "When the Pope heard about it, he rigorously excommunicated Olaf and gave all bishops throughout Europe power and authority also to excommunicate him." We remember that Erik Emune and Erik Lam killed five bishops in the Battle of Fodevig, and that had no consequences for them at the Pope. But Olaf had done something much worse, namely that We remember that Erik Emune and Erik Lam killed five bishops in the Battle of Fodevig, and that had no consequences for them at the Pope. But Olaf had done something much worse, namely "that he with no regard to the Church confiscated not only the estate of the king but also the estate of the Archbishop-seat," In doing so, he became an enemy of the mighty Catholic Church and therefore he lost supporters and followers, which brought him even closer to defeat.

As soon as Erik was told that Olaf had fled to Halland, he hurried after him, but when Olaf at Arestad was informed that he was close to catching up with him, he fled over a bridge there in the neighborhood, broke it off, when he had come over it, and settled down safely on the other side.

Ship from the 1100's engraved in a window opening in Horbelev Church
Ship from the 1100's engraved in window opening in Horbelev Church on Falster. It still looks like a Viking ship. Some ships still used steering oar. Photo Nationalmuseet.

Erik sent a hitman against Olaf named Ingemar, who would pretend to be a renegade and gain his trust, and when he had come near enough to kill him with a javelin. But Olaf escaped the javelin by letting himself fall from his horse. Ingemar tried to escape on his fast horse, but it was stuck in some quagmire, and he was caught and killed.

Knytlinge Saga says that Olaf fell in 1141 after four years of fighting: " - and in the third year King Erik and Olaf held eight battles, and three in one winter; and Erik triumphed in all of them. They were both chieftains in Denmark for three years, but in the fourth, they held another battle, and in this battle, Harald Kesia's son Olaf fell." This is confirmed by Saxo: "At last he (Erik) felled his rival in a battle at Thjutaa together with the largest part of his army.

Necrologium Lundense contains the message that Olaf died during an uprising in Erik's third year of government.

"When the cat is out, the mice play on the table" - in all those years the civil war had raged in Skaane and on Sjaelland, Erik Lam had no time or opportunity to defend Denmark against the Vends' attacks and looting, which became increasingly fierce.

Saxo does not have much praise of Erik's efforts against the Vends: "But he did not put up with the same bravery in wars outside the kingdom as he had shown in the wars he waged within its realms. The expeditions he did against the Vends aroused their laughter more than they frightened them, for all he did was so loose and lethargic that one should not think it was a man, who was responsible for it. He followed the poorest wretch's advice when it came to dissolving the army, and often he sent the navy home because the supply workers cried out that they wanted to go home. As a result of his cowardice, the barbarians became so arrogant that they not only despised him when he went outside the kingdom but even made invasions of the kingdom when he stayed home. Once he sailed from Sjaelland over to Fyn and saw some pirates set out pursuing him, he became so busy arriving ashore that he left the entire rigging on the beach as prey to the enemies and fled with shame from his ship in anxiety and trembling."

Vendish place names on the islands of Lolland Falster
Vendish place names on the islands of Lolland Falster. The Vendish attacks on the Danish islands and coastlines were very extensive. Many small islands became probably deserted and its inhabitants killed or carried away as slaves in the thousands. For example, Lyoe had been inhabited since the Stone Age, but at the time of Valdemar Sejr it was uninhabited, and he was able to arrange his fateful hunt there. In some places, Vendish settlers settled in such deserted areas. Foto Link-springer.com.

Helmold's Vender Chronicle also writes that Erik's efforts against the Vendish nuisance were poor: " - and he was a peace-loving man, who ruled the land entrusted to him in undisturbed tranquility; only the enraged sklaves he had difficulties to hold back. Because their robbery raids went on extremely crazy at his time."

Erik's Wife and Child

Erik married Lutgard of Stade in 1144. Ryd Monastery Chronicle writes: "1144 Erik married Archbishop Henrik of Bremen's sister." There is always a political purpose for royal marriages. One can imagine that it was an attempt to arrange with the Hamburg-Bremen Archbishop-seat in the case of the independence of the Lund seat, or a German alliance has been sought against the greatly growing power of the Saxon Duke Henrik Loeve.

Lutgard was the first Danish queen of true German origin. She had been married to Pfalzgreve Friderich of Sommerechburg but was reportedly divorced due to too close kinship.

Relief in Our Lady Church in Aalborg
Romanesque relief in Our Lady Church in Aalborg. Photo J. Kornerup Wikimedia Commons.

Saxo thinks she was fond of other men and used too much money: "Now, Erik got the desire to marry and married the Bremiske Archbishop Hartwig's sister, who admittedly was a high-born woman, but more distinguished by distinguished lineage than by chastity. At her instigation, he bestowed the land that had belonged to the kings from ancient times, especially to those who bravely had supported him against Olaf, so that he did not spare the Crown's land and cattle, but used it to reward people for the dangers they had exposed themselves to for his sake, just like he only had got it for generously to give it away to others and use it all as rewards to his warriors."

This may indicate that royal revenues were too small for - for example - effective action against the Vends, and this may have been the "weak" king's fundamental problem.

The historian J. G. F. Raeder writes that Erik had an illegitimate son named Magnus, who survived him and appears several times as a participant in the civil wars.

After Erik's death in 1146 or in connection with his entering the monastery, Lutgard remarried. This time with Count Herman of Winzenburg; with him, she had three daughters. However, Herman and Luitgard were both murdered by the "bishop's men". Lutgard is said to have been pregnant.

King Erik Lam's Death and Burial

Erik Lam is the only Danish king who voluntarily abdicated.

Saxo describes what happened: "When some years had passed, he noticed on Sjaelland that he had a fever, and then he went to Fyn, where he came from, to give up the spirit where he had seen the light of day. When he doubted that he could get rid of his disease, he would provide for his soul, since he could do nothing for his body, and exchanged the royal robe with a monk's robe, for many think, and it teaches those who are proficient in the Holy Scriptures, that no more powerful way of atoning one's sins is given than becoming a monk. Then he summoned his warriors and solemnly renounced the throne."

Helmold tells that he appointed Erik Emune's son Svend, who should be bynamed Grathe, as king after him: "But when Herik felt his last hour approaching, he summoned the three young princes and determined, according to the advice of the chieftains, Svejn to king, but told Waldemar and Kanut to be satisfied with their ancestral heritage; and when he had thus brought this in order, he departed by death"

The remains of the original travertine church under Sct. Knuds Church in Odense
The remains of the original travertine church under Sct. Knuds Church in Odense. When Erik Lam died, a new travertine church was under construction in Odense to replace the wooden church St. Albani Church, where Knud the Holy found his death. It was later replaced by the present burned-brick church. In the crypt under the altar, where Knud and Benedict are located, is a small door to the West, which leads into the only preserved ruins of the travertine Church, in which Erik Lam is buried somewhere. Travertine is a soft, easy-to-work kind of stone that is found near springs. Photo Danske Kirker.

Ryd Monastery Chronicle writes: "1147 Erik Lam died as a monk in St. Knud's Monastery in Odense." He died at an early age, probably in his late thirties, maybe forty years old.

Erik Lam is buried somewhere near Odense Cathedral or close by, we just don't know where. It is obvious to assume that he was buried in the travertine church that precisely was under construction.

But he was not king when he died, and may thus be buried with other monks in the cemetery. A king, on the other hand, would be buried in the church near the altar. Knowing Erik Lam's personality, one can easily imagine that he himself has insisted on being buried as a monk.

An oral legend tells that he was buried at the south side door of the cathedral towards the monastery so that the monks had to step on his grave every day, when they were going to mass.

Links og Literatur

Roskildekroeniken Heimskringla
Svend Aggesen Heimskringla
Knytlinge Saga Oldnordiske Sagaer Bind 11
Saxo Grammaticus Heimskringla
Full text of "Danmark under Svend Estridsen og hans S´┐Żoenner" J. G. F. Raeder - Archive.com
Ryd Klosters Kroenike Heimskringla
Helmolds Slaverkroenike som kilde til Danmarks, Vendens og Nordtysklands historie Stefan Pajung og Lone Liljefalk
Venderkroeniken archieve.com
Venderkroeniken Crassus
Full text of "Venderne og de danske foer Valdemar den Stores tid" Archieve.org
Om nogle af de gaadefulde Menneske- og Dyreskikkelser, som forekomme i vor Middelalders Konst Heimskringla
Saxo Grammaticus oversat af Fr. Winkel Horn - Sesam.

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