Stenkil

Stenkil

Stenkil (Old Icelandic: "Steinkel", Old Swedish: "Stænkil") was King of Sweden who ruled c. 1060 until 1066.citation |first=Maj |last=Odelberg |contribution=Stenkil |url=http://histvarld.historiska.se/histvarld/sok/artikel.asp?id=11101 |title=Vikingatidens ABC |publisher=Swedish Museum of National Antiquities |id=ISBN 9171929843 |year=1995] citation |url=http://runeberg.org/nfcf/0664.html |first=Sven |last=Tunberg |contribution="Stenkil" |title=Nordisk familjebok |year=1917] citation |contribution=Stenkil |title=Nationalencyklopedin |url=http://www.ne.se/jsp/search/article.jsp?i_art_id=314981 ] He succeeded Emund the Old and became the first king from the House of Stenkil.citation |first=Lars O. |last=Lagerqvist |contribution=Stenkilska ätten |url=http://histvarld.historiska.se/histvarld/sok/artikel.asp?id=21592 |title=Medeltidens ABC |publisher=Swedish Museum of National Antiquities |id=ISBN 9151839261 |year=2001] He was not from Uppsala, but probably from Västergötland and related to the previous dynasty by marriage to Emund's daughter.

He supported the Christianization of Sweden and cooperated with bishops from the Archbishopric of Hamburg-Bremen. However, when Adalvard the Younger at Sigtuna wanted to destroy the Temple at Uppsala, Stenkil stopped Adalvard's plans, as he feared a pagan insurgence. The fears were probably motivated. According the "Hervarar saga", Stenkil's son Inge the Elder was deposed and exiled for wanting to cancel the pagan sacrifices at the temple. [http://www.home.ix.netcom.com/%7Ekyamazak/myth/norse/kershaw/Kershaw1s-hervor-and-heithrek.htm The "Saga of Hervör and Heithrek", in "Stories and Ballads of the Far Past, translated from the Norse (Icelandic and Faroese)", by N. Kershaw.Cambridge at the University Press, 1921.] ] [http://runeberg.org/nfbl/0346.html The article "Inge" in "Nordisk familjebok" (1910).] ]

Stenkil resided mainly in Västergötland where he was long remembered as the king who "loved West Geats before all his other subjects", and he was lauded as a great archer whose hit marks were long shown with admiration.

The tradition that Stenkil was beloved by the Geats appears to be supported by Snorri Sturluson's "Heimskringla". In a speech by Thorvid, the lawspeaker (lagman) of Västergötland before a battle with Harald Hardrada, the lawspeaker expresses the Geats' (Gautland people) loyalty to Stenkil:

According to a legend Stenkil was buried in the "royal hill" near Levene in Västergötland. His two sons Halsten and Inge the Elder would both become kings of Sweden.

The "Hervarar saga" has a great deal to tell about Stenkil:

The "Hervarar saga" describes Stenkil as the son of a Ragnvald and later historians have identified this father as Ragnvald Ulfsson who was the earl of Staraja Ladoga and the grandson of the legendary Viking Skagul Toste. But this presumed family-connection is not supported by any other sources and must therefore be regarded as very uncertain. The Icelandic sagas mention a wife and two sons to Ragnvald Ulfsson but none are identical with Stenkil and his mother Astrid.

Notes and references


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