Saga Of Olaf Haraldson

Olaf II Haraldsson, also called Saint Olaf, Norwegian Hellig-Olav, (born c. 995—died July 29, 1030, Stiklestad, Norway; feast day July 29), the first effective king of all Norway and the country’s patron saint, who achieved a 12-year respite from Danish domination and extensively increased the acceptance of Christianity. His religious code of 1024 is considered to represent Norway’s first national legislation.

The son of the lord Harald Grenske and a descendant of the Norwegian ruler Harald I Fairhair, Olaf was reared as a pagan and became a Viking warrior in the Baltic region. He fought against the English in 1009–11 but assisted the English ruler Ethelred (Aethelred) II the Unready against the Danes in 1013. When the Danish king Sweyn (Svein) I gained the advantage in England, Olaf went to Spain and also to France, where he was baptized at Rouen (1013).

Returning to Norway in 1015, Olaf conquered territory that had previously been held by Denmark, Sweden, and the Norwegian earl Haakon of Lade; by 1016 he had consolidated his rule in all Norway. In the succeeding 12 years he built his base of support among the aristocracy in the interior and pressed relentlessly for the acceptance of Christianity, using missionaries he brought from England. The Church of Norway may be dated from 1024, when Olaf and his ecclesiastical adviser, Bishop Grimkell, presented a religious code at Moster.

Olaf resolved his conflict with the Swedish king Olaf Skötkonung by 1019 and joined forces with the king’s son Anund Jakob when Canute, king of England and Denmark, threatened to conquer Norway. Canute’s control of the trade routes to the west of Norway, and the prospect of his ruling more indirectly than Olaf had done, won the support of leading Norwegian chieftains. Canute forced Olaf to flee to Russia (1028), where the Norwegian ruler took refuge with his Swedish wife’s relatives.

Olaf attempted to reconquer Norway in 1030 with help from Anund Jakob but was defeated by a superior Norwegian peasant and Danish army in the Battle of Stiklestad (1030), one of the most celebrated battles in ancient Norse history. Olaf’s popularity, his church work, and the aura of legend that surrounded his death, which was supposedly accompanied by miracles, led to his canonization in 1031. His popularity spread rapidly; churches and shrines were constructed in his honour in England, Sweden, and Rome. He was the last Western saint accepted by the Eastern Orthodox church.


  1. Of Saint Olaf’s Bringing Up
  2. Of Olaf And King Sigurd Syr
  3. Of Ring Olaf’s Accomplishments
  4. King Olaf’s War Expedition
  5. Olaf’s First Battle
  6. Foray In Svithjod
  7. The Second Battle
  8. The Third Battle
  9. The Fourth Battle In Sudervik
  10. The Fifth Battle In Friesland
  11. Death Of King Svein Forked Beard
  12. The Sixth Battle
  13. The Seventh Battle
  14. Eighth And Ninth Battles Of Olaf
  15. The Tenth Battle
  16. Eleventh, Twelfth And Thirteenth Battles
  17. Fourteenth Battle And Olaf’s Dream
  18. Fifteenth Battle
  19. Of The Earls Of Rouen
  20. Of Einar Tambaskelfer
  21. Of Erling Skialgson
  22. Of The Herse Erling Skialgson
  23. Of Earl Eirik
  24. The Murder Of Edmund
  25. Olaf And Ethelred’s Sons
  26. Battle Of King Olaf
  27. Olaf’s Expedition To Norway
  28. Hakon Taken Prisoner By Olaf
  29. Hakon’s Departure From Norway
  30. Asta Receives Her Son Olaf
  31. King Sigurd’s Dress
  32. Of The Feast
  33. Conversation Of Olaf And Sigurd
  34. Kings In The Upland Districts
  35. Olaf Gets The Title Of King From The Thing
  36. King Olaf Travels In The Uplands
  37. Levy Against Olaf In Throndhjem
  38. Olaf’s Progress In Throndhjem
  39. Of Earl Svein’s Proceedings
  40. Earl Svein’s And Einar’s Consultations
  41. Of Sigvat The Skald
  42. Of Earl Svein
  43. Of King Olaf
  44. Of Earl Svein’s Forces
  45. King Olaf S Forces
  46. King Olaf’s Speech
  47. Of The Battle At Nesjar
  48. Earl Svein’s Flight
  49. Earl Svein Leaves The Country
  50. Olaf’s And Sigurd’s Consultation
  51. Of King Olaf
  52. Plan Of Svein And The Swedish King
  53. Earl Svein’s Death
  54. Of The Throndhjem People
  55. Of King Olaf’s Household
  56. Of King Olaf’s Habits
  57. King Olaf’s Messengers
  58. Olaf And Erling Reconciled
  59. Eilif Of Gautland’s Murder
  60. The History Of Eyvind Urarhorn
  61. Thrand White’s Murder
  62. Christianity Proclaimed In Viken
  63. Hroe’s Fall
  64. Fall Of Gudleik And Thorgaut
  65. Meeting Of Olaf And Ragnvald
  66. King Olaf The Swede
  67. Account Of Their Reconciliation
  68. Journey Of Bjorn The Marshal
  69. Conversation Of Bjorn And Ingebjorg
  70. Of Sigvat The Skald
  71. Hjalte Skeggjason While He Was In Svithiod
  72. Olaf’s Journey To The Uplands
  73. Treachery Of The Upland Kings
  74. Mutilating Of The Upland Kings
  75. King Olaf’s Half-brothers
  76. The Division Of The Country
  77. Of The Lagman Thorgny
  78. Meeting Of Ragnvald And Ingegerd
  79. Ragnvald And Thorgny
  80. Of The Upsala Thing
  81. Thorgny’s Speech
  82. Of King Hrorek’s Treachery
  83. Of Little Fin
  84. Murder Of Olaf’s Court-men
  85. Of Hrorek’s Assault
  86. King Hrorek’s Journey To Iceland
  87. Battle In Ulfreks-fjord
  88. Olaf Prepares For His Bridal Journey
  89. Of The Swedish King’s Children
  90. Of The Swedish King Olaf’s Hunting
  91. Olaf The Norway King’s Counsels
  92. Sigvat The Skald’s Journey Eastwards
  93. Ragnvald And Astra’s Journey
  94. Of King Olaf’s Marriage
  95. The Agreement Broken By Olaf
  96. History Of The Lagman Emund
  97. Meeting Of Reconciliation Between The Kings
  98. Of Olaf Of Norway, After The Meeting
  99. History Of The Earls Of Orkney
  100. Of The Earls Einar And Bruse
  101. Of Thorkel Amundason
  102. The Agreement Of The Earls
  103. Eyvind Urarhorn’s Murder
  104. Earl Einar’s Murder
  105. Agreement Between King Olaf And Earl Bruse
  106. The Earl’s Agreement To The King’s Terms
  107. Earl Thorfin’s Departure, And Reconciliation With Thorkel
  108. Earl Bruse’s Departure
  109. Of The Earls Thorfin And Bruse
  110. Of Harek Of Thjotta
  111. Of The People Of Halogaland
  112. Of Asmund Grankelson
  113. Of The Sacrifices Of The Throndhjem People
  114. Of The Sacrifices By The People Of The Interior Of The Throndhjem District
  115. Murder Of Olver Of Eggja
  116. Of The Sons Of Arne
  117. King Olaf’s Journey To The Uplands
  118. The Story Of Dale-gudbrand
  119. Dale-gudbrand Is Baptized
  120. Hedemark Baptized
  121. Reconciliation Of The King And Einar
  122. Reconciliation Of The King And Erling
  123. Here Begins The Story Of Asbjorn Selsbane
  124. Murder Of Thorer Sel
  125. Of Skjalg, The Son Of Erling Skjalgson
  126. Of Thorarin Nefiulfson
  127. Erling’s Reconciliation With King Olaf
  128. Of Thorer Hund And Asbjorn Selsbane
  129. King Olaf Baptizes In Vors And Valders
  130. Of Einar Tambaskelfer
  131. The Birth Of King Magnus
  132. The Murder Of Asbjorn Selsbane
  133. Of King Olaf
  134. King Olaf’s Message To Iceland
  135. The Answer Of The Icelanders
  136. Of The People Of The Farey Islands
  137. Of The Marriage Of Ketil And Of Thord To The King’s Sisters
  138. Of The Icelanders
  139. Here Begins The Story Of Canute The Great
  140. Canute’s Message To King Olaf
  141. King Olaf’s Alliance With Onund The King Of Svithjod
  142. King Canute’s Ambassadors To Onund Of Svithjod
  143. The Expedition To Bjarmaland
  144. Meeting Of King Olaf And King Onund
  145. Thoralf’s Murder
  146. Of The Icelanders
  147. Of The Jamtaland People
  148. Stein’s Story
  149. Fin Arnason’s Expedition To Halogaland
  150. Dispute Between Harek And Asmund
  151. Thorod’s Story
  152. King Olaf’s Levy Of Men
  153. Karl Morske’s Story
  154. King Olaf’s Expedition With His Levy
  155. Of King Olaf And King Onund
  156. Of King Canute The Great
  157. Of King Canute’s Ship The Dragon
  158. Hardaknut Taken To Be King In Denmark
  159. Foray In Scania
  160. Battle In Helga River
  161. King Olaf And King Onund’s Plans
  162. Of King Canute And Earl Ulf
  163. Of The Earl’s Murder
  164. Of King Olaf And The Swedes
  165. Of Egil And Tofe
  166. Treachery Towards King Olaf
  167. King Olaf’s Consultations
  168. Harek Of Thjotta’s Voyage
  169. King Olaf’s Course From Svithjod
  170. Of Sigvat The Skald
  171. Of Erling Skjalgson And His Sons
  172. Of King Olaf’s Presents At Yule
  173. Of Bjorn The Bailiff
  174. Of Raud’s Sons
  175. Thorer’s Death
  176. The Fall Of Grjotgard
  177. King Olaf Sends For His Ships And Goods
  178. King Olaf’s Counsels
  179. Harek Of Thjotta Burns Grankel And His Men
  180. King Canute’s Expedition To Norway
  181. Of King Canute
  182. Of Thorarin Loftunga
  183. Of The Messengers Sent By King Olaf For His Ships
  184. Of King Olaf In His Proceedings
  185. Of King Olaf’s Voyage
  186. Of Erling Skjalgson’s Fall
  187. Of The Insurrection Of Agder District
  188. Death Of Aslak Fitiaskalle
  189. Clearing Of The Urd
  190. Olaf’s Prophecies
  191. King Olaf Proceeds To Russia
  192. Causes Of The Revolt Against King Olaf
  193. Of Jokul Bardson
  194. Of Kalf Arnason
  195. Of The Death Of Earl Hakon
  196. Of Bjorn The Marshal
  197. Bjorn The Marshal’s Journey
  198. Of King Olaf
  199. Of King Olaf’s Dream
  200. Of King Olaf’s Healing Powers
  201. King Olaf Burns The Wood Shavings On His Hand For His Sabbath Breach
  202. Of King Olaf
  203. Of King Olaf’s Journey From Russia
  204. Of The Lendermen In Norway
  205. Of Einar Tambaskelfer
  206. Of The Chief People In Norway
  207. Of Harald Sigurdson’s Proceedings
  208. Of King Olaf’s Proceedings In Svithjod
  209. King Olaf Advances To Jarnberaland
  210. Of Dag Hringson
  211. Of King Olaf’s Journey
  212. Of Vagabond-men
  213. Of King Olaf’s Vision
  214. Of The Miracle On The Corn Land
  215. Of The Baptism Of The Vagabond Forest-men
  216. King Olaf’s Speech
  217. King Olaf’s Counsel
  218. Of King Olaf’s Skalds
  219. Of King Olaf’s Gifts For The Souls Of Those Who Should Be Slain
  220. Of Thormod Kolbrunarskald
  221. King Olaf Comes To Stiklestad
  222. Of Thorgils Halmason
  223. Olaf’s Speech
  224. Of Thord Folason
  225. Of King Olaf’s Armour
  226. King Olaf’s Dream
  227. Of Arnljot Gelline’s Baptism
  228. Concerning The Army Collected In Norway
  229. Of Bishop Sigurd
  230. Bishop Sigurd’s Speech
  231. Of The Lendermen
  232. Kalf Arnason’s Speech
  233. How The Lendermen Set Up Their Banners
  234. Of Thorstein Knarrarsmid
  235. Of The Preparations Of The Bondes
  236. Of The King’s And The Bondes’ Armies
  237. Meeting Of The King And The Bondes
  238. Beginning Of The Battle Of Stiklestad
  239. Thorgeir Of Kviststad’s Fall
  240. King Olaf’s Fall
  241. Beginning Of Dag Hringson’s Attack
  242. King Olaf’s Miracle Shown To Thorer Hund
  243. Of Kalf Arnason’s Brothers
  244. Of The Bondes Of Veradal
  245. Of The King’s Brother, Harald Sigurdson
  246. Of Thormod Kolbrunarskald
  247. Thormod’s Death
  248. Of Some Circumstances Of The Battle
  249. A Miracle On A Blind Man
  250. Of Thorer Hund
  251. Of King Olaf’s Body
  252. Of The Beginning Of King Svein Alfifason’s Government
  253. Of King Svein’s Laws
  254. Of King Olaf’s Sanctity
  255. Of Einar Tambaskelfer
  256. Of The Sons Of Arne
  257. Bishop Sigurd’s Flight
  258. King Olaf The Saint’s Remains Disinterred
  259. Of King Olaf’s Miracles
  260. Of King Olaf’s Age And Reign
  261. Of The Throndhjem People
  262. Of King Svein’s Levy
  263. King Trygve Olafson’s Fall
  264. Of The Counsels Of Einar Tambaskelfer And Kalf Arnason
  265. Of Einar Tambaskelfer And Kalf Arnason’s Journey

[1]: King Olaf the Saint reigned from about the year 1015 to 1030. The death of King Olaf Trygvason was in the year 1000: and Earl Eirik held the government for the Danish and Swedish kings about fifteen years.

Olaf Haraldson the Saint’s Saga is the longest, the most important, and the most finished of all the sagas in “Heimskringla“.

The life of Olaf will be found treated more or less freely:

  • in “Agrip”,
  • in “Historia Norvegiae”,
  • in “Thjodrek the Monk”,
  • in the legendary saga,
  • and in “Fagrskinna”.

Other old Norse literature relating to this epoch:

  • Are’s “Islendingabok”,
  • “Landnama”,
  • “Kristni Saga”,
  • “Biskupa- sogur”,
  • “Njala”,
  • “Gunlaugs Saga”,
  • “Ormstungu”,
  • “Bjarnar Saga Hitdaelakappa”,
  • “Hallfredar Thattr Vandraedaskalde”,
  • “Eyrbyggia”,
  • “Viga Styrs Saga”,
  • “Laxdaela”,
  • “Fostbraedra”,
  • “Gretla”,
  • “Liosvetninga”,
  • “Faereyinga”,
  • “Orkneyinga”.

Olaf Haraldson was born 995, went as a viking at the age of twelve, 1007; visited England, one summer and three winters, 1009-1012; in France two summers and one winter, 1012-1013; spent the winter in Normandy, 1014; returned to Norway and was recognized as King, April 3, 1015; fled from Norway the winter of 1028-1029; fell at Stiklestad, July 29 (or August 31), 1030.

Skalds quoted in this saga are:

  • Ottar Svarte,
  • Sigvat Skald,
  • Thord Kolbeinson,
  • Berse Torfason,
  • Brynjolf,
  • Arnor Jarlaskald,
  • Thord Siarekson,
  • Harek,
  • Thorarin Loftunga,
  • Halvard Hareksblese,
  • Bjarne Gulbraskald,
  • Jokul Bardson,
  • Thormod Kolbrunarskald,
  • Gissur,
  • Thorfin Mun,
  • Hofgardaref.


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