Tuesday, 28 April 2009

ABC Wednesday, O for Olav


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This viking is one of the guys responsible for the fact that Norway became a christian nation.

Olaf Tryggvason, (960s – September 9? 1000), was King of Norway from 995 to 1000. He was the son of Tryggve Olafsson, king of Viken, (Vingulmark and Ranrike), and the great-grandson of Harald Fairhair, first King of Norway.

Olaf played an important part in the conversion of the Vikings to Christianity. He is said to have built the first church in Norway (in 995) and to have founded the city of Trondheim (in 997).Read more about him Here




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This viking was even more important for Trondheim.

Olav Haraldsson 1015-1030
Olav Haraldsson, Norway’s canonised king, remained a potent influence for several centuries after his death. Saint Olav, as he is frequently called, took part in Viking forays for several years. In 1009 he was in England with a Viking force under Danish leadership. Later, he changed sides and worked for King Ethelred II, defending England against the Danes.
In about 1013 he was baptised in Rouen in France. Olav returned to Norway in 1015 and was received as king in the Uplands region.

Olav Haraldsson played an important part in christianising Norway, bringing about the adoption of Christianity as the country’s only lawful religion with the king as the supreme leader of the church. Olav Haraldsson’s advocacy of the Christian faith was, however, destined to create serious political difficulties for him.

In the mid-1020s, Knut the Great presented claims on Norway. Olav, by this time, had lost much of his support and was forced to flee to Russia when Knut arrived in Norway in 1028. Olav returned through Sweden in 1030, recruiting soldiers on his way. With his army of Swedes, Jemtlanders, Icelanders and Norwegians, he came up against a peasant army at Stiklestad, north of Trondheim. Olav fell in the battle at Stiklestad on July the 29th.

Shortly after his death, Olav was canonised by the church. His body was disinterred and placed in a reliquary on the high altar in the Church of St. Clement in Nidaros, Trondheim.


Rune told in his comment:
St Olav is said to be responsible for the fall of London Bridge in the nursery rhyme "London Bridge is falling down."
One theory of origin is that the rhyme relates to supposed destruction of London Bridge by Olaf II of Norway in 1014 (or 1009). The nineteenth century translation of the Norse saga the Heimskringla, published by Samuel Laing in 1844, included a verse by Óttarr svarti, that looks very similar to the nursery rhyme:

London Bridge is broken down. —
Gold is won, and bright renown.


Shields resounding,

War-horns sounding,

Hild is shouting in the din!


Arrows singing,

Mail-coats ringing —

Odin makes our Olaf win!


ABC is created by Denise Nesbitt.For more interesting ABC posts click on the logo in the sidebar or Here. This week we are looking for words beginning with "O".

46 comments:

RuneE said...

I must thank you once more for this wonderful introduction to Norwegian history! The influence of St Olav as a saint was even grater than as a king, as he represented the continuation of the old line of kings as well as the new religion and a symbol of Norway as an independent nation

PS For your English readers, it might be of interest to know that he was the one responsible for the feat made legendary in the children's song "London bridge is falling down"

Miss_Yves said...

Oh !
c'est très intéressant §
Je crois que le roi Knut est évoqué dans un des poèmes de la Légende des siècles de Victor Hugo .
En quoi sont faites ces figurines ? Et quelle est leur dimension ?
Les patronymes et toponymes scandinaves sont , bien sûr ,très nombreux, dans ma région, la Normandie!

Miss_Yves said...

Quel est le rapport avec la célèbre chanson pour enfants dont parle RuneE?

Abe Lincoln said...

Excellent post, Wil. I also enjoyed RuneE's comments.

George said...

What a fascinating, interesting and informative post! Thanks for sharing these pieces of Norwegian history with us.

Gramma Ann said...

That was an interesting post today. I always say, I learn something new each time I visit Reader Wil's blog.

Sylvia K said...

Love your history lessons! They're always fascinating and this one is not exception! Thanks, Wil! And thanks to RuneE, as well for the additional info! Terrific post for ABC!

Arkansas Patti said...

Really enjoyed the history lesson today. I love history but fear in our history lessons in the States, Norwegian history is hurried over.Thanks for helping us to overcome our short comings. Think I will look for historical novels that may cover this time period.
Learning is my greatest vice.

Hyde DP said...

I've see his statue in Trondheim but didn't know he was Estonian.

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

I love a bit of history, great choice for O.

Have a great Wednesday/ Tyra

THE GREENHOUSE IN TYRA'S GARDEN

Rinkly Rimes said...

I was interested to read about the origins of 'London Bridge'!

kadermo said...

A little bit more about St Olof - St. Olof is a gilded statue on city hall tower in Norrköping - my hometown in Sweden. The statue depicts the city's patron saint St. Olof. Many buildings and streets named something with Olof.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Fascinating, Wil! King/St.Olaf was quite a guy! Good "O"

Janie said...

Interesting about the London Bridge song's origins. I didn't know there was a Viking saint!

VALKYRIEN said...

It is so interesting to read! You probably know more about this than many Norwegians!

Greetings from a Norwegian - who learned a little bit more of my own history today! :) Also by reading RuneE's comment!

LiBeReJo said...

awesome:D
I loved it:)
Have you ever been on Stiklestad and seen the play about St.Olav?
(Btw:P I'm proud to be born the date St. Olav was killed:P)

anthonynorth said...

This is an excellent, informative post. Full of history, and we need more of that in a world that seems to only look at the present.

Mariamellie said...

Wow.. again a nice post! I do enjoy reading the story and information you present in your post, dear Wil! =) and in this one, so interesting to read about the role Olav had in his life, of Norway and Christianity there. Have a nice day! =)

Babooshka said...

All I will say is great minds think alike.Guess who had Olaf 1.This is a perfect post for me to add a more rounded view of my island. RuneE as usual always has an extra nugget of info.

Pacey said...

Ha! I know a friend named Olav from Rotterdam and this is where he got his name I guess. I'll have to tell him that I know now where he got his name. LoL. Thanks for the info Wil. Groetjes!

Cloudia said...

O My!!
Vikings - so very cool. Wow.
Aloha, Wil

Tumblewords: said...

Wonderful post. I read about this years ago and, of course, lost most of it somewhere along the way. Nice to get a re-do!

J said...

I always thought/have been taught that the nursery rhyme 'London Bridge is Falling Down' was to about the collapse of the bridge is late medieval times as too many houses were built on it.
I wonder if there might be two different version of the song: on in Britain and the other in Norway, that are actually about different events?
Also, at that time the language of England was Old English, which was displaced after the Norman Invasion. It's totally different to Middle or Modern English and a most rhymes and sayings in Old English aren't found in Middle English owing to the huge cultural shift in Britain after 1066.

Etje said...

Had nu wel al veel gelezen over de vikings, maar ontdek hier toch weer nieuwtjes in je bericht.

Groetjes

Ann said...

I was taught "London bridge is falling down" as a 6 year old in Borneo. Fancy it came from Norway.

Viji said...

Thanks for the little piece of history! Very informative!

Cheers...Viji

Grace and Bradley said...

A very interesting piece of Norwegian history. I can hardly imagine to live in that period time. Life must be violent and short. On the other hand a nation was made.

Dina said...

Good thing that you are teaching us all Viking history, otherwise we'd never know.
So your special days are coming soon too? I didn't know that your way of marking them is like here.
Thanks for all the teaching, Teacher Wil.

Rose said...

Fascinating, Reader Wil! As I told you last week, I was particularly interested in St. Olaf, as we Americans call him. I think it's interesting that he switched sides for awhile and helped the English. In my limited knowledge of English history, the Vikings are always depicted as these fearsome barbarians, but as you say, they had a remarkable culture. I guess whoever is your enemy is considered a "barbarian."

I had no idea about the origin of "London Bridge is falling down..." Thanks for including this!

Roger Owen Green said...

Excellent post.
I was thinking about an American TV show called Golden Girls featuring the late Bea Arthur. The Betty White character, Rose, grew up in St. Olaf, MN; probably a variation on St. Olav.

Monique said...

This was a nice visit. Koninginne dag zal ik nooit vergeten. Ik kwam hier in Engeland in October 1979 en het volgende jaar was Beatrix koningin en ik heb het nooit meer gevierd, maar ik denk er wel vaak aan.

The viking post is also very interesting.

I miss our games of scrabble Wil. X

naturglede said...

Yes, from my country! Olav is a great choise. Love it all:)

Marie said...

Great piece of history. I like your family photos.... and Olav, of course :-))

Carol said...

A very interesting post...It's so good to learn the history...Didn't realize Olav was a saint...

Granny Smith said...

Fascinating history lesson with well-chosen (and entertaining) photos.

Lily Hydrangea said...

interesting history, thank you!
& i like the figurine as well.

Sherrie said...

Hi!
Great "O" post! Thanks for all the info, I didn't know that! Thanks for stopping by my place. Have a great evening!

Sherrie

Janice Thomson said...

As already mentioned it is always a treat coming here to learn about other cultures. It's great to have this kind of history brought to the fore again as most of us have probably long since forgotten what we learned in school. Excellent post Wil.

kml said...

I enjoyed my visit to your blog. The birds that flew into your daughter's home are most beautiful!

Great posts and photos to go with them!

Your EG Tour Guide said...

What a great post, Wil. Very informative!

Gordon said...

An interesting and informative post. I always learn something new when I visit your blog. Thanks you.

kRiZ cPEc said...

Thanks for sharing about St Olav. :)

antigoni said...

You have always some beautiful information to share with us. Love the photos. Thanks.

magiceye said...

that was an interesting post. thank you

Leslie: said...

His name often appears on crossword puzzles, too! :D

Smart Mouth Broad said...

I always learn something here. Thanks for sharing. And thanks for the cute little dog too. so cute.