Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Continue

PCRN

Pre-Christian Religions of the North: Sources

Menu Search

in progress

King Ólafr discovers a gold-adorned idol of Þórr in a temple full of gods. Þórr is worshipped the most and placed on a pedestal, which Ólafr topples. Ólafr then baptises the local farmers.

text

[excerpt from] ÓTC ch. 69b

69b. [Kristnaður Þrándheimur]

Ólafur konungur gengur nú í hofið og fáir menn með honum og nokkurir af bóndum. En er konungur kom þar sem goðin voru þá sat þar Þór og var mest tignaður af öllum goðum, búinn með gulli og silfri. Ólafur konungur hóf upp refði gullbúið er hann hafði í hendi og laust Þór svo að hann féll af stallinum. Síðan hljópu að konungsmenn og skýfðu ofan öllum goðum af stöllunum. En meðan konungur var inni í hofinu þá var drepinn Járn-Skeggi úti fyrir hofsdurunum og gerðu það konungsmenn.

En er konungur kom til liðsins þá bauð hann bóndum tvo kosti, annan þann að þeir skyldu þá allir við kristni taka en að öðrum kosti halda við hann bardaga. En eftir lát Skeggja varð engi forgangsmaður að í bónda liði að reisa merki í móti Ólafi konungi. Varð hinn kostur upp tekinn að ganga til konungs og hlýða því er hann bauð. Þá lét Ólafur konungur skíra fólk allt það er þar var og tók gíslar af bóndum til þess að þeir skyldu halda kristni sína.

Síðan lét Ólafur konungur fara menn sína um öll fylki í Þrándheimi. Mælti þá engi maður í móti kristninni. Var þá skírt allt fólk í Þrændalögum.

King Ólafr now entered the temple, accompanied by a few men and some of the farmers. And when the king came to where the gods were, he found Þórr sitting there as the most honored of all the gods, adorned with gold and silver. King Ólafr lifted up the gold-adorned rod he held in his hand and struck Þórr, so he fell from his pedestal. Then the king’s men ran up and shoved all the gods from their pedestals. And while the king was inside, Járnskeggi was killed outside in the front of the temple door, and the king’s men did that. And when the king had rejoined his force he offered the farmers two alternatives ‑- either to accept Christianity or to go to battle with him. But after Skeggi’s death there was no leader among the farmers to raise the standard against King Ólafr. So they chose the alternative to go to the king and to do what he bade them. Then King Ólafr had all the people that were there baptized, and demanded hostages upon the farmers to make certain they would hold fast to Christianity. Thereupon King Ólafr let his men go about though all the districts of Trondheim, and then no one made opposition to Christianity, so that all the people in the Trondheim District were baptized.

[status: referenced copy]

commentary

context

This episode occurs as part of King Ólafr’s campaigns to convert the people of Norway to Christianity. The events are described at length in Ólafs saga Tryggvasonar, which is one of the sagas preserved in the collection of kings’ sagas known as Heimskringla, believed to be written by Snorri Sturluson in the early 13th-century

commentary

(Contributed by Anna Millward.)

tags

Main text: Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in Heimskringla

Attributes: Temple Worship Hóf worship in temple idol worship Baptism

Named things: Þórr

Text sections: Hkr ÓTC 69bI

Close

Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.

Close