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Title: Kontakty Olafa Tryggvasona z Jomsborgiem - pomiędzy legendą historyczną a rzeczywistością
Authors: Morawiec, Jakub
Keywords: Olaf Tryggvason; Król Norwegii
Issue Date: 2009
Citation: Średniowiecze Polskie i Powszechne, T. 1 (2009), s. 19-42
Abstract: The king o f Norway is one o f the most popular figures praised by a Middle-Aged Scandinavian historiography. He was commemorated by not only the contemporary scalds (above all Hallfred Ottarson), but also occupied an important place in royal sagas created starting from the turn o f the 12th and 13th century, the four o f which were specially devoted to his life and reign. Olaf Tryggvason was remembered above all as a ruler — missionary who devoted his life to propagating Christianity in Norway, in Island and islands o f the North Atlantic. The very events made the king o f Norway a legend consisting o f many threads though often o f little credibility or simply fantastic motives. It also concerns the period o f O laf’s youth which he, according to an almost unanimous opinion o f sag authors, was supposed to spend in Rusia and subsequently, orgainizing plundering excursions in the Baltic Sea. It was in this very period o f time that Olaf Tryggvason was to appear in Vindland (the land o f Slavs), notably in Jomsborg, where Geira, a daughter o f Burysław, reigned. The king of Norway to be was to attract Geira and married her soon. Co-rulling with her in Vindland he turned out to be an outstanding ruler and warrior and was respected among his subjects. However, when Geira died three years later, Olaf Tryggvason, in deep grief, despite the subjects’ requests, decided to leave Vindland he was supposed to go back to, as the tradition says, just before his death. The very legend, first extended by Oddr Snorrason and later on running through other narrations (above all Heimskringla, Olafs saga Tryggvasonar en mesta) was the source of interests o f the researchers interested in the explanation o f the credibility o f information on the “slavic episode” in Olaf Tryggvason’s life. It is easy to distinguish three tendencies here. The advocates o f the first one fully believed in the message from sagas. The representatives o f the second totally rejected it, treating it as a pure fiction. My article is an attempt to incribe into and develop the third tendency. The aim o f my considerations is not to arbitrarily decide on the credibility or its lack o f the messages in question, but wonder why the ones responsible for writing down the tradition functioning so far in the oral form, decided to create the legend in that, not the other way, by means o f developing one and avoiding other motives the king of Norway was associated with. The analysis o f sagas and other Old-Nordic messages (synoptics, scaldic stanzas) made again from this point o f view, shows that the basis o f the legend o f Olaf Tryggvason’s stay in Vindland and Jomsborg constitutes a historical reality. It certainly fulfilled its role to an armed activity o f the king o f Norway to be on a Slavic coast o f the Baltic Sea, including the area at the mouth o f the Odra River. Armed attacks could therefore lead to the situation in which O laf’s fame as an outstanding warrior and ruler was alive also in the area at the mouth o f the Odra River, which, in turn, could be responsible for a season engagement o f local elites (Wichman’s case). The fact that sagas developed the tradition o f scalds and synopticians was, to a large extent, dictated by the willingness to not as much emphasise the stay o f the king of Norway in the country o f Slavs as prove his greatness as a ruler and Christian.
ISSN: 2080-492X
Appears in Collections:Artykuły (W.Hum.)

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