GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 1996-05 > 0831498918
From: Ulf H Larsson <>
Subject: Re: Erik the Victorious' wives
Date: Tue, 7 May 1996 19:55:18 GMT
In article <>,
>On Fri, 3 May 1996, Ulf H Larsson wrote:
>> As I believe that Sigrid "the haughty" is an literary invention
>> of Snorre Sturlason, "Swietoslawa" may be the proper name of
>> the actual polish princess (Adam gives no name and is not sure if she
>> was the sister or daughter of Boleslaw, the commenter points out
>> Mieszko I as the father).
>One encounters real problems in turning either to Snorri Sturluson or to
>Adam of Bremen for genealogical information concerning Scandinavian
>royalty. Adam obviously was poorly informed on many matter concerning
>Scandinavia, as is shown by the fact that he did not know for certain the
>genealogical connections of Erik the Victorious' Wendish wife.
Yes, but you can also see that a sigh of honesty from Adam. If he
is true when he say that he got his information in conversation with
Sven Estridsson, then it was Svens grandma they were talking about
and Adam is just guilty of being sloppy in taking notes. Sven had also
been in the service of Anund-Jacob, the son of Olof "skotkonung", so
we can assume he was well aware of their relationship.
> In fact, it's not unlikely that Erik married more than once.
>With what we know about Scandinavian kings in this era, we should be
>mighty surprised if Erik had not had more than one official wife (not to
Yes, the above mentioned Sven Estridsson is a good example of that, which
Adam as a man of the church has some problems with although he on the whole
view Sven as good guy!
> Snorri Sturluson obviously did not invent Sigrid the
>Haughty--though earlier sagamen could have. Between the unreliability of
>Icelandic sagas and the unreliability of Adam of Bremen, identifying the
>mother of Olaf Skotkonung if well nigh impossible. There is no reason
>that I can see to say that Sigrid the Haughty was the Icelandic
>equivalent of Adam of Bremen's Wendish wife of Erik the Victorious--they
>could be confused memories of two separate wives of Erik.
After looking in "Heimskringla" where Sigrid is mentioned in a number of
sagas I still can not see why it is so obvious that Sigrid is not a fictive
person.(She only occurs in Snorris prose, not in any verse.)
Anyhow, Snorris and Adams versions can not both be true, as both claims that
Cnut and Olaf had the same mother, but gives different options.(Both versions
can of cause be false.) I, and there my view are shared by modern swedish
historians believe that Adam is a more reliable source then Snorri,
at least in swedish matters.
To give another example, see M K Lawsons book on Cnut
"Cnut, the danes in England in the early elevteenth century" (1993)
(ISBN 0 582 05969 0 CSD). He has the sister of Boleslaw of Poland
as the wife of Swen "forkbeard" and with a "?" also marked her as
the widow of Eric of Sweden. (I saw in another thred that historians
are not to be trusted in genealogy matters but....)
The reason for my fist posting was to inquire if polish reseach had
brought up some more information on this matter!
Ulf H. Larsson