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Olav den helige och hans kult


  • Sofie Renström

Summary, in English

Saint Olav His Cult

The subject of this thesis is Saint Olav (995-1030) and his cult in medieval Scandinavia. He was canonized soon after his death, and he became a popular saint in the Scandinavian countries. With the help of the material and historical evidence of the cult of Saint Olav I here attempt to trace who was the driving force behind its expansion, as well as why the cult was spread within these countries. I have looked at the pilgrim activity to Nidaros, the many churches dedicated to the saint, art portraying him, and some of the earliest historical texts from and about the cult of Saint Olav. From these it seems undeniable that the church had a great interest in spreading the stories about him as they helped establish the position of the church in Norway. Five years after the death of Saint Olav his illegitimate son Magnus the Good came to rule Norway, and later also Denmark, and it is most likely that he wanted to establish his and his family's claim to the throne by emphasizing the right that God had given his father to rule the country. The pilgrim badges, the art portraying the saint and the many parish churches dedicated to the saint in rural locations during the late medieval era do on the other hand indicate that the cult of Saint Olav was popular among common people. The reason might be found in the profane literature and oral traditions about Saint Olav's life and adventures, where he travels through Europe and Scandinavia, leaving local stories and holy sites and making him important both locally and as the holy king that united Norway and helped christening the Nordic countries.






Examensarbete för kandidatexamen


  • History and Archaeology


  • historisk arkeologi
  • medeltid
  • Olav den helige
  • St Olof
  • helgonkult
  • Nidaros
  • kyrkohistoria
  • helgon
  • Norge
  • Skandinavien
  • vallfart


  • Jes Wienberg (Professor)