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Blot-Sven: En källundersökning
University of Tartu.
2017 (Swedish)In: Scripta Islandica: Isländska Sällskapets Årsbok, ISSN 0582-3234, E-ISSN 2001-9416, Vol. 68, p. 51-97Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article examines the sources for Blot-Sven, the alleged pagan king in late 11th century Sweden who is said to have lead a short pagan rebellion against King Inge the elder. For a long time this was seen as an historical event, but the last decades the historicity of both Blot-Sven and a pagan revolt in late 11th century Sweden has been questioned or rejected, and the events are now generally seen as unhistorical. The question of the historicity of those events is an important one, since it concerns the most fundamental process in the history of Sweden, the Christianization. The main arguments for rejecting the existence of Blot-Sven and the pagan revolt have been that the sources are claimed to be late and Icelandic and that the story must be a literary construct based on allegorical figures and literary clichés. The article demonstrates that there are more and older sources than most recent scholars are aware of and that there are several Swedish sources in addition to the Icelandic ones. The article focuses on the relationship between the sources. A main conclusion is that the Swedish and Icelandic sources are independent of each other. The article also demonstrates that the absence of contemporary mention is something Blot-Sven shares with all Swedish kings in late 11th and early 12th century whose existence has never been questioned. The article also shows that those features which have been pointed out as allegories and literary clichés occur only in the latest and least relevant source, which means that the knowledge about Blot-Sven is not bound to these features. In conclusion the article argues that the source evidence for a short pagan restoration under a king called Sven is stronger than the recent scholars have claimed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Isländska sällskapet , 2017. Vol. 68, p. 51-97
Keywords [en]
Conversion of Sweden, Medieval Sweden, Old Swedish histori­og­raphy, Old Norse literature, Scandinavian paganism, Hervarar saga, Saints lives
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-336105OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-336105DiVA, id: diva2:1168383
Available from: 2017-12-20 Created: 2017-12-20 Last updated: 2017-12-20

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Scripta Islandica: Isländska Sällskapets Årsbok
Languages and Literature

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CiteExportLink to record
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