Free Online Bible Library | Olav

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Olav

995-1030. King and national hero saint of Norway. As a Viking chieftain he fought for Ethelred II in England, and for Richard in Normandy. He was baptized in Rouen. In 1015 he became king of Norway. In his zeal for the Christian religion he made considerable use of violence. His harsh rule caused discontent, and his chieftains in cooperation with the Anglo-Danish king Canute tured him out of the country. In 1030 he made an attempt to regain his kingdom, but died in the battle of Stiklestad. Very soon his death was regarded as a martyr's end, and he was invoked as a saint. Over his shrine was built the cathedral of Trondheim which was a plce of pilgrimage. The legendar account of Olav has the usualedieval shape f a saintly king, formed in accordance with Augustine's conception of the “righteous king” (rex iustus).