Olav Trygvasson and Violent Conversion

An essay.

1 comment:

Lars Walker said...

This is good, and pretty much agrees with my own thinking. It should be noted, though, that both Norwegian Bishop Fridtjof Birkeli and contemporary Swedish historian Anders Winroth (who ignores Birkeli) argue that the coercive elements of the conversion process have been exaggerated. Birkeli argues that Haakon the Good was successful in converting the south and west of Norway (which still allows for stubborn heathen strongholds in the north), and Winroth thinks the saga accounts are pure fiction. Conversions were enacted by the kings, he contends, and gradually trickled down to the common people.