Świętosława

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'Świętosława' of Poland
Queen consort of Sweden
Queen consort of Denmark
Spouse Eric the Victorious
Sweyn Forkbeard
Issue Olof Skötkonung
Canute the Great
Harald II of Denmark
"Santslaue"
House Piast
Father Mieszko I of Poland

'Świętosława' is the name tentatively assigned to a Polish princess, the daughter of Mieszko I of Poland and sister of Boleslaw I of Poland. According to German chroniclers, this princess, whose name is not given, was married to first to Eric the Victorious of Sweden and then Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark, giving the former a son Olof and the latter sons Harald and Canute. The name retrospectively given her, Świętosława, derives from that of a likely daughter, under the assumption that this girl may have borne the same name as her mother.

Poland Republic in Central Europe

Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres (120,733 sq mi), and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With a population of approximately 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, and Szczecin.

Mieszko I of Poland Duke of Poland

Mieszko I was the ruler of Poland from about 960 until his death. A member of the Piast dynasty, he was a son of Siemomysł, and a grandson of Lestek. He was the father of Bolesław I the Brave and of Gunhild of Wenden. Most sources make Mieszko I the father of Sigrid the Haughty, a Nordic queen, though one source identifies her father as Skoglar Toste, and the grandfather of Canute the Great, and the great-grandfather of Gunhilda of Denmark, Canute the Great's daughter and wife of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor.

Eric the Victorious Swedish king

Eric the Victorious was a Swedish monarch as of around 970. Since he is the first Swedish king in a consecutive regnal succession, who is attested in sources independent of each other, Sweden's list of rulers usually begins with him. His son Olof Skötkonung, however, is considered the first ruler documented to definitely have been accepted both by the original Swedes around Lake Mälaren and by the Geats around Lake Vättern, which peoples were fundamental in forming the nation of Sweden.

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The Icelandic sagas give her role as successive queen of these two monarchs to Sigrid the Haughty, daughter of Skagul Toste. This account is considered less reliable than the contemporary chroniclers by a number of scholars, according to Birgitta Fritz in Svenskt biografiskt lexikon, [1] and the historical authenticity of Sigrid is viewed skeptically. Snorre Sturlasson also mentions a Slavic princess he calls Gunhild of Wenden, daughter of king Burislav of the Wends, the ancient Slavs inhabiting the northern regions of modern Poland, and it has been suggested that Gunhild may be a somewhat confused account of the sister of the Polish king Boleslaw I, described by the chroniclers. Polish genealogist Rafał T. Prinke sees the German chroniclers as having combined the roles of two distinct wives of Sweyn Forkbeard, with the Polish princess actually being Gunhild, mother of Canute, Harold and a daughter Świętosława, while he sees Sigrid the Haughty as an authentic subsequent wife of Sweyn as widow of Eric the Victorious, being mother of Eric's son Olaf and of Sweyn's daughter Estrid. He further suggests that though Świętosława was not the name of Sweyn's Polish wife, the name had a history in the family, that perhaps it was the name of the otherwise unknown wife of Miesko's father, Siemomysł. [2]

Sigrid the Haughty Viking Queen

Sigrid the Haughty, also known as Sigríð Storråda, is a queen appearing in Norse sagas as wife, first of Eric the Victorious of Sweden, then Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark. Sigrid appears in many sagas composed generations after the events they describe, but there is no reliable evidence as to her existence as they describe her. The figure of Sigrid appears mainly in late Icelandic sagas, while more contemporary sources such as Thietmar of Merseburg and Adam of Bremen instead claim that Sweyn was married to a Polish princess, identified as Świętosława. Snorri Sturluson gives conflicting information and in one place says that Sweyn was married to Sigrid and in another that he was married to a Gunhild of Wenden.

Skagul Toste Chieftain from the Swedish province of West Götaland

Skoglar Toste or Skoglar Tosti was a 10th century chieftain from the Swedish province of West Götaland. His name was reportedly due to his experience in battle.

Birgitta Fritz was a longtime associate professor (docent) of history at the Stockholm University. In 1972, she completed her Ph.D. thesis Hus, land och län. Förvaltningen i Sverige 1250-1434, which became one of the most important works concerning Swedish history.

Contemporary sources

There is scant material in medieval chronicles to provide details regarding the marriages of Sweyn of Denmark and Eric of Sweden:

Thietmar of Merseburg German bishop and historian

Thietmar, Prince-Bishop of Merseburg from 1009 until his death, was an important chronicler recording the reigns of German kings and Holy Roman Emperors of the Ottonian (Saxon) dynasty. Two of Thietmar's great-grandfathers, both referred to Liuthar, were the Saxon nobles Lothar II, Count of Stade, and Lothar I, Count of Walbeck. They were both killed fighting the Slavs at the Battle of Lenzen.

Cnut the Great 10th and 11th-century King of Denmark, Norway, and England

Cnut the Great, also known as Canute, whose father was Sweyn Forkbeard, was King of Denmark, England and Norway; together often referred to as the North Sea Empire. Yet after the deaths of his heirs within a decade of his own, and the Norman conquest of England in 1066, this legacy was lost. He is popularly invoked in the context of the legend of King Canute and the tide, which usually misrepresents him as a deluded monarch believing he has supernatural powers, contrary to the original legend which portrays a wise king who rebuked his courtiers for their fawning behaviour.

Harald II of Denmark King of Denmark

Harald II of Denmark was King of Denmark from 1014 until his death in 1018. He was the youngest son of Sweyn Forkbeard and Gunhild of Wenden, and was regent while his father was fighting Ethelred the Unready in England. He inherited the Danish throne in 1014, and held it while his brother, the later king Cnut the Great conquered England. After his death in 1018, he was succeeded by Cnut the Great. Little detail is known about Harald II.

Bibliography

Andrzej Feliks Grabski was a Polish historian and medievalist.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Birgitta Fritz (2004), "Sigrid Storråda", Svenskt biografiskt lexikon , 32
  2. Rafał T. Prinke, "Identity of Mieszko I's Daughter and Her Scandinavian Relationships"(Roczniki Historyczne LXX (2004),[summary in German], Poznań – Warszawa 2004, ISBN   83-7063-429-X, pp. 81–110)