Erik Årsäll

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Erik Årsäll, Old Norse: Eiríkr hinn ársæli, was a semi-historical king of Sweden. His historicity has been called into question.[1] He is dated by some to the end of the 11th century, by others to the 1120s, while more critical historians believe that he is a legendary name belonging to the 10th century.[1] According to some, he was the son of the pagan Swedish king Blót-Sweyn, and that he, like his father before him, administered the blóts at the temple at Uppsala.[2] However, Eric does not appear in any Swedish or Danish primary sources.[3]

His epithet indicates that the harvests during his reign were good.[2]

The 13th-century historian Snorri Sturluson wrote in the Heimskringla that Blót-Sweyn and Eric had renounced Christianity and still ruled a largely pagan Sweden:

Eric was the contemporary of Inge the Elder,[2] and this suggests that Eric was the last high priest (goði) of the Temple at Uppsala, and that he was killed or deposed by Inge the Elder.

Eric is mentioned in unverifiable sources of legend as the father or grandfather of Sverker the Elder,[2][3] which suggest that either Kol[3][5] (English: Coal or Cole) or Cornube[6] ("Grain-Ulf") might have been his true name, or his father's. Eric Årsäll would then be a description of him as a "king during whose reign there were good harvests".[7] One of Sverker's sons was actually named Kol. The same legends recount that Kaga Church near Linköping was the ancestral church of Sverker's father, and that the graveyard there was initiated for the earlier burial of Kol.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lagerquist, Lars O. (1997). Sveriges Regenter, från forntid till nutid. Stockholm: Norstedts. p. 45. ISBN 91-1-963882-5. 
  2. ^ a b c d Erik, an article in Nordisk familjebok
  3. ^ a b c Svenska kyrkans historia (1838)
  4. ^ Saga of Sigurd the Crusader and His Brothers Eystein and Olaf (c. 1225).
  5. ^ The name of Sverker the Elder's father according to Skáldatal (c. 1300).
  6. ^ The name of Sverker the Elder's father according to the Westrogothic law (c. 1250).
  7. ^ Steinsland, Gro, Den hellige kongen, Oslo 2000. side 54 ISBN 82-530-2227-1