Emund the Old

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Emund the Old
King of Sweden
Reign 1050–1060
Predecessor Anund Jakob
Successor Stenkil
Died 1060
Spouse Astrid Njalsdotter
Issue Anund
Ingvar
Ingamoder, Queen of Sweden
House House of Munsö
Father Olof Skötkonung
Mother Edla

Emund the Old or Edmund (Swedish: Emund den gamle, Old Swedish: Æmunðær gamlæ, Æmunðær gammal, Æmunðær slemæ) was King of Sweden from 1050 to 1060.[1]

Emund was an illegitimate son of Olof Skötkonung. Emund's wife was Astrid Njalsdotter of Skjalgaätten (d. 1060). Astrid was the daughter of Norwegian nobleman Nial Finnsson (d. 1011) and Gunhild Halvdansdotter of the Skjalga family in Hålogaland, Norway. They became the parents of three known children: sons Anund and Ingvar, who both died before their father, and a daughter, whose name is not known but who was the Queen Consort of King Stenkil of Sweden and mother of the two more Swedish kings Inge I, Alstan.[2]

Emund succeeded his brother Anund Jakob c. 1050. Emund was reportedly called Slemme, meaning the bad, because he actively opposed the priests from the Archbishopric of Bremen in favour of the English missionary Osmundus[citation needed]. The Westrogothic law states that Emund was a disagreeable man when wanting to pursue a goal, and that he marked the border between Sweden and Denmark.

The cognomen "Gamle" is known from Adam of Bremen, although he mistakes it as a proper name and mentions in one episode a "King Gamle" when it is in fact Emund. The name means "old" and could signify that he was old when he became king or that he was the older brother to his predecessor Anund Jakob.

Emund was the last king of the House of Munsö. Adam of Bremen relates in his work Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum (Deeds of Bishops of the Hamburg Church) that his son Anund Emundsson died when leading a Swedish attack against Terra Feminarum and the attack ended in Swedish defeat. Emund was succeeded by his son-in law, Stenkil.

The Hervarar saga says that Emund was king only a short time:

Eymundr hét annarr sonr Óláfs sænska, er konungdóm tók eptir bróður sinn. Um hans daga heldu Svíar illa kristnina. Eymundr var litla hríð konungr.[3]

Olaf the Swede had another son called Eymund, who came to the throne after his brother. In his day the Swedes neglected the Christian religion, but he was King for only a short time.[4]

References[edit]

Other sources[edit]

  • Sawyer, Peter The Oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings (Oxford University Press, 1997)
  • Ohlmarks, Åke Alla Sveriges drottningar
Emund the Old
Born: 995 Died: 1060
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Anund Jacob
King of Sweden
1050–1060
Succeeded by
Stenkil