Heimskringla

The Chronicle of The Kings of Norway

by Snorri Sturlson | c.1179-1241 | 320,198 words

The "Heimskringla" of Snorri Sturlason is a collection of sagas concerning the various rulers of Norway, from about A.D. 850 to the year A.D. 1177....

Part 54 - Of King Olaf's Death

Olaf came to the kingdom after his father. He was a great warrior, and an able man; and was besides remarkably handsome, very strong and large of growth. He had Westfold; for King Alfgeir took all Vingulmark to himself, and placed his son Gandalf over it.

Both father and son made war on Raumarike, and subdued the greater part of that land and district. Hogne was the name of a son of the Upland king, Eystein the Great, who subdued for himself the whole of Hedemark, Toten, and Hadeland.

Then Vermeland fell off from Gudrod's sons, and turned itself, with its payment of scatt, to the Swedish king. Olaf was about twenty years old when Gudrod died; and as his brother Halfdan now had the kingdom with him, they divided it between them; so that Olaf got the eastern and Halfdan the southern part.

King Olaf had his main residence at Geirstad. There he died of a disease in his foot, and was laid under a mound at Geirstad.

So sings Thjodolf: —

"Long while this branch of Odin's stem
Was the stout prop of Norway's realm;
Long while King Olaf with just pride
Ruled over Westfold far and wide.
At length by cruel gout oppressed,
The good King Olaf sank to rest:
His body now lies under ground,
Buried at Geirstad, in the mound."