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List of legendary kings of Sweden

  (Redirected from Mythological king of Sweden)

The legendary kings of Sweden are the Swedish kings who preceded Eric the Victorious, according to sources such as the Norse Sagas, Beowulf, Rimbert, Adam of Bremen and Saxo Grammaticus, but who are of disputed historicity because the sources are more or less unreliable, and sometimes contradictory. They are called sagokonungar or sagokungar in Swedish, meaning "Saga kings" according to the etymology given by SAOB.

The first Kings attested in contemporary sources are those mentioned in the Vita Ansgari. However, very little is known about the extent of their rule. The first king attested in more than one source was Eric the Victorious, who lived around 970–995. He was succeeded by his son King Olof Skötkonung (late-960s – circa 1020), who also is the first king we know ruled over both parts of Svealand and Götaland. Earlier kings often only ruled over parts of the present territory of Sweden, and so their validity as 'kings of Sweden' may be questioned. [1][not specific enough to verify] However, according to the Viking sagas, those territories were sometimes united under a single ruler.

In sources such as Heimskringla and Ynglinga saga there appear early Swedish kings who belong in the domain of mythology. From about the 6th century, these kings are gradually succeeded by semi-legendary kings with at least partial claim to historicity, who were all depicted as descendents of the House of Ynglings/Scylfings, either in direct royal line, or through the House of Ragnar Lodbrok and the house of Skjöldung (Scylding).

A historical basis of some of the mythological kings was one of the last of Thor Heyerdahl's archeo-anthropological theories, as in The Search for Odin. Such suggestions are generally considered speculative, not scientific, but while there is no historiographical tradition that would confirm the historicity of Swedish kings prior to the 6th century, it is safe to assume that the Suiones, as a tribe mentioned by Tacitus in the 1st century AD, did have kings (Common Germanic *kuningaz) during the prehistoric period.


House of Ynglings/ScylfingsEdit

The list is mainly based on the Ynglinga saga, in turn based on the Ynglingatal. In addition, Snorri uses a king Gylfe in his prologue to his Edda.

The genealogy is traced to Odin himself (as are the Anglo-Saxon royal genealogies). Odin is euhemerised as an Asian noble with a genealogy going back to the Trojans. King Fjölnir, the 4th generation after Odin, in the Grottisongr is named a contemporary of Caesar Augustus, placing him late in the 1st century BC. The kings following Fjölnir based on internal chronology would then span the 1st to 7th centuries AD.[2] The later Yngling kings of the Vendel Period (6th to 7th century) may well correspond to historical rulers, even if biographical detail from the Heimskringla has to be considered legendary; the kings Egil, Ottar and Ale are also attested in Beowulf. After Ingjald, Snorri does not relate any further stories of Swedish kings, and follows the descendants of the house to Norway.

House of Ivar VidfamneEdit

These are kings who succeeded the Yngling dynasty and who were part of the legends of Harald Hildetand and Ragnar Lodbrok. Björn Ironside is considered to be the founder of the next dynasty. According to the Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus, Sigurd Hring belonged to the Ynglings and he was the son of Ingjald. The sagas, on the other hand, give his father as Randver, variously the son of Ráðbarðr, King of Garðaríki, or of Valdar, Viceroy of Denmark, or of Hrœrekr Ringslinger, King of Denmark and Zealand.

House of Munsö (8th to 10th centuries)Edit

The sources for the period are conflicting, but the kings Bern and Anund named in the only contemporary account, Rimbert's Vita Ansgari, seem to correspond to Björn at Hauge and Anund Uppsale. Suggestions for explanations of the inconsistencies have been to stipulate a tradition of co-rulership where two brothers were elected kings at the same time. The sources only seem to mention the details when there was civil war (Björn at Hauge and Anund Uppsale) or problems of succession (Eric the Victorious, Olof (II) Björnsson and Styrbjörn Starke).

The line of Swedish kings is continued in List of Swedish monarchs.

Gesta DanorumEdit

Certain kings of Sweden appear in the Danish Gesta Danorum by Saxo Grammaticus. Of these, some (for example Athisl/Adils, Hunding/Fjölnir, Halfdan, Sigurd Hring, Ragnar Lodbrok and Erik and Alrik) are based on the same traditions as the West Norse Ynglingatal, Ynglinga saga and Historia Norwegiae. Moreover, the dynasties are the same, i.e. the descendants of the god Frey (i.e. the Ynglings) and intermediary Skjöldungs.[3]

However, there are many differences. These differences are not only due to a considerable distance in time from the kings they describe and to the traditions being kept in different parts of Scandinavia. Whereas Ynglingatal glorifies the Norwegian kings by their Swedish origins, Saxo's Swedish kings are there to glorify the Danes by being dominated by them, the task of which might have needed some fictional creativity from Saxo's side and/or Danish bias and tradition. On the other hand, in some sources the Ynglings did not solely rule Norway after ruling Sweden and so describes kings following Ingjald as kings of Sweden and Norway Ynglings as well as Norway.

This list is incomplete:

Johannes MagnusEdit

Johannes Magnus in his Historia de omnibus Gothorum Sveonumque regibus (published posthumously in 1554) lists Gustav Vasa (r. 1521–1523) as the 143rd and Eric the Victorious (Ericus Victoriofus, the first Swedish king who can unambiguously be regarded as historical[5]) as the 110th Swedish king, in a list beginning with Magog ("2259 BC"). Magnus inserts 49 kings and 20 centuries between Odin (Othen, 9th, "1866–1746 BC", with a reign of 120 years) and Fjölnir of the House of Yngling (Fliolmus , 59th, "AD 265–273") where the Old Norse tradition has only two or three (Freyr, Njördr, Yngvi):

  1. Magog (2259 BC BCE)
  2. Suenno (2217 BCE)
  3. Gethar (Göthar I, 2161 BCE)
  4. Ubbo [sv] (2101 BCE)
  5. Siggo (2000 BCE)
  6. Ericus (1990 BCE)
  7. Uddo (1921 BCE)
  8. Alo (1896 BCE)
  9. Othen (Odin, 1866 BCE)
  10. Carolus (Carl I, 1746 BCE)
  11. Biorno (Björn I, 1695 BCE)
  12. Gethar (Göthar II, 1599 BCE)
  13. Siggo (Sigge II, 1570 BCE)
  14. Berico (1511 BCE)
  15. Humpulphus (1471 BCE)
  16. Humelus (1367 BCE)
  17. Gothilas (1292 BCE)
  18. Sigthunius (1246 BCE)
  19. Scarinus (1213 BCE)
  20. Sibdagerus (1173 BCE)
  21. Asumundus (1113 BCE)
  22. Uffo (1065 BCE)
  23. Hunding (1021 BCE)
  24. Regnerus (Regner I, 973 BCE)
  25. Hothebrotus (944 BCE)
  26. Attilus (Adils I, 879 BCE)
  27. Hotherus (830 BCE)
  28. Rodericus (752 BCE)
  29. Attilus (Adils II, 668 BCE)
  30. Botuildus (638 BCE)
  31. Carolus (Carl II, 596 BCE)
  32. Grimerus (548 BCE)
  33. Tordo (508 BCE)
  34. Gotharus (Göthar III, 389 BCE)
  35. Adulphus (315 BCE)
  36. Algothus (292 BCE)
  37. Ericus (Eric II, 263 BCE)
  38. Lindormus (209 BCE)
  39. Alaricus and Gefsillus (177 BCE)
  40. Ericus (Eric III, 75 BCE)
  41. Getricus (4 BCE)
  42. Haldanus (Haldan I, 42 CE)
  43. Vilmerus (70 CE)
  44. Nordianus (82 CE)
  45. Sivardus (Sifvar I, 103 CE)
  46. Carolus (Carl III, 130 CE)
  47. Ericus (Eric IV, 169 CE)
  48. Haldanus (Halvdan II, 181 CE)
  49. Euginus (194 CE)
  50. Ragnaldus (202 CE)
  51. Amundus (220 CE)
  52. Hacho (Hakon I, 225 CE)
  53. Sivardus (Sifvar II, 234 CE)
  54. Ingo (240 CE)
  55. Nearchus (246 CE)
  56. Frotho (Frode I, 255 CE)
  57. Urbanus (Urban I, 257 CE)
  58. Ostenus (Öste I, 262 CE)
  59. Fliolmus (Fjölnir, 265 CE)
  60. Svercherus (Sveigðir, 273 CE)
  61. Valander (Vanlandi, 276 CE)
  62. Visbur (282 CE)
  63. Domalde (288 CE)
  64. Domar (307 CE)
  65. Attilus (Adils III, 314 CE)
  66. Dignerus (336 CE)
  67. Dagerus, 341 CE)
  68. Alaricus (Alrik II, 356 CE)
  69. Ingemarus (Ingemar I, 367 CE)
  70. Ingellus (378 CE)
  71. Germundus (382 CE)
  72. Haquinus, Ringo (Hakon II, 387 CE)
  73. Egillus (399 CE)
  74. Gotharus (Göthar IV, 405 CE)
  75. Fatho (421 CE)
  76. Gudmudus (427 CE)
  77. Adelus (433 CE)
  78. Oftanus (Östen II, 437 CE)
  79. Ingemarus (Ingemar II, 453 CE)
  80. Holstanus (455 CE)
  81. Biorno (Björn II, 460 CE)
  82. Raualdus (Ragnvald I, 464 CE)
  83. Suartmanus (481 CE)
  84. Tordo (Tord II, 509 CE)
  85. Rodulphus (519 CE)
  86. Hathinus (527 CE)
  87. Attilus (Adils IV, 547 CE)
  88. Tordo (Tord III, 564 CE)
  89. Algothus (Algöt II, 582 CE)
  90. Gostagus, Oftanus (Östen III, 606 CE)
  91. Arthus (630 CE)
  92. Haquinus (Hakon III, 649 CE)
  93. Carolus (Carl IV, 670 CE)
  94. Carolus (Carl V, 676 CE)
  95. Birgerus (Birger I, 685 CE)
  96. Ericus (Eric V, 700 CE)
  97. Torillus (717 CE)
  98. Biornus (Björn III, 764 CE)
  99. Alaricus (Alrik III, 776 CE)
  100. Biornus (Björn IV, 800 CE)
  101. Bratemundus (824 CE)
  102. Sivardus (Sigurd III, 827 CE)
  103. Herotus (842 CE)
  104. Carolus (Carl VI, 859 CE)
  105. Biornus (Björn V, 868 CE)
  106. Ingevallus, Ingellus (883 CE)
  107. Olaus (891 CE)
  108. Ingo (Inge II, 900 CE)
  109. Ericus (Eric VI Weatherhat, 907 CE)
  110. Ericus Victoriofus (Eric VII the Victorious, 917 CE)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Harrison, pp. 16-19
  2. ^ The date of Eadgils is inferred from the date of Hygelac's raid on Frisia (c. 516) For more information see e.g. Birger Nerman's Det svenska rikets uppkomst, Elisabeth Klingmark's Gamla Uppsala, Svenska kulturminnen 59, Riksantikvarieämbetet (2013), Lars Ulwencreutz, The Royal Families in Europe vol. 5 (2013), p. 472.
  3. ^ Troels Brandt Danernes Sagnhistorie København, 2015, ISBN 87-990289-0-5
  4. ^ a b The Danish History, Book One.
  5. ^ Lindkvist, Thomas (2003), "Kings and provinces in Sweden", The Cambridge History of Scandinavia, p. 223., ISBN 0-521-47299-7