Sunday, March 21, 2010

Erik 1. Ejegod, - 1103 -, ~ Bodil Thrugotsdatter

Erik 1. Ejegod 

Erik Ejegod, --1103, king, was an illegitimate son of Svend Estridsen.
His date of birth is unknown, but he was born in Slangerup,Sjælland
(Zealand), where he later let build a church. Erik joined closely his
brother Knud den Hellige (the Holy), by whom he was appointed Jarl
in Sjælland; he was very alike Knud as for courage and frankness,
but he also had sober-mindedness and an ability to mediate and
make himself popular, which Knud was lacking in. Erik fought bravely
by Knud's side in St. Albani church 10 July 1086.

After Oluf had been elected king, Erik went to Sweden, where he
gained such good reputation that he - 9 years after king Oluf died 18
August 1195 - was called home and elected king after he had sworn to
be faithful to Harald Hen's laws. He took up the fight against the
heathens, also on the Continent where he conquered Oldenburg in
Vagrien. He also fought for an ecclesiastical liberation. The emperor
-friendly archbishop Liemar of Bremen had opposed to Erik, who now
joined Pope Urban II,the king now wanted to make an attempt in
liberating the church of the North from the supremacy of Bremen, and
at the same time he hoped to have his murdered brother adopted as
a church saint.

In autumn 1098 he went to Italy and met pope Urban in Bari in Apulia,
where was held a synod, but his questions were not finally decided. On
the journey Erik took care of the Nordic pilgrims by establishing a
guesthouse in Piacenza and taking similar care of the travellers in
Lucca; he brought reliquaries of the holy Nicolaus home to his church
in Slangerup. Finally the pope's blessing for his brother Knud's
canonization came, at a great party on Good Friday (19. April) the
costy reliquary with Knud den Hellige's bones could be placed upon the
altar of the newbuilt Skt. Knud's Kirke in Odense. Some estate was
given to the church and the connected kloster, to which monks came
from the kloster Evesham in England.

In the summer of the same year there was a meeting at Gøtaelven (a
river in Sweden) between Erik and the kings: Inge of Sweden and king
Magnus Barfod of Norway. Magnus had plundered in Halland, and he was
still fighting with king Inge. Erik mediated between the kings and tried
without doubt to prepare the way for the idea about a Primat for the
Nordic church in Lund.This case was not decided in Rome until after
Erik Ejegod's death.

In fury Erik had killed some hirdmen;a musician had according to Saxe
brought him into rage with his enchanted music. He wanted to go to the
Holy Land "to heal his soul", the Icelandic Skald says. When Erik told
what he wanted to do, the people asked him appealingly to give up this,
they would offer rich presents to pay him from his promise. But Erik
dared not break his oath,he appointed a viceregent staff, who were his
eldest son Harald Kesja and bishop Asser of Lund, and then went together
with his wife Bodil in the year 1102 across Gardarike to Constantinople,
where emperor Alexius showed him much honour. Erik was the first of
the European kings, who went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, but he did
not succeed. In Baffa at Cypern he caught a fever and died 10.July 1103.
After having buried her husband, Bodil continued the journey to Jerusalem,
but died outside the city on the Mount of Olives.

Erik Ejegod was a handsome man, taller and stronger than most men; his
sonorous voice could be heard by everyone in assemblies,he was a popular
speaker, and he sent greetings to everyone who weren't there even wives,
children and slaves. He had a brilliant memory and knew several foreign
languages. He was a skilled ruler, he punished criminals in a hard way, but
however he got the byname "egoth" (always good), and he left as an
important inheritance to his son Knud Lavard and his grandson Valdemar a
shining memory about a loved and clever king.

In his marriage to Bodil he only had the son Knud (Lavard). But he had many
mistresses,(where his queen showed to be very tolerant), and with these
he had the sons Harald Kesja, Benedict, Erik Emune and a daughter Ragnhild.

Ræder, Danmark under Svend Estridsen og hans Sønner.
A. D. Jørgensen, Den nord. Kirkes Grundlæggelse.

Dansk Biografisk Lexicon
Carl Fr. Bricka
Project Runeberg

Bodil Thrugotsdatter

Bodil, --1103, queen. She was a daughter of the
Jarl Thrugot Fagerskind. According to Saxos
narrative she was already married to Erik Ejegod
in the beginning of Oluf Hunger's rule, since
she followed him in exile to Sweden. Their only
child was as far as it is known the later hertug
Knud Lavard. Saxo praises her duty and her
character, especially her tolerance of her
husbands' excesses. She followed him on his
journey to the Holy Land, and she came there
after his death, but died there in 1103.
Knytlingasagas tales about her are considered

H. Olrik, Knud Lavard S. 25 ff.

Translated from J. Kinch's Danish text: grethe bachmann.

Dansk Biografisk Lexicon
Carl Fr. Bricka
Project Runeberg
translation grethe bachmann  ©copyright 

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