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Norway - Process of Christianization

5. Baptism of the Ruler

5A. Circumstances

Håkon the Good (934-961) was brought up by the English king Æthelstan, and returned to Norway as a Christian king. We do not know how this arrangement had arisen: there is a story in Fagrskinna and Heimskringla about Håkon being sent for fostering to England, as part of a competition between Harald Hårfagre and Æthelstan, because fostering a child was a sign of inferiority in Norway. This story is probably a later invention. More likely, the fostering may have been the expression of an alliance, possibly against Denmark.

The Eiriksons followed Håkon into power. They were baptised in England, having gone into exile in England with their father, who was given land to govern there. This arrangement was probably a parallel to the settlement of the Vikings in Normandy, i. e. a means to protect the country from other Vikings. Baptism was probably part of the deal and the returning brothers appear to have prohibited pre-Christian cult practices in Norway.

Olav Tryggvason (995-1000) was according to tradition baptised in the Isles of Scilly during the course of a Viking expedition. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle however, a Viking chieftain called Anlaf, usually identified with Olav Tryggvason, was baptised in England, to wit in Andover, at King Æthelred's court in 991. Adam of Bremen gives two alternative versions of Olav's baptism, one that he was baptised in England, another that he was baptised by Danish missionaries, most probably in Norway (Gesta II.36). The Norwegian-Icelandic sources all agree that he was baptised in England, although they give different accounts of the circumstances and none of them mention King Æthelred. The statement in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is perhaps most likely to be correct and indicates that Olav's baptism should be understood as part of the peace settlement between the Vikings and the Anglo-Saxon king.

Lastly, a Norman chronicle from the end of the 11th century tells that Olav Haraldsson (1015-1030, the most renowned of the Norwegian saints) was baptised at Rouen in 1013 or 1014.

PRIMARY SOURCES:
Adam of Bremen, Magistri Adam Bremensis Gesta Hammarburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, ed. B. Schmeidler as Magistri Adam Bremensis Gesta Hammarburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, Monumenta Germaniae Historica (Scriptores rerum germanicarum in usum scholarum) II (Hannover 1917), transl. F. J. Tschan as Adam of Bremen: History of the Archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen (New York 1959).

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, MS A, ed. J. M. Bately as The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: a collaborative edition III: MS A (Cambridge 1986), transl. in M. Swanton (transl./ed.), The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (London 1996).

Snorri Sturluson, Heimskringla, ed. F. Jónsson as Heimskringla (København 1893- 1901), 4 vols., transl. L. M. Hollander as Heimskringla: History of the Kings of Norway by Snorri Sturluson (Austin 1964).

SECONDARY SOURCES:
Helle, K., 'Kongemakt og kristendom' in A. Ågotnes (ed.), Kristendommen slår rot, Onsdagskvelder i Bryggens Museum 10 (Bergen 1995), pp. 41-54.

5B. Holy Ruler?

Olav Haraldsson was declared a saint just after his death in 1030. The earliest primary sources on this subject are the skaldic poems Glælognskviða, from approximately 1032, and the Erfidrápa, from about 1040. The poems also refer to qualities that are typically seen in Church legends about him (for more about the cult of Olav, see §6D). According to Glælognskviða, Olav, after his death, began to mediate between humans and god: "through God he procures prosperity and peace for all people." Researchers have disagreed upon the reasons why Olav was declared a saint. Some point to political reasons, saying that his canonization could have been used as a weapon against the ruling king. Another explanation relates to conventional church belief about the saints, in particular to the cult dedicated to the English royal saints. Finally, attempts have been made to understand the cult against the background of pre-Christian beliefs in sacred kingship.

PRIMARY SOURCES:
'Erfidrápa', in F. Jónsson (ed.), Den Norsk-Islandske Skjaldedigtning, B: rettet tekst 1 (København 1912), pp.

'Glælognskviða', in F. Jónsson (ed.), Den Norsk-Islandske Skjaldedigtning, B: rettet tekst 1 (København 1912), pp.

SECONDARY SOURCES:
Gunnes, E., 'Hellig Olav - historien og legenden', in J. Bruce (ed.), Olav konge og helgen - myte og symbol (Oslo 1981), pp. 9-30.

Steinsland, G., Den hellige kongen. Om religion og herskermakt fra vikingtid til middelalder (Oslo 2000).

Steinsland, G. & Sørensen, P. M., Menneske og makter i vikingenes verden (Oslo 1994).

5C. Apostolic ruler (i. e. converting the country) 

Olav Tryggvason (995-1000) is known as the first great Christian king of Norway, and the only such king of Iceland. The monk Theodricus, who wrote The History of the Old Norwegian Kings during the latter half of the 1100s, talks a bit about Olav Tryggvason's missionary work. Olav apparently threatened to have the Earl of the Orkney Islands baptised, and despatched priests to Iceland to spread Christianity. The religious Soga om Olav Tryggvason, written in Latin by the monk Oddr Snorrison in Iceland around 1190, and later translated into Old Norse, credits Olav Tryggvason with having Christianized five countries: Norway, Shetland, the Orkney and Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland. Oddr Snorrison's saga also states that Olav converted King Valdemar of Russia and many of his circle to Christianity. Olav Tryggvason was later the subject of several of the larger sagas, including Heimskringla.

Since few primary sources exist, most of these writings are not considered to be based in historical fact. Adam of Bremen speaks briefly and not in particularly flattering terms about Olav Tryggvason, probably for political reasons. His efforts were not perhaps as unprecedented as the sagas suggest: according to other narrative sources, discussed at e. g. §11A, Håkon the Good tried but failed to introduce Christianity. Archaeological evidence from Western Norway plus some, admittedly vague, English evidence suggest that he was more successful than the later sources admit. There are also some hints in the sagas as well as in skaldic poetry that the Eirikssons contributed to the conversion. Although both Olav Tryggvason and St Olav were important, there is thus reason to believe that the process of Christianization was somewhat more gradual than the sagas claim.

Following Norwegian and Icelandic church custom, Olav Tryggvason was eventually regarded as forerunner to the royal saint, Olav Haraldsson, an idea that goes back to Oddr Snorrison's Life of Olav which compares St Olav with Christ and Olav Tryggvason with John the Baptist. These works were obviously imbued with legendary and biblical narrative. The belief, according to the sagas, that Olav Tryggvason got parliamentary approval to Christianize Norway, is however considered to be true: the Law of the Gulating (late 11th to early 12th century) mentions an assembly at Moster in Western Norway, about midway between the present towns of Bergen and Stavanger (see §11A & B).

PRIMARY SOURCES:
Adam of Bremen, Magistri Adam Bremensis Gesta Hammarburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, ed. B. Schmeidler as Magistri Adam Bremensis Gesta Hammarburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, Monumenta Germaniae Historica (Scriptores rerum germanicarum in usum scholarum) II (Hannover 1917), transl. F. J. Tschan as Adam of Bremen: History of the Archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen (New York 1959).

Ágrip, ed. and transl. M. J. Driscoll, Viking Society for Northern Research Vol. X (London 1995). Historia Norvegiae, transl. A. Salvesen as Norges historie; Historia Norvegiae (Oslo 1978).

Oddr Snorrason, Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar, ed. F. Jónsson as Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar af Oddr Snorrason munk (København 1932), transl. T. Andersson as The Saga of Olaf Tryggvason (Ithaca 2003).

Snorri Sturluson, Heimskringla, ed. F. Jónsson as Heimskringla (København 1893- 1901), 4 vols., transl. L. M. Hollander as Heimskringla: History of the Kings of Norway by Snorri Sturluson (Austin 1964).

Theodricus Monachus, De antiquitate regum Norwagiensium, transl. D. & I. McDougall as An account of the ancient history of the Norwegian kings (London 1998).

SECONDARY SOURCES:
Bagge, S., Society and Politics in Snorri Sturluson's Heimskringla (Berkeley 1991).

Helle, K., 'Kongemakt og kristendom' in A. Ågotnes (ed.), Kristendommen slår rot, Onsdagskvelder i Bryggens Museum 10 (Bergen 1995), pp. 41-54.

Jackson, T. N., 'The role of Óláfr Tryggvason in the Conversion of Russia' in M. Rindal (ed.), Three Studies on Vikings and Christianization, KULTs skriftserie 28 (Oslo 1994), pp. 7-25.

Rindal, M., 'Innleiing', in M. Rindal (transl.), Soga om Olav Tryggvason (Oslo 1977), pp. 7-18.

5D. Evidence of copycat behaviour in conversion

The sagas agree for most part that the missionary kings were baptised along with their followers. There is no evidence of following foreign models in their conversions or baptisms.

6. Evidence of Christianization

6A. Missionary activities

Håkon the Good invited English clerics to Norway around the middle of the 900s. In an obituary recorded during the second half of the 900s at the monastery of Glastonbury, located in southwest England, the monk Sigfrid was eulogized as a Norwegian bishop.

Adam of Bremen refers to Bishop Johannes as the first from England. He also names envoys from Hamburg who had preached in Norway prior to Johannes: Liafdag, Odinkar and Poppo. Adam provides no information about rivalry between missionary centres, and writes that the English came to Norway to continue the work that the envoys from Hamburg had begun. Archbishop Unwan of Hamburg (1013-1029) "despatched highly learned men to Norway and Sweden. Out of consideration for his friendship with the king, he allowed however men who had been consecrated in England to leave in order to build churches when they proclaimed themselves loyal to him". Grimkjell, who worked for Olav Haraldsson, succeeded Johannes as bishop. Sigfrid and other priests followed. When these men died, the archbishop of Hamburg- Bremen ordained Thorolv and Sigvard as Norwegian bishops. The pope however ordained Asgot and Bernhard; the Archbishop received their ordination poorly. Olav Haraldsson had many bishops and priests from England. Adam names Sigfrid, Grimkjell, Rudolf and Bernhard. They had all apparently done missionary work in Svealand, Gotland and the islands in the West at the request of the king. Olav Haraldsson also apparently made contact with the archbishopric of Hamburg-Bremen, and asked that more envoys be sent to Norway.

The different culture, religion, language and social organisation of the Saami people all went to ensure that they were Christianized at different times, and generally later, than the Norwegian peoples. They are mentioned as a separate group at the time of the foundation of the achbishopric of Hamburg-Bremen in the middle of the 11th century. The influence from the Norwegians was strongest along the coast, and Christanization was earlier there (from the 13th century). One eastern group of the Saami people, the Skoltesamene, were Christianized by missionaries from Russia, in two principal bouts, and mainly during the 16th century. The major Christianization of the Saami did not however occur until the 17th, and rather more strongly in the 18th century.

PRIMARY SOURCES:
Adam of Bremen, Magistri Adam Bremensis Gesta Hammarburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, ed. B. Schmeidler as Magistri Adam Bremensis Gesta Hammarburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, Monumenta Germaniae Historica (Scriptores rerum germanicarum in usum scholarum) II (Hannover 1917), transl. F. J. Tschan as Adam of Bremen: History of the Archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen (New York 1959).

SECONDARY SOURCES:
Helle, K., 'Kongemakt og kristendom' in A. Ågotnes (ed.), Kristendommen slår rot, Onsdagskvelder i Bryggens Museum 10 (Bergen 1995), pp. 41-54.

Krag, C., Vikingtid og rikssamling 800-1130, Aschehougs Norgeshistorie 2 (Oslo 1995).

Schanche, A., Graver i ur og berg: samisk gravskikk og religion fra forhistorisk til nyere tid (Karasjok 2000).

6B. Papal connections 

Contact with the archbishopric of Hamburg-Bremen was limited during the period of missionary work. Although the papacy confirmed that Norway belonged to the archbishopric of Hamburg-Bremen, most clerics came over from England together with the kings. For parts of the 1100s, the relationship with the papacy was strained. Harald Hardråde (1047 to 1066) defied the archbishop by appointing his own bishops. He was accused of using the church's money for military purposes. The archbishop received the full support of the Pope in the matter, and Adam of Bremen reproduces a letter of warning written by the pope to Harald and other evidence in support of this. This is the earliest evidence of direct papal intervention in Norway, but later, there is a letter from Pope Gregory VII to King Olav Kyrre (1066-93) from 1079 preserved in the Vatican archive, warning the king against getting involved in the conflict over the succession to the throne in Denmark and inviting him to send some young men of good families to be educated at the curia. As for coronation, a papal legate was present at Magnus Erlingsson's coronation - the first in Scandinavia - in 1163 or possibly 1164. In 1247, King Håkon Håkonsson was crowned by Cardinal William of Sabina after having obtained papal dispensation because of his illegitimate birth.

PRIMARY SOURCES:
Adam of Bremen, Magistri Adam Bremensis Gesta Hammarburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, ed. B. Schmeidler as Magistri Adam Bremensis Gesta Hammarburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, Monumenta Germaniae Historica (Scriptores rerum germanicarum in usum scholarum) II (Hannover 1917), transl. F. J. Tschan as Adam of Bremen: History of the Archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen (New York 1959).

SECONDARY SOURCES:
Krag, C., Vikingtid og rikssamling 800-1130, Aschehougs Norgeshistorie 2 (Oslo 1995).

6C. Earliest evidence of liturgy

The oldest known liturgy is associated with Saint Olav. The poem Erfidrápa, dating to about 1040, shows that the Church had begun to celebrate Olav's feast day. The earliest liturgical Olav texts known, probably the earliest Norwegian liturgical texts of any kind indeed, were written around 1050. They have survived through reproduction in two English sources, the so-called Leofric Collection and the Red Book of Darley. These two texts borrowed some of their contents from the liturgy for the English royal saints. The Norwegian Church can be shown to have been strongly influenced by English clerics during the period of evangelisation, including over which masses would be celebrated. The oldest liturgy would therefore have been that with which the missionaries were familiar from their home country.

SECONDARY SOURCES:
Gjerløw, L., 'Olav den hellige. Liturgi' in J. Granlund, F. Hødnebø, M. M. Lárusson et al. (eds), Kulturhistorisk leksikon for nordisk middelalder (Oslo 1956-78) Vol. 12, pp.

Taranger, A., Den angelsaksiske Kirkes indflydelse paa den norske (Kristiania 1890).

6D. Saints' cult 

The most important saints were most likely known early on in Norway as they were an important part of the missionaries' Christianity. Norwegians would additionally have encountered the saints' cult abroad. It has been debated whether the cult of the saints was consciously used in Christian evangelisation in order to facilitate the transition from polytheism to monotheism. Church dedications are known for the earliest churches in Norway: Olav Tryggvason apparently built a church in 996 in honour of the unknown men of Selja. This is the first church known to have existed in Norway. Klemenskirke in Trondheim was built at the beginning of Olav Haraldsson's rule. It is believed to be the first church in Trondheim. Olav Haraldson is also believed to have built the Maria Church in (Sarps) Borg in 1016. Dietrichson (1888), amongst others, documented subsequent churches dedicated to saints.

The earliest laws (from Borgarting and Gulating) list the following saints's days as compulsory holidays to be celebrated from noon the day before: Mary, the apostles Peter, Paul, Bartholomew, Simon and Jude, Andrew; John the Evangelist, John the Baptist, St Michael the Archangel, St Lawrence. The law of Gulating adds to this the apostles St Matthew and St Thomas. Both have also the three Norwegian saints (see below). Some saints' days of lesser rank are also listed. The laws specified the days and what should be done by way of fast or abstinence in advance and rest from work on the day itself, plus fines for failure to respect these rules. Some masses, celebrating the most important of the saints including Mary, Michael, and the apostles Peter, Paul and John, appear to have been instituted in the 1020s. Moreover, the Church took advantage of local cults that worshipped a number of other saints:

The Norwegian Church paid homage to a relatively small group of saints during the High Middle Ages. The most popular saints consistently appear to have been Mary and St Olav, "Norway's eternal king." However, it is worth noting that the three earliest saints, Olav, Sunniva and Hallvard, correspond to the three earliest dioceses, Nidaros (now Trondheim), Selja/Bergen, and Oslo.

PRIMARY SOURCES:
Adam of Bremen, Magistri Adam Bremensis Gesta Hammarburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, ed. B. Schmeidler as Magistri Adam Bremensis Gesta Hammarburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, Monumenta Germaniae Historica (Scriptores rerum germanicarum in usum scholarum) II (Hannover 1917), transl. F. J. Tschan as Adam of Bremen: History of the Archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen (New York 1959).

Gammelnorsk homiliebok, ed. G. Indrebø & transl. A. Salvesen (Oslo 1971). 'Glælognskviða', in F. Jónsson (ed.), Den Norsk-Islandske Skjaldedigtning, B: rettet tekst 1 (København 1912), pp.

Gulatingslovi, transl. K. Robberstad (Oslo 1969).

Heilagramanna sögur, ed. C. R. Unger, Vol. I (Kristiania 1877).

Norges gamle Love indtil 1387, eds R. Keyser & P. A. Munch, Vol. I (Kristiania 1846).

Oddr Snorrason, Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar, ed. F. Jónsson as Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar af Oddr Snorrason munk (København 1932), transl. T. Andersson as The Saga of Olaf Tryggvason (Ithaca 2003).

Otte Brudstykker af Den Ældste Saga om Olav den hellige, ed. G. Storm (Kristiania 1893).

Passio Olavi, transl. E. Skard, Norrøne bokverk 26 (Oslo 1970).

Snorri Sturluson, Heimskringla, ed. F. Jónsson as Heimskringla (København 1893- 1901), 4 vols., transl. L. M. Hollander as Heimskringla: History of the Kings of Norway by Snorri Sturluson (Austin 1964).

SECONDARY SOURCES:
Antonsson, H., 'The Cult of St Óláfr in Kievan Rus' in Forum Medievale (2002), pp. 143-160.

Antonsson, H., 'The Idea of Rewards for Martyrdom in Post-Conversion Scandinavia' in Saga-Book of the Viking Society (2004), pp. 70-94.

Dietrichson, L., Sammenlignende Fortegnelse over Norges Kirkebygninger i Middelalderen og Nutiden, Tidsskrift for den evangelisk-lutherske kirke, 3rd series Vol.2 (Kristiania 1888), No. 4.

Gunnes, E., 'Hellig Olav - historien og legenden' in J. Bruce (ed.), Olav konge og helgen - myte og symbol (Oslo 1981), pp. 9-30.

Hultgård, A., 'Religiös förändring, kontinuitet och ackulturation/synkretism i vikingatiden och medeltidens skandinaviska religion' in B. Nilson (ed.), Kontinuitet i kult och tro från vikingatid till medeltid (Uppsala 1992), pp. 49-103.

Knapskog, M., "Tidlig norsk helgentro" (Master's thesis, University of Bergen 1999).

Steinsland, G., Den hellige kongen. Om religion og herskermakt fra vikingtid til middelalder (Oslo 2000).

6E. Relics

There are no known Norwegian relics before the discovery of the Selja travellers. A reliquary, as mentioned in §4F & G above, was found in a grave at Kaupang, but may have belonged to a traveller and was not necessarily appreciated for its Christian significance. It appears that cults related to local relics developed quickly, indicating that belief in relics was gaining ground. Olav Tryggvason appears to have built a church where the Selja travellers' relics were placed. Olav Haraldsson was buried, also as mentioned above, in a shrine in Trondheim the year after his death. From this point on, relics are a permanent element of Norwegian Christianity. Encolpions, probably for St Olav relics, were produced in Trondheim from the second half of 11th century. No relics appear to have been more sacred than those of St Olav's shrine. Church dedications provide a picture of which saints were represented with relics in Norway during the High Middle Ages, that is, primarily the key apostles and the early saints.

SECONDARY SOURCES:
Dietrichson, L., Sammenlignende Fortegnelse over Norges Kirkebygninger i Middelalderen og Nutiden, Theologisk Tidsskrift for den Evangelisk-Lutherske Kirke i Norge 3rd Series Vol. 2 (Kristiana 1888), No. 4.

Heyerdahl-Larsen, B., Kaupang-funnene Vol. I (Oslo 1981).

Staecker, J., Rex regum et dominus dominorum. Die wikingerzeitlicher Kreuz- und Kruzifixaanhänger als Ausdruck der Mission in Altdänemark und Schweden, Lund Studies in Medieval Archaeology XXIII (Stockholm 1999).

6F. Christian cult objects

Not many cult objects from the early Christian period in Norway have been preserved. Christian objects in non-Christian graves are best considered imported. Possible Christian imported objects have been found in the supposed chieftain's hall at Borg in Lofoten. Production of Christian cult objects is seen in Trondheim from the second half of the 11th century, and from the same time we also find inscribed crosses on secular objects and imported Christian cult objects like crucifixes or medallions with crucifixes.

From the 11th century, a few silver crucifixes exist which were used as jewellery (Trondheim) and a cross which was used to hide a reliquary was found in Tønsberg. The Church also had icons, as elsewhere in Europe, but the oldest preserved examples date to the 1100s. These include a crucifix as well as painted wooden sculptures of Mary and other saints. A few groups of wooden Calvaries have also been preserved. The oldest painted pictures associated with Christianity are in the Romanesque style. They are all found in churches as wall decorations (for instance in Røldal, Hordaland; Siljan, Vestfold; Nes, Telemark), which means that they were produced locally. They are few, and not many of them are convincingly dated as early as the 12th century. The main period of local production of paintings in Norway is c. 1250-1350, from which period we have preserved a significant number of altar frontals, including the famous 'St Olav frontal' of 1250-1350. Their material (most of them are made of pine) as well as their motives (many depict St Olav) constitute evidence that they were made in Norway. Further, a frontal from Nedstryn has an inscription in Old Norse, and a fragment of an Old Norse letter to the king of Norway is found a frontal from Årdal (RN II no. 1065, cf. Holm-Olsen). The late medieval period is dominated by imported art, from Germany, and the Netherlands. It is also believed that other holy pictures could be found in churches. These, it is believed, were used as altar pieces, tapestries and murals, and played an important role in Church services. The quantity of preserved material increases and develops as the Middle Ages progresses. For example, the earliest holy pictures present Jesus Christ as a triumphant king and Mary as a heavenly queen. Later pictures were influenced by new trends developing during the 1100s. These represented Christ's suffering and humanity to a greater degree. The cult is believed at this point to have turned more towards individual religious experience than previously.

SECONDARY SOURCES:
Berg, K. (ed.) Norges kunsthistorie, Vol. II (Oslo 1981).

Helle, K., Under kirke og kongemakt 1130-1350, Aschehougs Norgeshistorie 3 (Oslo 1995).

Krag, C., Vikingtid og rikssamling 800-1130, Aschehougs Norgeshistorie 2 (Oslo 1995).

6G. Types of cemeteries (their transformation)

According to the earliest pieces of Christian legislation, dating to the time of Olav Haraldsson, churches were to have churchyards. Excavations on Veøy and in Oslo uncovered churchyards which had been expanded in several phases and then fenced in by stones. The graves are orientated east-west.

SECONDARY SOURCES:
Schia, E., Oslo innerst i Viken. Liv og virke i middelalderbyen (Oslo 1991).

Solli, B., Narratives of Veøy. An investigation into the poetics and scientifics of archaeology, Universitetets Oldsaksamlings Skrifter, Ny rekke No. 19 (Oslo 1996).

6H. Burial practices

Pre-Christian burial practices, other than among the Saami, disappear from Norway in general during the 10th and 11th centuries, at differing times in various areas; and last in eastern Norway and Agdar, in Trøndelag and northern Norway. The latest burial known, dated by coins, is from some time in 1065X1080 or later, at Valle in Aust- Agder (south Norway). Christian legislation prohibited pre-Christian burial practices. There are no places with non-Christian and Christian burials simultaneously.

Christian churches were often built on the same site as a non-Christian grave field, but they always are of different ages. Maybe because the Christian burials are less visible and more difficult to date, or because they did not exist, we have very few examples of Christian burials before 1100. This cannot in itself prove whether coexistence of Christian and non-Christian burials at the same time was usual or not, but the fact that one never finds Christian graves in connection with the excavation of non-Christian graves implies that this was not common.

However, if we consider it valid to compare practices over a larger unit, like the whole Romsdal region, there are found older churchyard burials than non-Christian burials. On the other hand we find non-Christian burials which are as much as 100 years younger in Agder. This shows that there is not a strictly evolutionary line from non-Christian burials to churchyards, and that the change did not happen at the same time everywhere in Norway.

Priests were obliged to carry out burial rites, but were paid to do so before the tithe came into effect. This is referred to in the oldest legislative documents and in the text of Adam of Bremen.

PRIMARY SOURCES:
Adam of Bremen, Magistri Adam Bremensis Gesta Hammarburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, ed. B. Schmeidler as Magistri Adam Bremensis Gesta Hammarburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, Monumenta Germaniae Historica (Scriptores rerum germanicarum in usum scholarum) II (Hannover 1917), transl. F. J. Tschan as Adam of Bremen: History of the Archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen (New York 1959).

Gulatingslovi, transl. K. Robberstad (Oslo 1969).

SECONDARY SOURCES:
Solberg, B., Jernalderen i Norge. 500 før Kristus til 1030 etter Kristus (Oslo 2000).

6I. Stages: chronology and sequence of change

SECONDARY SOURCES:
Munch, G. S., Johansen, O-S & Roesdahl, E. (eds.), Borg in Lofoten. A chieftain's farm in North Norway (Trondheim 2003).

Norsted, T., 'Olavsfrontalet' in E. Seips (ed.), En stavkirke til Island. Stafkirkja rís á Íslandi. A Stave Church for Iceland (Oslo 2000), pp. 99-107.

Skaare, K., Norges mynthistorie (Oslo 1995).

6J. Evidence of influences

A. Taranger conducted one of the first studies of Anglo-Saxon influence on the Norwegian Church. He refers to the similarities between the Norwegian cult of St Olav and the English cult of holy kings as well as in the development of the Churches' liturgies. Many of the Anglo-Saxon and the Norwegian mass days were held in common. This can be explained by the fact that the most influential clerics came from England, and the missionary kings themselves had intimate knowledge of English Christianity, though there is no specific evidence of direct influence. Onomastics show that people were named after the Irish Abbess Brigida in Norway in the 11th century, and the feast day for the English Abbot Botolv was also introduced early on. Botolv was honoured through church dedication along with saints such as Albanus (prior to 1150), Columba (between 1150 and 1250) and Edmund (prior to 1150). F. Birkeli provides evidence of early English and Irish influence on Norwegian stone crosses from the 900s.

SECONDARY SOURCES:
Birkeli, F., Norske steinkors i tidlig middelalder. Et bidrag til belysning av overgangen fra norrøn religion til kristendommen (Oslo 1973).

Dietrichson, L., Sammenlignende Fortegnelse over Norges Kirkebygninger i Middelalderen og Nutiden, Theologisk Tidsskrift for den Evangelisk-Lutherske Kirke i Norge 3rd series Vol. 2 (Kristiana 1888), No. 4.

Lind, E. H., Norsk-isländska dopnamn och fingerade namn från medeltiden (Uppsala 1905-1915).

Taranger, A., Den angelsaksiske Kirkes indflydelse paa den norske (Kristiania 1890).

6K. Evidence of Christian legislation

Olav Haraldsson introduced the oldest Christian legislation in the 1020s. Parliamentary assembly in each jurisdiction in the country passed these laws, and the first 'Ting' was apparently adjourned at Moster in Hordaland. There were several different kinds of ting, from local, where all heads of households participated, to the four 'lagting' to which the local communities sent representatives. The king was not a member, but he had to negotiate with the ting to reach decisions, legislate etc. The king was also elected by the ting. Christian legislation from the court of western Norway, Gulatingsloven, generally indicates which decisions were attributed to Olav. Christian legislation is also preserved in the Eidsivatingsloven and the Borgartingsloven of eastern Norway. These were probably recorded before 1150. Gulatingsloven begins by commanding the populace to kneel down facing east and to pray to Christ for prosperity and peace. The legislation also prohibits pagan cult activities such as fortune telling, witchcraft and animal sacrifice. In most cases outlawry or loss of property punished such activities, but in some cases even death was decreed. Christian legislation prohibited polygamy and marriage between cousins who were closer than third cousins in laws of the late eleventh or early twelfth century. Marriage within the sixth degree was prohibited in the earliest layer of the Christian laws, according to Frostatingsloven by St Olav. The ban against divorce was apparently introduced in the 1160s; the oldest laws permit divorce. The abandonment of children was also prohibited, and everyone was to be baptised. Holidays, mass days and Friday fasting were all made obligatory, and everyone was required by law to uphold the Church.

PRIMARY SOURCES:
Gulatingslovi, transl. K. Robberstad (Oslo 1969).

Norges gamle Love indtil 1387, eds R. Keyser & P. A. Munch, Vol. I (Kristiania 1846).

7. Evidence of medieval perception of the conversion process 

A few foreign sources describe the conversion of Norway, notably Adam of Bremen. An early indigenous view of the process of Christianization however comes from the Kuli-steinen, a rune stone from Nordmore. A wood-covered road passing by the stone is dated by dendro-chronology to 1034. The road was supposed to help people pass across the moor from the area close to Kuli-steinen. We have no evidence that the Kuli-steinen and the road is built / erected simultaneously. It appears to be a normal pattern that rune stones are placed by a road. If this is the case at Kuli as well, the date of the road indicates an oldest possible date for the rune stone. The text is translated as follows: "Tore and Hallvard raised this stone after Ulvljót, and Christianity had been in Norway for twelve winters". It is believed that this reflects a key event in the process of Christianization, such as a formal decision to make Christian religion and religious practice obligatory. Some regard the so-called Dragseid assembly, in the northern part of the west coast in 996 or 997, as that key event, and others, the Moster assembly of the 1020s. According to Oddr Snorrison, the Dragseid parliament was summoned by Olav Tryggvason, accepted Christianity, banned sorcerers, and gave good laws. Oddr quotes the Icelander Sæmund the Wise (d. 1133), whose work has been lost, for this information. Unfortunately, it is not clear how much of Oddr's information goes back to Sæmund. However, an assembly in this area is not unlikely, as it belonged to the same strategic region as Selja. Some historians have referred to Håkon the Good's attempt to Christianize Western Norway, apparently by negotiation at a meeting with the people at the Frostating (i. e. the main ting of Trøndelag) as a key event in the Christianization of Norway.

The general term for religious change in the Nordic church of the Middle Ages is "change of custom". This refers first and foremost to changes in cult and religious practice. Christian authors, such as Snorri in Heimskringla, often use the phrase "to keep Christianity". These sources display a variety of attitudes, from seeing Christianization as the result of divine intervention and paganism as the Devil's illusion, to fairly pragmatic accounts of clever kings succeeding through a mixture of negotiations, alliances, personal charisma, and violence. The depth of religious change during the Middle Ages has been open to interpretation, and has been approached in very different ways by individual researchers. E. Bull has concluded that the Christianization of Norway was primarily a question of form, while the content of Norwegian Christianity was, throughout the Middle Ages, of lesser importance. F. Paasche has researched religious skaldic poems, and proposes that Christianity was just as evident and as personal as in the Church as a whole during this time.

SECONDARY SOURCES:
Bagge, S., 'Between Pragmatism and Divine Intervention - the Medieval Accounts of the Conversion of Norway' in L. B. Mortensen (ed.), Historiography and the Holy (forthcoming).

Bagge, S. 'Ideologies and Mentalities', in K. Helle (ed.), The Cambridge History of Scandinavia I (Cambridge 2003), pp. 465-86.

Bull, E., Folk og kirke i middelalderen. Studier til Norges historie (Kristiania 1912).

Munch, G. S., 'Bautasteiner og vei', in Viking (1981), pp. 105-116.

Paasche, F., Kristendom og kvad, En studie i norrøn middelalder (Kristiania 1914).

Pettersen, K., 'Kuløy - sentralt i går, utkant i dag' in Spor (1986), pp. 14-17.

8. Is there a tradition in national historiography of a 'pagan uprising' and what sort of evidence exists about them?

8A. Content of sources 

Most written sources record that Christianity advanced throughout the period of Olav Haraldsson's reign to the extent that the entire country was Christian by the time he died. Adam of Bremen however tells that Olav Haraldsson had to flee the country because the pagan chieftains rose against him. Olav supposedly killed the chieftains' wives because they practiced witchcraft. Upon his return, the chieftains are said to have killed him at Stiklestad. This is considered to be without historical basis by contemporary researchers. Adam is the only source for St Olav's death as the result of such a pagan rebellion. Not even the official legend, Passio Olavi (c. 1160/70) states this. As Adam is not particularly well informed about Norwegian events, and as it is difficult to explain the absence of such a piece of information in a predominantly hagiographic tradition if it were true, it is more probable that the rebellion against Olav was political rather than religious. Olav's flight had been on political grounds, and those who participated in the battle at Stiklestad knew that both of the battling kings were Christian. The Passio Olavi represents Olav as a martyr among unbelievers. The unbelievers were in opposition to both God and king, and would not accept the new faith. The legend was used in Church services, and is not a work of history. It is therefore natural that it represents Olav's fate as one of a battle between the forces of good and evil.

PRIMARY SOURCES:
Adam of Bremen, Magistri Adam Bremensis Gesta Hammarburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, ed. B. Schmeidler as Magistri Adam Bremensis Gesta Hammarburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, Monumenta Germaniae Historica (Scriptores rerum germanicarum in usum scholarum) II (Hannover 1917), transl. F. J. Tschan as Adam of Bremen: History of the Archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen (New York 1959).

Fagrskinna, ed. B. Einarrson, Íslenzk fornrit 29 (Reykjavík 1985).

Snorri Sturluson, Heimskringla, ed. F. Jónsson as Heimskringla (København 1893- 1901), 4 vols., transl. L. M. Hollander as Heimskringla: History of the Kings of Norway by Snorri Sturluson (Austin 1964).

SECONDARY SOURCES:
Krag, C., Vikingtid og rikssamling 800-1130, Aschehougs Norgeshistorie 2 (Oslo 1995).

Steinsland, G., Den hellige kongen. Om religion og herskermakt fra vikingtid til middelalder (Oslo 2000).

8B. What happened?

See §8A above.

8C. Uprising involved members of the ruling /dynasty?

See §8A above.

© S. Bagge and S. Nordeide