Person:Ragnvald Ulfsson (1)

Ragnvald Ulfsson
Facts and Events
Name Ragnvald Ulfsson
Gender Male
Reference Number? Q166572?

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Ragnvald Ulfsson the Old (beginning 11th century) was a jarl of Västergötland or Östergötland, and married to a sister of Olav Tryggvason.

Ragnvald is mentioned in the skaldic poem Austrfaravísur, ascribed to Sigvatr Þórðarson, skald of King Olaf Haraldsson of Norway (Olaf the Holy), who had been on a diplomatic mission to Sweden. This poem is quoted in the 13th century sagas Fagrskinna and Snorri Sturluson's Heimskringla. In addition to the poem, Fagrskinna only briefly mentions Ragnvald, while Heimskringla contains a more elaborate account of him. This 13th-century prose text is not considered historically reliable.

According to Snorri, Ragnvald was the son of jarl Ulf Tostesson and Ingeborg and the foster-son of Þorgnýr the Lawspeaker. He was the cousin of Olof Skötkonung, through his aunt Sigrid the Haughty, and he was married to Ingeborg Tryggvasdotter.

During his days the Norwegians pillaged in Västergötland, but then the Norwegian king, Olaf the Holy, proposed to the Swedish princess Ingigerd Olofsdotter, the daughter of Sweden's king Olof Skötkonung. This pleased Ragnvald who was related to both.

However, at the Thing at Gamla Uppsala, Ragnvald and his foster-father Þorgnýr the Lawspeaker had to force Olof, the Swedish king, to promise his daughter to Olaf, the Norwegian king, whom he did not like. When the Swedish king failed to deliver his daughter, Ragnvald realized that he was in trouble. He has not only fallen out of grace with the Swedish king, but he could also expect the revenge of the Norwegians.

During a visit by the skald Sigvatr Þórðarson, Ragnvald learned that Prince Jaroslav of Kievan Rus' has proposed to Ingigerd, and so he had the idea that Olaf the Holy should marry the illegitimate daughter of Olof Skötkonung, Astrid, who was staying with Ragnvald. Sigvat promised to deliver the message, and the Norwegian king accepted.

Ragnvald delivered Astrid at Sarpsborg in Norway and she married the king after Christmas of 1019.

Olof Skötkonung was now so upset that he intended to hang Ragnvald at the next Thing. However, when Ingigerd Olofsdotter married Jaroslav, Ingigerd managed to arrange that Ragnvald became the jarl of Staraja Ladoga (Aldeigjuborg) and Ingria, and Olof let him depart with Ingigerd in the summer of 1019.

Fagrskinna's account of Olaf the Holy's betrothal to Ingigerd, and eventual wedding with Astrid, differs significantly from the account in Heimskringla. In Fagrskinna's account, Ragnvald is not given a prominent role in the proceedings.

Married to Ingeborg Tryggvasdotter. Children:

  1. Ulf Ragnvaldsson Jarl
  2. Eilif Ragnvaldsson Jarl
  3. Ostrida Ragnvalsdatter

He is considered to have fathered king Stenkil, with Astrid Nialsdotter from Norway, but this is based on later Icelandic sources, and the identification of Ragnvald with Ragnvald the Old of Hervarar saga.

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  1.   Ragnvald Ulfsson, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.