Olav II Haraldsson

Olav II Haraldsson

 

(St. Olav). Born circa 995; died July 29, 1030, in Stiklestad, near Trondheim. Norwegian king from 1015 (or 1016) to 1028. Olav II completed Norway’s conversion to Christianity. He was canonized after his death and has been venerated from that time as the patron saint of Norway.

Relying on the church, Olav II fought for the strengthening of royal power and against the clan aristocracy, who sided with Canute I, king of Denmark and England. Olav II allied himself with Sweden in 1027 and attacked Denmark but was defeated and fled to Novgorod in 1028. Canute I became king of Norway. Olav tried to regain the throne in 1030 but was killed in a battle with a band of followers of the Norwegian clan aristocracy and bonders (freemen).