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Anglo-Danish Connections and the Origins of the Cult of Knud
Paul Gazzoli

Journal of the North Atlantic, Special Volume 4 (2013): 69–76

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69 P. Gazzoli 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 Introduction Erich Hoffmann saw royal saints’ cults among the Scandinavian peoples as a means of limiting legitimacy to a specific branch of the ruling house; the cult of St. Knud Lavard of Denmark, who was killed in 1131, might be seen as an example of this, as through it his descendants ultimately came to be the only rulers able to claim the throne (Hoffmann 1975:210), though there were a series of challenges to them in the later twelfth century. Unlike this Knud, his namesake, the Danish King Knud the Holy (1080–1086), had no descendants who were to rule in Denmark; after his murder (or martyrdom) at the hands of an angry mob in St. Alban’s Church in Odense in 1086, the throne passed to three of his brothers in succession. His Flemish wife, Adela, daughter of Count Robert the Frisian, fled to her homeland on Knud’s death with their son Charles, who would succeed his cousin Baldwin VII as Count of Flanders in 1119, and the Folkung kings of Sweden were descended from Knud and Adela through their daughter, Ingegerd (Gallén 1985:59). But in neither case was Knud’s sanctity seen to justify their rule (though his son Charles did make use of it in his personal title in charters; Esmark 2009:24). Many other scholars have examined the political purposes to which Knud’s cult might have been used, such as strengthening the royalty against rebellious nobles (Riis 1977:198, Skyum-Nielsen 1971:16), establishing an image of vigorous, Christian kingship (Koch 1963:85–92), and creating an independent Danish archbishopric (Christensen et al. 1977:259). However, since Carsten Breengaard’s thesis Muren om Israels Hus, the emphasis has been on the role and interests of the clergy. In Breengaard’s (1982:122– 49) interpretation, the clergy established the cult in order to protect itself within a violent society by prohibiting the killing of the king, a figure it recognized as its necessary and most effective protector. In this article, I do not wish so much to challenge this interpretation but rather to examine the potential roles played by intra-dynastic strife both in Knud’s reign and in the early phase of his cult. Intra-dynastic strife in Denmark The Danish kingdom (or kingdoms) experienced periods of joint rule in the ninth and tenth centuries, but from the time of Harald Bluetooth (ob. c. 986), it has generally been seen as indivisible. However, a less settled history lies under this veneer: that Harald, who in his famous runestone boasted of having “won all Denmark for himself”, ended his days in exile following a rebellion by his own son, Sven Forkbeard (AB II.xxvii:87). Sven’s own sons Harald and Cnut (later the Great)1 were alleged to have discussed the possibility of dividing Denmark before Harald’s death in 1018 (EE II.i–ii:14–18), and Cnut the Great’s own sons, although only one ever ruled in Denmark, quarrelled over and divided England (ASC E 1036 [=1035]:76). When Cnut the Great’s last surviving son died in 1042 with no heirs, Denmark was fought over by the Norwegian King Magnus the Good and Cnut the Great’s nephew, Sven Estridsen. Although Sven enjoyed a long and distinguished reign as sole king after Magnus’ death in 1047, he left behind, due to what Adam of Bremen called his incontinentia mulierum (“inability to restrain himself as far as women were concerned”),2 as many as fourteen sons on his death in 1076 (AB III.xxi, with Scholion 72:164). It is worth remembering that at this time that Scandinavian societies had no established principles of primogeniture or of the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate birth. In a case such as Sven’s, this lack of accepted procedure could lead to difficulties (Hoffmann 1976:26–33). Although evidence is sparse in this period, we are fortunate enough to possess two tidbits which reveal that the thought of a division of the kingdom was still a real possibility: an anonymous skaldic verse preserved in Knýtlinga saga reports that Harald had Across the Sólundarhaf: Connections between Scotland and the Nordic World Selected Papers from the Inaugural St. Magnus Conference 2011 Journal of the North Atlantic *Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, University of Cambridge, 9 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DP, England: pmg38@cam.ac.uk. 2013 Special Volume 4:69–76 Anglo-Danish Connections and the Origins of the Cult of Knud Paul Gazzoli* Abstract - This article examines two aspects of St. Knud, King of Denmark (1080–1086), in life and death. During his lifetime, it examines the evidence for the role possibly played by intra-dynastic strife in his downfall. After his death, it examines the early origins of his cult and his brother and successor Erik Ejegod’s (1095–1103) connections to England, and argues that Erik visited Durham and Evesham personally, probably early in his reign, and took up the cause of promoting his brother’s cult from early on. The possibilities of Erik’s involvement before becoming king are examined. P. Gazzoli 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 70 to defend his land from eleven of his brothers, and a papal letter addressed to King Olav Kyrre of Norway in 1078 requested the king to use his influence to effect a peaceful reconciliation between the Danish king and his brothers, whom the Pope had heard were attempting to force him to a division of the kingdom (Skj AI:427, BI:397; Gade 2009 II:826–7; DD I.2:18). As far as we can tell, no division resulted, but it was clearly considered a possibility. After Harald’s death in 1080 the throne passed to his brother Knud, whose reign was ended by a revolt in 1086. After the revolt, Knud’s brother Oluf took the throne. His reign was plagued by famine, which was attributed to divine anger at the slaying of Knud, and when he died in 1095, he was replaced by another brother, Erik. In the same year, Knud’s remains were elevated, and he was proclaimed a saint. Erik did much to foster the cult of his brother, including arranging for the importation of Benedictine monks from England to establish a monastery at Odense and journeying to Rome to acquire Papal approval for Knud’s canonization. This is the most obscure period in the history of the Danish kingdom since its emergence under Harald Bluetooth. Adam of Bremen's work, which gives us a lively portrait of King Sven, stops at 1072; we cannot help but feel the lack of such a source for the reigns of his sons. Sven Aggesen and Saxo wrote over a century later, and Knýtlinga saga did not come into being until c. 1250. Closer to the time at hand, we have the Roskilde Chronicle from 1138 (Kristensen 1969:41), potentially within living memory of the events, and the hagiographic material from Odense, written between 1095 and the second decade of the twelfth century (Gelting 2011; J. Grove, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, pers. comm.). By way of contemporary sources, we have coinage and Knud’s charter of 1085 to Lund Cathedral (DD I.2:21). The Reign of Knud When Knud assumed the throne in 1080, he ruled the country in its entirety, as Harald had before. But by the end of his reign, a regional disparity becomes apparent, first of all in coins. The coinage of Denmark had begun in earnest under Cnut the Great and was modelled on the Anglo-Saxon system, under which the minting of coins was a royal monopoly and coins had to be exchanged at regular intervals for newer mintings. By the time of Knud’s predecessor Harald, the system had become advanced enough that, for the first time ever, the majority of currency used in Denmark was official Danish coins (Christensen et al. 1977:242). An unexplained peculiarity of the system is that the coins minted in western Denmark were always lighter than those in the eastern half; under Knud, the discrepancy became even more pronounced, with not only the fineness but also the weight of coins decreasing from 0.76 g to 0.56 g (Jensen 1995:120; Venge 2002:26, 32; Galster 1934:129–36). Although this was undoubtedly at least in part attributable to a general shortage of silver in northern Europe (Hybel and Poulsen 2007:329–30), it was not popular. In fact, such a dramatic change was likely seen as an attempt to abuse the royal privilege of minting (especially as the coins of eastern Denmark remained less debased); when the coins were exchanged as required by law, nearly one third of the silver of western Denmark was effectively confiscated by the Crown. This historical information lends credibility to the account of Ælnoth, who reported that the revolt which cost Knud his life broke out in Jutland on account of heavy taxation and a claim that tax collectors were using faulty weights so that “they allowed the worth of unciae barely to reach the value of a solidus” (“regalium negociorum executores siue exactores plus iusto in causis exaggerandis insistere, staterarum pondera adaugere, rerum quarumque precia uilipendere et, ut uulgariter edisseram, unciarum ualentiam uix solidi precio admittere” ...) (VSD:102). It is easy to see how this report could be derived from the debasement of the coinage. While he debased the coinage in western Denmark, Knud showed generosity to churches in Sjælland and Skåne, notably Lund, to which his charter has survived (DD I.2:21). The anonymous Passio from the last five years of the eleventh century records that he was also generous to the churches of Roskilde and Dalby (VSD:65), which like Lund lie in the eastern half of the country. Together with his debasement of the coinage in the west, these records suggest that Knud’s interests and base of power may have lain in the eastern half of the kingdom, and indeed Saxo records that the people of Skåne were the most devoted to him and chose him over his brother Harald in the national assembly to choose the king in 1076 (GD XI.x.12 II:34). Although the later Knýtlinga saga records that Knud had difficulties with the peasants of Skåne (Bjarni Guðnason 1982:145–7), this episode seems more designed to show the king’s wisdom in overcoming an obstacle—as indeed would suit it if it was based on an earlier saga of St. Knud (ibid:cxiii–cxxxiv), fitting in with other such early Icelandic saintly-royal biographies such as Játmundar saga, which are more concerned with the spiritual than historical truth and are often clearly confused in their details (cf. Haki Antonson, in press). This is not to suggest that there was a transfer of wealth from one part of the kingdom to another—although it is 71 P. Gazzoli 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 possible that it seemed that way to some in the west of Denmark, and Ælnoth’s text’s correspondence to the debasement of coinage suggests that there was a good deal of grumbling going on. I would like to suggest that Knud’s charter may also hint at internal differences within the kingdom in another way: in the opening of the charter, Knud calls himself the fourth son of King Sven. Although the phrase has traditionally been read as “Knud the Fourth, son of King Sven”, and scholars have rather unsatisfactorily attempted to justify this ordinal which has become traditional,3 Birger Bergh made a case for the reading “Knud, the fourth son of King Sven”: the only difference in the Latin occurs in punctuation, and indeed the two oldest copies of the charter (from around 1123 and 1494) place a point after “Knud”, which suggests that this is how the phrase was interpreted then (Bergh 1988:40–1).4 In nomine sanctę et individuę Trinitatis. patris et filii et spiritus sancti. Notum omnibus in Christo fidelibus esse cupimus. qualiter ego Cnvto. quartus Magni regis filius. post susceptum paternę hereditatis regnum. ecclesiam sancti Lavrentii. quę sita est Lundę. licet nondum perfectam dotaui (DD I.2:21). In the name of the holy and indivisible Trinity. Of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. We desire it to be known amongst all faithful to Christ, how I, Cnut, the fourth son of King Magnus (i.e., Sven Estridsen, his baptismal name), having taken up the kingdom inherited from my father, have endowed the Church of St. Laurence, which is at Lund, although not yet completed. The question this raises is why Knud should choose to emphasize this point. Unfortunately, we have no other charters of Knud to compare it with so we cannot see it diverging from any established practice. The use of the numeral “fourth” was seen as an imitation of German charters of the Emperor Heinrich IV (Fritz 1988:32, Weibull 1941:131), but this of course no longer works with the reading above. But as the earliest sources indicate that seniority was a generally agreed if not strictly codified principle for how Sven’s sons should succeed one another (WM III.cclxi.1 I:480, Krause 1985:256, VSD:90, cf. Hoffmann 1976:33), the numeral may suggest that Knud wanted to emphasize his precedence over a younger brother or brothers who were attempting to remove him. In fact, just such a situation arose in 1085, a few months after the charter was issued. Knud had planned a massive expedition to England in the summer of that year, which failed to set out because Knud was in Schleswig, probably due to tensions with the German Emperor caused by the flight of the anti-king Hermann von Salm and some of his allies to Denmark (Nass 2006:476). The men grew restless at being called away from their own affairs and discouraged as they ate their way through the supplies which were supposed to see them through the seavoyage and initial campaigns until they could forage (Malmros 2005:368–9); eventually Knud’s brother Oluf arrived at Schleswig as a spokesman demanding that Knud either set out with the fleet at once or else appoint a different leader for the expedition (VSD:100).5 If discontent had existed earlier, as would have been entirely probable over high taxation and debasement of coinage, there may have been a plot to drive Knud out of the kingdom and install Oluf, or possibly to divide the kingdom, as was threatened in the days of Knud’s predecessor Harald.6 If either of these was the case, it would explain why Knud would want to emphasize his precedence in his charter. The events of the following year, when Knud lost his life to an angry mob on the 10th of July, could thus be understood not as a spontaneous outbreak of mass fury but part of a longer history of events. First, Oluf took advantage of discontent over Knud’s debasement of the coinage, higher levels of taxation and other demands to support the English expedition of 1085 in order to attempt to remove his brother or possibly divide the kingdom. Second, Knud failed to set out on the expedition, further angering the men, and Oluf presented their case to Knud, possibly together with his own demands. Third, Knud imprisoned Oluf and disbanded the fleet. Fourth, in the next year, open revolt drove Knud from Jutland as he journeyed around it (as part of itinerant kingship) and on to Fyn, where he was killed. Fifth, the rebels had Oluf released and proclaimed him king. Oluf’s reign lasted until 1095, and Denmark suffered famine at least in 1086 and 1087, though it was later recalled as lasting for his entire reign (Gelting 2011:35; ASC E 1085 [=1086]:94–5, 1086 [=1087]:95; Gertz 1917–1922 I:24). Scandinavians of the time often responded to famine by attacking Christian clergy and women believed to be witches; a report of this reached Pope Gregory VII, probably via a Danish clergyman, in 1080, and he wrote a letter to Knud’s elder brother Harald urging him to curb the practice (DD I.2:20). According to the Roskilde Chronicle, Bishop Sven “the Norwegian” of Roskilde predicted the famine as divine punishment immediately after the death of Knud (Gertz 1917–1922 I:24), which may have been a way to deflect blame from the clergy (Breengaard 1982:159–62). By 1095 at any rate, the Danes seem to have placed the blame on King Oluf. This is the point at which the cult of Knud first appears. Our earliest source, the anonymous Passio, probably written in 1095 or 1096 but certainly no later than 1101 P. Gazzoli 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 72 (Gertz 1907:66), immediately associates the cult with Oluf’s downfall; just as Oluf was released from prison in Flanders when Knud died, so, it says, Oluf died the moment when Knud’s relics were elevated (VSD:71). It is worth noting that the author of the Passio uses the first person when describing the elevation, implying that he was present in Odense in 1095, and thus his view of the matter is contemporary. From a theological angle, this is part of the portrayal of Knud’s martyrdom as similar to the death and resurrection of Christ; when Christ died, Satan seemed to have triumphed, but was vanquished when Christ rose again (Gertz 1907:70–1), although in fact Oluf’s death seems to have occurred several months after the elevation (Esmark 2010:195, Weibull 1923:84). However, this fact does not preclude a politically charged reading of the passage; indeed, the willingness to have Oluf take the part of Satan suggests that there could have been little sympathy for him on any level. Erik in England What I wish to examine at this point is whether we can cast any further light on the circumstances of Oluf’s death and Erik’s rise to power. Ælnoth records that Erik had accompanied Knud to Odense where he was to die, along with two other brothers, though there is no mention of his taking part in the fighting (VSD:113). It is reasonable to assume that he went into exile following on this: Saxo records that he went to Sweden, probably with Knud’s daughters (GD XI.xiv.16 II:58, XII.iii.1 II:66). Skaldic verse, in particular Markús Skeggjason’s Eiríksdrápa, recalls that Erik was well travelled, and in the course of his life visited Russia, Rome, and Constantinople. Neither these verses nor the later written traditions recall any trips to England, but one (or more) could certainly not be ruled out for such an avid traveller. Here I would like to advance evidence that Erik did visit England. As far as hard evidence of Erik’s presence in England is concerned, we have the commemoration of him and his wife Bothild in the Liber vitae Dunelmensis, the book of names of members of Durham’s monastic community and the outside figures who had been granted confraternity, that is were to be prayed for as if they were members (LVD, fo. 55v I:159).7 While the presence of the name has been remarked upon before, it has been overlooked that the acquisition of confraternity would have required Erik’s personal presence. According to the Constitutions of Lanfranc, if a secular person petitioned for confraternity, ante abbatem uel iuxta abbatem, si honorabilis persona sit, sedeat; postea ostensa eius petitione fratribus, per textum euangelii societatem suscipiat; dehinc ad osculandum fratres, si mulier non sit, in circumitu pergat. (Knowles and Brooke 2002:170) let him sit before the abbot, or next to him, if he should be a distinguished person; afterwards, when his petition has been presented to the brothers, let him receive fellowship through the text of the gospel; then, if the applicant is not a woman, let him go around to kiss the brothers. Although this was not necessarily the practice in earlier days, in 1083 the old community was replaced with Benedictines who adhered to Lanfranc’s rule: indeed, Durham had (and still has) one of the earliest manuscripts of the rule, written at Christ Church, Canterbury sometime 1090 × 1095 (Durham Cathedral Library, B.IV.24, fos. 47r–71v; Knowles and Brooke 2002:xliv). Although it is conceivable that some leeway would still be granted to kings, it is more likely that strict adherence to the rules would have been expected: the Benedictines at Durham were faced with the problem of justifying their expulsion of the ancient community of Cuthbert in 1083, which they did by asserting that they had merely restored proper monastic practice as followed by St. Cuthbert himself—any laxity towards the rules of monasticism would have compromised this position (LDE II.xii:116, IV.ii:228–30, Introduction:lxxxi–lxxxv).8 Thus, I believe it is safe to say that Erik would have visited Durham himself. Nor would it be unreasonable to suppose that Bothild was present as well; Saxo reports that she journeyed with Erik to Jerusalem (GD XII.vi.5: II, 76), and the Constitutions quoted above make provision for women to receive confraternity. We cannot date Erik’s visit precisely, aside from the fact that he is referred to as “king” and so presumably it was after 1095—and thus the Constitutions of Lanfranc would have been in effect. This same visit may also have been when Erik arranged for English Benedictines from Evesham Abbey to found a daughter-house in Odense. The Benedictines who refounded Durham in 1083 had come from Wearmouth and Jarrow, which themselves had been refounded in the 1070s by monks from Evesham (Knowles 1949:163–9). If we can accept the testimony of a fifteenth-century Evesham chronicle, the monks were sent over to Odense in the time of Abbot Robert, who died in 1096 (Knowles 1949:164, n. 1; Gelting 2011:36–7, n. 7), and thus Erik’s visit to Evesham and Durham might be dated to 1095 or 1096. A copy of the fraternity agreement has survived in Evesham’s archives although without the names of the original witnesses 73 P. Gazzoli 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 (DD I.2:24, Weibull 1941:197–201), and no confraternity- book survives from Evesham, so we do not have as strong evidence for Erik’s personal presence there as we do for Durham. Nonetheless, it is hardly unlikely that Erik, after visiting Durham, could have made a visit to its ultimate motherhouse, and this would be the most likely time for him to arrange the foundation of a monastic house in Denmark to serve his brother’s cult. The Beginnings of the Cult of Knud Do Erik’s actions in England, possibly in the first year or so of his reign, show an early involvement in the cult of his brother? There is no indisputable evidence of his involvement before 1099 (Haki Antonsson 2005:71) when he journeyed to Rome to secure papal approval for the canonization, and both the anonymous Passio and Ælnoth make the initial elevation a purely ecclesiastical affair (VSD:70–1, 129–30). But we do not even know who was bishop of Odense in 1095, and scholarly consensus is that the bishopric was probably vacant at the time (Haki Antonsson 2007:129, 2005:71; Nyberg 1986:113– 18; cf. King 1962:148–9), although a general lack of sources for this period makes it difficult to be certain of this simply through an argumentum e silentio. However, the lack of a leader would mean that the church at Odense was even more susceptible to interference from a powerful secular figure, such as Erik. Even in normal circumstances, the church in Denmark at the time was not powerful or rich and was far more reliant on royal power than it was in Germany or England. Indeed it was this weakness of the clergy that Breengaard suggested prompted them to begin the cult of Knud in the first place (Breengaard 1982:122–49). Even if the initiative was taken by the clergy, as the texts imply, Erik could have involved himself from an early stage—possibly as early as 1095 or 1096—by arranging for the monastic foundation of Odense on his voyage to England. And although there is admittedly no explicit indication of Erik’s early involvement, Ælnoth does immediately associate him with Knud’s elevation, as it was after this that Oluf died and Erik was chosen as king, leading to the end of the famines and plagues that had afflicted Denmark during the former’s reign (VSD:129–30). Could Erik’s connections to England have begun before 1095, and if so could these have had any effect on the early stages of the cult? By 1100 or 11019 at the translation of Knud’s relics, we know that Odense had a bishop named Hubald (VSD:133), a former canon of Lund Cathedral (Weibull 1923:133) who is normally held to be of English origin, though this is not certain (Kluger 1992:59, n. 67), and we do not know when he arrived at Odense. It is also generally assumed, but not certain, that the community of clerks of St. Alban’s who probably produced the Passio were of English origin, and may have come over when Knud himself brought the relics of Alban and Oswald to Odense (VSD:60, 69). The trial by fire of Knud’s relics (VSD:70–1) was a ritual that had previously been carried out at Evesham in 1080, and at Durham in 1065 and sometime between 1057 and 1072 (Esmark 2010:198), though it was admittedly relatively common in Catholic Europe between the tenth and twelfth centuries (Esmark 2010:169–70). Thus, the ritual could have come to Odense from Evesham, implying that there was contact between the two from before 1095 (Esmark 2010:200, Nyberg 2000:56). Yet even if this was the case, we cannot say that the involvement of Evesham shows the involvement of Erik—in fact, he may have established a relationship with Durham and Evesham because of pre-existing links to Odense. If the clerks had been brought over by Knud, his brother and companion Erik may have had contact with them earlier, and they may have been involved with one another from the early days of the cult—but this must remain no more than speculation. Alternatively, Erik’s importation of monks to serve his brother’s cult and his building of a new cathedral to house his relics may indicate dissatisfaction with the clerks of St. Alban’s, and/or a desire to use the cult in a different way or shift its emphasis. This scenario would be similar to the way it has been suggested that Cnut the Great patronized the cults of Ælfheah and Olav in order to ensure that they served, or at least would not damage, his own political ends (Townend 2005:262–264, 273). There are thus a multitude of potential conduits for Erik’s influence over the early cult, none of which are certain. Given the previous history, however, of Harald facing opposition from his own brothers, and the suggestion made above that Knud emphasized his seniority in his charter due to a challenge, possibly from Oluf, it would hardly be surprising for Erik to have taken advantage of Oluf’s unpopularity towards the end of his reign to agitate for a change in the kingdom while the clerks of Odense, and possibly forerunners of the monks from Evesham (Nyberg 2000:56), spread the idea that the famine was the result of the killing of Knud and was Oluf’s fault. Certainly, once Erik became king, he was clearly involved in the promotion of the cult, and on his visit to England, which may have occurred as early as 1095 or 1096, he arranged for the establishment of Odense Cathedral Priory. P. Gazzoli 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 74 Esmark, K. 2010. Hellige ben i indviet ild. Pp. 161–210, In H.J. Orning, K. Esmark, and L. Hermanson (Eds.). Gaver, ritualer, konflikter: Et rettsantropologisk perspektiv på nordisk middelalderhistorie. Unipub, Oslo, Norway. 378 pp. Fritz, B. 1988. Knut den heliges gåvobrev av den 21 maj 1085 och dess öden under 900 år: En arkivhistorisk och diplomatarisk orientering. Pp. 21–35, In S. Skansjö and H. Sundström (Eds.). Gåvobrevet 1085: Föredrag och diskussioner vid Symposium kring Knut den heliges gåvobrev 1085 och den tidiga medeltidens nordiska samhälle. Lund University Press, Lund, Sweden. 152 pp. Gade, K.E. (Ed.). 2009. Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Brepols, Turnhout, Belgium. 2 vols. Gallén, J. 1985. Knut den helige och Adela av Flandern: Europeiska kontakter och genealogiska konsekvenser. Pp. 49–66, In R. Sandberg (Ed.). Studier i äldre historia tillägnade Herman Schück 5/4 1985. Historiska institutionen, Stockholm, Sweden. 328 pp. Galster, G. 1934. Knud den helliges jydske Mønter. Aarbøger for Nordisk Oldkyndighed og Historie 1934:129–36. GD = Friis-Jensen, K. (Ed.), and P. Zeeberg (Trans.). 2005. Saxo Grammaticus: Gesta Danorum/Danmarkshistorien. Gad, Copenhagen, Denmark. 2 vols. Gelting, M.H. 2011. Two early twelfth-century views of Denmark’s Christian past: Ailnoth and the anonymous of Roskilde. Pp. 33–55, In I. Garipzanov (Ed.). Historical Narratives and Christian Identity on a European Periphery: Early History Writing in Northern, East- Central, and Eastern Europe (c. 1070–1200). Medieval Texts and Culture of Northern Europe 26. Brepols, Turnhout, Belgium. Gertz, M.C. 1907. Knud den Helliges Martyrhistorie, særlig efter de tre ældste Kilder: En filologisk-historisk undersøgelse. Festskrift udgivet af Københavns Universitet i Anledning af Hans Majestæt Kongens Fødselsdag den 3. Juni 1907. J.H. Schultz, Copenhagen, Denmark. 126 pp. Gertz, M.C. (Ed.) 1917–1922. Scriptores minores historiae Danicae medii aevi. Gad, Copenhagen, Denmark. 2 vols. Haki Antonsson. 2005. Saints and Relics in Early Christian Scandinavia. Mediaeval Scandinavia 15:51–80. Haki Antonsson. 2007. St. Magnús of Orkney: A Scandinavian Martyr-Cult in Context. The Northern World 29. Brill, Leiden, Netherlands. vi, 269 pp. Haki Antonsson. In press. Early saga-writing in Iceland. Viking and Medieval Scandinavia 8. Herrgott, M. (Ed.). 1726. Vetus disciplina monastica. Carolus Osmont, Paris, France. 594 pp. Hoffmann, E. 1975. Die heiligen Könige bei den Angelsachsen und den skandinavischen Völkern: Königsheiliger und Königshaus. Quellen und Forschungen zur Geschichte Schleswig-Holsteins 69. Wachholtz, Neumünster, Germany. 238 pp. Hoffmann, E. 1976. Königserhebung und Thronfolgeordnung in Dänemark bis zum Ausgang des Mittelalters. Beiträge zur Geschichte und Quellenkunde des Mittelalters 5. De Gruyter, Berlin, Germany. xviii, 206 pp. This interpretation of the record does not necessarily conflict with the idea that the cult may have begun at the initiative of the clergy or that it could be used to promote the clergy’s own ends—but Erik’s involvement in the cult could well have begun before 1099, and he certainly could have adapted it to his own political ends as well. Acknowledgments I would like to thank Jonathan Grove and Vicky Cribb for their comments on this paper, and Michael Gelting for his comments to me on the subject and for access to his 2011 article when it was still unpublished. Literature Cited AB = Schmeidler, B. (Ed.). 1917. Magistri Adam Bremensis Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum. Monumenta Germaniae historica. Scriptores rerum Germanicarum in usum scholarum ex monumentis Germaniae historicis separatim editi. 3rd edn. Hahn, Hanover and Leipzig, Germany. 353 pp. ASC E = Irvine, S. (Ed.). 2004. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle MS E: A Semi-Diplomatic Edition with Introduction and Indices. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: A Collaborative Edition 7. D.S. Brewer, Cambridge, UK. clxxvii, 174 pp. Bergh, B. 1988. Textinnehållet i Knut den heliges gåvobrev ur filologisk synvinkel. Pp. 36–49, In S. Skansjö and H. Sundström (Eds.). Gåvobrevet 1085: Föredrag och diskussioner vid Symposium kring Knut den heliges gåvobrev 1085 och den tidiga medeltidens nordiska samhälle. Lund University Press, Lund, Sweden. 152 pp. Bjarni Guðnason. 1982. Danakonunga sögur. Íslenzk fornrit 35. Hið íslenzka fornritafélag, Reykjavík, Iceland. cxciv, 371 pp. Breengard, C. 1982. Muren on Israels hus: Regnum og sacerdotium i Danmark 1050–1170. G.E.C, Gads Forlag, Copenhagen, Denmark. 341 pp. Christensen, A.E., H. Paludan, and I. Skovgaard-Petersen. 1977. Danmarks historie I: Tiden indtil 1340. Gyldendal, Copenhagen, Denmark. 668 pp. Cowdrey, H.E.J. 1965. Unions and Confraternity with Cluny. Journal of Ecclesiastical History 16.2:152–62. DD I.2 = Weibull, L., and N. Skyum-Nielsen (Eds.). 1963. 1053–1169. Diplomatarium Danicum I.2. Munksgaard, Copenhagen, Denmark. 456 pp. DD I.3 = Weibull, L., H. Nielsen, and C.A. Christensen (Eds.). 1976–1977. 1170–1199 et epistolae abbatis Willelmi de Paraclito. Diplomatarium Danicum I.3. Munksgaard, Copenhagen, Denmark. 2 vols. EE = Campbell, A., and S. Keynes (Eds.). 1998. Encomium Emmae reginae, with a supplementary introduction. Camden Classic Reprints 4. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. lxix, 112 pp. Esmark, K. 2009. Spinning the revolt: The assassination and sanctification of an 11th-century Danish King. Pp. 15–31, In H. Jensen (Ed.). Rebellion and Resistance. Pisa University Press, Pisa, Italy. 264 pp. 75 P. Gazzoli 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 Riis, T. 1977. Les institutions politiques centrales du Danemark 1100–1332. Odense University Studies in History and Social Sciences 46. Odense University Press, Odense, Denmark. 397 pp. Skj = Finnur Jónsson (Ed. and Trans.). 1912–15. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. Gyldendal, Copenhagen, Denmark. 4 vols. Skyum-Nielsen, N. 1971. Kvinde og slave. Danmarkshistorie uden retouche 3. Munksgaard, Copenhagen, Denmark. 373 pp. Steidl, P.D. 1907. Hvornaar blev Knud Konge skrinlagt? Varden 5:391–7. Surtees Society. (Ed.). 1841. Liber vitae ecclesiae Dunelmensis nec non obituaria duo ejusdem ecclesiae. Publications of the Surtees Society. J.B. Nichols, London, UK. xvi, 152 pp. Townend, M. 2005. Knútr and the cult of St Óláfr: Poetry and patronage in eleventh-century Norway and England. Viking and Medieval Scandinavia 1:251–279 . Venge, M. 2002. Danmarks skatter i middelalderen indtil 1340. Dansk Skattehistorie 1. Told- og skattehistorisk selskab, Copenhagen, Denmark. 232 pp. VSD = Gertz, M.C. (Ed.). 1908–1912. Vitae sanctorum Danorum. Gad, Copenhagen, Denmark. 558 pp. WM = Mynors, R.A.B., R.M. Thomson, and M. Winterbottom (Eds. and Trans.). 1999. Willelmi Malmesbiriensis Gesta regum Anglorum. Oxford Medieval Texts. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. 2 vols. Weibull, C. 1989. Bidrag till tolkningen av Knut den heliges gåvobrev till Lunds domkyrka år 1085. Scandia 55:5–11. Weibull, L. (Ed.). 1923. Necrologium Lundense: Lunds domkyrkas nekrologium. Monumenta Scaniae historica. Berlingska boktryckeriet, Lund, Sweden. cii, 213 pp. Weibull, L. 1941. S:ta Maria i Evesham och s:t Knut i Odense. Scandia 13:196–205. Endnotes 1Cnut the Great will be referred to with the Old English spelling of his name, in order to distinguish him from Knud (the modern Danish spelling), the main subject of this article. 2This and all other translations are mine, unless noted otherwise. 3The Roskilde Chronicle (Gertz 1917–1922:23) states that Knud’s elder brother, Harald, was the fourth king of this name to rule in Denmark, which implies that by 1138 the idea of regnal numbers of kings was becoming known. Nonetheless, this is over half a century after the charter, and King Knud (1182–1202), son of Valdemar I, who is normally known as Knud VI, was referred to as “Knud IV” in his charters (DD I.3:111), which suggests that it is unlikely that Knud the Holy was known by this ordinal (Bergh 1988:41). 4Curt Weibull has also accepted this reading (Weibull 1989:7, 11, n. 6). Hybel, N., and B. Poulsen. The Danish Resources c. 1000–1550: Growth and Recession. The Northern World 34. Brill, Leiden, Netherlands. xxvi, 448 pp. Jensen, J. S. 1995. Tusindtallets danske mønter fra den Kongelige mønt- og medaillesamling. Nationalmuseet, Copenhagen, Denmark. 171 pp. King, P. 1962. English Influnce on the Church at Odense in the Early Middle Ages. Journal of Ecclesiastical History 13:144–55. Kluger, H. 1992. Othinse (Odense). Pp. 54–63, In H. Kluger (Ed.), Archiepiscopatus Lundensis. Series episcoporum ecclesiae catholicae occidentalis ab initio usque ad annum mcxcviii, ser. 6, Britannia, Scotia et Hibernia, Scandinavia 2. Hiersemann, Stuttgart, Germany. 123 pp. Knowles, D. 1949. The Monastic Order in England: A History of its Development from the Times of St. Dunstan to the Fourth Lateran Council 943–1216. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. 764 pp. Knowles, D., and C.N.L. Brooke. 2002. (Eds. and trans.). The Monastic Constitutions of Lanfranc. Oxford Medieval Texts. 2nd Edition. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. lvii, 259 pp. Koch, H. 1963. Kongemagt og kirke. Danmarks historie 3. Politiken, Copenhagen, Denmark. 512 pp. Krause, H. 1985. Radulfus Niger—Chronica: Eine englische Weltchronik des 12. Jahrhunderts. Europäische Hochschulschriften, ser. 3, Geschichte und ihre Hilfswissenschaften 265. Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. xxv, 361 pp. Kristensen, A.K.G. 1969. Danmarks ældste Annalistik: Studier over lundensisk Annalskrivning i 12. og 13. Århundrede. Skrifter udgivet af Det historiske Institut ved Københavns Universitet, 3. Gyldendalske Boghandel, Copenhagen, Denmark. 161 pp. LDE = Rollason, D.W. (Ed. and Trans.) 2000. Symeonis monachi Dunelmensis libellus de exordio atque procursu istius hoc est Dunelmensis ecclesie. Oxford Medieval Texts. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. xcv, 353 pp. LVD = Rollason, D.W., and L. Rollason (Eds.). 2007. The Durham Liber Vitae. The British Library, London, UK. 3 vols. Malmros, R. 2005. Kongemagt og leding i Norge og Danmark omkring 1100 belyst ud fra den tidlige kristne fyrstedigtning. (Dansk) Historisk Tidsskrift 105:321–380. Martène, E. (Ed.). 1736–1738. De antiquis ecclesiae ritibus. Joannis Baptista de la Bry, Antwerp, Netherlands. 3 vols. Migne, J.P. (Ed.). 1853. Antiquiores consuetudines Cluniacensis monasterii collectore Udalrico monacho benedictino. In J.P. Migne (Ed.). Patrologia Latina 149. J.P. Migne, Paris, France. Nass, K. (Ed.). 2006. Die Reichschronik des Annalista Saxo. Monumenta Germaniae historica Scriptores 37. Nyberg, T. 1986. Die Kirche in Skandinavien: Mitteleuropäischer und englischer Einfluß im 11. und 12. Jahrhundert. Anfänge der Domkapitel Børglum und Odense in Dänemark. Beiträge zur Geschichte und Quellenkunde des Mittelalters 10. Thorbecke, Sigmaringen, Germany. 197 pp. Nyberg, T. 2000. Monasticism in North-Western Europe, 800–1200. Ashgate, Aldershot, UK. x, 295 pp. P. Gazzoli 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 76 5Alternatively, Oluf may have already been in Schleswig, as Saxo says Knud had put him in charge of it (GD XI.xiii.1 II:44–6). 6On the threat of division in Harald’s reign, see above (Skj AI:427, BI:397; Gade 2009 II:826–7; DD I.2:18). It must be acknowledged that there is no evidence that Oluf wanted to split the kingdom, and the anonymous Passio states that Oluf wished to rule without Knud (VSD:67). The theological parallelizations between Knud and Christ as well as between Oluf and Satan in the Passio (Gertz 1907:71) mean that it would be difficult for the text to allow Oluf merely to want to share Knud’s realm, rather than usurp it entirely. In any event, although there is more evidence for the rebels wanting to remove Knud completely, I do not believe that it should be ruled out that a division of the kingdom was an outcome they would have accepted. 7The Surtees Society edition of 1841 attributes the entries on this folio to “various hands of the twelfth and early parts of the 13th century” (Surtees 1841:78 n. 1), but the recent edition by the the Rollasons dates the hand to the beginning of the twelfth century, and the entry to 1095 × 1103—i.e., the dates of Eric’s reign (LVD I:159). The palaeographical judgement seems to be that there is no reason for it not to be written contemporarily with or just after Eric’s visit. It is also “possible that this entry is connected in some way with the list of the monks from Evesham” (LVD III:437) on folio 24v, which is dated to the same period (LVD I:103). 8Other contemporary liturgies also required or implied personal presence for a lay person receiving confraternity (Herrgott 1726:200; Cowdrey 1965:157; Migne 1853:764–5; Martène 1736–1738 III:888, 897–8). I am grateful to an anonymous peer reviewer for this point. 9Ælnoth, an eyewitness at the ceremony, dated it to 19 April 1101, though many have now accepted Steidl’s argument for redating the event to 1100 on the grounds that the elevation could not have taken place on Good Friday, which fell on 19 April in 1101 (Steidl 1907:393–5; Skyum-Nielsen 1971:16, n. 6; Gelting 2011:37, n. 9).