Maths Bertell

Blot-Sven. The question of the presence of a Pagan Resistance in Late 11th Century Sweden

On October 20, 16.00, Daniel Sävborg, University of Tartu and Fredrik Charpentier Ljungqvist, Stockholm University, will present their research on the Swedish king Blot-Sven and the resistance against Christianity.

“For a long time the predominant view among scholars was that the conversion of Sweden, especially Svealand, took place relatively late in a ScaKungshögarna_vid_Gamla_Uppsala_(Montelius_1877_s245_fig325)ndinavian context, and that there was still a paan opposition around the year 1100. During the recent decades, the opinion among many scholars seems to have changed. The conversion is now often assumed to have taken place already around the year 1000, as in Norway, Denmark and Iceland. Our case study is the story of Blot-Sven and his pagan rebellion at the end of the 11th century. In our presentation we will discss the Old Norse and Old Swedish sources for the late stage of the Christianization process, and we will discuss their possible dependence of each other. Moreover, we review whether the archaeological material from Svealand, reflecting pagan and Christian practices, is consistent with the existence of viable pagan resistance still by the end of the 11th century. We will also contextualize the story of Blot-Sven and the Christianization of Sweden by comparing them to foreign, contemporary, pagan reactions against Christianization in the Baltic Sea area and Central Europe in the 11th century.”

To join our online seminar, send an e-mail to You will need a headset and, if you wish, a web camera to participate. The seminar will not be recorded, so JOIN IN!