A Viking Network Info-sheet:

Olav Tryggveson's captivity in Estonia

by Eddi Tomband

In Estonia, society developed more slowly and the Viking age there was in the 10th-11th century. In the year 967 the Norwegian Queen Astrid with her son Olaf escaped from her homeland to her brother Sigurd. He lived in an honoured position in Novgorod at the court of Prince Vladimir.  On their way, Estonians robbed the ship. Some were killed, others taken into slavery. 3-year-old Olaf was separated from his mother. A man called Klerkon enslaved him, along with his tutor Torulf and his son Torgil. Soon the owner decided that Torulf was too old for any work and killed him. The boys he took to Estonia and sold them for a goat to a man called Klerk.

Later Olaf was sold on for a goat and a coat.  His new owner, Reas, also bought Torgil and kept them well, like his own sons.

Olaf was in Estonia for 6 years. One day, his Uncle Sigurd saw him in a market-place. He bought both boys. Olaf lived with his Uncle in Novgorod (Holmgard) for 9 years. There he met Klerkon again and killed him at the town-gate.

Also a Norwegian merchant called Lyder saw Queen Astrid at the slave-market and bought her to set her free. Later Olaf Tryggveson became the King of Norway.

- 14. august 2004 -