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Information about reign: King Stenkil

CountrySweden
From1060
To1066
Personal InformationKing Stenkil of Sweden (unknown - 1066)
Description

Stenkil (Old Norse: Steinkell) was a King of Sweden who ruled c. 1060 until 1066. He succeeded Emund the Old and became the first king from the House of Stenkil. He was not from Uppsala, but probably from Västergötland and related to the previous dynasty by marriage to Emund's daughter.

He supported the Christianization of Sweden and cooperated with bishops from the Archbishopric of Hamburg-Bremen. However, when Adalvard the Younger at Sigtuna wanted to destroy the Temple at Uppsala, Stenkil stopped Adalvard's plans, as he feared a pagan insurgence. The fears were probably justified. According to the Hervarar saga, Stenkil's son Inge the Elder was deposed and exiled for wanting to cancel the pagan sacrifices at the temple.

Stenkil resided mainly in Västergötland where he was long remembered as the king who "loved West Geats before all his other subjects", and he was lauded as a great archer whose hit marks were long shown with admiration.

The Hervarar saga describes Stenkil as the son of a Ragnvald and later historians have identified this father as Ragnvald Ulfsson who was the earl of Staraja Ladoga and the grandson of the legendary Viking Skagul Toste. But this presumed family-connection is not supported by any other sources and must therefore be regarded as very uncertain. The Icelandic sagas mention a wife and two sons to Ragnvald Ulfsson but none are identical with Stenkil and his mother Astrid.

According to a legend Stenkil was buried in the "royal hill" near Levene in Västergötland. His two sons Halsten and Inge the Elder would both become kings of Sweden.