Sweden / Inge Stenkilsson (King Inge the Elder), first reign

Sweden - Inge Stenkilsson (King Inge the Elder), first reign (1079 - 1084)

Inge the Elder (Swedish: Inge Stenkilsson; Old Norse: Ingi Steinkelsson) was a King of Sweden. In English literature he has also been called Ingold.

Inge was the son of the former King Stenkil and a Swedish princess. Inge shared the rule of the kingdom with his probably elder brother Halsten Stenkilsson, but little is known with certainty of Inge's reign. According to the contemporary chronicler Adam of Bremen and the writer of his scholion, the former king Stenkil had died and two kings named Eric had ruled and been killed. Then an Anund Gårdske was summoned from Kievan Rus', but rejected due to his refusal to administer the blóts at the Temple at Uppsala. A hypothesis suggests that Anund and Inge were the same person, as several sources mention Inge as a fervent Christian.

In a letter to Inge from Pope Gregory VII, from 1080, he is called "king of the Swedes", but in a later letter probably dated to 1081, to Inge and another king "A" (either his brother Halsten or Håkan the Red), they are called kings of the West Geats. Whether this difference reflects a change in territory is not certain since the two letters concern the spreading of Christianity in Sweden and the paying of tithe to the Pope.

About the year 1084 Inge was forced to abdicate by the Swedes over his disrespect for old traditions and his refusal to administer the pagan custom of the blót. King Blot-Sweyn (Svein the Sacrifier) was thus elected king.

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