Eric IX of Sweden

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(Redirected from Eric the Saint)
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The third seal of the City of Stockholm, depicting the crowned head of Eric the Saint, attested for the first time in 1376.
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Coat of Arms of Stockholm, depicting Eric the Saint of Sweden and based on the medieval seal.

Eric IX of Sweden (or Erik the Lawgiver or Eric the Saint. In Swedish he is simply known as Erik den helige which roughly equals Saint Eric) (c. 11201160) was a Swedish king between 1150 and 1160. Eric was an Upland lord, son of a lord Jedvard (Edward), due to which contemporary sources call him also Eric Jedvardson. He was a rival king, from 1150, to Sverker the Elder who had ascended the throne c 1130 and was murdered 1156, after which Eric was recognized in most or all provinces. Eric's reign ended when he was murdered in Uppsala. He's said to have been murdered by Emund Ulvbane, an assassin who was hired by people working for the Sverker dynasty, in order for them to regain the control of the kingdom, or alternatively by Magnus Henriksson, another claimant, who is said in some sources to have succeeded him briefly as king. People from Svealand recognized a miracle after Erik's death, since a fountain sprang from the earth where the king's head fell after being chopped off.

He would later be made a (regionally recognized) saint whose feast day is 18 May. The relic casket of Eric is on display in Uppsala cathedral (Uppsala domkyrka). The casket contains bones of a male, with traces of injury to the neck. Eric is the patron saint of Stockholm and depicted in the city's coat of arms. He had a nationalistic church policy. Sweden honored him as national (patron) saint, although Pope Alexander III forbade his cult 1172, when his son, king Knut Ericsson quarreled with the Swedish and Roman church. It was an important asset to Eric's family to have a saint in the ancestry. The pope used a pretext that Eric was a drunk who died as result of fight in a group of drunks.

Around 1155, he apparently made an expedition to Southwestern Finland, with an English-born cleric Henry (who became Finnish regional saint St Henry the Bishop. Later, this small and probably inconclusive expedition has been labeled as a crusade and as the start of the Swedish dominion of Finland, although history research has brought evidence that no permanent dominion or administration was built in Finland at that time.

In order to strengthen his position as king, Eric succeeded to marry Christina Bjornsdatter, a Danish noblewoman, a granddaughter of king Inge I of Sweden. Christina's father was the Danish royal son Bjorn Ironside(Björn Järnsida) and her mother was Catherine of Sweden, youngest daughter of King Inge.

Preceded by:
Sverker the Elder
King of Sweden
Succeeded by:
Charles VII

Template:End boxde:Erik IX. (Schweden) nl:Erik IX van Zweden fi:Eerik Pyhä sv:Erik den helige


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