Olaf I (Olaf Tryggvason)ō´läf trüg´väsōn [key], c.963–1000, king of Norway (995–1000), great-grandson of Harold I. His early life of exile and slavery is surrounded with romantic legend, and little is definitely known of it. He aided his father-in-law, the duke of Poland, in war and took part in harrying the English coast. He may have been present at the famous battle of Maldon. Later converted to Christianity, he made peace (c.994) with the English. In 995, Olaf went to Norway, overthrew Haakon, and became king. He undertook the conversion of Norway to Christianity by force and by persuasion. He commissioned Lief Ericsson to carry Christianity to Greenland. Olaf died during his defeat at the naval battle of Svolder. The victors, King Sweyn of Denmark and King Olaf of Sweden, divided Norway.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Scandinavian History: Biographies