Sigurd Jorsalfar   
Sigurd Jorsal Traveler

King Magnus Berrføtt (Bare-leg) was killed in Ireland in 1103. His three sons, Øystein, Sigurd and Olav then became kings of Norway. Øystein was then 14-15 years old, Sigurd was one year younger and Olav was 4-5 years old. Øystein was to rule the northern part of the country, Sigurd the southern part, and together they were to rule for Olav who got the middle part of Norway.

King Magnus had a dispute with Skofte Ogmundson. They were not able to settle the dispute and Skofte left the country (when we talk about a man leaving the country, he seldom left alone – usually with one or more fully manned ships). Skofte had five ships. He sailed through Norvasund (Gibraltar), most likely the first Norwegian to do so, and sailed into Miklagard (Istanbul) and Jorsalaland (part of Syria, Lebanon and Israel) Norønafolket det vil fare….. (Norsemen will travel…).*

When the three brothers were elected kings of Norway many of the men who left with Skofte Ogmundson came back to Norway. They got a side-spread fame and it was told that in Miklagard the Norwegians got very well paid if they would serve in the army. …det vil føre kraft til andre (…it will strengthen others). The news spread, and many men came to the kings (Øystein and Sigurd) and wanted one of them to lead such a journey. Av bedrift som ei fornyes… (Achievements not repeated…). When everything was ready it was decided that King Sigurd should go and Øystein should stay in Norway and rule the country …I de tvendes håndtak treffes… (…in the two men’s handshake…).

King Sigurd left on this journey five years after King Magnus was killed. He sailed along the coast of Southern France, Spain and Portugal. He went ashore several places in Spain and Portugal and he won battles and took much goods. He then sailed into the Mediterranean and won battles on the islands of Balearic and Sardinia. En med Kampens seiers krone… (the crown of victory…).

He also visited Roger II, King of Sicily. Sigurd continued to Jorsalaland and took a horseback ride to Jorsalaborg (Jerusalem) and visited King Baldvine. He helped King Baldvine conquer a fortress at Sætt (Saida in Syria) held by heathen men. —det vil føre kraft til andre

After this, King Sigurd sailed to Miklagard and was welcomed by Emperor Alexios I and was the guest of the Emperor. King Sigurd started to prepare to go back to Norway. He gave the Emperor all his ships and in return King Sigurd got many horses and men to guide him. Many of King Sigurd’s men stayed in Miklagard and took service in the Emperor’s army. King Sigurd traveled over land through the western part of Hungary, through Germany and back to Norway. He was then twenty years old and had been away for three years.

Back in Norway, King Øystein had built five churches and constructed a harbor at Agdenes (a point at the beginning of Trondheims fjord). He also built Munkeliv (a monastery outside Bergen).

He had invited many bright and powerful men from Jemtland (in Sweden) to be his guests and gave them gifts. This resulted in the people of Jemtland pledging loyalty to the Norwegian King instead of the Swedish King. En med fredens fagre vinding… (get it peacefully…).

Five years after King Sigurd returned to Norway, King Olav died of sickness about 17 years old.

*Print in ITALIC is from the text in the song.

Ola Bergsholm