St Olaf: An International Norwegian Saint

St Olaf: An International Norwegian Saint

Papers from the Dublin Festival of History, International Viking Seminar 2023

Held at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, on October 13, 2023

In 2022, Dublin City Council erected a commemorative plaque to mark the site of the medieval church of St Olave at Fishamble Street. Olaf II Haraldsson was born c.995 AD and died July 29, 1030. After his death, his cult spread to Scandinavian colonies, including Dublin, Waterford, York, and Novgorod.

In this seminar, a panel of national and international speakers will discuss the origins of the cult of the saint and how it spread overseas. Thus, placing the Dublin church of St Olave in context.


Papers include:

Saint Olaf abroad: the early dissemination of the cult of Saint Olaf in the North Sea world, c.1030-c.1100, by Steffen Hope

Wooden churches from the eleventh and twelfth century-town in early Christian Scandinavia, by Anna Petersén


The cult of Saint Olav in Austrvegr, along the eastern Viking trade route, with a special focus on Estonia, by Else Berit Eikeland

The cult of Saint Olaf in medieval Ireland and Norwegian–Irish relations, by Ann Buckley

A far-western outpost in a land of saints: St Olave’s Church, Dublin, by Howard Clarke

Saints Olave and John: to whom doth “this boke pertayneth”?, by Fiona Baldwin

Olaf & old gaffs: untangling antiquarian errata, by Stuart Kinsella

Top Image: Photo by Hans Rasmus Glomsrud / Wikimedia Commons