Blood in the Earth

Ottar (Vendlkraka) Egilsson

Male 555 - 572

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  • Born  555  Upsala, Svithiod, Sweden Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Died  572  Limfjord (or Vendelsyssel), Denmark Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID  I440  My Genealogy
    Last Modified  3 Jun 2012 

    Father  Egil Aunsson,   b. 530, Upsala, Svithiod, Sweden Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F270  Group Sheet

    >1. Adillis "Athils" Ottarsson,   b. 572, Upsala, Svithiod, Sweden Find all individuals with events at this location, Upsala, Sweden Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified  3 Jun 2012 
    Family ID  F269  Group Sheet

  • Notes 
    • Fell in battle against the jarls of Frode. Mentioned in Beowulf as Ohthere. A contemporary of the Danish King Hugleik, who died 515 AD. Suffered a great deal of trouble from Denmark. The Danish King Frode had helped King Egil against the revolt of one of his subjects, and demanded from his son a scat in return. [WBH - Sweden]


      !Took a fleet to Denmark and devastated Vendil in Jutland, but ws overwhelmed in a naval battle in the Limfjord. The victorious Danes carried his body ashore and exposed it on a mound for beasts and birds to ravage. They took a tree-crow (or a crow of wood) and sent it to Sweden with the taunt that Ottar their king was of no more account than that. However, it has been argued that Ottar was nicknamed not from Vendil in Jutland but from Vendil in Uppland in Sweden, where the chief burial mound has traditionally been known as Ottars Hog, King Ottar's Howe, or the mound of Ottar Vendel-crow. It is Ottar's father Egill who is called vendilkr aka, Vendel-crow. [A History of the Vikings, p. 36-9]

      Son of King Egil. Ottar fell in battle against the jarls of King Frode of Denmark. Both he and his son Audils, who ruled Svithiod after him, are mentioned in Beowulf as Ohthere and his son Eadgils of the royal Swedish line of the Scylfingas (Skilfings). This fact gives to Swedish history its first reliable date. The Danish king Hugleik, a contemporary of King Ottar, died in 515 AD, which renders with a certainty Ottar's reign as falling in the first part of the 6th century. [History of Sweden, p. 37-38]

      # Reference Number: G6SZ-ZC


      # Note: Heimskringla or The Chronicle of the Kings of Norway
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      # Note: The Ynglinga Saga, or The Story of the Yngling Family from Odin to Halfdan the Black
      # Note:
      # Note: 31. OF KING OTTAR.
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      # Note:

      Ottar was the name of King Egil's son who succeeded to the domains and kingdom after him. He did not continue friendly with King Frode, and therefore King Frode sent messengers to King Ottar to demand the scatt which Egil had promised him. Ottar replied, that the Swedes had never paid scatt to the Danes, neither would he; and the messengers had to depart with this answer. Frode was a great warrior, and he came one summer with his army to Sweden, and landed and ravaged the country. He killed many people, took some prisoners, burned all around in the inhabited parts, made a great booty, and made great devastation. The next summer King Frode made an expedition to the eastward; and when King Ottar heard that Frode was not at home in his own country, he went on board his own ships, sailed over to Denmark, and ravaged there without opposition. As he heard that a great many people were collected at Sealand, he proceeds westward to the Sound, and sails north about to Jutland; lands at Lymfjord; plunders the Vend district;burns, and lays waste, and makes desolate the country he goes over with his army. Vatt and Faste were the names of the earls whom Frode had appointed to defend the country in Denmark while he was abroad.When the earls heard that the Swedish king was laying Denmark waste,they collected an army, hastened on board their ships, and sailed by the south side to Lymfjord. They came unexpectedly upon Ottar, and the battle began immediately. The Swedes gave them a good reception,and many people fell on both sides; but as soon as men fell in the Danish army other men hastened from the country to fill their places,and also all the vessels in the neighbourhood joined them. The battle ended with the fall of Ottar and the greater part of his people. The Danes took his body, carried it to the land, laid it upon a mound of earth, and let the wild beasts and ravens tear it to pieces.Thereafter they made a figure of a crow out of wood, sent it to Sweden, and sent word with it that their king, Ottar, was no better than it; and from this he was called Ottar Vendelcrow. Thjodolf tellsso of it: --

      "By Danish arms the hero bold,
      Ottar the Brave, lies stiff and cold.
      To Vendel's plain the corpse was borne;
      By eagles' claws the corpse is torn,
      Spattered by ravens' bloody feet,
      The wild bird's prey, the wild wolf's meat.
      The Swedes have vowed revenge to take
      On Frode's earls, for Ottar's sake;
      Like dogs to kill them in their land,
      In their own homes, by Swedish hand."