SammendragThis article investigates how Sverrir Sigurdarson, ruler of Norway between 1177 and 1202, is ideologically legitimised as king in the biography Sverris saga. In previous research, the perception that Sverrir is portrayed as a Christian rex iustus has competed with the perception that Sverrir is depicted as a traditional Old Norse warrior king, who gains his legitimacy through his military successes. This article demonstrates that the rex iustus idea is central in the saga when it comes to legitimising Sverrir, and that his seizure of power is also placed in the salvation-historical worldview of the time. Fully in accordance with the way contemporary continental European kings legitimised their claims to power, Sverrir's royal power is justified in the saga through a combination of the notion that God has chosen Sverrir as king and the notion of a line of succession to the throne through paternal blood ties. The article also demonstrates that the saga, like the polemic pamphlet A Speech against the Bishops (Ett tal mot biskoparna), propagates against the perception that the Church is above the royal power and dismisses the Church's excommunication of Sverrir as unjust and invalid.
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