The hero in this volume is not an imaginary one; he was a real flesh and blood man who reigned as King of Norway just over a thousand years ago. The main facts of his adventurous career -- his boyhood of slavery in Estonia, his life at the court of King Valdemar, his wanderings as a Viking, the many battles he fought, his conversion to Christianity in England, and his ultimate return to his native land -- are set forth in the various Icelandic sagas dealing with the period in which he lived. The author made free use of these old time records, and added only such probable incidents as were necessary to give a continuous thread of interest to the narrative.

For the convenience of readers who may wish for greater exactness it may be as well to state here that Olaf Triggvison was born A.D. 963, that he started on his wanderings as a Viking in the year A.D. 981, that the sea fight between the Vikings of Jomsburg and the Norwegians took place in A.D. 986, and the battle of Maldon in the year A.D. 991. Olaf reigned only five years as King of Norway, being crowned in 995, and ending his reign with his death in the glorious defeat at Svold in the year A.D. 1000.

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