Monday, 5 January 2015
Episode 6: King Magnus Birgersson
Now, in 1280 (or 1281) Sweden under the rule of Magnus Birgersson gets even more European in style - we get a nobility. Men who serve the king as knights or with council are freed from taxation - and soon start to make this new status show in living, dressing and acting in ways that set them apart from farmers. The king also promotes the growth of towns, though these are still very, very small, and protect farmers from being visited by travelling grandees demanding food and housing.
Since there is no portrait that can show us what Magnus looked like, I might just as well show you this lovely statue of the king - sitting in Jönköping (granted privileges in 1284). The statue was made by artist Rune Karlzon in 1984. The inscpription says "King Magnus rested here 1284"