Aun, King of Sweden

My 43rd great grandfather was the king of Sweden three times.

Aun the Old (Audhun, the same name as the Anglo-Saxon name Edwin) was the son of Jorund and one of the Swedish kings of the House of Yngling, the ancestors of Norway’s first king, Harald Fairhair.

Aun was a wise king who sacrificed a great deal to the gods, but he was not a warlike king and preferred to live in peace. Consequently, he was attacked by the Danish prince Halfdan (my 42rd great grandfather, the son of Fróði, the son of Dan the Arrogant, the founder of Denmark). Aun lost the battles and fled to the Geats in Västergötland, where he stayed for 25 years until Halfdan died in his bed in Uppsala and was buried in a mound.

King Aun could return to Uppsala, but he was 60 years old. In order to live longer he sacrificed his own son to Odin who promised him that he could live for another 60 years. However, after 25 years, Aun was attacked by Halfdan’s cousin Ale the Strong. Aun lost several battles and had to flee a second time to Västergötland. Ale the Strong ruled in Uppsala for 25 years until he was killed by Starkad the old.

After Ale the Strong’s death, Aun could return to Uppsala. Once again, Aun sacrificed a son to Odin, but this time Odin said that he would live as long as he sacrificed a son every ten years and that he had to name one of the Swedish provinces after the number of sons he sacrificed.

When Aun had sacrificed a son for the seventh time, he was so old that he could not walk but had to be carried on a chair. When he had sacrificed a son for the eighth time, he could no longer get out of his bed. When he had sacrificed his ninth son, he was so old that he had to feed by suckling a horn like a little child.

After ten years he wanted to sacrifice his tenth and last son and name the province of Uppsala the ten lands. However, the Swedes refused to allow him this sacrifice and so he died. He was buried in a mound at Uppsala and succeeded by his last son Egil. From that day, dying in bed of old age was called Aun’s sickness among the Scandinavians.

No wonder they called him “the Old”, all this would have made him at least 195 years old when he died.

Aun supposedly had ten sons. Another version of the story is that he sacrificed one son every ten years, and then switched up and sacrificed one son every year. The final son was Egil, and the people said enough.

My 43rd great grandfather was a jealous, vicious murderer, who did everything he could to hang on to his throne.

Aun, sacrificing one of his sons to Odin in order to rule longe
Aun’s burial mound