Honors College Theses

Publication Date



History (B.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Olavi Arens


In the Viking world, stories of women inciting revenge reach back through the past into oral history. These legends were written down in the sagas of the Icelanders. Princess Olga’s story was recorded in the Russian Primary Chronicle. Though her heritage is uncertain, Olga ruled in Kievan Rus’ in the ninth and tenth centuries. Kievan Rus’ was governed by Vikings from Sweden known as Varangians. There are similarities between Olga’s story and the sagas. This study applies the research of scholars who pioneered the topic of gendering the Old Norse Icelandic literature, to compare her story to the gender norms and cultural values of the Scandinavians. The goal is to tie Olga’s heritage, to the greater Viking world. She was a female ruler, so this study also looks at her relationship with power to demonstrate her uniqueness in history and show that she ruled Kievan Rus’ as a Varangian Princess. It also seeks to add to the gendering of Kievan Rus’ which at present is very limited.