Ingvar the Far-travelled

The Swedish Viking who travelled east for gold

Ingvar the Far-travelled (Old Norse: Yngvarr víðförli; Swedish: Ingvar Vittfarne) was one of the most famous Viking warriors in Sweden.

Twenty-six runestones, mainly in the region of Uppland, refer to warriors who took part in Ingvar’s expedition to the east in 1036-1042. They initially fought with King Jaroslav I in Russia, and then continued to the Black Sea and ”the Land of the Saracens” (now Georgia).

Ultimately the expedition was unsuccessful and most of those who took part died – Ingvar’s saga states that only one ship returned. A runestone in memory of Ingvar’s brother says that he went east for gold but died in Saracen land (Särkland).

Apart from the runestones, there are no other mentions of Ingvar in Swedish sources. His death, however, is mentioned in 'Ingvar’s Saga' and three Icelandic annals under the year 1041.