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How he dealt with his secret enemy which is in the sexual parts, that is seen from the circumstance, that when he observed celibacy at fasting or religious celebrations, he often took a secret bath in a cold tub of water - even in wintertime - thus expelling non-permissible body heat with the cold." While the legend asserts that Eric was unanimously accepted as king, the circumstances reveal that this was not the case.Apart from Karl Sverkersson in Östergötland, the Danish prince Magnus Henriksson had a claim to the throne, being the great-grandson of Inge I and the great-great-grandson of King Sweyn Estridson of Denmark.
The historicity of the legend has been much-discussed by Swedish historians.However, the only reliable source mentioning his reign is a Cistercian chronicle from c. Quite contrary to the impression of pro-clerical policy of the Eric Legend, it says that King Eric and Queen Christina harassed the monks of Varnhem Abbey in Västergötland.Some monks left for Denmark where Vitskøl Abbey was founded in 1158.If the "crusade" took place, it was however probably no more than a sea-borne raid.If so, he would have established an unpopular system of tithes to support the Church similar to elsewhere in Europe.
While his paternity is obscure, there is good evidence that he strengthened his claims to the throne by marriage to the Danish princess Christina Björnsdotter, a granddaughter of King Inge the Elder.