Hmm. How half-heathenish was he?

According to Snorri Sturluson in the Heimskringla Roger II (who in the Fagrskinna is called “Jarl Rogeirr”) was visited by the Norwegian King Sigurd Jorsalfare, who famously established the Varangian Guard at Constantinople (or Miklagard.) 

This makes me wonder how well they got on.

You see, Sigurd (who was given a splinter of the True Cross for fighting in defense of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem) led his own crusade (known as Kalmare ledung) against Småland in Sweden after the inhabitants renounced their Christian faith and began worshiping their ancestral Gods once more. (After being beaten back into submission, the Swedes would go on to lead crusades against polytheists in Estonia, Finland and Russia.)

Meanwhile Pope Honorius called for a crusade to depose Roger for his “half-heathenish ways” and the tolerance he showed towards the diverse faiths of his subjects, be they Catholic, Orthodox, Jew, Moslem or other. Outlasting the bastard, Roger backed his successor Anacletus II against a rival papal claimant and was rewarded with an expansion of territory and official coronation on Christmas Day in Palermo.

Then again Sigurd’s pal Emperor Alexios I Komnenos bestowed on Roger the title of protonobilissimos, so maybe they did get along despite their differing beliefs. Sigurd spent a lot of time at the Byzantine court, so if there was bad blood between him and Roger it likely would have come up. 

I bet there were some awkward conversations though.