||Harald (Gormsson) Gormsen was part of |
early Scandinavian history.
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The new bio below is an attempt to tie together information from historians, archeology and sagas/legends. /Andersson-4409
There is actual evidence that Harald existed, he is not just one of the mythological persons in Scandinavian lore and sagas. His birth and death years are estimated and not certain, as is his ruling period as king of Denmark (and Norway).
It is however thought that he was ruler over Jutland, Zealand and the Danish isles abt 958, extended his power over parts of Norway, probably in the period between 965 and 974. He conquered Scania presumably in the decade around 980 and he died 986-987. He might also been co-ruler with his father for 15 years, that piece of information is mentioned in Chronicon_Roskildense.
There has been made some excavations at Jelling that would suggest that Jelling might be one of the trelleborgs, a Viking ring fortress, that was built during Harald's lifetime and that it actually might have been a Kings’s court.  Yet other historians say his political headquarters seems to been located in Roskilde where he built the Trinity church and where he is said to been buried. It might be that the location of power did move from Jelling to Roskilde during his lifetime.
Jelling nevertheless is a monumental royal manifestation of some kind for sure and the area have been an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994. With the gigantic palisade, the largest ship-setting ever discovered, the two mounds and the famous runic stones, the site has been visible in the landscape for more than a 1000 years . Between the two mounds is the church, and legend tell that Harald is supposed to have built the first church in the place. Perhaps the most interesting find in the church area is the grave chamber in which the bones of a 35-50 year old man has been found. Some suggests this to be Harald’s father Gorm who’s body should have been moved from the mound to have been reinterred under the church in Jelling. Other suggests that this might be the bones of Harald himself.
There is a possibilty that christianity already had gained some foothold in some places in Denmark, archeologists claims that they have found christian burials predating Harald’s baptism. There is also a crucifix found in Aunslev, Denmark that predates Harolds baptism.  
Harald is his given name, he is son of Gorm (his LNAB should be Gormsen or Gormsøn in modern day Danish, Gormsson is Swedish). This is a fact and one of the ways we know this is thanks to the quite recent find (2014), of Curmsun Disc, an actual physical evidence from the time he lived. (The Curmsun disc is estimated to been made between 980-995.  )
He is also know as:
Blåtand (Bluetooth) should not be considered a nickname or a middle name, it is what is called a byname.
The first time the name Blåtand/Bluetooth is mentioned is in Chronicon_Roskildense which is said to be finished about 1140, so it is possible that he was never actually called that during his lifetime. It is also not known what the explanation of the name Bluetooth was, although many theories has been presented. That Bluetooth was actually the name of his sword has been suggested by some historian researchers.
Harald was son of Gorm den gamle (Gorm the old), ruler of Jelling, and his wife Thyra Dannebod.
This is also a fact, thanks to the runestones known as Jelling Stones. The larger of the two stones was raised by Harald in memory of his parents, but also celebrating his conquest of Denmark and Norway, and mentioning his conversion of the Danes to Christianity. The text reads approximately: "King Haraldr ordered this monument made in memory of Gormr, his father, and in memory of Thyrvé, his mother; that Haraldr who won for himself all of Denmark and Norway and made the Danes Christian." This is actually the first time that “Denmark” is mentioned within Denmark and the stone is sometimes called “The Birth Certificate of Denmark.” This rune stone has been estimated to have been made between 960-985. It’s height is 2,43 metres, and it weighs about 10 tons and is carved on all three sides and is the largest rune stone known in Scandinavia. The inscription was written in horizontal lines which might be considered as a sign of an upcoming Latin based literacy in the Nordic countries.
The smaller stone is older, raised by Harald's father Gorm in memory of his wife Thyrvé, estimated to been raised abt. 955.
Alleged children whose parentage has not yet been identified:
He also took Harald Gråfeld/Harald Greycloak, son of Eirik Bloodaxe as a fosterchild to raise. Some say that Eirik Bloodaxe was married to a sister of Harald named Gunhild and that would make Harald Greycloak was his nephew.
No-one knows for sure how Harald became christened but one popular story is this: Poppa, the stranger, who was a cleric in the church is said to have made himself noticed when propagating the new faith. Harold Bluetooth asked him a very tough question,” Will you carry hot iron for your faith?” Poppa consented and carried hot iron in his bare hands and thus passed the test as his hands were unscathed. Harold was convinced of Poppa’s faith and immediately wanted to be christened (around 965). The same story with Poppa have been told in older history books with King Erik in Uppsala in Haralds place.
In Heimskringla by Snorre, there is also suggestions that Harald opposed Christianity. In King Olav Trygvason's Saga Part I, also by Snorre, it says; Emperor Otto invaded Jutland and defeated King Harald, who took refuge at Limafjord on the island of Marsey where he was converted to Christianity by Bishop Poppo after agreeing a truce with the emperor.
Yet another story is this: Defeated in battle by Otto the Great, (king of Germany 936-73, emperor since 962), Harald paid homage to Otto and took baptism together with his wife Gunhild and his son Sven, who was given the name Sven Otto. In Jutland three dioceses were created and submitted to Hamburg.
Documents in the church of Bremen actually show that Otto's power in Denmark was such that he appointed the bishops, and papal letters show that Agapitus granted Adaldag, archbishop 937-88. But was there really a battle? Some historians say that "conversion meant in the first instance political submission and the obligation to pay tithe; it cannot easily be distinguished from conquest".
What we can be quite certain of is that Harald actually was christened. One of the three sides of the large Jelling stone actually has a depiction of Christ.
On the other hand, there is also no way of knowing how sincere Harald was about his new faith, it could have been a political choice as foreign kings, who converted to christianity, enjoyed greater prestige at the German court than those who remained pagan.
Episcopal residences in Aarhus, Ribe, and Slesvig seems to been built in the time period when Harald was king. It is possible that the ones in Odense and Lund also was started in Haralds lifetime.
We know that so called “cross coins” dominated the local coinage in Denmark during the late reign of Harold Bluetooth from c. 975 – 90. It is suggested that “It is also likely that Harold used his coins as symbolically charged payments to the aristocracy and his retinue signalling his Christian conversion and baptism in AD 963.“ 
He is believed to have died either 986 or 987, wounded by an arrow in battle with his own son Sven (who would be know as Sweyn Forkbeard) he later died of his wounds. Where he actually died is a subject of debate.
Some say he was buried in Roskilde, in the Trinity church that he had built there. (The successor of this church is Roskilde Cathedral where the members of the Royal Danish Family have been buried for centuries.)
Adam of Breman is the only one to tell of Harald’s final days. The credibility of his account has long been argued about among historians. The section about Harald’s body being transported to Roskilde for burial has been such a topic for discussion.
Another, earlier source than Adam of Bremen, The Encomium Emmae Regina just tell us that Harald died among the Wends, nothing of where he was buried.
This page has been edited according to Style Standards adopted January 2014.
This article relates how Bluetooth wireless technology got its name. The irony is, the alleged union of Denmark and Norway by Harald seems somewhat questionable.
On 28 Oct 2011 Roger Wehr wrote:
On 28 Oct 2011 Roger Wehr wrote:
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On 14 May 2018 at 12:39 GMT RJ Horace wrote:
There's an attempt to make them descend from Danish royalty, but it's unsourced and the dates don't work.
On 29 Jul 2017 at 13:18 GMT Jørgen Verner Hansen wrote:
On 14 Feb 2017 at 07:47 GMT Jørgen Verner Hansen wrote:
On 21 Apr 2015 at 19:03 GMT Torben Friberg Sørensen wrote:
On 21 Apr 2015 at 13:45 GMT Torben Friberg Sørensen wrote:
On 21 Nov 2013 at 03:03 GMT Roger Travis Jr. wrote:
On 21 Nov 2013 at 02:28 GMT Sheri (Petersen) Sturm wrote:
On 20 Nov 2013 at 11:06 GMT Roger Travis Jr. wrote:
On 20 Nov 2013 at 06:56 GMT Sheri (Petersen) Sturm wrote:
On 4 Nov 2013 at 02:26 GMT Sheri (Petersen) Sturm wrote:
Harald is 37 degrees from Rosa Parks, 33 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 23 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.