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Harald Blåtand Bluetooth (Gormsson) Gormsen (abt. 0925 - bef. 0988)

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Harald Blåtand Bluetooth "Harald I" Gormsen formerly Gormsson aka Gormsøn
Born about in Denmarkmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died before [location unknown]
Profile last modified | Created 9 Oct 2013 | Last significant change: 20 Nov 2018
13:04: Maggie Andersson edited the Biography for Harald (Gormsson) Gormsen. (edited template) [Thank Maggie for this]
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Categories: List of Danish Monarchs | List of Norwegian Monarchs | Estimated Birth Date | Early Scandinavia Project | House of Gorm.

The Birth Date is a rough estimate. See the text for details.
The F runa
Harald (Gormsson) Gormsen was part of
early Scandinavian history.
Join: Early Scandinavia Project
Discuss: EARLY_SCANDINAVIA

The new bio below is an attempt to tie together information from historians, archeology and sagas/legends. /Andersson-4409

Contents

Research note:

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. [1] 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. [2] [3]


Biography

European Aristocracy
Harald Gormsson was a member of the aristocracy in Denmark.
The House of Gorm crest.
Harald (Gormsson) Gormsen is a member of the House of Gorm.

Name(s)

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. [4] )

He is also know as:

  • Haraldr Blátönn (Old norse)
  • Harald Blåtand, Harald den Gode (Danish)
  • Harald Blåtann (Norwegian)
  • Harald Blåtand (Swedish)
  • Harold Bluetooth (English)

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.

Parents

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.

Wives

  • Tove (Tova, Tofa or Thora). We know for a fact that she was spouse of Harald, thanks to that she raised a runestone in memory of her mother called Sønder Vissing runestone. The text says something like; Tófa, Mistivir's daughter, wife of Haraldr the good, Gormr's son, had the monument made in memory of her mother. Tove is thought to be the daughter of Mstivoj, a king of the Obodrites, .
  • Gyrid/Gyritha of Sweden, sister of Styrbjörn "den Starke/the Strong" King of Sweden. This marriage seems only be referred to by Saxo Grammaticus], who says that King Styrbjörn had sought help from King Harald after being deposed as king in Sweden by his cousin and granted Harald his sister in marriage.[5]

Children

  • Svend Tveskaeg/Sweyn Forkbeard. Born about 960. Usually given as the son of Harald and Gunhild (by Adam of Bremen for instance), though it is said in some of the older sagas that he was an illegitimate son.
  • Håkon/Haakon who is said to have ruled Samland Sambia Peninsula.
  • Hiring Adam of Bremen records that King Harald sent "Hiring filium" with an army to England and the death of Hiring in Northumbria, the paragraph being undated but following that recording the succession of Emperor Otto III in 983.
  • Tyra Haraldsdatter said to be married to Styrbjörn Starke.

Alleged children whose parentage has not yet been identified:

  • Gunhild Haraldsdatter. Said to have married Pallig, Jarl and Ealdorman of Devonshire. It is thought that they both died in the St. Brice's Day massacre in November 1002.
  • Mo Haraldsdatter.
  • Thorgny Haraldsdatter, married to Thrugot, mother of Thorgunna Thrugotsdatter.

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.

Christening

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).[6] 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.“ [7]

Death

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.

Burial

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.


Sources

  1. The King's Court in jelling?
  2. Ribe Excavations
  3. Denmarks oldest crucifix
  4. The Curmsun Disc, Harald Bluetooth's Golden Seal, article by By Pontus Weman Tell
  5. Saxo Grammaticus (Christiansen), 10, II, p. 5.
  6. Fortidens Jelling
  7. King Harold Bluetooths cross coinage

See also:


Acknowledgements

This page has been edited according to Style Standards adopted January 2014.

  • Thank you to Kristin Schmidt for creating WikiTree profile Gormsson deCrepon Denmark-1 through the import of Kristin Schmidt family tree.ged on May 24, 2013. Click to the Changes page for the details of edits by Kristin and others.



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.



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Memories: 2

On 28 Oct 2011 Roger Wehr wrote:

Danish Monarch. Born the son of Gorm the Old of Jylland and Thyra Danebod. Harald ascended to the throne with his father's death in 935 following Gorm's disastrous invasion of Friesland. Harald began his reign by strengthened the Danawirk series of fortifications in an attempt to create a barrier between the Holy Roman Empire and Denmark, and consolidated the kingdom won by his father. After the assassination of King Harald Graafeld of Norway, Harald attempted to add Norway to his lands, but was only briefly successful before being forced to withdraw. The Holy Roman Emperor, Otto I, then demanded Harald recognize him as lord protector of the nascent Danish Christian church. The ensuing conflict saw Harald's defeat and he was forced to accept baptism in the Christian church in 972. By 980 Harald removed the royal residence to Roeskilde and built a church there, and promoted the spread of the new religion. His son Sweyn Forkbeard, allied himself with Palnatoke, a powerful pagan chieftain and foster father to the prince, who raised a rebellion against the King. Palnatoke reportedly defeated and killed Harald in battle. The king was buried in the church at Roeskilde, where he was walled up in one of the pillars of the choir. He is also known variously as Harald Gormson or Harald I of Denmark.


On 28 Oct 2011 Roger Wehr wrote:

Harald "Bluetooth" Gormsson (Old Norse: Haraldr blátǫnn Gormsson, Danish: Harald Blåtand Gormsen) (probably born c. 935) was the son of King Gorm the Old and of Thyra Dannebod. He died in 985 or 986 having ruled as King of Denmark from around 958 and King of Norway for a few years probably around 970. Some sources state that his son Sweyn forcibly deposed him as King.




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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Harald by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:

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Images: 1
The Large Jelling Stone
The Large Jelling Stone

Collaboration

On 14 May 2018 at 12:39 GMT RJ Horace wrote:

The Crepon thing is about Gunnor and her sisters. I don't think any of them should be called Crépon before Osbern Crépon-67. Just Unknown.

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:

Please use this site to avoid errors. It is by far the best site when it comes to Danish nobility and royalty.

https://finnholbek.dk/index.php

On 14 Feb 2017 at 07:47 GMT Jørgen Verner Hansen wrote:

It hurts a Danish heart to see such an amount of pure nonsense. Do something, or delete everything and start anew.

On 21 Apr 2015 at 19:03 GMT Torben Friberg Sørensen wrote:

Place of birth: Blauzahn?? Where is this place? And what source supports this birthplace?

On 21 Apr 2015 at 13:45 GMT Torben Friberg Sørensen wrote:

Gormsson deCrepon Denmark-1 and Gormsson-36 appear to represent the same person because: These are clearly both Harald Blåtand (Bluetooth) and should be merged.

On 21 Nov 2013 at 03:03 GMT Roger Travis Jr. wrote:

Sheri, the patronymic is not a family-name in the modern sense. If you disagree with the convention as the project has interpreted it hitherto, please bring it to G2G for discussion.

On 21 Nov 2013 at 02:28 GMT Sheri (Petersen) Sturm wrote:

My understanding is to use the place name when the family name is missing. You mention the absence of naming conventions, but the patrynomic system in Scandinavia has been used for about 1500 years, and continues today in Iceland. It reduces the number of possible matches as well. Using the toponymic only creates a huge number of profiles with the same name when there is no need for that.

On 20 Nov 2013 at 11:06 GMT Roger Travis Jr. wrote:

Our EuroAristo convention, to preserve continuity, in the medieval absence of modern naming conventions, is to use the toponymic. Might be a good topic for clarification on G2G, though.

On 20 Nov 2013 at 06:56 GMT Sheri (Petersen) Sturm wrote:

When the family name is known, as it is here, shouldn't the country be replaced by the family name? I believe he should not be listed as "Danmark" but as "Gormsson."

On 4 Nov 2013 at 02:26 GMT Sheri (Petersen) Sturm wrote:

more comments


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.

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