Harald Blåtand Gormsson was a king of Denmark and Norway. He was the son of King Gorm the Old and of Thyra Dannebod and he died in 985 or 986 having ruled as King of Denmark from c.958 and King of Norway for a few years, probably around 970. Some sources say his son Sweyn Forkbeard forcibly deposed him, Harald had the Jelling stones erected to honour his parents. The Encyclopædia Britannica considers the runic inscriptions as the best-known in Denmark, the biography of Harald Bluetooth is summed up by this runic inscription from the Jelling stones, King Harald bade these memorials to be made after Gorm, his father, and Thyra, his mother. The Harald who won the whole of Denmark and Norway and turned the Danes to Christianity, Widukind does not mention such an event in his contemporary Res gestae saxonicae sive annalium libri tres or Deeds of the Saxons. Some two hundred and fifty years later, the Heimskringla relates that Harald was converted with Earl Haakon, a cleric named Poppa, perhaps the same one, appears in Adam of Bremens history, but in connection with Eric of Sweden, who had supposedly conquered Denmark.
The story of this otherwise unknown Poppo or Poppas miracle and baptism of Harald is depicted on the altar piece in the Church of Tamdrup in Denmark. The altar itself dates to about 1200, as noted above, Haralds father, Gorm the Old, had died in 958, and had been buried in a mound with many goods, after the pagan practice. The mound itself was from c.500 BCE, but Harald had it built higher over his fathers grave, and added a second mound to the south. Mound-building was a newly revived custom in the 10th century, perceivably as an appeal to old traditions in the face of Christian customs spreading from Denmarks southern neighbors, the Germans. After his conversion, around the 960s, Harald had his fathers body reburied in the next to the now empty mound. Harald undoubtedly professed Christianity at that time and contributed to its growth, during his reign, Harald oversaw the reconstruction of the Jelling runic stones, and numerous other public works. The most famous is fortifying the fortress of Aros which was situated in a position in his kingdom in the year 979.
Some believe these projects were a way for him to consolidate economic and military control of his country and he constructed the oldest known bridge in southern Scandinavia, the 5 meters wide,760 meters long Ravning Bridge at Ravning meadows. While quiet prevailed throughout the interior, he turned his energies to foreign enterprises, the Norse sagas present Harald in a rather negative light. When Styrbjörn brought this fleet to Uppsala to claim the throne of Sweden, Harald broke his oath and fled with his Danes to avoid facing the Swedish army at the Battle of Fýrisvellir. As a consequence of Haralds army having lost to the Germans at the Danevirke in 974, he no longer had control of Norway, and Germans settled back into the border area between Scandinavia and Germany. They were driven out of Denmark in 983 by an alliance of Obodrite soldiers and troops loyal to Harald and he is believed to have died in 986, although several accounts claim 985 as his year of death
Archaeology, or archeology, is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of artifacts, biofacts or ecofacts, Archaeology can be considered both a social science and a branch of the humanities. In North America, archaeology is considered a sub-field of anthropology, archaeologists study human prehistory and history, from the development of the first stone tools at Lomekwi in East Africa 3.3 million years ago up until recent decades. Archaeology as a field is distinct from the discipline of palaeontology, Archaeology is particularly important for learning about prehistoric societies, for whom there may be no written records to study. Prehistory includes over 99% of the human past, from the Paleolithic until the advent of literacy in societies across the world, Archaeology has various goals, which range from understanding culture history to reconstructing past lifeways to documenting and explaining changes in human societies through time.
The discipline involves surveying and eventually analysis of data collected to learn more about the past, in broad scope, archaeology relies on cross-disciplinary research. Archaeology developed out of antiquarianism in Europe during the 19th century, Archaeology has been used by nation-states to create particular visions of the past. Nonetheless, archaeologists face many problems, such as dealing with pseudoarchaeology, the looting of artifacts, a lack of public interest, the science of archaeology grew out of the older multi-disciplinary study known as antiquarianism. Antiquarians studied history with attention to ancient artifacts and manuscripts. Tentative steps towards the systematization of archaeology as a science took place during the Enlightenment era in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, in Europe, philosophical interest in the remains of Greco-Roman civilization and the rediscovery of classical culture began in the late Middle Age. Antiquarians, including John Leland and William Camden, conducted surveys of the English countryside, one of the first sites to undergo archaeological excavation was Stonehenge and other megalithic monuments in England.
John Aubrey was a pioneer archaeologist who recorded numerous megalithic and other monuments in southern England. He was ahead of his time in the analysis of his findings and he attempted to chart the chronological stylistic evolution of handwriting, medieval architecture and shield-shapes. Excavations were carried out in the ancient towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum and these excavations began in 1748 in Pompeii, while in Herculaneum they began in 1738. The discovery of entire towns, complete with utensils and even human shapes, prior to the development of modern techniques, excavations tended to be haphazard, the importance of concepts such as stratification and context were overlooked. The father of archaeological excavation was William Cunnington and he undertook excavations in Wiltshire from around 1798, funded by Sir Richard Colt Hoare. Cunnington made meticulous recordings of neolithic and Bronze Age barrows, one of the major achievements of 19th century archaeology was the development of stratigraphy.
The idea of overlapping strata tracing back to successive periods was borrowed from the new geological and paleontological work of scholars like William Smith, James Hutton, the application of stratigraphy to archaeology first took place with the excavations of prehistorical and Bronze Age sites
Gesta Danorum is a patriotic work of Danish history, by the 12th century author Saxo Grammaticus. It is the most ambitious undertaking of medieval Denmark and is an essential source for the nations early history. It is one of the oldest known documents about the history of Estonia and Latvia. The sixteen books, in prose with an excursion into poetry. Book 9 ends with Gorm the Old, the first factual documented King of Denmark, book 14 contains a unique description of the temple at Rügen Island. When exactly Gesta Danorum was written is the subject of works, however. The last event described in the last book is King Canute VI of Denmark subduing Pomerania under Duke Bogislaw I, however the preface of the work, dictated to Archbishop Anders Sunesen, mentions the Danish conquest of the areas north of the Elbe river in 1208. Book 14, comprising nearly one-quarter of the text of the entire work, since this book is so large and Absalon has greater importance than King Valdemar I, this book may have been written first and comprised a work on its own.
It is possible that Saxo enlarged it with Books 15 and 16, telling the story of King Valdemar Is last years and it is believed that Saxo wrote Books 11,12, and 13. Svend Aagesens history of Denmark, Brevis Historia Regum Dacie, states that Saxo had decided to write about The king-father and his sons, which would be King Sweyn Estridson, in Books 11,12 and he would add the first ten books. This would explain the 22 years between the last event described in the last book and the 1208 event described in the preface, the original manuscripts of the work are lost, except for four fragments, the Angers Fragment, Lassen Fragment, Kall-Rasmussen Fragment and Plesner Fragment. The Angers Fragment is the biggest fragment, and the only one attested to be in Saxo’s own handwriting, the other ones are copies from ca. All four fragments are in the collection of the Danish Royal Library in Copenhagen, in 1510-1512, Christiern Pedersen, a Danish translator working in Paris, searched Denmark high and low for an existing copy of Saxo’s works, which by that time was nearly all but lost.
By that time most knowledge of Saxo’s work came from a summary located in Chronica Jutensis, from around 1342 and it is in this summary that the name Gesta Danorum is found. The title Saxo himself used for his work is unknown, Christiern Pedersen finally found a copy in the collection of Archbishop Birger Gunnersen of Lund, modern Sweden, which he gladly lent him. With the help of printer Jodocus Badius, Gesta Danorum was refined and printed, the edition features the following colophon. impressit in inclyta Parrhisorum academia Iodocus Badius Ascensius Idibus Martiis. The source of all existing translations and new editions is Christiern Pedersens Latin Danorum Regum heroumque Historiae,1540, Lost Jon Tursons, never published ca. Volume 1 includes books I-X and Volume 2 includes books XI-XVI, hermann Jantzen, published 1900, Saxo Grammaticus
Jutland, known as the Cimbric or Cimbrian Peninsula, is a peninsula of Northern Europe that forms the continental portion of Denmark and the northern portion of Germany. The names are derived from the Jutes and the Cimbri, jutlands terrain is relatively flat, with open lands, heaths and peat bogs in the west and a more elevated and slightly hilly terrain in the east. Jutland is a peninsula bounded by the North Sea to the west, the Skagerrak to the north and historically, Jutland comprises the regions of South Jutland, West Jutland, East Jutland and North Jutland. There are several subdivisions and regional names, some of which are still occasionally encountered today. They include Nørrejyllland, Sydvestjylland and Slesvig, Jutland was regulated by the Law Code of Jutland. This civic code covered the Jutland Peninsula from the north of the River Eider to Funen as well as the North Jutlandic Island. The Danish part of Jutland is currently divided into three regions, North Denmark Region, Central Denmark Region and Region of Southern Denmark.
These three regions have an area of 29,775 km2, a population of 2,599,104. The northernmost part of Jutland is separated from the mainland by the Limfjord and this area is called the North Jutlandic Island, Vendsyssel-Thy or simply Jutland north of the Limfjord, it is only partly co-terminous with the North Jutland region. Inhabitants of Als would agree to be South Jutlanders, but not necessarily Jutlanders, the Danish Wadden Sea Islands and the German North Frisian Islands stretch along the southwest coast of Jutland in the German Bight. Jutland has historically been one of the three lands of Denmark, the two being Scania and Zealand. Before that, according to Ptolemy, Jutland or the Cimbric Chersonese was the home of Teutons, many Angles and Jutes migrated from Continental Europe to Great Britain starting in c.450 AD. The Angles themselves gave their name to the new emerging kingdoms called England and this is thought by some to be related to the invasion of Europe by the Huns from Asia. Saxons and Frisii migrated to the region in the part of the Christian era.
Old Saxony was on referred to as Holstein, during the First World War, the Battle of Jutland in the North Sea west of Jutland was one of the largest naval battles in history. In this pitched battle, the British Royal Navy engaged the Imperial German Navy, the British fleet sustained greater losses, but remained in control of the North Sea, so in strategic terms, most historians regard Jutland either as a British victory or as indecisive. The distinctive Jutish dialects differ substantially from standard Danish, especially West Jutlandic, dialect usage, although in decline, is better preserved in Jutland than in eastern Denmark, and Jutlander speech remains a stereotype among many Copenhageners and eastern Danes. Administratively, Danish Jutland comprises three of Denmarks five regions, namely the Region Nordjylland, Region Midtjylland and the half of Region of Southern Denmark
The Danevirke is a system of Danish fortifications in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. This important linear defensive earthwork across the neck of the Cimbrian peninsula was initiated by the Danes in the Nordic Iron Age at some point before 500 AD and it was expanded multiple times during Denmarks Viking Age. The Danevirke was last used for purposes in 1864 during the Second War of Schleswig. The Danevirke consists of walls and the Schlei Barrier. The walls stretches for 30 km, from the former Viking trade centre of Hedeby near Schleswig on the Baltic Sea coast in the east to the marshlands in the west of the peninsula. One of the walls, between the Schlei and Eckernförde inlets, defended the Schwansen peninsula, according to written sources, work on the Danevirke was started by the Danish King Gudfred in 808. Legend has it that it was the queen Thyra who ordered the Danevirke to be built and she was the wife of the first historically recognized king of Denmark, Gorm the Old. With the emergence of national states in Europe during the 1800s, two wars were fought, the First Schleswig War and the Second Schleswig War, eventually resulting in a Danish defeat and subsequent German annexation.
Archaeological excavations in 1969–75 established, with the help of dendrochronology and it is, contemporary with Offas Dyke, another great defensive structure of the late 8th century. Recent investigations suggest that the Danevirke was not only, and not even primarily, the archaeologist Henning Hellmuth Andersen found that in an early stage the main wall consisted of a ditch between two low embankments. Rather, the construction, in its earliest stage. New carbon-14 dating in 2013 has revealed that the stage started around 500 AD. The Danevirke is about 30 kilometres long overall, with a height varying between 3.6 and 6 metres, in particular, the 12th-century King Valdemar the Great reinforced parts of the Danevirke with a brick wall, which enabled a continued military use of this strategically important structure. The reinforced parts of the structure are known in Danish as Valdemarsmuren. Danevirke 1 — Hovedvolden, Nordvolden, Østervolden The first Danevirke was built in five stages, starting about 650, the first three stages were simple ramparts of soil, and the fourth stage was a palisade rampart with heavy timber front, built in 737.
In the final stages the timber palisade was reinforced with a stone wall around the timber. Work said to have started by Angantyr, and continued by Siegfried. Hovedvolden, From Rejde Å to a lake called Dannevirke Sø
Old Norse religion
Norse religion refers to the religious traditions of the Norsemen prior to the Christianization of Scandinavia, specifically during the Viking Age. Norse religion is a folk religion and it was the northern variation of the religion practiced in the lands inhabited by the Germanic tribes across most of Northern and Central Europe prior to Roman and Holy Roman incursions. However, it was not formalized nor categorized as a subset of Germanic paganism until it was described by outsiders who came into contact with native practitioners. The Norse - or people of Scandinavia - have always had contact with cultures outside Scandinavia. They were well aware of foreign religions and they traded and sometimes worked as henchmen for other cultures, including the Romans. Most titles bestowed upon Norse religion are the ones which were used to describe the religion in a competitive manner, some of these terms were hedendom, Heathenry or Pagan. A more romanticized name for Norse religion is the medieval Icelandic term Forn Siðr or Old Custom, knowledge about Norse religion has been gathered from archaeological discoveries and from literature produced after the Christianization of Scandinavia.
The literary sources that reference Norse paganism were written after the religion had declined, the vast majority of this came from 13th-century Iceland, where Christianity had taken longest to gain hold because of its remote location. The key literary texts for the study of Norse religion are the Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson, the Gesta Danorum by Saxo Grammaticus and the Poetic Edda, by an unknown writer or writers. Saga literature informs us of the not only of the literate elite. Sagas are categorized on the basis of events described in the saga took place. Though Sagas are often mythical in nature, the ambitions are to give a realistic description of past events. Many sites in Scandinavia have yielded information about early Scandinavian culture. The oldest extant cultural examples are petroglyphs or helleristninger/hällristningar and these are usually divided into two categories according to age, hunting-glyphs and agricultural-glyphs. The hunting glyphs are the oldest and are found in Northern Scandinavia.
These finds seem to indicate an existence based on hunting and fishing. These motifs were gradually subsumed by glyphs with more zoomorphic, or perhaps religious, the glyphs from the region of Bohuslän are complemented with younger agricultural glyphs, which seem to depict an existence based more heavily on agriculture. These motifs primarily depict ships and lunar motifs, geometrical spirals and anthropomorphic beings and these finds shows several signs of rituals in a seemingly religious context, including some strong indications of human sacrifice such as the case of the Tollund Man bog body
Dublin is the capital and largest city of Ireland. Dublin is in the province of Leinster on Irelands east coast, the city has an urban area population of 1,345,402. The population of the Greater Dublin Area, as of 2016, was 1,904,806 people, founded as a Viking settlement, the Kingdom of Dublin became Irelands principal city following the Norman invasion. The city expanded rapidly from the 17th century and was briefly the second largest city in the British Empire before the Acts of Union in 1800, following the partition of Ireland in 1922, Dublin became the capital of the Irish Free State, renamed Ireland. Dublin is administered by a City Council, the city is listed by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network as a global city, with a ranking of Alpha-, which places it amongst the top thirty cities in the world. It is a historical and contemporary centre for education, the arts, economy, the name Dublin comes from the Irish word Dubhlinn, early Classical Irish Dubhlind/Duibhlind, dubh /d̪uβ/, alt.
/d̪uw/, alt /d̪u, / meaning black and lind /lʲiɲ pool and this tidal pool was located where the River Poddle entered the Liffey, on the site of the castle gardens at the rear of Dublin Castle. In Modern Irish the name is Duibhlinn, and Irish rhymes from Dublin County show that in Dublin Leinster Irish it was pronounced Duílinn /d̪ˠi, other localities in Ireland bear the name Duibhlinn, variously anglicized as Devlin and Difflin. Historically, scribes using the Gaelic script wrote bh with a dot over the b and those without knowledge of Irish omitted the dot, spelling the name as Dublin. Variations on the name are found in traditionally Irish-speaking areas of Scotland, such as An Linne Dhubh. It is now thought that the Viking settlement was preceded by a Christian ecclesiastical settlement known as Duibhlinn, beginning in the 9th and 10th century, there were two settlements where the modern city stands. Baile Átha Cliath, meaning town of the ford, is the common name for the city in modern Irish.
Áth Cliath is a name referring to a fording point of the River Liffey near Father Mathew Bridge. Baile Átha Cliath was an early Christian monastery, believed to have been in the area of Aungier Street, there are other towns of the same name, such as Àth Cliath in East Ayrshire, which is Anglicised as Hurlford. Although the area of Dublin Bay has been inhabited by humans since prehistoric times and he called the settlement Eblana polis. It is now thought that the Viking settlement was preceded by a Christian ecclesiastical settlement known as Duibhlinn, beginning in the 9th and 10th century, there were two settlements where the modern city stands. The subsequent Scandinavian settlement centred on the River Poddle, a tributary of the Liffey in an area now known as Wood Quay, the Dubhlinn was a small lake used to moor ships, the Poddle connected the lake with the Liffey. This lake was covered during the early 18th century as the city grew, the Dubhlinn lay where the Castle Garden is now located, opposite the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle
Sigtrygg Gnupasson was a king of Denmark of the House of Olaf who ruled in the 10th century, according to Adam of Bremen. Sigtrygg was son of Gnupa and the Danish noblewoman Asfrid, according to Adam, he became a Danish king during the tenure of Archbishop Hoger of Bremen. He is remembered on the two Sigtrygg Runestones found near Schleswig, erected by his mother after his death, suggesting this area represented the power-base of the family. Based on the testimony of king Sweyn, Adam reports that prior to Hogers death, Harthacnut came to Denmark and immediately deposed the young king Sigtrygg. However other sources show a Chnuba still ruling in 934, while Heimskringla reports Gnupas defeat by Gorm the Old, Adam himself mentions the existence of other kings at this time and expresses doubt that Denmark represented a single united realm
Gunnhild, Mother of Kings
Gunnhild konungamóðir or Gunnhild Gormsdóttir is a quasi-historical figure who appears in the Icelandic Sagas, according to which she was the wife of Eric Bloodaxe. She appears prominently in such as Fagrskinna, Egils saga, Njáls saga. The sagas relate that Gunnhild lived during a time of great change and her father-in-law Harald Fairhair had recently united much of Norway under his rule. Shortly after his death and her husband were overthrown and she spent much of the rest of her life in exile in Orkney and Denmark. A number of her children with Erik became co-rulers of Norway in the late tenth century. Many of the details of her life are disputed, including her parentage, although she is treated in the sagas as a historical person, even her historicity is a matter of some debate. What details of her life are known largely from Icelandic sources. Scholars such as Gwyn Jones therefore regard some of the episodes reported in them as suspect and this contrivance, Jones has argued, was the Icelandic saga-makers attempt to mitigate the defeats and explusion of his own heroic ancestors by ascribing magical abilities to the queen.
According to the 12th century Historia Norwegiæ, Gunnhild was the daughter of Gorm the Old, king of Denmark, modern scholars have largely accepted this version as accurate. Erik himself was the product of such a union between Harald and Ragnhild, a Danish princess from Jutland and Egils Saga, on the other hand, assert that Gunnhild was the daughter of Ozur Toti, a hersir from Halogaland. Accounts of her early life vary between sources, Egils Saga relates that Eirik fought a great battle on the Northern Dvina in Bjarmaland, and was victorious as the poems about him record. On the same expedition he obtained Gunnhild, the daughter of Ozur Toti, Gwyn Jones regarded many of the traditions that grew up around Gunnhild in the Icelandic sources as fictional. Heimskringla relates that Gunnhild lived for a time in a hut with two Finnish wizards and learned magic from them, the two wizards demanded sexual favors from her, so she induced Erik, who was returning from an expedition to Bjarmaland, to kill them.
Erik took her to her fathers house and announced his intent to marry Gunnhild, the older Fagrskinna, says simply that Erik met Gunnhild during an expedition to the Finnish north, where she was being fostered and educated. With Mǫttull, king of the Finns, Gunnhilds Finnish sojourn is described by historian Marlene Ciklamini as a fable designed to set the stage for placing the blame for Eriks future misrule on his wife. Gunnhild and Erik are said to have had the children, the oldest, Harald, Ragnhild, Gudrod. Egils Saga mentions a son named Rögnvald, but it is not known whether he can be identified with one of those mentioned in Heimskringla, Gunnhild was widely reputed to be a völva, or witch. Prior to the death of Harald Fairhair, Eriks popular half-brother Halfdan Haraldsson the Black died mysteriously, shortly thereafter, Harald died and Erik consolidated his power over the whole country
The Saxons were a group of Germanic tribes first mentioned as living near the North Sea coast of what is now Germany, in the late Roman empire. They were soon mentioned as raiding and settling in many North Sea areas, as well as pushing south inland towards the Franks. Significant numbers settled in parts of Great Britain in the early Middle Ages. Many Saxons however remained in Germania, where they resisted the expanding Frankish Empire through the leadership of the semi-legendary Saxon hero, the Saxons earliest area of settlement is believed to have been Northern Albingia, an area approximately that of modern Holstein. This general area included the probable homeland of the Angles, along with the Angles and other continental Germanic tribes, participated in the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain during and after the 5th century. The British-Celtic inhabitants of the isles tended to refer to all of these collectively as Saxons. It is unknown how many Saxons migrated from the Continent to Britain, the Saxons may have derived their name from seax, a kind of knife for which they were known.
The seax has a symbolic impact in the English counties of Essex and Middlesex. Their names, along with those of Sussex and Wessex, contain a remnant of the word Saxon. The Elizabethan era play Edmund Ironside suggests the Saxon name derives from the Latin saxa, Their names discover what their natures are, More hard than stones, in the Celtic languages, the words designating English nationality derive from the Latin word Saxones. The most prominent example, a loanword in English, is the Scottish Gaelic Sassenach and it derives from the Scottish Gaelic Sasunnach meaning, Saxon, from the Latin Saxones. Scots- or Scottish English-speakers in the 21st century usually use it as a term for an English person. The Oxford English Dictionary gives 1771 as the date of the earliest written use of the word in English. Sasanach, the Irish word for an Englishman, has the same derivation, as do the words used in Welsh to describe the English people, Cornish terms the English Sawsnek, from the same derivation.
In the 16th century Cornish-speakers used the phrase Meea navidna cowza sawzneck to feign ignorance of the English language, England in Scottish Gaelic is Sasainn. Other examples include the Welsh Saesneg, Irish Sasana, Breton saoz, and Cornish Sowson, the label Saxons was applied to German settlers who migrated during the 13th century to southeastern Transylvania. From Transylvania, some Saxons migrated to neighbouring Moldavia, as the name of the town, Sas-cut, sascut is located in the part of Moldavia that is today part of Romania. The Finns and Estonians have changed their usage of the term Saxony over the centuries to denote now the country of Germany
Christianization of Scandinavia
The Christianization of Scandinavia took place between the 8th and the 12th centuries. The realms of Scandinavia proper, Denmark and Sweden, established their own Archdioceses, responsible directly to the Pope, in 1104,1154 and 1164, respectively. The conversion to Christianity of the Scandinavian people required more time, the Sami remained unconverted until the 18th century. Although the Scandinavians became nominally Christian, it took longer for actual Christian beliefs to establish themselves among the people. The old indigenous traditions that had provided security and structure were challenged by ideas that were unfamiliar, such as sin, the Incarnation. Thirteenth-century runic inscriptions from the merchant town of Bergen in Norway show little Christian influence, during the early Middle Ages the papacy had not yet manifested itself as the central Roman Catholic authority, so that regional variants of Christianity could develop. Recorded missionary efforts in Denmark started with Willibrord, Apostle to the Frisians, who preached in Schleswig and he went north from Frisia sometime between 710 and 718 during the reign of King Ongendus.
Willibrord and his companions had little success, the king was respectful but had no interest in changing his beliefs, agantyr did permit 30 young men to return to Frisia with Willibrord. Perhaps Willibrords intent was to them and recruit some of them to join his efforts to bring Christianity to the Danes. A century Ebbo, Archbishop of Reims and Willerich, Bishop of Bremen and he returned to Denmark twice to proselytize but without any recorded success. In 826, the King of Jutland Harald Klak was forced to flee from Denmark by Horik I, Harald went to Emperor Louis I of Germany to seek help getting his lands in Jutland back. Louis I offered to make Harald Duke of Frisia if he would give up the old gods, Harald agreed, and his family and the 400 Danes with him were baptized in Ingelheim am Rhein. When Harald returned to Jutland, Emperor Louis and Ebbo of Rheims assigned the monk Ansgar to accompany Harald, when Harald Klak was forced from Denmark by King Horik I again, Ansgar left Denmark and focused his efforts on the Swedes.
Ansgar traveled to Birka in 829 and established a small Christian community there and his most important convert was Herigar, described as a prefect of the town and a counselor to the king. In 831 the Archdiocese of Hamburg was founded and assigned responsibility for proselytizing Scandinavia, Horik I sacked Hamburg in 845 where Ansgar had become the archbishop. The seat of the archdiocese was transferred to Bremen, in the same year there was a pagan uprising in Birka that resulted in the martyrdom of Nithard and forced the resident missionary Bishop Gautbert to flee. Ansgar returned to Birka in 854 and Denmark in 860 to reestablish some of the gains of his first visits, in Denmark he won over the trust of then-King Horik II who gave him land in Hedeby for the first Christian chapel. A second church was founded a few years in Ribe on Denmarks west coast, a significant step in this direction was the foundation of an archbishopric for the whole of Scandinavia at Lund in 1103-04
Arild Huitfeldt was a Danish historian and state official, known for his vernacular Chronicle of Denmark. Huitfeldt was born into a family from Scania, part of the Kingdom of Denmark at the time. He was partly educated in Germany and France, made his career as a official and was, from 1573 to 1580, First Secretary to the Danish Chancellery. From 1583 to his death he was superintendent at Herlufsholm School. In 1586 he achieved his highest appointment, becoming Rigskansler, until shortly before his death, Huitfeldt owned several manor estates and handled a number of diplomatic assignments. As a politician and as an official he appears to have been studious, what has made Huitfeldt famous, however, is his contribution as a historian. He wrote the first great History of Denmark in vernacular Danish – Danmarks Riges Krønike, Huitfeldt was no official Danish historiographer, but at his time several official attempts at writing a comprehensive History of Denmark in Latin had come to little. Huitfeldt created a work that all earlier Latin attempts and more or less became the referential history work on Denmark until the time of Ludvig Holberg.
The Chronicle deals with Denmark from what was a time of legend until 1559 and it is mostly structured around the reigns of the various kings and was published in non-chronological order, beginning with the time of Christian III. Through published rather quickly, his work seems to have been prepared several years. Being a state official with access to documents and with the possibility of using help from scribes, the form of his Chronicle is annalist but not narrowly limited to each single year. What makes it more important is that Huitfeldt reproduces many documents. In that way his book is a significant source collection, in the Chronicle Huitfeldt reveals himself as a pragmatic aristocrat. A central view of his is that repeats itself, but in aspects such as his emphasis on judicial and constitutional factors. At bottom, he remains subjective, his own ideal is that of the state, in which the King respects the role. Yet as a whole, Huitfeldt is sober and calm, using plain, while transmitting the ancient legends and myths he often shows scepticism as to their reliability, an attitude he halso partly displays toward sources.
His prefaces to the volumes of his history are themselves worth noting