Historical knowledge

Gorm the Old, Harald Bluetooth and Svein Forkbeard

We often learn that the Danish royal line begins with Gorm the Old, but there were kings before him. Gorm is often said to be the first king due to the fact that he is the first named in contemporary Danish written sources: the two rune stones at Jelling. Gorm was married to Thyra and was the father of Harald Bluetooth. Both father and son were involved in the construction of the monuments at Jelling.

Gorm ruled until his death around 958 AD, after which Harald Bluetooth took power and reigned in the period 958-987 AD. Harald Bluetooth had a son, Svein Forkbeard, who took power from his father by force. Svein led several large Viking raids against the English, and for a period he was king of Denmark, Norway and England. Like his father, he is said to be buried in Roskilde Cathedral.

Copperplate engraved portraits of the Jelling Kings, conducted by Albert Haelwegh, printed in 1685.

The five engravings are in a photo album, where you can browse. To browse, simply click on the arrows at the sides. If you want to explore more in the pictures, you can click on the picture itself, then it opens up into a larger version. Here you can zoom in and out of the picture.

Share this page