Name: Gorm "The Old" Haraldsson King of DENMARK 1 2
ALIA: Gorm "The Old" /Haraldsson/, King of Denmark
Name: Gorm "The Old" den GAMLE , King of Denmark
Birth: ABT 880 in Sjaelland Island, Denmark
Death: 936 in Jellinge Vejle, Denmark 1 2
Ruled 899-936 2
Gorm the Old (Knut I) - unified Denmark; died about 940. (Ancestral Roots & Complete Peerage say 936).
A man whose soul was ever hostile to religion. Thus did the Danish Historian Saxo sum up the life of Gorm the old.
Gorm the old or Gorm den Gamle, appeared on the scene in the late ninth century and began unifying the country of Denmark.
Gorm's parentage is somewhat obscure, although we know that his father was Hardknut. As we have seen, Snorri tells us that this Hardeknut was the son of Sigurd Orm-i-Oga, who in turn was the youngest son of the legendary Ragnar Lodbrok. [Note: I have Gorm as great-grandson of Hardecanute, as I believe there were many generations between Ragnar Lodbrook and Gorm. I believe that "British Kings & Queens", "Royalty for Commoners" and several other books support my ancestry. Complete Peerage states that Gorm assumed the throne in 899, which implies his father's death date.]
According to other sources, Gorm's father Hardeknut came from Norway. While many Norwegian Vikings were seeking their fortune in the west, Hardeknut (according to this version) turned east and conquered the Danish island of Sjaelland. With little difficulty, he ousted the rightful heir to the throne, a young man named Siegric, and assumed the rule of the island.
When Hardeknut died, his son Gorm was accepted as king by the local inhabitants. Gorm is sometimes given the double name Hardknut Gorm, and because of the Knut in his name, he may be listed as Knut I in the lists of Danish kings. The root orm seen in the name Gorm (and in our English word "worm") means serpent, and it is found in Orm-i-Oga ("Snake Eyes") and other royal names of the day.
Gorm was not content to rule only one small island, but began to extend his kingdom by conquest and barter. By the end of his reign he had unified Jutland, Schleswig, many islands, part of Holstein, and some provinces of Norway and Sweden under his rule. Thus Denmark under Gorm was larger than the Denmark we know today.
Gorm was every inch a Viking, and his subjects were given to the worst king of piracy. The Danes plundered in Smolensk and Kiev in Russia. In 882 they journeyed to Aix-la-Chapelle where Karl the Great (Charlemagne) was buried, and stole the gold and silver decorations from his tomb. Over and over again, they harried France, and each time the ineffectual Carolingian king Charles the Fat was forced to pay them great quantities of silver in return for their agreeing to leave. . . .
After Gorm and Tyra died, their son Harald Bluetooth erected at Jelling the largest Viking monument known. It includes two rune stones, two huge mounds, the royal grave, and a church. The inscription on the larger rune stone was intended not only to honor Harald's parents, but also to make sure his own fame endured. It reads:
"King Harald commanded this monument to be made in memory of Gorm, his father, and in memory of Thorvi (Thyra) his mother - that Harald who won the whole of Denmark for himself, and Norway, and made the Danes Christian."
[Royal Families of Scandinavia, Flanders, and Kiev]
Note: I have quite a different ancestry for Gorm from the above, which they admit is obscure. The only thing in common with the ancestry given above is that Gorm came from the island of Sjaelland, which his father was King of.
Father: Harald "Parcus" King of Sjaelland DENMARK b: ABT 858 in Sjaelland Island, Denmark
Mother: Elfgifu Princess of WESSEX b: ABT 860 in Wessex, England
Thyra "Ornament of Denmark" DANEBOD b: ABT 893 in Wessex, England
- Gunnhild GORMSDOTTIR b: ABT 910 in Jutland, Denmark
- Harald "Blue Tooth" Gormssom King of DENMARK b: ABT 913 in Denmark
- Sigfried "The Dane" Comte de GUINES b: ABT 922 in Denmark
- Title: Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists, 7th Edition, by Frederick Lewis Weis, additions by Walter Lee Shippard Jr., 1999
- Title: Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom, by G. E Cokayne, Sutton Publishing Ltd, 2000