Author Topic: The medievall Danish Kings and Queens  (Read 14464 times)

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Offline maxofsweden

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Re: Margaret I of Denmark
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2008, 04:46:40 PM »
Thanks for that information! it was strange her son died so young, may be he might not have died of natural causes too.

I have seen somewhere that Olof officialy died of pneumonia, sorry I don't have the source. His mother died of the plague on a ship when visiting Flensburg.
A deo rex, a rege lex

Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: Margaret I of Denmark
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2010, 09:26:00 PM »
WARNING: Unless you are very well versed in medieval Scandinavian royal genealogy, this interactive family tree (scroll down to the middle) can be very handy to have available while you read this post! :-)

Its strange that when her husband died she did not remarry, I would have thought that the death of her son without issue (is it known what he died of?) would have made her want to remarry again to continue the dynasty. Even Erik of Pomerania who ruled after her did not remarry when his English Queen died, very strange also, you would think he would have wanted a son to succeed him?.

A number of personal reasons can of course be imagined (wanting to keep her independence, age etc.), but politically Margrete wasn't interested in a new heir of her body. Unless she married one of her enemies, the Mecklenburgers, any new heirs of her body would not be descended from the Folkungs, her late husband's family, which had ruled Sweden and Norway. Although she, a Folkung only by marriage, had been accepted as sovereign in Norway (which unlike Sweden and Denmark was a hereditary, not elective monarchy), this was unproblematic because Erik of Pomerania was her designated heir. Through his maternal grandmother, Margrete's sister, Erik was descended from the Valdemars, the Danish royal dynasty, and through his maternal great grandmother, the aunt of Margrete's late husband, he was descended from the Folkung dynasty of Sweden and Norway. Another heir who did not have these two strains of ancestry might have jeopardized Margrete's great political project, the Kalmar Union.

See Norwegian scholar Eldbj°rg Haug's great biography of Margrete, called "Margrete - den siste dronning i SverreŠtten: Nordens fullmektige frue og rette husbonde" for a fascinating discussion of the succession issues Margrete faced. (There was even a juridical exchange with her "daughter-in-law" Philippa's family in England, because of the parallells to the succession issues in the Wars of the Roses: Both Margrete and Philippa's father Henry IV had sidelined more obvious heirs; in Margrete's case Duke Albrecht of Mecklenburg, who was the legitimate heir of Norway by law, but was declared by the Norwegian Council of the Realm, of course upon Margrete's insistence, to have forfeited his rights by bearing arms against his predecessor, Margrete's husband, while they were fighting over the Swedish succession! Coming to think of it, it's surprising that the Mecklenburgs didn't adopt my username, Heir of Norway in proud defiance, like the Holstein-Gottorp(-Romanov)s later did!)

I agree it's more puzzling why Erik didn't remarry when his wife died without having given him an heir. I think one reason might have been that he by that point already was 48 years old, and struggling to keep the Kalmar Union intact. With medieval life expectancy being what it was, any newborn heir of his might easily face becoming fatherless and growing up as a child monarch during a minority reign. Not an ideal solution in such an unstable political entity as the Kalmar Union. Better then to be succeeded by his sister's son, Christopher of Bavaria, who by the time of his wife's death already was 14 years old and soon fit to rule.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 09:59:03 PM by Naslednik Norvezhskiy »

Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: The medievall Danish Kings and Queens
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2010, 03:11:30 PM »
A thread about the medieval kings and queens of Europe's supposedly eldest monarchy wouldn't be complete without some information about its fascinating "birth certificate" - the Jelling Stones! Especially now that web browsers actually can display (and allow you to write) runes!

In the small Jutish village of Jelling there are two great 10th century brurial mounds, a stone church dating from ca. 1100 and two massive carved 11th century rune stones.

The so-called Rune Stone of Gorm says:
ᚴᚢᚱᛘᛦ ᛬ ᚴᚢᚾᚢᚴᛦ ᛬
ᚴ(ᛅᚱ)ᚦᛁ ᛬ ᚴᚢᛒᛚ ᛬ ᚦᚢᛋᛁ ᛬
ᛅ(ᚠᛏ) ᛬ ᚦᚢᚱᚢᛁ ᛬ ᚴᚢᚾᚢ
ᛋᛁᚾᛅ ᛬ ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚱᚴᛅᛦ ᛬ ᛒᚢᛏ ᛬

...which translates to Latin script as:
kurmR : kunukR :
k(ar)■i : kubl : ■usi :
a(ft) : ■urui : kunu
sina : tanmarkaR : but

... this Old Danish translates as:
Gorm King
made mounds these
after Thyra, wife
of his, Denmark's Bod.

It's the first recorded mention of Denmark, as well as its first historical king, Gorm, and his wife, whose name (in the dative case on the stone) has been reconstructed as Thyra. Her epitaph is usually interpreted as "Denmark's Adornment, Remedy or Solution", but the interpretation of the last word is not 100 % clear, so sometimes she is referred to as Thyra Danebod.

The other stone, Harald's Stone, says:
ᚼᛅᚱᛅᛚᛏᚱ ᛬ ᚴᚢᚾᚢᚴᛦ ᛬ ᛒᛅᚦ ᛬ ᚴᛅᚢᚱᚢᛅ
ᚴᚢᛒᛚ ᛬ ᚦᛅᚢᛋᛁ ᛬ ᛅᚠᛏ ᛬ ᚴᚢᚱᛘ ᚠᛅᚦᚢᚱ ᛋᛁᚾ
ᛅᚢᚴ ᛅᚠᛏ ᛬ ᚦᚭᚢᚱᚢᛁ ᛬ ᛘᚢᚦᚢᚱ ᛬ ᛋᛁᚾᛅ ᛬ ᛋᛅ
ᚼᛅᚱᛅᛚᛏᚱ (᛬) ᛁᛅᛋ ᛬ ᛋᚭᛦ ᛫ ᚢᛅᚾ ᛫ ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚢᚱᚴ
ᛅᛚᛅ ᛫ ᛅᚢᚴ ᛫ ᚾᚢᚱᚢᛁᛅᚴ
ᛅᚢᚴ ᛫ ᛏ(ᛅ)ᚾᛁ (᛫ ᚴᛅᚱᚦᛁ ᛫) ᚴᚱᛁᛋᛏᚾᚭ

...which translates to Latin script as:
haraltr : kunukR : ba■ : kaurua
kubl : ■ausi : aft : kurm fa■ur sin
auk aft : ■ąurui : mu■ur : sina : sa
haraltr : ias : sąR uan tanmaurk
ala  auk  nuruiak
auk  t(a)ni (kar■i) kristną

... this Old Danish translates as:
Harald King ordered made
mounds these after Gorm his father
and after Thyra his mother, that
Harald who won himself Denmark
and all Norway
and made the Danes Christians.

This stone is thus not just the baptismal certificate of Denmark, but also the first recording of the name Norway, of which Harald probably ruled at least the southern parts. Harald's stone has a figure of Christ on one side and on another side a serpent wrapped around a lion. The carving on Harald's stone and the runes on Gorm's stone can be seen in this picture with one of the mounds in the background:.................................The carvings on Harald's stone were probably originally painted, as portrayed in this reconstruction of the Christ figure:


More info on Wikipedia: Jelling Stones
More info from the Museum Royal Jelling
More info from Wikipedia on the Runic alphabets (in this case the Younger Futhark) in case you want to check the transliterations yourself!

And to draw the line until our own days: It was the first archeologist on the throne, Frederik VII, who first excavated the Jelling Mounds. He just found an empty burial chamber, as the remains of the pagan King Gorm had been transferred to a grave in (the then wooden) church by his Christian son Harald Bluetooth.
No doubt the second archeologist on King Gorm's ancient throne, Margrethe II, is equally fascinated by this unique UNESCO World Heritage site.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2010, 03:14:11 PM by Rťrik »

Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: The medievall Danish Kings and Queens
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2010, 01:50:50 PM »
I do hope all you possums can view the magical runes? If not that's evidence of how much Windows sucks and the need to go for a free open-source. Linux-based operative system like Ubuntu.

Offline Mari

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Re: The medievall Danish Kings and Queens
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2010, 01:30:42 AM »
This is wonderful...Gorm King
made mounds these
after Thyra, wife
of his, Denmark's Bod.

or Thyra Danebod could this be Thyra body of a Dane? To identify that She was buried there and that She was a Dane? I know a lot of the Ancient Names were son of, kin of, and connected only to the first name as Johnson etc.   

Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: The medievall Danish Kings and Queens
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2010, 02:53:06 PM »
or Thyra Danebod could this be Thyra body of a Dane? To identify that She was buried there and that She was a Dane?
Interesting, as this was a surprise for me: I assumed that "body" was a Latin-derived word, but it turns out that it's Germanic: Old English botig, Old High German botah. But it seems it is not known to have been a word in Old Danish. And describing Thyra as "Denmark's Body" seems a little odd, but as you can see one has to have an open mind when decoding runic inscriptions, as the ancient rune masters were not strong spellers! :-) (In reality there was of course no established spelling of Old Danish at the time.)

Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: The medieval Danish Kings and Queens
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2011, 10:03:26 AM »
The sad but beautiful medieval ballad about the death of Queen Dagmar:Youtube: Dronning Dagmar
This is a more modern version for several voices, for a truly medieval rendering I recommend the Danish group Ph°nix's version on Spotify.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2011, 10:06:28 AM by Фёдор Петрович »