The Forgotten King of Denmark – Haraldr II

Deniz Gulen* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    King Haraldr II ruled the Kingdom of Denmark from 1014 to 1018; however, his reign is challenging to study due to a lack of source material. A detailed analysis ofthe written primary sourcesfrom Denmark and Iceland—such as Saxo’s GestaDanorum, ChroniconRoskilde, and Knýtlinga saga—givesthe impression thatthe Danes wanted to forget HaraldrII by deliberately omitting his briefreign from these narratives. This article investigates the possible reasons why Danish historians of the eleventh and twelfth centuries may have wanted to collectively forget Haraldr. To demonstrate how Haraldr has been omitted from historical narratives, this study compares a variety of different primary sources from Scandinavia and England, in order to gather as much information as possible on the topic. The article subsequently exploresthree possible explanations asto why Haraldr has been omitted:(1)the possibility thatHaraldrreverted to pre-Christian religious beliefs, contradicting medieval historians’ perspectives of a true king, (2) transmission of the sources in the medieval ages and (3) a lack of worthwhile
    events during the height of medieval Danish success.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)106-121
    Number of pages16
    JournalScandinavian-Canadian Studies
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


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