But today in a newsletter (BCN) I saw some little-known background about King Harald Bluetooth:
Did you know this ancient Viking king—this "Charlemagne of Scandinavia"—who united Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and brought Christianity to Scandinavia in his lifetime, is also the moniker for modern
(Denmark)—For those familiar with the term "Bluetooth," have you ever wondered where the wireless interface device got its name?
Interestingly, the familiar Bluetooth logo utilizes the Nordic runes for the letters H and B, the initials of Harald Bluetooth.
History teaches that King Gorm The Old ruled all of Jutland, the main peninsula of Denmark. Born in 911, Harald (also known as Harold II), "was the son of Gorm the Old and Thyra, the daughter of a nobleman.
A Bluetooth Resource Center site adds this : "Legend has it that at a large feast in 960 Harald Bluetooth entertained Poppo, a priest sent by the German emperor. Poppo asserted that there was but one Christian God. This was a bold claim, heard amid much drinking with toasts to Tor and Oden. To prove the truth of Poppo's claim, Harald required him to submit to a test. A metal glove was made red hot and Poppo thrust his hand inside. Miraculously he received not the slightest burn. This was taken as proof of the existence of the supreme Christian God. Harald was promptly baptized, [in 970 A.D.] leading to similar conversions among the Danish Viking elite. In practice however, many of the ancient gods were retained along with the new 'one true God.
"When Harald was at the height of his rule he created a monument that read: 'King Harald raised this monument to the memory of Gorm his father and Thyre his mother. Harald conquered all of Denmark and Norway and made the Danes Christian.' These words were carved in stone as rune symbols. Such symbols were also carved onto weapons and jewelry."
Though some Norse sagas present Harald in a more negative light, the Associated Content report states that "he did much for the economy as well as the military. He constructed the Ravninge Bridge in Scandinavia. It is five meters wide, 760 meters long, and it remains the oldest known bridge in existence. Tragically, Harald died at the hand of his "traitorous, pagan son."
Hopefully, this back-story provides extra insight into news out of Denmark that after centuries of searching, the royal residence of Harald Bluetooth has finally been discovered.
A report from the Copenhagen Post, calling the find "sensational," says: "The remains of the ancient wooden buildings were uncovered in the north-eastern corner of the Jellinge complex which consists of royal burial mounds, standing stones in the form of a ship and runic stones."
Mads Dengsø Jessen, the archaeologist from Århus University who led the dig was quoted as saying four buildings from Harald's time had been discovered at the site. The buildings are characteristic of those built at round fortresses known as Trelleborg. Jessen also reportedly believes the remains of Harald's royal hall can be found under the existing Jellinge Church, where the remains of a large wooden building were discovered on a previous dig.
According to the report, Jellinge is revered as the cradle of the Danish kingdom, and the larger of the two runic stones which is often described as the baptismal certificate of the Danish nation directly refers to Harald Bluetooth and his conversion of the country to Christianity.
Source: Copenhagen Post