Gorm the Old

Gorm the Old, Danish Gorm the Gamle ( * before 900; † ca 936/958 ) was a Danish leader, who is widely regarded as the first king of Denmark. The two grave mounds in Jelling are named after him and his wife Thyra Danebod.


Gorm was born the son of the Danish leader Harthaknut in the late 9th century. Allegedly, he was descended from Danes who ruled in East Anglia. His father was 916 and 917, to Denmark and took over the reign of the young king Sigtrygg Gnupasson. After his father's death (about 934) Gorm ascended the throne. Gorm was by later historians ( Saxo Grammaticus in his Gesta Danorum ) described as older than other monarchs of his time. He was already blind when his son Knut had been killed.

Gorm married Thyra, the daughter of a local chieftain, probably from South Jutland. According to the Gesta Danorum Thyra was the daughter of King Æthelred of Wessex.

His wife sat Gorm the smaller of the two rune stones from Jelling with the inscription: "King Gorm made ​​this monument after Thyra, his wife, Denmark's adornment ", the meaning of the last phrase is controversial. Gorm exact date of death is not known. In part, the time is assumed to 936 in research, but dendrochronological studies suggest a wooden chamber in his supposed grave in Jelling to 958 out.

Since the older son Knut had died before the death of his father, Gorm was succeeded by his younger son Harald Bluetooth on the throne. This put the large Jelling for his parents with the oldest image of Christ in the North. He is also regarded as a baptismal font in Denmark. The Jelling rune stones of the world cultural heritage.