Denmark is a small country, situated in Northern Europe. It is largely comprised of the Jutland peninsula. In history, Denmark has at times controlled most of Scandinavia, and the Faroe Islands and Greenland are still under Danish rule.
History[edit | edit source]
Prehistory[edit | edit source]
There were archaeological findings which could have been the earliest in Denmark that date back to the Eem interglacial period which started from 130,000-110,000 BC. Denmark also was inhabited around the time of 12,500 BC and agriculture has been evident from 3900 BC. What is known as the Nordic Bronze Age which started from 1800 and ended in 600 BC was also in Denmark and marked by burial mounds, which left an abundance of findings including lurs and the Sun Chariot.
During the Pre-Roman Iron Age which started around 500 BC and ended in 1 AD was when native groups began migrating to the South and the first tribal Danes came to the country between the Pre-Roman and Germanic Iron Age which means in the Roman Iron Age from 1 AD to 400 was when Roman provinces maintained some trade routes and relations with the native tribes located in Denmark. Roman coins have also been found in Denmark which also means evidence of strong Celtic cultural influence also dated back to this period in Denmark and other parts of North-Western Europe and was one of the finding of the Gundestrup cauldron.
Some historians seem to believe that before the arrival of the Danes who came from the east Danish islands known as Zealand and Scania spoke one of the earliest forms of North Germanic and most of Jutland and the other nearby islands were settled by the Barbaric Danish tribe known as Jutes. Great Britain later invited them as mercenaries by the Brythonic king, Vortigern who was granted the south-eastern territories of Kent, the Isle of Wight among some other areas, is where they settled then. Later in times, they were ethnically cleansed and killed by the other invading Barbaric Tribes which would be known as, Angles and Saxons, these two later formed what is today, the Anglo-Saxons. There is a remaining population in Jutland which is assimilated in coordination with the Danes.
In a short note about the Dani in Getica by historian Jordanes was believed to be an earlier mention of the Danes, one of some ethnic groups from modern Danes are also descended. The Danevirke defence structures were built during the phases from 3rd century froward and sized of the construction efforts in 737 AD which were later, attributed to the emergence of a Danish king. A new runic alphabet was then earliest used around Ribe and the oldest town of Denmark which was founded in 700 AD.
Vikings and Middle Ages[edit | edit source]
From the 8th and towards the 10th century, the Danes, Norwegians and Swedes were known as Vikings. They colonized, raided, and traded all across Europe. Viking explorers were the first to discover Iceland on accident during the 9th century when heading for the Faroe Islands, and Norwegian Vikings came across what was known as, "Vinland" which is known as the Land of wine or Newfoundland which was in Canada; the Danish Vikings were most active in the British Isles and Western Europe where they conquered and settled parts of England also known as the Danelaw which was followed under King Sweyn Forkbeard in 1013 AD, Ireland, and France where Danes and Norwegians founded Normandy with Rollo as head of state. Then later, Anglo-Saxon pence of this period was found in Denmark than in England.
The Danes were united and Christianized around 965 AD by Harald Bluetooth and it is believed that Denmark became Christian for political reasons so they were not invaded by the Christian powers that were rising in Europe from the Holy Roman Empire, which would have been an important trading area for the Danes. Harald built six fortresses around Denmark called Trelleborg and also built further Danevirke then in the early 11th century, Canute the Great won and united Denmark, England, and Norway for at-least 30 years with a powerful Scandinavian army.
Throughout the High and Late Middle Ages, Denmark also included Skåneland which would alos be Scania, Halland, and Blekinge; Danish kings ruled Danish Estonia, as well as the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, most of the latter two now form the state of Schleswig-Holstein in Northern Germany.
In 1397 AD, Denmark entered into a personal union with Norway and then, Sweden which was united under Queen Margaret I and then, the three countries were to be treated as equals within the union. Later however, Margaret started to think she may not have been treating Denmark as one of the clear senior partner of the union. This made the next 125 years of Scandinavian history revolve around this union, which Sweden broke off and being re-conquered repeatedly. The issue was because of practical purposes resolved on June 17, 1523; Swedish King Gustav Vasa conquered the city of Stockholm then the Protestant Reformation started spreading over to Scandinavia in the 1530s, following the Count's feud Civil War, Denmark converted to Lutheranism during 1536 AD. Later that year, Denmark entered another union with Norway.