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Denmark, History

Danevirke, Jutland Peninsula, Scandinavian Peninsula, Danelaw, Viking age

Knowledge of Danish antiquity is derived largely from archaeological research. Some historians believe that Danes inhabiting the southern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula migrated to the Jutland Peninsula and the adjacent islands in the Baltic Sea in the 5th and 6th centuries. Evidence of major public structures—including a canal, a long bridge, and the ramparts across the neck of Jutland now called the Danevirke—in the 8th century attests to the presence of a fairly strong central authority in Jutland on the eve of the Viking age. Within a century of their first raid on the British Isles in the 780s, the Danes were masters of the part of England that became known as the Danelaw. Under King Harold Bluetooth in the 10th century, political consolidation increased, and the Christianization of the Danes was begun. Harold’s son, Sweyn I, conquered all of England in 1013 and 1014. Sweyn’s son, Canute II, who ruled England (1016-1035) and Denmark (1018-1035), completed the Christianization of Denmark.

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Article key phrases:

Danevirke, Jutland Peninsula, Scandinavian Peninsula, Danelaw, Viking age, Canute, long bridge, ramparts, Baltic Sea, Danes, raid, canal, British Isles, eve, masters, historians, centuries, England, presence


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