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Year 970 – Wedding Token

Some hypothesis are aiming towards Harald´s wedding with Tove instead of Harald´s baptism.

Peter Kraneveld´s argument for the wedding hypothesis is that the text on the obverse is 100% political and not religious at all (Peter Kraneveld, World of coins, November 28, 2014).

In Karen Schousboe´s initial reflections in Medieval Histories she mentions that the Cursmsun Disc could be a gift to the king in Mecklenburg or Oldenburg in connection with Harald´s wedding with Tove (link).

The Curmsun Disc ought to have been manufactured during or after Harald Bluetooth´ baptism as there is a processional cross on the backside.

During the 960s, there was a significantly active process of Christianizing the area of the Slavs. Harald’s father-in-law Mistivoj had in 967 secured the obotrites sovereignty over the trunk Wagrians in the east. The following year the bishopric of Oldenburg was founded. Mistivoj became a Christian which he seems to have held on to for the rest of his life. He ended his days in the monastery Bardowiek and he had close contacts with the bishops of Oldenburg, of which the first was Egward. Sven Estridsson told Adam that during this time there was continual peace between obotrites and Otto I, and that the Slavs were tributary to the German Emperor. (link)

The Christian name of Mistivoj was Billung and he later married Hardike, the sister of bishop Wago (The history of Vandalia, containing the ancient and present state of the country of Mecklenburg, Thomas Nugent, pages 222-223). Bishop Wago was the bishop of Oldenburg during 974-983 (link).

Scania and Jomsborg ought to be part of the Danish kingdom during the production process of the Curmsun Disc as it is mentioned on the Curmsun Disc. It is therefore very strange that Norway is not mentioned on the Curmsun Disc. If the Curmsun Disc has been manufactured after the year 970 when Harald became king of Norway (link), Norway should have been mentioned on the Curmsun Disc. The marriage took place in 970 (link) and probably in Oldenburg as Oldenburg was the chief town of the obotrites (link).

Important dates:

Mid 10th century – Scania became part of Denmark
968 – The bishopric of Oldenburg was founded
970 – Marriage between Harald and Tove
973 – Harald participates in the parliament of Quedlingburg and pays tribute to Otto the Great
970 – 974 Norway is conquered by Harald Bluetooth

One theory is that Mistivoj asked the bishops in Oldenburg to manufacture the Curmsun Disc during 970 and gave it as a wedding gift to Harald or helped Harald to manufacture it as a wedding gift from Harald to Tove.

What strengthens the theory regarding a wedding gift from Harald to Tove is the following fact from the book World History: Ancient and medieval times to A.D. 1500, by Charles A. Frazee (page 368). In the tenth century the following ritual became common in Western Europe during a wedding. If a transfer of land was to be made, the woman knelt before the man and acknowledged that he would be her protector and that of her possessions, a role formerly played by her father or brothers. A ring, blessed by the priest in the name of the Trinity, was placed upon the bride´s finger. She might also receive token gifts of gold and silver while the groom recited, “With this ring I wed you, with this gold and silver I honor you.