Year 986 – Memorial Plate, Harald´s death
Below is a map of the area where the Curmsun Disc was found.
In the last few years of his life, Harald came into conlict with his son Sweyn Forkbeard. During a battle, he was badly wounded and was taken by his soldiers to Jumne, now Wolin. In the 1060s, Adam of Bremen wrote the following about the event:
“In this miserable war, which was more mischievous than a civil war, Harald and his followers were defeated. He himself was wounded and led from the battle, boarded a ship and escaped to a place in the Slavs country, called Jumne.
Contrary to his expectations, as the Slavs were pagans, he was kindly received by them, but after a few days he became increasingly weakened by his wounds and passed away, professing Christ. His body was sent by his troops back to the motherland and buried in the church in Roskilde, which he himself had had built in honour of the Holy Trinity.” Adam of Bremen, second book, chapters 27-28.
Unfortunately, Adam is the only one to tell of Harald’s final days. And the credibility of Adam has long been the subject of much contention among historians. The section about Harald’s body being transported to Roskilde has been such a topic of discussion. Niels Lund believes, for example, that it is odd that Sweyn Forkbeard would have allowed his father´s soldiers to bring his body back to Denmark immediately after his father´s death. He could then easily have been worshipped as a saint, which would not have made things easy for his opponent Sweyn Forkbeard (Niels Lund, Harald Blåtands død, Skjern 1998).
Sweyn Forkbeard and the Jomsvikings on Harald Bluetooth´s funeral.
Photo: Lorenz Frølich, Wikipedia