Viking Royal Power in Tenth Century Denmark



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The 10th century Danish constructs are clearly implementations of royal power and so, if carefully examined, can give us insight into the development of royal power in Viking Denmark. Key findings: The five ring fortresses reveal a focus on controlling and protecting trade and transportation routes. As well as possibly the intent to collect tolls and taxes. The erection of the Jelling Stone in 965 is a declaration of the ideals of the Danish royalty. It suggests a desire to elevate dynastic rule, to gain tributes from others and most importantly it shows an embracing of sacral kingship. The improvements to the Danevirke and Hedeby cast the town as highly valuable to both Germans and Danes and supports the theory that Denmark in the 10th century relied on long range trade through the Viking trade network in the East. It suggests controlling trade was a high priority for Viking royal power in Denmark.