- historical event:
- Canute (Cnut) the Great was one of the most powerful rulers in Viking history. He was the son of Danish king Sveyn Forkbeard, and grandson of famed king Harold Bluetooth (the wireless technology standard Bluetooth is named after him).
Viking ruler Canute (Cnut) the great took control over England on this day in 1016. He was one of the most powerful rulers in Viking history, and managed to create an entire empire in northern Europe. Namely, after conquering England, he also took the throne of Denmark, Norway, and even part of Sweden. It is estimated that Canute the Great was the mightiest ruler of Western Christianity during his time, with the exception of the Holy Roman Emperor.
Canute was the son of Danish king Sveyn Forkbeard, and grandson of famed king Harold Bluetooth (the wireless technology standard Bluetooth is named after him). On his mother’s side, Canute was most likely the grandson of Polish ruler Mieszko I, which would mean he had some Slavic heritage.
Since he was the younger son of the Danish king, Canute didn’t immediately succeed his father in Denmark, but became king only after his older brother Harold II. Actually, was still the Danish “prince” at the time he invaded and conquered England (among Vikings it was considered quite normal for the younger sons to leave the homeland in order to conquer foreign lands). After his brother’s death, Canute inherited Denmark and later conquered Norway. He also ruled over the southern part of Sweden.
Canute the Great later even visited Rome, where he met with the pope and Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II.