Who is Gorm ?                 

 

Questions have come up about the curious bearded figure on these pages and also adorning my personal stationary and business cards. This is a design that I have adopted as my personal logo. It is actually derived from a carving on a huge rune stone that is on exhibit in the Museum of Prehistoric Art in Århus, Denmark. Here is a photograph of the stone:

The stone is almost 2.5 meters tall. The design is typical Viking art, with what appears to be a long braided beard and horns (or hair?) twined around the ears. The colors were added more recently to bring out the pattern more vividly. This object was discovered about 1850 in a nearby churchyard, and it probably dates back to the 3rd or 4th century. The runic inscription over the top and sides reads approximately: "Gunulv and Øgot and Aslak and Rolf erected this stone in memory of their companion Ful. He found death ... when kings fought."

I have taken the liberty of tampering with history, and have ascribed this image to King Gorm, the legendary first ruler of the unified country of Denmark. Gorm is estimated as having lived from about 883 to 936 A.D., and is reputed to have been a heroic warrior-king who unified the warring clans of Vikings on Jutland, the mainland part of Denmark. His son, Harald I, probably better known as "Bluetooth", went further and conquered the surrounding territories of  Norway, as well as the rest of  what is now Denmark. "Bluetooth" was eventually converted and baptized into Christianity. Gorm's direct descendants are still the hereditary monarchs of Denmark, and, probably, the rest of Scandinavia.

The image on the rune stone is likely the nearest available to that of Gorm, and it appeals to me as somehow expressing my inner self. My Russian forebears may have had Viking blood infused by these indefatigable invaders who came from the north to destroy the indigenous Scythian populations. Certainly my late wife, Margrethe, could trace her lineage back to the Danish Vikings. These are my reasons for making Gorm my personal symbol.

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