Catalogi regum Danorum

by Lars Boje Mortensen

The main investigation of these lists was undertaken by M. Cl. Gertz for his edition 1917-1918. Most of the following is condensed from his introduction, pp. 147-156.

A genealogy of Danish rulers, of which only the preface has survived, was also composed by Sueno Aggonis.

Series regum Daniae ex Necrologio Lundensi

The first version of this list was entered around 1120 on f.124r of the Necrologium Lundense (for this important ms, Lund, Universitetsbiblioteket, Medeltidshandskrift 6, see bibliography below and > Consuetudines Lundenses). It contained only five names of ‘reges catholici’ who had promoted ecclesiastical institutions, namely Sven Estridsen (d. 1074) and four of his five sons up to Erik Ejegod (d. 1103). The fifth son, Niels, who reigned 1104-1134, was entered after his death. Several other hands (WEIBULL 1910-13) expanded the list during the 12th century, adding both kings up to Waldemar the Great (d. 1182) and a number of Christian kings before Sven Estridsen, beginning with Harald Klak who was baptized in Mainz in 827.


  • LANGEBEK, SRD I: 424-426 & III, 431-434.
  • • GERTZ 1917-1918, I: 157-158.
  • Complete digital facsimile of Necrologium Lundense at

Catalogus regum Danie

This list stems from the age of Valdemar the Great (1157-1182). He and his two sons are mentioned last without the year of death of Valdemar or the year of accession of his son, Canute VI. A brief prologue explains the tripartition of kings into heathen kings (pagani), old Christian kings (antiqui christiani), and contemporary Christian kings (moderni christiani). The first group contains nine rulers from Dan to Guthorm, the second sixteen from Harald Klak (baptized 827) to Niels (d. 1134), the third eight from Erik Emune (d. 1137) to Valdemar and his two sons. The list commands interest because it must have been composed before the historical works of Sueno Aggonis and Saxo Grammaticus, and consequently it forms, together with > Chronicon Lethrense, the first known attempt to list pagan Danish kings in writing. It is only transmitted through the hand of the 17th century scholar Arni Magnusson (in the ms. København, Den Arnamagnæiske Samling, 1030 4o), but its medieval context is secured by Arni’s explanation that it formed part of a parchment codex otherwise well known for its collection of historical and geographical texts of Adamus Bremensis, Solinus, and Honorius of Autun – the so-called Sorø manuscript (12th century) which was consumed in the flames of the great Copenhagen fire of 1728.


  • LANGEBEK, SRD I: 13ff.
  • • GERTZ 1917-1918, I: 159-160.

Series ac brevior historia regum Danie a Dan ad Waldemarum II

As implied by the title this piece exceeds the pure list format and contains brief narration for some kings. As it ends with Waldemar II’s (1202-41) conquest of Estonia in 1219 it is to probably to be dated shortly thereafter. Three series of kings are presented: first a skeleton list of fifty pagan kings from Dan to Lothbroki, next ten kings from Harald Klak to Gorm where the allegiance to Christianity is shifting and uncertain, and finally the remaining eighteen from Harald Bluetooth to Waldemar who were all Christians. The substantial listing of pagan rulers beginning with Dan was inspired by Saxo Grammaticus. The narrative parts focus on individual kings’ raids and conquests outside of Denmark. They draw mainly on Adamus Bremensis and Chronicon Roskildense. The transmission of the text is similar to that of no. II above, i.e. it was copied by Arni Magnusson from a medieval codex (probably entered later in the lost 12th cent. codex mentioned above). A separate partial copy stems from > Petrus Olai from around 1500, deriving probably from the same medieval examplar.


  • LANGEBEK, SRD I: 15-18 & 66-68.
  • • GERTZ 1917-1918, I: 161-166.

Reges Danorum

This is basically an edited and extended version of no. 3 above with which it shares its main characteristics and sources. The last entry is the election of Christopher II as Danish king (1320). The text is transmitted through two 15th- and 16th-century copies of a now lost codex from the 14th century.


  • K. ERSLEV, Danske Magazin, 4. Rk. 6, 141-146.
  • • GERTZ 1917-1918, I: 167-174.

Nomina regum Danorum

This is a simple list of names of Danish rulers entered into the manuscript containing Liber Census Daniæ (‘Valdemars Jordebog’), Stockholm, Kungliga Biblioteket A 41, on ff. 65v-66v. The list of rulers is related to that of no. 4 above, but also to Annales Ryenses. It ends with Erik Klipping (d. 1286).


  • LANGEBEK, SRD I: 19-20.
  • • GERTZ 1917-1918, I: 161-166.

Wilhelmi abbatis Genealogia regum Danorum

This genealogy was compiled by > Wilhelm of Æbelholt in 1194 with the purpose of proving to Pope Coelestinus III that the kinship between Philip August of France and his erstwhile queen, the Danish princess Ingeborg, was not too close according to canonical law. This was the pretext Philip and his advisors used when he rejected her immediately after their wedding in 1193. The genealogy is provided with a brief introduction and epilogue which make clear that purpose. It is explained that Denmark has had many more kings, and some of the pagan ones are mentioned initially, but the genealogy proper stretches from Harald Bluetooth to the ruling Canute VI, son of Valdemar the Great and brother of Ingeborg. From the point of view of literary history the genealogy is interesting as a testimony of the link between historical writing, canon law and diplomacy, and because it draws on both [[Sueno Aggonis]'s Historia brevis and Adamus Bremensis's chronicle and displays knowledge of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia regum Britanniae. It is transmitted in a copy made by Árni Magnusson (in the same mss. as no.s II and III above) from a medieval exemplar, and in a garbled version through a French exemplar used by ERNST 1646.


  • HENRIK ERNST: Regum aliquot Daniæ Genealogia er Series Anonymi, Soræ 1646.
  • LUDEWIG: Reliquiæ Manuscriptorum, vol. IX, 591-650.
  • LANGEBEK, SRD II: 155-##.
  • • GERTZ 1917-1918, I: 176-185.

Incerti auctoris genealogia regum Daniæ

The list is a preliminary piece to the broader narrative of the reign and martyr death of King Erik Plovpenning (1241-1250) > Sanctus Ericus Plovpenning. At the end it briefly mentions Erik Glipping’s rule and death (1286), hence it was probably composed towards the end of the 13th century. The prologue and the list itself draws on > Sven Aggesen’s Genealogia, but Saxo’s series of rulers has no doubt also been consulted. The first king is, for instance, Saxo’s Dan and not Sven’s Skjold. The piece has been transmitted together with the S branch of the writings of Sueno Aggonis.


  • STEPHANIUS, [sven aggesen udg.- Sorø 1642].
  • GERTZ 1908-1912: 425-430 [partial edition]
  • • GERTZ 1917-1918, I: 186-194.


  • • GERTZ 1917-1918, I, introduction pp. 147-156.
  • Necrologium Lundense. Codex Mediaevalis VI:tus Bibliothecae Universitatis Lundensis. Danice praefatus, Corpus Codicum Danicorum Medii Aevi, edidit Erik Kroman (ed.) Hafniae, 1960, 1. Necrologium Lundense.
  • Necrologium Lundense. Lunds Domkyrkas Nekrologium. Monumenta Scaniae Historica utgivet av Lauritz Weibull (ed.) Lund, 1923.

WEIBULL, L. 1910-13: ‘###’, Historisk Tidsskrift for Skåneland, IV 259ff.