Christian II of Denmark
Christian II was King of Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

, Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 (1513–23) and Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 (1520–21), during the Kalmar Union
Kalmar Union
The Kalmar Union is a historiographical term meaning a series of personal unions that united the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway , and Sweden under a single monarch, though intermittently and with a population...



Christian was born as the son of King John of Denmark and Christina of Saxony
Christina of Saxony
Christina of Saxony , was a Saxon princess who became Queen consort of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. She was born a granddaughter of Frederick the Gentle of Saxony, and daughter of Ernest, Elector of Saxony and Elisabeth of Bavaria.-Biography:She was married to John, King of Denmark, Norway and...

, at Nyborg Castle in 1481 and succeeded his father as king and regent in Denmark and Norway, where he later was to be succeeded by his uncle King Frederick I of Denmark
Frederick I of Denmark
Frederick I of Denmark and Norway was the King of Denmark and Norway. The name is also spelled Friedrich in German, Frederik in Danish, and Fredrik in Swedish and Norwegian...


Christian descended, through both Valdemar I of Sweden
Valdemar I of Sweden
Valdemar, English also Waldemar; , was King of Sweden 1250–1275.-Biography:Valdemar was the son of princess Ingeborg Eriksdotter of Sweden and Birger jarl, from the House of Bjelbo. During the first sixteen years of his reign, it was Birger Jarl who was the real ruler...

 and Magnus I of Sweden
Magnus I of Sweden
Magnus I of Sweden, son of Nicholas , later called Magnus the Strong , was a Danish duke who ruled Gothenland in southern Sweden from 1125 to 1130...

, from the Swedish Dynasty of Eric, and from Catherine, daughter of Inge I of Sweden
Inge I of Sweden
Inge the Elder was a King of Sweden.-Biography:Inge was the son of the former King Stenkil and a Swedish princess. Inge shared the rule of the kingdom with his probably elder brother Halsten Stenkilsson, but little is known with certainty of Inge's reign...

, as well as from Ingrid Ylva, granddaughter of Sverker I of Sweden
Sverker I of Sweden
Sverker I or Sverker the Elder was King of Sweden from about 1130 till his death.-Biography:Sverker was a mighty landowner from Östergötland...

. His rival Gustav I of Sweden
Gustav I of Sweden
Gustav I of Sweden, born Gustav Eriksson of the Vasa noble family and later known simply as Gustav Vasa , was King of Sweden from 1523 until his death....

 descended only from Sverker II of Sweden
Sverker II of Sweden
Sverker II was King of Sweden from 1196 to 1208.-Biography:...

 and the Dynasty of Sverker (who apparently did not descend from ancient Swedish kings).


Christian took part in his father John of Denmark's conquest of Sweden in 1497 and in the fighting of 1501 when Sweden revolted. He was appointed viceroy of Norway in 1506, and succeeded in maintaining control of this country. During his administration in Norway, he attempted to deprive the Norwegian nobility of its traditional influence exercised through the Rigsraadet
Rigsraadet, or Riksrådet, , is the name of the councils of the Scandinavian countries that ruled the countries together with the kings from late Middle Ages to the 17th century...

privy council, leading to controversy with the latter.

Christian's succession to the throne was confirmed at the Herredag assembly of notables from the three northern kingdoms, which met at Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

 in 1513. The Swedish delegates said, "We have the choice between peace at home and strife here, or peace here and civil war at home, and we prefer the former." A decision as to the Swedish succession was therefore postponed.

During his reign, Christian concentrated on his attempts to maintain control of Sweden while attempting a concentration of power in the hands of the monarch, at the expense of both clergy and nobility. To further this attempt, he supported the creation of a strong class of burghers
In sociology and political science, bourgeoisie describes a range of groups across history. In the Western world, between the late 18th century and the present day, the bourgeoisie is a social class "characterized by their ownership of capital and their related culture." A member of the...


Personal life

A peculiarity, more fatal to him in that aristocratic age than any other, was his fondness for the common people, which was increased by his passion for a pretty Norwegian girl of Dutch heritage, named Dyveke Sigbritsdatter
Dyveke Sigbritsdatter
Dyveke Sigbritsdatter or Dyveke Willomsdatter, , in Denmark normally known as "Dyveke" ; in modern Dutch "duifje" means "little dove"), was known as the mistress to Christian II of Denmark....

, who became his mistress
Mistress (lover)
A mistress is a long-term female lover and companion who is not married to her partner; the term is used especially when her partner is married. The relationship generally is stable and at least semi-permanent; however, the couple does not live together openly. Also the relationship is usually,...

 in 1507 or 1509. On 12 August 1515, Christian married Isabella of Austria, the granddaughter of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian I , the son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor and Eleanor of Portugal, was King of the Romans from 1486 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1493 until his death, though he was never in fact crowned by the Pope, the journey to Rome always being too risky...

. But he would not give up his liaison with Dyveke, and it was only her death in 1517, under suspicious circumstances, that prevented serious complications with the emperor Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...


Christian believed that the magnate Torben Oxe
Torben Oxe
Torben Oxe was a Danish nobleman and a member of an aristocratic family.Oxe was the son of Johan Oxe of Tordsø and Inger Torbensdatter Bille. Both his father and grandfather had served as Danish Councillors . His nephew Peder Oxe, would become the future Danish finance minister and Steward of the...

 was guilty of Sigbritsdatter's death and despite his having been acquitted of murder charges by Rigsraadet and had him executed. Oxe was brought to trial at Solbjerg outside Copenhagen in what amounted to a justice-of-the-peace court on vague offenses against his liege lord, Christian II. The verdict as directed by the king was guilty and the death sentence imposed with the comment, 'your deeds not your words have condemned you'. Over the strenuous opposition of Oxe's fellow peers he was executed at St. Clare's Hosptial Cemetery in late 1517. Thereafter the king lost no opportunity to suppress the nobility and raise commoners to power.

His chief counsellor was Dyveke's mother Sigbrit Willoms
Sigbrit Willoms
Sigbrit Willoms , , was a Danish politician, mother to the mistress of King Christian II of Denmark, Dyveke Sigbritsdatter, and advisor and de facto minister of finance for the king between 1519 and 1523....

, who excelled in administrative and commercial affairs. Christian first appointed her controller of the Sound Dues
Sound Dues
The Sound Dues were a toll on the use of the Sound which constituted up to two thirds of Denmark's state income in the 16th and 17th centuries...

 of Øresund, and ultimately committed to her the whole charge of the finances. A bourgeoise herself, it was Sigbrit's constant policy to elevate and extend the influence of the middle classes. She soon formed a middle-class inner council centering on her, which competed for power with Rigsraadet itself. The patricians naturally resented their supersession and nearly every unpopular measure was attributed to the influence of "the foul-mouthed Dutch sorceress who hath bewitched the king." However, Mogens Gøye
Mogens Gøye
Mogens Gøye was a Danish statesman and Steward of the Realm, whose enormous wealth earned him the derogatory nickname "the King of Northern Jutland". Gøye was the Royal councillor of Danish Kings John I, the feuding Christian II and Frederick I, and Christian III...

, the leading man of the Council, supported the king as long as possible.

Reconquest of Sweden

Christian was meanwhile preparing for the inevitable war with Sweden, where the patriotic party, headed by the freely elected Viceroy Sten Sture the Younger
Sten Sture the Younger
Sten Sture the Younger , Lord of Ekesiö , was a Swedish statesman and regent of Sweden, under the era of the Kalmar Union.-Life:...

, stood face to face with the pro-Danish party under Archbishop Gustav Trolle
Gustav Trolle
Gustav Eriksson Trolle was Archbishop of Uppsala, Sweden, in two sessions, during the turbulent Reformation events.After returning from studies abroad, in Cologne and Rome, he was in 1513 elected vicar in Linköping. One year later he became Archbishop of Uppsala...

. Christian, who had already taken measures to isolate Sweden politically, hastened to the relief of the archbishop, who was beleaguered in his fortress of Stäket
Almarestäket, or Stäket, is a strait at the inlet of Lake Mälaren in mid-east Sweden. A fortress existed there between about 1370 and 1517, also named Almarestäket....

, but was defeated by Sture and his peasant levies at Vedila and forced to return to Denmark. A second attempt to subdue Sweden in 1518 was also frustrated by Sture's victory at Brännkyrka
Brännkyrka is a parish in South Stockholm, Sweden. The population is 36,572.Brännkyrka, at that time much larger in area, was amalgamated into the city of Stockholm in 1913. This area now constitutes the southern main part of Stockholm Municipality called Söderort...


A third attempt made in 1520 with a large army of French, German and Scottish mercenaries proved successful. Sture was mortally wounded at the Battle of Bogesund
Battle of Bogesund
The Battle of Bogesund was an important conflict in the campaign of Christian II to gain power over Sweden. In 1520, Christian's army of mercenaries had landed in Sweden, seeking to consolidate Christian's powers over Sweden within the Kalmar Union and to unseat the rebellious Swedish viceroy Sten...

, on 19 January, and the Danish army, unopposed, was approaching Uppsala
- Economy :Today Uppsala is well established in medical research and recognized for its leading position in biotechnology.*Abbott Medical Optics *GE Healthcare*Pfizer *Phadia, an offshoot of Pharmacia*Fresenius*Q-Med...

, where the members of the Swedish Privy Council
Privy Council of Sweden
The High Council of Sweden or Council of the Realm consisted originally of those men of noble, common and clergical background, that the king saw fit for advisory service...

, or Riksråd, had already assembled. The councillors consented to render homage to Christian on condition that he gave a full indemnity for the past and a guarantee that Sweden should be ruled according to Swedish laws and custom; and a convention to this effect was confirmed by the king and the Danish Privy Council on 31 March.

Sture's widow, Dame Christina Gyllenstierna
Christina Gyllenstierna
Christina Nilsdotter of Fogelvik, Heiress of Tullgarn , was the wife of the Swedish regent Sten Sture the Younger, and after his death, leader of resistance to Christian II of Denmark...

, still held out stoutly at Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

, and the peasantry of central Sweden, roused by her patriotism, flew to arms, defeated the Danish invaders at Balundsås on 19 March, and were only with the utmost difficulty finally defeated at the bloody battle of Uppsala, on Good Friday
Good Friday
Good Friday , is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of...

, 6 April 1520. In May the Danish fleet arrived, and Stockholm was invested by land and sea; but Dame Gyllenstierna resisted valiantly for four months longer and took care, when she surrendered on 7 September, to exact beforehand an amnesty of the most explicit and absolute character. On 1 November, the representatives of the nation swore fealty to Christian as hereditary king
Hereditary monarchy
A hereditary monarchy is the most common type of monarchy and is the form that is used by almost all of the world's existing monarchies.Under a hereditary monarchy, all the monarchs come from the same family, and the crown is passed down from one member to another member of the family...

 of Sweden, though the law of the land distinctly provided that the Swedish crown should be an elective monarchy
Elective monarchy
An elective monarchy is a monarchy ruled by an elected rather than hereditary monarch. The manner of election, the nature of the candidacy and the electors vary from case to case...


Stockholm Bloodbath

On 4 November, Christian was anointed by Gustav Trolle in Stockholm Cathedral, and took the usual oath to rule the Realm of Sweden
Realm of Sweden
The Realm of Sweden or Svenska väldet is a term that historically was used to comprise all the territories under the control of the Swedish monarchs.-Lands of Sweden:...

 through native-born Swedes alone, according to prescription. The next three days were given up to banqueting, but on 7 November "an entertainment of another sort began." On the evening of that day Christian summoned his captains to a private conference at the palace, the result of which was quickly apparent, for at dusk a band of Danish soldiers, with lanterns and torches, broke into the great hall and carried off several carefully selected persons.

By 10 o'clock the same evening the remainder of the king's guests were safely under lock and key. All these persons had previously been marked down on Archbishop Trolle's proscription list. On the following day a council, presided over by Trolle, solemnly pronounced judgment of death on the proscribed, as manifest heretics. At 12 o'clock that night the patriotic bishops of Skara
Skara is a locality and the seat of Skara Municipality, Västra Götaland County, Sweden with 18595 inhabitants in 2005. Despite its small size, it has a long educational and ecclesiastical history. One of Sweden's oldest high schools, Katedralskolan , is situated in Skara...

 and Strängnäs
Strängnäs is a locality and the seat of Strängnäs Municipality, Södermanland County, Sweden with 12,296 inhabitants in 2005. It is located by Lake Mälaren and is the episcopal see of the Diocese of Strängnäs, a former Roman Catholic and present Lutheran Diocese, with the Strängnäs Cathedral, built...

 were led out into the great square and beheaded. Fourteen noblemen, three burgomasters, fourteen town councillors and about twenty common citizens of Stockholm were then drowned or decapitated. The executions continued throughout the following day; in all, about eighty-two people are said to have been murdered.

Moreover, Christian ordered that Sten Sture's body should be dug up and burnt, as well as the body of his little child. Dame Christina and many other noble Swedish ladies were sent as prisoners to Denmark. When it became necessary to make excuses for the massacre, Christian proclaimed to the Swedish people that it was a measure necessary to avoid a papal interdict, while in his apology to the pope for the decapitation of the innocent bishops he described it as an unauthorized act of vengeance on the part of his own people. The massacre and deeds in the Old Town of Stockholm is the primary reason why Christian is remembered in Sweden, as Christian the Tyrant (Kristian Tyrann).

Attempting reforms

Christian II returned to his native kingdom of Denmark, his brain teeming with great designs. There can be no doubt that the welfare of his dominions was dear to him. Inhuman as he could be in his wrath, in principle he was as much a humanist as any of his most enlightened contemporaries. But he would do things his own way; and deeply distrusting the Danish nobles with whom he shared his powers, he sought help from the wealthy and practical middle classes of Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

. In June 1521, he paid a sudden visit to the Low Countries
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, and remained there for some months. He visited most of the large cities, took into his service many Flemish artisans, and made the personal acquaintance of Quentin Matsys
Quentin Matsys
Quentin Matsys was a painter in the Flemish tradition and a founder of the Antwerp school. He was born at Leuven, where legend states he was trained as an ironsmith before becoming a painter...

 and Albrecht Dürer
Albrecht Dürer
Albrecht Dürer was a German painter, printmaker, engraver, mathematician, and theorist from Nuremberg. His prints established his reputation across Europe when he was still in his twenties, and he has been conventionally regarded as the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance ever since...

; the latter painted his portrait. Christian also entertained Erasmus, with whom he discussed the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

, and let fall the characteristic expression: "Mild measures are of no use; the remedies that give the whole body a good shaking are the best and surest."

Never had King Christian seemed so powerful as upon his return to Denmark on 5 September 1521, and, with the confidence of strength, he at once proceeded recklessly to inaugurate the most sweeping reforms. Soon after his return he issued his great Landelove, or Code of Laws. For the most part this is founded on Dutch models, and testifies in a high degree to the king's progressive aims. Provision was made for the better education of the lower, and the restriction of the political influence of the higher clergy; there were stern prohibitions against wreckers and "the evil and unchristian practice of selling peasants as if they were brute beasts"; the old trade guilds were retained, but the rules of admittance thereto made easier, and trade combinations of the richer burghers, to the detriment of the smaller tradesmen, were sternly forbidden.


Unfortunately these reforms, excellent in themselves, suggested the standpoint not of an elected ruler, but of a monarch by divine right. Some of them were even in direct contravention of the charter; and the old Scandinavian spirit of independence was deeply wounded by the preference given to the Dutch. Sweden, too, was now in open revolt; and both Norway and Denmark were taxed to the utmost to raise an army for the subjection of their sister kingdom. Foreign complications were now added to these domestic troubles. With the laudable objective of releasing Danish trade from the grinding yoke of the Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...

, and making Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

 the great emporium of the north, Christian had arbitrarily raised the Sound tolls and seized a number of Dutch ships that presumed to evade the tax. Thus, his relations with the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 were strained, while he was openly at war with Lübeck
The Hanseatic City of Lübeck is the second-largest city in Schleswig-Holstein, in northern Germany, and one of the major ports of Germany. It was for several centuries the "capital" of the Hanseatic League and, because of its Brick Gothic architectural heritage, is listed by UNESCO as a World...

 and her allies.

Jutland , historically also called Cimbria, is the name of the peninsula that juts out in Northern Europe toward the rest of Scandinavia, forming the mainland part of Denmark. It has the North Sea to its west, Kattegat and Skagerrak to its north, the Baltic Sea to its east, and the Danish–German...

 finally rose against him, renounced its allegiance, and offered the Danish crown to Christian's uncle, Duke Frederick of Holstein
Frederick I of Denmark
Frederick I of Denmark and Norway was the King of Denmark and Norway. The name is also spelled Friedrich in German, Frederik in Danish, and Fredrik in Swedish and Norwegian...

, 20 January 1523. So overwhelming did Christian's difficulties appear that he took ship to seek help abroad, and on 1 May landed at Veere
Veere is a municipality and a city in the southwestern Netherlands, on Walcheren island in the province of Zeeland.-Population centres :Aagtekerke , Biggekerke , Domburg , Gapinge , Grijpskerke , Koudekerke , Meliskerke , Oostkapelle , Serooskerke , Veere , Vrouwenpolder , Westkapelle...

 in Zeeland
Zeeland , also called Zealand in English, is the westernmost province of the Netherlands. The province, located in the south-west of the country, consists of a number of islands and a strip bordering Belgium. Its capital is Middelburg. With a population of about 380,000, its area is about...

. During the years of his exile, the king led a relatively humble life in the city of Lier
Lier may refer to:* Lier, Belgium* Lier, Norway* De Lier, a town in the Netherlands* Li Er, also known as Laozi, a Chinese philosopher- See also :* Liar...

 in the Netherlands, waiting for the military help of his reluctant imperial brother-in-law. In the meantime, he became regarded a social saviour in Denmark, where both the peasants and the commoners began to wish for his restoration. He found consolation in his distress to enter in connection with Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

 and for some time, he even became a Lutheran. Christian and his wife lived next Lier
Lier may refer to:* Lier, Belgium* Lier, Norway* De Lier, a town in the Netherlands* Li Er, also known as Laozi, a Chinese philosopher- See also :* Liar...

, in Brabant
Duchy of Brabant
The Duchy of Brabant was a historical region in the Low Countries. Its territory consisted essentially of the three modern-day Belgian provinces of Flemish Brabant, Walloon Brabant and Antwerp, the Brussels-Capital Region and most of the present-day Dutch province of North Brabant.The Flag of...

, where Elizabeth died in January 1526, after which the children were taken away from Christian to not be raised as heretics. But when both his opponent, Frederick I
Frederick I
Frederick I may refer to:* Frederick of Utrecht or Frederick I , Bishop of Utrecht* Frederick I * Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor ; "Frederick Barbarossa"...

, and Gustav Vasa, who joined the Reformation, became Lutherans in 1530 Christian reconverted to Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 and thus reconciled with the Emperor. Eight years later, on 24 October 1531, he attempted to recover his kingdoms, but a tempest scattered his fleet off the Norwegian coast, and on 1 July 1532, by the convention of Oslo, he surrendered to his rival, King Frederick, in exchange for a promise of safe conduct.

But King Frederick did not keep his promise, and King Christian was kept prisoner for the next 27 years, first in Sønderborg Castle
Sønderborg Castle
Sønderborg Castle is located in the town of Sønderborg, Denmark on the island of Als in South Jutland. It houses a museum focusing on the history and culture of the area. The castle is located in the middle of the town, in a park setting overlooking Als Fjord...

 until 1549, and afterwards at the castle of Kalundborg
Kalundborg is a city with a population of 16,434 in Kalundborg municipality in Denmark and the site of its municipal council. Kalundborg is on the main island Zealand, with Copenhagen, but opposite on the far western edge....

. Stories of solitary confinement in small dark chambers are inaccurate; King Christian was treated like a nobleman, particularly in his old age, and he was allowed to host parties, go hunting, and wander freely as long as he did not go beyond the boundaries of the town of Kalundborg
Kalundborg is a city with a population of 16,434 in Kalundborg municipality in Denmark and the site of its municipal council. Kalundborg is on the main island Zealand, with Copenhagen, but opposite on the far western edge....

. His cousin, King Christian III of Denmark
Christian III of Denmark
Christian III reigned as king of Denmark and Norway. He was the eldest son of King Frederick I and Anna of Brandenburg.-Childhood:...

, son of Frederick I, died in early 1559, and it was said that even then, with the old king nearing 80, people in Copenhagen looked warily towards Kalundborg. But King Christian II died peacefully just a few days later, and the new king, Frederick II
Frederick II of Denmark
Frederick II was King of Denmark and Norway and duke of Schleswig from 1559 until his death.-King of Denmark:Frederick II was the son of King Christian III of Denmark and Norway and Dorothea of Saxe-Lauenburg. Frederick II stands as the typical renaissance ruler of Denmark. Unlike his father, he...

, ordered that a royal funeral be held in memory of his unhappy kinsman, who lies buried in Odense
The city of Odense is the third largest city in Denmark.Odense City has a population of 167,615 and is the main city of the island of Funen...

 next to his wife, son and parents.


Christian II is one of the most discussed of all Danish kings. He has been regarded as both a hypocritical tyrant and a progressive despot, who wanted to create an absolute monarchy based upon “free citizens”. His psychological weaknesses have caught the interest of historians, especially his frequently mentioned irresolution, which as years passed seemed to dominate his acts. Theories of manic-depression have been mentioned, but like many others they are impossible to prove. The reasons for his downfall were probably that he made too many enemies and that the Danish middle class was still not strong enough to make up a base of royal power. However some of his ambitions were fulfilled by the victory of absolutism in 1660.

The king’s life and career have created many myths. One of the most famous is the story of the irresolute king crossing the Little Belt
Little Belt
The Little Belt is a strait between the Danish island of Funen and the Jutland Peninsula.The belt is about 50 km long and 800m to 28 km wide, the maximum depth is approximately 75 m, and contains numerous small Danish islands....

 forwards and backwards during a whole night in February 1523, until he at last gave up. Another, probably just as unlikely, is the legend that the restless king wandered around a round table on Sønderborg making a groove in the table top with his finger. His life has also inspired modern Danish poets and authors. In Johannes Vilhelm Jensen
Johannes Vilhelm Jensen
*Not to be confused with German author Wilhelm Jensen .Johannes Vilhelm Jensen, in Denmark always called Johannes V. Jensen, was a Danish author, often considered the first great Danish writer of the 20th century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1944...

's novel The Fall of the King
The Fall of the King
The Fall of the King is a novel by Danish author Johannes V. Jensen, published in three parts from 1900 to 1901. It tells the story of Mikkel Thøgersen and the social entanglements which bring him into the service of king Christian II of Denmark....

(1900–1901), the king is regarded almost as a symbol of the Danish “illness of hesitation”.


Among the six children of Christian II, three must be mentioned. Prince John died as a boy in exile in 1532. The two daughters Dorothea, Electress Palatine, and Christina, Duchess of Lorraine, both in turn, for many years, demanded in vain the Danish and Norwegian thrones as their inheritance. Christian II's blood returned to the Swedish and Norwegian thrones in person of Charles XV of Sweden
Charles XV of Sweden
Charles XV & IV also Carl ; Swedish and Norwegian: Karl was King of Sweden and Norway from 1859 until his death....

, descendant of Renata of Lorraine
Renata of Lorraine
Renata of Lorraine was the daughter of Francis I, Duke of Lorraine and Christina of Denmark. Her maternal grandparents were Christian II of Denmark and Isabella of Burgundy...


By his wife, Isabella of Austria (1501–1526)
John 21 February 1518 1532
Philip Ferdinand (twin) 4 July 1519 1520
Maximilian (twin) 4 July 1519 1519
Dorothea of Denmark, Electress Palatine
Dorothea of Denmark and Norway was a Danish, Norwegian and Swedish princess and an Electress of the Palatinate as the wife of Elector Frederick II of the Palatinate...

10 November 1520 31 May 1580 married in 1535, Frederick II, Elector Palatine
Frederick II, Elector Palatine
Frederick II, Count Palatine of the Rhine , a member of the Wittelsbach dynasty, was Prince-elector of the Palatinate from 1544 to 1556.- Biography :...

 and had no issue.
Christina of Denmark
Christina of Denmark was a Danish princess who became Duchess-consort of Milan, then Duchess-consort of Lorraine...

c.1522 c.1590 married in 1533, Francis II Sforza
Francesco II Sforza
Francesco II Sforza , also known as Francesco Maria Sforza, was the last Duke of Milan from 1521 until his death.He was the son of Ludovico Sforza and Beatrice d'Este...

 and had no issue, married secondly in 1541, Francis I, Duke of Lorraine
Francis I, Duke of Lorraine
Francis I was a member of the French nobility. He was briefly Duke of Lorraine from 1544–1545.-History:...

 and had issue.
stillborn son January 1523 January 1523


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