THE SOUTH AND EAST BALTIC COASTS
IN the middle of the tenth century Denmark, under that restless and ambitious king, Harald Gormsson, was chief of the northern powers. Both Norway and Sweden knew her might, but there was a third land that had learnt to fear her and that was the country of the Wends, a group of recently arrived Slavonic people who had established themselves during the seventh century in the country between the Elbe and the Weichsel. Here, in the district where that thronged trade-route between north and south, the river Oder, reached the sea, these Wends had a town by name of Jumne (or Vineta) and thither flocked merchants and adventurers from Scandinavia and Russia, from Germany and from Central Europe, from the East even, for the purposes of barter and exchange. Great was the wealth that passed through this people's hands.
To Wendland, somewhere about the year A.D. 960, came Harald with fire and sword, soon to make himself master of the Oder mouth, and that this new and profitable dominion might not easily slip from under his suzerainty, that the many pirates who haunted the Oder and Peenemunde flats might no longer vex his own kingdom, he built close to Jumne a stronghold, or fortified harbour, that was known as Jomsborg.1 It was, according to later accounts, a mighty place; 360 warships could ride at anchor shut within the port, this having a harbour-entrance of stone that could be closed by iron doors and that was bridged over by an arch with a tower above bearing giant catapults for its defence. Probably, as at Hedeby and elsewhere in the north, a huge semi-circular vallum guarded the land-area of the fortress.____________________