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11th century king of England, Denmark and Norway
A Danish heir to the throne, Cnut led his forces against the English king, Edmund Ironside, and forced an agreement that divided the country. A month later Ironside died and Cnut became the sole ruler of England in 1016. While fighting off Viking invasions, Cnut became an apparently popular king, and eventually became the ruler of Denmark (succeeding his brother in 1018) and Norway (taking control in 1028). Years after his death the legend was born that Cnut, in an effort to prove to his fawning supporters that he was not a god, ordered the tide not to come in, knowing he would fail.
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