Talk:Lands of Sweden

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When learning to understand, and in particular to speak, Swedish the concepts of Svealand, Götaland, Norrland & Swedephone Finland are of not so small importance. I have no knowledge of whether the borders of typical Svealands-prosody follows the true border of Svealand, but typologically it's perfect. Three-four types can be handled by the human brain. (Of course, in reality it then turns out that everything is more complicated than so, but after 10 years of contact with Swedish, and 2½ thereof quite intensive, it's still enough for me.) I don't say that this ought to be put in this article, possibly it alreay says so in a language-related article, but maybe it's reason to consider? :-)

Under Counties of Sweden, however, it's stated that the concept of lands of Sweden has only a cultural significance. I don't know what's true, but when I learned that härads and lands still are units for courts of justice, I recognized a continuity to the pre-historic times - a continuity which is not quite as usual in other parts of Europe. But of course, maybe I'm only romanticizing now. :-)))

-- Ruhrjung 07:10 May 4, 2003 (UTC)

The relevance of being able to distinguish between Götaland and Svealand is seen every day in the weather reports, and Swedes are in general very much concerned with the weather outlook and forecasts. Historically Götaland and Svealand were more narrow as concepts. Where the Svealands (Svealänder) might have been concentrated to the later developed provinces of Södermanland and Uppland and respectively for Västergötland and Östergötland. There are still very much noticeable dialectal differences between people from different parts of Sweden and these are connoted with the provincial (landskap) identity. There are also different cultural traditions which you are privy to by your provincial cultural identity.
It is common practice that the Svealand etc are confinded to the specific provinces. There are however two complications to this. Other definitions than the commonly accepted provincial borders and the lands adhering to them. Other lines of division, especially between Norrland and Svealand, than established by the boundaries.
While defunct since the 17th century the traditions of the provinces are still maintained by the current county administrations, not the least for use in tourist promotion, for historical reasons such as heraldry. Information on other defunct admninistrative entities are quite hard to come by. Information on provinvial districts (härad) and congregations (socken) can often be found related to genealogy since church records were kept on that level. Though the provincial districts followed provincial boundary there were also counties which could transgress distric borders, sometimes leaving different parts of the same congregation in different counties. Even development of the county structure is not easy uncover. Some County Administrative Boards (Länsstyrelse) maintain history publicly availiable with lists of County Governors (Landshövding) while others don't. The court system was based on the provincial and district division but there has also been augmentations, like Göta Hovrätt that was supplemented by "Hovrätten för Västra Sverige" and thus losing part of its jurisdiction over Götaland. I hope to bring light to more of this in the articles and any one knowledgeable and willing has the opportunity to contribute. Regarding the map, I feel that it does supply relevant additional information, however it will always be a compromise and would be covered better in a step by step development. -- Mic
The map looks good. It gives, perhaps unintended, a picture of what historically was centrum vs periphery, which most definitely addresses the Chauvinism-sensivities I initially referred to. Most certainly any presentation of data is a compromise, a matter of what to prioritize or highlight. The very same map could in fact, with a different coloring scheme, give the immediate impression of movement from East to South. But, please do not misinterpret me: That's nothing I propose! :) -- Ruhrjung 11:11 May 5, 2003 (UTC)
What are the colors on the map supposed to represent? Rmhermen 15:00 May 5, 2003 (UTC)


What is the source of the statement that Svealand and Götaland were kingdoms? When was there ever a "king of Götaland" and what would his name have been? Each province (Västergötland, Östergötland, Uppland, Södermanland) had its own law for some time even after a single king of Sweden ruled the united country, until the first nationwide law of king Magnus appeared in 1350. My impression is that this article wishes to establish these "lands" as factual units, when I think it should leave a lot more to doubt.

Hi. I took the liberty to give your post a headline. We still miss your signature though? RhinoMind (talk) 23:40, 20 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Renaming the article?[edit]

Should this article be called Historic Lands of Sweden or the Lands of historic Sweden? On a more genereal note, it is interesting to see how many Swedens, Swedish lands, Swedish provinces and Swedish realms there are in the English wikipedia. Usually, in a work of reference there is only one article on a geographical area or a socio-political entity with possible subarticles about its history. Clarifer 08:36, 27 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A move seems very reasonable, to avoid confusion. I can not say which version is best though. / Habj 13:33, 18 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Svears, Götars and Vends[edit]

As far as I know, "Sveriges, Götes och Vendes Konung" means "King of the Swedes, Goths [?], and Wends." The paragraph began with "An interpretation has been made that...", making the entire thing unverifiable. I could be wrong, though...any ideas?

Here is a discussion on the topic. Maybe it clarifies the thing? Alx-pl D 15:55, 1 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't really read Swedish; I only know a few words, so I don't know what that says. Ardric47 02:30, 4 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Recently, I've been seeing more references to the Svears, Götars, and Vends possibly different from the Swedes, Goths, and Wends, so perhaps that information should be added back in some form. Ardric47 03:50, 25 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sources and time line regarding these four lands[edit]

The only source for the border of Norrland being at Oulujoki that I have found, is in Nordisk familjebok [1]. "I följande tider ansågs N:s gräns å finska sidan vara vid Uleå älf, men har nu i mer än tre århundraden utgjorts af Torneå älf2 - "In the following times [after 1433, if I understand the text correctly] the Norrland border of the Finnish side was considered to be at Oulujoki, but since more than three hundred Torneå älv has been considered as this border." A more common notion is Norrland's border in Finland being at Kemijoki, which is quite far north (it runs out to the sea some 20 - 30 km from the border to Sweden). It is quite easy finding sources saying that Västerbotten met Ostrobothnia (Österbotten) at Kemijoki, and this was considered the border between Finland and Sweden. [2]

Most of the Google hits for österland norrland svealand götaland [3] seems to be derived from the Wikipedia article, and of the others most seem to use the concepts differently. I wonder what the sources are for this definition. I suppose it has existed at one time or another, but definately not from old time till 1809. Info on the sources regarding these four lands would be great. / Habj 19:31, 1 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Reasons for selection of capital[edit]

The town of Stockholm, which became the Swedish capital mostly because it was centrally located in Sweden of its medieval boundaries (i.e. the brightest area on the map) now became situated at the eastern border.

This text seems artificial and badly justified to me. Can we have any verifiable sources for it? The reasons behind selection of Stockholm are far more trivial - it is within the Svea proper, is on the coast (thus good for international trade), is well connected with the interior through the lake Melaren and guards the entrance to the lake, etc. Yes, later Sweden may have benefitted from the good position of the city with relation to the Österland, but I personally would not consider this as main decision factor. There is also a very interesting tale retold by Selma Lagerlöf which again does stress on city's trade and military beneftis and not on its position. -- Goldie (tell me) 07:51, 17 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The second map showing "The lands of Sweden before Finland was lost to Russia (1809)" is incorrect in that Värmland is depicted as part of Svealand in 1809. It did not change from the jurisdiction of the Göta court of Appeal to the Svea court of Appeal until 1815, and had until that year without doubt been counted as part of Götaland. (talk) 16:08, 26 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Born and raised in Sweden I have never heard about that. Which is your source for the statement that Värmland "without doubt was counted as part of Götaland". I do not think that the the jurisdictions of the Courts of appeal have much to do with that. I would call it a "wiki factoid". I cannot find anything about that in ordinary Swedish encyclopaedias. Do you have a good source for Värmland being "transferred" from Götaland to Svealand after 1815? It would be very interesting. --Vedum (talk) 18:04, 28 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Please see discussion of etymology at Talk:Geats#Etymology! I do not feel this was a good idea and would like to reverse it again until the discussion and reliably sourced origin of the word "geat" has been resolved. But I will settle for reinstating the cite tag. Please do not remove it until a reliable source has been added! It is not enough to speculate about the origin of the word. We need academic proof. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 15:33, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Change the article on Geats and Gotaland first. As it stands, Geats exist and they are a proposed origin for Gotaland everywhere else on WP. Don't make your pet issue out of scope, and unduly enforce your personal opinion. "Says who" tags are needless and obtrusive and due to your own OR. JesseRafe (talk) 15:54, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Pet issue? That's a ridiculous and totally unfounded personal accusation. Don't get personal, just give us your source! Until you provide a reliable source (not "everywhere else on WP"), I will be reinstating the tag every other day. So either provide the source, or keep removing (which nobody is supposed to do without at least commenting on the sourcing). Up to you. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 21:07, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
PS If you feel the says who? tag should be discontinued by WP that's an issue for the community at large, not something to be discussed on article talk pages. As long as it exists, it can be used wherever appropriate, for example here, where you are adding unsourced info as if it where a natural fact and referring only to "everywhere else on WP".--SergeWoodzing (talk) 21:11, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You clearly don't understand what "pet issue" means, especially as your reaction to it only strengthens the argument that it applies to you in this case. How else can I make this clear... the onus is on you to disprove that "Geat" is a word used to describe an ethnic group. Also, the tags were a problem in this use, not at large. You were potentially distracting casual users with your completely unfounded claim that "Geats are dubious". Til Eulenspiegel just said on the other page that it was used 150 years before the mid 1980s in "Kemble's literary translation of Beowulf (1837)" and yet you persist. JesseRafe (talk) 21:00, 26 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Purely linguistically, the "Göta-" of Götaland is the same as the word "Geats" (Proto-Germanic *gautôz, Old Norse gautar), but distinct from "Goths" (Proto-Germanic *gutaniz, Old Norse gutar). So I think what needs citing is that "Götaland" means "Land of the Goths"! CodeCat (talk) 21:16, 26 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you, CodeCat! JesseRafe (talk) 00:59, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Purely linguistically, the 'Göta-' of Götaland is the same as the word 'Geats'" - says who? What is your source for that claim? My first language is English. My second language is Swedish, which I learned over 50 years ago. I'd like to see your source, please. No need for personal attacks. Asking as nicely as possible. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 01:43, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Germanic au becomes ēa in Old English, but au in Old Norse, then ö in Swedish. However, Germanic u is reflected in those languages as either u or o (sometimes spelled å in Swedish). So there is a regular sound correspondence between Old English gēatas and Swedish götar. CodeCat (talk) 01:57, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
According to what sources other than your own claims? These claims do not correspond with my basic knowledge since 1964 of the phonetics of Swedish and German (which I speak fluently, Austrian, Swiss as well as standard). Sources please! --SergeWoodzing (talk) 02:07, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
These sound changes are well documented and form basic knowledge for anyone working with the Germanic languages, and have been recognised for well over a century. You can find it in any book discussing Germanic linguistic history. If you can't find any sources mentioning those sound changes (there must be dozens by now, if not hundreds), then I just don't think you tried hard enough to find any, and I'm not doing the work for you. CodeCat (talk) 02:22, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm asking you about what you are claiming, not I, and that you provide sources for your claims. I haven't claimed anything in the article's text that is without a source. Why don't you provide one of those hundreds of sources you claim you know of and shut me up once and for all? Warum ist das so unglaublich schwierig? ~ Det borde det ju inte rimligtvis vara!
We are not supposed to be language teachers in articles that are not about languages, and what we write on English WP is not primarily for "anyone working with the Germanic languages", but for regular readers of English text. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 02:47, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

About Scania[edit]

What happened to Scania in this article? According to the map it seems to have become a part of Götaland.

Ususally Scania is considered a Land of Denmark and this could be a reason for not mentioning it here? If so, then quite a big lump of Götaland should be cut from the image to reflect reality.

PS. I know Scania is part of modern Sweden of course, but this is obviously about historic lands of former times. RhinoMind (talk) 23:46, 20 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Götaland, Svealand and Norrland are what normally is called "landsdelar" ("country parts"). There is no official term for these areas, which have no administrative or political significance whatsoever. They are just aggregates of historical, non-administrative provinces. Almost everyone (surely 99.9 % or more) in Sweden consider Scania a part of Götaland. This subdivision is mostly used in weather reports.--Vedum (talk) 17:39, 21 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Excuse me, I don't really mean to be rude but "Ususally Scania is considered a Land of Denmark" (my bold & Ital) is just about one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen in print on WP. There are about 350 years missing in the timeline. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 18:21, 21 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@SergeWoodzing Your identation suggests that you direct your reply at Vedum, but I cannot make sense of your post as a reply to Vedum. Therefore I take it, that you directed it at my post?
My reply: If you want to complain, then why not post your objection on the talk page of "Lands of Denmark" article? That article - which has been referred to 3 times now in this thread - explains, that Scania was/is considered a Land of Denmark. If Scania is/was considered a part of Götaland, then why not explain that somewhere? And please ref it. It would solve a lot of confusion. There is no need to throw a tantrum and act childish. Just explain what needs to be explained and fill the gaps.
About time and history: Didn't you read my PS? Btw. 350 years is not much, compared to the history of both Denmark and Sweden. You should know that. In the explanations that is clearly needed for the description of Götaland and Scania, this history should of course be explained as well. RhinoMind (talk) 15:56, 23 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Vedum Hello. Thank you for your good reply. I think this should be mentioned/explained in the text somehow. It is important to do, in order to make the articles "Lands of Denmark" and "Lands of Sweden" mutually compatible and not contradictory. It can be a bit confusing for the un-initiated reader as it is now. RhinoMind (talk) 15:56, 23 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Vedum I can see that the situation is well explained at the article on Götaland and well supported by proper maps there. I still think the issue should/could be touched in the history section of this page. But as SergeWoodzings posts suggests, this also opens up for several other details to be included. It can turn out to be pretty messy in the end perhaps. I still think it is important to write a few lines about it anyway. RhinoMind (talk) 22:59, 23 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why not just read what you wrote yourself? "Ususally Scania is considered a Land of Denmark" - present tense. That's what I find ridiculous. Present tense in 2014. Get it? "is" = present tense. That's all I reacted to. The article about the lands of Denmark doesn't use present tense about Scania. You did that, and it isn't odd in any way if the rest of us would have to find that - present tense - ridiculous. It's been over 350 years since you could say what you did in present tense. It wouldn't matter if it has been only one. It's like saying Delaware is usually considered a colony of Great Britain. This article is not about the history of Scania or other regions but about what the three lands of Sweden include today, as they have for centuries. It doesn't cover the Norwegian period of Iemptia or the Swedish period of Finland. Doing a complete history of Gothenland, Swealand and the Northlands is not relevant here. The history of Scania covers it's hundreds of years as a part of Denmark. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 16:59, 23 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Learn proper identation and fix your attitude problem. Your problems clouds your message and create animosity.
A sober reply: Then perhaps the incorporation of Scania into Götaland should be touched at the Lands of Denmark page at least? I was moved to write my initial post, because these two pages does not cope well as they are now.
A personal reply: I am Danish myself and very well aware of both the history and the geography of this subject. The problems I spotted is not comparable to your examples, even though I think I get your drift. RhinoMind (talk) 22:43, 23 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Land" as plural or singular[edit]

Most Swedes with good knowledge of older Swedish will agree with me that the word "land" (as in Småland, Norrland, Österland) usually is interpreted as plural in older geographcal names. I am reinstating that, as well as exonyms well established in English literature, which I see no reason to delete. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 12:08, 5 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • @SergeWoodzing: I noticed that you added the plural form in the translation also on Norrland, just like you did here, in spite of it having been in the singular since the English translation of the name was added there, several years earlier, so it's up to you to provide a reliable source that supports using the plural form when translating Norrland/Österland into English (claiming that "most Swedes with a good knowledge of older Swedish" will agree with you isn't good enough...). Because I'm obviously not the only one who disagrees with you. And yes, I'm fluent in Swedish, in case you wonder, and I do not agree with you... - Tom | Thomas.W talk 12:29, 5 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I intend to add back the piece you removed about who founded Stockholm, so I suggest you find a very good reason for removing it if you do it again. - Tom | Thomas.W talk 12:46, 5 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I removed it, as it made an assertion that Stockholm was founded as a capital (a sort of medieval Brazilia?), which is not true: it was not until the 17th century that there was a sufficiently bulky bureaucracy that it would need a permanent home, instead of just packing up and joining the king on his travels. Stockholm's position was excellent, but it was more likely founded to control traffic between Mälaren and the Baltic Sea, following the sack on Sigtuna a few years earlier. Stockholm quickly grew to the largest, most prosperous city in Sweden, and one which the Kings and regents favored, but that does not make it a capital.
As for the interpretation of "land", Serge is wrong at least about Norrland, which SAOB marks as "singular indefinite, earlier also singular definite" [4].
Andejons (talk) 13:44, 5 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK now re "capital". --SergeWoodzing (talk) 13:20, 6 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Re: lands I quote Swedish WP where this looks well-referenced: "Namnet Norrlanden dyker upp för första gången 1435 i ett brev från Karl Knutsson (Bonde), där det står att bud utgått till Hälsingland och "annorstädes i Norrlanden". Denna pluralform är den ursprungliga ..." --SergeWoodzing (talk) 13:35, 6 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@SergeWoodzing: Which has absolutely nothing to do with the articles here, since the modern form of the name is "Norrland", in the singular, and that's what we're translating, not an archaic form of the name that hasn't been used for several centuries, and isn't even mentioned in the articles... - Tom | Thomas.W talk 14:12, 6 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I was wrong about Eastlands. In future, as per WP:TPYES let's try to depersonlize discussions on article talk pages. We can achieve good - even best - results w/o mentioning each other at all. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 14:41, 8 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]