Scandinavia

Scandinavia

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Scandinavia is a cultural
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

, historical
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 and ethno
Scandinavians
Scandinavians are a group of Germanic peoples, inhabiting Scandinavia and to a lesser extent countries associated with Scandinavia, and speaking Scandinavian languages. The group includes Danes, Norwegians and Swedes, and additionally the descendants of Scandinavian settlers such as the Icelandic...

-linguistic region
Region
Region is most commonly found as a term used in terrestrial and astrophysics sciences also an area, notably among the different sub-disciplines of geography, studied by regional geographers. Regions consist of subregions that contain clusters of like areas that are distinctive by their uniformity...

 in northern Europe
Northern Europe
Northern Europe is the northern part or region of Europe. Northern Europe typically refers to the seven countries in the northern part of the European subcontinent which includes Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland and Sweden...

 that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark
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
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...

 and Sweden
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....

, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula
Scandinavian Peninsula
The Scandinavian Peninsula is a peninsula in Northern Europe, which today covers Norway, Sweden, and most of northern Finland. Prior to the 17th and 18th centuries, large parts of the southern peninsula—including the core region of Scania from which the peninsula takes its name—were part of...

, whereas modern Denmark is situated on the Danish islands and Jutland
Jutland
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...

. The term Scandinavia is usually used as a cultural term, but in English usage, it is occasionally confused with the purely geographical term Scandinavian Peninsula
Scandinavian Peninsula
The Scandinavian Peninsula is a peninsula in Northern Europe, which today covers Norway, Sweden, and most of northern Finland. Prior to the 17th and 18th centuries, large parts of the southern peninsula—including the core region of Scania from which the peninsula takes its name—were part of...

, which overlaps with Scandinavia. Sometimes the term Scandinavia is also taken to include Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

, the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

, and Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, on account of their historical association with the Scandinavian countries. Such usage, however, is considered inaccurate in Scandinavia, where the term Nordic countries
Nordic countries
The Nordic countries make up a region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic which consists of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and their associated territories, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland...

 instead refers to a broader group comprising both Scandinavia itself as well as countries and territories that are historically associated with the Scandinavian countries, including Finland, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands.

The southern and by far most populous regions of Scandinavia have a temperate climate. Scandinavia extends to the north of the Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle
The Arctic Circle is one of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. For Epoch 2011, it is the parallel of latitude that runs north of the Equator....

, but has relatively mild weather for its latitude due to the Gulf Stream
Gulf Stream
The Gulf Stream, together with its northern extension towards Europe, the North Atlantic Drift, is a powerful, warm, and swift Atlantic ocean current that originates at the tip of Florida, and follows the eastern coastlines of the United States and Newfoundland before crossing the Atlantic Ocean...

. Much of the Scandinavian mountains have an alpine tundra
Alpine tundra
Alpine tundra is a natural region that does not contain trees because it is at high altitude. Alpine tundra is distinguished from arctic tundra, because alpine soils are generally better drained than arctic soils...

 climate. There are many lakes and moraines, legacies of the last glacial period, which ended about ten millennia ago.

The vast majority of the human population of Scandinavia are Scandinavians
Scandinavians
Scandinavians are a group of Germanic peoples, inhabiting Scandinavia and to a lesser extent countries associated with Scandinavia, and speaking Scandinavian languages. The group includes Danes, Norwegians and Swedes, and additionally the descendants of Scandinavian settlers such as the Icelandic...

, descended from several (North) Germanic tribes
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

 who originally inhabited the southern part of Scandinavia and what is now northern Germany, who spoke a Germanic language that evolved into Old Norse
Old Norse
Old Norse is a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300....

 and who were known as Norsemen
Norsemen
Norsemen is used to refer to the group of people as a whole who spoke what is now called the Old Norse language belonging to the North Germanic branch of Indo-European languages, especially Norwegian, Icelandic, Faroese, Swedish and Danish in their earlier forms.The meaning of Norseman was "people...

 in the Early Middle Ages
Early Middle Ages
The Early Middle Ages was the period of European history lasting from the 5th century to approximately 1000. The Early Middle Ages followed the decline of the Western Roman Empire and preceded the High Middle Ages...

. The Viking
Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

s are popularly associated with Norse culture. The Icelanders
Icelanders
Icelanders are a Scandinavian ethnic group and a nation, native to Iceland.On 17 June 1944, when an Icelandic republic was founded the Icelanders became independent from the Danish monarchy. The language spoken is Icelandic, a North Germanic language, and Lutheranism is the predominant religion...

 and the Faroese
Faroese people
The Faroese or Faroe Islanders are a Germanic ethnic group native to the Faeroe Islands. The Faroese are of mixed Norse and Gaelic origins.About 21,000 Faroese live in neighbouring countries, particularly in Denmark, Iceland and Norway....

 are to a significant extent, but not exclusively, descended from peoples retroactively known as Scandinavians; in Finland, the Scandinavians only constitute a minority, mostly found in the southwest. The extreme north of Norway, Sweden and Finland is home to a small minority of Sami people
Sami people
The Sami people, also spelled Sámi, or Saami, are the arctic indigenous people inhabiting Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of far northern Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, and the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway. The Sámi are Europe’s northernmost...

, whereas Finland's majority population are Finns.

In the late Early Middle Ages
Early Middle Ages
The Early Middle Ages was the period of European history lasting from the 5th century to approximately 1000. The Early Middle Ages followed the decline of the Western Roman Empire and preceded the High Middle Ages...

, numerous Germanic petty kingdom
Petty kingdom
A petty kingdom is one of a number of small kingdoms, described as minor or "petty" by contrast to an empire or unified kingdom that either preceded or succeeded it...

s and chiefdom
Chiefdom
A chiefdom is a political economy that organizes regional populations through a hierarchy of the chief.In anthropological theory, one model of human social development rooted in ideas of cultural evolution describes a chiefdom as a form of social organization more complex than a tribe or a band...

s were unified into three kingdoms, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and Christianity was adopted, replacing Norse mythology
Norse mythology
Norse mythology, a subset of Germanic mythology, is the overall term for the myths, legends and beliefs about supernatural beings of Norse pagans. It flourished prior to the Christianization of Scandinavia, during the Early Middle Ages, and passed into Nordic folklore, with some aspects surviving...

, itself a subset of Germanic paganism
Germanic paganism
Germanic paganism refers to the theology and religious practices of the Germanic peoples of north-western Europe from the Iron Age until their Christianization during the Medieval period...

. Scandinavia has, despite many wars over the years since the formation of the three kingdoms, been politically and culturally close. The constellations and alliances, however, have shifted over the centuries. For all of the 15th century, Scandinavia was united in 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...

. Today, the nations cooperate mainly in the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 or the Nordic Council
Nordic Council
The Nordic Council is a geo-political, inter-parliamentary forum for co-operation between the Nordic countries. It was established following World War II and its first concrete result was the introduction in 1952 of a common labour market and free movement across borders without passports for the...

.

The Danish
Danish language
Danish is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in the country of Denmark. It is also spoken by 50,000 Germans of Danish ethnicity in the northern parts of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, where it holds the status of minority language...

, Norwegian
Norwegian language
Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is the official language. Together with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants .These Scandinavian languages together with the Faroese language...

, and Swedish language
Swedish language
Swedish is a North Germanic language, spoken by approximately 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along its coast and on the Åland islands. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish...

s form a dialect continuum
Dialect continuum
A dialect continuum, or dialect area, was defined by Leonard Bloomfield as a range of dialects spoken across some geographical area that differ only slightly between neighboring areas, but as one travels in any direction, these differences accumulate such that speakers from opposite ends of the...

 and are known as the Scandinavian languages
North Germanic languages
The North Germanic languages or Scandinavian languages, the languages of Scandinavians, make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages, along with the West Germanic languages and the extinct East Germanic languages...

—all of which are considered mutually intelligible
Mutual intelligibility
In linguistics, mutual intelligibility is recognized as a relationship between languages or dialects in which speakers of different but related languages can readily understand each other without intentional study or extraordinary effort...

 with each other. Faroese
Faroese language
Faroese , is an Insular Nordic language spoken by 48,000 people in the Faroe Islands and about 25,000 Faroese people in Denmark and elsewhere...

 and Icelandic
Icelandic language
Icelandic is a North Germanic language, the main language of Iceland. Its closest relative is Faroese.Icelandic is an Indo-European language belonging to the North Germanic or Nordic branch of the Germanic languages. Historically, it was the westernmost of the Indo-European languages prior to the...

, sometimes referred to as insular Scandinavian languages, are only intelligible with continental Scandinavian languages to a very limited extent. Finnish
Finnish language
Finnish is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland Primarily for use by restaurant menus and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. It is one of the two official languages of Finland and an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both standard Finnish and Meänkieli, a...

 and Sami languages
Sami languages
Sami or Saami is a general name for a group of Uralic languages spoken by the Sami people in parts of northern Finland, Norway, Sweden and extreme northwestern Russia, in Northern Europe. Sami is frequently and erroneously believed to be a single language. Several names are used for the Sami...

 are entirely unrelated to Scandinavian.

The name Scandinavia historically referred vaguely to Scania
Scania
Scania is the southernmost of the 25 traditional non-administrative provinces of Sweden, constituting a peninsula on the southern tip of the Scandinavian peninsula, and some adjacent islands. The modern administrative subdivision Skåne County is almost, but not totally, congruent with the...

. The terms Scandinavia and Scandinavian entered usage in the 18th century as terms for the three Scandinavian countries, their (Germanic) peoples and associated language and culture, being introduced by the early linguistic and cultural Scandinavist movement
Scandinavism
Scandinavism and Nordism are literary and political movements that support various degrees of cooperation between the Scandinavian or Nordic countries...

. The Scandinavian Peninsula subsequently also took its name from the ethno-cultural-linguistic term.

Terminology and use



In English, Scandinavia usually refers to Denmark, Norway and Sweeden Some experts argue for the inclusion of Finland and Iceland, though that broader region is usually known by the countries concerned as Norden, or the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
The Nordic countries make up a region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic which consists of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and their associated territories, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland...

.

The use of the name Scandinavia as a convenient general term for the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden is fairly recent; according to some historians, it was adopted and introduced in the eighteenth century, at a time when the ideas about a common heritage started to appear and develop into early literary and linguistic Scandinavism
Scandinavism
Scandinavism and Nordism are literary and political movements that support various degrees of cooperation between the Scandinavian or Nordic countries...

. Before this time, the term Scandinavia was familiar mainly to classical scholars through Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

's writings, and was used vaguely for Scania and the southern region of the peninsula.

As a political term, "Scandinavia" was first used by students agitating for Pan-Scandinavianism
Scandinavism
Scandinavism and Nordism are literary and political movements that support various degrees of cooperation between the Scandinavian or Nordic countries...

 in the 1830s. The popular usage of the term in Sweden, Denmark and Norway as a unifying concept became established in the nineteenth century through poems such as Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish author, fairy tale writer, and poet noted for his children's stories. These include "The Steadfast Tin Soldier," "The Snow Queen," "The Little Mermaid," "Thumbelina," "The Little Match Girl," and "The Ugly Duckling."...

's "I am a Scandinavian" of 1839. After a visit to Sweden, Andersen became a supporter of early political Scandinavism and in a letter describing the poem to a friend, he wrote: "All at once I understood how related the Swedes, the Danes and the Norwegians are, and with this feeling I wrote the poem immediately after my return: 'We are one people, we are called Scandinavians!'". The historic popular use is also reflected in the name chosen for the shared, multigovernmental airline, Scandinavian Airlines, a carrier originally owned jointly by the governments of the three countries, along with private investors.

Finland


The clearest example of the use of the term "Scandinavia" as a political and societal construct is the unique position of Finland, based largely on its having been part of Sweden, thus to much of the world properly associating Finland with all of Scandinavia. But the creation of a Finnish identity is unique in the region in that it was formed in relation to two different imperial models, the Swedish and the Russian, as described by the University of Jyväskylä
University of Jyväskylä
The University of Jyväskylä is a university in Jyväskylä, Finland. It has its origins in the first Finnish-speaking teacher training college , founded in 1863. Around 14,000 students are currently enrolled in the degree programs of the university...

 based editorial board of the Finnish journal Yearbook of Political Thought and Conceptual History;
The term is, therefore, often defined according to the conventions of the cultures that lay claim to the term in their own use. When a speaker wants to explicitly include Finland alongside Scandinavia-proper, the geographic terms Fenno-Scandinavia or Fennoscandia
Fennoscandia
Fennoscandia and Fenno-Scandinavia are geographic and geological terms used to describe the Scandinavian Peninsula, the Kola Peninsula, Karelia and Finland...

 are sometimes used in English.

Societal and tourism promotional organizations


Various promotional agencies of the Nordic countries in the United States (such as The American-Scandinavian Foundation
The American-Scandinavian Foundation
The American-Scandinavian Foundation, is an American non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting international understanding through educational and cultural exchange between the United States and Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden...

, established in 1910 by the Danish-American industrialist Niels Poulsen) serve to promote market and tourism interests in the region. Today, the five Nordic heads of state act as the organization's patrons and according to the official statement by the organization, its mission is "to promote the Nordic region as a whole while increasing the visibility of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden in New York City and the United States." The official tourist boards of Scandinavia sometimes cooperate under one umbrella, such as the Scandinavian Tourist Board. The cooperation was introduced for the Asian market in 1986, when the Swedish national tourist board joined the Danish national tourist board to coordinate intergovernmental promotion of the two countries. Norway's government entered one year later. All five Nordic governments participate in the joint promotional efforts in the United States through the Scandinavian Tourist Board of North America.

Use of Nordic countries vs. Scandinavia



While the term Scandinavia is commonly used for Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, the term the Nordic countries is used unambiguously for Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland, including their associated territories (Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and the Åland Islands). Scandinavia can thus be considered a subset of the Nordic countries.

In addition to the countries of: (Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 with a Parliamentary system
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

 -- the eponymous constituent country
Constituent country
Constituent country is a phrase sometimes used in contexts in which a country makes up a part of a larger entity. The term constituent country does not have any defined legal meaning, and is used simply to refer to a country which is a part Constituent country is a phrase sometimes used in contexts...

 of the Kingdom of Denmark
Kingdom of Denmark
The Kingdom of Denmark or the Danish Realm , is a constitutional monarchy and sovereign state consisting of Denmark proper in northern Europe and two autonomous constituent countries, the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic and Greenland in North America. Denmark is the hegemonial part, where the...

) (Constitutional monarchy with a Parliamentary system) (Constitutional monarchy with a Parliamentary system)

the Nordic countries consist of: (Parliamentary republic
Parliamentary republic
A parliamentary republic or parliamentary constitutional republic is a type of republic which operates under a parliamentary system of government - meaning a system with no clear-cut separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches. There are a number of variations of...

, independent since 1918, but in union with Denmark until 1944) (an autonomous country
Constituent country
Constituent country is a phrase sometimes used in contexts in which a country makes up a part of a larger entity. The term constituent country does not have any defined legal meaning, and is used simply to refer to a country which is a part Constituent country is a phrase sometimes used in contexts...

 within the Danish realm
Kingdom of Denmark
The Kingdom of Denmark or the Danish Realm , is a constitutional monarchy and sovereign state consisting of Denmark proper in northern Europe and two autonomous constituent countries, the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic and Greenland in North America. Denmark is the hegemonial part, where the...

, self-governed since 1948) (Semi-presidential republic
Semi-presidential system
The semi-presidential system is a system of government in which a president and a prime minister are both active participants in the day-to-day administration of the state...

, independent since 1917) (an autonomous country within the Danish realm, self-governed since 1979) (an autonomous province of Finland since 1920)

Svalbard
Svalbard
Svalbard is an archipelago in the Arctic, constituting the northernmost part of Norway. It is located north of mainland Europe, midway between mainland Norway and the North Pole. The group of islands range from 74° to 81° north latitude , and from 10° to 35° east longitude. Spitsbergen is the...

, which is under Norwegian sovereignty, is not considered part of Scandinavia as a cultural-historical region, but as a part of the Kingdom of Norway (since 1925), it is part of the Nordic countries (Norden).

Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

 has applied for membership in the Nordic Council
Nordic Council
The Nordic Council is a geo-political, inter-parliamentary forum for co-operation between the Nordic countries. It was established following World War II and its first concrete result was the introduction in 1952 of a common labour market and free movement across borders without passports for the...

, referring to its cultural heritage and close linguistic links to Finland, although normally Estonia is regarded as one of the Baltic countries
Baltic countries
The term Baltic states refers to the Baltic territories which gained independence from the Russian Empire in the wake of World War I: primarily the contiguous trio of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ; Finland also fell within the scope of the term after initially gaining independence in the 1920s.The...

. It is similar to the situation of Finland around 1920s as Finland was considered to be one of the Baltic States
Baltic states
The term Baltic states refers to the Baltic territories which gained independence from the Russian Empire in the wake of World War I: primarily the contiguous trio of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ; Finland also fell within the scope of the term after initially gaining independence in the 1920s.The...

 as well, as it too had emerged from Russian domination along with the other three countries under similar circumstances. While Finnish and Estonian are Finnic
Finnic languages
The term Finnic languages often means the Baltic-Finnic languages, an undisputed branch of the Uralic languages. However, it is also commonly used to mean the Finno-Permic languages, a hypothetical intermediate branch that includes Baltic Finnic, or the more disputed Finno-Volgaic languages....

 languages, Latvian and Lithuanian are Balto-Slavic
Balto-Slavic languages
The Balto-Slavic language group traditionally comprises Baltic and Slavic languages, belonging to the Indo-European family of languages. Baltic and Slavic languages share several linguistic traits not found in any other Indo-European branch, which points to the period of common development...

 languages. The Baltic states have shared many events and situations with Scandinavia over the centuries; today the flags of the three countries can often be seen along-side Nordic flags, paralleling recent friendship and cooperation since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Etymology


Scandinavia and Scania
Scania
Scania is the southernmost of the 25 traditional non-administrative provinces of Sweden, constituting a peninsula on the southern tip of the Scandinavian peninsula, and some adjacent islands. The modern administrative subdivision Skåne County is almost, but not totally, congruent with the...

 (Skåne, the southernmost province of Sweden) are considered to have the same etymology. Both terms are thought to be derived from the Germanic root *Skaðin-awjō, which appears later in Old English as Scedenig and in Old Norse
Old Norse
Old Norse is a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300....

 as Skáney. The earliest identified source for the name Scandinavia is Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

's Natural History, dated to the first century A.D.

Various reference to the region can also be found in Pytheas
Pytheas
Pytheas of Massalia or Massilia , was a Greek geographer and explorer from the Greek colony, Massalia . He made a voyage of exploration to northwestern Europe at about 325 BC. He travelled around and visited a considerable part of Great Britain...

, Pomponius Mela
Pomponius Mela
Pomponius Mela, who wrote around AD 43, was the earliest Roman geographer. He was born in Tingentera and died c. AD 45.His short work occupies less than one hundred pages of ordinary print. It is laconic in style and deficient in method, but of pure Latinity, and occasionally relieved by pleasing...

, Tacitus
Tacitus
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors...

, Ptolemy
Ptolemy
Claudius Ptolemy , was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the...

, Procopius
Procopius
Procopius of Caesarea was a prominent Byzantine scholar from Palestine. Accompanying the general Belisarius in the wars of the Emperor Justinian I, he became the principal historian of the 6th century, writing the Wars of Justinian, the Buildings of Justinian and the celebrated Secret History...

 and Jordanes
Jordanes
Jordanes, also written Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th century Roman bureaucrat, who turned his hand to history later in life....

. It is believed that the name used by Pliny may be of West Germanic
West Germanic languages
The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three traditional branches of the Germanic family of languages and include languages such as German, English, Dutch, Afrikaans, the Frisian languages, and Yiddish...

 origin, originally denoting Scania. According to some scholars, the Germanic stem can be reconstructed as *Skaðan- meaning "danger" or "damage" (English scathing, German Schaden). The second segment of the name has been restructed as *awjō, meaning "land on the water" or "island". The name Scandinavia would then mean "dangerous island", which is considered to refer to the treacherous sandbanks surrounding Scania. Skanör
Skanör-Falsterbo
Skanör med Falsterbo is a statistical locality , situated in Vellinge Municipality, Skåne County, Sweden with 6,861 inhabitants in 2005...

 in Scania, with its long Falsterbo reef, has the same stem (skan) combined with -ör, which means "sandbanks".

In the reconstructed Germanic root *Skaðin-awjō (the edh represented in Latin by t or d), the first segment is sometimes considered more uncertain than the second segment. The American Heritage Dictionary derives the second segment from Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European language
The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans...

 *akwa-, "water", in the sense of "watery land".
The Old Norse
Old Norse
Old Norse is a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300....

 goddess name Skaði
Skaði
In Norse mythology, Skaði is a jötunn and goddess associated with bowhunting, skiing, winter, and mountains...

, along with Sca(n)dinavia and Skáney, may be related to Gothic
Gothic language
Gothic is an extinct Germanic language that was spoken by the Goths. It is known primarily from the Codex Argenteus, a 6th-century copy of a 4th-century Bible translation, and is the only East Germanic language with a sizable Text corpus...

 skadus, Old English sceadu, Old Saxon
Old Saxon
Old Saxon, also known as Old Low German, is the earliest recorded form of Low German, documented from the 8th century until the 12th century, when it evolved into Middle Low German. It was spoken on the north-west coast of Germany and in the Netherlands by Saxon peoples...

 scado, and Old High German
Old High German
The term Old High German refers to the earliest stage of the German language and it conventionally covers the period from around 500 to 1050. Coherent written texts do not appear until the second half of the 8th century, and some treat the period before 750 as 'prehistoric' and date the start of...

 scato (meaning "shadow"). Scholar John McKinnell comments that this etymology suggests that the goddess Skaði may have once been a personification of the geographical region of Scandinavia or associated with the underworld.

Pliny the Elder's descriptions


Pliny's descriptions of Scatinavia and surrounding areas are not always easy to decipher, even though his writing of geography was what he considered a "clarior fama" ("a clearer story"). Writing in the capacity of a Roman admiral, he introduces the northern region by declaring to his Roman readers that there are 23 islands "Romanis armis cognitae" ("known to Roman arms") in this area. According to Pliny, the "clarissima" ("most famous") of the region's islands is Scatinavia, of unknown size. There live the Hilleviones
Hilleviones
The Hilleviones were a Germanic people occupying an island called Scatinavia in the 1st century AD, according to the Roman geographer Pliny the Elder in Naturalis Historia , written circa 77 AD...

. The belief that Scandinavia was an island became widespread among classical authors during the first century and dominated descriptions of Scandinavia in classical texts during the centuries that followed.

Pliny begins his description of the route to Scatinavia by referring to the mountain of Saevo (mons Saevo ibi), the Codanus Bay (Codanus sinus) and the Cimbrian promontory. The geographical features have been identified in various ways; by some scholars "Saevo" is thought to be the mountainous Norwegian
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...

 coast at the entrance to Skagerrak
Skagerrak
The Skagerrak is a strait running between Norway and the southwest coast of Sweden and the Jutland peninsula of Denmark, connecting the North Sea and the Kattegat sea area, which leads to the Baltic Sea.-Name:...

 and the Cimbri
Cimbri
The Cimbri were a tribe from Northern Europe, who, together with the Teutones and the Ambrones threatened the Roman Republic in the late 2nd century BC. The Cimbri were probably Germanic, though some believe them to be of Celtic origin...

an peninsula is thought to be Skagen
Skagen
Skagen is a projection of land and a town, with a population of 8,515 , in Region Nordjylland on the northernmost tip of Vendsyssel-Thy, a part of the Jutland peninsula in northern Denmark...

, the north tip of Jutland
Jutland
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...

, Denmark
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...

. As described, Saevo and Scatinavia can also be the same place.

Pliny mentions Scandinavia one more time: in Book VIII he says that the animal called achlis (given in the accusative, achlin, which is not Latin), was born on the island of Scandinavia. The animal grazes, has a big upper lip and some mythical attributes.

The name "Scandia
Scandia
Scandia was a name used for various uncharted islands in Northern Europe by the first Greek and Roman geographers. The name originated in Greek sources, where it had been used for a long time for different islands in the Mediterranean region...

", later used as a synonym for Scandinavia, also appears in Pliny's Naturalis Historia, but is used for a group of Northern European islands which he locates north of Britannia
Britannia
Britannia is an ancient term for Great Britain, and also a female personification of the island. The name is Latin, and derives from the Greek form Prettanike or Brettaniai, which originally designated a collection of islands with individual names, including Albion or Great Britain. However, by the...

. "Scandia" thus does not appear to be denoting the island Scadinavia in Pliny's text. The idea that "Scadinavia" may have been one of the "Scandiae" islands was instead introduced by Ptolemy
Ptolemy
Claudius Ptolemy , was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the...

 (c.90 – c.168 AD), a mathematician, geographer and astrologer of Roman Egypt. He used the name "Skandia" for the biggest, most easterly of the three "Scandiai" islands, which according to him were all located east of Jutland
Jutland
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...

.

Neither Pliny's nor Ptolemy's lists of Scandinavian tribes include the Suiones
Suiones
The Swedes e, "one's own [tribesmen/kinsmen]"; Old English: Sweonas; , Suehans or Sueones) were an ancient North Germanic tribe in Scandinavia...

 mentioned by Tacitus. Some early Swedish scholars of the Swedish Hyperborean school and of the 19th-century romantic nationalism
Romantic nationalism
Romantic nationalism is the form of nationalism in which the state derives its political legitimacy as an organic consequence of the unity of those it governs...

 period proceeded to synthesize the different versions by inserting references to the Suiones, arguing that they must have been referred to in the original texts and obscured over time by spelling mistakes or various alterations.

Germanic restruction


The Latin names in Pliny's text gave rise to different forms in medieval Germanic texts. In Jordanes' history of the Goths
Goths
The Goths were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin whose two branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe....

 (AD 551) the form Scandza
Scandza
Scandza was the name given to Scandinavia by the Roman historian Jordanes in his work Getica, written while in Constantinople around AD 551. He described the area to set the stage for his treatment of the Goths' migration from southern Sweden to Gothiscandza...

is used for their original home, separated by sea from the land of Europe (chapter 1, 4). Where Jordanes meant to locate this quasi-legendary island is still a hotly debated issue, both in scholarly discussions and in the nationalistic discourse of various European countries.
The form Scadinavia as the original home of the Langobards
Lombards
The Lombards , also referred to as Longobards, were a Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin, who from 568 to 774 ruled a Kingdom in Italy...

 appears in Paulus Diaconus' Historia Langobardorum; in other versions of Historia Langobardorum appear the forms Scadan, Scandanan, Scadanan and Scatenauge. Frankish sources used Sconaowe and Aethelweard, an Anglo-Saxon historian, used Scani. In Beowulf
Beowulf
Beowulf , but modern scholars agree in naming it after the hero whose life is its subject." of an Old English heroic epic poem consisting of 3182 alliterative long lines, set in Scandinavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature.It survives in a single...

, the forms Scedenige and Scedeland are used, while the Alfredian
Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great was King of Wessex from 871 to 899.Alfred is noted for his defence of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of southern England against the Vikings, becoming the only English monarch still to be accorded the epithet "the Great". Alfred was the first King of the West Saxons to style himself...

 translation of Orosius and Wulfstan
Wulfstan of Hedeby
Wulfstan of Hedeby was a late ninth century traveller and trader. His travel accounts, as well as those of another trader, Ohthere, were included in Alfred the Great's translation of Orosius' Histories...

's travel accounts used the Old English Sconeg.

Sami etymology



The earliest Sami
Sami languages
Sami or Saami is a general name for a group of Uralic languages spoken by the Sami people in parts of northern Finland, Norway, Sweden and extreme northwestern Russia, in Northern Europe. Sami is frequently and erroneously believed to be a single language. Several names are used for the Sami...

 yoik
Yoik
A joik, , luohti, vuolle, leu'dd, or juoiggus is a traditional Sami form of song.Originally, joik referred to only one of several Sami singing styles, but in English the word is often used to refer to all types of traditional Sami singing...

 texts written down refer to the world as Skadesi-suolo (north-Sami) and Skađsuâl (east-Sami), meaning "Skaði
Skaði
In Norse mythology, Skaði is a jötunn and goddess associated with bowhunting, skiing, winter, and mountains...

's island" (Svennung 1963). Svennung considers the Sami name to have been introduced as a loan word from the North Germanic languages
North Germanic languages
The North Germanic languages or Scandinavian languages, the languages of Scandinavians, make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages, along with the West Germanic languages and the extinct East Germanic languages...

; "Skaði
Skaði
In Norse mythology, Skaði is a jötunn and goddess associated with bowhunting, skiing, winter, and mountains...

" is the giant
Giant (mythology)
The mythology and legends of many different cultures include monsters of human appearance but prodigious size and strength. "Giant" is the English word commonly used for such beings, derived from one of the most famed examples: the gigantes of Greek mythology.In various Indo-European mythologies,...

 stepmother of Freyr
Freyr
Freyr is one of the most important gods of Norse paganism. Freyr was highly associated with farming, weather and, as a phallic fertility god, Freyr "bestows peace and pleasure on mortals"...

 and Freyja in Norse mythology
Norse mythology
Norse mythology, a subset of Germanic mythology, is the overall term for the myths, legends and beliefs about supernatural beings of Norse pagans. It flourished prior to the Christianization of Scandinavia, during the Early Middle Ages, and passed into Nordic folklore, with some aspects surviving...

. It has been suggested that Skaði to some extent is modeled on a Sami woman. The name for Skade's father Thjazi is known in Sami as Čáhci, "the waterman", and her son with Odin, Saeming, can be interpreted as a descendent of Saam the Sami population (Mundel 2000), (Steinsland 1991). Older joik texts give evidence of the old Sami belief about living on an island and state that the wolf is known as suolu gievra, meaning "the strong one on the island". The Sami place name Sulliidčielbma means "the island's threshold" and Suoločielgi
Saariselkä
Saariselkä is a mountain area and a village in Finland. It is a popular tourist destination, providing activities such as skiing, hiking and a spa. It is located in Northern Lapland and belongs to the Inari municipality....

means "the island's back".

In recent substrate
Substratum
In linguistics, a stratum or strate is a language that influences, or is influenced by another through contact. A substratum is a language which has lower power or prestige than another, while a superstratum is the language that has higher power or prestige. Both substratum and superstratum...

 studies, Sami linguists have examined the initial cluster sk- in words used in Sami and concluded that sk- is a phonotactic structure of alien origin.

Other etymologies


Scadin- can be segmented various ways to obtain various IndoEuropean uses: scand- or scad-in-, scan- or sca-din, scandin or scadin-. This segmentation have resulted in a number of possible etymologies, such as "climbing island" (*scand-), "island of the Scythian people", "island of the woodland of *sca-".

An other possibility is that all or part of the segments of the name came from the Mesolithic
Mesolithic
The Mesolithic is an archaeological concept used to refer to certain groups of archaeological cultures defined as falling between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic....

 people inhabiting the region. In modernity Scandinavia is a peninsula, but between approximately 10,300 and 9,500 years ago, the southern part of Scandinavia was an island separated from the northern peninsula, with water exiting the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 through the area where Stockholm
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...

 is now located.

Some Basque
Basque language
Basque is the ancestral language of the Basque people, who inhabit the Basque Country, a region spanning an area in northeastern Spain and southwestern France. It is spoken by 25.7% of Basques in all territories...

 scholars have presented the idea that the segment sk that appears in *Ska∂inaujàin is connected to the name for the Euzko peoples, akin to Basques, that populated Paleolithic
Paleolithic
The Paleolithic Age, Era or Period, is a prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered , and covers roughly 99% of human technological prehistory...

 Europe. According to some of these intellects, Scandinavian people share particular genetic marker
Genetic marker
A genetic marker is a gene or DNA sequence with a known location on a chromosome that can be used to identify cells, individuals or species. It can be described as a variation that can be observed...

s with the Basque people
Basque people
The Basques as an ethnic group, primarily inhabit an area traditionally known as the Basque Country , a region that is located around the western end of the Pyrenees on the coast of the Bay of Biscay and straddles parts of north-central Spain and south-western France.The Basques are known in the...

.

The name of the Scandinavian mountain range, Skanderna in Swedish, was artificially derived from Skandinavien in the nineteenth century, in analogy with Alperna for the Alps. The commonly used names are bergen or fjällen; both names meaning "the mountains".

Geography




The geography of Scandinavia is extremely varied. Notable are the Norwegian fjords, the Scandinavian Mountains
Scandinavian Mountains
The Scandinavian Mountains or the Scandes, in Swedish Skanderna, Fjällen or Kölen , in Finnish Köli and in Norwegian Kjølen, with the three latter meaning The Keel, are a mountain range that runs through the Scandinavian Peninsula...

, the flat, low areas in Denmark, and the archipelago
Archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

s of Sweden and Norway. Sweden has many lakes and moraines, legacies of the ice age.

The climate varies from north to south and from west to east; a marine west coast climate (Cfb) typical of western Europe dominates in Denmark, southernmost part of Sweden and along the west coast of Norway reaching north to 65°N, with orographic lift
Orographic lift
Orographic lift occurs when an air mass is forced from a low elevation to a higher elevation as it moves over rising terrain. As the air mass gains altitude it quickly cools down adiabatically, which can raise the relative humidity to 100% and create clouds and, under the right conditions,...

 giving more mm/year precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

 (<5000 mm) in some areas in western Norway. The central part – from Oslo
Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

 to Stockholm
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...

 – has a humid continental climate
Humid continental climate
A humid continental climate is a climatic region typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot summers and cold winters....

 (Dfb), which gradually gives way to subarctic climate
Subarctic climate
The subarctic climate is a climate characterized by long, usually very cold winters, and short, cool to mild summers. It is found on large landmasses, away from the moderating effects of an ocean, generally at latitudes from 50° to 70°N poleward of the humid continental climates...

 (Dfc) further north and cool marine west coast climate (Cfc) along the northwestern coast. A small area along the northern coast east of the North Cape
North Cape, Norway
North Cape is a cape on the island of Magerøya in Northern Norway, in the municipality of Nordkapp. Its 307 m high, steep cliff is often referred to as the northernmost point of Europe, located at , 2102.3 km from the North Pole. However, the neighbouring point Knivskjellodden is actually...

 has tundra climate (Et) as a result of a lack of summer warmth. The Scandinavian Mountains block the mild and moist air coming from the southwest, thus northern Sweden and the Finnmarksvidda
Finnmarksvidda
Finnmarksvidda or the Finnmark plateau; Finnmark highland, is Norway's largest plateau, with an area greater than 22,000 km². It lies at 300–500 meters above sea level...

 plateau in Norway receive little precipitation and have cold winters. Large areas in the Scandinavian mountains have alpine tundra
Alpine tundra
Alpine tundra is a natural region that does not contain trees because it is at high altitude. Alpine tundra is distinguished from arctic tundra, because alpine soils are generally better drained than arctic soils...

 climate.

The warmest temperature ever recorded in Scandinavia is 38.0 °C in Målilla
Målilla
Målilla is a locality situated in Hultsfred Municipality, Kalmar County, Sweden with 1,605 inhabitants in 2005.It is more commonly known as the temperature capital of Sweden due to the frequent records, both high and low, being set there. A Swedish record high temperature of +38°C was set on June...

 (Sweden). The coldest temperature ever recorded is −52.6 °C in Vuoggatjålme (Sweden). The warmest month on record was July 1901 in Oslo, with a mean (24hr) of 22.7 °C, and the coldest month was February 1985 in Vittangi (Sweden) with a mean of -27.2 °C.

Southwesterly winds further warmed by foehn wind can give warm temperatures in narrow Norwegian fjords in winter; Tafjord
Tafjord
Tafjord is a village in the municipality of Norddal in Møre og Romsdal county, Norway. The village is located at the end of the Tafjorden, about southeast of Sylte, and just west of the borders of Reinheimen National Park...

 has recorded 17.9 °C in January and Sunndal
Sunndal
is a municipality in the Nordmøre region located in the northeast part of Møre og Romsdal county, Norway. The administrative center of the municipality is the village of Sunndalsøra. Other villages include Jordalsgrenda, Øksendalsøra, Grøa, Hoelsand, Ålvund, and Gjøra.With an area of it is the...

 18.9 °C in February.

Languages in Scandinavia



There are two language groups that have coexisted on the Scandinavian peninsula
Scandinavian Peninsula
The Scandinavian Peninsula is a peninsula in Northern Europe, which today covers Norway, Sweden, and most of northern Finland. Prior to the 17th and 18th centuries, large parts of the southern peninsula—including the core region of Scania from which the peninsula takes its name—were part of...

 since prehistory—the North Germanic languages
North Germanic languages
The North Germanic languages or Scandinavian languages, the languages of Scandinavians, make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages, along with the West Germanic languages and the extinct East Germanic languages...

 (Scandinavian languages) and the Sami languages
Sami languages
Sami or Saami is a general name for a group of Uralic languages spoken by the Sami people in parts of northern Finland, Norway, Sweden and extreme northwestern Russia, in Northern Europe. Sami is frequently and erroneously believed to be a single language. Several names are used for the Sami...

. The majority languages on the peninsula, Swedish
Swedish language
Swedish is a North Germanic language, spoken by approximately 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along its coast and on the Åland islands. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish...

 and Norwegian
Norwegian language
Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is the official language. Together with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants .These Scandinavian languages together with the Faroese language...

, are today, along with Danish
Danish language
Danish is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in the country of Denmark. It is also spoken by 50,000 Germans of Danish ethnicity in the northern parts of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, where it holds the status of minority language...

, classified as Continental Scandinavian.

The North Germanic languages of Scandinavia are traditionally divided into an East Scandinavian branch (Danish
Danish language
Danish is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in the country of Denmark. It is also spoken by 50,000 Germans of Danish ethnicity in the northern parts of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, where it holds the status of minority language...

 and Swedish
Swedish language
Swedish is a North Germanic language, spoken by approximately 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along its coast and on the Åland islands. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish...

) and a West Scandinavian branch (Norwegian
Norwegian language
Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is the official language. Together with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants .These Scandinavian languages together with the Faroese language...

, Icelandic
Icelandic language
Icelandic is a North Germanic language, the main language of Iceland. Its closest relative is Faroese.Icelandic is an Indo-European language belonging to the North Germanic or Nordic branch of the Germanic languages. Historically, it was the westernmost of the Indo-European languages prior to the...

, and Faroese
Faroese language
Faroese , is an Insular Nordic language spoken by 48,000 people in the Faroe Islands and about 25,000 Faroese people in Denmark and elsewhere...

), but because of changes appearing in the languages since 1600, the East Scandinavian and West Scandinavian branches are now usually reconfigured into Insular Scandinavian (ö-nordisk/øy-nordisk) featuring Icelandic
Icelandic language
Icelandic is a North Germanic language, the main language of Iceland. Its closest relative is Faroese.Icelandic is an Indo-European language belonging to the North Germanic or Nordic branch of the Germanic languages. Historically, it was the westernmost of the Indo-European languages prior to the...

 and Faroese
Faroese language
Faroese , is an Insular Nordic language spoken by 48,000 people in the Faroe Islands and about 25,000 Faroese people in Denmark and elsewhere...

 and Continental Scandinavian (Skandinavisk), comprising Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish. The modern division is based on the degree of mutual comprehensibility between the languages in the two branches. Note that skandinavisk(a) may also refer to a way of speaking one Scandinavian language in a way intended to be more easily understood by speakers of the other Scandinavian languages, like the Danish saying the beginning of a number in Swedish to Swedish people.

Apart from Sami and the languages of minority groups speaking a variant of the majority language of a neighboring state, the following minority languages in Scandinavia are protected under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages is a European treaty adopted in 1992 under the auspices of the Council of Europe to protect and promote historical regional and minority languages in Europe...

: Yiddish, Romani Chib, Romanes
Romani language
Romani or Romany, Gypsy or Gipsy is any of several languages of the Romani people. They are Indic, sometimes classified in the "Central" or "Northwestern" zone, and sometimes treated as a branch of their own....

 and Romani
Scandoromani
Scandoromani , also known as Tavringer Romani and the Tattare language, is a North Germanic based Para-Romani. It is currently spoken by the Norwegian and Swedish Travellers, a Romani minority community, in Sweden and Norway ."Scandoromani" is a term coined by academics...

.

Continental Scandinavian languages


Main Article: Scandinavian languages
North Germanic languages
The North Germanic languages or Scandinavian languages, the languages of Scandinavians, make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages, along with the West Germanic languages and the extinct East Germanic languages...



The dialects of Denmark, Norway
Norwegian dialects
The Norwegian dialects are commonly divided into 4 main groups, North Norwegian , Trøndelag Norwegian , West Norwegian , and East Norwegian...

 and Sweden
Swedish dialects
Swedish dialects can be categorized into Traditional Dialects and Modern Dialects .-Traditional dialects:...

 form a dialect continuum
Dialect continuum
A dialect continuum, or dialect area, was defined by Leonard Bloomfield as a range of dialects spoken across some geographical area that differ only slightly between neighboring areas, but as one travels in any direction, these differences accumulate such that speakers from opposite ends of the...

 and are mutually intelligible. The populations of the Scandinavian countries, with a Scandinavian mother tongue, can—at least with some training—understand each other's standard language
Standard language
A standard language is a language variety used by a group of people in their public discourse. Alternatively, varieties become standard by undergoing a process of standardization, during which it is organized for description in grammars and dictionaries and encoded in such reference works...

s as they appear in print and are heard on radio and television. The reason Danish, Swedish and the two official written versions of Norwegian (Nynorsk and Bokmål) are traditionally viewed as different languages, rather than dialects of one common language, is that each is a well established standard language in its respective country. They are related to, but not mutually intelligible with, the other North Germanic languages, Icelandic
Icelandic language
Icelandic is a North Germanic language, the main language of Iceland. Its closest relative is Faroese.Icelandic is an Indo-European language belonging to the North Germanic or Nordic branch of the Germanic languages. Historically, it was the westernmost of the Indo-European languages prior to the...

 and Faroese
Faroese language
Faroese , is an Insular Nordic language spoken by 48,000 people in the Faroe Islands and about 25,000 Faroese people in Denmark and elsewhere...

, which are descended from Old West Norse. Danish, Swedish and Norwegian have, since medieval times, been influenced to varying degrees by Middle Low German
Middle Low German
Middle Low German is a language that is the descendant of Old Saxon and is the ancestor of modern Low German. It served as the international lingua franca of the Hanseatic League...

 and standard German. A substantial amount of that influence was a by-product of the economic activity generated by 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...

.

Norwegians are accustomed to variation, and may perceive Danish and Swedish only as slightly more distant dialects. This is because they have two official written standards, in addition to the habit of strongly holding on to local dialects. The people of Stockholm
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...

, Sweden and Copenhagen
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...

, Denmark, have the greatest difficulty in understanding other Scandinavian languages. In the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

, learning Danish
Danish language
Danish is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in the country of Denmark. It is also spoken by 50,000 Germans of Danish ethnicity in the northern parts of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, where it holds the status of minority language...

 is mandatory. This causes Faroese people to become bilingual in two very distinct North Germanic languages, making it relatively easy for them to understand the other two Mainland Scandinavian languages.

The Scandinavian languages are (as a language family) entirely unrelated to Finnish
Finnish language
Finnish is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland Primarily for use by restaurant menus and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. It is one of the two official languages of Finland and an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both standard Finnish and Meänkieli, a...

, Estonian
Estonian language
Estonian is the official language of Estonia, spoken by about 1.1 million people in Estonia and tens of thousands in various émigré communities...

, and Sami languages
Sami languages
Sami or Saami is a general name for a group of Uralic languages spoken by the Sami people in parts of northern Finland, Norway, Sweden and extreme northwestern Russia, in Northern Europe. Sami is frequently and erroneously believed to be a single language. Several names are used for the Sami...

, which as Uralic languages
Uralic languages
The Uralic languages constitute a language family of some three dozen languages spoken by approximately 25 million people. The healthiest Uralic languages in terms of the number of native speakers are Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian, Mari and Udmurt...

 are distantly related to Hungarian
Hungarian language
Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

. Owing to the close proximity, there is still a great deal of borrowing from the Swedish and Norwegian languages in the Finnish, Estonian, and Sami languages. The long history of linguistic influence of Swedish on Finnish is also due to the fact that Finnish, the language of the majority in Finland, was treated as a minority language while Finland was part of Sweden. Finnish-speakers had to learn Swedish in order to advance to higher positions. Although Iceland was under the political control of Denmark until a much later date (1918), very little influence and borrowing from Danish has occurred in the Icelandic language. Icelandic remained the preferred language among the ruling classes in Iceland; Danish was not used for official communications, most of the royal officials were of Icelandic descent and the language of the church and law courts remained Icelandic.

Sami languages



The Sami languages
Sami languages
Sami or Saami is a general name for a group of Uralic languages spoken by the Sami people in parts of northern Finland, Norway, Sweden and extreme northwestern Russia, in Northern Europe. Sami is frequently and erroneously believed to be a single language. Several names are used for the Sami...

 are indigenous minority languages in Scandinavia. They belong to their own
Sami languages
Sami or Saami is a general name for a group of Uralic languages spoken by the Sami people in parts of northern Finland, Norway, Sweden and extreme northwestern Russia, in Northern Europe. Sami is frequently and erroneously believed to be a single language. Several names are used for the Sami...

 branch of the Uralic language family
Uralic languages
The Uralic languages constitute a language family of some three dozen languages spoken by approximately 25 million people. The healthiest Uralic languages in terms of the number of native speakers are Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian, Mari and Udmurt...

 and are unrelated to the North Germanic languages other than by limited grammatical (particularly lexical) characteristics resulting from prolonged contact. Sami is divided into several languages or dialects Consonant gradation is a feature in both Finnish and northern Sami dialects, but it is not present in south Sami, which is considered to have a different language history. According to the Sami Information Centre of the Sami Parliament in Sweden
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....

, southern Sami may have originated in an earlier migration from the south into the Scandinavian peninsula.

Finland and Scandinavia


Finland is officially bilingual, with Finnish and Swedish having mostly the same status at national level. Native Swedish speakers constitute a small, but rather influential, minority. Children are taught the other official language at school; for Swedish-speakers, this is Finnish (usually from the 3rd grade), and for Finnish-speakers, Swedish (usually from the 3rd, 5th or 7th grade).

Finnish speakers constitute a language minority
European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages is a European treaty adopted in 1992 under the auspices of the Council of Europe to protect and promote historical regional and minority languages in Europe...

 in Sweden, Norway and Russian Federation. There are also Finnic
Finnic languages
The term Finnic languages often means the Baltic-Finnic languages, an undisputed branch of the Uralic languages. However, it is also commonly used to mean the Finno-Permic languages, a hypothetical intermediate branch that includes Baltic Finnic, or the more disputed Finno-Volgaic languages....

 languages different from standard Finnish, known as Meänkieli
Meänkieli
Meänkieli is the name used in Sweden for Finnish dialects spoken in the northernmost parts of the country, around the valley of the Torne River....

 in Sweden and Kven
Kven language
The Kven language is a Finnic language spoken in Northern Norway by the Kven people. For political and historical reasons it received the status of a minority language in 2005 within the framework of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 in Norway.

History




During a period of Christianization
Christianization
The historical phenomenon of Christianization is the conversion of individuals to Christianity or the conversion of entire peoples at once...

 and state formation in the 10th-13th centuries, numerous Germanic
Germanic
Germanic may refer to* The Germanic languages, descended from Proto-Germanic.* The Germanic peoples**List of Germanic peoples**List of confederations of Germanic tribes* German people* Germanic mythology...

 petty kingdoms and chiefdoms were unified into three kingdoms:
  • Denmark, forged from the Lands of Denmark
    Lands of Denmark
    The three lands of Denmark historically formed the Danish kingdom from its unification and consolidation in the 9th century:*Zealand and the islands south of it, with Roskilde as a centre...

     (including Jutland
    Jutland
    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...

    , Zealand and Scania (Skåneland)
    Skåneland
    Skåneland or Skånelandene are terms used in historical contexts in Scandinavia to describe the area on the southern and south-western part of the Scandinavian peninsula, which under the Treaty of Roskilde was transferred from Denmark to Sweden. It corresponds to the provinces of Blekinge,...

     on the Scandinavian Peninsula. The island Gotland
    Gotland
    Gotland is a county, province, municipality and diocese of Sweden; it is Sweden's largest island and the largest island in the Baltic Sea. At 3,140 square kilometers in area, the region makes up less than one percent of Sweden's total land area...

     in modern-day Sweden was initially also part of the Danish realm.)
  • Sweden, forged from the Lands of Sweden
    Lands of Sweden
    The lands of Sweden are three traditional parts, essentially three collectives of provinces, in Sweden. These "lands" have no administrative function, and there is no official designation for this subdivision level...

     on the Scandinavian Peninsula (excluding the provinces Bohuslän
    Bohuslän
    ' is a Swedish traditional province, or landskap, situated in Götaland on the northernmost part of the country's west coast. It is bordered by Dalsland to the northeast, Västergötland to the southeast, the Skagerrak arm of the North Sea to the west, and the county of Østfold in Norway to the north...

    , Härjedalen
    Härjedalen
    ' is a historical province or landskap in the centre of Sweden. It borders the country of Norway as well as the provinces of Dalarna, Hälsingland, Medelpad, and Jämtland...

    , Jämtland
    Jämtland
    Jämtland or Jamtland is a historical province or landskap in the center of Sweden in northern Europe. It borders to Härjedalen and Medelpad in the south, Ångermanland in the east, Lapland in the north and Trøndelag and Norway in the west...

     and Idre & Särna
    Älvdalen Municipality
    Älvdalen Municipality is a municipality in Dalarna County in central Sweden. Its seat is located in the town of Älvdalen....

    , Halland
    Halland
    ' is one of the traditional provinces of Sweden , on the western coast of Sweden. It borders Västergötland, Småland, Scania and the sea of Kattegat.-Administration:...

    , Blekinge
    Blekinge
    ' is one of the traditional provinces of Sweden , situated in the south of the country. It borders Småland, Scania and the Baltic Sea.The name "Blekinge" comes from the adjective bleke, which corresponds to the nautical term for "dead calm"....

     and Scania
    Scania
    Scania is the southernmost of the 25 traditional non-administrative provinces of Sweden, constituting a peninsula on the southern tip of the Scandinavian peninsula, and some adjacent islands. The modern administrative subdivision Skåne County is almost, but not totally, congruent with the...

     of modern-day Sweden)
  • Norway (including Bohuslän
    Bohuslän
    ' is a Swedish traditional province, or landskap, situated in Götaland on the northernmost part of the country's west coast. It is bordered by Dalsland to the northeast, Västergötland to the southeast, the Skagerrak arm of the North Sea to the west, and the county of Østfold in Norway to the north...

    , Härjedalen
    Härjedalen
    ' is a historical province or landskap in the centre of Sweden. It borders the country of Norway as well as the provinces of Dalarna, Hälsingland, Medelpad, and Jämtland...

    , Jämtland
    Jämtland
    Jämtland or Jamtland is a historical province or landskap in the center of Sweden in northern Europe. It borders to Härjedalen and Medelpad in the south, Ångermanland in the east, Lapland in the north and Trøndelag and Norway in the west...

     and Idre & Särna
    Älvdalen Municipality
    Älvdalen Municipality is a municipality in Dalarna County in central Sweden. Its seat is located in the town of Älvdalen....

     on the Scandinavian Peninsula, and its island colonies Iceland
    Iceland
    Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

    , Greenland
    Greenland
    Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

    , Faroe Islands
    Faroe Islands
    The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

    , Shetland, Orkney, Isle of Man
    Isle of Man
    The Isle of Man , otherwise known simply as Mann , is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is...

     and the Hebrides
    Hebrides
    The Hebrides comprise a widespread and diverse archipelago off the west coast of Scotland. There are two main groups: the Inner and Outer Hebrides. These islands have a long history of occupation dating back to the Mesolithic and the culture of the residents has been affected by the successive...

    .)


In the 1645 Treaty of Brömsebro, Denmark–Norway
Denmark–Norway
Denmark–Norway is the historiographical name for a former political entity consisting of the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway, including the originally Norwegian dependencies of Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands...

 ceded the Norwegian provinces of Jämtland, Härjedalen and Idre & Särna, as well as the Baltic Sea islands of Gotland and Ösel
Saaremaa
Saaremaa is the largest island in Estonia, measuring 2,673 km². The main island of Saare County, it is located in the Baltic Sea, south of Hiiumaa island, and belongs to the West Estonian Archipelago...

 (in Estonia) to Sweden. The Treaty of Roskilde
Treaty of Roskilde
The Treaty of Roskilde was concluded on 26 February or 8 March 1658 during the Second Northern War between Frederick III of Denmark–Norway and Charles X Gustav of Sweden in the Danish city of Roskilde...

, signed in 1658, forced Denmark–Norway to cede the Danish provinces Scania, Blekinge, Halland, Bornholm
Bornholm
Bornholm is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea located to the east of the rest of Denmark, the south of Sweden, and the north of Poland. The main industries on the island include fishing, arts and crafts like glass making and pottery using locally worked clay, and dairy farming. Tourism is...

 and the Norwegian provinces of Båhuslen
Bohuslän
' is a Swedish traditional province, or landskap, situated in Götaland on the northernmost part of the country's west coast. It is bordered by Dalsland to the northeast, Västergötland to the southeast, the Skagerrak arm of the North Sea to the west, and the county of Østfold in Norway to the north...

 and Trøndelag
Trøndelag
Trøndelag is the name of a geographical region in the central part of Norway, consisting of the two counties Nord-Trøndelag and Sør-Trøndelag. The region is, together with Møre og Romsdal, part of a larger...

 to Sweden. The 1660 Treaty of Copenhagen forced Sweden to return Bornholm and Trøndelag to Denmark–Norway, and to give up its recent claims to the island Funen
Funen
Funen , with a size of 2,984 km² , is the third-largest island of Denmark following Zealand and Vendsyssel-Thy, and the 163rd largest island of the world. Funen is located in the central part of the country and has a population of 454,358 inhabitants . The main city is Odense, connected to the...

.

Scandinavian unions



The three Scandinavian kingdoms were united in 1397 in 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...

 by Queen Margaret I of Denmark
Margaret I of Denmark
Margaret I was Queen of Denmark, Norway and Sweden and founder of the Kalmar Union, which united the Scandinavian countries for over a century. Although she acted as queen regnant, the laws of contemporary Danish succession denied her formal queenship. Her title in Denmark was derived from her...

. Sweden left the union in 1523 under King Gustav Vasa. In the aftermath of Sweden's secession from the Kalmar Union, civil war
Civil war
A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state or republic, or, less commonly, between two countries created from a formerly-united nation state....

 broke out in Denmark and Norway. 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...

 followed. When things had settled, the Norwegian Privy Council
Privy council
A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the monarch's closest advisors to give confidential advice on...

 was abolished—it assembled for the last time in 1537. A personal union
Personal union
A personal union is the combination by which two or more different states have the same monarch while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct. It should not be confused with a federation which is internationally considered a single state...

, entered into by the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway in 1536, lasted until 1814. Three sovereign successor states
Successor States
In the fictional BattleTech universe, the Successor States are the major military powers of the Inner Sphere, each governed by one of the Great Houses...

 have subsequently emerged from this unequal union: Denmark, Norway and Iceland.

Denmark–Norway
Denmark–Norway
Denmark–Norway is the historiographical name for a former political entity consisting of the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway, including the originally Norwegian dependencies of Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands...

 is the historiographical name for the former political union consisting of the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway, including the Norwegian dependencies of Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

, Greenland
Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

 and the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

. The corresponding adjective and demonym
Demonym
A demonym , also referred to as a gentilic, is a name for a resident of a locality. A demonym is usually – though not always – derived from the name of the locality; thus, the demonym for the people of England is English, and the demonym for the people of Italy is Italian, yet, in english, the one...

 is Dano-Norwegian
Dano-Norwegian (disambiguation)
The adjective and derived noun Dano-Norwegian means "Danish and Norwegian". It can have two related meanings:# It can refer to the former union between Denmark and Norway or its people; or by extension to anything relating to both of its two titular composite countries, Denmark and Norway # It...

. During Danish rule, Norway kept its separate laws, coinage and army, as well as some institutions such as a royal chancellor
Chancellor
Chancellor is the title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the Cancellarii of Roman courts of justice—ushers who sat at the cancelli or lattice work screens of a basilica or law court, which separated the judge and counsel from the...

. Norway's old royal line had died out with the death of Olav IV, but Norway's remaining a hereditary kingdom
Hereditary Kingdom of Norway
The Kingdom of Norway as a unified realm was initiated by King Harald Fairhair in 9th century. His efforts in unifying the petty kingdoms of Norway, resulted in the first known Norwegian central government...

 was an important factor to the Oldenburg
Oldenburg
Oldenburg is an independent city in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated in the western part of the state between the cities of Bremen and Groningen, Netherlands, at the Hunte river. It has a population of 160,279 which makes it the fourth biggest city in Lower Saxony after Hanover, Braunschweig...

 dynasty of Denmark–Norway in its struggles to win elections as kings of Denmark.

The Dano-Norwegian union was formally dissolved at the 1814 Treaty of Kiel
Treaty of Kiel
The Treaty of Kiel or Peace of Kiel was concluded between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Kingdom of Sweden on one side and the Kingdoms of Denmark and Norway on the other side on 14 January 1814 in Kiel...

. The territory of Norway proper was ceded to the King of Sweden, but Norway's overseas possessions were kept by Denmark. However, widespread Norwegian resistance to the prospect of a union with Sweden induced the governor of Norway, crown prince Christian Frederick (later Christian VIII of Denmark
Christian VIII of Denmark
Christian VIII , was king of Denmark from 1839 to 1848 and, as Christian Frederick, king of Norway in 1814. He was the eldest son of Hereditary Prince Frederick of Denmark and Norway and Sophia Frederica of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, born in 1786 at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen...

), to call a constituent assembly at Eidsvoll
Eidsvoll
is a municipality in Akershus county, Norway. It is part of the Romerike traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Sundet.-Name:...

 in April 1814. The assembly drew up a liberal constitution and elected him to the throne of Norway. Following a Swedish invasion during the summer, the peace conditions specified that king Christian Frederik had to resign, but Norway was to keep its independence and its constitution within a personal union with Sweden. Christian Frederik formally abdicated on August 10, 1814 and returned to Denmark. The parliament Storting elected king Charles XIII of Sweden as king of Norway on November 4.

The union between Sweden and Norway
Union between Sweden and Norway
The Union between Sweden and Norway , officially the United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway, consisted of present-day Sweden and Norway between 1814 and 1905, when they were united under one monarch in a personal union....

 was dissolved in 1905, after which Prince Charles of Denmark was elected king of Norway under the name of Haakon VII
Haakon VII
Haakon VII may refer to:People* Haakon VII of Norway , King of Norway Ships* HNoMS King Haakon VII, a Royal Norwegian Navy escort ship in commission from 1942 to 1951...

.

Political Scandinavism



The modern use of the term Scandinavia has been influenced by Scandinavism
Scandinavism
Scandinavism and Nordism are literary and political movements that support various degrees of cooperation between the Scandinavian or Nordic countries...

 (the Scandinavist political movement), which was active in the middle of the nineteenth century, mainly between the First war of Schleswig
First War of Schleswig
The First Schleswig War or Three Years' War was the first round of military conflict in southern Denmark and northern Germany rooted in the Schleswig-Holstein Question, contesting the issue of who should control the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. The war, which lasted from 1848–1851,...

 (1848–1850), in which Sweden and Norway contributed with considerable military force, and the Second war of Schleswig
Second War of Schleswig
The Second Schleswig War was the second military conflict as a result of the Schleswig-Holstein Question. It began on 1 February 1864, when Prussian forces crossed the border into Schleswig.Denmark fought Prussia and Austria...

 (1864). In 1864, the Swedish parliament denounced the promises of military support made to Denmark by 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....

. The members of the Swedish parliament were wary of joining an alliance against the rising German power.

The Swedish king also proposed a unification of Denmark, Norway and Sweden into a single united kingdom. The background for the proposal was the tumultuous events during the Napoleonic wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 in the beginning of the century. This war resulted in Finland (formerly the eastern third of Sweden) becoming the Russian Grand Duchy of Finland
Grand Duchy of Finland
The Grand Duchy of Finland was the predecessor state of modern Finland. It existed 1809–1917 as part of the Russian Empire and was ruled by the Russian czar as Grand Prince.- History :...

 in 1809 and Norway
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...

 (de jure in union with Denmark since 1387, although de facto treated as a province) becoming independent in 1814, but thereafter swiftly forced to accept a personal union
Personal union
A personal union is the combination by which two or more different states have the same monarch while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct. It should not be confused with a federation which is internationally considered a single state...

 with Sweden. The dependent territories Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

, the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

 and Greenland
Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

, historically part of Norway, remained with Denmark in accordance with the Treaty of Kiel
Treaty of Kiel
The Treaty of Kiel or Peace of Kiel was concluded between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Kingdom of Sweden on one side and the Kingdoms of Denmark and Norway on the other side on 14 January 1814 in Kiel...

. Sweden and Norway were thus united under the Swedish monarch, but Finland's inclusion in the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 excluded any possibility for a political union between Finland and any of the other Nordic countries.

The end of the Scandinavian political movement came when Denmark was denied the military support promised from Sweden and Norway to annex the (Danish) Duchy
Duchy
A duchy is a territory, fief, or domain ruled by a duke or duchess.Some duchies were sovereign in areas that would become unified realms only during the Modern era . In contrast, others were subordinate districts of those kingdoms that unified either partially or completely during the Medieval era...

 of Schleswig
Schleswig
Schleswig or South Jutland is a region covering the area about 60 km north and 70 km south of the border between Germany and Denmark; the territory has been divided between the two countries since 1920, with Northern Schleswig in Denmark and Southern Schleswig in Germany...

, which together with the (German) Duchy of Holstein
Holstein
Holstein is the region between the rivers Elbe and Eider. It is part of Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost state of Germany....

 had been in personal union
Personal union
A personal union is the combination by which two or more different states have the same monarch while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct. It should not be confused with a federation which is internationally considered a single state...

 with Denmark. The Second war of Schleswig followed in 1864, a brief but disastrous war between Denmark and Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

 (supported by Austria). Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost of the sixteen states of Germany, comprising most of the historical duchy of Holstein and the southern part of the former Duchy of Schleswig...

 was conquered by Prussia, and after Prussia's success in the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

 a Prussian-led German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 was created, and a new power-balance of the Baltic sea countries was established.

Even if a Scandinavian political union never came about at this point, there was a Scandinavian Monetary Union
Scandinavian Monetary Union
The Scandinavian Monetary Union was a monetary union formed by Sweden and Denmark on May 5, 1873, by fixing their currencies against gold at par to each other...

 established in 1873, lasting until World War I.

Historical political structure

Century Scandinavia and the Nordic Countries
21st Denmark
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...

 (EU)
Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

Faroes Greenland
Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

Norway
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...

Sweden
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....

 (EU)
Åland (EU) Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 (EU)
20th Denmark
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...

Sweden
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....

Åland Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

19th Denmark
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...

Union between Sweden and Norway
Union between Sweden and Norway
The Union between Sweden and Norway , officially the United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway, consisted of present-day Sweden and Norway between 1814 and 1905, when they were united under one monarch in a personal union....

Grand Duchy of Finland
Grand Duchy of Finland
The Grand Duchy of Finland was the predecessor state of modern Finland. It existed 1809–1917 as part of the Russian Empire and was ruled by the Russian czar as Grand Prince.- History :...

18th Denmark–Norway
Denmark–Norway
Denmark–Norway is the historiographical name for a former political entity consisting of the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway, including the originally Norwegian dependencies of Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands...

Sweden
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....

17th
16th
15th 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...

14th Denmark
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
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...

Sweden
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....

13th
12th Icelandic Commonwealth
Icelandic Commonwealth
The Icelandic Commonwealth, Icelandic Free State, or Republic of Iceland was the state existing in Iceland between the establishment of the Althing in 930 and the pledge of fealty to the Norwegian king in 1262...

Norway
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...

Peoples Danes Icelanders
Icelanders
Icelanders are a Scandinavian ethnic group and a nation, native to Iceland.On 17 June 1944, when an Icelandic republic was founded the Icelanders became independent from the Danish monarchy. The language spoken is Icelandic, a North Germanic language, and Lutheranism is the predominant religion...

¹
Faroese
Faroese people
The Faroese or Faroe Islanders are a Germanic ethnic group native to the Faeroe Islands. The Faroese are of mixed Norse and Gaelic origins.About 21,000 Faroese live in neighbouring countries, particularly in Denmark, Iceland and Norway....

¹
Greenlanders
Kalaallit
Kalaallit is the contemporary term in the Kalaallisut language for the indigenous people living in Greenland, also called the Kalaallit Nunaat. The singular term is kalaaleq. The Kalaallit are a part of the Arctic Inuit people. The language spoken by Inuit in Greenland is Kalaallisut.Historically,...

Norwegians
Norwegians
Norwegians constitute both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway. They share a common culture and speak the Norwegian language. Norwegian people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in United States, Canada and Brazil.-History:Towards the end of the 3rd...

Swedes Swedes Finns
Minorities Germans Norwegians/Danes Sami
Sami people
The Sami people, also spelled Sámi, or Saami, are the arctic indigenous people inhabiting Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of far northern Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, and the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway. The Sámi are Europe’s northernmost...

Finns/Sami
Sami people
The Sami people, also spelled Sámi, or Saami, are the arctic indigenous people inhabiting Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of far northern Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, and the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway. The Sámi are Europe’s northernmost...


/Jamts
Jämtland
Jämtland or Jamtland is a historical province or landskap in the center of Sweden in northern Europe. It borders to Härjedalen and Medelpad in the south, Ångermanland in the east, Lapland in the north and Trøndelag and Norway in the west...

²
Finns Swedes/Sami
Sami people
The Sami people, also spelled Sámi, or Saami, are the arctic indigenous people inhabiting Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of far northern Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, and the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway. The Sámi are Europe’s northernmost...


  • 1: The original settlers of the Faroes and Iceland
    Iceland
    Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

     were of Nordic (mainly Norwegian) origin, with a considerable element of Celts or Pictish
    Picts
    The Picts were a group of Late Iron Age and Early Mediaeval people living in what is now eastern and northern Scotland. There is an association with the distribution of brochs, place names beginning 'Pit-', for instance Pitlochry, and Pictish stones. They are recorded from before the Roman conquest...

     origin (from Ireland
    Ireland
    Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

     and Scotland
    Scotland
    Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

    ).
  • 2: The settlers of Jämtland
    Jämtland
    Jämtland or Jamtland is a historical province or landskap in the center of Sweden in northern Europe. It borders to Härjedalen and Medelpad in the south, Ångermanland in the east, Lapland in the north and Trøndelag and Norway in the west...

     are of Norwegian—more specifically Trøndish
    Trøndelag
    Trøndelag is the name of a geographical region in the central part of Norway, consisting of the two counties Nord-Trøndelag and Sør-Trøndelag. The region is, together with Møre og Romsdal, part of a larger...

    —origin and their ancestors founded their own state similar to the Icelandic one governed by the Jamtamót
    Jamtamót
    Jamtamót was the old assembly of Jämtland. Unlike other Scandinavian things, it is referred to as a mót, not þing, both meaning 'assembly'. Instead, the word mót is found in e.g...

     assembly of free men.


See also

  • Baltic region
    Baltic region
    The terms Baltic region, Baltic Rim countries, and Baltic Rim refer to slightly different combinations of countries in the general area surrounding the Baltic Sea.- Etymology :...

  • Baltoscandia
  • Nordic Council
    Nordic Council
    The Nordic Council is a geo-political, inter-parliamentary forum for co-operation between the Nordic countries. It was established following World War II and its first concrete result was the introduction in 1952 of a common labour market and free movement across borders without passports for the...

  • Nordic countries
    Nordic countries
    The Nordic countries make up a region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic which consists of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and their associated territories, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland...

  • Nordic Cross Flag
    Nordic Cross Flag
    The Nordic Cross Flag, Nordic Cross, or Scandinavian Cross is a pattern of flags usually associated with the flags of the Scandinavian countries of which it originated. All of the Nordic countries except Greenland have adopted such flags...

  • Northern Europe
    Northern Europe
    Northern Europe is the northern part or region of Europe. Northern Europe typically refers to the seven countries in the northern part of the European subcontinent which includes Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland and Sweden...

  • Scandinavian British
  • Scandinavian colonialism
    Scandinavian colonialism
    Scandinavian colonialism is a subdivision within broader colonial studies that discusses the role of Scandinavian nations in achieving economic benefits from outside of their own cultural sphere. The field ranges from studying the Sami in relation to the Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish states, to...

  • Scandinavian family name etymology
    Scandinavian family name etymology
    Heritable family names were generally adopted rather late within Scandinavia. Nobility were the first to take names that would be passed on from one generation to the next. Later, clergy, artisans and merchants in cities took heritable names...

  • Scandinavian Peninsula
    Scandinavian Peninsula
    The Scandinavian Peninsula is a peninsula in Northern Europe, which today covers Norway, Sweden, and most of northern Finland. Prior to the 17th and 18th centuries, large parts of the southern peninsula—including the core region of Scania from which the peninsula takes its name—were part of...

  • Scandza
    Scandza
    Scandza was the name given to Scandinavia by the Roman historian Jordanes in his work Getica, written while in Constantinople around AD 551. He described the area to set the stage for his treatment of the Goths' migration from southern Sweden to Gothiscandza...

  • Thule
    Thule
    Thule Greek: Θούλη, Thoulē), also spelled Thula, Thila, or Thyïlea, is, in classical European literature and maps, a region in the far north. Though often considered to be an island in antiquity, modern interpretations of what was meant by Thule often identify it as Norway. Other interpretations...


External links