Sweden is part of the geographical area of
climate is in general mild for its northerly latitude due to significant maritime influence. In spite of the high latitude, Sweden often has warm continental summers, being located in between the North Atlantic, the
Baltic Sea, and vast Russia. The general climate and environment vary significantly from the south and north due to the vast latitudinal difference, and much of Sweden has reliably cold and snowy winters.
Southern Sweden is predominantly
the north is heavily forested and includes a portion of the
Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since
prehistoric times, emerging into history as the
Geats (Swedish: Götar) and
Swedes (Svear) and constituting the sea peoples known as the
Norsemen. An independent Swedish state emerged during the early 12th century. After the
Black Death in the middle of the 14th century killed about a third of the
Scandinavian population, the dominance of the
Hanseatic League in Northern Europe threatened Scandinavia economically and politically. This led to the forming of the Scandinavian
Kalmar Union in 1397, which Sweden left in 1523. When Sweden became involved in the
Thirty Years' War on the Protestant side, an expansion of its territories began and eventually the
Swedish Empire was formed. This became one of the
great powers of Europe until the early 18th century. Swedish territories outside the
Scandinavian Peninsula were gradually lost during the 18th and 19th centuries, ending with the annexation of present-day Finland by
Russia in 1809. The last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814 when Norway was militarily forced into a
personal union, which
peacefully dissolved in 1905. In 2014, Sweden celebrated 200 years of peace, breaking even
Switzerland's record for peace. Sweden maintained an official policy of
neutrality during wartime and non-participation in military alliances during peacetime, although Sweden secretly relied on U.S. nuclear submarines during the cold war. Sweden has since 2008 joined
EU battlegroups, provided intelligence to
NATO and since 2009 openly moved towards cooperation with NATO. In 2022 Sweden applied for NATO membership and was formally invited to join the alliance at the NATO Summit in Madrid. (Full article...)
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1907 drawing of the fragment
The Lokrume helmet fragment is a decorated eyebrow piece from a Swedish helmet dating from the
Viking Age. Discovered in
Lokrume, a small settlement on the island of
Gotland, it was first published in 1907 and is in the collection of the
Gotland Museum. It is made of iron, the surface of which is decorated with silver and
niello that forms an interlaced pattern.
Regions where Swedish is an official language spoken by the majority of the population (Sweden, Åland Islands, Western Finland) Regions where Swedish is an official language spoken by a minority of the population (Finland)
On these runestones the word Grikkland ("
Greece") appears in three inscriptions, the word Grikk(j)ar ("
Greeks") appears in 25 inscriptions, two stones refer to men as grikkfari ("traveller to Greece") and one stone refers to Grikkhafnir ("Greek harbours"). Among other runestones which refer to expeditions abroad, the only groups which are comparable in number are the so-called "
England runestones" that mention expeditions to England and the 26
Ingvar runestones that refer to a Viking expedition to the Middle East. (Full article...)