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Sweden, History

Swedish Vikings, Swedish king, Scandinavian Peninsula, Germanic peoples, Goths

During Roman times the eastern half of the Scandinavian Peninsula was inhabited by two tribes of the Germanic peoples: the Suiones, or Swedes, in northern Svealand; and the Gothones, or Goths, in southern Gothia. These tribes, although united in religious beliefs, were generally at war with each other. Before the 10th century, details of Swedish history are obscure. In the first half of the 9th century Frankish missionaries began teaching Christianity, which slowly became established in the country. Olaf Skotkonung was the first Swedish king to become a Christian. From about ad 800, Swedish Vikings established colonies in other countries, especially Russia and Eastern Europe, and established trade routes. During the reign of Eric IX, from 1150 to 1160, Swedish power was strengthened. Eric invaded Finland and forced Christianity on those he conquered; during the subsequent two centuries Finland was completely subjugated by the Swedes. Eric was allegedly slain by a Danish claimant to his throne while he was attending mass, and he later became the patron saint of Sweden.

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Article key phrases:

Swedish Vikings, Swedish king, Scandinavian Peninsula, Germanic peoples, Goths, Swedes, colonies, tribes, Roman times, throne, Christianity, religious beliefs, Eastern Europe, mass, Russia, war, countries, country


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