Jordan (Bishop of Poland)
Jordan was the first Bishop of Poland from 968 with his seat, most in Poznań. He was an German. Most evidence shows, he arrived in territory of future Poland from Italy or the Rhineland, in 966 with Doubravka of Bohemia to baptise Mieszko I of Poland. After the death of Jordan until 992 the throne was vacant, his successor, from 992, was Unger. On the basis of his name can only conclude that he came from one of the countries Romance. Jan Dlugosz considered him a Roman of the family Orsini, provides no historical support for this. A certain popularity in the literature enjoys ejected by Wladyslaw Abraham hypothesis about the origin of the Diocese in Lorraine. Another hypothesis assumes that could be Italian with the Patriarchate of Aquileia, which included its jurisdiction over the Slav peoples in the north-western Balkans. Regardless of nationality, it is he had a relationship with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Regensburg, which were subject to the Czech Republic. Belonged to the Benedictine order, though sources anywhere do not explicitly state this.
A reconstruction activities Jordan is based on guesswork. Some historians believe he was a priest accompanying Dobrawie, in 966 to Mieszko I, or that he was an auxiliary bishop of the diocese of Regensburg, which were subject to the Czech Republic, or a monk sent to the Polish mission directly by the emperor. Polish and Czech yearbooks serve as the year 968 as the date of his ordination, some historians believe, that it should be moved about a year or two back, esp. Thietmar that seems to link him directly with the baptism of lives. If we accept a transfer from Magdeburg, in December 968 Jordan was present at the enthronement of the first metropolitan Adalbert of Magdeburg; some have questioned if his base was Poznan at all suggesting Gniezno, or that he did not have a permanent establishment only traveled with the duke's court after the country. About his work as a Polish bishop, we have only a general relationship of Thietmar of Merseburg of his "tireless efforts-induced them in word and deed to the cultivation of the Lord's vineyard."
Jordan died approx. 982-984. His immediate successor was Unger though there may have been an unnamed bishop). Thompson, James Westfall. Feudal Germany, Volume II. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. 1928. Wielkopolski Słownik Biograficzny. Warszawa-Poznań, 1983. ISBN 83-01-02722-3
Bohemia is the westernmost and largest historical region of the Czech lands in the present-day Czech Republic. In a broader meaning, Bohemia sometimes refers to the entire Czech territory, including Moravia and Czech Silesia in a historical context, such as the Lands of the Bohemian Crown ruled by Bohemian kings. Bohemia was a duchy of Great Moravia an independent principality, a kingdom in the Holy Roman Empire, subsequently a part of the Habsburg Monarchy and the Austrian Empire. After World War I and the establishment of an independent Czechoslovak state, Bohemia became a part of Czechoslovakia. Between 1938 and 1945, border regions with sizeable German-speaking minorities of all three Czech lands were joined to Nazi Germany as the Sudetenland; the remainder of Czech territory became the Second Czechoslovak Republic and was subsequently occupied as the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, In 1969, the Czech lands were given autonomy within Czechoslovakia as the Czech Socialist Republic. In 1990, the name was changed to the Czech Republic, which became a separate state in 1993 with the split of Czechoslovakia.
Until 1948, Bohemia was an administrative unit of Czechoslovakia as one of its "lands". Since administrative reforms have replaced self-governing lands with a modified system of "regions" which do not follow the borders of the historical Czech lands. However, the three lands are mentioned in the preamble of the Constitution of the Czech Republic: "We, citizens of the Czech Republic in Bohemia and Silesia…"Bohemia had an area of 52,065 km2 and today is home to 6.5 million of the Czech Republic's 10.5 million inhabitants. Bohemia was bordered in the south by Upper and Lower Austria, in the west by Bavaria and in the north by Saxony and Lusatia, in the northeast by Silesia, in the east by Moravia. Bohemia's borders were marked by mountain ranges such as the Bohemian Forest, the Ore Mountains, the Krkonoše, a part of the Sudetes range. In the 2nd century BC, the Romans were competing for dominance in northern Italy with various peoples including the Gauls-Celtic tribe Boii; the Romans defeated the Boii at the Battle of Mutina.
After this, many of the Boii retreated north across the Alps. Much Roman authors refer to the area they had once occupied as Boiohaemum; the earliest mention was by Tacitus' Germania 28, mentions of the same name are in Strabo and Velleius Paterculus. The name appears to include the tribal name Boi- plus the Germanic element *haimaz "home"; this Boiohaemum was isolated to the area where King Marobod's kingdom was centred, within the Hercynian forest. Emperor Constantine VII in 10th century De Administrando Imperio mentioned the region as Boïki; the Czech name "Čechy" is derived from the name of the Slavic ethnic group, the Czechs, who settled in the area during the 6th or 7th century AD. Bohemia, like neighbouring Bavaria, is named after the Boii, who were a large Celtic nation known to the Romans for their migrations and settlement in northern Italy and other places. Another part of the nation moved west with the Helvetii into southern France, one of the events leading to the interventions of Julius Caesar's Gaulish campaign of 58 BC.
The emigration of the Helvetii and Boii left southern Germany and Bohemia a inhabited "desert" into which Suebic peoples arrived, speaking Germanic languages, became dominant over remaining Celtic groups. To the south, over the Danube, the Romans extended their empire, to the southeast in present-day Hungary, were Dacian peoples. In the area of modern Bohemia the Marcomanni and other Suebic groups were led by their king Marobodus, after suffering defeat to Roman forces in Germany, he took advantage of the natural defenses provided by its forests. They were able to maintain a strong alliance with neighbouring tribes including the Lugii, Hermunduri and Buri, sometimes controlled by the Roman Empire, sometimes in conflict with it, for example in the second century when they fought Marcus Aurelius. In late classical times and the early Middle Ages, two new Suebic groupings appeared to the west of Bohemia in southern Germany, the Alemanni, the Bavarians. Many Suebic tribes from the Bohemian region took part in such movements westwards settling as far away as Spain and Portugal.
With them were tribes who had pushed from the east, such as the Vandals, Alans. Other groups pushed southwards towards Pannonia; the last known mention of the kingdom of the Marcomanni, concerning a queen named Fritigil is in the 4th century, she was thought to have lived in or near Pannonia. The Suebian Langobardi, who moved over many generations from the Baltic Sea, via the Elbe and Pannonia to Italy, recorded in a tribal history a time spent in "Bainaib". After this migration period, Bohemia was repopulated around the 6th century, Slavic tribes arrived from the east, their language began to replace the older Germanic and Sarmatian ones; these are precursors of today's Czechs, though the exact amount of Slavic immigration is a subject of debate. The Slavic influx was divided into three waves; the first wave came from the
Norway the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe whose territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the kingdom. Norway lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land. Norway has a total area of 385,207 square kilometres and a population of 5,312,300; the country shares a long eastern border with Sweden. Norway is bordered by Finland and Russia to the north-east, the Skagerrak strait to the south, with Denmark on the other side. Norway has an extensive coastline, facing the Barents Sea. Harald V of the House of Glücksburg is the current King of Norway. Erna Solberg has been prime minister since 2013. A unitary sovereign state with a constitutional monarchy, Norway divides state power between the parliament, the cabinet and the supreme court, as determined by the 1814 constitution; the kingdom was established in 872 as a merger of a large number of petty kingdoms and has existed continuously for 1,147 years.
From 1537 to 1814, Norway was a part of the Kingdom of Denmark-Norway, from 1814 to 1905, it was in a personal union with the Kingdom of Sweden. Norway was neutral during the First World War. Norway remained neutral until April 1940 when the country was invaded and occupied by Germany until the end of Second World War. Norway has both administrative and political subdivisions on two levels: counties and municipalities; the Sámi people have a certain amount of self-determination and influence over traditional territories through the Sámi Parliament and the Finnmark Act. Norway maintains close ties with both the United States. Norway is a founding member of the United Nations, NATO, the European Free Trade Association, the Council of Europe, the Antarctic Treaty, the Nordic Council. Norway maintains the Nordic welfare model with universal health care and a comprehensive social security system, its values are rooted in egalitarian ideals; the Norwegian state has large ownership positions in key industrial sectors, having extensive reserves of petroleum, natural gas, lumber and fresh water.
The petroleum industry accounts for around a quarter of the country's gross domestic product. On a per-capita basis, Norway is the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas outside of the Middle East; the country has the fourth-highest per capita income in the world on the World IMF lists. On the CIA's GDP per capita list which includes autonomous territories and regions, Norway ranks as number eleven, it has the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, with a value of US$1 trillion. Norway has had the highest Human Development Index ranking in the world since 2009, a position held between 2001 and 2006, it had the highest inequality-adjusted ranking until 2018 when Iceland moved to the top of the list. Norway ranked first on the World Happiness Report for 2017 and ranks first on the OECD Better Life Index, the Index of Public Integrity, the Democracy Index. Norway has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Norway has two official names: Norge in Noreg in Nynorsk; the English name Norway comes from the Old English word Norþweg mentioned in 880, meaning "northern way" or "way leading to the north", how the Anglo-Saxons referred to the coastline of Atlantic Norway similar to scientific consensus about the origin of the Norwegian language name.
The Anglo-Saxons of Britain referred to the kingdom of Norway in 880 as Norðmanna land. There is some disagreement about whether the native name of Norway had the same etymology as the English form. According to the traditional dominant view, the first component was norðr, a cognate of English north, so the full name was Norðr vegr, "the way northwards", referring to the sailing route along the Norwegian coast, contrasting with suðrvegar "southern way" for, austrvegr "eastern way" for the Baltic. In the translation of Orosius for Alfred, the name is Norðweg, while in younger Old English sources the ð is gone. In the 10th century many Norsemen settled in Northern France, according to the sagas, in the area, called Normandy from norðmann, although not a Norwegian possession. In France normanni or northmanni referred to people of Sweden or Denmark; until around 1800 inhabitants of Western Norway where referred to as nordmenn while inhabitants of Eastern Norway where referred to as austmenn. According to another theory, the first component was a word nór, meaning "narrow" or "northern", referring to the inner-archipelago sailing route through the land.
The interpretation as "northern", as reflected in the English and Latin forms of the name, would have been due to folk etymology. This latter view originated with philologist Niels Halvorsen Trønnes in 1847; the form Nore is still used in placenames such as the village of Nore and lake Norefjorden in Buskerud county, still has the same meaning. Among other arguments in favour of the theor
Poznań is a city on the Warta River in west-central Poland, in the Greater Poland region and is the fifth-largest city in Poland. It is best known for its renaissance Old Ostrów Tumski Cathedral. Today, Poznań is an important cultural and business centre and one of Poland's most populous regions with many regional customs such as Saint John's Fair, traditional Saint Martin's croissants and a local dialect. Poznań is among the largest cities in Poland; the city's population is 538,633, while the continuous conurbation with Poznań County and several other communities is inhabited by 1.1 million people. The Larger Poznań Metropolitan Area is inhabited by 1.3–1.4 million people and extends to such satellite towns as Nowy Tomyśl, Gniezno and Września, making it the fourth largest metropolitan area in Poland. It is the historical capital of the Greater Poland region and is the administrative capital of the province called Greater Poland Voivodeship. Poznań is a centre of trade, education and tourism.
It is an important academic site, with about 130,000 students and the Adam Mickiewicz University - the third largest Polish university. Poznań is the seat of the oldest Polish diocese, now being one of the most populous archdioceses in the country; the city hosts the Poznań International Fair – the biggest industrial fair in Poland and one of the largest fairs in Europe. The city's most renowned landmarks include Poznań Town Hall, the National Museum, Grand Theatre, Poznań Cathedral and the Imperial Castle. Poznań is classified as a Gamma - global city by World Cities Research Network, it has topped rankings as a city with high quality of education and a high standard of living. It ranks in safety and healthcare quality; the city of Poznań has many times, won the prize awarded by "Superbrands" for a high quality city brand. In 2012, the Poznań's Art and Business Center "Stary Browar" won a competition organised by National Geographic Traveller and was given the first prize as one of the seven "New Polish Wonders".
The official patron saints of Poznań are Saint Peter and Paul of Tarsus, the patrons of the cathedral. Martin of Tours – the patron of the main street Święty Marcin is regarded as one of the patron saints of the city; the name Poznań comes from a personal name and would mean "Poznan's town". It is possible that the name comes directly from the verb poznać, which means "to get to know" or "to recognize," so it may mean "known town"; the earliest surviving references to the city are found in the chronicles of Thietmar of Merseburg, written between 1012 and 1018: episcopus Posnaniensis and ab urbe Posnani. The city's name appears in documents in the Latin nominative case as Posnania in 1236 and Poznania in 1247; the phrase in Poznan appears in 1146 and 1244. The city's full official name is Stołeczne Miasto Poznań, in reference to its role as a centre of political power in the early Polish state. Poznań is known as Posen in German, was called Haupt- und Residenzstadt Posen between 20 August 1910 and 28 November 1918.
The Latin names of the city are Civitas Posnaniensis. Its Yiddish name is Poyzn. In Polish, the city name has masculine grammatical gender. For centuries before the Christianization of Poland, Poznań was an important cultural and political centre of the Polan tribe. Mieszko I, the first recorded ruler of the Polans, of the early Polish state which they dominated, built one of his main stable headquarters in Poznań. Mieszko's baptism of 966, seen as a defining moment in the Christianization of the Polish state, may have taken place in Poznań. Following the baptism, construction began of the first in Poland. Poznań was the main seat of the first missionary bishop sent to Poland, Bishop Jordan; the Congress of Gniezno in 1000 led to the country's first permanent archbishopric being established in Gniezno, although Poznań continued to have independent bishops of its own. Poznań's cathedral was the place of burial of the early Piast monarchs, of Przemysł I and King Przemysł II; the pagan reaction that followed Mieszko II's death in 1034 left the region weak, in 1038, Duke Bretislaus I of Bohemia sacked and destroyed both Poznań and Gniezno.
Poland was reunited under Casimir I the Restorer in 1039, but the capital was moved to Kraków, unaffected by the troubles. In 1138, by the testament of Bolesław III, Poland was divided into separate duchies under the late king's sons, Poznań and its surroundings became the domain of Mieszko III the Old, the first of the Dukes of Greater Poland; this period of fragmentation lasted until 1320. Duchies changed hands. In about 1249, Duke Przemysł I began constructing what would become the Royal Castle on a hill on the left bank of the Warta. In 1253 Przemysł issued a charter to Thomas of Guben for the founding of a town under Magdeburg law, between the castle and the river. Thomas brought a large number of German settlers to aid in
The Royal Gniezno Cathedral is a Brick Gothic cathedral located in the historical city of Gniezno that served as the coronation place for several Polish monarchs and as the seat of Polish church officials continuously for nearly 1000 years. Throughout its long and tragic history, the building stayed intact making it one of the oldest and most precious sacral monuments in Poland; the Cathedral is known for its twelfth-century, two-winged bronze doors decorated with scenes of martyrdom of St. Adalbert of Prague and a silver relic coffin of that saint; the coffin was made by Peter von der Rennen of pure silver in 1662 after the previous one, established in 1623 by King Sigismund III Vasa himself, was robbed by the Swedes in 1655, during the Swedish invasion. The temple is one of Poland's national Historical Monuments, as designated on September 16, 1994 and tracked by the National Heritage Board of Poland; the religious temple dates back to the end of the ninth century, when an oratory was built in the shape of a rectangular nave.
At the end of the tenth century Duke Mieszko I of Poland built a new temple on a cruciform plan and remodeled the existing nave oratory. In the year 977 Duchess Dąbrówka, the wife of Mieszko I, was buried here. Before the arrival of St. Adalbert of Prague in Gniezno, Prince Bolesław I the Brave the first king of Poland, rebuilt the temple according to the plan of a rectangle, elevating it to the rank of a Cathedral. In the year 999 the funeral of St. Adalbert took place and also his canonization by Pope Sylvester II. In March 1000 Emperor Otto III came to Gniezno to pray at the tomb of now blessed St. Adalbert, he called the Congress of Gniezno, where Polish Prince Bolesław I the Brave and the Emperor discussed plans to create a joint kingdom of Germany, Rome and Slavic States. He initiate the creation of the Archdiocese of Gniezno and the first metropolis church in Poland, subordinate only to the pope; the first appointed archbishop was Radzim Gaudenty. In 1018 a fire started in the temple and it took in seven years to repair the structure.
In the year 1025 Bolesław the Brave was crowned as the first King of Poland in the Gniezno Cathedral. After his death Mieszko II Lambert succeeded to the throne. In 1038 Czech prince Bretislav I surrounded and conducted a siege of the city and robbing the borough and the precious treasures inside the cathedral. After a few years the temple was rebuilt in the Romanesque style and consecrated in 1064. Twelve years King Bolesław II the Bold was crowned in Gniezno. At the end of the eleventh century the eastern part of the temple collapsed. In the years 1103-1104 a synod was held with the participation of the papal legate associated with the retrieval and placing of the precious relics of St. Adalbert in the Cathedral. A few years Duke Bolesław III Wrymouth donated a substantial sum of money for the preservation of his tomb as well as the structure. In the year 1127 celebrations were held in the cathedral commemorating St. Adalbert. In 1175 the famous bronze Gniezno Doors were placed in the cathedral and two years the Duke of Greater Poland, Mieszko III the Old, visited the site.
After 219 years, in 1295, the penultimate royal coronation of Prince Przemysł II took place at the Cathedral of Gniezno. Five years Czech prince Wenceslaus II of Bohemia forcibly entered the town and was crowned king, it was the last royal coronation held in Gniezno. In 1331, the Teutonic Knights destroyed the temple. Ten years on the same site of the former cathedral, a Gothic temple was built under the personal supervision of Archbishop Jarosław Bogoria Skotnicki; the same Archbishop welcomed King Casimir III the Great, who donated a substantial sum of money and contributed to the reconstruction of Gniezno. At the end of the fourteenth century the construction of the chancel and large nave was completed. In 1419 the archbishops of Gniezno were given the title of primate and represented the country in Rome as cardinals; the first appointed primate of Poland and cardinal was Mikołaj Trąba. In 1613 a fire destroyed the spires and two frontal towers of the temple. Seven years Adam of Wągrowiec came to the Cathedral to try out the newly installed pipe organs.
In the years 1641-1652 Primate Maciej Łubieński conducted a reconstruction project of the interior in the baroque style. In 1760, another fire broke out which resulted in the collapse of both towers, the star vault as well as the chancel. In the next few years the interior was rebuilt in classical architectural style with small elements of the now diminishing baroque style; the reconstruction was initiated by Primate Władysław Aleksander Łubieński. In 1809, the French army installed a military warehouse in the Cathedral, removed when Napoleon's troops left the area. In 1931, Pope Pius XI bestowed the title of the Minor Basilica Cathedral. In 1939, following the Invasion of Poland, the Nazis converted the temple into a concert hall. In 1945, another fire broke out, caused by the intentional incendiary artillery shelling by the Red Army; this ruined the Gothic vault and also the pipe organs and other historical architectural details. The city was re-taken by the Soviets without any resistance offered by the Germans.
At the turn of the 1950s and 1960s, the temple was restored in the Gothic style and all baroque architectural elements were subsequently removed from the nave and the temple itself, giving it a more medieval look to resemble the original structure present during the coronation of Polish mon
Eric the Victorious
Eric the Victorious was a Swedish monarch as of around 970. Since he is the first Swedish king in a consecutive regnal succession, attested in sources independent of each other, Sweden's list of rulers begins with him, his son Olof Skötkonung, however, is considered the first ruler documented to have been accepted both by the original Swedes around Lake Mälaren and by the Geats around Lake Vättern, which peoples were fundamental in forming the nation of Sweden. Some sources have referred to Eric the Victorious as either King Eric V or Eric VI, modern inventions by counting backwards from Eric XIV, who adopted his numeral according to a mythological history of Sweden. Whether or not there were any Swedish monarchs named Eric before Eric the Victorious is disputed, with some historians claiming that there were several earlier Erics, others questioning the reliability of the primary sources used and the existence of these earlier monarchs; the list of monarchs after him is complicated and sketchy in some early periods, which makes the assignment of any numeral problematic whether counting backward or forward.
His original territory was in Uppland and neighbouring provinces. He acquired the epithet of Segersäll - Victorious or blessed with victory - after defeating an invasion force from the south in the Battle of Fýrisvellir which took place near Uppsala. A brother of Eric's named Olof being the father of Styrbjörn the Strong, Eric's main opponent in that battle, is part of the myth about them; the extent of Eric's kingdom is unknown. In addition to the Swedish heartland round Mälaren it may have extended down along the Baltic Sea as far south as Blekinge. According to Adam of Bremen, he was King of Denmark after defeating King Sweyn Forkbeard. According to the Flateyjarbok, his success was due to an alliance with free farmers against an earl-class nobility, but archaeological findings suggest that the influence of that class diminished during the last part of the tenth century. Eric introduced a system of universal conscription known as ledung in the provinces around Mälaren. In all probability he founded the town of Sigtuna, which still exists and where the first Swedish coins were minted for his son and successor King Olof.
Eric the Victorious is named in a number of sagas, Nordic tales of history with a predominant element of fiction. In various stories, he is described as the son of a Björn Eriksson and as having ruled together with his brother Olof. One saga describes his marriage to an infamous fictional, Queen Sigrid the Haughty, daughter of a legendary Viking, Skagul Toste, how in their divorce he gave her all of Gothenland as a fief. According to Eymund's saga he took a new queen, daughter of Haakon Sigurdsson, ruler of Norway. Before that, Eric's brother Olof died, a new co-ruler was to be appointed, but the Swedes refused to accept Eric's rowdy nephew Styrbjörn as such. Eric granted Styrbjörn 60 longships, he became the ruler of Jomsborg and an ally of Danish King Harold Bluetooth, whose daughter Tyra he married. Styrbjörn returned to Sweden with an army, although Harold and the Danish troops seem to have turned back. Eric won the Battle of Fýrisvellir, according to Styrbjarnar þáttr Svíakappa, after making sacrifice to Odin and promising that, if victorious, he would give himself to Odin in ten years.
Two skaldic verses by Thorvaldr Hjaltason describe the alleged battle. The first expressly mentions how an Eric has utterly defeated an enemy host at a fortification at Fýrisvellir, while the second specifies that the Vikings - "the army of Hunding" - were superior in numbers but were handily captured when they attacked Svithiod, only those who fled survived; the runestones of Hällestad and Sjörup in Scania a part of Denmark, do mention a battle at Uppsala characterized by the defeat and flight of the attackers. These stones have traditionally been associated with the battle, but they present chronological problems and may be from the next century. German ecclesiastic chronicler Adam of Bremen provides by far the oldest narrative about King Eric, it differs from the sagas; as his source he refers to the current King Sweyn II of Denmark whom he interviewed for his chronicle. Adam places Eric's reign after that of a certain Emund Eriksson, without clarifying how they were related, he does not mention the Battle of Fýrisvellir but relates that Eric gathered a large army and invaded Denmark against King Sweyn Forkbeard.
The direct reason for the attack is not given, but somehow it concerned an alliance between Eric and "the powerful king of the Polans, Bolesław. He gave Eric his sister or daughter in marriage"; that princess has been identified as Gunhild of Wenden, in some Nordic sources the daughter of a king Burislev. According to other interpretations, she was identical with a woman known in sagas as Sigrid the Haughty, whose name is a misunderstanding of the Old Polish name Świętosława. Eric's invasion of Denmark was successful. Several battles were fought at sea, there the Danish forces, attacked from the east by Slavs, were annihilated. After his victory, Eric kept Denmark for a time, while Sweyn was forced to flee, first to Norway to England, to Scotland whose king received the refugee with kindness. According to Adam, Eric's rule in Denmark coincided with increased Viking activity in northern Germany. A fleet of Swedish and Danish ships landed at Stade in Saxony. A Saxon army was badly defeated. Several
Sweden the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres, Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre; the highest concentration is in the southern half of the country. Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Geats and Swedes and constituting the sea peoples known as the Norsemen. Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is forested. Sweden is part of the geographical area of Fennoscandia; the climate is in general mild for its northerly latitude due to significant maritime influence, that in spite of this still retains warm continental summers.
Today, the sovereign state of Sweden is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with a monarch as head of state, like its neighbour Norway. The capital city is Stockholm, the most populous city in the country. Legislative power is vested in the 349-member unicameral Riksdag. Executive power is exercised by the government chaired by the prime minister. Sweden is a unitary state divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities. 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 Hanseatic League threatened Scandinavia's culture and languages; 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 Reformist side, an expansion of its territories began and 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 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 personal union. Since Sweden has been at peace, maintaining an official policy of neutrality in foreign affairs; the union with Norway was peacefully dissolved in 1905. Sweden was formally neutral through both world wars and the Cold War, albeit Sweden has since 2009 moved towards cooperation with NATO. After the end of the Cold War, Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995, but declined NATO membership, as well as Eurozone membership following a referendum, it is a member of the United Nations, the Nordic Council, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Sweden maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens, it has the world's eleventh-highest per capita income and ranks in numerous metrics of national performance, including quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, economic competitiveness, equality and human development.
The name Sweden was loaned from Dutch in the 17th century to refer to Sweden as an emerging great power. Before Sweden's imperial expansion, Early Modern English used Swedeland. Sweden is derived through back-formation from Old English Swēoþēod, which meant "people of the Swedes"; this word is derived from Sweon/Sweonas. The Swedish name Sverige means "realm of the Swedes", excluding the Geats in Götaland. Variations of the name Sweden are used in most languages, with the exception of Danish and Norwegian using Sverige, Faroese Svøríki, Icelandic Svíþjóð, the more notable exception of some Finnic languages where Ruotsi and Rootsi are used, names considered as referring to the people from the coastal areas of Roslagen, who were known as the Rus', through them etymologically related to the English name for Russia; the etymology of Swedes, thus Sweden, is not agreed upon but may derive from Proto-Germanic Swihoniz meaning "one's own", referring to one's own Germanic tribe. Sweden's prehistory begins in the Allerød oscillation, a warm period around 12,000 BC, with Late Palaeolithic reindeer-hunting camps of the Bromme culture at the edge of the ice in what is now the country's southernmost province, Scania.
This period was characterised by small bands of hunter-gatherer-fishers using flint technology. Sweden is first described in a written source in Germania by Tacitus in 98 AD. In Germania 44 and 45 he mentions the Swedes as a powerful tribe with ships that had a prow at each end. Which kings ruled these Suiones is unknown, but Norse mythology presents a long line of legendary and semi-legendary kings going back to the last centuries BC; as for literacy in Sweden itself, the runic script was in use among the south Scandinavian elite by at least the 2nd century AD, but all that has come down to the present from the Roman Period is curt inscriptions on artefacts of male names, demonstrating th