Kievan Rus' was a loose federation of East Slavic and Finnic peoples in Europe from the late 9th to the mid-13th century, under the reign of the Varangian Rurik dynasty. The modern nations of Belarus and Ukraine all claim Kievan Rus' as their cultural ancestors, with Belarus and Russia deriving their names from it. At its greatest extent, in the mid-11th century, it stretched from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south and from the headwaters of the Vistula in the west to the Taman Peninsula in the east, uniting the majority of East Slavic tribes. According to Russian historiography, the first ruler to start uniting East Slavic lands into what has become known as Kievan Rus' was Prince Oleg, he extended his control from Novgorod south along the Dnieper river valley to protect trade from Khazar incursions from the east, he moved his capital to the more strategic Kiev. Sviatoslav I achieved the first major expansion of Kievan Rus' territorial control, fighting a war of conquest against the Khazars.
Vladimir the Great introduced Christianity with his own baptism and, by decree, extended it to all inhabitants of Kiev and beyond. Kievan Rus' reached its greatest extent under Yaroslav the Wise; the state declined beginning in the late 11th century and during the 12th century, disintegrating into various rival regional powers. It was further weakened by economic factors, such as the collapse of Rus' commercial ties to the Byzantine Empire due to the decline of Constantinople and the accompanying diminution of trade routes through its territory; the state fell to the Mongol invasion of the 1240s. During its existence, Kievan Rus' was known as the "land of the Rus'", in Greek as Ῥωσία, in Old French as Russie, Rossie, in Latin as Russia, from the 12th century Ruthenia. Various etymologies have been proposed, including Ruotsi, the Finnish designation for Sweden, Ros, a tribe from the middle Dnieper valley region. In the Norse sources, the sagas, the principality is called Garðariki, the peoples, according to Snorre Sturlason, are called Suiones, the confederation of Great Sviþjoð were made up of the peoples along the Dniepr called Tanais that separated Asia and Europe, all the way to the Baltics and Scandinavia.
The term Kievan Rus' was coined in the 19th century in Russian historiography to refer to the period when the centre was in Kiev. In English, the term was introduced in the early 20th century, when it was found in the 1913 English translation of Vasily Klyuchevsky's A History of Russia, to distinguish the early polity from successor states, which were named Rus; the Russian term was rendered into Belarusian and Ukrainian as Кіеўская Русь and Ки́ївська Русь, respectively. Prior to the emergence of Kievan Rus' in the 9th century AD, the lands between the Baltic Sea and Black Sea were populated by eastern Slavic tribes. In the northern region around Novgorod were the Ilmen Slavs and neighboring Krivichi, who occupied territories surrounding the headwaters of the West Dvina and Volga Rivers. To their north, in the Ladoga and Karelia regions, were the Finnic Chud tribe. In the south, in the area around Kiev, were the Poliane, a group of Slavicized tribes with Iranian origins, the Drevliane to the west of the Dnieper, the Severiane to the east.
To their north and east were the Vyatichi, to their south was forested land settled by Slav farmers, giving way to steppelands populated by nomadic herdsmen. Controversy persists over whether the Rus' were Slavs; this uncertainty is due to a paucity of contemporary sources. Attempts to address this question instead rely on archaeological evidence, the accounts of foreign observers, legends and literature from centuries later. To some extent the controversy is related to the foundation myths of modern states in the region. According to the "Normanist" view, the Rus' were Scandinavians, while Russian and Ukrainian nationalist historians argue that the Rus' were themselves Slavs. Normanist theories focus on the earliest written source for the East Slavs, the Primary Chronicle, although this account was not produced until the 12th century. Nationalist accounts have suggested that the Rus' were present before the arrival of the Varangians, noting that only a handful of Scandinavian words can be found in modern Russian and that Scandinavian names in the early chronicles were soon replaced by Slavic names.
Archaeological evidence from the area suggests that a Scandinavian population was present during the 10th century at the latest. On balance, it seems that the Rus' proper were a small minority of Scandinavians who formed an elite ruling class, while the great majority of their subjects were Slavs. Considering the linguistic arguments mounted by nationalist scholars, if the proto-Rus' were Scandinavians, they must have become nativized, adopting Slavic languages and other cultural practices. Ahmad ibn Fadlan, an Arab traveler during the 10th century, provided one of the earliest written descriptions of the Rus': "They are as tall as a date palm and ruddy, so that they do not need to wear a tunic nor a cloak. Liutprand of C
Zealand, at 7,031 km2, is the largest and most populous island in Denmark proper. Zealand has a population of 2,302,074, it is the 13th-largest island in the 4th most populous. It is connected to Funen by the Great Belt Fixed Link, to Lolland, Falster by the Storstrøm Bridge and the Farø Bridges. Zealand is linked to Amager by several bridges. Zealand is linked indirectly, through intervening islands by a series of bridges and tunnels, to southern Sweden. Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is located on the eastern shore of Zealand and on the island of Amager. Other cities on Zealand include Hillerød, Næstved and Helsingør. Despite their identical names, the island is not connected to the Pacific nation of New Zealand, named after the Dutch province of Zeeland; the exact origin of the Danish name "Sjælland" is controversial. Sjæl in Danish today means "soul". A derivation derived from siô / sæ corresponding to the English name is today rejected– but it may be that the English name predated Danish research on its origin, compared with the current understanding.
The prevailing view today is: The Old Danish form "Siâland" comes from a composition of the word *selha- with the ending *wundia-. The latter means "indicates, resembles"; the word *selha- can have two different meanings: it can mean on the one hand "seal" and on the other hand mean "deep bay, fjord". Since the main settlement on Zealand was Roskilde, only accessible by sea through the narrow Roskilde Fjord, it is assumed that the sailors named the island after this. In Norse mythology as told in the Gylfaginning, the island was created by the goddess Gefjun after she tricked Gylfi, the king of Sweden, she transported it to Denmark, which became Zealand. The vacant area became Mälaren. However, since modern maps show a similarity between Zealand and the Swedish lake Vänern, it is sometimes identified as the hole left by Gefjun. Zealand is the most populous Danish island, it is irregularly shaped, is north of the islands of Lolland, Møn. The small island of Amager lies east. Copenhagen is on Zealand but extends across northern Amager.
A number of bridges and the Copenhagen Metro connect Zealand to Amager, connected to Scania in Sweden by the Øresund Bridge via the artificial island of Peberholm. Zealand is joined in the west to Funen, by the Great Belt Fixed Link, Funen is connected by bridges to the country's mainland, Jutland. On June 5, 2007, the regional subsidiary of national broadcaster DR reported that Kobanke in the southeast near the town Rønnede in Faxe Municipality, with a height of 122.9 metres, was the highest natural point on Zealand. Gyldenløveshøj, south of the city Roskilde, has a height of 126 metres, but, due to a man-made hill from the 17th century and its highest natural point is only 121.3 metres. Zealand gives its name to the Selandian era of the Paleocene. Urban areas with 10,000+ inhabitants: North Zealand New Zealand Media related to Zealand at Wikimedia Commons Zealand travel guide from Wikivoyage
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
Haakon Ericsson was Earl of Lade and governor of Norway as a vassal under Knut the Great. Håkon Eiriksson was from a dynasty of Norwegian rulers in the eastern part of Trondheim, bordering the Trondheimsfjord, he was ruler of Norway and earl of Northumbria. His mother is believed to have been Gytha, a daughter of Sweyn Forkbeard and Sigrid the Haughty of Denmark and half-sister of King Knut. After the Battle of Svolder, Eirik Håkonson, with his brother Sveinn Hákonarson, became kings of Norway under Sweyn Forkbeard. In 1014 or 1015 Eirik Håkonson joined Knut for his campaign in England; the north English earldom of Northumbria was given by Knut to Eirik after he won control of the north. Eirik remained as earl of Northumbria until his death between 1023 and 1033; as his father's successor in Norway, Håkon Eiriksson ruled as a Danish vassal from 1012 to 1015, with Einar Tambarskjelve as his aide and his uncle, Sveinn Hákonarson, holding some areas as a Swedish vassal. After some years' absence in England fighting the Danes, Olaf Haraldsson returned to Norway in 1015 and declared himself king, obtaining the support of the petty kings of the Uplands.
In 1016, Olaf defeated Sveinn Hákonarson at the Battle of Nesjar. After the victory of Olaf Haraldsson, Håkon fled to England where he was well received by King Knut and made Earl of Worcester. After the Battle of the Helgeå, Norwegian nobles rallied behind Knut, he is recorded as being the ruler of the Sudreyar from 1016 until 1030. In 1028, Håkon Eiriksson returned as Knut's vassal ruler of Norway. Håkon died in a shipwreck in the Pentland Firth, between the Orkney Islands and the Scottish mainland, in either late 1029 or early 1030. Woolf, From Pictland to Alba, 789–1070, The New Edinburgh History of Scotland, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, ISBN 978-0-7486-1234-5 Forte, A. Viking Empires Christiansen, Eric The Norsemen in the Viking Age
Nidaros Cathedral is a cathedral of the Church of Norway located in the city of Trondheim in Trøndelag county. It is built over the burial site of King Olav II, who became the patron saint of the nation, is the traditional location for the consecration of new kings of Norway, it was built over a long period of 230 years, from 1070 to 1300 when it was completed. But additional work and renovations continued intermittently for seven more centuries until 2001, designated as the cathedral for the Diocese of Nidaros in 1152. After going the turmoil and controversies of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, it was taken from the Catholic Church by the newly reformed established state Church of Norway in 1537, which adopted and following the teachings and reforms of Martin Luther, Phillip Melancthon and others, becoming Evangelical Lutheran. Nidaros is the northernmost medieval cathedral in the world; the cathedral is the main church for the Nidaros og Vår Frue parish, the seat of the Nidaros domprosti, the seat of the Bishop of the Diocese of Nidaros.
The Preses of the Church of Norway is based at this cathedral. The large, stone church seats about 1,850 people and it was used as the site of coronation of the kings of Norway. Nidaros Cathedral was built beginning in 1070 to memorialize the burial place of Olav II of Norway, the king, killed in 1030 in the Battle of Stiklestad, he was canonized as Saint Olav a year by Grimketel, the Bishop of Nidaros. It was designated the cathedral of the Catholic Archdiocese of Nidaros from its establishment in 1152 until its abolition in 1537 under the Reformation. Since the Reformation, it has served as the cathedral of the Lutheran bishops of Trondheim in the Diocese of Nidaros; the architectural style of the cathedral is Gothic. It has been an important destination for pilgrims coming from all of Northern Europe. Along with Vår Frue Church, the cathedral is part of the Nidaros og Vår Frue parish in the Nidaros deanery in the Diocese of Nidaros. Work on the cathedral as a memorial to St. Olav started in 1070.
It was finished some time around 1300, nearly 150 years after being established as the cathedral of the diocese. The cathedral was badly damaged by fires in 1327 and again in 1531; the nave was not rebuilt until the restoration in early 1900s. In 1708, the church burned down except for the stone walls, it was struck by lightning in 1719, was again ravaged by fire. Major rebuilding and restoration of the cathedral started in 1869 led by architect Heinrich Ernst Schirmer, nearly completed by Christian Christie, it was completed in 2001. Maintenance of the cathedral is an ongoing process; the oldest parts of the cathedral consist of the octagon with its surrounding ambulatory. This was the site of the original high altar, with the reliquary casket of Saint Olav, choir. Design of the octagon may have been inspired by the Corona of Canterbury Cathedral, although octagonal shrines have a long history in Christian architecture; the choir shows English influence, appears to have been modeled after the Angel Choir of Lincoln Cathedral.
It is joined to the octagon by a stone screen. The principal arch of this screen is subdivided into three subsidiary arches: the central arch frames a statue of Christ the Teacher, standing on the top of a central arch of three subsidiary arches below him; the space above the principal arch, corresponding to the vault of the choir, contains a crucifix by the Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland, placed between statues of the Virgin Mary and the Apostle John. Built into the south side of the ambulatory is a small well. A bucket could be lowered to draw up water drawn from the spring that originated from St. Olav's original burial place.. The present cathedral has two principal altars. At the east end of the chancel in the octagon is an altar at the site of the medieval high altar, behind which stood the silver reliquary casket containing the remains of St. Olav; this silver-gilt reliquary casket was melted down for coinage by Christian II and St. Olav's remains buried in an unknown location under the cathedral.
The only relic known to have survived is a femur in a silver-gilt reliquary. Shaped as a forearm, it was given by Queen Josephine to St. Olav Catholic Cathedral in Oslo; the original reliquary casket was with dragon heads on its gables. The dragons are similar to those carved on the gables of Norwegian stave churches. Surviving medieval reliquary caskets in Norway also bear such dragon heads, for instance, that at Heddal stave church, he was the kingdom's patron saint. The current altar was designed to recall in marble sculpture the essential form of this reliquary casket, it replaces the previous baroque altar, transferred to Vår Frue Church. The second altar is in the crossing, where the transept intersects the chancel, it bears a large modern silver crucifix. It was commissioned and paid for by Norwegian American emigrants in the early twentieth century, the design was inspired by the memory of a similar silver crucifix in the medieval church; the medieval chapter house may be used as a chapel for smaller groups of worshipers.
All the stained glass in the cathedral dates from its rebuilding in the 20th centuries. The windows on the north side of the church depict scenes from the Old Testament against a blue background, while those on the south side of the church depict sc
Sigtuna is a locality situated in Sigtuna Municipality, Stockholm County, Sweden with 8,444 inhabitants in 2010. It is the namesake of the municipality though the seat is in Märsta. Sigtuna is, despite its small population, for historical reasons still referred to as a stad. Statistics Sweden, only counts localities with more than 10,000 inhabitants as stads. Although less significant today, Sigtuna has an important place in Sweden's early history, it is the oldest town in Sweden, having been founded in 980. The history of Sigtuna before the 11th century, as described in the Norse sagas and other early medieval sources, can be found in the article Old Sigtuna. Sigtuna has a picturesque medieval town centre with restaurants and small shops; the old church ruins, runic stones and the old main street are popular attractions for tourists in the summertime. The small streets with the low built wooden houses lead up to several handicrafts shops and the old tiny town hall. There are a hotel in the town centre.
Sigtuna is situated at the bay Skarven, stretching around a part of Lake Mälaren. Sigtuna was founded on what was the shore of Lake Mälaren just over 1,000 years ago, it took its name from an ancient royal estate several kilometers to the west. Various sources claim King Eric the Victorious as founder, it operated as a royal and commercial centre for some 250 years, was one of the most important cities of Sweden. During a brief period at the end of the 10th and beginning of the 11th century, Sweden's first coins were minted here. St. Mary's Church, built in the 13th century by the Dominican order as a monastery church, still remains intact; the Dominican monastery played an important role in the Swedish Middle Ages and produced many important Church officials. Among them, many Swedish archbishops. Many church and monastery ruins still stand, including St. Pers Church dating the 1100s, St. Olof Church dated from around the middle of the 11th century and St. Lars Church dating from the middle of the 13th century.
In 1187 Sigtuna was attacked and pillaged by raiders from across the Baltic Sea Karelians, Curonian and/or Estonian raiders. Archaeological excavations have not verified the traditions of destruction of the town. Normal life in Sigtuna continued until town started to lose its importance during 13th century due to navigability problems caused by post-glacial rebound; the current coat of arms can be traced to the town's first known seal, dating from 1311. According to a legend Sigtuna was once the Royal seat; the crown may symbolize the large royal mint, located in the town. Since 1971 the coat of arms has been valid for the much larger Sigtuna Municipality. In the late 19th century, it still only hosted about 600 people, was the smallest town in Sweden; the town remained insignificant until the second half of the 20th century. Much of the population growth can be related to Stockholm Arlanda Airport situated some 10 km from Sigtuna. Sigtunaskolan Humanistiska Läroverket, a famous boarding school.
Luodian is a replica of Sigtuna located in Shanghai "Sigtuna" from Nordisk familjebok Sten.
Gulf of Finland
The Gulf of Finland is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland and Estonia all the way to Saint Petersburg in Russia, where the river Neva drains into it. Other major cities around the gulf include Tallinn; the eastern parts of the Gulf of Finland belong to Russia, some of Russia's most important oil harbours are located farthest in, near Saint Petersburg. As the seaway to Saint Petersburg, the Gulf of Finland has been and continues to be of considerable strategic importance to Russia; some of the environmental problems affecting the Baltic Sea are at their most pronounced in the shallow gulf. The gulf has an area of 30,000 km2; the length is 400 km and the width varies from 70 km near the entrance to 130 km on the meridian of Moshchny Island. The gulf is shallow, with the depth decreasing from the entrance to the gulf to the continent; the sharpest change occurs near Narva-Jõesuu, why this place is called the Narva wall. The average depth is 38 m with the maximum of 100 m.
The depth of the Neva Bay is less than 6 metres. Because of the large influx of fresh water from rivers from the Neva River, the gulf water has low salinity – between 0.2 and 5.8 ‰ at the surface and 0.3–8.5 ‰ near the bottom. The average water temperature is close to 0 °C in winter. Parts of the gulf can freeze from late November to late April. Complete freezing occurs by late January, it may not occur in mild winters. Frequent strong western winds surges of water and floods; the northern coast of the gulf is high and winding, with abundant small bays and skerries, but only a few large bays and peninsulas. The coast is sloping; the southern shores are smooth and shallow, but along the entire coast runs a limestone escarpment, the Baltic Klint, with a height up to 55 m. In the east, the gulf ends with Neva Bay; the gulf contains numerous banks and islands. The largest include Kotlin Island with the city of Kronstadt, Beryozovye Islands, Lisiy Island, Maly Vysotsky Island with the nearby city of Vysotsk, Moshtchny, Bolshoy Tyuters, Naissaar, Kimitoön, Kökar, Pakri Islands and others.
Starting in 1700, Russia constructed nineteen artificial islands with fortresses in the gulf. They aimed to defend Russia from maritime attacks in the context of the Great Northern War of 1700–1721; such fortresses include Fort Alexander, Krasnaya Gorka, Ino and Kronshlot. The largest rivers flowing into the gulf are the Neva, the Narva, the Kymi. Keila, Pirita, Jägala, Luga and Kovashi flow into the gulf from the south. From the north flow the Sestra River, Porvoo and several other small rivers; the Saimaa Canal connects the gulf with the Saimaa lake. The International Hydrographic Organization defines the western limit of the Gulf of Finland as a line running from Spithami, in Estonia, through the Estonian island of Osmussaar from SE to NW and on to the SW extremity of Hanko Peninsula in Finland; the modern depression can be traced to the incision of large rivers during the Cenozoic prior to the Quaternary glaciation. These rivers eroded the sedimentary strata above the Fennoscandian Shield. In particular the eroded material was made up of Cambrian-aged claystone and sandtone.
As erosion processes the rivers encountered harder layers of Ordovician-aged limestone leading to the formation of the cliffs of Baltic Klint in northern Estonia and Ingria. Subsequently the depression was somewhat reshaped by glacier's activities, its retreat formed the Littorina Sea, whose water level was some 7–9 metres higher than the present level of the Baltic Sea. Some 4,000 years ago the sea receded and shoals in the gulf have become its islands. Uplifting of the Baltic Shield skewed the surface of the gulf; the climate in the area is humid continental climate, characterized by temperate to hot summers and cold severe winters with regular precipitation. The vegetation is dominated by a mixture of coniferous and deciduous forests and treeless coastal meadows and cliffs; the major forest trees are pine, birch, rowan, aspen and gray alder. In the far eastern part of the gulf vegetation of the marshy areas consists of bulrush and reeds, as well as aquatic plants, such as white and yellow waterlilies and acute sedge.
Aquatic plants in the shallow waters of the gulf include Ruppia and spiny naiad. Fish species of the gulf include Atlantic salmon, viviparous eelpout, belica, European chub, common minnow, silver bream, common dace, Crucian carp, European smelt, common rudd, brown trout, pipefish, perch, lumpsucker, lamprey, garfish, common whitefish, common bream, orfe, northern pike, spined loach, Baltic herring