France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Julien Ingrassia is a French rally co-driver. Working with Sébastien Ogier, he became World Rally Champion in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 with Volkswagen Motorsport, 2017 and 2018 with M-Sport World Rally Team. Ingrassia made his debut in rallying in 2002 at the Critérium des Cévennes, he had several experiences in regional rallies and took part in a single-brand championship for the first time in 2004, the Coupe Peugeot 206. In 2006, he joined Sébastien Ogier in the Rallye Jeunes FFSA team. Together, they took their first wins in Coupe Peugeot 206, they learnt their way on regional and national rallies, before tackling the international scene. 2008: JWRC World Champion Ingrassia reached the world level entering the Junior world rally championship with the Equipe de France FFSA run by the French Federation. With three wins out of six rallies during the season, he won the JWRC World Rally Champion title with Sébastien Ogier. Considered as the French succession in rallying, the pair stayed only one season in JWRC before climbing to the WRC championship.
In 2009, Ingrassia took a maiden podium at the Acropolis Rally. In 2010, he and Ogier scored their maiden victory in Portugal. From Rally Finland, they joined the Citroën Total World Rally Team, official team of the French manufacturer, for the last gravel rounds of the 2010 season, they took their second victory of the year in Japan. For the 2011 season and Ogier joined the main Citroën team, they took the same number of wins than their team-mates Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena, despite team orders given in favor of Loeb on the last five rounds of the season. Citroën decided to stop their association with the young crew at the end of the season. Ingrassia and Ogier joined Volkswagen Motorsport with a first contract covering three seasons from 2012 to 2014. Having to choose between Ford and Volkswagen, they decided to take up the challenge proposed by the German manufacturer which consisted in missing the 2012 WRC championship to develop the brand new Polo R WRC, their 2012 season was busy as they competed in every world championship rally at the wheel of a Skoda Fabia S2000, while developing the Polo R WRC.
After a podium during the opening round of the 2013 season and Ogier won Rally Sweden, a major feat given the Scandinavian’s domination on home soil. They took a total of 9 victories, won 111 special stages and scored 290 points, a record in the WRC, their maiden World Champions title was confirmed on the first stage of the 2013 Rallye de France-Alsace, while Volkswagen took the manufacturers’ title on the following round, in Spain. In 2014, the reigning World Champions started their title defense winning the Rallye Monte-Carlo, they added their names on the winners’ list of this prestigious rally while it was part of the IRC calendar in 2009, but this was the first time that they won it in the WRC category. As they took victories in Mexico, Italy, Australia and Wales, Ingrassia and Ogier clinched their second title on the penultimate round of the season. Ingrassia became the first French codriver with two WRC titles. Ingrassia and Ogier defended their championship in 2015, winning eight rallies and nine Power Stages, despite new rules that force the championship leaders to open the road for the first two legs of each rally.
Despite the running order regulation didn't change in 2016, Julien Ingrassia and Sébastien Ogier went on to win a fourth world champion title with six more WRC wins. Volkswagen secured the Manufacturer title before announcing its retirement from WRC before the last round of the season. On 12 December 2016, it was announced that Ogier and Ingrassia would be driving the new Ford Fiesta WRC for M-Sport during the 2017 season, they started this new partnership with a win on Rally Monte Carlo and maintained the leadership in the following months, with another victory in Portugal and a total of nine podium finishes. Facing Thierry Neuville and Ott Tänak as their main rivals, they clinched their fifth world champions title at the Wales Rally GB, with one round to go in the championship. Win with the slightest margin: 0.2 seconds on at the Rally Jordan, on 2011 April, 16th. Including one ex-aequo stage win including two ex-aequo stage wins including five ex-aequo stage wins Julien Ingrassia's biography on Sébastien Ogier's official website Julien Ingrassia on Facebook Julien-Ingrassia on ewrc-results.com 1 Julien-Ingrassia on ewrc-results.com 2
Volkswagen Polo R WRC
The Volkswagen Polo R WRC is a World Rally Car built and operated by Volkswagen Motorsport and based on the Volkswagen Polo for use in the World Rally Championship. The car, which made its début at the start of the 2013 season, is built to the second generation of World Rally Car regulations that were introduced 2011, which are based upon the existing Super 2000 regulations, but powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine rather than the aspirated 2-litre engine found in Super 2000 cars. The Polo R WRC marks Volkswagen's second entry into the World Rally Championship as a manufacturer. Volkswagen Motorsport had entered the Volkswagen Golf GTI and GTI 16V in rallies between 1983 and 1988, while the company made the Volkswagen Golf Mk3 and Mk4 available as a kit car to privateer entries during the Group A era from 1993 to 1997; the car was successful from its début, winning forty-three of the fifty-three rallies that it entered, scoring thirty-seven more podiums. Sébastien Ogier won thirty-one rallies and four consecutive FIA World Rally Championships for Drivers between 2013 and 2016, whilst Volkswagen Motorsport secured the FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers in all four years.
The Polo R WRC was retired from competition at the end of the 2016 season when Volkswagen withdrew from the category. A Polo built to Group R5 specifications was commissioned for use in the World Rally Championship-2; the Polo R WRC was unveiled in May 2011, spent the next eighteen months in testing, with two-time World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz, Sébastien Ogier—who was recruited to the team from the Citroën World Rally Team at the end of the 2011 season—and Volkswagen's testing and development driver Dieter Depping carrying out development in Norway, Germany and Mexico to simulate the conditions the car would encounter in competition. The testing phase was not without incident. No-one was injured in the crash, but the car was too damaged to continue testing. Further testing took place in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur to prepare the cars for the unique snow and tarmac roads used in the Monte Carlo Rally, the first event of the 2013 season; the car was intended to make its debut at the 2012 Rally d'Italia in Sardegna, but these plans were abandoned in favour of continuing development, the car was submitted to the FIA in November for homologation.
Parallel to this, Volkswagen Motorsport entered two Škoda Fabias built to Super 2000 specifications in twelve rounds of the 2012 season—and a third car in the 2012 Rallye Deutschland—to develop experience in running a World Rally Championship team. As the team was not competing with a World Rally Car, they were ineligible for championship points; the final build of the Polo R WRC was formally launched in December 2012 in Monaco. Two cars driven by Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala contested the full 2013 season of the World Rally Championship. Andreas Mikkelsen competed part-time throughout 2013 in a third car, entered under the name "Volkswagen Motorsport II". In its debut season, the car scored six wins in its first eight rallies. After finishing second on the Rallye Monte Carlo, Sébastien Ogier went on to win the rallies of Sweden and Portugal. Jari-Matti Latvala scored his first win for Volkswagen in Greece. Following concerns that the cost of moving to a new specification for the 2014 season would drive Ford and Citroën out of the category, Volkswagen lobbied to keep the current car spec for another year.
Ogier continued his winning streak with victories in the Rally d'Italia Sardegna, Rally Finland, had the opportunity to secure the FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers at the Rally Deutschland. However, a mistake on the first leg forced him into retirement, while he re-entered the following day under the Rally-2 regulations, doing so came with an automatic five-minute time penalty and Ogier finished seventeenth overall. Despite this, Ogier won the rally's power stage, as a result, would go on to score points in every round of the championship. Ogier had another opportunity to win the title in Australia, but Qatar World Rally Team driver Thierry Neuville—by this point, the only driver still in mathematical contention for the championship—finished the rally second overall, forcing the title fight to go unresolved until the next round in France. Ogier needed to out-score Neuville by just a single point to be declared the 2013 champion, he achieved this on the first stage of the rally, which in a break with tradition, was run as the event's power stage.
Ogier went on to win the rally, finished the season with two more wins in Spain, where a second-place finish for teammate Latvala was enough to secure the Manufacturers' title for Volkswagen, Wales, where Latvala against finished second. At the end of the season, the Polo R WRC had won ten of the thirteen rallies it entered, finished on the podium eight more times, secured both the Drivers' and Manufacturers' championships at the first attempt. In doing so, Ogier and Volkswagen broke Sébastien Loeb and Citroën's streak of nine consecutive World Drivers' and Manufacturers' Championship titles respectively. In anticipation of its title defence in 2014, development of the car continued through the 2013–2014 off-season, with the team introducing a series of performance updates to the car ahead of the 2014 Rallye Monte Carlo. Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala remained with the team, whilst Andreas Mikkelsen's programme was expanded to include all thirteen rounds of the championship, but the team did not nominate him to score manufacturer points in Australia.
Torsby is a locality and the seat of Torsby Municipality in Värmland County, Sweden with 4,049 inhabitants in 2010. Fortum Ski Tunnel Torsby, the world's longest ski tunnel, is located in Torsby. Sebra Film is located in Torsby. Football manager Sven-Göran Eriksson and footballer Marcus Berg are both from Torsby. Monica Kristensen Solås, a glaciologist, polar explorer and crime novelist, was born in Torsby in 1950
Sébastien Loeb is a French professional rally and rallycross driver. He competed for the Citroën World Rally Team in the World Rally Championship and is the most successful driver in WRC history, having won the world championship a record nine times in a row, he holds several other WRC records, including most event wins, most podium finishes and most stage wins. Loeb announced his retirement from World Rallying at the end of the 2012 season. Participating in selected events in the 2013 WRC season, he raced a full season in the FIA GT Series driving a McLaren MP4-12C before moving on with Citroën to the FIA World Touring Car Championship in 2014. In the 2018 season he is one of the official drivers of the Team Peugeot Total. A gymnast, Loeb switched to rallying in 1995 and won the Junior World Rally Championship in 2001. Signed by the Citroën factory team for the 2002 season, he and co-driver Daniel Elena took their maiden WRC win that same year at the Rallye Deutschland. After finishing runner-up to Petter Solberg by one point in 2003, Loeb took his first drivers' title in 2004.
Continuing with Citroën, he went on to take a record ninth consecutive world title in 2012. Loeb is a tarmac expert, having won all but three of the WRC rallies on that surface in which he has participated since 2005. Besides his success in rallying, Loeb is a three-time winner at the Race of Champions, after taking home the Henri Toivonen Memorial Trophy and the title "Champion of Champions" in 2003, 2005 and 2008. In 2004, he won the Nations' Cup for France with Jean Alesi. In 2006, he finished second in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Loeb was named the French Sportsman of the Year in 2007 and 2009, made knight of the Legion of Honour in 2009. In 2012, he won the rallycross final in his first appearance at X Games XVIII. In 2018, Loeb won the Spanish round of that year's World Rally Championship, in a rare entry six years after his retirement as a full-time rally driver. Loeb was born in Haguenau, France, the only child of Guy and Ingrid Loeb and grew up in Oberhoffen-sur-Moder, he competed as gymnast and became a four-time Alsatian champion, once champion of the French Grand East, fifth in the French championship.
He broke off school in 1992 but resumed taking classes in 1994, aiming at vocational training in electrical engineering. On 12 September 1994, in parallel with his classes, he started working as an electrician at the Socalec company near Haguenau Airport, where he was the oldest apprentice and noted for his daring/reckless driving style. On this level, he could count on the understanding of his boss, himself fascinated by speed and owned a Ferrari Testarossa 512 TR. In 1995, at age 21, he definitively turned his attention to racing. In 1998, he started entering events in the French Citroën Saxo Trophy series, winning the title in 1999. Guy Fréquelin, Citroën Sport's team principal, would serve as Loeb's mentor as he entered the Junior World Rally Championship in 2001, becoming the series' first champion by winning five of the six events; the only event he didn't win this year was Rallye Sanremo: for this event, he was elected as a driver for the WRC championship, driving a Citroën Xsara WRC alongside Philippe Bugalski and Jesús Puras.
In only his third rally with a World Rally Car, he hounded Peugeot tarmac specialist and eventual victor Gilles Panizzi to the finish, ended up second. The 2002 season was Loeb's first as a WRC driver with the Citroën Total World Rally Team, although the team only participated in seven rounds in the build-up to their full entry the following year. Loeb started the season by provisionally winning the Monte Carlo Rally, after racing under appeal due to a two-minute time penalty incurred by an illegal tyre change during the second day. Citroën considered the penalty too severe but withdrew the appeal, Subaru's Tommi Mäkinen took a record fourth consecutive Monte Carlo win. Loeb took his maiden victory at the Rallye Deutschland in Germany, edging out Peugeot's Richard Burns. In 2003, his first full season in the championship, Loeb won three WRC events, Monte Carlo and Sanremo, before losing to Petter Solberg in the Wales Rally Great Britain losing the championship to him by just one point. Sebastian was asked by his team not to chase Solberg at all costs so that he doesn't jeopardise Citroën's lead in constructors' championship.
Loeb's reputation grew as he defeated his more illustrious teammates – Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae – over the course of the season. At the end of the year, he earned the title "Champion of Champions" by beating Marcus Grönholm in the final of the Race of Champions. In the 2004 season, Loeb dominated the WRC scene in a similar way to the Michael Schumacher domination of Formula One the same year, by winning six events and taking six runner-up spots to securely give him the drivers' title, 36 points clear of second-placed Solberg, his six WRC victories tied the record for victories in one season with fellow Frenchman Didier Auriol, who won six events in 1992. He was responsible for Citroën's second manufacturers' title in a row. Known as a tarmac specialist, 2004 was the year Loeb proved himself capable of winning on other surfaces as well, he won the snow-based Swedish Rally. On gravel, he triumphed in Rally of Turkey and the Rally Australia. On tarmac, he continued his success in Monte Germany.
In 2005, with victory in the ninth round in Argentina, Loeb became the first to win six consecutive rallies, beating Timo Salonen's record of four from 1985. Having won the season-opening Rallye Automobile M
Rally Finland is a rally competition held in Jyväskylä in the Finnish Lakeland in Central Finland. The rally is driven on smooth gravel roads, featuring blind crests and big jumps, it is the fastest event in the World Rally Championship and has been dubbed the "Grand Prix of Rallying" and the "Grand Prix on Gravel". Rally Finland is among the largest annually organised public events in the Nordic countries, attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators each year; the rally has been known to be difficult for non-Nordic drivers. Rally Finland was first held under the name Jyväskylän Suurajot in 1951. An endurance event that stretched to Lapland in Northern Finland, the rally was at the forefront of the adoption of the modern rally format, splitting the route into a number of special stages in the mid-1950s. With increasing international attention, it became part of the European Rally Championship programme in 1959. After the start of the World Rally Championship in 1973, the event became the Finnish round in the series.
Rally Finland is now among the most prestigious rallies in the championship. This rally began to gain importance in the 1970s, local heroes such as Hannu Mikkola, Markku Alén, Timo Salonen, Tommi Mäkinen and Marcus Grönholm are the most successful names at this rally, Swedish drivers such as Stig Blomqvist found success at this rally; the difficulty of this rally for non-Nordic drivers made notable competitors such as Walter Röhrl and Miki Biasion make rare or no appearances at this rally. Rally Finland was started as a improvised qualifier event for the Monte Carlo Rally; the entries had been decided in the Hanko Run in Southern Finland. The regulations in this race were not close to those of the Monte Carlo Rally, leading to a demand for a Monte Carlo type of rally in Finland. In July 1951, Pentti Barck's proposal for an annual competition in Jyväskylä was accepted; the first-ever rally began on 1 September 1951 as Jyväskylän Suurajot. 26 entrants tackled the 1,700 kilometre route that stretched to Rovaniemi in Lapland, through Kokkola and Oulu, back to the rally headquarters in Jyväskylä.
The winner Arvo Karlsson, driving an Austin Atlantic, had accumulated the least penalty points and had been the closest to the target times throughout the route and the special tests involving hillclimbing and acceleration. The 1952 event included Helsinki as an alternative starting point and the field expanded to 48 entries. Eino Elo was the only driver to finish the route and the acceleration and braking tests without penalty points. In 1953, Oulu was added as a third starting point, 66 crews started the 2,200 kilometre course in two-minute intervals; the 1954 running of the rally saw the introduction of the international name "The Rally of the Thousand Lakes". There were now eleven starting cities, one of, Sundsvall in neighbouring Sweden. In 1955, the event became closer to the format of a modern rally competition. Elo and Peugeot became the first two-time winners of the event; the 1956 rally featured 19 stages totaling 1,800 kilometres. In 1957, the rally had a record number of entries from foreign countries and the organisers developed a sign language that marshals could use to communicate with drivers.
The event started the Finland-Sweden international in rallying, comparable to the traditional Finland-Sweden athletics international. Sweden's Erik Carlsson drove his Saab 93 to victory as the first non-Finn. In the 1958 1000 Lakes, documented by a 20th Century Fox film crew, seven drivers crashed out on the same curve on a foggy night. Brothers Osmo and Eino Kalpala took a record third win in an Alfa Romeo Giulietta TI, which marked the first victory for an Italian car. In 1959, the 1000 Lakes Rally was included in the European Rally Championship calendar, it was one of the four rallies that counted towards the first-ever Finnish Rally Championship. At the 1960 1000 Lakes Rally, nearly half of the 85 entries were from foreign countries. A deaf-mute road worker was hit by Germany's future European champion Eugen Böhringer in what was the event's first fatal accident. Although the rally ended with Finland's Carl-Otto Bremer leading home a Saab triple win, the best Finn had been only tenth after the opening Harju hill stage.
In the 1960s, the 1000 Lakes was dominated by the first generation of "Flying Finns" of rallying. Rauno Aaltonen beat Pauli Toivonen to the win in 1961, while Toivonen took the honours in 1962. Esko Keinänen and Rainer Eklund finished second in a Škoda Felicia. A record 104 drivers started the 1962 event. Simo Lampinen twenty years old, became the first driver to take consecutive wins, finishing ahead of Sweden's Tom Trana in 1963 and 1964. Interest in the 1000 Lakes Rally continued to grow, it became known as the best organised rally competition after the Monte Carlo Rally, as Finland's biggest sporting event by audience count. As practice had been allowed for 1965, speeds became higher than ever; these factors brought several challenges to the organisers. Spectators lined up the edge of the course an
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