The northern quarter of Europe, comprising the eastern verge of the North Sea and the western coast of the Baltic. This rugged and mountainous land has had a profound impact on European and world history, in the vitality and strength of its native population.

This covers: Aatundaland, Agder, Åland, Alvheim, Angeln, Birka, Bohuslän, Bornholm, Brännö, Dalarna, Denmark, Eastern Götland, the Faeroe Islands, Fjadryndaland, Finnmark, Fjordane, Fyn, the Gloms, Gordum, Gotland, Götland, Gudbrandsdal, Haithabu, Halland, Hallingdal, Halogaland, Hälsingland, Hedeby, Hedmark, Hocings, Hólar, Holstein, Hordaland, Hrafnista, Iceland, Jadar, Jamtland, Jomsberg, JutlandMøn, More & Romsdale, Namdale, Nerike, Norway, Öland, Oppland, OrkdalReidgotaland, Reudigni, Reykjavik, Ringerike, Rogaland, Romerike, Scania, Sjaelland, Skálholt, Slesvig, Småland, Sodermanland, Sogn, Solor, Sondmor, Svithjod, Sweden, Telemark, TiundalandTrøndelag, Uppsala, Vendeyssel, Vestfold, Viken, Vingulmark, and Vorz.

Files for neighboring regions: the Baltic, the British Isles, Germany, North America, Russia.

AATUNDALAND A petty kingdom in Sweden.

AGDER The southernmost tip of Norway, just west of Vestfold and the Oslo region.

ÅLAND (Ahvenanmaa) A group of islands in the Baltic about halfway between Finland and Sweden. The population is historically and culturally Swedish; their fate has been a source of some contention between the two countries. Today the Åland group form a self-governing dependency of Finland.

ALVHEIM A kingdom in southern Norway.

ANGELN A district in the frontier region between Germany and Denmark; a portion of modern Schleswig-Holstein. This was the home of the Angli, a Teuto-Norse people closely related to the Jutes, Danes, and Germans who were their neighbours. A large portion of them migrated into Britain at the beginning of the 6th century, there to establish East Anglia. Although never dominant among the Germanic invaders of the Isles, their contribution to the migration was of lasting significance: their name, Anglaland, i.e. England.

BIRKA Viking-age market town situated on the island of Bjorko, near modern Stockholm. Birka was the major trade center of early Sweden. It was frequented by merchants from France, Britain, northern Europe, and even Khazaria. Birka may be regarded as one of the terminus points of the Silk Road, and coins minted in Khazaria and the Middle East have been found in the town and its environs. Some recent scholars have claimed that Birka was actually a Khazar colony founded to facilitate trade with the North; however, this claim is not widely accepted.

BLEKINGE A province in far southeastern Sweden, to the south of Småland and just east of Scania.

A traditional province of Sweden, located in the west coast bordering Norway. In the early Middle Ages much of the region was part of the kingdom of Ranrike; its inhabitants, the Ranii, were mentioned by Jordanes as early as the 6th century.

BORNHOLM An island in the Baltic Sea, just off the southern tip of Sweden. Historically connected with Scania, it was known in ancient times as Burgundarholm or Burgendaland, leading some to speculate that it was the ancestral home of the Burgundians.

BRÄNNÖ An island in the Southern Göteborg Archipelago of southwestern Sweden, with about 800 inhabitants. On the Kattegat a few miles offshore from the city of Göteborg, it is about 30 miles (48 km.) east-northeast of the little Danish island of Læsø. Its urban area is also known as Brännö, and has about 620 inhabitants (2000). Administratively it belongs to the parish of Styrsö within Gothenburg Municipality. In the Dark Ages it was likely inhabited by the clan called the Brondings in Anglo-Saxon tradition.

DALARNA (Dalecarlia) A historical province or landskap in central Sweden. A common English name form is Dalecarlia or Dalekarlia (Peasant-Valley). Dalarna adjoins Härjedalen, Hälsingland, Gästrikland, Västmanland and Värmland. It is also bounded by Norway in the west. The word "Dalarna" means "the dales." In the western districts of Älvdalen and Lima some people in villages speak an obscure dialect, the Dalecarlian language, which was written in a variant of the ancient runic script until the 20th century. The region was rich in iron and was known in ancient times as "Jarnberaland", or "iron-bearing land"; it was an important mining region into modern times.

DENMARK The first eighteen or so names on this list are almost certainly legendary only, and dates given before about 800 CE should be approached with considerable skepticism. The individuals listed between 510 and 803 probably have one degree of historical reality or another. Like most lands, Denmark was originally home to a large number of local clans and petty kingdoms - see Gordum, Hedeby, Jutland, Reidgotaland, Sjaelland, Slesvik, and Vendsyssel.. The realm as we know it was not successfully unified until about 975 CE.

FAEROE ISLANDS An archipelago in the North Sea, above Britain. The local legislature, the Lagting, has met every year since 970, except for the period 1816-1852

The far northern end of Norway; that region at about 70° North latitude, beyond Tromsø and north of Finland proper, with a short frontier with Russia at the eastern end.

FJADRYNDALAND A petty kingdom in Sweden.

FJORDANE The heavily indented coastal region between Möre and Bergen in Norway.

FYN (Funen)
An island in the Danish archipelago, the third-largest island of Denmark. It is just off the southeastern coast of Jutland (coming to within a few hundred yards of the mainland at it's northwestern corner), and is seperated from Sjaelland to the east by the Store Straits. In Roman times and during the Migration Period, Fyn was ruled by powerful chieftains.

GLOMS A people mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Widsith poem. They may have come from the region of the Glomma river in southern Norway.

GORDUM An early medieval kingdom in Denmark.

GOTLAND A large island within the Baltic Sea, near the southeastern coast of Sweden.

GÖTLAND (The Geats) Not to be confused with the island of almost the same name listed just above, this is a region in south-central Sweden, well-known as the possible earliest homeland of the Gothic nation, and also as the homeland of the semi-mythological Beowulf.

 A district within the Opplands, in south-central Norway, based around the town of Hundorp. It also contains the city of Lillehammer, site of the 1994 Winter Olympics.

Hadeland is a traditional district in the south-eastern part of Norway. It is located around the southern part of lake Randsfjorden in Oppland county, and consists of the municipalities of Gran, Jevnaker and Lunner. Hadeland occupies the area north of the hills of Nordmarka close to the Norwegian capital Oslo. The soil around the Randsfjord is amongst the most fertile in Norway.

A district within the Norwegian Opplands, a petty-kingdom during the early Viking Age.

HÅLOGALAND An old province in central Norway, once a local Kingdom before the unification of the nation. The early names appear in the Ynglinga Saga as kings of Hålogaland or kings of the Haleygir, the dominant tribal group of the region.

HÄLSINGLAND A province in east-central Sweden, on the southwest coast of the Gulf of Bothnia, north of Stockholm. Large numbers of people from this region migrated to Finland in the era when it was a possession of Sweden and, in fact, the current Finnish capital of Helsinki is named for this area.

HÄRJEDALEN A rural province in west-central Sweden, from which a disproportionate number of immigrants to the American State of Minnesota came from.

HEDEBY A site (now uninhabited) in the southeastern corner of the Jutland Peninsula, near the modern town of Schleswig, in Germany. Established as a trade center in the 8th century CE, it was a vibrant and dynamic community for more than 250 years  in the late Dark Ages.

HEDMARK (Hedemarken) A modern county in Norway running along the Swedish border north of Vestfold. In early Mediaeval times Hedmark was an independent kingdom, later it retained much autonomy under the early Norwegian kings.

HOCINGS A people mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Widsith poem, who probably lived in present-day Denmark.

HOLSTEIN The regions immediately north of the Elbe estuary, forming the base of the Jutland peninsula. These often turbulent Counts were a continual source of quarrelsome difficulties for Denmark during the Middle Ages - and, in fact, they seized control of the state and blocked any effective central government in the period 1332-1340.

HORDALAND The coastal region north of Rogaland and south of Sogn, in southwestern Norway. The chief modern city is the port of Bergen. It is uncertain where these first three names fit in the general Hordaland chronology.

 A territory on the island of Nærøy in Nord-Trøndelag, northern Norway. In saga literature Hrafnista was the home of a family from which came several heroes in a group of legendary sagas called the Hrafnistumannasögur, as well as, according to the Icelandic Book of Settlements and Egil's Saga, of several of the early settlers of Iceland.

ICELAND It is not known when Iceland was first seen by men. There is circumstantial evidence to suggest that it was known in Classical times, under the name of Thule Ultima. It is known that from perhaps 400 CE onwards, the island was occasional visited and even settled by Celtic fishermen and anchorites. They have left virtual no trace of their occupation of the place, and it was left to the Scandinavians, whose first colonies on the island date from 874 CE, to settle it in any extensive way. Settlements grew rapidly in the 10th century, mainly from Norwegian Vikings and migrants, but there was no organized government beyond the whim of local landholders until the first legislature, the Althing, was established in 930. As a linguistic note, be aware of two special characters present here: "Þ" represents a hard "th" sound similar to the first phoneme in "Thought"; "ð" represents a soft "th" sound similar to the first phoneme in "That".

ICELANDIC BISHOPS Here are the successions of the two Mediaeval Bishoprics in Iceland, both of which became Lutheran in the 16th century, and both combined in the late 1790's in a new residence at Reykjavik. As a linguistic note, be aware of two special characters present here: "Þ" represents a hard "th" sound similar to the first phoneme in "Thought"; "ð" represents a soft "th" sound similar to the first phoneme in "That". Bishops (Lutheran) of Reykjavik

JADAR A petty kingdom in southern Norway.

JÄMTLAND An inland district in western Sweden, on the Norwegian frontier east of Trondheim. The region was a refuge for Norwegians fleeing the forced consolidation of that state in the late 9th century, and has always had a reputation for rough and sturdy independence.

JOMSBERG Unusual for this archive, this is a listing for a place whose location is not known. The best evidence suggests that the citadel of Jomsberg lay in extreme northeastern Germany, on the coast of Pomerania near the modern Polish frontier, perhaps not far from the modern city of Wollin. But territory is less important than purpose here: According to some Old Norse sources (the historiocity of which is challenged by many modern historians) Jomsberg was the base of an order of Pagan warriors, very similar in many respects to later crusading orders of chivalry, except that money, not religious zeal, motivated them: they were mercenaries to whoever would pay their battle-fee. They lived in a tightly disciplined male-only community, and were a force to be reckoned with in early Mediaeval Scandinavia.

JUTLAND Mainland Denmark; the peninsula on the western side of the Kingdom. Vaguely known of in classical times by Graeco-Romans, and called by them "Cimbria". It has been the home of the Jutes for ages, these being a Teutonic folk closely related to both Germans in the south and Norse to the east and north. They migrated in large numbers into Britain, during the Anglo-Saxon invasions at the beginning of the Dark Ages.

A small island in the Danish archipelago, immediately southeast of Sjaelland - the chief town, Stege, is 47 miles south (75 km.) of Copenhagen. The island is generally quite flat, but rises gently toward the east, ending abruptly in a series of tall chalk cliffs crowned by beech forests.

MÖRE and ROMSDALE A string of provinces along the Norwegian coast, west and south of Trondheim. 

NAMDALE A district in central Norway, independent before unification in the late 9th century.

NERIKE A petty kingdom in southern Sweden.

NORWAY The process of unification in Norway began with the conquests of Harald Fairhair in the late 9th century, but was not completed before the beginning of the 11th. Dates before 900 should be approached with skepticism. Norway was united with Denmark in personal union from the 14th century; in 1814 it was detached from Denmark, and amalgamated with Sweden. Norway seceded from Sweden in 1905, and established a separate dynasty.

ÖLAND A long and narrow island paralleling the southeastern coast of Sweden opposite the city of Kalmar. Öland is the second largest Swedish island and the smallest of the traditional provinces of Sweden. It is connected to the mainland across the Kalmar Strait through the Öland bridge, which opened in 1972. In Old English the island was known as Eowland, and was inhabited by a Teutonic tribe called the Eowan.

A province in southern Norway, comprising much of the very rugged and mountainous interior of the southern bulge - it is the region between Oslo to the southeast, Hedmark to the east, and the coastal district of Möre-Romsdale to the north. See also, Gudbrandsdal.

ORKDAL (Orkadal; Orkdale)
A district within the Trondelag, consisting of the municipalities of Rennebu, Meldal and Orkdal. It was a petty kingdom in the early Viking Age, before the unification of Norway.

REIDGOTALAND An early Scandanavian kingdom. Its exact location is disputed. Some place the kingdom in southern Norway, while others in what is now Jylland district at the northern tip of the Jutland penninsula of Denmark. According to Snorri Sturluson in the Prologue to the Prose Edda (1220's), Reidgotaland was ancient Jutland, and the original homeland of the earliest Skioldings, the legendary founding dynasts of Denmark (see also Sjaelland as another potential source for this family).

REUDIGNI (Rondings) The Reudigni were one of the Nerthus-worshipping Germanic tribes mentioned by Tacitus in his "Germania." In Widsith they are called the Rondings. They have otherwise been lost to history, but they may have lived in Denmark prior to the arrival of the Daner recorded by Jordanes. The name lives on as the root for in the name Randers and Randsfjord, Denmark.

RINGERIKE (Hringarike) A district in central southeastern Norway, to the north of Oslo. According to local tradition the name derives from the Hringari tribe, the original inhabitants of the region.

ROGALAND The southwesternmost province in Norway. The chief modern city is the port of Stavanger.

ROMERIKE A kingdom in southern Norway.

SCANIA The far southern end of Sweden, and thereby of considerable strategic importance in it's being more-or-less adjacent to all three of the major Scandinavian powers.

SJAELLAND (ZEALAND) An island in eastern Denmark, between the Kattegat and the Baltic Sea. Denmark’s largest island, it is separated from Fyn by the Store Bælt and from Sweden by the Øresund. Sjælland includes most of Copenhagen, the Danish capital, and the cities of Roskilde, Helsingør, Hillerød, Holbæk, Næstved, Køge, and Birkerød.

SLESVIG In German, Schleswig. The territory at the base of the Jutland peninsula, with close ties to both Denmark and Germany. United with Holstein from 1386.

SMÅLAND An area in the south of Götland. It is a historical province (landskap) of Sweden. Småland borders Blekinge, Scania or Skåne, Halland, Västergötland, Östergötland and the island Öland in the Baltic Sea. The name Småland literally means "Small lands." The region includes the city of Kalmar, one of the oldest and most important in Sweden. In the 19th century, Småland was characterized by poverty, and had a substantial emigration to North America, which additionally hampered its development. The majority of emigrants ended up in Minnesota, with a geography resembling Sweden, combining arable land with forest and lakes. Today it is best known as the home of Carl Linneus and the furniture giant Ikea, both natives of the city of Älmhult.

SÖDERMANLAND A minor kingdom in early Sweden - still in existence today as a province, on the Baltic cost east and southeast of modern Stockholm and earlier Uppsala. The name means "land of the South-men", and was assigned to the area by the Swedes of the Uppsala region from their geographic perspective.

SOGN The coastal region north of Hordaland and south of Möre, in the same vicinity as Fjordane.

SOLOR Kingdom in southern Norway.

SONDMOR A Kingdom in southern Norway.

SVITHJOD A small kingdom in southern Norway, probably subject to Sogn. But note; in some sources the name of Svithjod is used to refer to the predecessor-states of Sweden, as well as the legendary pan-Scandinavian kingdoms ruled by such kings as Ivar Vidfame.

SWEDEN In early times, this land was the home of several notable nations. The Goths originated here, as well as the Rus. This list details the Sverigen succession. As with Denmark and Norway, names and particularly dates before about 900 should be approached with considerable scepticism, as they are traditional folk- and mythological in context. Sweden was not unified as a state much before around 1075. It participated for a time in the Union of Kalmar which brought together all of Scandinavia for a time, but the Swedes misliked the arrangemnent, and over a tumultuous 75 year period (1448-1523) extracted themselves from Denmark-Norway, to pursue an entirely separate identity.

TELEMARK (Thelamork)
A petty Norwegian kingdom situated to the west of Vestfold, north-east of Agder.

TIUNDALAND A petty kingdom in east-central Sweden.

 A geographical region in the central part of Norway, consisting of the two counties Nord-Trøndelag and Sør-Trøndelag. The name consists of the tribal name Trønder and the word lag (law), meaning the "area of the law of the Trønders" (cf. the Danelaw, in England). The region is, together with Møre og Romsdal, part of a larger administrative division called Central Norway. It contains the towns of Lade, Nidaros and Trondheim, some of the most important cities in early Norwegian history. The inhabitants, called "Trønders" in the sagas, were remarkably independent-minded even by Norse standards; they were also exceedingly powerful and wealthy, leading Snorri Sturluson to remark that "no King in Norway could rule in peace if he failed to have the people of Trøndelag on his side." Trøndelag was the site of the Frostating, one of the four great legal and political assemblies of medieval Norway. See also, Orkdal.

VÄRMLAND An historical province or landskap in the western interior of south-central Sweden;, lying more-or-less on a line between Stockholm to the east and Oslo to the west. It borders Västergötland, Dalsland, Dalarna, Västmanland and Nerike, and frontiers Norway to the west. Its Latin name is Wermelandia; its English derivative is Wermland or similar variations.

VENDSYSSEL (Nørrejyske) The northernmost island of Denmark, just north of the Jutland peninsula - the sharp-pointed landmass opposite Gothenborg, Sweden, across the upper Kattegat. It's main municipalities are Hjorring and Frederikshavn. Vendsyssel is traditionally regarded as the original home of the Vandals.

VESTFOLD The coastal districts lying on the west side of Oslofjord, in southern Norway. It is the region out of which Norway emerged as a state.

VIKEN A sub-region of Vestfold that was briefly autonomous under its own jarls in the 900's.

VINGULMARK A petty kingdom in southern Norway, around the Oslofjord and Ostfold.

VORZ A coastal district in Norway.