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Scandinavians/Norsemen/Vikings/Danes... Time to clear this up once and for all.

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by RobinHat, Sep 15, 2009.

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  1. RobinHat

    RobinHat Warlord

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    I have not at any point said that 'Norway was under Danish rule' during the Viking Age (except in the time during and just before Canute the Great). I have said that it was effectively under Danish rule AFTER 1387 and that the two countries were closely tied during the Viking Age, with Danish influence in Norway being very visible.
    The Kalmar Union was indeed enacted late during this time but, as has been stated earlier, was more of a military and economic pact than anything else.

    After Sweden left the Kalmar Union, Denmark still was master of Norway. There was no rebellion in Norway after the Swedes left.
    Also, I assume the provinces you are referring to are Skåne, Halland and Blekinge, which had always been a part of Denmark, and didn't become Swedish until Carl X Gustav conquered them in 1658.

    This is all true, and doesn't take away from my points. :)
     
  2. Barbar

    Barbar Chieftain

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    Yes, that´s right. But "unfortunately" all four had an greater impact on world history and a more important legacy to mankind compared to Sweden or Denmark.

    But I don´t want to burn the flames here. Again with only 30 or 40 factions you have to set priorities, when there would be 200 civs you can add all scandinavian countries.

    p.s. Nevertheless some good informations about Nordic history in this thread :)
     
  3. RobinHat

    RobinHat Warlord

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    Well I disagree. Denmark had an immense impact on Europe during the Viking Age, especially England and northern France. Even the word 'England' is a Danish word.

    But you're entitled to your opinion of course. :)
     
  4. Loppan Torkel

    Loppan Torkel Deity

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    I don't think it's fair to call you a liar when speaking of "historical facts" such as these, but I think that for someone who has studied this particular field for years, you seem to be pretty biased yourself, perhaps due to your own patriotic pride.
    Many of these "facts" are up for interpretation and could be viewed differently depending on perspective, but when reading some of your posts there seems to be a fair share of glorification of the Danish history in general and to the Danish-Norwegian "brotherhood" in particular. It doesn't match up with what I've read on subject earlier. I've not spend years in college studying this, but most other sources do seem a bit more believable than this depiction.

    History of Norway - according to Wikipedia.
     
  5. RobinHat

    RobinHat Warlord

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    I live in Denmark but I happen to be half British, so there is no patriotic pride at work here.
     
  6. Loppan Torkel

    Loppan Torkel Deity

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    Maybe you're just surrounded by patriotic Danes ;)
     
  7. RobinHat

    RobinHat Warlord

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    Not many of those, believe me! ;)

    Here it almost seems to be a sin to be too proud. I have a theory about that actually. The older a country is, the less patriotic its people are. Take Denmark for instance - not much patriotic pride at all... in fact it's almost frowned upon. Denmark is the oldest kingdom in the world, with the world's oldest flag.

    Now let's take a look at the United States for instance. A young country, where it is a sin NOT to be extremely patriotic. Similar situation in Norway - they are by far the most patriotic people in Scandinavia (perhaps even in all of Europe).
     
  8. Loppan Torkel

    Loppan Torkel Deity

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    There was power struggle between them as well as between other kingdoms. Claiming there wasn't bad blood between them in general seems to suggest there was closer kinship between these people than what is known. It's vague, but if you mean anything more than that they didn't hate one each other to death, I'd like to see it backed up. I know of brief alliances and that the Danes had influence over the region at times. There are some wikipedia-links at the bottom just to show other alliances.
    Sweden attacked/was attacked by "the union" and seized Norwegian territory. Of course they fought to protect their land. There's always some motivation to why some choices are made, these were most likely political. What motivations were you implying the Norwegians had?
    So the Norwegians tried to gain independence after being freed from the union..? Why is that surprising? Where should they have turned to get a legitimate monarch in those few days?

    You state that Norway and Denmark was effectively one nation also in spirit at the end of the union. After 400 years under Danish rule, I can see why the Danish influence over Norway would've been deeply rooted, but I would never claim they were one spirit. Can you back up your claim? ..and not by giving a few isolated and pretty skewed anecdotes.

    Even if it's not out of patriotism, there still seems to be an intent to magnify the greatness of the Danes and to glorify the Danish-Norwegian brotherhood.

    He said "effectively" and so did you...

    A few excerpts from wikipedia;
    Spoiler :
    The naval Battle of the Helgeå took place in 1026, between Denmark and the other Scandinavians, at the estuary of a river called Helgeå. Opinions are divided on whether it was the Helgeå of Uppland or the Helgeå of eastern Skåne, but the battle is retold in skaldic poetry and in sources such as the Danish Gesta Danorum by Saxo Grammaticus and the Icelandic Saga of Olaf the Holy by Snorri Sturluson.

    The Swedish and Norwegian navies led by the kings Anund Jacob and Olaf the Stout lay in wait up a river for Cnut the Great's Danish navy, which was commanded by Ulf Jarl. Cnut's navy was massive and his own ship is said to have been 80 metres long. The Swedish and the Norwegian kings ordered a large dam made of peat and lumber on the river. When the Danish navy sailed in, the water was released and a great many Danes and Englishmen drowned in the deluge. However, Cnut's men were apparently able to win the battle.

    At some time after the battle, Cnut was apparently the king of Sweden too, and had coins minted in Sigtuna. He also became the king of Norway.

    In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the battle is dated to 1025 and the Swedes won the battle:

    A.D. 1025. This year went King Knute to Denmark with a fleet to the holm by the holy river; where against him came Ulf and Eglaf, with a very large force both by land and sea, from Sweden. There were very many men lost on the side of King Knute, both of Danish and English; and the Swedes had possession of the field of battle.

    Spoiler :
    The naval Battle of Svolder (Svold, Swold)[1] was fought in September 999 or 1000 somewhere in the western Baltic between King Olaf Tryggvason of Norway and an alliance of his enemies. The backdrop of the battle is the unification of Norway into a single state, long-standing Danish efforts to gain control of the country, and the spread of Christianity in Scandinavia.

    King Olaf was sailing home after an expedition to Wendland (Pomerania), when he was ambushed by an alliance of Svein Forkbeard, King of Denmark, Olaf Eiríksson, King of Sweden, and Eirik Hákonarson, Jarl of Lade. Olaf had only 11 warships in the battle against a fleet of at least 70.[2] His ships were cleared one by one, last of all the Long Serpent, which Jarl Eirik captured as Olaf threw himself into the sea. After the battle, Norway was ruled by the Jarls of Lade as a fief of Denmark and Sweden.

    Spoiler :
    After the Black Death Norway entered into a period of decline. The Royal line died out and the country entered into two unequal unions from 1396 until 1814; this period was called "the 400-year-night" by Henrik Ibsen during the national romantic period as Norwegian national awareness was rediscovered in the 19th century. It can be broken into two main periods:

    * The union of all Scandinavia referred to as the Kalmar Union, and
    * The Danish Period or Union with Denmark.

    The Kalmar Union (1396–1537)

    King Haakon V died without male heirs in 1319. His daughter married a Swedish prince, whose son Magnus Eriksson inherited both kingdoms. Magnus's son Haakon VI and his infant son Olav IV were Norway's last native kings until Harald V ascended to the throne in 1991. Margrethe, the queen mother, who was the oldest daughter of King Valdemar IV of Denmark, succeeded in uniting Norway with Denmark and Sweden in the Kalmar Union (1397–1523), which ended after 180 years when Sweden seceded in 1536. Norway's power was weakened during this period by the loss of a large part of the population during the Black Death pandemic of 1349–1351.

    The Union with Denmark (1537–1814)

    The elite in Norway was so weakened that it was not able to resist the pressures from the Danes. More and more decisions were taken in Copenhagen and the Norwegian Riksråd was eventually disbanded. The Danish crown was represented by a governor styled Statholder, but it was always important for the King to maintain Norway's legal status as a separate hereditary kingdom. The Danish period can be separated into subperiods:

    * The Reformation in Norway (1537–1596): Norway's power was further weakened by the dissolution of the independent Norwegian church in the reformation of 1537. Norway became a tributary to Denmark.

    * The Northern Wars (1596–1720): A period of virtually continual war and preparation for war, including the Kalmar War (1611–1613), the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648), the Northern War (1655–1658), the Gyldenløve War (1675–1679) and culminating in the Great Northern War (1700–1721). Norway lost its landscapes of Bohuslen, Jemtland and Herjedalen, in addition to Idre and Serna, two smaller communities of Eastern Norway.

    * The Period of Peace and Economic Growth (1721–1770): During the 18th century, Norway enjoyed a period of great prosperity and became an increasingly important part of the united kingdoms.

    * National Reawakening and Preparation for Independence (1770–1814): This period was built on the strong natural independence of the Norwegian farm culture, combined with awareness of the American Revolution (1775–1783) and the French Revolution (1789–1799), building the natural national assertiveness, and culminating in the constitutional convention of 1814.


    There probably are some connection between the age of a nation and the patriotism of it. I also think that conflicts during it's recent history and the political system has something to do with it...

    Cheers.
     
  9. Rubbaduck

    Rubbaduck Artificial waterfowl

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    Just throwing in my few cents... Skipped most of the thread so might be just more of the same.

    The Civ IV representation of the civilization of Scandinavia, whatever the correct naming for it may be, is based on a romanticised image of jolly, drunk, mushroom crazed raiding warriors drinking blood from their horned helmets and worshiping Thor and Odin. By far the most recognizable term for this romanticisation is 'Vikings', which has in modern language gained the position of a noun. Therefore, for the representation that is in Civ IV should definitely be termed 'Vikings', much like Celts are Celts instead of Gauls, Scots and Irishmen.

    This, however, is a very lazy way to gobble almost a half of Europe and make a Civ out of a period consisting of like one hundred years or something, and then romanticise the crap out of it.

    Regarding your proposition of calling them Danes... Well, that would be better, though it would miss much of the distinct cultures covered by the 'Vikings' classification. I, as a Finn, would be at least mildly annoyed if Denmark got included, but not Sweden or Norway(and if Germany gets two civs, the Finns certainly deserve one :< ).

    Conclusions drawn fro this indicate that I advocate the following: If the representation stays as it is, call them Vikings. If the Danes get in, so do the others or at least Sweden.

    P.S. In school we are taught that Danish is the most different one at least pronouncation-wise, and norwegian is actually two languages.
     
  10. RobinHat

    RobinHat Warlord

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    @Loppan Torkel: Having read your reply I can see that I may very well have been carried a bit away with some of my statements, simplifying some things where the facts are really more nuanced than I imply. I can only say that I might have felt a need to highlight certain points and retort after having been called a liar, and I apologise for this.
    I have no intention of glorifying anybody or putting anyone else down. I think I got myself into a bit of a defensive mode out of frustration.

    My original points still stand though. I do claim that Denmark and Norway have much closer ties than, say, Denmark and Sweden, or Norway and Sweden - and that they historically have shared a close bond in many ways.

    The fact that Norway today is one of the world's richest and most prosperous and succesful countries could be seen as a bit of poetic justice after having been bossed around by Denmark and Sweden all these years... ;)

    Anyway. I apologise if I have been a bit simplifying in my latest posts on this thread, and I hope we can get a good discussion back on track.

    I still advocate the addition of both the Danish and Swedish Civs in the game, rather than the Viking Civ, which still hurts my eyes.
     
  11. Öjevind Lång

    Öjevind Lång Deity

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    I know that the Viking Age(which lasted some 250 years) are the main reason why the Scandinavians are included in the game, but I still think they should be called the Scandinavians, as they were in Civ III. Just the way the Celts are called the Celts and not the Druids, so to speak.
     
  12. CaptainPuma

    CaptainPuma Chieftain

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    I wrote a long and angry reply to RobinHat after reading his counter-arguments to my post, but after seeing his last post saying how he got carried away and got defensive, I regretted and rewrote most of it. I apologize for implying that he was a liar, I can see how that derailed the whole argument. I now assume good faith, and that he's just passionate for history just like the rest of us.

    I do feel that I have to address some of the points of his reply, though not as angrily as I first intended:

    Let us first clear the air with some minor points (nitpicking, really:)
    What I said was that "Danish rule of Viking-age Norway was intermittent and valid for only parts of Norway, mainly around the area of Viken". This does not mean that Danish rule was limited to the southern part of Norway, since some prominent Lade-Earls from Trondheim were allied with Danish kings, but that it was this area of Norway which was fairly consistently under Danish rule until Harald Hardrådes purging of the Oppland-farmers in 1060. That coins bearing the face of Canute the Great was found in Bodø does not imply that his rule stretched that far. After all, arabian coins were found in Kaupang and Trodnheim, does that mean that the Caliphate stretched all the way to Northern Europe? Funny you should mention Sveyn Forkbeard as an example of danish influence: His danish invasion fleet was soundly defeated by the Lade-Earls and Håkon Sigurdsson in the Battle of Hjørungavåg in 986.

    I agree with everything you said regarding Denmark-Norway after 1387, but this was not the topic of my original post. Remember, we're discussing the extent of Danish influence in Norway from the Viking age until the middle of the 14th century.

    The civil war tapered off at the beginning of the 13th century, and is agreed to have ended conclusively in 1240 with the failed uprising of Skule Bårdson, a full century before you claim it ended. The following century is sometimes referred to as the Golden Age of Norway (1st one, only needed one GP ;) ). Norway was at its greatest territorial extent under king Håkon Håkonsson (1217 - 1264). The areas being taxed and owing fealty to the Norwegian Crown apart from present-day Norway (minus Finnmark) were:

    Shetland - Directly under the king of Norway after the Battle of Florvåg in 1195
    Orkneys - Earldom from the time of Harald Hårfagre, owing allegiance to Norway.
    Norwegian sovereignty over Shetland and the Orkneys was confirmed by the Treaty of Perth in 1266

    Hebrides - Under Norwegian control from the 12th century
    Isle of Man - Taxed by the Norwegian Crown since 1052
    Hebrides and Isle of Man ceded to Scotland in Treaty of Perth

    Faroes - Subordinated when Leivur Øssursson becamne liege lord under Magnus I of Norway in 1035
    Iceland - Subordinated with the signing of the Old Covenant in 1264
    Greenland - Subordinated 1261

    Sweden:
    Herjedalen - Under Norwegian rule from the 12th century. Part of Nidaros diocese until the reformation.
    Jemtland - Under Norwegian rule from 1178 until Swedish conquest in 1645
    Idre och Särna (swedish municipalities) - Norwegian under Nidaros diocese until 1644
    Bohuslän - Norwegian from the time of Harald Hårfagre. Ceded to Sweden in the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658

    If you read danish, you can perhaps read this Norwegian Wikpedia article regarding this topic:
    http://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norgesveldet

    Please note that no fealties were owed, no taxes payed to the Danish Crown throughout this period. Norway was, for all intents and purposes, independent. It had actually, in your words, gone through "a continuous civil war [...] for ages with Norway emerging as a single independent country on the other side".

    I agree with Loppan Torkels point on Norwegians being patriotic, something perhaps I'm an example of. Norway is a young, small nation, and painfully aware of the more illustrious pasts of our neighboring countries. We are a bit more prone to blustering and flag-waving than the other nordic countries.

    EDIT: Spelling, minor changes
     
  13. CaptainPuma

    CaptainPuma Chieftain

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    I'd like to correct myself here: Canute the Great was in fact the undisputable king of all of Norway. But the fact that his coins were found in Bodø does not...
    aaahh forget it, I was wrong :crazyeye:
     
  14. RobinHat

    RobinHat Warlord

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    Some very good points there, Puma. Definitely worth taking into consideration when speaking about balance of power in the early middle ages. The 13th century, which is clearly a golden age for Norway, was the beginning of a dark age for Denmark as I mentioned earlier, and may also have given much more room for Norway to flourish as it did.

    Of course my point of the coins was a bad one - once again, I was simplifying things to make a point. :)

    However, I am curious as to you opinion of my original purpose for starting this thread. Do you agree that Denmark and Sweden should be seperate civs in the game, or are you content with the simplified 'Viking' civ?

    Flag-waving Norwegian or not, you must agree that placing the Viking capital in Nidaros with Stockholm as city number 2 is a gross historical error. :)

    What are your opinions?

    Glad we all are friends again... Forum arguments usually flame out of control. Just goes to show that a good, friendly discussion is more important than being right...


    Edit: Yes Canute was king of all of Norway (and Denmark, England... and well LOADS more).. but I couldn't really find any arguments to prove it while I was writing... except those coins... Oh well.. As long as we agree... ;)
     
  15. Loppan Torkel

    Loppan Torkel Deity

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    Since there has been three Viking-nations in history and they separately won't qualify as "civ" civilizations. I think lumping them together to represent a general Viking-civ is a decent solution. The alternative, which in my eyes would be a more appropriate solution, would be to lump them together in a Scandinavian civ. Their histories have been intertwined in some way or another and their ethnic groups, cultures, languages, religions and politics have always been similar even if there has been a number of conflicts between them. Although a Viking-civ is more attractive.

    Maybe. During the union Denmark and Norway certainly had closer ties and I imagine some of this closeness from Norway's side had to do with them being able to keep an ounce of and still hope for independence when being under Danish rule rather than under a potential Swedish.

    Whether the Norwegians still feel closer to the Danes, I have no idea. Maybe CaptainPuma can answer that.
     
  16. lumpthing

    lumpthing generic lump

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    Maybe CaptainPuma would feel better from knowing that to the non-Nordic world, Norway is not 'the little man of Scandinavia'. We're all way too ignorant about your culture/history/economics to think of you as anything but four equals.
     
  17. Whaleyland

    Whaleyland Chieftain

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    I don't know tons about Norway but do know that it is a pain in the rear to take over in the original Panzer General. All those valleys! Denmark was a piece of cake for Germany but Norway was a bit of a pain.
     
  18. CaptainPuma

    CaptainPuma Chieftain

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    Being right can be pretty important too, at times ;) But a civil, level-headed tone is more conducive to good discussion.

    As you might have guessed, I don't support the idea of Denmark (or Danes) and Sweden as two independent civs in the game. This is simply because I don't think Vikings = Danes, for the reasons stated above, among other things. To single out Norsemen from what turned out to be one scandinavian nation or the other as "true" Vikings, would be to miss a large part of the picture. There is a genuine case for modelling a civ on the Swedish Late Medieval/Reneissance Nordic superpower, but that would pose some problems in relation to a Viking civ. You could remove the Viking civ altogether and just go for Sweden, but where's the fun in that?! I want battle axes, longships and berserkers! :D The Viking civ is not without its problems, but the alternatives are even more problematic.

    Starting in Nidaros does not reflect the balance of power in the early Viking age, with Denmark having a strong central authority, and Norway consisting of small separate fiefdoms. I always end up with 2 swedish cities instead! Game mechanics and balance aside, you really should have 3 Viking cities, Kjøpmandehavn, Nidaros and Uppsala, which were the centres of power within each scandinavian nation.

    Regarding the closeness between Norway, Denmark and Sweden: After Norway gained its independence in 1905, its first action as an independent nation was almost going to war with Sweden. This was very sensibly avoided by king Oscar, but still, in the deep of the Norwegian national character there's a distrust, and a fear that the Swedes will invade and steal our sh*t again. This doesn't manifest itself in any meaningful way, though. Sweden is the big brother who has done it all and who is a tough act to follow (this is where the little man issues kick in), but still, it's family. Danes are viewed as almost more European than Scandinavian. But they are also perceived as amiable, laid back, friendly, and non-threatening. Speaking for myself, I have had more contact with Danes and Denmark than with Sweden. Large part of my family is Danish, girlfriend lives there, and I studied in Aalborg for one semester.
    This gene map of Europe is quite interesting: Notice the considerable overlap between Norwegian and Danish genes as opposed Swedish genes. I'm not a geneticist, and it might not mean anything, but it's interesting nonetheless.

    As any Norwegian or Swede will tell you, it is far easier for Swedes and Norwegians to understand each other, than Swedes and Danes. Interestingly, Danes have an easier time understanding Norwegians as well.
    Danes feel Swedes (remember I'm speaking in generalizations) are a tad arrogant. Swedes think Danes speak incomprehensibly, while Norwegian is "cute" and hard to take seriously. These are all just impressions I have from speaking with Danes and Swedes.
     
  19. lumpthing

    lumpthing generic lump

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    As far as Western Europe goes I think it's more to do with the extent of the country's recent imperial and colonial power. Good liberals in Britain, France, Denmark and Germany are concerned that anything beyond lukewarm patriotism will awaken a rampagingly imperialist and racist monster. Countries like Ireland, Norway and Iceland can identify their patriotism with resistance to the colonial monsters, so they feel free to go to town with nationalist self-celebration. Also these countries have relatively few immigrants so there is less concern about patriotism turning into xenophobia.

    I think the situation is a bit mixed in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. On the one hand they feel guilty about the mistreatment of the indigenous people but on the other hand they can to some extent blame that on Britain and think of themselves as oppressed colonists (more so with Australia because of its penal colony history).

    America is a special case. It can't blame Britain for the past 220 years and plenty of Americans consider their country to be the king of imperialistic monsters or just that American patriotism is generally a bad thing. Nevertheless the anti-strong-patriotism mentality just doesn't seem anywhere near as prevalent there. I'm not sure why.

    Okay this is very off-topic...
     
  20. RobinHat

    RobinHat Warlord

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    Well Kjøbmandehavn/København/Copenhagen really only grew to power in the later middle ages. The main city of power would have been Jelling, Ribe or Vordingborg.

    I agree with Nidaros/Trondhjem and Uppsala

    I see your point, but Denmark has not exactly been a great imperial or colonial power for almost 1000 years. Yes, Denmark controls the Faroes and Greenland, but there is no subjugation or oppression going on there (and there never has been - the locals in these areas received full citizen rights almost from day 1).
     
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