Ancient Scandinavia: An Archaeological History From the by T. Douglas Price PDF

By T. Douglas Price

ISBN-10: 019023198X

ISBN-13: 9780190231989

Even if occupied in basic terms rather in brief within the lengthy span of worldwide prehistory, Scandinavia is a rare laboratory for investigating earlier human societies. the realm used to be primarily unoccupied until eventually the tip of the final Ice Age while the melting of massive ice sheets left at the back of a clean, barren land floor, which was once ultimately coated through wildlife. the 1st people didn't arrive until eventually someday after 13,500 BCE. The prehistoric continues to be of human job in Scandinavia - a lot of it remarkably preserved in its toilets, lakes, and fjords - have given archaeologists a richly specified portrait of the evolution of human society. during this e-book, Doug rate offers an archaeological historical past of Scandinavia-a land mass comprising the trendy nations of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway-from the coming of the 1st people after the final Ice Age to the tip of the Viking interval, ca. advert 1050. developed equally to the author's prior booklet, Europe prior to Rome, old Scandinavia offers overviews of every prehistoric epoch by means of distinct, illustrative examples from the archaeological list. An engrossing and accomplished photograph emerges of swap around the millennia, as human society evolves from small bands of hunter - gatherers to giant farming groups to the advanced warrior cultures of the Bronze and Iron a long time, which culminated within the magnificent upward push of the Vikings. the cloth facts of those previous societies - arrowheads from reindeer hunts, megalithic tombs, rock paintings, superbly wrought weaponry, Viking warships - provide shiny testimony to the traditional people who as soon as known as domestic this usually unforgiving fringe of the inhabitable global.

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Karl IX’s disastrous defeat at Kirkholm (September 1605) provided sufficient evidence of that. 30 Sweden was a respectable second-rate monarchy in 1611, no mean accomplishment for a state with such humble beginnings. There was nothing, however, to suggest potential for national ‘greatness’, that Sweden might make its influence felt in European politics beyond the Baltic. And even in the Baltic world, it was overshadowed by Poland and Denmark. For all of the commercial labors of its kings, Sweden remained an impoverished state, and the constitutional fissures that had begun to open wide after 1587 hinted at an impending crisis over the nature of political authority.

All five of the early Vasa kings had come face-to-face with internal challenges to their authority. Two of them – Erik and Sigismund – had of course succumbed; nonetheless, the authority of the crown was undiminished when Karl IX died in 1611. Given the odds ranged against it, the most remarkable thing about the Vasa ‘experiment’ was that the kingdom survived intact to greet the new century. That is not to say, however, that the Vasa state had survived unchanged, or that the problems that had confronted Gustav Vasa had been solved.

Moreover, the Catholic experiment exacerbated the growing split between Johan and his brother Karl of Södermanland. 13 The Catholic experiment allowed Karl to pose as the defender of the Lutheran faith. Johan III managed to suppress Karl’s ambitions, and before the end of the reign the two brothers had reconciled, at least formally. But by the late 1580s, as Johan drew closer to death, the likelihood of a smooth dynastic succession did not appear promising. Johan’s eldest son and designated heir, Prince Sigismund, had converted to Catholicism as a boy, and refused to give up his faith when Johan ceased his efforts to return Sweden to papal obedience.

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Ancient Scandinavia: An Archaeological History From the First Humans to the Vikings by T. Douglas Price

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