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A map of Scandinavia. The red area shows the most common usage: the three monarchies; Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The orange area shows an extended usage: including Finland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

Scandinavia is a subregion in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. It commonly consists of Norway, Sweden and Denmark, of which the former two lie on the Scandinavian peninsula. Extended usage incudes Finland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands.


  • The fact that Danish business leaders are warning of damage to the nation's brand, it is, however, strangely welcome. Seeming much more unfriendly and closed than other countries is the only path open to desperate politicians facing exploding costs and seemingly insurmountable integration issues. And darker measures may still lie ahead.
  • The Northmen are often said to have burst out of their coastal settlements in what is now Sweden, Norway, and Denmark at the end of the eighth century. The most famous account of their arrival into the Christian realms of the west comes from Britain. In 793 warriors appeared off the coast of Northumbria, leaped from their ships, and robbed the island of Lindisfarne, desecrating the monastery and murdering its brothers. This ferocious raid sent shock waves rippling out from Britain. When the news reached Charlemagne’s court in Aachen, Alcuin of York wrote to the king of Northumbria, deploring the fact that “the church of St Cuthbert is spattered with the blood of the priests of God, stripped of all its furnishing, exposed to the plundering of pagans.” He suggested to the king that he and his noblemen might mend their ways, starting by adopting more Christian haircuts and clothing styles. But it was too late for any of that. The Northmen had announced themselves as a major power in the western world. The next year, 794, raiders appeared on the other side of the British Isles, in the Hebrides. In 799 Vikings raided the monastery of Saint-Philibert at Noirmoutier, just to the south of the river Loire. Sixty years later Viking raids would be a painful feature of life not only in the North and Irish Seas but as far away as Lisbon, Seville, and north Africa, as Northmen tangled with Anglo-Saxons, Irish, Umayyads, and Franks. In 860 a band of Viking-descended warriors from what is now northwest Russia even sailed to Constantinople via the river Dnieper and the Black Sea, and laid the city under siege. Although exposed only to a tiny part of this, the chronicler of Noirmoutier wrote what could have been an epigram for the entire age: “The number of ships grows, the endless stream of Vikings never ceases to increase . . . the Vikings conquer everything in their path and nothing resists them.”
    • Dan Jones, Powers and Thrones: A New History of the Middle Ages (2021).
  • Gothic history, as it appears in every modern account, is a story of migration. Traditionally, it begins in Scandinavia, moves to the southern shores of the Baltic around the mouth of the Vistula river, and then onwards to the Black Sea. Depending upon what study one reads, one can find it stated that written sources, archaeology, and linguistic evidence all demonstrate that just such a migration took place, if not out of Scandinavia then at least out of Poland. In fact, there is just a single source for this extended story of Gothic migration, the Getica of Jordanes... It is only the text of Jordanes that leads scholars to privilege the Wielbark connection... The Gotones mentioned in Tacitus, Germania 44.1 and located somewhere in what is now modern Poland would not be regarded as Goths if Jordanes’ migration stories did not exist.
  • One of the things that's just clearly evident is that we here in the U.S. are very special in having a developed country that sill has some amazingly dark skies especially in the western half of the United States. To find skies as dark as what we have out here, in say Europe for instance, you'd have to travel to far northern Scandinavia or you'd have to travel down to northern Africa, so we are very lucky here to have a wonderful transportation network as well as dark skies, so take that opportunity to go out and find those parks in the dark places of our country.
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