From Academic Kids

Götaland, Gothia, Gothland [1] (, Gotland (AHD), Gautland or Geatland, is a historical land of Sweden, and was once divided into petty kingdoms. The inhabitants were called Gautar in Old Norse, and it is generally agreed that the inhabitants of Götaland were the same as the Geatas, the people of the hero Beowulf in England's national epic by the same name. There is, however, a long-standing dispute whether the Goths emigrated from Götaland. Geographically it is located in the south of Sweden, bounded to the north by Svealand. Deep woods (Tiveden, Tylöskog and Kolmården) constitute the borders to Svealand in the North, like Finnveden did to Danish Terra Scania in the South.


Götaland is made up of the following six provinces:

Dalia Dalia Smalandia
Oelandia Ostrogothia Westrogothia

Götaland with acquisitions of 1658 in darker green: Terra Scania from Denmark and Bohuslän from Norway (then under Danish rule).
Götaland with acquisitions of 1658 in darker green: Terra Scania from Denmark and Bohuslän from Norway (then under Danish rule).


Westrogothia and Ostrogothia, once rival kingdoms themselves, constitute Götaland proper. The Geatish kings, however, belong to the domain of Norse mythology.

It was only late in the Middle Ages that Götaland was beginning to be perceived as a part of Sweden. In Old Norse and in Old English sources, Gautland/Geatland is still treated as a separate country from Sweden. In Sögubrot af Nokkrum[2] ( for instance, Kolmården between Svealand and Ostrogothia is described as the border between Sweden and Ostrogothia (...Kolmerkr, er skilr Svíþjóð ok Eystra-Gautland...), and in Hervarar saga[3] (, king Ingold I rides to Sweden through Ostrogothia: Ingi konungr fór með hirð sína ok sveit nokkura ok hafði lítinn her. Hann reið austr um Smáland ok í eystra Gautland ok svá í Svíþjóð. The lord Bo Jonsson Grip was probably the one who was best acquainted with the geography of the Swedish kingdom since he owned more than half of it. In 1384, he stated in his testament that the kingdom consisted of Swerige (Sweden, i.e. Svealand), Österland (i.e. Finland) and Göthaland (i.e. Götaland).

The small countries to the south of Finnveden, Kind, Möre, Njudung, Tjust, Tveta, Värend, Ydre where merged into the province of Smalandia (literally: [the] "small countries"). Off the coast of Småland was the island of Öland, which became its own province.

Dal to the north west became the province of Dalia.

Smalandia, Oelandia and Dalia were seen as lands belonging to Götaland already in the (Scandinavian) medieval times (12th–15th century).

In the Treaty of Roskilde (1658), the Danish kingdom ceded Terra Scania and Bahusia to Sweden. Skåneland, which had constituted the eastern part of Denmark, became the Swedish provinces of Scania, Hallandia and Blechingia. The new provinces came to be counted to Götaland.

The island of Gotland shifted allegiance between Swedes and Danes several times. Although the island may be perceived to have closer links to Svealand or to Denmark (/Scania), it's in a Swedish mindset actually counted to Götaland.

In the early 19th century the province of Wermelandia did for a time belong to the Court of Appeal for Svealand. Even though Värmland historically was a part of Götaland, it has since then been counted to Svealand.

See also

eo:Götaland hu:Götaland sv:Götaland


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