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Did you know that the from the late 8th to the 11th centuries the Vikings of Scandinavia, – the people of the north -, explored, pillaged but mainly traded with Europe?
They reached as far south as Byzantium and the Caliphate, and greatly influenced the earliest Russian kingdoms?
Did you know that Beowulf, the epic poem about a legendary past was composed in Scandinavia, including Sweden, during this period of Viking settlement and exploration?
Did you know that there is even evidence that the Vikings reached the American continent, too?
Well, these highly mobile and adventurous peoples were from Scandinavia. In particular, those who ventured east and south were from modern-day Sweden.
It is during this Viking Age that the administrative geography of Sweden was shaped. The smaller tribes consolidated around two larger groups with their own kings. These people were the GÃ¶ter and the Svear.
The Vikings spoke and wrote in old Norse, a language close to Old English and out of which Swedish evolved. With the formal spread of Christianity, the Viking Age ends.
Yet, they left behind them a rich tradition of Rune stone carvings, of which Sweden is very rich and spirited legends of human struggle and triumph.
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