During the most recent glacial period the entire Scandinavian peninsula was under a sheet of ice. As the ice cap began to withdraw, about 12,000 years ago, hunter-gatherers moved north in pursuit of reindeer. Here are some decisive dates in Scandinavian history.
10,000 BC – AD 800
Hunter-gatherer tribes follow the melting ice northwards, establishing settlements in Southern Scandinavia.
500 BC – AD 800
Iron Age Grauballe Man and Trollund Man are buried in peat bogs in Denmark.
The Viking Age
800 – 1060
Vikings earn a reputation as sea warriors. Swedish Vikings (Varangians) soon control trade routes to Byzantium.
Vikings raid and plunder, eventually controlling most of England and Normandy.
Harald Bluetooth brings Christianity to Denmark; Olav Trygvason uses force in his attempt to convert the Norwegian Vikings.
Middle Ages , 1100 – 1500
Building of Nidaros Cathedral begins in Norway
Finland becomes a province of Sweden.
The Kalmar Union unites the kingdoms of Norway, Denmark and Sweden.
Eric VII of Denmark makes Copenhagen his capital and builds a palace at Helingoer.
Wars and reformation
Kristian II of Denmark invades Sweden and massacres the nobility in the “Stockholm Bloodbath”. Gustav Vasa drives him out and the Kalmar Union is disbanded.
In Sweden, Gustav Vasa ascends the throne, marking the start of the Vasa dynasty (1523-1720), which also holds power in Finland.
Norway ceases to be an independent kingdom as the Danes take control.
Denmark flourishes under Kristian IV (1577-1648)
Russia and Sweden battle over Finland. Under the Treaty of Turku (1743) Russia moves its border westwards.
During the Napoleonic Wars, English fleets twice bombard Copenhagen. Denmark sides with Napoleon and suffers defeat. Norway is ceded to Sweden.
The Constitution of Norway was signed at Eidsvoll on May 17 this year. The constitution declared Norway to be an independent kingdom in an attempt to avoid being ceded to Sweden after Denmark–Norway‘s devastating defeat in the Napoleonic Wars.
In Sweden, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, French marshal of Napoleon, succeeds to the throne as Karl XIV Johan (1818-44). The great exodus to the United States takes place.
Referendum in Norway leads to the end of the union with Sweden. The Danish prince Haakon VII is King of Norway.
Sweden remains neutral in World Wars I and II. Norway proclaims neutrality in World War II, but is attacked by the Germans, who also occupy Denmark.
Denmark becomes a founding member of NATO.
Norway begins oil exploration.
Olof Palme, Swedish prime minister and international peacemaker, is assassinated.
Oeresund bridge opens between Denmark and Sweden.
A bomb in Oslo and shooting on Utoya island kill 76 people. The gunman, a right-wing Christian extremist, accuses Norway’s Labour government of failing on immigration.
September 24, first article in Daily Scandinavian published.
The dates above are our selected decisive dates in Scandinavia.