(31 December 2016)
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Svealand (pronunciation), Swealand or (rarely or historically) Sweden proper is the historical core region of Sweden. It is located in south central Sweden and is one of three historical lands of Sweden, bounded to the north by Norrland and to the south by Götaland. Deep forests, Tiveden, Tylöskog, and Kolmården, separated Svealand from Götaland. Historically, its inhabitants were called Svear, from which is derived the English Swedes.
The older name of Sweden in Swedish, Svea rike (modern spelling: Sverige) or the "Realm of the Swedes", "Swea Region", originally only referred to Svealand. Other forms are Sweoðeod (Old Norse/Icelandic Svíþjóð), and Sweorice. As the domains of the Swedish kings grew, the name Svealand began to be used to separate the original territory from the new.
Svealand is made up of the following six provinces:
Since 1634, Sweden has been divided into counties instead of provinces (see Län). Although Svealand is defined in terms of the historical provinces and not the counties, it roughly comprises the modern counties of Dalarna, Örebro, Södermanland, Stockholm, Uppsala, Värmland and Västmanland.
Svealand was the original Sweden, to which it gave its name. This is supported by linguistics and is based on early medieval sources, such as the sagas. In Old Norse and in Old English, Svealand and Sweden are synonymous, and described as a separate country from Götaland/Gautland/Geatland.
A campaign to the east started by the kings of Svealand during the 12th century eventually conquered the provinces of Österland, an older name for Finland.
For a time in the early 19th century, the province of Värmland belonged to the Court of Appeal for Svealand. Even though Värmland historically belonged to Götaland (from 1815 until a new court, Court of Appeal for Western Sweden, was instituted), it has by custom long been considered part of Svealand.
Media related to Svealand at Wikimedia Commons