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We have building up to this big meeting for quite a while now and trust us, it is worth it! A formal union between old enemies Denmark, Sweden and Norway is agreed in a major historical milestone. Erik will be crowned King of this new entity and it is a certainly a win for Margareta. But what was actually agreed on and was the meeting even that imp…
 
Margareta is now truly in charge after capturing King Albert in battle last time around. In Sweden, her heir Erik is elected king at Mora Stenar, despite Margareta really being in charge. A sign of this power is how she curtails noble power and continues to make laws strengthening royal control over her three countries. Meanwhile, the Baltic Sea is…
 
The situation on the Baltic Sea is about to go from bad to worse as piracy takes hold. The Dukes of Mecklenburg assemble a giant fleet to try and keep Stockholm resupplied and terrorise all merchants foolish enough to risk a voyage on the water. It gets so bad that even the Dutch and the English are annoyed! Just like 100 years previously, icy wate…
 
The 1380s is drawing to a close and the decade ahead has been described by historians as "one of the most troublesome, bloody and unstable times in the history of the nations around the Baltic sea.” Queen Margareta has lost her son King Olof and now her enemies in Mecklenburg won't give in. It is time for the two sides to meet in battle, namely at …
 
We're back in the late 1380s after our two recap episodes. We pick up the story of Scandinavia after the death of the last of the Bjälbo dynasty, King Olof of Norway and Denmark. But fear not, his mother Margarete is ready to step up and take the reins. We'll see how she enforces her will on both Denmark and Norway, with the help of her allies in t…
 
We continue with part two of our double episode recap. We start with the first Swedish King and end up with King Albert in the late 1300s, where we left off in the last chronological episode. We see royal drama, powerful jarls, dukes, Queens, Kings and much more. There's so much to cover, so let's get going! Remember to follow us on Facebook and Tw…
 
After two and a half years, and after a request by a listener, we thought it was a good time to start recapping everything we have covered in the podcast so far. We open the Flatpack Archives and discuss a few highlights from each episode in the first half of our back catalogue. We'll finish this recap next time! Remember you can find all our episo…
 
In the spirit of a title from Åsa's favourite TV show, this is the one where everyone dies. Sorry about the spoilers... In this episode, everything we have come to know and love/hate about Scandinavian politics for the last 30-40 years or so and that we have covered over the last 10 episodes comes crashing down. Who will be left standing at the end…
 
We continue with the whirlpool that is late 14th century Swedish politics. Rebelling Swedish noblemen, with Bo Jonsson Grip at the helm, are ready to take the fight to King Magnus, with the help of their new allies Mecklenburg. Young Albert of Mecklenburg will eventually be placed on the Swedish throne, but he's really just a figurehead, as behind …
 
We're back on track with our chronological narrative. We pick up where we left off after the battle of Visby in the summer of 1361. Gotland continues to suffer under its new Danish masters, but before long King Magnus decides to strike back. What follows is a Danish-Swedish-Norwegian-German-Hanseatic conflict in which alliances change quicker than …
 
It is time for another special episode! We recently spent a whole week in the county of Skåne and got to see a load of historical gems. In the chronological timeline, King Magnus has just possession of Skåne, so let's take a look at what he has had taken away from him. Listen as we talk about the tower watchman of Ystad, the stone ship Ale Stenar, …
 
We've talked about her on and off for a while now, so we thought it was time for a biographical special! Known as Birgitta up until now in the timeline, minor spoilers as we examine the life of the lady known in Swedish history as Saint Birgitta. It will be a journey, both literal and metaphorical, filled with visions, politics and death. She also …
 
This is an extra special episode for two reasons! For the first time we have enough information to spend a whole episode focusing on just one battle, the Battle of Visby in 1361, and it is also our first ever interview episode. We speak to Thomas Neijman, PhD candidate in History at Stockholm University, an expert on the Battle of Visby and its mod…
 
This week it is all change in the Bjälbo dynasty in another action packed episode! We start off with King Magnus' son Håkon finally taking the throne of Norway as planned, in a relatively rare peaceful transition of power. This annoys elder brother Erik who attempts to grab more power for himself... We also see the Hanseatic League actually become …
 
Novgorod and Sweden have been involved in on and off conflict for a couple of centuries as we reach the end of the 1340s. Things go into overdrive at the end of the decade, as King Magnus of Sweden heads east, determined to convert the Novgorodians to his version of Christianity and take control over vital trade routes. Battles centre around the Or…
 
The Black Death has arrived in Norway and Sweden. Magnus "hade häcken full" trying to deal with its consequences, as the plague spread throughout the countries. The Black Death affected everything; bringing major building projects to a halt, devastating entire parishes and towns, and putting a stop to potential war plans. Unfortunately, Magnus' bes…
 
After having purchased Skåne, King Magnus is keen to continue expanding the Swedish territories, but so is King Valdemar in Denmark. The two lock horns over control of land around the Baltic Sea. There is trouble brewing on the island of Gotland, and over in Danish-controlled Estonia, the local population is rising up. Back home King Magnus wants t…
 
King Magnus is now finally old enough to take the reigns of Sweden and after a bit of argument, Norway too. One of the very first things he does is treat himself to some new land by buying Skåne. Åsa's home county is now finally under the rule of a Swedish King for the first! The rest of the episode revolves around money, or lack of it, as Magnus t…
 
Our favourite enemy Novgorod is back in the picture, this time with siege engines and a really impressive new castle! This episode will see plenty of war between Sweden and Novgorod, but also a landmark peace treaty. Back home, King Mother Ingeborg causes so much commotion that she's removed from all positions of influence in the Kingdom. Meanwhile…
 
We're back in the 1300s and just like young King Magnus, it is time for a crash course on the status of his realm. For the first time, a King is monarch of both Sweden and Norway and there is a lot for him to take in and figure out. Towns are growing and different types of farms are spreading throughout the country. At the same time, Denmark is fal…
 
It is time for another special episode! This time, as we see Swedes win medals in Beijing in 2022, we thought we would look at some of their predecessors and the Swedish athletes who competed in the first modern Olympic Games. Meet Sweden's first Olympians, first medallists and a great old man who would become an Olympic legend! Listen to find out …
 
Just like at the end of the Viking Age and at the start of the High Middle Ages, we've now covered enough of the Medieval period to warrant an "everything else we haven't mentioned yet" style episode! Lots of things come up in the research that don't fit neatly into the chronological narrative, but they are still worth knowing, so we decided to tal…
 
Our milestone 50th episode is a case study on the Great Copper Mountain Mine (GCMM)! Since the Viking Age, we have seen great examples of entrepreneurship and business in Sweden, but nothing as long lasting as the Great Copper Mountain Mine, or Stora Kopparbergs Gruva. First mentioned in text way back in 1288 when the bishop of Västerås bought a sh…
 
Welcome to the third and final instalment of the Shakespearean tale of an epic Swedish royal brotherly feud! Last time we saw Sweden being split in three with Birger, Erik and Valdemar getting one part each to rule over. At first it looks like this might work out, but it's not long before the three brothers are at each other's throats again. And th…
 
This episode will start and end with two of Sweden's most famous historical events from the Medieval period. That means that the 11 years between the two dramatic incidents are sometimes skimmed over in histories of the era. However, so much happens and the royal family drama somehow manages to go up a level! Bonus mini story at the end as we recou…
 
Our history of Sweden podcast has reached a point often compared to a level of drama usually seen in a Shakespeare play! King Birger is finally old enough to take the reigns from the regency council but it doesn't take long for his two brothers Erik and Valdemar to try and grab that power for themselves. Thanks to their web of marriage alliances, t…
 
King Magnus III is dead and his young son Birger is too young to steer the Kingdom through choppy waters. Instead it is up to Marsk Torgil Knutsson to lead Sweden for the time being as head of the Regency Council. The 1200s end with Swedish attention turning to the east and a series of campaigns against old enemy Novgorod are launched. Back home, K…
 
King Magnus gets a chance to spend at least some of his time formalising royal control in Sweden during the 1280s. His brother gets a Dukedom, influential figures get the titles of Drots, Marsk and Kansler, and the important building project of Uppsala Cathedral comes under new management. The King mediates in two high profile conflicts and we also…
 
After nearly 10 years feuding with his brother King Valdemar over who should rule Sweden, Magnus Birgersson finally gets his way and takes the throne after the Battle of Hova in 1275. The next five years are action-packed for Magnus and the Kingdom, as ex-King Valdemar sticks around stirring up trouble for his brother. Magnus quickly realises that …
 
King Valdemar is finally free of the shackles that his father, Birger Jarl, placed on his rule and he is ready to do some actual kinging! He will reign, he will rule, he will change things, and he will build things. Or no, he actually will not do much at all. Because Valdemar has brothers, and one brother in particular, Magnus, will cause endless t…
 
Moi and welcome to Finland! From now, Finland will play an integral role in the history of Sweden. In this episode we go back in time, to cover hundreds of years of Finnish history until the Swedes come into the story. We cover how Finland developed, what the different societies living there looked like and what they go up to around the Baltic Sea.…
 
This time we introduce a new landmass to our chronological story: The island of Gotland! We cover thousands of years of Gotland's history, with a focus on trade and how it fits into the story of the Baltic Sea and the surrounding regions. We'll see why as time goes on, the island becomes more and more integrated with the Swedish Kingdom, but it def…
 
April 2021 saw the 35th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Whilst widely known around the world as a disastrous industrial accident, Sweden's involvement in the aftermath is usually overlooked. In this new special episode, we will explore how the world outside the USSR found out about the disaster, with help from a Swedish power plant w…
 
In our third and final episode about Birger Jarl, the mighty Jarl continues to rule as the puppet master of his son, King Valdemar. He appoints his other sons dukes and even uses the title himself occasionally. He has a second marriage and with that creates an unholy alliance that annoys the Danes. Plus, Sweden fights some more in the east, along w…
 
It is time to continue our discussion about the life and deeds of Birger Jarl. This time we look specifically at what happens in the 1250s, a busy decade for our rising leader. He is occupied by marrying off his kids to form political alliances, quashing domestic rebellions, and buttering up visiting German traders. We also see what happened in a w…
 
If Hollywood were to make a film on Sweden in the 1200s, the main character would be Birger Jarl. We saw him introduced to the story last time, but now we look at his life in detail, in the first of three episodes looking at his achievements and the impact he had on his country. In this first episode we cover his early life, entrance into politics …
 
We pick up where we left off in Episode 34, with the death of King Johan. Previously exiled Erik returns to Sweden from his mother's family in Denmark to take the throne as a young man. A regency council is appointed, before drama ensues amongst its members. Later in the episode, we witness the emergence of one of Sweden's most famous and important…
 
Surprise! It's not time for a regular episode this week, but instead we're bringing you an extra special episode. Back in April we had the pleasure of giving a talk at the Intelligent Speech Conference 2021. This is the recording of said talk, plus a brand new intro and outro that we've recorded specially. In our talk we look at how and why Sweden,…
 
After a brief discussion of windmills in England, we pick up where we left off last time and continue our discussion of the legal system in the High Middle Ages in Sweden. Today we take a closer look at the practical aspects of legal practice, such as how courts worked and what punishments there were as society gradually moves away from Viking just…
 
Welcome to the office of Law and Order: Medieval Sweden Unit! In the first of this two-part mini series on crime, laws and justice in Sweden during the 12th and 13th centuries, we're looking into some overarching changes to legal practices. In Part One, we examine what and who influenced these changes, such as the church and more contact with north…
 
We kick off this episode with Sverker II, who returns from exile and becomes King of Sweden as the Jarl, Birger Brosa of the Bjälbo family, is busy pulling the strings behind the scenes. However, a few years later, after Birger Brosa finally leaves the scene, Sverker II quickly moves against the established system and the jenga tower of Swedish pol…
 
Finally, after 32 episodes and thousands of years of Swedish history, we can welcome you to the nation's capital Stockholm! It hasn't been around until now, but from the late 1100s onwards, it will explode onto the scene, with German merchants, forts and a royal presence. And, as a bonus, the Swedish phrase of the week also has a Stockholm theme! P…
 
King Sverker is dead. He will be followed by decades of fighting over the throne between his own Sverker dynasty and the rival Erik dynasty. In this episode, we cover the first four decades of this drama, which includes a King being proclaimed a Saint, more royal intermingling and the rise of a powerful, non-royal family of Jarls. Seeing as the cra…
 
Today we are dedicating an entire episode to the tumultuous times of King Sverker! No shortage of drama here, as we see another extended Danish civil war, introduce the Novgorod Republic (who are worthy of their own podcast series!) and discuss an evil crime committed by Sverker's horrendous son... We also meet the only English Pope, continue the s…
 
In another episode full of regal drama, sometimes playing out more like a South American telenovela than Swedish history, we finish the story of the Stenkil dynasty, beginning with the brothers Filip and Inge the Younger. We also meet Ingegerd, in whom so many great historical narratives converge. Religious matters continue to keep the Swedes on th…
 
As Sweden progresses through the High Middle Ages, Christianity is becoming an increasingly important part of everyone's lives, from the kings down to the peasants. The church is taking control over some parts of local administration, education, taxation and large public building works such as Sweden's first abbeys. We can't understand life in Swed…
 
The relative stability of the Olof Skötkonung dynasty is thrown into chaos. Strap yourselves in for power struggles, pagan revolts, more Scandinavian wars and the construction of Sweden's first Abbey. We rattle through half a century of political and royal drama as the crown changes hands back and forth throughout the period. If you want to skip ah…
 
We start this episode in 1022 as Anund Jakob ascends the throne of Sweden, becoming King after his father, Olof Skötkonung. We look at his reign and how he was followed by his half-brother Emund. There is as always more war among the Scandinavian nations, religious turmoil and an intriguing historical dilemma surrounding some coins minted in Sigtun…
 
This time we celebrate one whole year of us talking about Swedish history! We look back at our favourite moments, and reflect on all the things we have talked about so far. We both go through our top 5 favourite things from the first year, thank all you lovely listeners and give a few shout outs to some fellow podcasts we have met along the way. Th…
 
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