r/history Nov 26 '22

Archaeologists unearth rare sword from time of the Kalmar War Article



u/IslandChillin Nov 26 '22

Archaeologists from Arkeologerna have unearthed an early 17th century sword from the time of the Kalmar War.

"The Kalmar War was a conflict between Denmark–Norway and Sweden that lasted from 1611 to 1613. The war was the result of ongoing disputes over trade routes, due to Denmark–Norway controlling a monopoly through the strait between the Baltic Sea and the North Sea.

Sweden sought to establish an alternate route through Lapland to avoid paying a toll on the use of the Øresund, or “Sound” strait, a toll that constituted up to two thirds of Denmark’s state income in the 16th and 17th centuries.

King Christian IV of Denmark and Norway protested to the Swedish King, Charles IX, but his protests over the new route was ignored. Finally, in April 1611, in response to Sweden’s claim of a traditionally Norwegian area in Northern Norway, Denmark-Norway declared war upon Sweden and invaded."


u/PuerhRichard Nov 27 '22

So we’re Denmark and Norway a single country?


u/AUserNeedsAName Nov 27 '22 edited Nov 27 '22

Sort of. The modern concept of a nation is pretty recent, so you have to think in terms of hereditary kingdoms. The interesting thing is that it was possible for a monarch to inherit not just one kingdom, but two or three. The kingdoms would sometimes merge in the legal sense (a "real union"; think the modern UK), but not necessarily. Sometimes you just had the same guy wearing two different (very ornate) hats as the king of two legally distinct kingdoms. This is called a "personal union", since the kingdoms were united not by laws, but were united "in the person" of the monarch.

That was the case from 1397 to 1524, during which the King of Denmark was also the King of Norway and ALSO the King of Sweden. After Sweden broke off in 1524, the Kingdoms of Denmark and Norway were united in a "real union" with Norway as the junior partner. This lasted until 1815 when Norway made an unsuccessful bid for independence and Denmark was forced to cede Norway to Sweden due to politics surrounding the Napoleonic Wars (during which time the idea of a modern nation state was starting to become more of a thing).

This is all a massive oversimplification (it's super messy) and I'm certain I'm making some real historians eyes twitch, but that's the best TLDR I can give you.


u/PuerhRichard Nov 27 '22

That was great. Thanks. I like learning more nuanced history of other countries.


u/scijior Nov 26 '22

It never really dawned on me why Norway had such a random northern strip of territory. But the idea that it kept Sweden using the Baltic straight makes a great deal of sense now.


u/toyyya Nov 26 '22

Well that and mountains, a lot of the Swedish-Norwegian border is made up of mountains making it very hard to invade


u/Hyphenated_Gorilla Nov 26 '22

That coupled with a inhospitable climate making winter warfare almost impossible and the mountain passes impassible.


u/[deleted] Nov 26 '22

[removed] — view removed comment


u/MaybeTheDoctor Nov 26 '22

Which is why Sweden does not have a border with Russia but Norway does.


u/Steffalompen Nov 27 '22

Que? It didn't for me. You need to put yourself into the period mode of transportation, which was by sea. The coast of Norway is called "Highway no.1". Hardly any swedes lived inland in the northern half of what is now their country. In a dispute of the rights to the Nasa silver mines, a sami man testified in court that "he had never paid tax to Norway-Denmark", and thus the mines (now clearly encroaching into Norway) were judged to be swedish, even though he never paid any taxes to the swedes either.


u/jakart3 Nov 27 '22

For today era, why not Sweden, Norway and Denmark blockade the strait so no Russian can pass through


u/rock_accord Nov 26 '22

Well that things looks way worse than I was expecting. Hopefully they can restore it.


u/qwerty-poop Nov 27 '22

Everquest Blade of War anyone? 🤣