Talk:Swedes (Germanic tribe)

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The Names of the Swedes[edit]

"Svåger" and "Svägerska" derives back to Proto-Indo-European, http://www.geocities.com/indoeurop/project/phonetics/word37.html, but is it established that the word is like derived from "one's own" In that case, what would the second part of the word mean? *kreu@? Raw flesh/(blood) So, being of "one's own flesh"? I am just speculating here... http://www.bartleby.com/61/roots/IE242.html

I don't know. I suspect that Noréen's theory is erroneous and that v. Friesen was correct. I doubt that swih was a morpheme whereas swe is much more established among linguists.--Wiglaf 13:35, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Allan A. Lund had said as Suiones/Suiona was same word as Sverber/Suebor and perhaps as Suiona was Greek for Suebor.

Tacitus say both Suiona and Suebor was several tribes.

Haabet 17:13, 2005 May 7 (UTC)

And your point is...?--Wiglaf 18:20, 7 May 2005 (UTC)
Sverber/Suebor are not in the list of synonyms or #REDIRECT
V and U is the same letter at that time. Suiones = Sviones
In a work of reference is the word nearly always in the singular number, if it had a singular. But Sviones is the plural number. And Svíar or Svear are in the singular number.
When Swedish historian say: Sviones is identical by Svear is the cause is political. If the Dane original was Sviones, and Sviones is identical by Svear, the Dane was original Svear. -- The Danes was Swedish, and is was not wrong as make the Danes i Scania to Swedish.
As the article is political and not neutral.
Haabet, have you actually read the article? The connection between Suiones and Swedes is NOT disputed (only by you). Svear is plural, and has always been plural, like Suiones. Again, you're making unfounded statements and objections. The one who said that the Dani came from the Swedes was Jordanes, and he called the Swedes Suehans and Suetidi. If you had actually prepared yourself you would have known that.--Wiglaf 08:18, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
That the article be under the singular form is a fairly reasonable idea. Is "Suiones" plural or not? Would it be reasonable to use the singular form, or would it just seem to contrived?
Though I don't agree with Haabet's objections since they seem rather vague and poorly supported, I would encourage Wiglaf to be a bit more patient. Objections can quite easily become far more stubborn than initially intended if they are responded to with impatience. As far as I can tell, you seem to be absolutely right, Wiglaf, which is reason enough to reduce the testiness of replies. Radiating excessive amounts of WikiLove is so much more effective when resolving disputes. :-)
Peter Isotalo 14:00, May 8, 2005 (UTC)
Thanks Peter! I am sorry about my testiness, but Haabet has a tendency to be very "creative" with information and to read sources in a very unusual way. If you check this discussion Talk:List of dubious Danish kings, you'll see what I mean.--Wiglaf 14:03, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
PS, the oddity about the name Suiones/Svear is that it never seems to have had a singular form. That is probably the reason why the adjectival form svænsk- started to be used (but today it has a wider meaning).--Wiglaf 14:04, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
yes, it is common for ancient ethnonyms to occur only in the plural. E.g. for Celtae, an individual would be called "one of the Celtae" rather than "a Celta". In these cases, it is alright to have the article title in the plural. dab () 18:51, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Schagerstrom, sea people and what not[edit]

Good afternoon. I feel delighted to be in the presence of such afficionados of ancient identity and obvious skilled linguists, who have been with me ever since I started on Wikipedia. I'm starting to take more of an interest in this quarter of the globe so rather than just jump in I thought I would start slow.

The sea people theory. Does anyone remember Mount Saevo in Pliny Book IV.96 that forms a bay called the Codanus (Kattegat) and is next to the big island Scatinavia? Saevo is a nominative. In such cases the stem (here unattested) Saevon-. The plural would be saevones, which is pretty much most of *saiwi-oniz, is it not? So, it wouldn't be true that there are no other derived roots. One might suppose that the mountainous country around Oslo and Gotland got its name from the people and they in turn from the low country in which they at first resided, part of which is still called sealand. That being so, there seems less reason to tag this theory as less likely; that is, it seems less likely that this theory is less likely. English double negatives, you know.

But there are other considerations are there not? The Indo-europeans had no word for sea and Germanic *saiwi- is not an Indo-European word even though spoken by Indo-europeans. We don't see any other Sui- anywhere in the IE range. There is no justification at all for assuming it must be IE. Do you know of any?

On the other hand, "one's own kin" is pretty tempting and is Indo-European and has many parallels, such as the Roman use of Nostri to mean our men. I suppose you might even tie it in to a possible meaning of Goth as "goodman". My own thoughts were, there is a possibility that the IE entering the big island, which only recently actually was a big island (Ancylus lake), started calling it an island because the natives did, and furthermore took on the name of the native tribe, which is what actually happened in Finland. One supposes that it might be related to such names as Sabme and Saami. There is no genetic or "legitimate" descent, of course, but when one people take over names from another, anything can happen by analogy. Thus Rejkjavik became rinky-dink 60 years ago. Anyway, we must have got sea from somewhere, true? If sea and sealand, why not sea people?

Some might think this reasonable and some not. It seems to me though it is weighty enough to merit equal consideration.Dave 18:03, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Move to Wiktionary?[edit]

Can you say no/yes? And tell why/why not. Haabet 14:14, 2005 May 11 (UTC)

Haabet, it is you who have to explain why.--Wiglaf 19:36, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Because it is a list of words. Haabet 21:28, 2005 May 11 (UTC)

I don't understand what you're trying to say.--Wiglaf 21:30, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Wiktionary:Suiones would happily take the first three paragraphs of the "Etymology" section, describing the etymology of the word Suiones. But Wiktionary does not want reams of text on the geography and history of a tribe. Wiktionary articles are about words, not about places/people/concepts/things/events. Uncle G 18:41, 2005 May 13 (UTC)
Thanks Uncle G, for removing the tag :). Your comment was very welcome, because I believe that Haabet was more interested in provoking me as the main contributor of the article than in improving either Wikipedia or Wiktionary.--Wiglaf 19:25, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

Problems[edit]

  • An Article in a Encyclopedia, do not only contain a list of words and the origin of these words. Special if the connection between the words only are the first letter.
  • A other problem had any Encyclopedia "Suiones" as Article?
  • The expert in Tacitus, Allan A. Lund daid: Sverber/Suebor=Suiones, but where are Sverber/Suebor in the Article?
  • Sueones at Adam of Bremen is probably a defect, from a copy of Tacitus.

Haabet 10:45, 2005 May 12 (UTC)

Haabet,

  • you are not capable of composing a correct English sentence. I suggest you propose changes on talk pages, and do not edit article space directly. We'll just have to clean up after you. Also, you may want to consider to edit the wikipedia project in your native language instead.
  • I do not understand what "problems" you are pointing out here. This article is not a wordlist. As for your Sverber/Sueones point, what do you propose? Do you have any evidence or reference to the effect that the Adam von Bremen text may be corrupt?

dab () 11:10, 12 May 2005 (UTC)


Origin of Swedes[edit]

Where do Swedes hail from before they settled in Scandinavia? Some mentioned in and around the coast of Black Sea. Any ideas? --Anittas 16:28, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

Being Indo-Europeans they certainly hailed from that region originally, but it is impossible to know whether they called themselves Swedes at such an early stage.--Wiglaf 16:47, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
Undoubtedly, the swedes have been living in Scandinavia for thousands of years, long before the introduction of indo-european language. It was the language (through the spreading of the agriculture) which moved to the northwest, not the people themselves. Noone knows which language the swedes spoke before the indo-european, but that is another matter. / Hunef 19:35, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
That doesn't seem to be a popular opinion. It seems most knowledge of the old language, religion and culture of old Swedes would indicate that the tribe and most of their ways of society stemmed from PIE immigrants. The earlier dwellers were likely expelled or assimilated. 惑乱 分からん 12:12, 26 August 2006 (UTC)


The Swedes was originally several tribes. The originally language had survive in the modern language by new meaning. The engelsh word: world, mean: man (human/person) in the originally language.Haabet 22:00, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
What do you mean? I can't understand you. 惑乱 分からん 23:14, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
The article does not problematize at all the connection from the Suioines mentioned by Tacitus to the early medieval Svear. According to Professor Dick Harrison (Sveriges medeltid, 2002), the Suoines from Tacitus, the Suehans/Suetidi from Jordanes and the later Svear should not be thought as the same ethnic group. The name may have carried very different meanings in different times. And it is absolutely clear that the Svear were not the same thing as the modern Swedish nation in any possible sense. This article has a nationalist bias.217.30.179.130 09:35, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
It is because Dick Harrison is a historian and not a linguist. Dick Harrison may feel insecure whether there is a connection, but he has little authority in linguistic matters such as the relationship between Suiones, Suehans/Suetidi and Svear, and their meanings. Moreover, he has an ideological bias against the older nationalistic school which prided itself in the Suiones. In any case, he should not be quoted in linguistic matters.--Berig 10:27, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
This is not a linguistic matter only, but a very much a historical one, too. Suiones, Suehans etc. might be basically the same word, but it does not necessarily mean that they were essentially the same group. The ethnic names constantly took new meanings in the early medieval world. I think this is what Harrison claims, and I cannot see how linguists could disprove him. 130.234.75.18 13:11, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't see what you trying to make of this discussion. The Swedes of the 16th century were a very different group from the Swedes of the 21st century, but the name of the people is the same. Likewise, it is futile to discuss whether the Suiones were exactly the same group as the Svíar, since 1000 years separated them. What is sufficient for the article is whether it is the same name (according to all linguists) and location. Speculations on whether the names are coincidental are both not very relevant and unlikely.--Berig 13:53, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the article seems to claim that the "Suoines" of different era were continuously the same tribe. I am not even really interested in this question, but I think some wordings in the present article might be biased. however, I will not continue the discussion.130.234.75.157 11:49, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

8 indents removed by User:Rursus in order to be able to read: Said: Rursus 08:10, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

If you believe that the name could appear as the name of a Germanic tribe in the same place with 300-500 years interruption twice (Suiones - 500 years without sources - Suehans - 300 years without sources - Sweonas) without continuity you are a born gambler, and very optimistic about coincidences. I recommend Las Vegas ;-).--Berig 14:30, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Bullshit, dear Berig. Did I say that? Well, maybe I just explained my point poorly. Of course, there was some degree of continuity, at least in the terminological level, but was it still the same or even similar group during all those different eras? Nowadays there is a lot of interesting research about the ethnicity in early medieval Europe, and it certainly does not encourage one to over-stress ethnic continuity. Just as I said, traditional ethnonymes were constantly getting new meanings. Suehans of the Migration period might mnot have been recognizable to the Suoines of the Roman period...Well, actually I do not have recommendations how the article should be modified. I'm just uneasy with the general nationalist tone of it. 130.234.75.164 12:13, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Hellø! What language is B*llsh*t, dear Berig? These are flame baits, argue by referring to sources and methods of evaluations, not by emotional provocations! Said: Rursus 08:13, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, if you have any evidence that the ethnonym changed meanings, you should by all means add them (with references of course). BTW, what is this nationalistic tone, you are talking about? It escapes me totally, since the article explicitly treats this tribe as an obscure and very non-documented ethnos.--Berig 15:30, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
The article gives an impression that the essentially same, primordial Swedish "ethnos" has existed from the Roman Iron Age. That kind of approach is indeed nationalistic, and I do not think it has very much to do with the ethnicity research in the humanities or social sciences nowadays.217.112.242.181 13:50, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
That logic does unfortunately not work. In what way would it be more modern (i.e. politically correct) to separate a Scandinavian tribe ca 100 AD from a Scandinavian tribe by the same name ca 600 AD, when the only thing that separates them is lack of documentation during this time? If your main problem is that the article gives an impression that the essentially same, primordial XXX "ethnos" has existed from the Roman Iron Age, why don't you criticise the article on Saxons or Hellenes in the same way? I think you are simply one of those who dislike anything having to do with Swedish history prior to the 12th century, e.g. Snorri Sturluson, Jordanes and Tacitus.--Berig 14:46, 20 September 2006 (UTC)~
Oh, great, was that kind of a personal attack really necessary? Maybe I should not waste my time arguing with a person like you...but I going to give it at least one more try. Besides, I am quite convinced that my logic works perfectly fine.
Your claim "the only thing that separates them is lack of documentation during this time" is astonishing. How do you know this? Have you got a time-machine in your possession? Probably, or at least conceivably, the ethnic discourses and the character of ethnicity was rather different in 600 CE than in 100 CE. So, what are you exactly implying when you claim that it was the same "tribe" all the time? What was same? The name? Yes, obviously. What else?
And then you go on saying: "why don't you criticise the article on Saxons or Hellenes in the same way?". Quess what? I have a job and a life and limited amount of time, and I have more interest towards Swedish than, say, German history. Of course, similar obsolote or contested views of the prehistory should be corrected in many other articles as well, but I do not take a personal responsibility of it.
I hope you do not have a personal aversion towards the contemporary ethnicity research - represented by Dick Harrison, Patrick Geary, Walter Pohl and many others in the field of early medieval history.--217.112.242.181 15:19, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
I can assure you that there was no intent of a so-called personal attack and I can assure you that Dick Harrison is neither a linguist nor an ethnologist, but a historian with an axe to grind against more partriotic/nationalistic ones such as Birger Nerman. However, please try to add information to the article that respect neutral point of view, and if you want to discuss the names suiones-svear, please quote a linguist.--Berig 15:33, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
PS, removing information on articles, such as Pit-Comb Ware culture [1]can be construed as vandalism. If you have information that the dolmens were Pre-Roman Iron Age, please cite sources.--Berig 15:35, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Why on earth should I quote a linguist when I am absolutely convinced that there is a connection between the name Suiones mentioned by Tacitus, and the name Svear mentioned by Snorre, and the modern name Swedes mentioned anywhere. That is hardly contested by anyone, not even by Dick Harrison AFAIK. BTW, I think Birger Nerman was not a historian, but an archaeologist. Another archaeologist is Fredrik Svanberg, whose dissertation I am currently reading. He problematizes the concept of prehistoric ethnicity in an interesting way.
I am interested of ethnicity as a historical discourse, and that is mainly a historical problem, suitable for a historian. Ethnic group is not necessarily same as language/dialectal group, reconstructed by a linguist. Ethnicity is a form of subjectice identity. PS. As I said, those are not even dolmens, but under-ground cists - very different thing. Unfortunately, the new AMS datings of the cists have been published in Finnish only; or at least I am not aware of any publication on a major language.--217.112.242.181 15:47, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, if you are convinced that there is a connection between the names Suiones and Svear, there should be no problem. However, if you feel that there is a nationalistic tone to the article, and you are the second one, at least, feel free to improve it.--Berig 15:50, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for good additions and modifications.--130.234.75.229 12:47, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
The same to you.--Berig 14:05, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Dick Harrison again[edit]

In opposition to the above failed thumb-in-the-middle-of-the-hand discussion, I'll hereby defend both (my favourite author) Dick Harrison and the stand point that viking Svear is approximate the same people as Tacitus Suiones:

  • ordinary people speak about true and false, but when handling advanced knowledge, we need true, false and unknown.
  • Dick Harrison is a modernist Swedish historician, and as such bound by a problematizing, critical role against prejudicies, that was very frequent during the Great Power time of Sweden up to the 19th century. As a professor he must attain that role and declare uncertainties when there are topics that requires research, especially since the current day archeologists and linguists nowadays are independent collaborative areas that require that degree of freedom,
  • we, on the other hand, are wikipedians who shall attain a NPOV position, and all the same create a consistent history, where we create threads and connections to make a fuller whole, and if we find a possible thread, we can assume connections where scientific sources previously have assumed connections. We don't need all doubts that is Dick Harrison's job to declare, we can heed them, but we don't need to use them.

Said: Rursus 08:28, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Name change to Svear[edit]

I suggest changing the name of the article form Suiones to Svear as the latter is by far the more widely used term. Of course the article could contain a section on the connection between the Suiones and the Svear (and other related names/groups).

As for the role of the Svear in the consolidation of the medieval Swedish state, this 'controversy' could also be covered in a separate section (indeed there is a whole separate article on the topic - Consolidation of Sweden) KarlXII 15:39, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Hi Karl XII. I have responded on the talkpages, but could just was well leave the message here, too. Swedes is the most common name used for the "svear" in English, and "Swedish-Geatish wars" is the standard term for these wars. Just try googling if you don't believe me. Swedes is also since a long time back the preferred translation of svear at Wikipedia:Swedish Wikipedians' notice board/Terminology. Don't equate Swedes with "svenskar". Swedes means both "svear" and "svenskar", just as svenskar did in the middle ages. For instance, in Västgötalagen a "svensk man" was NOT a Geat. Moreover, when Geats are discussed, "Swedes" is unambiguous and there is no risk for confusion.--Berig 15:28, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

I use to equate Swedes with Rutabaga, but most won't accept that equation. (Not too seriously.) Said: Rursus 10:34, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Berig, Hmm... I'm not convinced. Yes, the Wikipedia:Swedish Wikipedians' notice board/Terminology certainly does say that "Svear" is synonymous with "Swedes" in English and you say that I shouldn't equate Swedes with svenskar and that in English Swedes means both "svear" and "svenskar", just as svenskar did in the middle ages. I have two objections about equating Svear with Swedes:

  1. in Swedish (the modern language, that is) "svear" and "svenskar" are two different things. "Svear" refers to people who lived in the Mälardalen region and Uppland while "svenskar" refers to Swedes, today typically defined as citizens of Sweden or people who have Swedish as their mother tongue. In the historical sense, "svenskar" in Swedish (again, I am talking about modern Swedish) is typically used to describe ethnic Swedes/speakers of Swedish. Thus, to equate, as you propose, "Svear" with "Swedes" in English is not in accordance with how it is treated in modern Swedish.
  2. that someone (I believe it was Wigalf) has written that "svear" in Swedish should be called "Swedes" in English in doesn't make it true. Especially since the translation you cite is not backed up by any sources or examples (in modern Swedish that is). Yes, I know that medieval sources often eqated "svear" with "svenskar" but that doesn't mean this should be done today (heck, the Greeks of Byzantium often called themselves Romans, this doesn't mean that we should too).

If modern Swedish differentiates between "Swedes" and "Svear" (where Svear is a subset of Swedes) shouldn't English Wikipedia do the same? KarlXII 20:22, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

The subject where most English speakers become familiar with Svear is Beowulf and there you simply have to stick to conventional terminology. There are many people who want to change the terminology of the English language on Wikipedia (especially nationalists), but they are usually turned down by a simple googling.--Berig 20:27, 14 November 2006 (UTC)


Berig, I'm not familiar with Beowoulf and don't know whether it really is the case that this is where most people become acquainted with the term "Svear". However, the use of Svear in Beowoulf shouldn't dictate how it should be used in modern English. My point remains, if modern Swedish refers to Svear as a subset of Swedes (do agree with this), shouldn't modern English do the same?

Here a text from Encyclopedia Britannica in Sweden: Settlement patterns:

Götaland and Svealand, the two southernmost of Sweden's traditional regions, take their names from small, prehistoric clans who inhabited central Sweden. The Svear and the Götar (believed by some scholars to be the original Goths) were united into one state about AD 1000. The Götar lived in Östergötland, Västergötland, and Småland, and the Svear around Lake Mälaren. Certain differences remain in the dialects spoken in these two regions.

What is the comment about nationalists referring to? KarlXII 20:50, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Just check a few articles relating to East European geography and you'll see what I mean.--Berig 21:00, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

It could also be worthwhile to read this in Encyclopedia Britannica online about Sweden's history during the 12th, 13th, and 14th centuries. It refers to the Svear as separate from Sweden and Swedes.KarlXII 20:57, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Look at this (google is set to search only for English language pages):
  • +svear +götar 158 google hits[2]
  • +svear +geats 133 google hits[3]
  • +swedes +götar 201 google hits[4]
  • +swedes +geats 9860 google hits[5]
This is much more revealing as to the preferred English terminology on WP.--Berig 21:00, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm moving the discussion to the Svear page, as it would seem that is where it belongs.KarlXII 22:23, 14 November 2006 (UTC)


Berig, touché! Due to the translation of Beowoulf's "Sweon" to "Swedes" it does seem that swedes+geats gives the greater hit rate. However:

  1. how then does one differentiate between a "Svear" (in the Swedish sense) and "Swedes"?
  2. do "Svear" exist in English or is it only a Swedish term?
  3. should we rename the Suiones / Svear article in Wikipedia to Swedes?

The Labor Law talk dictionary (have you heard of it before?) seems to have a pretty good definition of Svear vs Swedes. It says:

Suiones, Swedes, Svíar or Svear, were an ancient Germanic tribe in Scandinavia. They are usually only referred to as Swedes in English. In modern Scandinavian, but not in Icelandic, the adjectival form svensk and its plural svenskar/svensker have replaced the name svear and is, today, used to denote modern Swedes in opposition to ancient Swedes, svear.

They then go on to use "svear" to denote the 'ancient' Swedes (eg in relation to "geats"). By contrast, Svear is only one of the six possible definitions of Swedes in their Swedes article. This seems a much more simple and straightforward way of dealing with Svear, Geats and Swedes than what you are proposing. KarlXII 22:25, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

I am not proposing anything, you are. I am sticking to English language terminology and convention. Moreover, in the rare cases where "Swedes" is ambiguous (your main problem), it is easy to explain in a parenthesis. Just because the modern Swedish language treats a concept in one way, does not mean that it is the "right way" and the English way the "wrong way". As you can see from the googling Svear is a Swedish term that is sometimes borrowed (probably because of translations from Swedish). As for the renaming of Suiones into Svear, I can't see any compelling reasons why.--Berig 06:28, 15 November 2006 (UTC)


Berig, quite obviously, English uses both "Svear" and "Swedes" to denote the Swedish "svear" (let's not involve Suiones). You are proposing, based on the use of "Swedes" in Beowoulf and a google test, that "Swedes" is the only translation of "svear" in English. This is simply not true.

I argue for the use of "Svear" in English based on:

  1. both "Svear" and "Swedes" are used in English, with the latter probably being more common. However, this could be compared to the common English use of "Scandinavia" to denote the Nordic countries, including Finland. Just because the mistake is common doesn't make it right. Please see the Labor Law talk dictionary article on Svear
  2. in Swedish "svear" is a subset of "Svenskar."
  3. using "Swedes" to denote both "svear" and "svenskar" is confusing and requires unnecessarily complicated solutions
Karl XII, you wrote: You are proposing, based on the use of "Swedes" in Beowoulf and a google test, that "Swedes" is the only translation of "svear" in English. Please, don't put words in my mouth. I am not proposing that it is the only translation. However, it is by far the most common expression and it is a Wikipedia convention to use the most common expression when two or more exist. In the articles that I contribute to: Beowulf and Norse mythology, Swedes for "Svear" is not "confusing", but the only translation you find in English language translations. As I said, the fact that modern Swedish does things one way does not make it a "mistake" that the English language does it another way.--Berig 08:13, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
PS. On Wikipedia:naming conventions (use English), it says If you are talking about a person, country, town, movie or book, use the most commonly used English version of the name for the article, as you would find it in other encyclopedias and reference works. This makes it easy to find, and easy to compare information with other sources. For example, Christopher Columbus, Venice. This also goes for the simple naming of people and nations in Wikipedia. You may be surprised but the Beowulf article has about 2600 hits a day, because Beowulf is a very important work in the English-speaking world, that most English speaking school children have to get acquainted with. Using Swedes, as is conventional, makes it much easier for the American or English schoolchild who has to turn in a paper on Beowulf to check facts, and much less confusing for him or her.--Berig 08:40, 15 November 2006 (UTC)


Berig, my reason for bringing up this issue is to have clarity in the usage of Svear, Suiones, Swedes, Götar/Geats. Today in Wikipedia, and elsewhere, Swedes, Suiones and Svear are all used, in some cases with the same meaning and in other cases with quite different meanings.

  1. enter "Swedes" in Wikipedia and you are redirected to the "Swedish people" article, which defines "Swedes" as either citizens of Sweden or ethnic Swedes. However, enter "Svear" and you are redirected to the "Suiones" article, which then goes on to say that other commonly used terms for Suiones are "Swedes", "Svear" or "Sviar". For you to say/propose that "Swedes" is the only English term for the Swedish "svear" is incorrect!
  2. you are indeed correct in saying that Wikipedia should use the most commonly used term (even if this is 'incorrect'). "Svear" is indeed used in the English language (and in Wikipedia, see my point 1 above), though apparently, as you claim, it is not as common as "Swedes" (which is what you are proposing we should use, based on your arguments above).
  3. point 2 above does not exclude mentioning other commonly used terms (as the "Suiones" article does, including a map where they are called Svear)
  4. you claim that using "Swedes" to mean (sv.) "svear" is less confusing because of its usage in English language translations of Beowoulf, well I don't agree.

So, if we are to decide to call the (swedish) "svear" "Swedes" in English, this should be applied consistently throughout Wikipedia, right? To begin with, "Swedes" should be redirected to "Suiones" instead of "Swedish people" and "Svear" purged from other texts on Wikipedia. KarlXII 10:20, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

The only articles where there is any risk of confusion between the meanings "svenskar" and "svear" are the articles relating to 11th century-15th century articles on Swedish history. Before that you are in the realm of Norse mythology where it is quite evident from the context which meaning is intended. After the 15th century, Geats are no longer a real issue in the articles, and Swedes refer unambiguously to "svenskar". The articles where there is a risk of confusion are quite few. I simply disagree with your complaints, and find your problems quite small.--Berig 11:16, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Like the rest of the world, you will have to abide to Wikipedia:naming conventions (use English), and respect that google searches settle this kind of dispute on WP:
  • +svear +götar 158 google hits[6]
  • +svear +gautar 59 google hits[7]
  • +svear +gauts 14 google hits[8]
  • +svear +geats 133 google hits[9]
  • +swedes +götar 201 google hits[10]
  • +swedes +gautar 108 google hits[11]
  • +swedes +gauts 65 google hits[12]
  • +swedes +geats 9860 google hits[13]
Every Wikipedia user has his/her own naming preferences and that is why Wikipedia has a naming convention.--Berig 11:58, 15 November 2006 (UTC)


Berig, I'm ok with using "Swedes" to represent (sv.) "svear" given the apparent dominance of that use in the English translation of Beowulf. Should it then be outlined in the Swedes and Suiones / Svear articles what the differences are and during what ages they apply?KarlXII 12:28, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Absolutely, and as far as I know there are already explanations and discussions within the articles to deal with this.--Berig 12:35, 15 November 2006 (UTC)~


Berig, the Early Swedish history article uses the words Swedes and Sweden to denote Swedes/svear and Geats. Would that be correct in light of our discussion above? Should it be changed? Comment on my Early Swedish history talk page entry regarding the use of Swedes and svear om the article.RegardsKarlXII 13:07, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Karl XII, is it really important to distinguish between the two tribes in that article? The Geats are only mentioned once, and when they are, Swedes is qualified with an of Uppland. The distinction does not seem relevant, IMHO.--Berig 13:21, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Swedes including / excluding Geats[edit]

On the name section currently reads:

As the dominions of the Swedish kings grew, the name was applied also to include the Geats during the Middle Ages, but later it returned to referring only the people inhabiting the original tribal lands in Svealand, in opposition to the Geats.

To my knowledge "Swedes" (swedish "Svenskar") came to include Geats sometime in the middle ages, which the text above says. However, I'm not aware of there being a return to "Swedes" (Swedish "Svenskar") exkluding Geats after the middle ages. Again, the issue is becoming confusing due to the mixing of "Swedes" and "Svear" in English (see Talk above) while it in Swedish language means two different things (Swedes includes both Geats and Svear, while Svear, does not).KarlXII 13:02, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

I think it refers to the Swedish word svear. AFAIK, the collective noun svear and it adjective svensk were at first ambiguous having the people of Svealand (tribal Swedes) as their central sense and all the subjects of the Swedish kings in their extended sense (including Geats, Gotlanders, Saamis and Finns). What happened was that the two forms specialized during the later Middle ages, so that the former adjectival form svensk became a noun denoting the subjects of the king, while the original noun came to denote only the people of Svealand.--Berig 13:28, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. Is it possible to make this clearer also in the article?KarlXII 14:01, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Help yourself.--Berig 14:03, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Hello guys – it seems this problem should be solved by the same method as by disambiguating between different kinds of Plutos. The rules of naming and terms, says that the common English language word usage should be followed for easy search and referencing. However, since Kalle/12, Berig and I User:Rursus all know that the Swedish language is very much more precize and perfected in infinite glory in this extent (svear/sviones/svenskar/kålrötter = swedes/swedes/swedes/swedes and götar/gutar/goter/hårdrockare/bråkstakar = goths/goths/goths/goths/goths), some disambiguation-parenthesizing like "Swede (viking nation)", "Swede (roman iron age people)", "Swede (modern nation)", "swede (food)" should be used to simulate the vaaast superiority of the Swedish language in the very vague (well not really) and fuzzy English language. ;^#) Said: Rursus 16:29, 6 December 2006 (UTC)


Well, I do agree that something should / could be done to improve the clarity of the terms. For me:

  • Suiones, is just the Latin word used by the Romans/Greeks to describe a tribe in what was probably Sweden and who most likely were the Svear. I don't think it is necessarily the most appropriate term for the ancient/old Swedes/Svear.
  • Swedes might be the most commonly used term in English for the old Swedes/Svear due to how Beowoulf has been translated, but is nonetheless very confusing because it doesn't distinguish between Svear and Swedes (ie including Geats)
  • Svear is not as common in English, although it is used by quite a few. However, it is much clearer than Swedes as a term for the old/ancient Swedes/Svear.

So, I would prefer Svear but can accept Swedes... if some attempt is made to differentiate them from the Swedes which include both Svear and Geats. KarlXII

I have been brooding myself and once rewrote the article massively to clarify it, but chose not to save. Karl XII, the use of Swedes and svear is confusing and was confusing. Ambiguity is an essential property of written and spoken language that we have to live with. According to Nationalencyklopedin, svear was used also for the Geats as early as the 9th century, and Nordisk familjebok states that in the early 20th century, svensk had almost replaced svear as the name for the people of Sweden[14]. Which ever way you turn it, svear, svenskar and Swedes have always been used ambiguously. However, I don't feel that Swedes is used ambiguously on WP, in respect to Geats. If you exclude a few articles relating to Swedish civil wars in the Middle Ages (Ragnvald Knaphövde is the one the comes to my mind), it is my impression that there is no or little need for disambiguating. AFAIK, no one here adheres to the Götaland theory.--Berig 11:43, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
PS. It is not only Beowulf translations that have made Swedes the standard translation of svear, but also the fact that Swedes are called svíar in Icelandic. This means that every translation of works from Norse mythology or Norse sagas translates svíar with Swedes.--Berig 11:52, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

After reading through the talk page and looking through the net....

  1. I agree that to use Swede for Svear has a large potential for confusion
  2. I understand and accept that in English, Swede is the most common of the two when referring to the ancient Svear

Although it would be preferable to call them Svear (and change the name of the article as well), I accept that English Wikipedia should use the term predominant in English. Since this article explicitly deals with the Svear Swedes it shouldn't be a problem calling them Swedes here. However, in other Wiki articles this might pose a problem. But that's not something for the editors of this article to worry about. At least not here. Cheers Osli73 21:15, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Berig's knee-jerk revert[edit]

User:Berig did this revert with the edit summary that it had been an "unexplained removal". I would have thought that the removal was self-explanatory. The footnote that I cut is rather incomprehensible. Berig just puts it back in, I suspect without having read it. And "early sources" is just a peacock term. It is also false - the Norse sources are medieval texts, written half a millennium or so after the period that the article seems to be about. As usual, it is horribly difficult to change anything in an article where User:Wiglaf and User:Berig are the main contributors. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 08:10, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Let's leave the personal attacks out of it, shall we? They serve no purpose except to undermine your position. The footnote was worded in a confusing manner, but I think I have clarified it. Calling the sagas "early sources" seems totally uncontroversial to me. If you want to add a footnote reminding the reader that they date from a later period, be my guest. Briangotts (Talk) (Contrib) 14:32, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
I do not see any clarification of the incomprehensible, ungrammatical sentence that Berig put back in. If Briangotts does cannot understand it either, it is better to just throw it out. And 'early sources' is just plain WP:PEACOCK. Thirteenth-century texts are late in connection with first millennium history. That is the problem with these sources, and that is why modern historians do not rely on them. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 15:55, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Berig / Wiglaf are experts on this subject so their opinion generally matter; but here I prefer the lead to be like the of Pieter Kuiper, since it is not so much an issue of contents as of format... (imho) / Fred-J 01:16, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Rather doubtful etymology.[edit]

If I understand the unsourced edit correctly, IP 85.226.76.211 (talk · contribs · WHOIS) has changed the etymology, assuming "swe-" to be cognate with "sea" (by means of a Nordic cognate to the latter, meaning "Lake"). I've never seen this etymology suggested anywhere; and the IP has made a number of other edits, which on the one hand shows that (s)he has some knowledge of Nordic languages, but on the other hand are unsourced and in some cases patently wrong (considering older name forms).

However, I've not reverted this; let's see whether there ever was any support for this etymology. JoergenB (talk) 19:23, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

SAOB only says that the etymology is "disputed" [15] (it is ten years old, but I don't think that a consensus has suddenly emerged). Even if a source can be found for the connection with "sea", I don't think it should be presented in the manner it is now.
Andejons (talk) 06:22, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree. Note, also, that the suggested etymologies in SAOB and Hellquist connect Swede with the root in Swedish sig/sin; there is no suggestion of a connection with (Swedish) sjö (and thus with English sea), neither here, nor elsewhere where I have looked. Thus, if the suggestion by the IP indeed is sourced, it could only be noted as an alternative etymology.
Moreover, perhaps extended etymological discussions should be made in Wiktionary entries, rather than in the Wikipedia. JoergenB (talk) 14:04, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
I replaced the claim with a reference to the etymology sector of this article (which by the way does contain a sort of reference for the "sea" claim, although I do not know that source). JoergenB (talk) 11:54, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

Suiones[edit]

This article is a TRAVESTY.

NO ANCIENT sources in any way conflate the Suiones with the Svears.. This article uses modern persons suggesting based on their own bias to equate Suiones with Svears in the most shaky and unproven, RECKLESS nonsense arguments.

This is nothing less than a attempt to try to MANUFACTURE a germanic history for the Svears, when no such history exists or was even passed down, but artificially attaching them to a distant tribe that has a name which phonetically is not even that close.

The fact that this bogus nonsense is allowing to be spread as factual, instead of total manufactured opinion not based on fact, is a huge discredit to the wikipedia concept. Thiss is fakery of the highest degree, passed as fact. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.57.122.212 (talk) 20:32, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

I agree that the article is in a sad shape, looking as it was written by a disciple of Birger Nerman. However, even modern historians at least mention the suiones, since the names are so close. Furthermore, there is no reason to suppose that Adam of Bremen means anything else than svear. I've reverted, but rewritten some parts and removed some, but the article needs more work.
Andejons (talk) 07:25, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

The first known dwelling place, found in southern Sweden, dates from around 12,000 BC.[edit]

http://sweden.se/society/history-of-sweden/ This is Sweden's government website and they know there own history. The language is German based not the people. Facts are Germany does not have a DNA project!. So how can you prove they have Germanic blood. And Swedish peoples DNA is most similar in ratios to other Central European countries like Czech Republic and Poland. Google, Jomsborg, Jomsborg Vikings, Skane slavic, Skane slavic pottery, slavic pagans, King Eric of Pomerania Does it hurt to do a little research?. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 110.33.7.110 (talk) 10:29, 11 January 2014 (UTC)