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SCANDINAVIA /ˌskændɪˈneɪviə/ is a historical and cultural region in Northern Europe characterized by a common ethnocultural North Germanic heritage and mutually intelligible North Germanic languages . In English usage, Scandinavia
Scandinavia
sometimes refers to the area known as the Scandinavian Peninsula .

The term Scandinavia
Scandinavia
always includes the three kingdoms of Denmark
Denmark
, Norway
Norway
, and Sweden
Sweden
. The remote Norwegian islands of Svalbard
Svalbard
and Jan Mayen are usually not seen as a part of Scandinavia, nor is Greenland , an overseas territory of Denmark. However, the Faroe Islands , also a Danish overseas territory, are sometimes included, as sometimes are Iceland
Iceland
, Finland
Finland
, and the Finnish autonomous region of the Åland Islands , because of their historical association with the Scandinavian countries and the Scandinavian peoples and languages. This looser definition almost equates to that of the Nordic countries . In the local languages, Skandinavia/Skandinavien often means the European parts of Denmark, Norway
Norway
and Sweden, whereas the name Norden is more commonly used for the extended region that includes Finland, Iceland, and overseas parts of Denmark
Denmark
and Norway.

The name Scandinavia
Scandinavia
originally referred vaguely to the formerly Danish, now Swedish, region Scania
Scania
. The terms Scandinavia
Scandinavia
and Scandinavian entered usage in the late 18th century as terms for Denmark, Norway
Norway
and Sweden, their Germanic majority peoples and associated language and culture, the term being introduced by the early linguistic and cultural Scandinavist movement .

The majority of the population of Scandinavia
Scandinavia
are descended from several (North) Germanic tribes who originally inhabited the southern part of Scandinavia
Scandinavia
and spoke a Germanic language that evolved into Old Norse . Icelanders and the Faroese are to a significant extent descended from the Norse, and are therefore often seen as Scandinavian. Finland
Finland
is mainly populated by Finns
Finns
, with a minority of approximately 5% of Swedish speakers . A small minority of Sami people live in the extreme north of Scandinavia.

The Danish , Norwegian and Swedish languages form a dialect continuum and are known as the Scandinavian languages —all of which are considered mutually intelligible with one another. Faroese and Icelandic , sometimes referred to as insular Scandinavian languages, are intelligible in continental Scandinavian languages only to a limited extent. Finnish and Meänkieli are closely related to each other and more distantly to the Sami languages , but are entirely unrelated to the Scandinavian languages. Apart from these, German , Yiddish and Romani are recognized minority languages in Scandinavia.

The southern and by far most populous regions of Scandinavia
Scandinavia
have a temperate climate . Scandinavia
Scandinavia
extends north of the Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle
, but has relatively mild weather for its latitude due to the Gulf Stream . Much of the Scandinavian mountains have an alpine tundra climate. There are many lakes and moraines , legacies of the last glacial period , which ended about ten millennia ago.

CONTENTS

* 1 Terminology and use

* 1.1 Finland
Finland
* 1.2 Societal and tourism promotional organizations

* 2 Use of Nordic countries
Nordic countries
vs. Scandinavia
Scandinavia

* 3 Etymology

* 3.1 Pliny the Elder\'s descriptions * 3.2 Germanic reconstruction * 3.3 Sami etymology * 3.4 Other etymologies

* 4 Geography

* 5 Languages in Scandinavia
Scandinavia

* 5.1 North Germanic languages * 5.2 Finnish * 5.3 Sami languages

* 6 History

* 6.1 Scandinavian unions

* 7 Political Scandinavism * 8 See also * 9 Notes * 10 References * 11 External links

TERMINOLOGY AND USE

Satellite photo of the Scandinavian Peninsula , March 2002 Scandinavia
Scandinavia
originally referred vaguely to Scania
Scania
, a formerly Danish region that became Swedish in the 17th century

"Scandinavia" usually refers to Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Some sources argue for the inclusion of the Faroe Islands, Finland
Finland
and Iceland, though that broader region is usually known by the countries concerned as Norden (Finnish Pohjoismaat, Icelandic Norðurlöndin, Faroese Norðurlond), or the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
. The three monarchies ( Denmark
Denmark
, Norway
Norway
, and Sweden
Sweden
) that compose Scandinavia
Scandinavia
according to the local definition The extended usage in English which includes Iceland
Iceland
and the Faroe Islands, the Åland Islands , and Finland.

The use of the name "Scandinavia" as a convenient general term for the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway
Norway
and Sweden
Sweden
is fairly recent; according to some historians, it was adopted and introduced in the eighteenth century, at a time when the ideas about a common heritage started to appear and develop into early literary and linguistic Scandinavism . Before this time, the term Scandinavia
Scandinavia
was familiar mainly to classical scholars through Pliny the Elder 's writings, and was used vaguely for Scania
Scania
and the southern region of the peninsula.

As a political term, "Scandinavia" was first used by students agitating for Pan-Scandinavianism in the 1830s. The popular usage of the term in Sweden, Denmark
Denmark
and Norway
Norway
as a unifying concept became established in the nineteenth century through poems such as Hans Christian Andersen 's "I am a Scandinavian" of 1839. After a visit to Sweden, Andersen became a supporter of early political Scandinavism. In a letter describing the poem to a friend, he wrote: "All at once I understood how related the Swedes, the Danes and the Norwegians are, and with this feeling I wrote the poem immediately after my return: 'We are one people, we are called Scandinavians!'"

FINLAND

The clearest example of the use of the term "Scandinavia" as a political and societal construct is the unique position of Finland, based largely on the fact that most of modern-day Finland
Finland
was part of the Swedish kingdom for hundreds of years, thus to much of the world associating Finland
Finland
with all of Scandinavia. But the creation of a Finnish identity is unique in the region in that it was formed in relation to two different imperial models, the Swedish and the Russian, as described by the University of Jyväskylä based editorial board of the Finnish journal Yearbook of Political Thought and Conceptual History.

The term is often defined according to the conventions of the cultures that lay claim to the term in their own use. When a speaker wants to explicitly include Finland
Finland
alongside Scandinavia-proper, the geographic terms Fenno-Scandinavia or Fennoscandia are sometimes used in English, although these terms are hardly if at all used within Scandinavia. More precisely, and subject to no dispute, is that Finland
Finland
is included in the broader term 'Nordic countries'.

SOCIETAL AND TOURISM PROMOTIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Various promotional agencies of the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
in the United States (such as The American-Scandinavian Foundation , established in 1910 by the Danish American industrialist Niels Poulsen) serve to promote market and tourism interests in the region. Today, the five Nordic heads of state act as the organization's patrons and according to the official statement by the organization, its mission is "to promote the Nordic region as a whole while increasing the visibility of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway
Norway
and Sweden
Sweden
in New York City and the United States." The official tourist boards of Scandinavia sometimes cooperate under one umbrella, such as the Scandinavian Tourist Board . The cooperation was introduced for the Asian market in 1986, when the Swedish national tourist board joined the Danish national tourist board to coordinate intergovernmental promotion of the two countries. Norway's government entered one year later. All five Nordic governments participate in the joint promotional efforts in the United States through the Scandinavian Tourist Board of North America.

USE OF NORDIC COUNTRIES VS. SCANDINAVIA

For more details on this terminology, see Nordic countries
Nordic countries
.

While the term Scandinavia
Scandinavia
is commonly used for Denmark, Norway
Norway
and Sweden, the term the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
is used unambiguously for Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland, including their associated territories ( Greenland
Greenland
, the Faroe Islands, and the Åland Islands). Scandinavia
Scandinavia
can thus be considered a subset of the Nordic countries. Furthermore, the term Fennoscandia refers to Scandinavia, Finland
Finland
and Karelia
Karelia
, excluding Denmark
Denmark
and overseas territories; however, the usage of this term is restricted to geology , when speaking of the Fennoscandian Shield (Baltic Shield).

In addition to the MAINLAND SCANDINAVIAN COUNTRIES of:

* Denmark
Denmark
(Constitutional monarchy with a Parliamentary system ) * Norway
Norway
(Constitutional monarchy with a Parliamentary system ) * Sweden
Sweden
(Ceremonial monarchy with a Parliamentary system )

the NORDIC COUNTRIES also consist of:

* Finland
Finland
( Parliamentary republic ) * Iceland
Iceland
( Parliamentary republic ) * Åland Islands
Åland Islands
(an autonomous province of Finland
Finland
since 1920) * Faroe Islands (an autonomous country within the Danish Realm , self-governed since 1948) * Greenland
Greenland
(an autonomous country within the Danish Realm , self-governed since 1979) * Svalbard
Svalbard
, which is under Norwegian sovereignty, is not considered part of Scandinavia
Scandinavia
as a cultural-historical region; but as a part of the Kingdom of Norway
Norway
(since 1925), it is part of the Nordic countries (Norden).

Whereas the term "Scandinavia" is relatively straightforward as traditionally relating to the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway
Norway
and Sweden
Sweden
there exists some ambiguity as regards the ethnic aspect of the concept in the modern era. Traditionally, the term refers specifically to the majority peoples of Denmark, Norway
Norway
and Sweden, their states, their Germanic languages and their culture. In the modern era, the term will often include minority peoples such as the Sami and Meänkieli speakers in a political and to some extent cultural sense, as they are citizens of Scandinavian countries and speak Scandinavian languages either as their first or second language. However, Scandinavian is still also seen as an ethnic term for the Germanic majority peoples of Scandinavia, and as such, the inclusion of Sami and Finnish speakers can be seen as controversial within these groups.

ETYMOLOGY

The original areas inhabited (during the Bronze Age) by the peoples since known as Scandinavians included what is now Northern Germany (particularly Schleswig-Holstein ), all of Denmark, southern Sweden, and the southern coast of Norway. Namesake Scania
Scania
found itself in the centre.

Late Baltic Ice Lake around 10,300 years B.P. , with a channel near Mount Billingen through what is now central Sweden (political boundaries added)

Scandinavia
Scandinavia
and Scania
Scania
(Skåne, the southernmost province of Sweden) are considered to have the same etymology. Both terms are thought to go back to the Proto-Germanic compound *Skaðin-awjō, which appears later in Old English
Old English
as Scedenig and in Old Norse as Skáney. The earliest identified source for the name Scandinavia
Scandinavia
is Pliny the Elder 's Natural History , dated to the first century A.D.

Various references to the region can also be found in Pytheas
Pytheas
, Pomponius Mela
Pomponius Mela
, Tacitus
Tacitus
, Ptolemy
Ptolemy
, Procopius and Jordanes , usually in the form of Scandza
Scandza
. It is believed that the name used by Pliny may be of West Germanic origin, originally denoting Scania. According to some scholars, the Germanic stem can be reconstructed as *Skaðan- meaning "danger" or "damage" (English scathing, German Schaden, Dutch schade). The second segment of the name has been reconstructed as *awjō, meaning "land on the water" or "island". The name Scandinavia would then mean "dangerous island", which is considered to refer to the treacherous sandbanks surrounding Scania. Skanör in Scania, with its long Falsterbo reef, has the same stem (skan) combined with -ör, which means "sandbanks".

In the reconstructed Germanic root *Skaðin-awjō (the edh represented in Latin by t or d), the first segment is sometimes considered more uncertain than the second segment. The American Heritage Dictionary derives the second segment from Proto-Indo-European *akwa-, "water", in the sense of "watery land".

The Old Norse goddess name Skaði , along with Sca(n)dinavia and Skáney, may be related to Gothic skadus, Old English
Old English
sceadu, Old Saxon scado, and Old High German scato (meaning "shadow"). Scholar John McKinnell comments that this etymology suggests that the goddess Skaði may have once been a personification of the geographical region of Scandinavia
Scandinavia
or associated with the underworld.

PLINY THE ELDER\'S DESCRIPTIONS

Pliny's descriptions of Scatinavia and surrounding areas are not always easy to decipher. Writing in the capacity of a Roman admiral, he introduces the northern region by declaring to his Roman readers that there are 23 islands "Romanis armis cognitae" ("known to Roman arms") in this area. According to Pliny, the "clarissima" ("most famous") of the region's islands is Scatinavia, of unknown size. There live the Hilleviones . The belief that Scandinavia
Scandinavia
was an island became widespread among classical authors during the first century and dominated descriptions of Scandinavia
Scandinavia
in classical texts during the centuries that followed.

Pliny begins his description of the route to Scatinavia by referring to the mountain of Saevo (mons Saevo ibi), the Codanus Bay (Codanus sinus) and the Cimbrian promontory. The geographical features have been identified in various ways; by some scholars "Saevo" is thought to be the mountainous Norwegian coast at the entrance to Skagerrak and the Cimbrian peninsula is thought to be Skagen
Skagen
, the north tip of Jutland
Jutland
, Denmark. As described, Saevo and Scatinavia can also be the same place.

Pliny mentions Scandinavia
Scandinavia
one more time: in Book
Book
VIII he says that the animal called achlis (given in the accusative, achlin, which is not Latin), was born on the island of Scandinavia. The animal grazes, has a big upper lip and some mythical attributes.

The name " Scandia ", later used as a synonym for Scandinavia, also appears in Pliny's Naturalis Historia, but is used for a group of Northern European islands which he locates north of Britannia
Britannia
. "Scandia" thus does not appear to be denoting the island Scadinavia in Pliny's text. The idea that "Scadinavia" may have been one of the "Scandiae" islands was instead introduced by Ptolemy
Ptolemy
(c. 90 – c. 168 AD), a mathematician, geographer and astrologer of Roman Egypt. He used the name "Skandia" for the biggest, most easterly of the three "Scandiai" islands, which according to him were all located east of Jutland
Jutland
.

Neither Pliny's nor Ptolemy's lists of Scandinavian tribes include the Suiones mentioned by Tacitus. Some early Swedish scholars of the Swedish Hyperborean school and of the 19th-century romantic nationalism period proceeded to synthesize the different versions by inserting references to the Suiones, arguing that they must have been referred to in the original texts and obscured over time by spelling mistakes or various alterations.

GERMANIC RECONSTRUCTION

The Latin names in Pliny's text gave rise to different forms in medieval Germanic texts. In Jordanes' history of the Goths (AD 551) the form Scandza
Scandza
is the name used for their original home, separated by sea from the land of Europe
Europe
(chapter 1, 4). Where Jordanes meant to locate this quasi-legendary island is still a hotly debated issue, both in scholarly discussions and in the nationalistic discourse of various European countries. The form Scadinavia as the original home of the Langobards appears in Paulus Diaconus ' Historia Langobardorum; in other versions of Historia Langobardorum appear the forms Scadan, Scandanan, Scadanan and Scatenauge. Frankish sources used Sconaowe and Aethelweard , an Anglo-Saxon historian, used Scani. In Beowulf
Beowulf
, the forms Scedenige and Scedeland are used, while the Alfredian translation of Orosius and Wulfstan 's travel accounts used the Old English Sconeg.

SAMI ETYMOLOGY

Kautokeino
Kautokeino
, the main Sami municipality in Norway
Norway

The earliest Sami yoik texts written down refer to the world as Skadesi-suolo (north-Sami) and Skađsuâl (east-Sami), meaning "Skaði 's island" (Svennung 1963). Svennung considers the Sami name to have been introduced as a loan word from the North Germanic languages ; " Skaði " is the giant stepmother of Freyr
Freyr
and Freyja in Norse mythology . It has been suggested that Skaði to some extent is modeled on a Sami woman. The name for Skade's father Thjazi is known in Sami as Čáhci, "the waterman", and her son with Odin, Saeming , can be interpreted as a descendent of Saam the Sami population (Mundel 2000), (Steinsland 1991). Older joik texts give evidence of the old Sami belief about living on an island and state that the wolf is known as suolu gievra, meaning "the strong one on the island." The Sami place name Sulliidčielbma means "the island's threshold" and Suoločielgi means "the island's back."

In recent substrate studies, Sami linguists have examined the initial cluster sk- in words used in Sami and concluded that sk- is a phonotactic structure of alien origin.

OTHER ETYMOLOGIES

Another possibility is that all or part of the segments of the name came from the Mesolithic people inhabiting the region. In modernity, Scandinavia
Scandinavia
is a peninsula, but between approximately 10,300 and 9,500 years ago, the southern part of Scandinavia
Scandinavia
was an island separated from the northern peninsula, with water exiting the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
through the area where Stockholm
Stockholm
is now located.

Some Basque scholars have presented the idea that the segment sk that appears in *Skaðinawjō is connected to the name for the Euzko peoples, akin to Basques, that populated Paleolithic
Paleolithic
Europe. According to some of these intellects, Scandinavian people share particular genetic markers with the Basque people .

GEOGRAPHY

Galdhøpiggen is the highest point in Scandinavia, and is a part of the Scandinavian Mountains See also: Geography of Denmark
Denmark
, Geography of Finland
Finland
, Geography of Iceland
Iceland
, Geography of Norway
Norway
, and Geography of Sweden
Sweden

The geography of Scandinavia
Scandinavia
is extremely varied. Notable are the Norwegian fjords , the Scandinavian Mountains , the flat, low areas in Denmark, and the archipelagos of Sweden
Sweden
and Norway. Sweden
Sweden
has many lakes and moraines, legacies of the ice age .

The climate varies from north to south and from west to east; a marine west coast climate (Cfb ) typical of western Europe
Europe
dominates in Denmark, southernmost part of Sweden