Gothicismus, Gothism, or Gothicism ( _sv. Göticism) is the name given to what is considered to have been a cultural movement in Sweden. The founders of the movement were Nicolaus Ragvaldi, the brothers Johannes Magnus, Olaus Magnus and Olof Rudbeck d.ä.. They all held the belief that the Goths had originally lived in Sweden. This myth continued to hold power in the 17th century, when Sweden was a great power following the Thirty Years' War, but lost most of its sway in the 18th. It was revitalized by national romanticism in the early 19th century, this time with the vikings as heroic figures.


The name is derived from Jordanes's account of the Gothic urheimat in Scandinavia (Scandza), and the Gothicists in Sweden believed that the Goths had originated from Sweden. Some scholars in Denmark also attempted to identify the Goths with the Jutes, however, these ideas did not lead to the same widespread cultural movement in the Danish society as it did in the Swedish. In contrast with the Swedes, the Danes of this era did not forward claims to political legitimacy based on assertions that their country was the original homeland of the Goths and that the conquest of the Roman Empire was proof of their own country's military valor and power through history. [Sondrup, Steven P. and Virgil Nemoianu (2004). "Nonfictional Romantic Prose: Expanding Borders". In the International Comparative Literature Association's History of Literatures in European Languages series. John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2004, ISBN 9027234515, p. 143.]

The Gothicismus movement took pride in the Gothic tradition that the Ostrogoths and their king Theodoric the Great who assumed power in the Roman Empire had Scandinavian ancestry. This pride was expressed as early as the medieval chronicles, where chroniclers wrote about the Goths as the ancestors of the Scandinavians, and it permeated the writings of the Swedish writer Johannes Magnus ("Historia de omnibus gothorum seonumque regibus") and his brother Olaus Magnus ("Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus"). Both works had a large impact on contemporary scholarship in Sweden.

During the 17th century, Danes and Swedes competed for the collection and publication of Iceland manuscripts, Norse sagas, and the two Eddas. In Sweden, the Icelandic manuscripts became part of an origin myth and were seen as proof that the greatness and heroism of the old Geats had been passed down through the generations to the current population. This pride culminated in the publication of Olaus Rudbeck's "Atland eller Manheim" (1679–1702), where he claimed that Sweden was identical to Atlantis.

Romantic nationalism

During the 18th century, the Swedish Gothicismus movement had sobered somewhat, but it resurged again during the Romantic nationalism from ca 1800 and onwards with Geijer and Tegnér in the Geatish society.

In Denmark, romantic nationalism led writers such as Ewald, Grundtvig and Oehlenschläger to take a renewed interest in Old Norse subjects, and in other parts of Europe, the interest in Norse mythology, history and language was represented by the Englishman Gray, the Germans Herder and Klopstock, and by the Swiss Mallet.


In Scandinavian architecture, Gothicismus had a prime in the 1860s and 1870s, but it continued until ca 1900. The interest in Old Norse subjects led to the creation of a special architecture in wood inspired by the Stave churches, and it was in Norway that the style had its largest impact. The details that are often found in this style are dragon heads, and it is often called "dragon style", false arcades, lathed colonnades, protruding lofts and a ridged roof.


ee also

* Götaland theory

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Swedish literature — refers to literature written in the Swedish language or by writers from Sweden. [For example, both Birgitta of Sweden (14th century) and Emanuel Swedenborg (18th century) wrote most of their work in Latin, but since they came from Sweden, their… …   Wikipedia

  • Swedish reformation and Renaissance literature — The German Protestant reformation had spread to Sweden by 1520. The advent of the printing press facilitated a full translation of the Bible into Swedish in 1541. From a philological view, a new period in the development of the Swedish language… …   Wikipedia

  • Literatura de Suecia — Letras del alfabeto sueco. Los términos literatura de Suecia y literatura sueca (que se pueden considerar intercambiables) se refieren a las obras literarias escritas en idioma sueco o en otro idioma por autores suecos. El primer texto literario… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Goths — The Goths (, respectively.Meanwhile close contact with Roman civilization brought about a gradual conversion of the Goths to Catholicism. One of the most notable early instances of such a conversion was that of the Gothic missionary, Wulfila, who …   Wikipedia

  • Gothic — or Goth may refer to:Germanic personsOriginally, the ethnonym of a group of East Germanic tribes. *The Goths – **the Gothic language, an extinct East Germanic language, spoken by the Goths ***the Crimean Gothic, Gothic language spoken by the… …   Wikipedia

  • Geats — Sweden in the 12th century before the incorporation of Finland during the 13th century.   Geats …   Wikipedia

  • Consolidation of Sweden — Approximate borders of Sweden in the 12th century before the incorporation of Finland during the 13th century. Blue and yellow represents the Geats and Suiones tribes; their unification marks the consolidation of Sweden (in one commonly held… …   Wikipedia

  • Geatish Society — The Geatish Society, or Gothic League ( Götiska Förbundet ) was created by a number of Swedish poets and authors in 1811, as a social club for literary studies among academics in Sweden with a view to raising the moral tone of society through… …   Wikipedia

  • Götaland theory — The term Götaland theory (Swedish Västgötaskolan ) is a local patriotic view which challenges established history and archaeology, and which claims that the foundation of Sweden was not in East Sweden, but in Västergötland. The adherents use wide …   Wikipedia

  • Historiography and nationalism — Historiography is the study of how history is written. One pervasive influence upon the writing of history has been nationalism, a set of beliefs about political legitimacy and cultural identity . Nationalism has provided a significant framework… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.