King of the Goths

King of the Goths

The title of King of the Goths ( _sv. Götes konung, _da. Gothernes konge / De Gothers konge, _la. gothorum rex) was for many centuries borne by both the Kings of Sweden and the Kings of Denmark, denoting sovereignty or claimed sovereignty over the antique people of the Goths, which is sort of poetic explanation.

To kings of Denmark, it chiefly meant the island of Gotland, traditionally regarded as the original home of the Goths, and to kings of Sweden, it meant the other of the two constituent parts of that kingdom (see Lands of Sweden), the Gothenland, southern "half" of Sweden.


It is actually believed that a note in a papal letter copy in about 1100 means Inge and Halsten, Kings of the Goths—they had recently lost the upper svear part of their kingdom.

In a papal letter dated 5 September 1164, king Charles VII of Sweden (Karl Sverkersson) (c 1130–67; reigned 1161–1167) already was addressed as "rex Sweorum et Gothorum".

Sweden's title

The first Swedish king to regularly use the title was King Magnus III of Sweden, particularly after he had in c 1278 had his final win over his deposed brother Valdemar who had hitherto held lands of Västergötland. First "Sveriges och Götes Konung" up to later decades of Gustaf I of Sweden, then "Sveriges, Götes och Vendes Konung", was used in official documentation up to the accession of Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden in 1973, who was the first monarch officially proclaimed "Sveriges Konung" ("King of Sweden") and nothing else.

Denmark's title

The first Danish king to use the title was King Valdemar IV (reigned 1340 to 1375), who adopted it in 1362Svane, Erling: Det danske Rigsvåben og Kongevåben, Odense University Press, 1994, p. 172 da icon] after conquering Gotland the previous year. The Danish Kings continued to use the title over the next six hundred years until 1972, when Queen Margrethe II succeeded. She abandoned the use of all her predecessors' titles except her title as "Denmark's Queen", which is the royal style today.

First documented 1449, the arms of the Danish monarchs contained until 1972 a subcoat representing the title "King of the Goths": on gold, a blue heraldic leopard over nine red hearts. Originally derived from the arms of the dukes of Halland which again was derived from the Danish arms. This symbol is consequently unrelated to Gotland's arms featuring the Agnus Dei, although the latter symbol was also formerly represented in the arms of Denmark. clear


See also

* kings of the Goths known by name before the 3rd century split into Visigoths and Ostrogoths:
**Filimer son of Gadarig
*King of the Visigoths
*King of the Ostrogoths
*King of the Geats
*King of the Wends



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