History of Scania


History of Scania

The province of Scania, was once a part of Denmark together with Jutland and Zealand.

Adam of Bremen writes about Scania: :"Scania, the most beautiful of provinces of Denmark. It is well equipped with men, fertile and wealthy with merchandise and spread with churches. It's twice as big as Zealand — it has 300 churches"

Scania had its height of influence in the Danish kingdom in the 11th century. At this time Scania had two dioceses, Lund and Dalby, and Sweyn Estridson was king, with the Danish capital being Dalby. During his reign a monastery and the current church of Dalby were founded.

Following the Treaty of Roskilde Terra Scania became a possession of the Swedish Crown, retaining its old laws and "Lantdag", but was soon to be split. Bornholm was returned to Denmark, and the other provinces were successively incorporated into Sweden. Scania was in 1719 the last to become a province of Sweden.

Viking Age history

It was previously thought that society, like in the rest of Scandinavia, was made up of farmers and thralls, the former all being free and equal having their say at the things in the affairs of the society. Archeological findings on Jutland, the Danish islands and on the Scanian plains have modified this picture. It has now become clear, that the distribution of wealth, at least from the early Migrations Period, was very uneven. The plains were to a large extent divided up between large farms which were far bigger than smallholdings, and were often grouped in villages. Subsequently, only a small faction of the population can be presumed to have enjoyed full civic rights. It seems now more likely that this society ought to be perceived as a system of tribes, each led by magnates or chieftains, in Danish often called "gode," whose authority depended on the size and wealth of the tribe. These tribes would have had their own lid, their own troop of warriors, under the command of the magnates, as was the case long after the Viking Age.

It now seems likely, that a period of domestic colonisation within Scania, that was earlier believed to have started before the Viking Age, in reality barely took place until after the Viking Age, when donations of earth to monasteries led to influences from Continental Europe and a transition from a predominantly animal husbandry to grain cultivation, which entailed extensive land clearing, possibly also connected with the liberation of the thralls, that led to the creation of many new settlements with names ending in "-torp, -rup," and "-röd."

Towns and cities

Towns of Skåne chartered before 1971:
*Eslöv (1911)
*Falsterbo (approximately 1200)
*Helsingborg (1085)
*Hässleholm (1914)
*Höganäs (1936)
*Kristianstad (1622)
*Landskrona (1413)
*Lund (approximately 990)
*Malmö (approximately 1250)
*Simrishamn (approximately 1300)
*Skanör (approximately 1200)
*Trelleborg (approximately 1200)
*Ystad (approximately 1200)
*Ängelholm (1516)


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