carolingian empire

Not too Holy, not too Roman, status of “Empire” highly questionable…

Can’t stop thinking about my History of Western Civ class from last quarter, which must be a pretty good thing, so decided to draw lil HRE in Medieval Carolingian garb, since I think he looks pretty snazzy in his glorified sheets. Sort of inspired by @cidershark‘s HRE doodles, except…still pretty loose and heavy on the symbolism, not necessarily accuracy hah.

Power and Authority in Scandinavia, ca. 800-1000CE.

During the Viking Age, the nations now known as Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, had not been fully developed. During this period, the Danes asserts the most authority, emerging as the most advanced among the rest of the Scandinavians. This was due to their connections with the rest of Europe, such as the Carolingian Empire (not really a friendly relationship) and access to certain trade routes.

As seen above, the Danes controlled a great deal of land beyond Jutland. They were able to utilize their advantages and take overlordship of many areas in Norway and Sweden. However, it took quite a bit even for the Danes to create a secure kingdom. Many territories in Norway, such as Vestfold and the area around Trondheim, gave Danish authority some struggle in maintaining its overlordship. 

Kings were chosen from a single royal family, however, any member of that family could aspire to the kingship. This eventually resulted in the destabilization of the Danish monarchy as succession disputes grew more common. This is what allowed chieftains such as Harald Finehair (d. ca. 930) seize control over Danish territories, such as southern Norway.

There is less known regarding the affairs in Sweden, it remained divided for a longer period, being a dual relationship between the Svear and the Götar. Although they had a king of their own in 975, Olof Skötkonung (his nickname literally means “tribute king”), they still remained under Danish overlordship.


  1. Haywood, John. “From Chiefdoms to Kingdoms.” In The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings. London: Penguin, 1995. Pages 34-35.