King Magnus III is dead and his young son Birger is too young to steer the Kingdom through choppy waters. Instead it is up to Marsk Torgil Knutsson to lead Sweden for the time being as head of the Regency Council. The 1200s end with Swedish attention turning to the east and a series of campaigns against old enemy Novgorod are launched. Back home, King Birger gets married to a Danish princess, setting up a marriage alliance that will affect the political layout of Scandinavia for many years to come.
King Magnus gets a chance to spend at least some of his time formalising royal control in Sweden during the 1280s. His brother gets a Dukedom, influential figures get the titles of Drots, Marsk and Kansler, and the important building project of Uppsala Cathedral comes under new management. The King mediates in two high profile conflicts and we also explain his unusual Swedish name, Ladulås. Oh, and he imprisons his brother, former King Valdemar!
After nearly 10 years feuding with his brother King Valdemar over who should rule Sweden, Magnus Birgersson finally gets his way and takes the throne after the Battle of Hova in 1275. The next five years are action-packed for Magnus and the Kingdom, as ex-King Valdemar sticks around stirring up trouble for his brother. Magnus quickly realises that Danish mercenaries are expensive as he starts his reign off deep in debt and it only gets worse. He even manages to find the time to get married, fight off a rebellion and lay the foundations for the Swedish nobility with the Alsnö Stadga. Busy times!
King Valdemar is finally free of the shackles that his father, Birger Jarl, placed on his rule and he is ready to do some actual kinging! He will reign, he will rule, he will change things, and he will build things. Or no, he actually will not do much at all. Because Valdemar has brothers, and one brother in particular, Magnus, will cause endless trouble for him and hamper his reign.
Still, he does find time to get nice and cosy with a runaway Danish nun...!
Moi and welcome to Finland! From now, Finland will play an integral role in the history of Sweden. In this episode we go back in time, to cover hundreds of years of Finnish history until the Swedes come into the story. We cover how Finland developed, what the different societies living there looked like and what they go up to around the Baltic Sea. We then look at how the first interactions with Swedish Kings and their expeditions shaped the future of this land of lakes!
This time we introduce a new landmass to our chronological story: The island of Gotland! We cover thousands of years of Gotland's history, with a focus on trade and how it fits into the story of the Baltic Sea and the surrounding regions. We'll see why as time goes on, the island becomes more and more integrated with the Swedish Kingdom, but it definitely is a gradual process. We then look at the origins of a new northern European trade network!
Includes our funniest/worst mispronunciation blooper so far at the end of the episode!
April 2021 saw the 35th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Whilst widely known around the world as a disastrous industrial accident, Sweden's involvement in the aftermath is usually overlooked. In this new special episode, we will explore how the world outside the USSR found out about the disaster, with help from a Swedish power plant worker's shoes!
As it is a special episode, we have a special creator of the episode picture; Åsa!
In our third and final episode about Birger Jarl, the mighty Jarl continues to rule as the puppet master of his son, King Valdemar. He appoints his other sons dukes and even uses the title himself occasionally. He has a second marriage and with that creates an unholy alliance that annoys the Danes. Plus, Sweden fights some more in the east, along with other developments. But even a mighty man like Birger Jarl will eventually lay down for his final rest, and once he's done that, we look back at his life and rule and ask ourselves if he was Birger Jarl, or was he in fact more like Birger King?
Stay tuned at the end of the episode to hear more about our new website: www.aflatpackhistoryofsweden.com
It is time to continue our discussion about the life and deeds of Birger Jarl. This time we look specifically at what happens in the 1250s, a busy decade for our rising leader. He is occupied by marrying off his kids to form political alliances, quashing domestic rebellions, and buttering up visiting German traders. We also see what happened in a war that never was!
Finally we skip forward to the 20th century to examine a rather rash decision by Stockholm City Council...
If Hollywood were to make a film on Sweden in the 1200s, the main character would be Birger Jarl. We saw him introduced to the story last time, but now we look at his life in detail, in the first of three episodes looking at his achievements and the impact he had on his country. In this first episode we cover his early life, entrance into politics and everything he does up until he declares his son Valdemar the King of Sweden in 1250. Strap in!