• Greeks and Romans were the first to write about Scandinavia. They had a vague knowledge about what they called "an island on the edge of the civilized world", populated by the barbarian tribes from Germania. Geographically speaking, the Scandinavian peninsula is a territory shared by Norway, Sweden and northern Finland. The Scandinavian countries would therefore only be Norway and Sweden. Linguistically, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish have a common word called "Skandinavien" which refers to the ancient territories of the Norsemen, and for most people in these three countries "Scandinavia" consists only of Sweden, Norway and Denmark. This one is considered to be the most commonly accepted definition of "Scandinavia". However, Iceland was also a Norse territory and Icelandic belongs to the same linguistic family than Swedish, Norwegian and Danish. And so does the Faroe islands. Therefore, you will find some people for which Scandinavia is Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. And finally, Swedish language is also spoken in Finland and reciprocally, Finnish and Sami languages are spoken in Sweden and Norway. Again, we have a new definition of Scandinavia, which would include Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland. SOURCE: >>>>Scandinavia is the cultural and historic region of the Scandinavian Peninsula.<<<< The Scandinavian countries are Norway, Sweden and Denmark, which mutually recognize each other as parts of Scandinavia. The collective label "Scandinavia" reflects the cultural similarity between these countries despite their political independence. The usage and meaning of the term outside Scandinavia is somewhat ambiguous: Finland and Iceland are occasionally counted as parts of Scandinavia. In a German mindset, Norway, Sweden and Finland are usually included, but Denmark is not. In a British mindset, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark are usually included, often with the addition of Iceland and Finland. These alternative meanings are considered incorrect in the local languages, and occasionally some people may take offense by such usage in English. The modern use of the term Scandinavia rises from the Scandinavist political movement, which was active in the middle of the 19th century, chiefly between the First war of Schleswig (1848-1850), in which Sweden-Norway contributed with considerable military force, and the Second war of Schleswig (1864) when Sweden's parliament denounced the King's promises of military support. Scandinavia as a 19th century political vision: The movement proposed the unification of Denmark, Norway and Sweden into a single united kingdom. The background for this was the tumultous events during the Napoleonic wars in the beginning of the century leading to the partition of Sweden (the eastern part becoming the Russian Grand Duchy of Finland in 1809) and Denmark (whereby Norway, de jure in union with Denmark since 1387, although de facto merely a province, became independent in 1814 and thereafter was swiftly forced to accept a personal union with Sweden). Finland being a part of the Russian Empire meant that it would have to be left out of any equation for a political union between the Nordic countries. >>>>A new term also had to be invented that excluded Finland from any such inspirations, and that term was Scandinavia.<<<< The geographical Scandinavia included Norway and Sweden, but the political Scandinavia was also to include Denmark. Politically Sweden and Norway were united in a personal union under one monarch. Denmark also included the dependent territories of Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland in the Atlantic ocean (which however historically had belonged to Norway, but unintentionally remained by Denmark according to the Treaty of Kiel). The end of the Scandinavian political movement came when Denmark was denied military support from Sweden-Norway to annex the (Danish) Duchy of Schleswig, which together with the (German) Duchy of Holstein had been in personal union with Denmark. SOURCE:

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