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The Swedish people (or Swedes) represent a civilization in Civilization V: Gods & Kings.


The Swedish are a leading nation when it comes to diplomacy. They are really the only civilization that gains a hefty amount of Influence (Civ5) Influence from each Great Person gift to city-states, which is more than enough to secure city-state allies! But that's not all - they also receive a Great Person generation boost while declaring friendship with another nation (as does the nation with which they are declaring friendship).

For these reasons, it's advisable that you keep a good relationship with everyone, not just city-states. You should strongly consider adopting Patronage once you have access to that policy tree, and make it a priority to gain as many Great People as you can, whether from Specialist Specialists, Declarations of Friendship, or city-state allies (after adopting all the policies in the Patronage tree). Don't forget to give some of your Great People to city-states - each one translates to one new city-state ally! Additionally, you should try to build the Leaning Tower of Pisa as early as possible, which will give you an even greater advantage on the diplomatic front.

Apart from these, the Swedish also have two fascinating unique units which will help them in their war efforts. The Hakkapeliitta, with their expertise in combats with Great Generals, receive a combat bonus if they start a turn stacked with a Great General. What's more, Great Generals also benefit from this stacking, as they become as fast as the Hakkapeliitta in the next turn. Later on, their unique Industrial Era gunpowder unit, the Carolean, is the only military unit in the game that starts with the March promotion, allowing it to heal every turn regardless of whether or not it has performed an action.

Civilopedia entry[]


The Kingdom of Sweden, found in Northern Europe, joins Denmark and Norway in forming the region known as Scandinavia. A progressive and economically powerful nation in the present-day, Sweden's early history was chronicled in the Norse Sagas, within which the first records of their legendary kings appeared. Although there is no precise date associated with the kingdom's formation, over time the loosely collaborated Viking chiefdoms gave way to a united Swedish people. Reaching the height of military and political power in the 17th century, Sweden reached its zenith under the stalwart leadership of revered king and general Gustavus Adolphus.

Geography and Climate[]

Extending from the southern Baltic Sea to the Arctic Circle in the north, Sweden is situated between the Nordic countries of Norway and Finland. A nation of great forests, the majority of the country is heavily wooded with indigenous pine, spruce, and birch trees. Sweden has an overall temperate climate which is surprisingly dry compared to neighboring regions, although there are distinct weather variations from north to south. The eastern coastline of Sweden has long provided an abundance of fishing resources, which contributed to the Swedes' capable seafaring ways throughout their history.


Long before the Vikings, Sweden was inhabited by tribal peoples who migrated throughout the region. As early as 12,000 BC, hunter-gatherers living in Sweden moved with the seasons and eventually formed small fishing communities utilizing primitive flint and slate tools. These early tribes developed more cohesive agricultural-based societies starting in the Neolithic era and continuing into the Nordic Bronze Age around 1700 BC. An influx of imported bronze allowed for the use of progressively more advanced tools and weapons during this period.

As the dawn of the Viking Age approached in the new millennium, Sweden was primarily inhabited by several large Germanic tribes. The original "Swedes" were initially only a singular tribe living in small kingdoms and chiefdoms throughout Svealand, the historical center of Swedish development. Neighbored by the Geats to the south and the Gutes on the isle of Gotland in the Baltic, the Swedes were eventually unified with their neighboring tribes, although the date of their unification is still a mystery. The collaboration of these early tribal kingdoms throughout the Viking era implies a gradual fusion of their territory.

The Vikings of Sweden[]

The conquests and expansion of the Vikings into central Europe wreaked havoc on unsuspecting settlements across the region. During the 7th and 8th centuries, the Vikings typically set sail from Scandinavia each spring in search of plunder, returning in the fall burdened with spoils. While their Danish counterparts were best known for raids in England and France, the Vikings of Sweden primarily sailed across the Baltic Sea and along the river inlets into the Russian frontier.

Moving into Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine during the 9th century, many of the Swedish Vikings settled in these eastern lands, where they came to be known as the Rus people. Although there are a number of theories as to the origin of their name, the most common belief is that it derived from the Swedish region of Roslagen, meaning "Land of the Rowers." After capturing the city of Kiev in the mid-9th century, the Rus formed a state that survived for nearly 400 years until the arrival of the Mongols in the 13th century. This "Land of Rus" is notably credited as the namesake for the modern nation of Russia.

Following long held tradition, the Swedish Vikings honored their most historic victories and revered leaders through the use of runestones. Inscribed with runic glyphs and symbols, these monumental stones provide some of the earliest records of the Vikings' exploits, and are scattered throughout the regions they once held dominion over.

Early Kingdoms[]

Throughout the first millennium AD, Sweden was a loose collaboration of independent provinces. Although a number of early kings are mentioned in the Norse sagas, attempting to separate legend from factual history leaves their lineage and succession still somewhat muddled. Olaf Skotkonung, son of King Eric the Victorious, ruled from 995 until 1022, and is considered the first to truly unite the Swedish tribes under one king.

In the mid-12th Century, noted regent Birger Jarl served Sweden as "Jarl" (the equivalent of an Earl or Viceroy) during the reign of King Eric XI. Birger is credited with ending longstanding hostilities with rival Norway by negotiating the Treaty of Lodose, going so far as to marry his own daughter Rikissa to the son of Norwegian King Haakon IV. Birger is also thought to have had a hand in selecting the location for Sweden's future capital, Stockholm, as the first written evidence of the name Stockholm came from Birger's own letters.

An unimaginable horror would strike Sweden in the 14th century with the arrival of the Black Death. A devastating pandemic that swept across Europe, the plague reached Sweden in 1349. Although Sweden was one of the last kingdoms to suffer the plague's effects, the disease ravaged the nation, by some accounts wiping out nearly half the population.

The Kalmar Union[]

From 1397 until 1523, Sweden was part of the Kalmar Union, which effectively united Sweden, Norway and Denmark under the rule of a single monarch. Although each of these nations was theoretically independent, in terms of foreign policy and action, the decisions of the Danish king were absolute. Sweden's involvement in the union was brought about by internal strife between then King Albert and the leading nobility, who had supported Albert during his succession until he attempted to reduce their assets and landholdings. Turning to Queen Margaret of Denmark, the nobility named her regent of their lands, and a force of Danish troops marched against Albert, defeating his armies in 1389.

Meeting in the Swedish town of Kalmar in 1397, the union was officially formed, under the stipulation that the monarch of the union would always be Danish. The Swedish nobility agreed to the union based on the promise by Margaret that their influence and holdings would be protected, and that Swedes would hold positions of authority within the country aside from the throne itself. A relative of Margaret's, Erik of Pomerania, was crowned as the first king of the new union, but his own ambitions quickly cast doubt on the promises made by Margaret.

Within 50 years, turmoil enveloped the union, as frequent conflicts initiated by the Danish king against Swedish trade partners riled the Swedish nobility and damaged the economy of Sweden. In 1440, King Eric was deposed, but this brought little peace to the union. Conflicts between Denmark and Sweden spilled over into the 16th century, until the rise of Gustav Eriksson.

Rise of Swedish Power[]

King Gustav I, also known as "Gustav Vasa," of the House Vasa, led a successful rebellion in 1521 against the Danish king Christian II, who ruled the Kalmar Union. Free from the grasp of the Danish monarch, Gustav was elected King of Sweden by the Riksdag in 1523, bringing an end to the union after more than a century.

It was the later rule of esteemed King Gustavus Adolphus who truly ushered in the "Great Power Era" of Sweden, a dramatic ascension of Swedish authority in Europe during the 17th century. Upon taking the throne in 1611, Adolphus found himself at the reins of a nation mired in conflict. His father Charles, having unseated the rightful king (and Charles's own nephew), Sigismund, in order to gain the crown, left Sweden on the brink of three wars. Adeptly navigating these domestic and foreign quarrels, Adolphus negotiated a fragile peace with Sigismund, while settling conflicts with Russia and Denmark in the following decade.

The most famous of Adolphus's military achievements came during the Thirty Years' War, a great conflict that culminated with the defenders of Protestantism facing off against the Catholic forces of the Holy Roman Empire. Under Adolphus, Sweden's military was bolstered and modernized, and he effectively protected the Protestant movement through several key victories in the war. Although not involved from the onset, in 1630, Adolphus led the armies of Sweden in defense of the German Protestant states against the forces of the Holy Roman Empire. Regrettably, Adolphus was killed in 1632 while leading a charge at the Battle of Lutzen, robbing Sweden of her most honored general.

Maintaining the prestige Sweden gained during the reign of Gustavus Adolphus was no easy task, but his successors Charles XI and XII were both skilled and respected leaders. Continuing the military improvements started under Adolphus, both kings came to utilize a specially trained force known as the Caroleans. The Carolean army emphasized quality over quantity, relying on skill and discipline rather than sheer force of numbers.

During the Great Northern War of 1700-1721, fought between Sweden and a united force led by Russia, the Caroleans overcame insurmountable odds, sometimes outnumbered 3 to 1, and still emerged victorious in repeated battles. Unfortunately, the Swedes were eventually overcome by the opposition forces, leading to an infamous retreat in 1718 known as the "Carolean Death March." When Charles XII fell in battle, an officer by the name of Carl Armfeldt retreated with his company of 5,000 men, marching headlong into a blizzard. Some 3,000 men died before the army finally made their way back to Sweden.

Swedish Industrialization[]

Before the mid-1800s, Sweden's economy was primarily based on agriculture, leaving the nation behind its neighbors in industrial development. With a vast wealth of natural resources, particularly lumber and iron ore, Sweden's economy underwent a rapid transformation from 1870 onwards. Expansions in rail development allowed Sweden to move vast quantities of raw materials to coastal ports, leading to rapid growth in the early 20th century.

Advent of Neutrality[]

Despite a history of armed conflict with its neighboring rivals, Sweden has maintained peaceful international relations since the Napoleonic Wars, when Sweden joined the coalition opposing Napoleon. In 1808, Sweden lost nearly a third of its eastern-most territory to Russia, land that became the predecessor to modern Finland. Since suffering this great loss, Sweden has maintained a policy of strict neutrality up to the present day.

During the First and Second World Wars that enveloped Europe in the 20th century, Sweden generally maintained its independence from German influence and was uninvolved in the overall conflict. However, Sweden did quietly support the resistance movement in Denmark by aiding the Danish Jews in their escape in 1943.

Modern Sweden[]

In the present-day, Sweden is known as a progressive nation with a high standard of living. Sweden's robust economy, which relies heavily on exported machinery, raw materials, paper and furniture, has allowed for the creation of a broad system of welfare and social security. Based on various studies, the benefits of this system, including universal access to healthcare and education, as well as legally mandated paid vacation time, have contributed to Sweden's standing as one of the "Happiest Countries in the World."


Renowned Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, namesake of the Nobel Prize, held over 300 patents and was responsible for numerous scientific breakthroughs including the invention of dynamite.

Twentieth century Hollywood film star Greta Garbo, born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1905. Immigrating to the United States in 1925, she is widely considered one of the greatest female movie stars of all time.

IKEA, the international furniture retailer founded in Sweden, is known for its wide range of ready-to-assemble products, often accompanied by vague, pictographic assembly instructions.




Related achievements[]

Defender of the Faith
Defender of the Faith
Beat the game on any difficulty as Gustavus Adolphus.
Lion of the North
Lion of the North
As Sweden, start a turn with your great general stacked with a Hakkapeliitta.
A nickname given to Gustavus Adolphus during the Thirty Years' War.

See also[]

Civilization V Civilizations [edit]
AmericanArabianAssyrian BNW-onlyAustrian GodsKings5 clearAztecBabylonian1Brazilian BNW-onlyByzantine GodsKings5 clearCarthaginian GodsKings5 clearCeltic GodsKings5 clearChineseDanish1Dutch GodsKings5 clearEgyptianEnglishEthiopian GodsKings5 clearFrenchGermanGreekHunnic GodsKings5 clearIncan1IndianIndonesian BNW-onlyIroquoisJapaneseKorean1Mayan GodsKings5 clearMongolian1Moroccan BNW-onlyOttomanPersianPolish BNW-onlyPolynesian1Portuguese BNW-onlyPueblo2 BNW-onlyRomanRussianShoshone BNW-onlySiameseSonghaiSpanish1Swedish GodsKings5 clearVenetian BNW-onlyZulu BNW-only
1 Requires a DLC2 Сut from the game

GodsKings5 clear Added in the Gods & Kings expansion pack.
BNW-only Added in the Brave New World expansion pack.