Scania
A Region in Europe

In Swedish

The Name:
SKÅNELAND - SCANIA

Skåneland - Scania is historically the common name for the provinces Blekinge, Halland, Skåne and Bornholm.

Who are the Scanians? In the old hand-written Scanian law book the following excerpt can be found as a note in the margin on one of its pages: "Haui that Skanunga ærliki mææn toco vithar oræt aldrigh æn". Well, who are these people who called themselves Skanunga? The answer is that they were was the indigenous Scanians - the people of Skåneland/Scania - who inhabited the provinces of Skåne, Halland, Blekinge and the Island of Bornholm in the Southern Baltic Sea.

During the latter part of the Scanian our history the meaning of the word "land" (as in Skåneland) has been transformed to the Swedish word "landskap", which derive from the English "landscape" and basically means something entirely different. The provinces of Skåneland is nowadays referred to as "landsskap". This has been done because the State has wanted to take over the attribute "land" for itself, i.e. trying to make it synonymous to the word State". Lands (or "länder") as regional political and administrative entities existed in our early history as in Jylland, Sjælland, Småland, Västergötland, etc. It was to these entities the land (provincial) laws applied.

The remnant original meaning of the word "land" still prevails in the official name of the regions in Sweden: Småland, Svealand, Götaland Gotland, Jämtland, etc. There is only one exception, and that is the old east Danish territory consisting of the three provinces of Skåne, Halland and Blekinge. The Swedish central power has since the invasion attempted to split up entity by demolishing the language, denying the history and neglecting the culture. The obvious motive has been to eradicate the very basis for a Scanian identity.

This assimilation policy has affected the various regions in Sweden differently, but the southern provinces - which were a part of Denmark for more that 1000 years - are most stricken by it. These southern provinces - Skåne, Halland, Blekinge and Bornholm - was a part of Denmark since the early 9th Century. It is also a continuous coast and flat land, separating it from the forested highlands of Småland and Sweden in accordance to the logic of the geography.

During the later years, the interest for ones own roots has increased. That is why more and more people start to discover the "hidden" almost "forgotten" Skåneland. It is therefore important that the Scanian entity is re-established and enhanced as one unified unit. The most important facts and points manifesting Skåneland/Scania as one entity are the following:

  1. Terra Scania
    The name Terra Scania - Skåneland - is likely to be traced back to the 4th Century as a Hellenic name for the region.
     
  2. Border Stones
    About the year 1000 six border boulders were erected on the borders between Sweden and Denmark. These boulder embrace all of Skåneland from Himle in Halland to Brömsebro in Blekinge. These borders are still in existence even today, 1000 years later.
     
  3. The Scanian Law
    The Scanian Law (den Skaanske Lov) is the oldest in Scandinavia and was valid for all of Skåneland - and originally also for Själland. Själland is later getting its own law and Denmark will thereby have three laws (called "landslagar") governing the three regions Jylland, Själland and Skåneland.
     
  4. The Arch Diocese
    The Nordic Church becomes, in the year 1103, an independent Diocese in which the Bishopric of Lund played an important part. The Bishop of Lund became the leader (Primas) and in charge of the whole of the Nordic Church. At the same time Skåneland in its entirity became its own Diocese.
     
  5. Old maps and charts
    Almost all of the old maps over the Danish Kingdom describes Skåneland (Scania/Scaniæ) as one entity with its unique colourings and border markings.
     
  6. Denmark - a triple "länder" system
    The old Danish Kingdom is organised in three independent parts - Jylland, Själland and the Lands of Scania ("Skånelandene"). Every Land has is own legislative assembly (Ting) - in Viborg, Ringsted and Lund which, among other things, elects the Danish kings.
     
  7. The Scanian Legislative Assembly (Skånetinget)
    The Skånetinget - which operated according the Scanian Law - assembled since ancient times near the City of Lund (Sanctus Libers Höj) and included all of Skåneland.
     
  8. Scania - richest land in Denmark
    In the year 1068 the Scanian provinces - Skåneland - were described as the richest province of Denmark and its most densely populated part and as the cultural centre of the Kingdom with 300 churches, as many as in the rest of the Nordic countries combined! The major part of the Danes lived here.
     
  9. The "Skånelandene"
    The expression "Skånelandene" (the Scanian Lands) were used by Danish regents to describe Skåneland. When Danish kings were referring to "my Scanian men" all of the people in Skåneland were included.
     
  10. The Peace Treaty of Roskilde.
    In the Peace Treaty of Roskilde, when Denmark was force to relinquish Scania to Sweden, all of Skåneland was included.
     
  11. The Governor rule
    After the Peace Treaty of Roskilde a Governorship was reinstated for the whole of Skåneland (except for the Island of Bornholm which had resisted the Swedish occupation and continued as a part of Denmark).
     
  12. The Provincial Government (Lantdagen)
    A provincial Government, called Lantdagen, was instituted in Malmö in the year 1658 where the constituents from all of Skåneland - Skåne, Halland and Blekinge - met and took political decisions.
     
  13. Sweden adheres to Scanian rights and privileges
    All of the Peace Treaties of 1658, 1660 and 1679 concern all of Skåneland - i.e. Skåne, Halland and Blekinge. In these treaties Sweden was made to accept rights and privileges for the people of Scania.
     
  14. Malmö Recess
    The Malmö Recess of 1664 is a treaty between the Swedish Crown and representatives from Skåneland. The Recess is characterised by a will from the central powers in Sweden to re-nationalise - "swedenise" - the population, but must despite that seen as a confirmation of the rights and privileges stipulated in the Roskilde Peace Treaty.
     
  15. The 1644 Riksdag
    At the Swedish Riksdag of 1644, in which the constituents from Skåneland were allowed to participate for the first time, the Swedish parliament confirmed and ratified the content of the treaty "Malmö Recess".
     
  16. "Southern Götaland"
    The concept of "Södra Götaland" (Southern Götaland), to name the incorporated southern province, was introduced by the invading power. This name is unhistorical and pure manipulation.
     
  17. The modern name "Skåneland"
    When Professor Weibull in the 1870s created the modern name Skåneland from the name Terra Scania - the name included all of the territory of Skåneland - i.e. Skåne, Halland, Blekinge and Bornholm.
     
  18. A foreign nation in Sweden
    During the transition to Swedish rule in Skåneland, the region was described in Stockholm as "a domestic but foreign land" or "the new from the Kingdom external provinces".
     
  19. Svecia Propria
    In a Swedish geography school book from 1698 the Kingdom of Sweden is described as a state consisting of several different nations. These nations are grouped around what is called "Svecia Propria" (the Actual Sweden - i.e. the province of Svealand). Skåneland (Scania) is described as a nation in Sweden.
     
  20. Swedish "Iron Curtain"
    In 1658 the Swedish Government instituted a total cutting off of all communications with Denmark, along the coasts of Öresund and Halland. This was a contemporary version of the Iron Curtain and it was associated with great danger for ones life if broken.
     
  21. A modern territorial division
    The ambition of the central powers in Sweden is at the present time attempt to split up Skåneland in separate provinces and counties. This policy has had as its goal to erase the feeling of a common identity in Skåneland. This policy is prominent even today and considerable efforts are mustered to avoid the issue of the historic unity of the region of Skåneland. This is apparent in politics, the Regional Division process - Footnote 1) and media (in the radio and television organisational structure and the general message it conveys)
  • Footnote 1.
    The Swedish Government and the Parliament (Riksdag) has in recent times decided to create two new regions involving the Provinces of Scania - one for domestic purposes and one to satisfy the European Union. The domestic political and administrative "region" consists only the province of Skåne. The EU region - the so called statistical "NUTS region" - consists of the provinces of Skåne and Blekinge. Either way, Skåneland becomes mutilated with this policy. This will naturally cause further identity problems inScania.

© SSF