Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
King of the Geats
Geatish kings existed since the provinces of Götaland/Gautland/Geatland are considered to have been more or less independent with their own petty kings. This is a list of the kings who appear in the sources, which does not claim to be comprehensive. It also follows the generally accepted identification between the names Götar (modern Swedish), Gautar (Old Norse) and Geatas (Old English), which is based both on tradition, literary sources and on etymology. However, unlike some translations it does not identify this tribe with the Goths, since the Goths were far away from Scandinavia, when these kings are said to have lived. Moreover, the land of the Goths is not called Gautland, in these sources, but Reidgotaland.
Kings from legend
- Gestumblindi, according to Gesta Danorum.
- Gauti (in Herraud's saga), probably the same as Gaut the father of Gautrek according to the Ynglinga saga. See Sons of Odin.
- Ring son of Gauti (king of East Götaland in Bósa saga ok Herrauds)
- Herraud, son of Ring (king of East Götaland in Bósa saga ok Herrauds)
- Gautrek, son of Gauti (in Gautreks saga)
- Ungvin 5th century (in Gesta Danorum, see Halfdan)
- Algaut 4th century or the 7th century (in the Norse sagas)
- Thorir (the brother of Bödvar Bjarki (Beowulf?) in the 'Hrólf Kraki's saga)
- Sigar?, the father of Siggeir, who genealogically corresponds to Ungvin, the king of Götaland in Gesta Danorum.
- Siggeir 5th century, a son of Sigar's and the king of Götaland in the Volsunga saga)
- Swerting (in Beowulf)
- Hreðel (a relative of Swerting, in Beowulf)
- Hæþcyn d. 514 or 515 (the son of Hrethel, in Beowulf)
- Hygelac d. 516 (the son of Hrethel, in Beowulf)
- Heardred d. ca 530 (the son of Hygelac, in Beowulf)
- Beowulf d. ca 580? (the nephew of Hygelac, in Beowulf)
- Helm? Wulfing king mentioned in Widsith.
- Högne 7th century, the king of East Götaland (in the Heimskringla) and the father-in-law of Hjörvard.
- Hjörvard 7th century, king of East Götaland (in Sögubrot)
- Hjörmund 7th century, king of East Götaland (in Sögubrot) and a son of Hjörvard.
- Helgi Hundingsbane 7th century, probably a king of East Götaland in the Norse sagas.
When the sources become more reliable, Götaland is well integrated into the Swedish kingdom and from Stenkil and onwards most of the medieval Swedish kings did actually belong to Geatish clans (House of Stenkil, Houses of Sverker and Erik and the house of Folkung). During the civil wars, however, certain kings appeared as the kings of Geatish provinces, failing to hold the Swedish core provinces in Svealand.
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