The Geats

Adam of Bremen*, a German medieval chronicler, wrote in 1075 AD "Gothorum populos in Sueonia regnantes" i.e. "the Geatic peoples reign in Sweden". The definition of the Geats in different languages was in old English Geat, old Norse Gaut, Swedish Götar and Latin Goths.

All the early Christian kings of Sweden between 1000 - 1250 except one where we know their burial site are buried in the Geatic landscapes. These kings are also considered to have their provenance and the main house in these regions. The first Christian Swedish king, Olof Skötkonung, was baptized in the year 1008 AD and rests at the Husby church in Western Geatland.

Our Geatland guides will compare "Beowulf" three or four times with what you see when it comes to artifacts and places.

East Geatic Earl Birger Jarl is considered to be the founder of the capital Stockholm in 1252, and is considered by many to be the "father of Sweden" after winning victories in battles in 1247 and 1251. He is buried at the Varnhem church in Western Geatland.

Eastern and Western Geats populated and populates much of southern Sweden and were two of the three regions who were most active when the country of Sweden was formed in the years 800–1300, during which time it became a Christian kingdom.

Geatland marked in red

Image of southern Scandinavia: Eastern and Western Geatland marked in red. You may find other Geatland maps on the internet differing from this map but those shows the Christian diocese and does not correspond to the peoples landscapes. Geats were as a people also defined as Sveonian (old Swedish for Swedes) and there were no single Sveonian people, lots of people had the Sveonian definition. Image from NASA Earth Observatory.

Their identity was strong - as an example when Norwegians went to war against their neighbours they fought against the Geats / Gauts, not the Swedes / Svenskarna.


While Beowulf is considered to be a fictional character, King Hygelac is known to be historical, he was killed in a battle in Frisian land around the year 516 AD. Other historically correct archaeological findings include rings, mead halls, swords and iron chain mail, which are all mentioned in the heroic poem Beowulf. Many historians believe that the Geats / Goths from the Bronze Age to the 6th century had trade contacts through Poland's rivers down to the northern Black Sea area.

Beowulf tells of contacts with the Danes in peaceful brotherhood but the Danes are the enemy in much of the Geatic and Swedish war history. This is told in detail in the journey "Land of Beowulf".

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*Adam of Bremen was a German medieval chronicler.
He lived and worked in the second half of the eleventh century. He is most famous for his chronicle Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum (Deeds of Bishops of the Hamburg Church) "Gothorum populos in Sueonia regnantes" appears in 1st book, chapter 28 of G.H.E.P.

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