There is a continuous tradition of historical writing from the Middle Ages to the present day in all three of the Scandinavian kingdoms, as well as in Iceland, though admittedly it began later (not until the early fourteenth century) in Sweden than in the other countries. The works dating from the Middle Ages have already been discussed. Those of the Early Modern Period are of interest as evidence of learning and for an understanding of how “history” was viewed at the time, and also because they contain a number of documents from the Middle Ages whose originals have been lost. However, the beginning of modern scholarly historical writing is usually dated to the early nineteenth century, in Scandinavia as in the rest of Europe. The professionalization of history, which started in Germany, quickly spread to Scandinavia. Throughout Europe, this professionalization was related to a national revival that typically placed great emphasis on a nation’s medieval past....
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