Early Finnish wars

Early Finnish Wars

Early Finnish wars

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Scattered descriptions on wars against Finland or by Finns to neighboring countries prior to the Swedish conquest has survived in Icelandic sagas, German, Norwegian, Danish and Russian chronicles and Swedish legends. Most of the early Finnish wars remain unhistorical and cannot be verified from reliable sources.

Conflicts with Swedes

Saga sources

However legendary, Ynglingasaga tells about the first known military expedition to Finland. Based on saga's internal chronologies, the war presumably took place at the end of the 4th century, 6 generations before the semi-historical Swedish king Ohthere (Vendelkråka): However, it is disputed whether the Old Norse concept Finland refers always to the present country of Finland; alternatively it could have mean the land of the Sámi.

<blockquote>It happened one summer that King Agne went with his army to Finland, and landed and marauded. The Finland people gathered a large army, and proceeded to the strife under a chief called Froste. There was a great battle, in which King Agne gained the victory, and Froste fell there with a great many of his people. King Agne proceeded with armed hand through Finland, subdued it, and made enormous booty.</blockquote>

Norna-Gests þáttr saga tells that Kvens (probably referring to a group of Finns) were raiding in Sweden in the mid-8th century.

<blockquote>Sigurd Ring (Sigurðr) was not there, since he had to...
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