The Geats (Swedish: Götar) living in Sweden in the first centuries a.d. play an important part in Swedish history, but are also a source of great confusion. A nationalistic movement during the 16th and 17th centuries tried to prove that the Geats were identical with the Goths and you can still see the Swedish words related to Geats translated with the English "Goth", e.g. the city Göteborg is known as Gothenburg in English.

The area where the Geats lived is still called "Geatland" (Swedish: Götaland) and the oldest known "Swedish" kings ruled from here. When the Swedish kingdom took shape in the 12th century the old kingdoms of the Swedes and the Geats merged and the Swedish king's full title was "King of Swedes and Geats". Even though it is widely accepted that the unification of the kingdoms was enforced by the Swedish kings residing in the area close to where Stockholm lies today, the first king to rule both kingdoms, Olof, was a Geat.

Geat (?), n. [See Gate a door.] Founding

The channel or spout through which molten metal runs into a mold in casting.

[Written also git, gate.]

 

© Webster 1913.

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