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Swedens focus would more naturally have been directed eastwards to southern Finland and western Russia, with contact in those areas being motivated by trade rather than plunder. Insufficient sources have been found to indicate that the precise dates attributed to most of these kings in secondary works are reliable.
In addition, few matrimonial alliances are recorded during this period between the Swedish kings and other ruling families apart from with their neighbours in Norway and Denmark, which suggests relative isolation and a rather stunted level of development as a unified national entity.
Even after the mid-12th century, the charters contain little relevant genealogical detail, in contrast to similar documents produced in other European countries. There is little reason to be confident about the order and dating of these kings.
If their names are correct, it would appear to extend the known history of the Swedish kings back to the early 9th century. Snorre records that "Eirik Eymundson king of Sweden" conquered Vermaland and areas to the north to Svinasund, calling the territory "West Gautland", and appointed Hrane Gauzke as jarl. According to Saxo Grammaticus, he was robbed of his kingdom by Erik, son of his uncle Olof, and sought help from Harald I King of Denmark who put him in charge of the garrison at Wolin.
These geographical limitations would also have discouraged contact with neighbouring countries further to the west and south.
The Swedes would not have had easy access to the ripe pickings in the British Isles and along the mainland European coast from Friesland to the northern Iberian peninsula, which provided such tempting prizes for their Viking neighbours in Norway and Denmark.
As will be seen below, few primary sources have been found which confirm the family relationships in the dynasty of kings founded by Stenkil.
From this time, matrimonial alliances with foreign dynasties multiplied, including connections with families who ruled in northern Germany and Poland as well as with the other Scandinavian monarchies.As can be seen, there is no way to reconcile the reconstruction according to Adam of Bremen, combined with Saxo Grammaticus, with the list in Heimskringla until the accession of Erik "Segersll/the Victorious" King of Sweden, dated to the mid-980s. Saxo Grammaticus records that Styrbjrn was killed in battle while trying to regain his throne, Erik was the son of Olof and deposed his cousin Styrbjrn in [984/85], succeeding as ERIK "Segersll/the Victorious" King of Sweden.Adam of Bremen records that "rex Sueonum Hericus" invaded Denmark and expelled King Svend.After the extinction in the male line of this first dynasty in 1060, the Swedish throne was assumed by Stenkil Ragnvaldson whose connection with the preceding dynasty appears tenuous.His father is recorded in Heimkringsla, written nearly two centuries later although possibly based on earlier sources which no longer survive, as Jarl in Vstergtland in the south of Sweden (see Chapter 2. Stenkil is described in different sources as nepos of the previous king Emund or as his son-in-law.