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Cnut II of Svealand (The Kalmar Union)

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Cnut II
King of Svealand
Reign April 1256 - March 1261
Predecessor John II
Successor Eric VII
Spouse Maria of Kiev
Full name
Cnut Janssen
House Rugia
Father John II
Mother Benedikte of Ymseborg
Born 1239
Birka, Svealand
Died March 1261
Åbo (Turku), Finland

Cnut II, Cnut Janssen, was only seventeen when he succeeded his father as King of Svealand. His short reign would be marred by increasing violence between his lords and after his death Svealand would descend into a long a damaging civil war.

Cnut's actual rule is little commented on, especially compared to the endless propaganda of his successors. It is know he campaigned against Karl III of Gothenland supposedly over Gothenland's growing confidence in the Baltic and Gothenlandic histories record he was soundly beaten. It is likely he planned an attack on Saaremaa alongside his cousin Jaromar of Viken in around 1260, possibly to shore up Svealand's sphere of influence but the Vikene king would be waylaid by domestic issues. Cnut's rule was rapidly unravelling anyway.

Ill-health, which appears to have been a result of an injury gained fighting in Gothenland, seems to have side-lined the king and entrusting government in the hands of his cousin Eric he travelled to Åbo in the blossoming Finnish territories to direct a new war against the pagan Karelians. However it would never come about. He would die there in March 1261 leaving Eric to shakily grab the crown and begin an eighty-year struggle between the three branches of the House of the Eric† for the throne.

†Descended from Karin's three daughters Catherine, Rikessa and Ingeborg, technically they were distaff branches of the House of Eric but emphasised their connections, as opposed to any potential Vikene claimants.

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