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As for literacy in Sweden itself, the runic script was in use among the south Scandinavian elite by at least the 2nd century AD, but all that has come down to the present from the Roman Period is curt inscriptions on artefacts, mainly of male names, demonstrating that the people of south Scandinavia spoke Proto-Norse at the time, a language ancestral to Swedish and other North Germanic languages.
In the 6th century Jordanes names two tribes living in Scandza, both of which are now considered to be synonymous with the Swedes: the Suetidi and Suehans.
Approximately 85% of the population lives in urban areas.
Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Geats (Swedish Götar) and Swedes (Svear) and constituting the sea peoples known as the Norsemen.
In Germania 44 and 45 he mentions the Swedes (Suiones) as a powerful tribe (distinguished not merely for their arms and men, but for their powerful fleets) with ships that had a prow at each end (longships).
Which kings (kuningaz) ruled these Suiones is unknown, but Norse mythology presents a long line of legendary and semi-legendary kings going back to the last centuries BC.
Swedish territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were gradually lost during the 18th and 19th centuries, ending with the annexation of present-day Finland by Russia in 1809.
The last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Norway was militarily forced into personal union.
Sweden has a total population of 10 million It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi); the highest concentration is in the southern half of the country.
This period was characterised by small bands of hunter-gatherer-fishers using flint technology.
Sweden is first described in a written source in Germania by Tacitus in 98 AD.
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It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund.
An independent Swedish state emerged during the early 12th century.