Nuova Antologia Militare (Jun 2022)

Cristiano IV di Danimarca-Norvegia (r. 1588-1648) potere navale e diplomazia nell’Europa del Nord

  • Stefano Cattelan

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 3, no. 11
pp. 195 – 228


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During the reign of Christian IV Oldenburg (1588-1648), the Kingdom of Denmark-Norway reached the height of its influence in Northern Europe. Thanks to an impressive fleet, in the first part of the reign, the king reaffirmed Danish supremacy over the Baltic Sea (dominium maris Baltici) and supported Norwegian claims on the waters between the Scandinavian Peninsula and Iceland. However, by intervening in the Thirty Years’ War in 1625, the ambitious ruler fell prey to erroneous diplomatic and geopolitical choices, which jeopardized the very existence of the Kingdom of Denmark-Norway. Although Christian IV remains arguably the most iconic Danish monarch, his legacy is open to conflicting assessments: on the one hand, he brought the Dane-Norwegian state to the pinnacle of its prestige; on the other, his actions triggered the subsequent decline of Denmark and the rise of the Swedish Empire.