Originally the name of a province of the Roman Empire north of the Danube, was erroneously used during the Middle Ages as the Latin name for Denmark. This mistake was first observed c. 1020 in the Chronicle of Dudo of saint-quentin, but penetrated into Scandinavia c. 1100. When the mendicants during the 13th century (e.g., the dominicans in 1228, the Franciscans before 1239) organized their Scandinavian territories— Denmark, Norway, and Sweden (with Finland)—the provinces were named for that country which was nearest the rest of the Continent. The Scandinavian Dominicans were often called de Dacia (from Denmark) no matter what their native land. During the late Middle Ages a provincia Daciae was organized also in the other orders (carmelites and knights of malta). The work of the Dominicans and Franciscans in the evangelization of the Scandinavian area was complemented by that of several other religious orders (cistercians, premonstraten sians) and of diocesan clergy. Archbishoprics were established in Nidaros (Norway), which had four suffragan sees, and in Uppsala (Sweden), with five bishoprics. In Denmark, Lund was an archbishopric with six sees; along the eastern shores of the Baltic, Riga was the only archbishopric in that area with six suffragan sees. The hierarchy were principally drawn from the mendicant orders. Houses of the Dominicans were usually in the larger cities, and those of the Franciscans, in smaller settlements.
Bibliography: j. gallÉn, La Province de Dacia de l'ordre des frères prêcheurs (Helsinki 1946). Kulturhistorisk leksikon for nordisk middelalder, v. 2 (Copenhagen 1957).
[c. m. aherne]