"I had carefully learned to understand, about that experience which I could have upon things of rule, how fortune is failing or great, subject to such rule in common, so that otherwise I would have had scant reason to desire such a rule, had I not found myself obliged to it through God’s bidding and nature. Now it was of my acquaintance, that inasmuch as God had let me be born a prince, such as I then am born, then my good and my destruction were knotted into one with the common good; for every reason then, it was now my promise that I should take great pains about their well-being and good governance and management, and thereabout bear close concern." (Gustavus Adolphus)
"Read over and over again the campaigns of Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, Gustavus, Turenne, Eugene, and Frederic," reads an excerpt from one of Napoleon's memoirs. "This is the only way to become a great general and master the secrets of the art of war."
The "Gustavus" in question is none other than King Gustav II Adolf, widely remembered by the Latinized version of his name, Gustavus Adolphus. Some hailed him as the "Lion of the North", others called him the "Golden King", and a few knew him by the affectionate nickname "Hook-nose". Today, Swedish, Finland, and Estonian citizens alike continue to celebrate Gustavus Adolphus Day on the sixth of November each year, topping off the flag day with special cakes garnished with chocolates that featured his likeness. But who exactly was Gustavus Adolphus the Great, and why does Sweden continue to hold him in such prominence today?
Gustavus Adolphus: The Life and Legacy of Sweden’s Most Famous King explores the early life of the Swedish king, his ascension to power, and his greatest achievements, as well as the revolutionary military tactics he used to shape modern warfare.
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