All hail the Awesome Pope!
1000 A.D.: The High Middle Ages dawn as the massive Cathedral of Awesomeness is completed in Stockholm, creating a rallying point and symbol of unity for followers of the quickly-spreading faith.
Completing Notre Dame gives me huge Happiness and Faith bonuses, which will allow me to begin settling even more cities. I want to expand as much as possible before the Renaissance hits, so I can churn out huge numbers of my unique units and bring about an era of military supremacy.
1030 A.D.: The Second German Crusade against Austria, the third major conflict between the two nations, begins. Nobody is surprised.
1060 A.D.: Swedish Lord-Governors begin to encourage commerce between cities, ending the 170-year period of financial instability for Sweden and making it a dominant economic power on the continent in just a few short years.
I had planned to pick up the Patronage policy tree and start courting city-states at this point, but the fact that my economy was still in the red despite my best efforts made Commerce the clear best choice. This represents a major change in strategy... I may look at going for a Science victory rather than a Diplomatic one. The map is a pretty big factor. I've noticed that Continents Plus puts almost all of the city-states on their own little islands, making it very impractical to befriend them in the early game. And even when you do find them, you need a pretty dominant navy (or a massive, massive treasury) to hang onto them.
1070 A.D.: Construction is completed on a massive palace for the first Awesomeness Pope to live in. He brings new perspectives and insights into the faith.
My wonder count climbs! I built the Hagia Sophia, which gives me a free Great Prophet. Your second Great Prophet enhances your existing religion, adding new beliefs and, thus, new bonuses. Again, I don't have much to pick from being the latest comer to the world religion arena. I pick up Choral Music, which gives me extra culture from temples, and Religious Texts, which causes my religion to spread faster (a bonus that doubles when I research the printing press.)
Germany issues a public denouncement of Greece. Later in the year, Denmark pledges to aid Austria, whose walls are currently beset by German crusaders. The Swedes elect not to send troops, but issue a denouncement of Germany for their continued aggression.
I'll be honest, I get denounced a lot in Civ... but for some reason it never occurred to me to denounce offensively until now. What this will basically do is make it less likely for the other AI leaders who like me to make any sort of agreements with Germany. It also ruins our chances of ever becoming friends pretty blatantly, but I'm not so worried about that.
Germany denounces Sweden in turn. As if that means anything to anyone.