Sarah Semple, Alexandra Sanmark, Frode Iversen, Natascha Mehler
May 1, 2020 Forthcoming
Reference - 369 Pages - 65 Color & 116 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780367493110 - CAT# 352805
Series: The Society for Medieval Archaeology Monographs
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This book brings together the cumulative results of a three-year project focused on the assemblies and administrative systems of Scandinavia, Britain and the North Atlantic islands in the 1st and 2nd millennia ad. In this volume we integrate a wide range of historical, cartographic, archaeological, field-based and onomastic data pertaining to early medieval and medieval administrative practices, geographies and places of assembly in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Scotland and eastern England. This transnational perspective has enabled a new understanding of the development of power structures in early medieval northern Europe and the maturation of these systems in later centuries under royal control.
In a series of richly illustrated chapters, we explore the emergence and development of mechanisms for consensus. We begin with a historiographical exploration of assembly research that sets the intellectual agenda for the chapters that follow. We then examine the emergence and development of the thing in Scandinavia and its export to the lands colonised by the Norse. We consider more broadly how assembly practices may have developed at a local level, yet played a significant role in the consolidation, and at times regulation, of elite power structures. Presenting a fresh perspective on the agency and power of the thing and cognate types of local and regional assembly, this interdisciplinary volume provides an invaluable in-depth insight into the people, places, laws and consensual structures that shaped the early medieval and medieval kingdoms of northern Europe.
1. Introduction 2. Research Histories 3. Methods and Approaches 4. Lawthings and Inauguration Sites in Scandinavia 5. Landscapes of Law in Norway 6. Colonisation and Control: The Export of Assembly Systems to New Territories 7. Assembly and Trade in Iceland and Beyond 8. The Thing in the North: Emergence, Development, Valorisation, Demise 9.Conclusion