Legislation and State Formation

Norway and its neighbours in the Middle Ages

Edited by: Steinar Imsen

This book examines the role of legislation in the transformation of the early medieval Nordic realms into monarchic states in the High Middle Ages. The principal focus is on the development of a common law for Norway, the Norse lands overseas, and the northern and eastern peripheries of the king's mainland realm. While state formation was, in many respects, a parallel process in the Scandinavian kingdoms, there were interesting differences among them with regard to their chronology and character. In the mid-1100s, several decades earlier than their counterparts in Denmark, the kings of Norway were already active in the codification of provincial laws. Sweden was comparatively late in codifying provincial laws, a delay which mirrors the slow state formation process in eastern Scandinavia. On the other hand, Norway and Sweden were the only realms to develop comprehensive law codes for the whole of their respective realms: Magnus Hakonsson's Norwegian Landslov (1274) and Magnus Eriksson's Swedish Landslag (1350). In 1300, the realm of the King of Norway, including the mainland as well as overseas tributary lands, was a united community of law. (Series: Rostra Books - Trondheim Studies in History. 'Norgesveldet', Occasional Papers; Number 4.)

289 pages

Publication Date: 12/4/2013
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9788232103164