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Conflict, state formation and literacy

Magne Njâstad

A defining feature of the early modern or late medieval state is the growth of official bureaucracy, whether it came to collecting taxes, conscripting soldiers, executing law and order, or otherwise. Central to this was literacy, the art of communicating and keeping records through the written word. A prerequisite for this was the access to people who had mastered this art, whether they had acquired it through formal education, or were self-taught or privately tutored. This mastery of reading and writing might be seen as a solely elite phenomenon, closely knit to the structures of the state or church. However, one should not overlook the broader participation in a culture of literacy when it comes to shaping the political culture of the late medieval and early modern state. By focusing on how groups of subjects communicate with their authorities in writing when in conflict, we might find that through what we may label ‘functional literacy’ or ‘pragmatic literacy,’ the room for negotiation or modes of action for both parties were narrowed down and clearly defined. In other words, we can see the development of a political culture defined by a mutually shared literacy. This can be interpreted as a contribution to state formation or state development, where broader segments of the population are active participants.


‘Conflict’ is a relatively wide term. Within the framework of this chapter, we will limit it to political conflicts between local communities and central authorities, narrowed down to open disagreement on the control of resources and the ability to influence decisions that shaped their daily lives.

Basically, we can sort these conflicts into two categories: Conflicts being conducted by legal or illegal means. Legal means could typically mean either by approaching the authorities with a request or complaint, or the settlement of a grievance in court of law. The main point is that the conflict runs its course through arenas accepted by both sides, and the outcome is respected by both parties. Illegal means would be breaking the law to reach your goal or further your case, to put it simply.

Another dichotomy is between active and passive forms of conflict. Passive means would by nature tend towards the illegal: Refusal of fulfilling obligations, such as taxes or different duties towards the local authorities. Active forms of conflict could consist in both rebellious actions, and actively approaching the authorities within a legal framework. An active and legal form of conflict-solving would thus be complaints, communicated orally or in writing, from collectives or individuals.1

Literacy and supplications

This brings us to the concept of ‘literacy’ - written communication - and who participated in a public sphere defined by the written word. Obviously, literacy in a strict sense, that is fluent reading and writing, is not what we are looking for. Rather, what we should consider is what we might label a pragmatic literacy - a culture where writing is limited to certain fields, or where the ability to read or write might not be shared by a majority, but where there is public trust in written words.

A typical example of a specific field of writing is economic accounts of different kinds. These vary in nature. On one end of a scale, we find the advanced bookkeeping techniques of the Italian city merchants. On the other end, we find the relatively primitive accounts of average farmers of the late medieval period.2

When it comes to a wider definition of pragmatic literacy, we can use what we might label ‘static’ or ‘formula’ writing - documents following very clearly defined structures. Testaments, deeds, and inventories are good examples of this kind of formal documents.

Reflections on these varieties of literacy, or rather scales of literacy, are found to a certain degree among Norwegian historians in the last decades. In 2004, Arnved Nedkvitne published a monography on literacy in medieval Scandinavia.3 The work focused on the use of writing in the organisation of the king and the church, and he also pointed to the emergence of a literate elite in the late medieval period. To a lesser degree, Nedkvitne investigates how broader segments of the population participated in a culture of literacy, beyond the standard spheres of interaction, such as tax collection, payment of rent, and interaction with the local priests.4

However, Jan Ragnar Hagland has come to the conclusion that certain forms of popular literacy increased during the late middle ages.5 In a thorough analysis of both the amount and the linguistic traits of local letters concerning property transactions, he concludes that a process of increased literacy among a broad elite of local seal-carrying farmers has taken place, and also to a certain degree beyond this group. One aspect of this is that regions with a high degree of locally owned property seem to have a higher degree of literacy connected to property transactions - or a larger portion of letters connected to these transactions have survived.

Conflict, state formation and literacy 63

This observation is strengthened by Gabriella Bjarne Larsson’s findings from late medieval Jemtland, at the time the region was under the Norwegian crown.6

Ivar Berg has elaborated further on this material, both in expanding the observations into the 16th century, and by outlining a literate practice, he labels ‘literacy of the illiterate.’7 In analysing and discussing legal documents, land transactions, and other ‘everyday documents,’ he concludes that ‘Even though most farmers could not read, they were expected to interact in writing. [...] There were two different strategies to master the increased importance of literacy: To be literate oneself (possessive literacy) or to have access to literacy through mediators (accessive literacy).'8 Like Hagland, Berg points at the lagrettemenn as a group that would master the art of possessive literacy, and who would be of great importance in a local community’s culture of literacy.

Taking a more formal view of this variety of relationships to texts and writing, we can use the concept ‘textual community.’ A textual community is defined by Charles F. Briggs as ‘...a group of people, each of whose members identify with the others not according to family, status or locale, or at least not principally, but according to a common viewpoint as defined by a body of written texts, Their “literacy”, then, was not predicated on being able to read, but in their willingness to assign authority to texts and their ability to interpret the messages contained therein.’9

What this implies is that there is some sort of textual community centred on the common understanding of both written law and supplications from commoners to the authorities. This community includes both authors and recipients of supplications. Authors in this case would mean the whole community who stand behind the supplication, and who were, as noted earlier, not able to read, but assigned authority to the texts.

Supplications or grievances brought to the authorities are thus an important part of the political tools of such a ‘textual community.’ The possibility, or right, of access to the authorities to complain is an integral part of the political culture of the medieval and early modern period. What is subject to change and variation is whether this takes the form of oral or written communication, to what degree it is regulated by laws and rules, and to what degree these kinds of activities are communal or written by individuals.

The phenomenon has been thoroughly studied both in a broader context of ‘peasant politics,’ and as a phenomenon in itself. Partly with the aid of the concept of ‘communalism’ as proposed and discussed by Peter Blickle and others in numerous works, communal political action through a variety of means has been a central component.10 Andreas Wiirgler and others have followed up on the importance of the supplications. Wiirgler makes a clear divide between collective and communal supplications, or gravamina, put forth to a ruler or the estates of a territory on the one hand, and petitions from single individuals on the other.11

One difference is whether it is a collective or an individual who is proposing their case, but another distinction is whether the case should be solved by law and custom, or by an act of grace. The right to petition could often be stated by law, something which would consolidate the local community as a political entity vis-a-vis the authorities.12 Another point to be noted is that collective/communal supplications often seem to represent only part of a local community, a part that often could be in conflict with another part, so that the aim of the supplication in reality would be to settle a local conflict.13

In a Norwegian context, the major works on supplications deal with the right to petition and the contents of petitions in the late 17th and 18th centuries under absolutism. Steinar Supphellen pointed to supplications as a source for political history and social history in an article in 1978.14 This opened up several different approaches to analysing supplications or interpreting them in several different contexts. Kari Helgesen has analysed 18th-century supplications from a gender perspective, finding that women were active as petitioners, and that they stood a slightly more than average chance of getting a positive response to their petitions.15

Jakob Maliks and 0ystein Rian have treated petitions in the framework of public debate and censorship. Maliks has primarily looked at supplications as a part of the information flow enabling the central authorities to improve their policies in different fields of action.16 It is debatable whether information submitted to the authorities by local officials on the request of central authorities can be seen as supplications or petitions in a strict sense, but they do highlight the tight control over information and communication. This is a main point for 0ystein Rian in his work on censorship in Denmark-Norway.17 Rian analyses supplications and petitions as a part of a larger culture of activism, where the legal forms would sporadically spill over into illegal forms as outlined previously. He also traces the changes to the formal framework for supplications and petitions and how this influenced the nature of the supplications. He points to a development where communal, collective supplications deal with the legitimacy of the king’s policies or the actions of his servants, to more personal petitions begging for exceptions from laws and rules, or personal favours; what Andreas Wiirgler labels ‘ acts of grace by the adressees.’18

This phenomenon in the late medieval period, up to the introduction of absolutism, has attracted less attention than the supplications of the absolutist era. However, in research on the communalistic nature of the high- and late medieval Norwegian kingdom, Steinar Imsen has pointed to supplications as an integrated part of the political tools of local communities.19 Jorn Sandnes has made the same point primarily about 16th century Norway, stressing differences of culture and mentality as important sources for political activism.20 Regional studies have supplemented these general approaches.21 Common to all these works are the treatment

Conflict, state formation and literacy 65 of supplications as a ‘foreplay’ for peasant resistance on a more serious and at times illegal scale, a ‘foreplay’ that at times leads to nothing.

A few studies have been made of supplications in their own right. These limit themselves to the early 17th century, and what they have in common is that they deal with processes of supplications instigated by the crown. It can be connected to the inquisitorial commissions often used under the rule of Christian IV (1588-1648), or to the regular sessions of the ambulating diet functioning as a supreme court from the late 16th century.22

Mutual trust and ‘trust’

Supplications to the authorities can be seen as the initial stage of breakdown in the relationship between rulers and subjects. But they were also an integral part of a political culture of communication, and thus should not be seen solely as an early phase of escalating conflict, but the main component of political communication. This implies a degree of mutual trust and a set of unwritten rules that we might think of as ritualistic in nature.

The concept of ‘mutual trust’ should not be taken literally. As in the case of oaths, the mutuality of the literate common ground of rulers and ruled was not balanced. Reaching back to pre-state and preliterate societies, personal relations and friendships in a formal and even ritual sense of the word would be dominant political concepts. Gerd Althoff has explored these concepts when it comes to the political structures or culture of the high medieval period, focusing on the relationship between kings, aristocracy, and the church.23 An important point is the flexibility of these rituals - the rituals themselves might not be flexible, but the real political negotiations happen behind the facade of rituals.24 This approach is mainly used to analyse the higher strata of society, but Althoff also points to phenomena such as hailing and swearing oaths of allegiance as political rituals of this sort that involve larger portions of the population.25

We can establish that oaths and oath-taking are essential to tie different political actors together in some sort of mutual understanding.26 However, it is far more difficult to regard these oaths as contractually and legally binding in a modern sense. Frederic Cheyete voices his scepticism: ‘Anyone who has read through medieval charter collections knows, however, that oaths of fidelity were not contracts. They have not the slightest verbal similarity to the contracts that fill our cartularies.’27 This is a rather bombastic verdict, but it has some merit. Nevertheless, one can question whether this is not too static. Sari Nauman’s work on political oaths in early modern Sweden is illuminating in this sense.28 ‘Trust’ is a key element in understanding the role of oaths. A premise for trust is ‘trustworthiness’ for both parties involved; authorities and subjects. Conflicts and their aftermaths then became a struggle to define who were the oath-breakers and so who was to blame for the break of mutual trust. Again, as Althoff stresses, thisis to a certain degree a smokescreen for ‘real’ negotiations and the re-estab-lishment of order.

Returning to written communication, a point to stress is that these arenas of semi-ritual communication (oaths, oral and written supplications, etc.) change over time. Assuming that there is an increase in written communication over time, one can imagine that the ‘informal’ space of negotiations becomes narrower. The concept of mutual trust, although not disappearing, might be seen to be supported by a more contractual understanding of the relationship between rulers and ruled. This would imply that the subjects’ influence on the authorities’ exercise of power increased - and can be seen as an important factor in the state building process.

Chronological development

The space of negotiations within a textual community as outlined earlier was not a static phenomenon. Even though there is a shared understanding that one ‘assigns authority to texts and interprets the messages contained therein,’ this does not happen in a power vacuum. Negotiations and interpretations can be on an equal footing, but they need not be - and there might be a change from one to the other.

In the following part, I will discuss the development of this negotiating space or textual community centred on communication between rulers and subjects. I will do this by looking at examples from different stages of this development, from the emergence of a textual culture of negotiations ca. 1300 to a strongly restricted and royally controlled system of supplications in the mid-17th century.

In 1293, King Eirik Magnusson’s brother, Duke Hakon Magnusson, made an amendment (rettarbot) for the population of Hedmark and Toten, regions that were parts of his domain. The amendment came as a reply to a number of inquiries that ‘you have asked from us.’29 The main points of the amendment have to do with how the king’s local representatives have handled the king’s affairs. The locals have not been happy about this, and the duke stresses that the governors (sysselmenri) or other officials should see to it that the rule of law is followed. It seems that certain officials have tried to extract fines without trial, been lax in summoning people to court so that legal cases could not be solved, and generally not played by the rules in legal matters. An interesting point made is also that the lowest representatives of the king, the lensmenn, should be recruited from the prominent and trusted families of the local communities, not the king’s vassals (bdnd-gangne menri), because they were inclined to abuse the lower social groups in the local communities.

This document is an early example of how the king could respond to complaints against his officials. The complaints have probably not been put in writing; the king has made the amendments in Hamar, the local bishop’s residence. One can imagine that a group of the prominent and trusted local

Conflict, state formation and literacy 67 farmers mentioned in the document has approached the duke and made their complaints in person.

A few years later, in 1297, we find a similar document regarding the rights of subjects in Hadeland, a bit south of Hedmark and Toten?0 But at this point, the amendments are given after what seems to be a full-blown riot. Nevertheless, the duke also mentions that the subjects have been complaining about the behaviour of the king’s representatives in the district, both when it came to irregularities in how land-rent was collected and what kind of services the population was forced to supply to these officials, in the form of housing them and feeding them and their horses when they were travelling. And, as in the former letter, how the legal system was dominated by the king’s representatives was an issue. We might imagine that the complaints were voiced in the aftermath of the riot that is outlined in the introduction to the letter.

What we probably see in both these cases are examples of a preliterate form of supplication, communication, and conflict-solving. Complaints and grievances are communicated in person, by mouth, and responded to in writing.

One of the earliest Norwegian examples we have of a communal supplication in writing is from Jemtland in the 1340s?1 We do not have the supplication itself, but we know of it through a court case from 1347, where it is referred to?2 In the proceedings, a number of local wealthy farmers are accused and found guilty of slandering the royal governor Niklas Petersson in a supplication to the king. Later, a number of prominent men of the region publicly distance themselves from the content of the letter?3 We can get an indication of what the letter contained from King Magnus Eriksson’s letter to Niklas Petersson a few months earlier?4 Here, the governor is instructed to ensure that no one except the governor is to collect taxes. There seems to have been some sort of distrust towards the governor in this matter, and one possible course of action can have been that the locals, under the leadership of the farmers later convicted of slander and abusing the community seal, collected the taxes themselves. This is something they might have had the opportunity to do. The 1305 statutes for the community seal of the neighbouring province of Ragunda (which later became a part of Jemtland) give the inhabitants the right to control taxation and approve it by using their community seal.35 We might believe that the statutes for the Jemtland community were similar, as the privileges were given at roughly the same time?6 Thus, the uses of a seal and writing have given legitimacy to a course of action against the king’s sysselmann, actions that the king had to respond to within the same framework of action.

This process also is highlighted by a point in Andreas Wiirgler’s analysis of supplications and petitions: They might often be a result of internal strife in a local community, perhaps in combination with pleading over other grievances. In the Jemtland case, the course of action taken by a prominent group of farmers in challenging the authority of the sysselmann wasnot seen as legitimate by others, and the subsequent legal handling of this might throw light on internal ‘political’ conflicts in the region regarding who represented the community in what way.

The relationship between the central level of authority and different local communities would be shaped by the different social and partly political structures of the local communities. By local political structures, we can include both the nature of the relationship between local elites and the central authorities, and the internal arrangements of the local community. Three examples of local communities supplicating to king/queen in the 1420s will highlight this. The examples are more or less parallel in time, and the regions involved are Jemtland, the Orkney Islands, and present-day Ostfold.

In 1420, King Erik sent a reply to the population of Jemtland to a supplication they had sent him.37 The supplication seems to a large degree to have been focused on the behaviour of the local representative of the crown, the fogd fosse Eriksson. In this regard, it is similar to the complaints from Hedmark, Toten, and Hadeland 130 years earlier, and among the most frequent matters addressed by the local communities in supplications. But in this case, we know a bit more about the process around the supplication. The most interesting part about it is who actually wrote and probably presented the supplication to the king. This was the lagmann, characterised as ‘our lawsayer and your messenger.’ ‘Our’ might in this case be obscuring the possibility that the lagmann actually was chosen, or at least suggested, by the populace themselves. We know this to be the case in the first half of the 16th century, but the fact that all lawsayers from the mid-14th century were of local stock points to the possibility of this being the case for the whole late medieval period.38 Combining this position of the lagmann with the role of the communal seal outlines a picture of a semi-autonomous province with tools for expressing a communal policy versus the king. Interestingly, the king also expresses his trust in the lagmann Hakon Lavransson, something that might suggest tension between the lagmann and the fogd.

The case from Ostfold in 1424-1425 paints a different picture. Three letters from the inhabitants of the Skaun and Rakkestad communities tell us of a conflict between the population and their fogd, Herman Molteke.39 The complaints against him were of a similar nature to the complaints from Jemtland a few years earlier, but in addition to complaining, the population threatens to chase the fogd away, or move themselves if he is not replaced. The letters are signed by a group of farmers, who must be seen as representing the population at large. If we look at who these were, we find that they represent an upper social strata of men often found in public positions. They are co-signers or co-sealers of public letters concerning inheritance, land-sales, etc.40 We do not know how this conflict ended. Herman Molteke probably was not removed from his position, at least we find him in similar positions a few years later with no traceable conflicts arising from this. The

Conflict, state formation and literacy 69 differences with the Jemtland supplication are obvious. The lagmann of the region is not involved in formulating or presenting the supplication. The local community threatened illegal actions. The supplication is collective, but the collective is represented by a social elite.

The supplication from the Orkneys in 1425 gives yet another picture.41 In this letter addressed to Queen Philippa in King Erik’s absence, the population took sides in a controversy between the sysselmann and the bishop. The sysselmann David Menzies, on behalf of Earl Henry II, seems to have overstepped his authority, thus provoking reactions from the Orcadians. The death of the earl in 1423 brought the conflict to a new level, as Bishop Thomas Tullock was appointed sysselmann. In the supplication from the Orcadians, they were invoking both the law of the realm and expressed a lack of faith in foreigners having authority in their land.42 As in Jemtland, the supplication is sealed with the community seal, and the lagmann was instrumental in formulating it. But it seems that a more broadly defined elite also was instrumental in formulating the resistance to the governor.43

The interesting point about these three supplications is the variations -how the regional political and social structures are evident. We might perhaps view the supplications representing a ‘negotiating stage,’ where we can see the breadth of the regional political structures in the domain of the Norwegian king at the time. This would imply that the role and relative strength of the local communities in this communication is relatively present.

The 1520s and 1530s were a period of intense political turmoil in the Nordic kingdoms. The final phase of the break-up of the political union of the three kingdoms in combination with the spread of the ideas of ecclesiastical reform made for a complicated political picture, in which mobilising broader segments of the population could be of importance. In these processes, we can see that supplications or open letters from the commoners could play an important role, but also that these documents could be the tools of major political players who would use them as political instruments for their own goals. A blatant example was the open letter from the commoners of Trondelag in the aftermath of the murder of nobleman Vincens Lunge in 1536.44 Lunge was an ardent opponent of Archbishop Olav Engelbrektsson in the political vacuum following the death of King Frederick I in 1533. The archbishop followed a policy where the main goal was to protect the interests of the church. Being the leader of the council of the realm, he could try to draw on the resources of the secular aristocracy as well as the ecclesiastical in this policy. Here, he met resistance from several members, most notably Vincens Lunge. Lunge was murdered during a session of the council in Trondheim in December 1535/January 1536, and the open letter from the commoners of the region to the inhabitants of Bergen explained what had happened and why, and encouraged the recipients of the letter to act politically in accordance with the political goals set forth in the letter. The letter was most likely formulated by the scribes ofthe archbishop, and the descriptions of the wrongdoings of Vincens Lunge as an explanation for his death clearly also bear his mark.45 What probably has happened is that the archbishop or his staff used the communal seal of the legal community to give the actions towards Lunge a kind of popular legitimacy.

The same Vincens Lunge had tried the same approach a few years earlier in his capacity as the former sysselmann (governor) of Jemtland. In 1529-1530, he lost control over the region to the archbishop but tried to re-establish his authority by using the communal organs of the region. This he did by formulating a panegyric praising of his former role as governor of the region.46 The letter was to be sent to his client, the nobleman 0rjan Karlssson in Jemtland, who would supply it with the communal seal and thus giving it legitimacy as communal support for him.47 The attempt was not successful.48

The second half of the 16th century saw a change, possibly connected to the disappearance of central Norwegian institutions and the subordination of the Norwegian kingdom to the Danish crown after 1537. To a larger degree, we see that the communications between subjects and authorities are individual petitions. We also see that the authorities take a more active part in regulating the written communication from subjects. These royal initiatives were connected to the emergence of a semi-per-manent institution, the Herredag. This institution was a section of the Danish Council of the Realm that could be vested with royal power and would function as part supreme court, part diet where the Norwegian nobility could settle their matters. The Herredag travelled to Norway irregularly at first, but from the 1590s every third year. Typically, if some sort of discontent over royal officials or official policy had been communicated, the crown would encourage commoners to articulate their grievances further, so that they could be looked into at a session of the Herredag. An illuminating example is from 1597. At that time, a deeply unpopular governor (lensherre) of the Trondelag region had provoked several communities to send supplications to the king. The grievances were of such a nature that an open letter was sent to the populace, encouraging them to submit further supplications.49 This led to a ca. 40 complaints being submitted, both individual petitions and communal supplications. This in turn led to a session of the Herredag in the summer of 1597 in the form of a series of trials solely dealing with the abuse of power by the governor and his employees.50 Here we can see that even though the initiative for the showdown with the governor clearly came from below through supplications, the royal authorities quickly took control of the process and concluded it to everyone’s satisfaction (bar the governor, who was deposed and found unfit to hold office ever again). As such, this is a good example of cooperation between authorities and subjects in reining in power-abusing representatives of the crown, where writing is the main medium for the dynamics of this process. It is a good argument for ‘state

Conflict, state formation and literacy 71 development’ where subjects participate actively. On the other hand, we can see that there is a clear interest from the crown in having tighter control over the supplication-process than had been the case earlier. An additional aspect is that these ‘invited’ complaints to an increasing degree were supplications from individuals. As the Herredag became a more regular feature, this tendency increased.51 In the first decades of the 17th century, the Herredag was supplemented by a series of ad hoc royal commissions, appointed to deal with specific problems. Some of these were connected to complaints from local communities or people and could lead to the same sort of process as the 1597 Herredag. One such example is the investigation of the local administration along the whole western coast of Norway in 1632.52

An important step in this direction was the establishment of a royally appointed scribe (sorenskriuer) in each legal district. Originally introduced in 1591 as an assistant at the local legal assemblies, the sorenskriver over time accumulated more tasks. One of them was to assist in the writing of supplications - assistance that became more or less mandatory by the 1630s. By the 1650s, the king introduced regulations on supplications that seriously limited the role of collective supplications but promoted individual petitions - which were to be sent to the local royal official before being passed on.53 This implies a stricter royal control over who could supplicate; a tendency to favour the individual petitions. The intermediary functions of local officials would further restrict what the population would be willing to complain about. Sending a complaint about the local governor to the king via the governor in question was hardly a tempting option.

Conclusion: supplication, participation, and influence

We can make some observations and draw some conclusions from these examples. An obvious conclusion is that writing establishes itself as a preferred mode for communication by the early 15th century. This probably reflects the development of a culture of ‘pragmatic literacy’ where written words are given an authority transcending the actual understanding - not literacy in a strict sense. This authority is mutually accepted by both parts in the communication in what we have labelled as a ‘textual community.’ In an early phase, the communication reflects a sphere of local political and social cultures, indicating that the local communities have considerable influence on the process. Nevertheless, the increasing emphasis on writing narrows down and formalises the common space for communication between subjects and rulers. The development of this public political sphere is thus over time one of increased control from the authorities. We can at times detect a tendency of figures of authority with a high degree of literacy using the commoners as their tool of political activity through manipulating supplications in different ways. A more lasting trend is that supplications from the late 16th century are documents created at the request of theauthorities, and that these supplications to an increasing degree become individual petitions. Thus, there is a change of balance in the mutuality of this political sphere of writing. What we see emerging is a more controlled public sphere of writing where the terms of communications to an increasing degree are defined by the authorities.

Within the framework of ‘state building from below’ or ‘state development from within,’ this process is of interest. The development of a common political sphere of written communication indicates that the relationship between rulers and ruled is not an outright process of the state forcing this mode of communication on an illiterate public, but rather a process signalling a mutual interest from both parties of regulating this communication in a beneficial way. Over time, the state and its representatives get the upper hand in this communication, but still, it can hardly be seen as a tool of oppression. Nevertheless, one consequence of this development is the weakening of the local communities as political agents, at the cost of the subordinate subject communicating as an individual to a strong and, hopefully, benevolent state.

Primary sources

Diplomatarium Norvegicum vol. I—XXIII, Christiania/Kristiania/Oslo 1847-2011 (DN).

Norges garnie Love indtil 1387. vol. 3, (R. Keyser & P.A. Munch, eds.), Christiania 1849 (NgL).

Norske Herredags-Domboger 1:4. Dombog for 1597, (E.A.Thomle, ed.), Christiania 1895 (NHD).

Norske Rigs-Registranter vol. 3: 1588-1602 (O.G. Lundh & I.E. Sars, eds.), Christiania 1863 (NRR).


  • 1 Njastad 2019, pp. 59-68.
  • 2 See Poulsen 2007.
  • 3 Nedkvitne, 2004.
  • 4 Nedkvitne 2004, pp. 192-201.
  • 5 Hagland 2005, pp. 103-110.
  • 6 Larsson 2010.
  • 7 Berg 2014.
  • 8 Berg 2014, p. 131.
  • 9 Briggs 2000, p. 205. Briggs here develops the concept as created by Brian Stock in The implications of literacy, Written language and models of interpretation in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, (1984).
  • 10 Blickle 1997.
  • 11 Wiirgler 2001, pp. 14-19.
  • 12 Fuhrmann, Klimin & Wiirgler 1998, pp. 291-296.
  • 13 Wiirgler 2001, pp. 22-25.
  • 14 Supphellen 1978, pp. 152-185.
  • 15 Helgesen 1982, pp. 257-264.
  • 16 Maliks 2011, pp. 156-183.
  • 17 Rian 2014.
  • 18 Würgler 2001, p. 15.
  • 19 linsen 1989; Imsen 1990a, pp. 79-95; Imsen 1990b, pp. 173-192.
  • 20 Sandnes 1989, pp. 84-92; Sandnes 1990, pp. 92-107.
  • 21 Njastad 1994; Andresen, 2000; Njastad 2003.
  • 22 Nissen 1996; Skogen 2016.
  • 23 Althoff 2004, pp. 67-90.
  • 24 Althoff 2004, pp. 141-144.
  • 25 Althoff 2003, pp. 171-177.
  • 26 Cheyette 2003, pp. 243-264; Hermansson 2009.
  • 27 Cheyette 2003, p. 259.
  • 28 Nauman 2017.
  • 29 NgLI.3, pp. 19-23.
  • 30 NgL I: 3, pp. 27-30.
  • 31 Njastad 2003, pp. 161-170.
  • 32 DNIII, p. 256.
  • 33 DNII,p. 287.
  • 34 DNIII, p. 246.
  • 35 DN XVIII, p. 3.
  • 36 Njastad 2014, pp. 327-328.
  • 37 DN XIV, p. 36.
  • 38 Egeland 2003, pp. 103-104.
  • 39 DNII, p. 680, p. 681, p. 683.
  • 40 Njastad 2003, pp. 103-105.
  • 41 DNII,p. 691.
  • 42 For the conflict itself, see Grohse 2014, pp. 241-267; Grohse 2017, pp. 417-426.
  • 43 Imsen 2012.
  • 44 DNVI, p. 726.
  • 45 Hamre 1998, pp. 695-702.
  • 46 DN XIV, p. 686.
  • 47 DN XIV, p. 697.
  • 48 Njastad 2003, pp. 200-201.
  • 49 NRR III, pp. 453-454.
  • 50 Njastad 1994, pp. 80-87. The court records are published in NHD I: IV.
  • 51 See for instance Skogen 2016.
  • 52 Nissen 1996.
  • 53 Supphellen 1978, pp. 154-160.


Althoff, G., (2003): Die Macht der Rituale Symbolik und Herrschaft im Mittelalter, Darmstadt: Primus Verlag.

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