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IMC 2016: Sessions

Session 727: Scandinavian History in the Viking and Middle Ages, I

Tuesday 5 July 2016, 14.15-15.45

Organiser:Paul Gazzoli, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic, University of Cambridge
Moderator/Chair:Paul Gazzoli, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic, University of Cambridge
Paper 727-aVoyages beyond Ohthere: The Case for Strong Regional Demarcation and Identity in Pre-11th-Century Norway
(Language: English)
Benjamin Allport, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic, University of Cambridge
Index terms: Geography and Settlement Studies, Historiography - Medieval, Political Thought
Paper 727-bWeak Kings - Strong Kingdom: Marionette Monarchs in 12th-Century Norway
(Language: English)
Ian Peter Grohse, Historisches Seminar, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 727-cTrial by Ordeals in 12th- and 13th-Century Norway: Between Politics and the Divine
(Language: English)
David Brégaint, Institutt for historiske studier, Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet, Trondheim
Index terms: Mentalities, Performance Arts - General, Politics and Diplomacy

The first of two sessions on Scandinavian history. This session focuses on Norway. The first paper will draw on written, archaeological, and geographical information to argue for regional, rather than national identities in Norway up until the late 10th and early 11th century. The second paper addresses the role of Norway's aristocracy in the evolution of unitary kingship in the so-called Civil War Era in the 12th century, and questions whether barons resisted, facilitated, or initiated that process. It will be argued that baronial coalitions for the protection of weak kings laid the foundations for a unified monarchical order in the decades preceding the formal adoption of unitary kingship in the 1160s. The third paper examines the use of trial by ordeals in the competition for royal succession in high medieval Norway. In particular, the paper will explore the strategies deployed by the participants to realize their political ambitions, and questions how Scandinavians perceived the supernatural in 12th and 13th-century Norway.