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Viking Law and OrderPlaces and Rituals of Assembly in the Medieval North$
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Alexandra Sanmark

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474402293

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474402293.001.0001

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Early Germanic and Norse Assembly Organisations

Early Germanic and Norse Assembly Organisations

(p.30) 2 Early Germanic and Norse Assembly Organisations
Viking Law and Order

Alexandra Sanmark

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter 2 examines the function of assemblies in Vikingage society and provides a detailed analysis of the assembly institution in Scandinavia and how this fitted into earlier Germanic assembly systems in Mainland Europe. This is important as the thing organisation is at times seen as an isolated phenomenon related to Norse society only. It is shown that many of the traits present in Vikingage society are found in early medieval sources from Frankia and Saxony. This chapter also investigates which groups in society could actively participate in assembly-meetings, demonstrating that the elite was the most influential. The traditional male-female binary division of ‘included’ men and ‘excluded’ women is, moreover, shown to be invalid.

Keywords:   Scandinavia, Germanic, Europe, Women, Viking Age, Assembly

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