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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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Assemblies in the Longue Durée

Assemblies in the Longue Durée

(p.241) 9 Assemblies in the Longue Durée
Viking Law and Order

Alexandra Sanmark

Edinburgh University Press

In chapter 9, it is again shown that the Norse thing organisation was neither new nor unique, but situated within a Germanic tradition of law and assembly, which can be traced back to the first century AD; thus long predating the earliest Frankish laws. This chapter also demonstrates that outdoor thing sites seem to have been the norm until the late sixteenth or the seventeenth century. Occasional indoor meetings are known in earlier times, but it was not until the early modern period that specific buildings were designated, and at times created specifically, for these gatherings. Finally, the reasons why some assembly sites remained in use for many hundred years, while others were used only for very short periods of time, are examined, as well as the links between assembly sites and central places, and the legacy of the major thing sites on the administrative landscape of today.

Keywords:   Assembly, Norse, Law, Thing sites, Germanic law

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