In this seminal work, Sverre Bagge provides a detailed account of Norwegian state formation in the period from c. 900 to 1350, widening his perspective to include a discussion of the emergence of the medieval state and state formation in the Middle Ages in general. The primary objective is to examine Norway as a case that may serve to illuminate some general problems of European state formation in the period, problems related both to the formation of the European system of independent kingdoms within a common cultural framework and to the inner development of these kingdoms. The volume furthermore examines the changes that took place in the military, social-economical, ideological, legal and administrative fields between the first formation of the kingdom and the early fourteenth century which, according to common opinion, represents a peak in the development of a Norwegian state. The volume constitutes a vivid and compelling feat, offering a fresh and innovative approach to an important chapter in the history of Norway, while also casting new light on developments in the larger context of European history.
Dr Sverre Bagge is Professor of Medieval history at the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Bergen.