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Viking FriendshipThe Social Bond in Iceland and Norway, c. 900D1300$
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Jón Vidar Sigurdsson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501705779

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501705779.001.0001

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Friendship between Chieftains

Friendship between Chieftains

“To His Friend a Man Should Be a Friend, and Repay Gifts with Gifts”

(p.37) Chapter 2 Friendship between Chieftains
Viking Friendship

Jón Viðar Sigurðsson

Cornell University Press

This chapter addresses the friendship between chieftains. In Iceland, from the time of the settlement (c.870–930) until the end of the Free State, power slowly became concentrated in fewer and fewer lands. In the whole of this period, friendships between chieftains played a decisive role in the power game. They used friendship to enter into alliances with each other and in attempts to neutralize and outdo their rivals. The chapter then focuses on the relations of friendship between Icelandic chieftains in the Sturlung Age, the time between 1220 and 1262–64. During this period, a new player entered the political game: the Norwegian king.

Keywords:   friendship, Icelandic chieftains, Free State, power game, alliances, Sturlung Age, political game

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