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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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Kinsmen and Friends

Kinsmen and Friends

“Let There Be a Fjord between Kinsmen, but a Bay between Friends”

(p.103) Chapter 6 Kinsmen and Friends
Viking Friendship

Jón Viðar Sigurðsson

Cornell University Press

This chapter studies the relationship between friendship and kinship. The difference between friendship and kinship was that relations of friendship were most often contracted willingly, unlike bonds of kinship that were established at birth. However, because of all the overlapping of family relationships and the limited support kin could give most people in conflicts, kinship took a back seat to friendship, except among the chieftain families. Indeed, there was no automatic support merely from bonds of kinship. Rather, these bonds had to be built up before one could expect any consideration. In other words, reciprocity is equally important in the relationships between kin as it was in friendships.

Keywords:   friendship, kinship, family relationships, chieftain families, reciprocity

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