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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 Loses Its Power

Friendship Loses Its Power

Political Changes in the Second Half of the Thirteenth Century

(p.116) Chapter 7 Friendship Loses Its Power
Viking Friendship

Jón Viðar Sigurðsson

Cornell University Press

This chapter assesses how the political development changed the political culture and reduced the importance of friendship. Friendship lost much of its significance in Iceland when the country became part of the Norwegian realm. The new administrative system turned the chieftain's role upside down. Chieftains now got their power from the king, who, in turn, got his power ostensibly from God. This meant that the chieftains no longer needed to build up their power base from below through protection, feasting, and gifts to householders. Now, as the king's officials, the chieftains were to prosecute the householders and possibly punish them, not help them in their conflicts.

Keywords:   political development, political culture, friendship, Iceland, Norwegian realm, chieftains, royal administration

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