Unpredictability and Presence
Hans Jacob Orning
This book – inspired by historians like Fredric Cheyette, Stephen White and William Miller – applies a legal anthropological framework to Norwegian history. At the same time, it focuses on what happens when pre-state conflict patterns encounters a more stable royal power in the high middle ages. The author demonstrates how in the 12th and 13th century the king under strong clerical influence is depicted as just and omnipresent. However, a detailed survey of the king’s conflicts shows that he to a substantial degree based his dominion on unpredictability and presence. The results presented in this book will certainly be discussed, but few will disagree that it formulates the question of state formation in a new and challenging way. In addition it clearly demonstrates the relevance of studying Scandinavian history as part of European history.