Stones of Mora
The Stones of Mora was the place where the Swedish kings were elected. The origin of the tradition is unknown, the name Stones of Mora, Mora stenar in Swedish, was originally in singular, Mora sten Stone of Mora, and referred to a king stone on which the newly elected king stood after the election. Later monuments in stone around the Stone of Mora, commemorating different elections, another name often used referring to the place where the king was elected was Mora äng, Meadow of Mora. In Lagga parish about 10 km south-east of Uppsala, but in neighbouring Knivsta Municipality, is Mora äng, the location is at equal distance from the Things of the old folklands Attundaland and Tiundaland. This was the location of Mora Thing, where the Swedish kings were elected, after his election was decided, the king was elevated on top of a flat stone and hailed by his subjects. The law of Uppland and Södermanland states, The three folklands, i. e. Tiundaland, Attundaland and Fjärdhundraland, shall first elect king.
Then the election will be sanctioned by the lawspeaker of Uppland and by all his subordinate lawspeakers in the rest of the kingdom and this process was done during the so-called Eriksgata. The Westrogothic law reminded the Geats that they had to accept this election, the location was on the border of a wetland, and according to Snorri, five kings had been drowned in this wetland, when the people had been displeased. The newly elected king had to go around Sweden on the Eriksgata and it was thus a sort of federation where the king started with his election at Mora Thing and travelled throughout the kingdom to have the election confirmed by the local assemblies. The Stone of Mora and many stones which flanked it with inscriptions commemorating the elections of earlier kings, were destroyed in 1515 during the civil war against the Danes. Gustav Vasa and John III are said to have tried to reconstruct the Stones of Mora without success, one of the fragments is known as the Three Crowns stone since it is the earliest known example of the use of Swedens national symbol, the Three Crowns.
The fragment is what remains of the stone for the election of Albert of Mecklenburg, there is a document which tells that he was elected at the Stones of Mora in 1275. Magnus Eriksson was elected at the stones on July 8,1319, kristian I, in 1457, he was the last to be elected at the stones. The building where the fragments are contained was constructed by Carl Wijnbladh in 1770, the design was based on a sketch by a schoolchild, one of many emerging from a local contest. Stone of Scone Germanic king Lia Fáil Princes Stone
Olaf II of Norway
Olaf II Haraldsson, known as St. Olaf, was King of Norway from 1015 to 1028. He was posthumously given the title Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae and canonised in Nidaros by Bishop Grimkell and his remains were enshrined in Nidaros Cathedral, built over his burial site. He is a saint of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The exact position of Saint Olafs grave in Nidaros has been unknown since 1568, Saint Olaf is symbolised by the axe in Norways coat of arms, and the Olsok is still his day of celebration. Many Christian institutions with Scandinavian links and Norways Order of St. Olav, are named after him, modern historians generally agree that Olaf was inclined to violence and brutality, and they accuse earlier scholars of neglecting this side of Olafs character. Especially during the period of Romantic Nationalism, Olaf was a symbol of independence and pride. Olaf IIs Old Norse name is Ólafr Haraldsson, during his lifetime he was known as Olaf the fat or the stout or simply as Olaf the big. In Norway today, he is referred to as Olav den hellige or Heilage-Olav in honour of his sainthood.
Olaf Haraldsson had the given name Óláfr in Old Norse, Olav is the modern equivalent in Norwegian, formerly often spelt Olaf. His name in Icelandic is Ólafur, in Faroese Ólavur, in Danish Oluf, Olave was the traditional spelling in England, preserved in the name of medieval churches dedicated to him. Other names, such as Oláfr hinn helgi, Olavus rex and he is sometimes referred to as Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae, a designation which goes back to the thirteenth century. The term Ola Nordmann as epithet of the archetypal Norwegian may originate in this tradition and his mother was Åsta Gudbrandsdatter, and his father was Harald Grenske, great-great-grandchild of Harald Fairhair, the first king of Norway. Harald Grenske died when Åsta Gudbrandsdatter was pregnant with Olaf and she married Sigurd Syr, with whom she had other children including Harald Hardrada, who would reign as a future king of Norway. There are many texts giving information concerning Olaf Haraldsson, the oldest source that we have is the Glælognskviða or Sea-Calm Poem, composed by Þórarinn loftunga, an Icelander.
It praises Olaf and mentions some of the miracles attributed to him. Olaf is mentioned in the Norwegian synoptic histories and these include the Ágrip af Nóregskonungasögum, the Historia Norwegiae and a Latin text, Historia de Antiquitate Regum Norwagiensium by Theodoric the Monk. Icelanders wrote extensively about Olaf and we have several Icelandic sagas about him, the famous Heimskringla, written by Snorri Sturluson, largely bases its account of Olaf on the earlier Fagrskinna. We have the important Oldest Saga of St. Olaf, there are many hagiographic sources describing St. Olaf, but these focus mostly on miracles attributed to him and cannot be used to accurately recreate his life
A thing was the governing assembly of a Northern Germanic society, made up of the free people of the community presided over by lawspeakers. Its meeting-place was called a thingstead, the Anglo-Saxon folkmoot or folkmote was analogous, the forerunner to the witenagemot and a precursor of the modern Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Old Norse, Old Frisian, and Old English þing with the assembly is identical in origin to the English word thing, German Ding, Dutch ding. All of these derive from Proto-Germanic *þingą meaning appointed time. The word shift in the meaning of the thing from assembly to object is mirrored in the evolution of the Latin causa to modern French chose, Spanish/Italian/Catalan cosa. In English the term is attested from 685 to 686 CE in the meaning assembly, it referred to a being, entity or matter. The early sense of meeting, assembly did not survive the shift to Middle English, the meaning of personal possessions, commonly in the plural, first appears in Middle English around 1300.
In the pre-Christian clan-culture of Scandinavia the members of a clan were obliged to avenge injuries against their dead, a balancing structure was necessary to reduce tribal feuds and avoid social disorder. It is known from North-Germanic cultures that the institution was the thing, although similar assemblies are reported from other Germanic peoples. The thing was the assembly of the men and women of a country. There were consequently hierarchies of things, so that the things were represented at the higher-level thing. At the thing, disputes were solved and political decisions were made, the place for the thing was often the place for public religious rites and for commerce. The thing met at regular intervals, elected chieftains and kings, and judged according to the law, the things negotiations were presided over by the lawspeaker and the chieftain or the king. In reality the thing was dominated by the most influential members of the community, the heads of clans and wealthy families, the Thing for Vestfold in Norway, was located in Tønsberg at Haugar.
This site was one of Norways most important places for the proclamation of kings, in 1130, Harald Gille called together a meeting at the Haugating at which he was declared to be King of Norway. Sigurd Magnusson was proclaimed king in 1193 at Haugating, magnus VII was acclaimed hereditary King of Norway and Sweden at the Haugating in August 1319. Main things in Sweden were the Thing of all Swedes, the Thing of all Geats, the island of Gotland had twenty things in late medieval times, each represented at the island-thing called landsting by its elected judge. New laws were decided at the landsting, which took other decisions regarding the island as a whole, the landstings authority was successively eroded after the island was occupied by the Teutonic Order in 1398
Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and Finland to the east, at 450,295 square kilometres, Sweden is the third-largest country in the European Union by area, with a total population of 10.0 million. Sweden consequently has a low density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre. Approximately 85% of the lives in urban areas. Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Geats/Götar and Swedes/Svear, Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is heavily forested. Sweden is part of the area of Fennoscandia. The climate is in very mild for its northerly latitude due to significant maritime influence. Today, Sweden is a monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with a monarch as head of state. The capital city is Stockholm, which is the most populous city in the country, legislative power is vested in the 349-member unicameral Riksdag. Executive power is exercised by the government chaired by the prime minister, Sweden is a unitary state, currently divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities.
Sweden emerged as an independent and unified country during the Middle Ages, in the 17th century, it expanded its territories to form the Swedish Empire, which became one of the great powers of Europe until the early 18th century. Swedish territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were gradually lost during the 18th and 19th centuries, the last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Norway was militarily forced into personal union. Since then, Sweden has been at peace, maintaining a policy of neutrality in foreign affairs. The union with Norway was peacefully dissolved in 1905, leading to Swedens current borders, though Sweden was formally neutral through both world wars, Sweden engaged in humanitarian efforts, such as taking in refugees from German-occupied Europe. After the end of the Cold War, Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995 and it is a member of the United Nations, the Nordic Council, Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Sweden maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides health care. The modern name Sweden is derived through back-formation from Old English Swēoþēod and this word is derived from Sweon/Sweonas. The Swedish name Sverige literally means Realm of the Swedes, excluding the Geats in Götaland, the etymology of Swedes, and thus Sweden, is generally not agreed upon but may derive from Proto-Germanic Swihoniz meaning ones own, referring to ones own Germanic tribe
A yeoman /ˈjoʊmən/ was a member of a social class in late medieval to early modern England. A specialized meaning in naval terminology, petty officer in charge of supplies, the term is first recorded c. It may be a contraction of Old English iunge man, meaning young man, the Canons Yeomans Prologue and Tale appears in Geoffrey Chaucers Canterbury Tales, written between 1387 and 1400. During the late 14th to 18th centuries, yeomen were farmers who owned land and their wealth and the size of their landholding varied. Often it was hard to distinguish minor landed gentry from the wealthier yeomen, the Concise Oxford Dictionary states that a yeoman was a person qualified by possessing free land of 40/- annual value, and who can serve on juries and vote for a Knight of the Shire. He is sometimes described as a landowner, a farmer of the middle classes. The term had a sense as in the Yeomanry Cavalry of the late 18th century. The yeoman archer was unique to England and Wales, though Kentish Weald and Cheshire archers were noted for their skills, it appears that the bulk of the yeomanry was from the English and Welsh Marches.
The original Yeomen of the Guard chartered in 1485 were most likely of Brittonic descent, including Welshmen and they were established by King Henry VII, himself a Briton who was exiled in Brittany during the Wars of the Roses. He recruited his forces mostly from Wales and the West Midlands of England on his journey to victory at Bosworth Field, Yeomen were often constables of their parish, and sometimes chief constables of the district, shire or hundred. Many yeomen held the positions of bailiffs for the High Sheriff or for the shire or hundred, other civic duties would include churchwarden, bridge warden, and other warden duties. It was common for a yeoman to be an overseer for his parish, whether working for a lord, shire, district or parish served in localised or municipal police forces raised by or led by the landed gentry. Some of these roles, in particular those of constable and bailiff were carried down through families, Yeomen often filled ranging, roaming and policing roles. In Chaucers Friars Tale, a yeoman who is a bailiff of the forest who tricks the Summoner turns out to be the devil ready to grant wishes already made, the earlier class of franklins were similar to yeomen, wealthy peasant landowners, freeholders or village officials.
They were typically village leaders, constables or mayors, Franklin militias were similar to yeomanries. Yeomen took over roles in the 14th century as many of them became leaders, sheriffs, justices of the peace, mayors. It was too much, for even ‘valets’ known as ‘yeoman archers’ were forbidden to be returned to parliament, the yeoman comprised a military class or status. In the United States, yeomen were identified in the 18th and 19th centuries as non-slaveholding, small landowning, in Southern areas where land was poor, like East Tennessee, the landowning yeomen were typically subsistence farmers, but some managed to grow some crops for market
Snorri Sturluson was an Icelandic historian and politician. He was elected twice as lawspeaker at the Icelandic parliament, the Althing and he was the author of the Heimskringla, a history of the Norwegian kings that begins with legendary material in Ynglinga saga and moves through to early medieval Scandinavian history. For stylistic and methodological reasons, Snorri is often taken to be the author of Egils saga, as a historian and mythographer, Snorri is remarkable for proposing the hypothesis that mythological gods begin as human war leaders and kings whose funeral sites develop cults. As people call upon the war leader as they go to battle, or the dead king as they face tribal hardship. Eventually, the king or warrior is remembered only as a god and he proposed that as tribes defeat others, they explain their victory by proposing that their own gods were in battle with the gods of the others. Snorri Sturluson was born in Hvammur into the wealthy and powerful Sturlungar family of the Icelandic Commonwealth and his parents were Sturla Þórðarson the elder of Hvammur and his second wife, Guðný Böðvarsdóttir.
He had two brothers, Þórðr Sturluson and Sighvatr Sturluson, two sisters and nine half-siblings. By a quirk of circumstance Snorri was raised from the age of three by Jón Loftsson, a relative of the Norwegian royal family, in Oddi, Iceland. The resulting settlement would have beggared Páll, but Jón Loftsson intervened in the Althing to mitigate the judgment and, to compensate Sturla, offered to raise, Snorri therefore received an excellent education and made connections that he might not otherwise have made. He attended the school of Sæmundr fróði, grandfather of Jón Loftsson, at Oddi and his father died in 1183 and his mother as guardian soon wasted Snorris share of the inheritance. The two families arranged an marriage in 1199 between Snorri and Herdís, the daughter of Bersi Vermundarson. From her father, Snorri inherited an estate at Borg and a chieftainship and he soon acquired more property and chieftainships. Snorri and Herdís were together for four years at Borg and they had at least two children, Hallbera and Jón.
The marriage succumbed to Snorris philandering, and in 1206, he settled in Reykholt as manager of an estate there and he made significant improvements to the estate, including a hot outdoor bath. The bath and the buildings have preserved to some extent. During the initial years at Reykholt he fathered five children by three different women, Guðrún Hreinsdóttir, Oddný, and Þuríður Hallsdóttir, Snorri quickly became known as a poet, but was a successful lawyer. In 1215, he became lawspeaker of the Althing, the public office of the Icelandic commonwealth. In the summer of 1218, he left the position and sailed to Norway
The Alþingi is the national parliament of Iceland. It is one of the oldest extant parliamentary institutions in the world, the Althing was founded in 930 at Þingvellir, the assembly fields or Parliament fields, situated approximately 45 kilometres east of what became the countrys capital, Reykjavík. This event marked the beginning of the Icelandic Commonwealth, even after Icelands union with Norway in 1262, the Althing still held its sessions at Þingvellir until 1799, when it was discontinued for 45 years. It was restored in 1844 and moved to Reykjavík, where it has resided ever since, the present parliament building, the Alþingishús, was built in 1881, of hewn Icelandic stone. The constitution of Iceland provides for six electoral constituencies with the possibility of an increase to seven, the constituency boundaries are fixed by legislation. A party must have won at least five per cent of the vote in order to be eligible for these proportionally distributed seats. Political participation in Iceland is very high, usually over 80 per cent of the electorate casts a ballot, the current president of the Althing is Unnur Brá Konráðsdóttir.
The Althingi is one of the oldest extant parliamentary institutions in the world and its establishment, as an outdoor assembly or thing held on the plains of Þingvellir from about the year 930 AD, laid the foundation for an independent national existence in Iceland. To begin with, the Althing was an assembly of the Icelandic Commonwealth. Those attending the assembly dwelt in temporary camps during the session, the centre of the gathering was the Lögberg, or Law Rock, a rocky outcrop on which the Lawspeaker took his seat as the presiding official of the assembly. His responsibilities included reciting aloud the laws in effect at the time and it was his duty to proclaim the procedural law of Althing to those attending the assembly each year. Public addresses on matters of importance were delivered at the Law Rock and there the assembly was called to order, the Lögrétta, the legislative section of the assembly, was its most powerful institution. It comprised the 39 district goðar plus nine additional members and the Lawspeaker, as the legislative section of Althing, the Lögrétta took a stand on legal conflicts, adopted new laws and granted exemptions to existing laws.
Althing of old performed a function and heard legal disputes in addition to the spring assemblies held in each district. After the country had divided into four quarters around 965 AD. Another court was established early in the 11th century and it served as a supreme court of sorts, and assumed the function of hearing cases left unsettled by the other courts. It comprised 48 judges appointed by the goðar of Lögrétta, when the Icelanders submitted to the authority of the Norwegian king by the terms of the Old Covenant in 1262, the function of Althing changed. The organization of the came to an end and the rule of the country by goðar disappeared
Magnus IV of Sweden
Magnus IV was King of Sweden from 1319 to 1364, King of Norway as Magnus VII from 1319 to 1343, and ruler of Scania from 1332 to 1360. By adversaries he has been called Magnus Smek, referring to Magnus Eriksson as Magnus II is incorrect. The Swedish Royal Court lists three Swedish kings before him of the same name, Magnus was born in Norway in April or May 1316 to Eric, Duke of Södermanland and Ingeborg, a daughter of Haakon V of Norway. Magnus was elected king of Sweden on 8 July 1319, under the regencies of his grandmother, Helwig of Holstein, and his mother, Ingeborg of Norway, the countries were ruled by Knut Jonsson and Erling Vidkunsson. Magnus was declared to have come of age at 15 in 1331 and this provoked resistance in Norway, where a statute from 1302 stipulated that a king came of age at the age of 20, and a rising by Erling Vidkunsson and other Norwegian nobles ensued. In 1333, the rebels submitted to King Magnus, in 1332 the King of Denmark, Christopher II, died as a king without a country after he and his older brother and predecessor had pawned Denmark piece by piece.
King Magnus took advantage of his neighbours distress, redeeming the pawn for the eastern Danish provinces for a amount of silver. On 21 July 1336 Magnus was crowned king of both Norway and Sweden in Stockholm and this caused further resentment in Norway, where the nobles and magnates desired a separate Norwegian coronation. A second rising by members of the nobility of Norway ensued in 1338. In 1335 he married Blanche of Namur, daughter of John I, Marquis of Namur, and Marie of Artois, the wedding took place in October or early November 1335, possibly at Bohus castle. As a wedding gift Blanche received the province of Tunsberg in Norway and they had two sons and Haakon, plus at least three daughters who died in infancy and were buried at Ås Abbey. Opposition to Magnus rule in Norway led to a settlement between the king and the Norwegian nobility at Varberg on 15 August 1343, in violation of the Norwegian laws on royal inheritance, Magnus younger son Haakon would become king of Norway, with Magnus as regent during his minority.
Later the same year, it was declared that Magnus older son, the union between Norway and Sweden would be severed. This occurred when Haakon came of age in 1355, on 12 August 1323, Magnus concluded the first treaty between Sweden and Novgorod at Nöteborg where Lake Ladoga empties into the Neva River. The treaty delineated spheres of influence among the Finns and Karelians and was supposed to be an eternal peace, but Magnus relations with Russia were not so peaceful. In 1337, religious strife between Orthodox Karelians and the Swedes led to a Swedish attack on the town of Korela and Viborg, a Swedish commander named Sten captured the fortress at Orekhov. In this treaty, the Swedes claimed that Sten and others acted on their own without the consent of the king, in 1335, Magnus outlawed Thralldom for thralls born by Christian parents in Västergötland and Värend, being the last parts of Sweden where slavery had remained legal. The Novgorodians retook the fortress in 1349 after a seven-month siege, while he spent much of 1351 trying to drum up support for further crusading action among the German cities in the Baltic States, he never returned to attack Novgorod
Medieval Scandinavian law
Initially they were geographically limited to minor jurisdictions, and the Bjarkey laws concerned various merchant towns, but there were laws that applied to entire Scandinavian kingdoms. Each jurisdiction was governed by an assembly of men, called a þing. The court assembly, the thing, used the law and heard witnesses to rule whether the accused was guilty or not, there were usually two types of punishment and fines. The most common means of justice were, however and this system was extremely intricate and the fines themselves, singularly a mulct, were varied according to the social status of the accused and/or the victim. Disputes of innocence were often solved by trial and these trials consisted of different tests for men and women. However, as long as the courts were not made aware of the crime, there was no written code of law until after the Viking Age, but the code of fines and disavowing criminals was the standard across the Scandinavian world. The best sources for information about the Viking legal system are found in Iceland, the Eyrbyggja Saga, for example, portrays accounts of the compromises made at the Althing.
Mar Hallvardssons wound and the blow Steinthor gave Snorri the Priest were said to equal the deaths of the three men killed at Alfta Fjord. The killings by Styr, one on side, cancelled each other out, as did the killings of Bergthor. The killing of Freystein Bofi was set against the killing of one of Steinthors men at Alfta Fjord, Thorleif Kimbi got compensation for the leg he had lost. The killing of one of Snorris men at Alfta Fjord was matched against the unlawful assault Thorleif Kimbi had committed by starting the fight, all other injuries were evened out, all outstanding differences paid for, and so they parted on friendly terms. Everyone honoured this settlement as long as Steinthor and Snorri were both alive, in 1117, the Althing decided that all the laws should be written down and this was accomplished at Hafliði Mássons farm over that winter and published the following year. As with the other Scandinavian countries in the Medieval Age, Norway was governed by a system of þings at which the kings would convene to settle legal disputes. A jury typically consisted of members, twenty-four members, or thirty-six members according to the importance of the matter in question.
One of the most common practices in Norway of determining innocence was a holmgang, the winner was considered to be in the favor of the gods and thus the innocent party. Although not as common, outlawing men was practiced as well, son of Ketil Flat-Nose, was declared an outlaw by a thing assembled by King Harald in the very beginning of the Eyrbyggja Saga. The thing was, and still is called Gulaþing and it is a kind of social contract that classifies citizens into classes and set the amount for fines according to the crimes committed. Udal law is a remnant of the ancient Norwegian laws
Tiundaland is a historic region and since 1296 part of the modern province of Uppland. It originally meant the land of the ten hundreds and referred to its duty of providing 1000 men and 40 ships for the Swedish kings leidang. During the Viking Age it probably extended from the coast of the Baltic Sea by Norrtälje to the bay today is the lake Mälaren. According to Snorri Sturluson in the Heimskringla it was the location of Uppsala and the Thing of all Swedes, all the Swedish lawspeakers were subordinate to the one of Tiundaland. The third portion of Svithjod proper is called Tiundaland, the fourth Attundaland, the fifth Sialand, Tiundaland is the best and most inhabited part of Svithjod, under which the other kingdoms stand. There Upsala is situated, the seat of the king and archbishop, each of these divisions of the country has its Lag-thing, and Its own laws in many parts. And in all matters in which the laws differ from other, Upsala-law is the directing law. Attundaland Fjärdhundraland Roslagen Stone of Mora Suiones
Iceland is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean. It has a population of 332,529 and an area of 103,000 km2, the capital and largest city is Reykjavík. Reykjavík and the areas in the southwest of the country are home to over two-thirds of the population. Iceland is volcanically and geologically active, the interior consists of a plateau characterised by sand and lava fields and glaciers, while many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a climate, despite a high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle. Its high latitude and marine influence still keeps summers chilly, with most of the archipelago having a tundra climate. According to the ancient manuscript Landnámabók, the settlement of Iceland began in the year 874 AD when the Norwegian chieftain Ingólfr Arnarson became the first permanent settler on the island. In the following centuries, and to a lesser extent other Scandinavians, emigrated to Iceland, the island was governed as an independent commonwealth under the Althing, one of the worlds oldest functioning legislative assemblies.
Following a period of strife, Iceland acceded to Norwegian rule in the 13th century. The establishment of the Kalmar Union in 1397 united the kingdoms of Norway, Iceland thus followed Norways integration to that Union and came under Danish rule after Swedens secession from that union in 1523. In the wake of the French revolution and the Napoleonic wars, Icelands struggle for independence took form and culminated in independence in 1918, until the 20th century, Iceland relied largely on subsistence fishing and agriculture, and was among the poorest in Europe. Industrialisation of the fisheries and Marshall Plan aid following World War II brought prosperity, in 1994, it became a part of the European Economic Area, which further diversified the economy into sectors such as finance and manufacturing. Iceland has an economy with relatively low taxes compared to other OECD countries. It maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides health care. Iceland ranks high in economic and social stability and equality, in 2013, it was ranked as the 13th most-developed country in the world by the United Nations Human Development Index.
Iceland runs almost completely on renewable energy, some bankers were jailed, and the economy has made a significant recovery, in large part due to a surge in tourism. Icelandic culture is founded upon the nations Scandinavian heritage, most Icelanders are descendants of Germanic and Gaelic settlers. Icelandic, a North Germanic language, is descended from Old Norse and is related to Faroese