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Kings And King'S Men

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Chapter Summary

The landskapslagar of Svealand mention only one jarl, generally assumed to be the successor to the 'jarl of the svear and götar (or gutar)' addressed in several papal letters after the mid-twelfth century. The majority of extant twelfth-century letters that concern Sweden do not come from Sweden itself, but from outside, mainly from the papal curia. There is an exchange of letters between Knut and the pope, several letters concerning land ownership involving Nydala and Viby-Julita monasteries and one from Knut to lagman Nils and associates in Smaland. Referring to the election of Magnus Nielsen in Västgötaland, Saxo mentions that it was illegal, because the svear retained the right to elect kings. This indicates that the rules of Upplandslagen may have been followed before the law was codified, at the time when Saxo's history was written, in c. 1200.

Keywords: götar; Knut Eriksson; landskapslagar; Nydala monastery; papal curia; Upplandslagen; Västgötaland; Viby-Julita monastery



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