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Chapter Summary

At the beginning of the twelfth century Sweden had changed little from the Viking Period, whereas by the end of the thirteenth century it was a part of a Europe-wide cultural and religious community. The historically attested regions of Sweden in the twelfth century, Götaland and Svealand, corresponded to the heavily populated areas of the Iron Age. The introduction of the ledung coastal fleet that preceded Sweden's transformation into a means of taxation was different matter, since it was designed to counter an external threat. The introduction of concepts derived from Roman Law, written contracts and land measurements have changed the way in which ownership was understood, but may also be seen as the conclusion of a process begun in the Iron Age, which made tribute gathering and taxation by elites easier.

Keywords: Götaland; Iron Age; ledung coastal fleet; Roman Law; Svealand; Viking Period



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