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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides a brief overview of the book Unpredictability and Presence: Norwegian Kingship in the High Middle Ages and its chapters. The book deals with the study of Norwegian society in the High Middle Ages, which can be defined as the period c. 1150?1300. It focuses on the relationship between the king and the magnates. The book analyses the relationship of Icelandic chieftains to the Norwegian king, because this is described in two different sources and can shed further light on the differences between absolute and contextual loyalty. It explores the main thesis of the study, that the king?s exercise of power in the High Middle Ages was based to a great extent on unpredictability and presence. It also assesses the results in relation to earlier research in a more systematic way.

Keywords: High Middle Ages; Icelandic chieftains; Norwegian society; presence; Unpredictability



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