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Kings, Earls And Chieftains. Rulers In Norway, Orkney And Iceland c. 900–1300

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Chapter Summary

Jarla so¸gur, now better known as Orkneyinga saga, and Sverris saga report that Earl Haraldr Maddadarson of Orkney (c. 1138–1206) had backed a competitor for the Norwegian crown in opposition to King Sverrir. This chapter analyses the aspects of the ideologies of rulership—and it is probably several—that one see in the compound text which is Orkneyinga saga, and in two complementary Icelandic-Orcadian texts, the Shorter and Longer Magnús sagas. The focus in this Orcadian- Icelandic-Norwegian set-up is on two big themes: (in)dependence and (in)equality within the Scandinavian world, and the style of rulership. The chapter also focuses on one aspect of the conflicts described at such length in Orkneyinga saga: the role of the Norwegian kings during the disputes of the earls of Orkney.

Keywords:earls; Jarla so̧gur; Magnús sagas; Norwegian crown; Orkney; Orkneyinga saga; Sverris saga



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