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Introduction to Part Two

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Chapter Summary

This second part of the book focuses on local disputes related to property, family, and micropolitical networks. It presents a quantitative survey of all Danish charters from the thirteenth century, with the aim of mapping basic patterns of property disputes in this period. This part then takes a closer look at the records from one particular monastery, exploring the variety of strategies employed by litigants in cases of local dispute processing in thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Denmark. It also shows how Swedish magnates granted daughters as pious gifts to nunneries, and discusses how such gifts contributed to creating social bonds and symbolic capital that could be useful in dispute settlement and local power politics. This introductory chapter provides an outline of social structures and property relations in the Scandinavian kingdoms, the legal foundation, and the nature of the source evidence employed in all four articles: charters.

Keywords: Danish charters; dispute settlement; fourteenth-century Denmark; microplitical networks; property disputes; Scandinavian kingdoms; Swedish magnates



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