Scandinavia in the Middle Ages 900-1550
Between Two Oceans
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Medieval Scandinavia went through momentous changes. Regional power centres merged and gave birth to the three strong kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. At the end of the Middle Ages, they together formed the enormous Kalmar Union comprising almost all lands around the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea. In the Middle Ages, Scandinavia became part of a common Europe, yet preserved its own distinct cultural markers.
Scandinavia in the Middle Ages covers the entire Middle Ages into an engaging narrative. The book gives a chronological overview of political, ecclesiastical, cultural and economic developments. It integrates to this narrative climatic changes, energy crises, devastating epidemies, family life and livelihood, arts, education, technology and literature, and much else. The book shows how different groups had an important role in shaping society: kings and peasants, pious priests, nuns and crusaders, merchants, students, without forgetting minorities such as Sami and Jews. The book is divided into three chronological parts 900-1200, 1200-1400 and 1400-1550, where analyses of general trends are illustrated by the acts of individual men and women.
This book is essential reading for students of, as well as all those interested in, medieval Scandinavia and Europe more broadly.
Table of Contents
Part I: 900–1200: Formation
1. Coming of the Kingdoms
2. Coming of Christ
3. Tilling the Land – the Local Economy
4. Cultural Tradition and Transition
Part II: 1200–1400: Consolidation and Restructuring
5. Dominion over the Seas
6. Consolidation of the Church
7. Economic Growth and Fall – Urbanisation and Agrarian Crisis
8. Cultural Universalism
Part III: 1400–c. 1550: Power in Crises
9. Rise and Fall of the Kalmar Union
10. Fall of the Church
11. Economic Expansion – the International Market Economy
12. A Revolution in Communication
Kirsi Salonen is Professor of medieval history at the University of Bergen, Norway. Her previous publications include Papal Justice in the Late Middle Ages. The Sacra Romana Rota (2016); and she is the co-editor of Scandinavia and the Vatican Archives (2022).
Kurt Villads Jensen is Associate Professor in Medieval History and director of the Centre for Medieval Studies at Stockholm University, Sweden. His previous publications include Crusading at the Edges of Europe. Denmark and Portugal c.1000 – c.1250 (2017); and he is the co-author of The Rise and Fall of the Danish Empire (2022).