Löfte, tvist och försoning Politikens spelregler i 1300-talets Norden
Sammanfattning: This thesis aims to explain how politics in 14th century Scandinavia were structured by a set of rules or norms of conduct – rules which were neither codified nor enforced by any outside agency, yet had a very real impact on the patterns by which political action was conducted. Taking inspiration from historical anthropology, the study sets out to analyze the ways in which political tensions and relationships, primarily within the royal elite, were negotiated in various situations. The source material – mainly letters of treaties, but also contemporary literary sources – are treated as remains of political communication within a common discursive framework.The findings of the study go against some established notions about politics in the 14th century that are prevalent in current Scandinavian research. On the whole, patterns of political behaviour during the period show great similarities to those of the earlier Middle Ages, despite the discontinuity implied by the idea of the 13th century as the era of "state formation" in Scandinavia. Rather, the kings and princes of the 14th century appear to have been ruled by quite similar norms of behaviour to those of their predecessors, albeit on a more complex scale.The concepts of peace and justice are shown to have been central to the way that political action was legitimized. No functional difference can be shown to have been made between "feudal" or personal relations, and those of the state. Peace was conceived as a state of harmony, which could only be achieved through the establishment of mutual positive bonds, and an active striving for justice. The latter was achieved, both with the aid of mediators and negotiators, and through the demonstration of force, in patterns largely similar to the practice of feuding. Likewise, acts of supplication and reconciliation are shown to have played an active part in the way that political relations were reified during the process of ending an armed conflict.
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