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Dynasty or Family? Tenth and Eleventh Century Norwegian Royal Women and Their Dynastic Loyalties

  • Karl C. Alvestad
Chapter
Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)

Abstract

The early eleventh century was a period of change in Scandinavia, with chiefdoms evolving into kingdoms following the conversion of Denmark and Norway. Olaf II Haraldsson initiated these political changes in Norway. During the early years of his reign, Olaf II drew extensively on his extended familial networks to secure and maintain his political power. This paper discusses the role of Olaf II’s female kin in these networks and Olaf’s relationship with them. By focusing on the Astrid and Ingeborg Tryggvasdaughter, the sisters of Olaf II’s predecessor Olaf I Tryggvason, the paper illustrates the role royal women played in these political networks and their place in a wider contemporary context of kingship and family. The paper argues that Astrid and Ingeborg were instrumental in regulating these networks and that Olaf II’s early reign was extremely reliant on these relationships for establishing and maintaining his rule.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl C. Alvestad
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WinchesterWinchesterUK

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