This book charts the rise of three Scandinavian kingdoms—Denmark, Norway, and Sweden—from the tenth century until the end of the Kalmar Union and the introduction of the Reformation in the early sixteenth century. Drawing on new ideas about personal relationships, rituals, feuds, and mediation, it examines the kingdoms' alternative paths to state formation and the specifically medieval contribution to this process. In discussing Scandinavian state formation, the book also considers the changing map of Western Christendom in the High Middle Ages. In particular, it describes how the European state was exported to new areas and how Western Christendom expanded in the Mediterranean, in Scandinavia, and in East Central Europe. Whereas the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea was for the most part an object of conquest and colonization, the three Scandinavian kingdoms were established in the North and West, and Poland, Bohemia, and Hungary in the East.
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