This book examines the role of legislation in the transformation of the early medieval Nordic realms into monarchic states in the High Middle Ages. The principal focus is on the development of a common law for Norway, the Norse lands overseas, and the northern and eastern peripheries of the kings mainland realm.
While state formation was, in many respects, a parallel process in the Scandinavian kingdoms, there were interesting differences among them with regard to their chronology and character. In the mid-1100s, several decades earlier than their counterparts in Denmark, kings of Norway were already active in the codification of provincial laws. Sweden was comparatively late in codifying provincial laws, a delay which mirrors the slow state formation process in eastern Scandinavia.