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Room for all? Spaces and places for thing assemblies: the case of the All-thing on Gotland, Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Medieval Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8684-6872
2008 (English)In: Viking and Medieval Scandinavia, ISSN 1782-7183, E-ISSN 2030-9902, Vol. 4, 133-157 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Roma on Gotland in the Baltic Sea was an important place at the physical and symbolic centre of Iron-Age and Medieval Gotland. Roma has two particularly well-known historical features: the Cistercian monastery and the gathering-place of the Gotlandic all-thing. This article will consider the nature of the place, the foundation of the monastery, and the character of the thing, and will point to an alternative site for the all-thing. It will be suggested that an older Iron-Age cult site came under the control of a chieftain in the later Iron Age, and that in the Viking and early medieval phases a major landowner or chieftain/petty king may have introduced Christianity, established connections with the continental Church, founded a monastery and inaugurated a thing-place in Roma, just as his equals did in other areas of Scandinavia. The monastery and the all-thing have in the past been thought to indicate the existence of a particularly egalitarian and non-stratified society on Gotland in the Viking Age and Middle Ages. I propose that this was not the case. Through historical circumstance, Gotland never developed a noble class as on the mainland; this however does not mean there were not Viking-Age or early medieval lords with such aspirations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Turnhout: Brepols , 2008. Vol. 4, 133-157 p.
Keyword [en]
Thing (legal), Assembly place, Norse law, Gotland, Scandinavian aristocracy, friðr, common space, Al, Vi, hringr
Keyword [sv]
Ting (juridik), samlingsplats, lag, Gotland, Skandinavisk aristokrati, friðr, Al, Vi, hringr
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-30811DOI: 10.1484/J.VMS.1.100308OAI: diva2:274162
Available from: 2009-10-27 Created: 2009-10-27 Last updated: 2016-03-18

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Myrberg, Nanouschka
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