The coastal defence in Scandinavia : the role and composition of the military organisation in the Viking and early Middle Ages
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This thesis sets out to examine the coastal defence in Scandinavia in the Viking and early middle ages, with main emphasis on Norway, the organisation and the elements' level of co-existence. The idea is that the military organisation consisted of three main elements. First and foremost the levy system, based on ships being mustered from the various administrative districts in the countries, in order to protect the land from seaborne attacks. Secondly a signalling system, consisting of several sites, to be lit and warn the settlements of approaching fleets or other danger, so that a defence could be mustered. Thirdly, underwater fortifications, man made defensive constructions positioned in water at favourable locations to prevent enemy vessels from using fjords and inlets as inroads. As the latter category has only been researched in Denmark and Sweden, special interest will be put in studying this element and to evaluate the possibilities for it having been employed in Norway. A study of the various available, and valid, sources in order to obtain knowledge regarding each of the elements will be presented, emphasising on the ramifications involved when applying them in research. The study will be multi-disciplinary, for though the basis being archaeological, the lack of archaeological material will in many cases, make the use of other sources necessary. Additionally will various sources make the picture more complete and a better understanding can be reached. Especially will place-names be regarded as a valuable source.
Thesis, MPhil Master of Philosophy
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