The court and the king’s senior officials at Island in the late 1200s

Since the Age of Settlement, to serve in the retinues of Norwegian kings and earls conferred prestige in Iceland. After Iceland became a tributary land to the Norwegian king in 1262–64, the king’s officials and other liegemen in Iceland had close relations to Bergen, the court and the king’s senior officials there throughout the thirteenth century. Office, liegeman status and high rank gave access to court, and allowed the king’s representatives in Iceland to nurse professional and personal ties to some of the realm’s most influential men. In line with Hirðskrá and Konungs skuggsjá’s descriptions and advice of how to profit from status and closeness to the king, high rank and access to court gave Icelanders the possibility to influence political developments, build careers in Norway, and the ability to assist other Icelanders who had run into trouble with the crown. High rank and life at court tied the king’s officials and other representatives in Iceland together in a social network that had more than the ability to qualify for offices and lucrative positions.