This article discusses the activities of merchant houses in the early modern period and how their different places were gendered. Merchant houses had their base in the city house, where the merchant’s family and business staff lived and were involved in the business in different ways. The theory, which is tested, holds that the merchant himself, his sons and male staff were more active in places at a distance from the city house – either physically or through writing – while the merchant’s wife, daughters and female servants to a larger degree took part in activities in and close to the city house. The different arenas of the merchant houses’ activities are discussed. The merchants’ training involved travels or studies abroad for sons, less regular education for daughters. The running of the trade was based in the city house with its specialised rooms with their gendered activities. Regional markets and the trading ship linked to the world outside the home base and were mainly masculine arenas. While the theory to some degree holds true, the discussion shows that borders between spaces could be crossed, especially by widows. Studying the smaller shopkeepers could show a less rigid result.
This article argues that the female role model in the period 1814–1920 indeed underwent changes, but also that continuity in gender regime was upheld. Women obtained access to various political, religious, social and economic public spheres in a much wider sense than ever before. Most importantly, the number of female employees increased in the 1870s and onwards, in addition to the simultaneously emergence of comprehensive entrepreneurship in the hands of both married and unmarried women. Furthermore, in the two-three last decades of the 19th century women became integrated into many associations, especially in the missionary and the laity movement. However, women still encountered expectations that they should play a passive role in different public spheres, and should not perform leadership, until decisive reforms and changes occurred in the beginning of the 20th century. In fact, the first part of the 19th century saw a masculinisation of politics in ideals and practice, and norms evolved underlining a sharper distinction between a masculine public sphere and a feminine private sphere. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Norwegian suffragettes and other female activists in their strategies from 1880s to 1913 adapted a strategy which emphasized housewife as the natural female role model.
Bridges have always been important elements of transportation and communication infrastructures in Norway. At least since medieval times, bridges have been commonly used to help travellers pass difficult patches of terrain like marshes, rivers or ravines. Few examples of these old bridges are known today, and even fewer have been archaeologically investigated. This paper presents three bridges from different time periods, all located in the Trøndelag counties in central Norway. In Trondheim several foundation elements of the old medieval bridge across the Nidelven River have been investigated and recorded. The bridge is known from written sources, and could be as old as the city itself. Samples have been dendro-chronologically dated to the thirteenth century. Steinvikholm castle in North Trøndelag County was the last stand of the Catholic archbishop ruling Norway in the turbulent years before the reformation in 1537. The last pieces of evidence of the original sixteenth century bridge connecting the castle island and the mainland are still visible in the intertidal zone. The remains of the bridge have been described and partially recorded two or three times during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Using modern digital measuring equipment, all visible remains have now been recorded, and a current assessment of the construction, as well as its condition, complements the older descriptions. In the banks of the river Driva at Oppdal in South Trøndelag County, a bridge foundation was washed out under a two meter thick layer of gravel. The position of the foundation indicated that the course of the river had changed since it was constructed. The preserved part of the foundation consisted of a triangular timber frame covered with a floor of small lumber. The construction has been dated using dendrochronology to AD 1639, which fits well with a royal initiative on remediation of infrastructure. The three bridges are different in construction and function, but can all be linked to political power in their respective time periods.
Hill fort (bygdeborg) is a term which in Norway describes what has traditionally been interpreted as prehistoric defense installations or fortifications. The origin and function of these monuments has in recent decades been a topic for debate, as surveys show that what the term describes encompasses a wide range of archaeological and topographic features located in a variety of landscapes. Never-theless, documentation and interpretation of hill forts is largely governed by military explanation models. We recommend a stronger scientific approach to interpreting the full range of features, such as stoneworks, monoliths, and burial mounds, as well as other historic and prehistoric traces of human activity affiliated with these hilltop monuments. Archeologists should seek to reach out beyond the constraints of nomenclature when researching an equivocal monument that too long has been interpreted within the constraints of a narrow explanatory model.
This article provides information about the transportation of military supplies to troops in South-east Norway during the Great Northern War, and how the farmers who performed the transportation perceived this obligatory duty. This has been done by an examination of a petition and the hearing following the petition. The petition was written by the farmers of Gjerdrum to the District Governor of Akershus in 1719. Farmers from Southeast Norway received a number of additional taxes and obligatory duties during the Great Northern War. This led to an increase in the number of petitions to the authorities. The reaction of the farmers is examined through a look into their arguments against the duties and taxes, in addition to how their relationship with regional and central government evolved. There is some literature on the transportation of military supplies to troops during the Great Northern War, but it is limited to the situations in Sweden and Finland. This article is an attempt to increase the knowledge about the situation in Norway.
In 2017 a jubilee will be held in memory of the outset of the Reformation that occurred 500 years ago. Both international and national events will take place, and people are also encouraged to celebrate the Reformation with a local historical perspective.
This article focuses on similar jubilees in previous centuries here in Norway. Seven Norwegian jubilees are discussed briefly, while the jubilee in 1817 is given a more thorough attention, as that celebration in many respects can be regarded as typical, and it became a model for subsequent events.
The perception of the Reformation has changed during the years, and the way they chose to celebrate at different time periods reveals important aspects of the official view of the Reformation at the time. In depth understanding of the changes must however be studied on a broader basis than the source material that has been available for this presentation.
All the celebrations were influenced by the time in which they occurred. They were initiated and instructed by the central state power in cooperation with the official church authorities and were to a lesser extent influenced by local interests.
An interesting question regarding the forthcoming celebration in 2017 is whether the stated intention of collaboration with local cultural institutions will be realised, and if so, how such an approach might shed light on the way the Reformation affected local societies in Norway in the past.
Line Esborg, Ida Tolgensbakk and Audun Kjus have with support from a long range of researchers in the field presented the hearing document «Archives on cultural history – banks of knowledge for the future» to the Ministry of Education and Research in connection with the Report on the Humanities (Humaniorameldingen).
The document encourages making a coordinated and united effort in digitalising the archives of cultural history. These archives are at present divided on many different institutions within the MLA-sector and the university sector. A more coordinated approach will result in better security and accessibility to a unique and indispensable historical documentation both for research and for the public in general. It will generate better possibilities for humanistic research in documenting our society, and it will give the public better opportunities to provide content to society's common memory.