Trosskiftet utgjør en sentral begivenhet i tidlig norsk historie. I nyere forskning har det regelmessig blitt hevdet at innføringen av kristendommen skjedde i form av en langvarig prosess. En har dempet ned betydningen som sagakildene tillegger kristningskongene, med Olav Haraldsson som den viktigste aktøren. I artikkelen gis en analyse av kongens rolle. Motivene bak hans Norges-tokt i 1015 drøftes, og det settes et søkelys på den sosiale og kulturelle konteksten som nøkkel til å forstå kristningsforløpet. Til sist drøftes Olavs misjonsmetoder, på bakgrunn av datidens teologi og kirkerett. Konklusjonen lyder på at sagakildenes oppfatning, at innføringen av kristendommen fant sted innenfor en avgrenset periode og med samspillet misjonsbiskoper/kongemakt som det viktigste instrumentet, i hovedsak samsvarer med de historiske realiteter. Bildet av trosskiftet som har blitt tegnet av F. Birkeli og andre må ses på som en konstruksjon, uten tilstrekkelig forankring i kildene.
The conversion to Christianity is a main event in early Norwegian history. How did the transformation from paganism to new belief take place? The Kings’ sagas and other Norse literary sources claim that the process took place within a limited period and by violent methods. Modern scholarship has challenged this view in emphasizing other aspects – the shift in belief is assumed to be the result of a development during centuries due to cultural contact between Scandinavia and Christian areas. In this article, I discuss the role of King Olav Haraldsson. Was his expedition to Norway in 1015 determined by his personal ambitions of political power or by his Christian faith and a responsibility to bring the gospel to his homeland? I emphasize the fact that Olav was baptized in Rouen in 1013/1014, in close connection with King Aethelred II. This kind of «political baptism» (A. Angenendt) seems to have played an important role as a Christianization strategy in the Middle Ages. The event must have been an important factor behind Olav’s struggle for power in Norway from 1015 onwards. Missionary projects as a joint venture with bishops and magnates as participants was a preferred strategy due to the cultural context in which attempts to spread the teaching of the Church took place. In Scandinavia, religion and political power were a unity, Christianization starting with social elites was a convenient method against this background. The top/bottom strategy, characteristic of what happened in Norway, was probably the only possible way of getting rid of paganism. The rather tough methods used by King Olav, seemingly not quite in accordance with biblical ideas, must perhaps be understood as a result of a development within church laws and canonic ordinances. If groups of people fell back into a heathen cult, it was allowed to bring them back to the church using force (Burchard of Worms). Other factors perhaps cooperated, such as for instance eschatological ideas linked to the turn of the millennium. I conclude that the view of the sagas, i.e. that King Olav played a central role in the Christianization process, is reliable.
Edvard Edvardsens Bergensbeskrivelse har hatt stor innflytelse som kildeskrift, men er i liten grad blitt undersøkt som et selvstendig arbeid. Holberg bygde sin Bergenshistorie fra 1737 på denne teksten, og den er deretter blitt brukt som kilde av andre bergenshistorikere helt opp til i dag. Samtidig har den vanligvis blitt omtalt som enkel og lite analytisk, repeterende og vidløftig, og forfatteren selv som en tilsvarende velmenende, men naiv lokalpatriot. Artikkelen presenterer et nytt vitenskapshistorisk perspektiv på teksten og dens forfatter, og argumenterer for at Bergensbeskrivelsen bør forstås som del av den antikvariske lærdomstradisjonen i Europa.
Edvard Edvardsen's description of his home town, Bergen, was not published until the mid-nineteenth century, but has been frequently exploited as a source of other works. After the author's death in 1695, the philosopher and historian Ludvig Holberg based his own description of Bergen (1737) on the large manuscript of his childhood teacher, picking and choosing information and simplifying the presentation. Similar use of Edvardsen's work has been made up to the present. Very little research, on the other hand, has been done to develop an understanding of Edvardsen's work in its own right. Together with its author, it has rather been dismissed as naive and amateurish, a simple reflection of patriotic feeling and weak analytical perspectives. The article presents a new perspective on Edvardsen's work, lifting it out of its immediate context of local history and situating it within the frame of the European tradition of antiquarian studies. Edvardsen was a well-educated man, well versed in the modern philosophy and science of his time. He is known to have worked as an astrologer and natural philosopher, as well as an antiquary. The elements of his work on Bergen that have been judged strange and quaint by modern historians can readily be recognized as central elements of the antiquarian tradition. This concerns his choice and treatment of sources, the non-chronological mode of presentation and the local focus of the work. Furthermore, the structure of his text reflects the conventions of traditional rhetoric of praise. As a whole, Edvardsen's description of Bergen proves to be the work of a European scholar and a good example of early modern antiquarianism.
Hvorfor ble ikke militærtjeneste innført i Nord-Norge før i 1897 når militære mannskaper ble utskrevet fra resten av landet fra første halvdel av 1600-tallet? Og hvorfor ble det allikevel skrevet ut sjøsoldater fra Nordlands amt til tjeneste på Fredriksvern verft i Vestfold i en tyveårs-periode på annen halvdel av 1700-tallet? Hvordan artet denne utskrivningen seg, og hvorfor opphørte den? Svaret på det siste spørsmålet kaster lys over det første. Sentrale momenter er lav befolkningstetthet, mangel på arbeidskraft og motstand fra de lokale embetsmenn.
The article explores three questions: Why was military service not introduced in Northern Norway until 1897, when it was introduced in the rest of the country in the first half of the 17th century? Why were sea soldiers nevertheless conscripted from Nordland county to the Fredriksvern naval shipyard in south-eastern Norway for around twenty years in the second half of the 18th century? And, how did conscription turn out and why was it terminated? Conscription had actually been suggested by one of the county governors, probably for tactical reasons, to avoid something worse: drafting activity. Civil servants in Nordland county actively opposed conscription, claiming that it led to lack of manpower in a sparsely populated area. In this way they acted more as spokesmen for the county than as representatives of the state, and they finally succeeded. Low population density is probably also a key factor in explaining the first question besides lack of military threats.
Regjeringen Hornsrud er norgeshistoriens kortest sittende ministerium. Historikere har stort sett vært enige om at årsaken til regjeringens korte levetid finnes i den økonomiske situasjonen i månedsskiftet januar–februar 1928, og at daværende sentralbanksjef Nicolai Rygg spilte en avgjørende rolle. Men hvor avgjørende var egentlig denne rollen? På hvilket grunnlag valgte Rygg å involvere seg i regjeringsspørsmålet? Og hvilken innflytelse øvde selskapet «Securitas», som av flere har vært implisert i hendelsen? Denne artikkelen søker å besvare disse spørsmålene i lys av nytt kildemateriale. Den finner grunn til å hevde at Ryggs standpunkt hadde stor betydning for tidspunktet regjeringen falt på. Ryggs motiver var imidlertid mer sammensatte og dynamiske enn tidligere litteratur kan gi inntrykk av.
The Hornsrud Cabinet of 1928 was Norway’s first Labour government, an office held for a shorter time than any other government in Norwegian history. Historians have traced the causes of the Cabinet’s short life in the extraordinary economic situation and in the intervention of Central Bank Governor Nicolai Rygg. Rygg (first allegedly, later admittedly) exploited his influence on the Liberal Party in persuading its representatives to vote together with the Conservative/Agrarian bloc on a motion of no confidence against the new Cabinet. According to this article, however, historians have been unsuccessful in providing a sufficiently clear and consistent explanation of why the governor chose to intervene. In addition, the ambiguous role of the secret company «Securitas» – its influence on the governor and others – is hardly ever addressed. This article seeks to explore these questions in the light of new source material, primarily Rygg and Securitas’s own minutes. Contrary to older perceptions, it holds that Rygg actually – and primarily – wanted the Labour Cabinet to remain in office. No evidence is found that Securitas, however central in the discussions at the time, had any actual or direct influence on the fate of the government. Only the Cabinet’s resistance to Rygg’s different attempts at solving the dire monetary situation convinced him of the necessity to intervene.