This introductory chapter sets out the purpose of the book, which is to identify and describe the mechanisms which made Icelandic society change. The simplest way to identify and describe these mechanisms is to study the formation of the institutions of the Icelandic society which in turn is best examined in the context of the Church. In late medieval Iceland, the church was the dominating power. Its introduction has affected the structure of the society which had been established in Iceland by the eleventh century.
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