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The Christianization of IcelandPriests, Power, and Social Change 1000-1300$
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Orri Vesteinsson

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207993

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207993.001.0001

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The Church and the Increase in Social Complexity

The Church and the Increase in Social Complexity

(p.238) 6 The Church and the Increase in Social Complexity
The Christianization of Iceland

Orri Vésteinsson

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses priesthood as a stepping-stone needed for the development of complex power in Iceland. A great number of chieftains were priests and church owners in the early and mid-twelfth century. Owning churches and being priests helped chieftains to consolidate their powers. They forged strong ties with the households who lived closest to them by providing services for them and receiving tithes from them.

Keywords:   church, social complexity, complex power, priesthood, chieftains

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