From Asset in War to Asset in Diplomacy: Orkney in the Medieval Realm of Norway
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionIsland Studies Journal. 2013, 8 (2), 255-268.
The island province of Orkney played a crucial role in Norway’s overseas expansion during the Early- and High-Middle Ages. Located just offshore from mainland Scotland, it provided a resort for westward-sailing fleets as well as a convenient springboard for military forays into Britain and down the Irish Sea. The establishment of a Norwegian-Scottish peace and the demarcation of fixed political boundaries in 1266 led to a revision of Orkney’s role in the Norwegian realm. From that point until the its pledging to the Scottish Crown in 1468, Norway depended on Orkney as a hub for diplomacy and foreign relations. This paper looks at how Orkney figured in Norwegian royal strategies in the west and