Centre for Agrarian Historical Dynamics


Axel Kristinsson is now working on a book that will probably be called Expansions: Competition and Conquest in Europe since the Bronze Age. It is an investigation into recurring phenomena in world history although the book is almost exclusively concerned with Europe. These phenomena are termed 'expansion cycles' and are episodes characterized by popular armies (usually expressed as 'warrior-farmers'), population growth, intensification in agriculture, political expansion and, last but not least, egalitarian and democratic tendencies. Examples of these include the Greek expansion in the 'Archaic' period, Gallic expansion of the mid 1st millennium BC, Germanic expansion of the Migration period, Viking expansion and Modern European expansion. The book aims to unravel the socio-political mechanisms that lie behind these expansion cycles and to explain why and how they occurred.

In accordance with CAHD methodology, the book examines several historical societies (including Medieval Iceland) to build up a general model of expansion cycles and related trends.

Work on the book has been underway since 2004 and is now nearing its end.