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Miserabiles Personae - society's pitiable persons.

Would you like more about medieval childhood and life? The exhibition Miserabiles personae tells about life in the time of King Magnus the Lawmender's Code of 1274, Norway's first national law, and the first law to admit judicial protection and rights to the unfortunate and underprivileged.

Come and experience an exiting exhibition for children and adults alike!

This exhibition tells about growing up and living in medieval times, and how King Magnus the Lawmender's innovative Code of 1274 changed established society. It was the first common code for the entire country, and thus gave stronghold to the power of the King and state, but it was also a social game changer - it offered protection and admitted rights to the formerly unprotected groups in society.

Introducing the idea of common rights for all into the code was revolutionary in 1274, but this idea, and the values that support it, is at the very foundation of our modern welfare state. Magnus the Lawmender's Code is also one of the first national codes we know of in Europe. This Code thus gives Norway a prominent place in judicial history, and can be said to have strongly contributed to society as we know it.

In the exhibition you also meet Sigurd Brynjulvsson Aga, who owned the estate Aga and lived in the oldest building in Agatunet, the Legist's house from 1220. Sigurd was a knight, councilman to the king, and legist. He belonged to a powerful elite with strong connection to central power, that was occupied with putting the new ideas and code into practice. His status bears witness to the strong position of Hardanger and Aga in medieval times.

Miserabiles personae is a travelling exhibition curated by The Norwegian Children's Museum, in cooperation with The National Code Project 2014-2024, and the University of Bergen.

We also display works inspired by the Code of 1274, by artist Anne Hesvik.

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