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The Church And The Ideology Of Kingship

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Chapter Summary

Many of the advances made in propagation of the royal image during the late thirteenth century were due in no small measure to the Dominican friars. They played a key role in assisting the Swedish takeover of Finland, where they took the brunt of conversion activity, but also in less dangerous activities which strengthened the position of the Folkung kings. The king's position as lawgiver and highest judge was also closely linked to his relationship with sacral powers. There is no clear indication that sacral aspects of medieval Christian kingship were inherited from a Germanic past, except in so far as Christianity was adapted to Germanic beliefs, and it was in the context of this adapted Christianity that medieval sacral kingship developed. Ritual behaviour was ever present in medieval life, serving to establish the relationship and status of whoever was present in a given situation.

Keywords: Folkung kings; medieval Christian kingship; swedish churches

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