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The Orkney Context

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Chapter Summary

Our knowledge of the immediate events relating to the emergence of the cult of Earl Magnus of Orkney is almost entirely based on Orkneyinga saga. It is also told, that Vilhjalmr, the bishop of Orkney at the time, showed scepticism and indifference towards rumours relating to the same matter. Further, it is of interest that Shetlanders feature in the majority of the miracles where the origin of the people involved is noted and, moreover, there are more church dedications of St Magnus on Shetland than Orkney. From the emergence of the Orkney earldom in the ninth century the earls recognized the nominal overlordship of the Norwegian kings. There are some notable similarities between the ruling house in Orkney in the twelfth century and the princely dynasties of the relatively newly converted peripheral lands of Christian Europe in the same period, such as Kievan Rus', Hungary, Bohemia and Denmark.

Keywords: Norwegian kings; Orkney; Orkneyinga saga; overlordship

10.1163/ej.9789004155800.i-272.13
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004155800.i-272.13
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