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Secular Leaders Associated With Sanctity In The Twelfth-Century Scandinavian Lands

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Chapter Summary

The sources relating to the Scandinavian saints are not unique in stressing the harmony between regnum and sacerdotium in relation to the official recognition of a prince's saintly status. The patronage of the secular authority helped to secure the future success of the princely cults. Prior to achieving this status, however, the cults went through a preliminary phase during which the sanctity of the prince was upheld by ecclesiastics and/or the general population. In addition to the canonized princely martyrs, a number of secular leaders were associated with sanctity in the twelfth-century Scandinavian lands. It is reasonable to assume that the sources at our disposal do not tell about all the secular leaders associated with sanctity in this period. There are still more fundamental reasons why martyrdom of secular figures became the dominant recognised form of sanctity in the Nordic lands in our period.

Keywords: sacerdotium; sanctity; secular leaders; twelfth-century Scandinavian lands



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