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Chapter Summary

This study has examined the cult of and the hagiography relating to St Magnus, earl of Orkney, and sought to place both within a Scandinavian, and to a certain extent, European context. In the process, various aspects have been examined relating to the phenomenon of sanctity of secular leaders and the associated literature in the eleventh- and twelfth-century Scandinavian lands. The hagiographic pattern have highlighted in the Magnus corpus accords well with other works on Scandinavian princely martyrs, in particular the second Life on the Danish Knud Lavard. A similar pattern can be detected in relation to the better-known princely cults of Scandinavia. A similar pattern can be seen in relation to the origins of the cult of King Knud of Denmark. The same holds true in relation to the cults of secular leaders that did not enjoy official promotion by the two authorities.

Keywords: European contex; Scandinavian; St Magnus's hagiography



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