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Chapter Summary

This section illustrates a genealogy of the ruling house of Orkney. One is hard pressed to think of a topic that involves as many diverse aspects of medieval Scandinavian society as the cults of the princely martyrs. For one thing, the literature and liturgy composed in the saints' honour represent some of the oldest known writings from the region. The book investigates on the literature and the early stages of a single cult: that of Earl Magnús of Orkney, born c. 1075 and executed in 1116/1117 on the orders of his cousin and co-ruler Hákon Pálsson. In the process the author places his hagiography and cult within a Scandinavian and wider European context.

Keywords: Earl Magnús; Hákon Pálsson; Scandinavian society



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