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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter of the second part of this book is an attempt to ask questions regarding Cnut the Greats consolidation of political power in Scandinavia in accord with those asked about England. It is impossible to approach the same questions about Cnuts hegemony in Scandinavia using similar evidence to that extant for England. The most reliable evidence for Scandinavia is archaeological and numismatic, and, where possible, these sources have been used to create some context for the sparse and often questionable written sources. This approach has proved fruitful in the study of Denmark, and has produced conclusions from the available evidence. The use of such literary evidence allows us to understand more clearly some of the differences between Cnuts seizure of control over Norway and Denmark and England, and the conclusions reached here are suggestive of a shift in Cnuts own conception of his authority late in his reign.

Keywords: Cnut the Great; England; political power; Scandinavia



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