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Memory Of The Past And Old Norse Identity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with "memory" as it refers to "stories and knowledge about the past," and especially how such stories or knowledge were used to create identity on diff erent levels, as for example individual identity, family identity, identity connected to geographical areas or common customs and belief. The importance of memory in Old Norse society is emphasized by the fact that people were not only preoccupied by the memory of their own past, but by the way they would be remembered once they themselves had become the past. Great historical changes may demand changes in a community's memory of the past. Christianization was in many ways a mental earthquake which moved the Nordic center of the world from Southern Scandinavia to the South-to Rome, Byzantium and Jerusalem.

Keywords: Christianization; community's memory; individual identity; Old Norse identity



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