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Chapter Summary

The power of the ruler, and ideology, are central elements in the political, social, religious and cultural development of the North during the transition from the Viking to the Middle Ages. The medieval European Christian ideology of rulership has been widely discussed both in European and Nordic scholarly circles. Geographically and culturally, one understands 'The North' to encompass the modern Nordic countries where the focus is on Scandinavia and Iceland, the Atlantic Islands including the Orkneys and the Faeroes, and Ireland. The main focus of this chapter is on questions and problems connected to the transition from pagan rulership to Christian kingship. Within the focus on the relation between power and religion, the chapter concentrates on ideological elements connected to power, rather than on economic, political, or military aspects. Ideology encompasses both the construction of a culture's worldview and the explanations that unite this culture.

Keywords:Faeroes; Iceland; Ireland; medieval European Christian ideology; Middle Ages; Orkney; Scandinavia; Viking Ages



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