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Óðinn, Valholl And The Einherjar. Eschatological Myth And Ideology In The Late Viking Period

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Chapter Summary

The following discussion focuses on the cultus of three royal saints in medieval Scandinavia, Óláfr II Haraldsson, Knútr IV Svensson and Eiríkr JatvarSarson. The main questions addressed in this chapter concern the way in which the veneration of these kings influenced the construction of a specific ideology; the ideology of power which legitimised a particular family's rights to the throne. The chapter examines the role of the royal successors of Óláfr, Knútr and Eiríkr in the cults of the three saints. These successors were at the same time close family members: sons, brothers and half-brothers of the dead royal martyrs. The three Scandinavian royal saints were all proclaimed martyrs. Three aspects of the cult of saints are significant here: first, the making of saints from the royal line; second, the association between the kings and particular saints; third, the royal role in the cult of relics.

Keywords:Óláfr; cultus; Eiríkr; Knútr; Scandinavian royal martyrs



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