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The Long Adaptation Of Pagan And Christian Ideologies Of Rulership

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents some concluding remarks on the book's aim to contribute something new to the wide field of Nordic viking and medieval studies: a consideration of Nordic viking and medieval history of ideas. Viking Age power was based on an ideology deeply grounded in pagan religion and the pagan religious ideology of rulership played an exceedingly important role in Nordic societies from the Viking Age to the early Middle Ages. Three ideological elements can be distilled from these mythological and legendary patterns. Firstly, the old marriage-myth of the union with the (giant) utgarðr woman underlines the special character of the dynasty. Secondly, these tales might then have been transformed into an ideological representation of the forceful conquest. Thirdly, the myth could be adapted to represent the inclusion of lower social classes into the ruling elite.

Keywords: adaptation; Christian ideologies; pagan ideologies; rulership; Viking Age



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