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5. No Soil for Saints: Why was There No Native Royal Martyr in Man and the Isles?

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Chapter Summary

Royal saints are a common phenomenon throughout Europe. What is striking with regard to Scandinavia is the great popularity of royal martyrs. A look at the Scandinavian similarities serves to formulate a recipe for royal martyrdom and to discern which ingredients were missing in Man and the Isles. The first ingredient is a suitable candidate. To be eligible, the future saint had to be royal, that is, at least a member of the ruling dynasty. Second ingredient might be termed the interest of the successors to promote the cult; otherwise it would be a still-born one. Consequently, the third ingredient in the recipe for royal martyrs would be a fertile socio-religious breeding-ground. King and bishop were at loggerheads for too long, and in the relative development between monarchy and church the right moment for the creation of royal martyrs had been missed.

Keywords: Isles; monarchy; royal martyrs; royal saints; Scandinavian



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