IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 242: Myths in the Far North, II: Origins and Stories

Monday 6 July 2015, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:'Creating the New North' Research Programme, Universitetet i Tromsø
Organiser:Richard Holt, Institutt for historie og religionsvitenskap, Universitetet i Tromsø - Norges Arktiske Universitetet
Moderator/Chair:Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough, Department of English Studies, Durham University
Paper 242-aChieftains and Conversion: Building the Norwegian Kingdom in the North
(Language: English)
Ståle Hagen-Pesch, Institutt for historie og religionsvitenskap, Universitetet i Tromsø - Norges Arktiske Universitetet
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Economics - Trade, Geography and Settlement Studies
Paper 242-bSt Olav of Norway: The Making of a Royal Saint, 1030 - c. 1200
(Language: English)
Stefan Figenschow, Department of Archaeology, History, Religious Studies and Theology, The Arctic University of Tromsø
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Hagiography, Political Thought
Paper 242-cWho Needs Origin Myths?: Norse Story-Telling before 1300
(Language: English)
Richard Holt, Institutt for historie og religionsvitenskap, Universitetet i Tromsø - Norges Arktiske Universitetet
Index terms: Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Political Thought
Abstract

The imposition of the authority of the Norwegian state on to the late Iron Age society of the northern region was a drawn-out process, coinciding with the introduction of Christianity and an organized Church. Meanwhile, the emerging monarchy and Church developed their own ideologies of social authority, enveloping kings and the rights of kingship in a framework of dynastic and religious myths. The creation of the St Olav figure, although perhaps originally a conqueror’s cult, expressed both religious and nationalist forces. In time the saint became a weapon the Church could use against monarchs, who in turn emphasized alternative ideologies of kingship.