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A Scandinavian Martyr-Cult in Context
Author: Haki Antonsson
The focus of this book is on the cult of St Magnús, Earl of Orkney, who was killed in 1116/1117 in an inter-dynastic dispute. More specifically, it looks at the emergence of the Magnús’ cult in the twelfth century and the hagiographical corpus that was composed in his honour by Icelandic and English men of letters. These aspects of the Orcadian cult are not, however, examined in isolation but are rather placed within broader Scandinavian and European contexts. Moreover, they provide points of departure for the examination of important topics relating to religious life and literature in early Christian Scandinavia, such as the earliest cults of native saints and the perception of martyrdom.