The receptions of Kings, Dukes and Queens : rituals surrounding medieval Scandinavian courtly culture

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The receptions of Kings, Dukes and Queens : rituals surrounding medieval Scandinavian courtly culture

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Title The receptions of Kings, Dukes and Queens : rituals surrounding medieval Scandinavian courtly culture
Author(s) Småberg, Thomas
Date 2012
English abstract
European courtly culture began to permeate the three Scandinavian kingdoms during the 13th and 14th centuries. This meant that older power structures, such as the role of the king and queen as well as the role of the magnates, needed to be reinterpreted into a new language. Chivalry and courtly culture, perhaps especially courtly love, were phenomena that were generally little known by the aristocracy in these kingdoms. Chivalry and courtly culture was used by the secular elite as a means of maintaining and strengthening power, however, there were factors within these processes that were not clear cut. Kingship and noble power were not always striving towards the same goals, and it is possible to see that certain Scandinavian kings used these new trends in order to dominate. Ritual was a means of introducing these power structures and performative ritual was therefore an important factor in the construction of power in medieval Scandinavia. In this paper, rituals surrounding receptions and feasts in Sweden and Norway will be discussed, since on those occasions hierarchies and gender among other things were performed and witnessed. The paper will analyze these rituals as they were expressed in literary sources, namely one rhyme chronicle, Erikskrönikan, and three romances collectively known as Eufemiavisorna, all from the early 14th century. The paper argues that chivalry and courtly culture as they became expressed in Scandinavia differed from their European counterparts and that it is important to analyze the rituals used to express them. The paper also argues that certain older rituals were used and reinterpreted by the anonymous authors as a means of constructing new power structures while simultaneously maintaining links to the older magnate era.
Pages 1
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) ritual
chivalry
courtly culture
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION
Note 9th European Social Science History Conference, ESSHC, Glasgow, Scotland, UK Wednesday 11 - Saturday 14 April 2012
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/14479 (link to this page)

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