This chapter introduces the book and provides background on modern and medieval theories of social memory. It discusses the work of scholars such as Maurice Halbwachs, Paul Connerton, and Pierre Nora and considers the relevance of their theories to the medieval context. The chapter then compares their views to medieval theories of memory, particularly those of Snorri Sturluson. It then discusses the role of the skald at the early medieval court and the relationship between skaldic poetry and social remembrance. It also discusses forms of poetic commemoration in Viking-Age Scandinavia and presents the main arguments of the book, concluding with an overview of each of the following chapters.
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