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The Poetics of CommemorationSkaldic Verse and Social Memory, c. 890–1070$
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Erin Michelle Goeres

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198745747

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198745747.001.0001

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(p.170) (p.171) Conclusion
The Poetics of Commemoration

Erin Michelle Goeres

Oxford University Press

This chapter reiterates the main arguments that have been raised in the book. It notes that a wide range of commemorative texts may be found within the corpus of Viking-Age skaldic verse. Although the function of praise-poetry is often characterized as the simple exchange of reputation for honour, it is concluded that commemorative texts could fulfil a variety of functions, including the legitimation of power, the re-establishment of social and political order, and resistance to the new king’s reign. It is further noted that the role of commemoration changed with the Christianization of Scandinavia as poetic texts also came to function as hagiography and advice to princes. It is argued that skaldic commemoration was intimately linked to expressions of political and social identity.

Keywords:   social memory, commemoration, skaldic verse, identity, Viking Age

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