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Title: St Cnut of Denmark, king and martyr : his lives, their authors and the politics of his cult (c. 1086-1200)
Author: Marchlewski, Ann-Kathrin
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2013
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King Cnut IV of Denmark reigned from 1080 to 1086. After his death a saint's cult celebrating him was established at Odense. However, little is known about him outside of Denmark. This is in part due to the limited accessibility of the texts about Cnut. This thesis provides a new edition of the hagiographical writings pertaining to King Cnut IV, for the first time accompanied by an English translation of the texts and a historical commentary on them. These important texts have previously been inaccessible to those students of history without the necessary translation skills. Thus, this thesis does not only aim to make these texts available to a new readership within academia, but by doing so to also encourage a deeper understanding of the life and cult of Cnut IV. The introduction seeks to sift historical fact from hagiographic fiction before presenting the two new editions. It begins by outlining the reign of Cnut IV, and the story of his death. This outline is followed by an introduction into the transmission, contents and dating of the two texts written to honour Cnut. It explores the context in which they were composed, and presents some theories about the reasons behind their composition and the possible identity of the author of the Gesta Swenomagni. The following chapters offer a closer examination of the cult of St Cnut. The liturgical as well as the artistic evidence for the cult of Cnut are surveyed in Chapters 3(c) and 3(d). The main body of the thesis is comprised of a new edition of AElnoth's Gesta Swenomagni. Based on the two surviving manuscripts and several earlier printed editions, it endeavours to reproduce the text as closely to the original as possible, without making any unmentioned 'corrections' to the grammar or language, as some of the older editions have done. It is accompanied by a historical commentary and an English translation, the first of its kind for this text. A new edition of the earlier Passio Sancti Kanuti is presented as the last part of the thesis, also accompanied by an English translation. This work will allow students without language skills in Latin and Danish easier access to the texts about St Cnut, and thus draw this intriguing saint to the attention of a wider international scholarship
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available