History of the Early and High Middle Ages and Auxiliary Sciences of History

Holy Heroes – Heroic Saints. Interdependency, Integration and Transformation of Discourses on Model Conceptions in Early and High Medieval Scandinavia. 

Our research aims at showing how the hagiographic construction of saints as exceptional figures shapes and transforms conceptions of role models. We want to analyse which functions these conceptions fulfill during a time that is characterised by the establishment of dynastic traditions as well as political and ecclesiastical centralisation

Latin hagiographic writings from early Christian Scandinavia are the central sources for this project. The depiction of Scandinavian saints is thus at the heart of the investigation. We distinguish between several types of saints, i.e. royal saints, missionary saints, and episcopal saints as well as female saints. The depiction of their lives and miracles will serve as the basis for an analysis of narrative strategies and intended functions for discourses on model conceptions.

Duration: January 2015-December 2017



Project members





Between 27 and 29 October 2016 the international and interdisciplinary conference “Sanctities. Constructions, Functions and Transfer of Conceptions of Sanctity in the European Early and High Middle Ages” took place at Kiel University.

More information here.

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