A Struggle for the Realm : Late-medieval Swedish rhyme chronicles as ideological expressions
Sammanfattning: The period from the mid-fifteenth century to the early sixteenth century was characterised by recurrent political turmoil and conflict in Scandinavia in general, and in Sweden in particular. Political power was contested, not least because of the disputed conditions on which the Swedish realm should be governed as part of the Scandinavian union monarchy. Contenders for power based their claims on support from various factions of the ecclesiastical and secular aristocracy. Other groups within the realm played a crucial role as allies, supporters or armed levies.In A Struggle for the Realm, Margaretha Nordquist examines the late-medieval Swedish rhyme chronicles Sturekrönikan (c. 1496–1497) and Cronica Swecie (c. 1520–1523) as ideological responses to contemporary conflicts of power. The rhyme chronicles describe some of the key events and actors in the period, in ways that both differ and overlap. As partisan narratives written in support of particular political factions, the rhyme chronicles can be seen as verbal contributions in a struggle for the realm. Nordquist's analysis shows that the realm functioned as a fundamental ideological construct in the chronicles. The realm and the Swedish community were key mobilising elements in the efforts to legitimate and consolidate certain positions of power, but the precise meaning and implications of the Swedish realm and the Swedish community were not fixed. The community of Swedes is primarily envisioned as a political and social entity, although the common, ancient origin of the people is an important element in Cronica Swecie. The concept of regnal ideology is used to describe the creation of ideological meaning in the rhyme chronicles. While the realm possesses substantial ideological validity in both chronicles, they differ in the particular configuration of power they advocate as a basis for the government of the realm.
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