The dissertation is a comparative analysis of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s and Snorri Sturlusson’s descriptions of paganism and uses of pre-Christian history. What was the function of these pre-Christian narratives, and what apporaches were used by the two authors to construct a complete image of the past, acceptable to their contemporary societies? The dissertation identifies three main approaches to paganism: rejection, glorification, and modification and discusses the two authors' use of these in light of Classical, patristic and early medieval sources, as well as the religious and politcal circumstances in medieval England and Scandinavia. One of the main arguments in the dissertation is that the two authors' use of demonisation as a rejecting strategy has been exaggerated by modern scholars. Moreover, both Snorri and Geoffrey clearly projected contemporary ideas onto pre-Christian history in order to use it for political purposes, either as legitimation for royal and aristocratic dynasties, or as exemplary images of idealised rulership which could influence the powerful.