Sturla Þórðarson

Skald, Chieftain and Lawman


Sturla Þórðarson is one of only a handful of thirteenth-century Icelandic historians to be known by name, and he is certainly one of the most significant. A number of works may be traced directly to his literary-cultural circle, notably Landnámabók (The Book of Settlements), Íslendinga saga (The Saga of Icelanders) and Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar (The Saga of King Hákon). Moreover, it is thought that Sturla was involved in the production of the legal text known as Járnsíða, as well as annals and, possibly, some of the Íslendingasögur (Sagas of Icelanders).
In addition to his role as author and compiler, Sturla Þórðarson was one of the most powerful men in Iceland. In 1262 Sturla visited the court of King Magnús Hákonarson ‘the Law-mender’ in Norway as a court poet. He later became the king’s liegeman, and it was for King Magnús that Sturla wrote the sagas of King Hákon and King Magnús. Sturla served as lawman of all Iceland in the period 1272-77, and then as lawman for the north and west of the country until 1282. He died on 30 July 1284.
Contributors are Ann-Marie Long, Ármann Jakobsson, Auður Magnúsdóttir, Gísli Sigurðsson, Guðrún Ása Grímsdóttir, Guðrún Nordal, Gunnar Harðarson, Hans Jacob Orning, Helgi Þorláksson, Jón Viðar Sigurðsson, Lena Rohrbach, Patricia Pires Boulhosa, Philadelphia Ricketts, R.I. Moore, Randi Bjørshol Wærdahl, Roberta Frank, Sveinbjörn Rafnsson, Sverrir Jakobsson, Theodore M. Andersson, Úlfar Bragason and Verena Hoefig.

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Jón Viðar Sigurðsson is a Professor of History at the Institutt for arkeologi, konservering og historie, University of Oslo. He is the author of a great many monographs and articles on medieval Scandinavia including Chieftains and Power in the Icelandic Commonwealth (1999), Celtic-Norse Relationships in the Irish Sea in the Middle Ages 800-1200 (ed., 2014), and Viking Friendship: The Social Bond in Iceland and Norway, c. 900-1300 (2017).
Sverrir Jakobsson is a Professor of Medieval History at the University of Iceland. He has published monographs, and many articles, including the books Við og veröldin. Heimsmynd Íslendinga 1100-1400 (2005), Saga Breiðfirðinga I. Fólk og rými frá landnámi til plágunnar miklu (2015), and Auðnaróðal. Baráttan um Ísland 1096-1281 (2016).
All those interested in medieval historiography, Icelandic history and sagas, and legal history.
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