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The Childhood Of A Saint

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Chapter Summary

Guðmundr Arason's clerical career and the miracles which he performed as a grown up man attracted the majority of the biographers' attention. Whether a mistake or a disagreement among the authors is to blame, the actual day of Guðmundr's birth in 1161 is difficult to establish. The description of Guðmundr's earliest years is certainly no less impressive than that of St. Þorlákr or Jón. Guðmundr, the second son of Ari Þorgeirsson and Úlfheiðr Gunnarsdóttir and one of their four children, was born at Grjótá in Hörgárdalur. The similarity of names and their meaning is an interesting issue in this context. Many medieval hagiographies contain digressions on the etymological source and connotations of the saint's name. The fact that Guðmundr entered a new stage of life at the age of seven might be a coincidence.

Keywords: childhood; Guðmundr Arason; Jón; medieval hagiographies; saint; St. Þorlákr



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