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Guðmundr’s Relationships With Powerful Laymen

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Chapter Summary

The characteristic feature of Guðmundr Arason's vitae on which modern research centres is the period of his episcopacy and the arguments with chieftains. Some of the powerful laymen discussed in this chapter are Kolbeinn Tumason, Sigurðr Ormsson, Arnórr Tumason, Þorvarðr Þorgeirsson, Ögmundr Þorvarðsson, Sighvatr Sturluson, Þórðr Sturluson, Snorri Sturluson, Hrafn Sveinbjarnarson, of Seldælir and Aron Hjörleifsson. Arons saga contains another interesting episode that was supposed to take place during his escape from Sturla and his men. Ambrosius saga provides a few convincing examples of the advantages powerful laymen had over their opponents when the bishop was on their side. Ironically, the difficult circumstances of Guðmundr's episcopacy and his involvement in struggles with powerful laymen helped the biographers create a different ideal of a bishop saint.

Keywords: Arons saga; bishop saint; chieftain; episcopacy; Gu&h;mundr; Kolbeinn Tumason; powerful laymen; Sigur&h;r Ormsson; Sturluson



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