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Chapter Summary

The beginnings of hagiographic writing in medieval Icelandic literature are not very well known. Among the oldest sources on Guðmundr Arason that constitute the basis for the four variants of vita are two sagas included in the Sturlunga saga compilation, being, at the same time, contemporary sagas. Guðmundr's Miracle Book, Jarteinabók, consists of two parts that are rather different. Therefore Prestssaga used in the present discussion is the one from Sturlunga saga compilation. The Icelandic annals and bishops' sagas had some mutual influence on each other. Máldagar are charters containing church inventory books, lists of the churches' income and transactions; thus they are purely historiographic sources. The study of the perception of Gudmundr Arason as a saint could barely be regarded as sufficient if any of the mentioned sources were missing.

Keywords: Gudmundr Arason; hagiographic writing; Jarteinabók; medieval Icelandic literature; Prestssaga; Sturlunga saga compilation



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