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Sturlunga Saga

The rôle of the Creative Compiler


Stephen Norman Tranter

«The less prepared the body of good men within the land are to act as mediators, the longer, more violent and less reconcilable will be the conflicts through which the land is plagued.» The prefatory sagas of the Sturlunga compilation develop this principle by incremental repetition of themes, of disintegration, of mediation and its collapse, of flawed reconciliation; the central work of the compilation, Sturla Thordarson's «Islendinga saga», provides the proof. The compilation as an entity is an «exemplum» calling on the leaders of 14th-Century Iceland to settle their differences amicably and avoid a return to Sturlung Age chaos.
Contents: Arbitrary Anthology or Creative Compilation? - The prefatory sagas: Thorgils and Haflidi, Sturla, Gudmund Dyri, Hrafn Sveinbjarnarson and Gudmund Arason - Sturlunga saga as a topical document.