In our last
Newsletter we mentioned one of our ancestors, Jón Loftsson, who for some time fostered the great historiographer Snorri Sturluson
and who may have inspired Snorri to write Heimskringla
, the magnificient story of the Norwegian kings from the very first beginning up to around 1100. Snorri also wrote Snorra Edda
, a fabulous book on teaching poetry and it's also believed that he wrote the story of Egill Skallagrímsson, called Egils saga.
More about Egill later (maybe).
From a painting
by Haukur Stefánsson
In continuation of mentioning Snorri the following question has been raised by one of the Newsletter's reader: Did Snorri Sturluson have descendants?
Oh Yes! he certainly had. And you are amongst them for sure!
Snorri (1178 - 23. Sept. 1241) had two children with his first wife. With his second wife he had children but they were not long-lived. Snorri had also illegitime children with at least three women and some of them are playing "the big roles" in the drama described in one of the Sagas called Sturlunga
(has been translated to english) where you can read about that magnificient period in the icelandic history which lasted for many, many decades and was caracterized by disputes, deceit, killings and struggle for power in Snorri´s own family; his brothers, their children and Snorri's own children's families (it's your family!). All these families were heavily fighting against each other for power in the country, dragging other big clans into the fights which sadly enough "ended" with the "Old Convenant" in 1302 based on an agreement made by Snorri's former son-in-law, Gissur Ţorvaldsson (1208-1268) and Hákon Hákonarson (Hákon gamli or Hákon the Old) king of Norway in the years 1262-1264. Gissur Ţorvaldsson, who had some years previous become the king's representative and Earl of Iceland, strived very much for power and indipendency. He managed so well to secure certain Icelandic causes in his dealings with King Hákon, that when the indipendance movement started in Iceland in the 19th century, more than 500 years later, the "Old Convenant" including "Gissur's Convenant" was used in the dispute with the Danes with good success. Gissur must have been a very good lawyer!
See the family tree
of Snorri Sturluson. All the notes are in Icelandic - Snorri's language :-) - and those of you who are able to read it should also take a look at a page describing the heavy battles fought in the period called "The Age of Sturlunga"
. Those pages were writter for my icelandic