Sturlunga saga, a collection of Icelandic sagas by various authors, draws its name from the powerful clan of Sturla Þórðarson. It describes what has been called Iceland‘s most violent century, when the nation was wrought in bloody power conflict between ruling clans in Iceland. What sets Sturlunga apart from other sagas is that it was written contemporaneously to the events described in it, opposed to being a documentation of lives and events decades or centuries after the fact.
Sturla Þórðarson himself is believed to have contributed the majority of the content of the saga. Sturlunga saga is preserved in two manuscripts from 14th century, Króksfjarðarbók and Reykfjarðarbók – although not in its entirety – and copies from later times.
Contemporary authors have looked to Sturlunga for inspiration, for example Thor Vilhjálmsson, in the novels Sveigur and Morgunþula í stráum, and Einar Kárason in Ofsi and Óvinafagnaður.
Photo: From the manuschript AM 121 fol. (1630-1675).