Sturla Thordarson – power and talent united in one person

September 18th, 2014 is glad to inform that Iceland Post has issued a commemorative stamp to mark the 800th anniversary of its great writer – Sturla Thordarson. This talented person was also a chieftain, a poet and an historian. The stamp was released and put into circulation on the 11th of September.

The main sources on his life are to be found in the Saga of Icelanders which he himself composed. He was one of the most powerful men in Iceland and witnessed many of the dramatic events that he later described. Sturla was the nephew of Snorri Sturluson.

After Snorri's execution in 1241 Sturla became the one of the most influential leaders of the Sturlungs who sought his advice and support. His power base was mainly around Breiðafjörður in the west. Sturla wrote about the two main battles in the Age of the Sturlungar: the battle of Örlygsstaðir 1238, in which he himself participated, and the burning of Flugumýri in 1253.

His accounts of these events are among the most terrifying and dramatic composed in the 13th century. Sturla excels in describing characters, battle scenes and dreams and prophecies predicting major events. Sturla is reputed to have written the saga of Grettir the Strong and other sagas. The stamp motif is the Saga of Hákon King of Norway which Sturla wrote, a stylized Viking helmet and a quill point.

Tags: #Iceland