Hólar and Belgsdalsbók

  • Anders Winroth Institutt for arkeologi, konservering og historie, Universitetet i Oslo
Keywords: Belgdalsbók, Jónsbók, Kristinréttr Árna Þorlákssonar, Grágás, canon law in Iceland, legal culture, manuscript culture, Hólar bishopric, Kristinna laga þáttr


The article argues that Belgsdalsbók (AM 347 fol.: Jónsbók and other texts) may have been the law book that was listed as “damaged” in the 1525 inventory of the property of Hólar bishopric. Three reasons suggest this conclusion. First, its earliest known owner was Steinunn Jónsdóttir, the daughter-in-law of the last Catholic bishop of Hólar. Second, its date and circumstances of production suggest that Bishop Jón Eiríksson skalli might have been its commissioner. Third, Belgsdalsbók contains unusual texts of interest to an ecclesiastical owner. In addition, the article suggests that another copy of Jónsbók, GKS 3269 a 4to, may also have belonged to Hólar bishopric.