Recent Translations of the Medieval Icelandic Bishops' Sagas


  • Ryder C. Patzuk-Russell University of Iceland



Iceland, Medieval history, Icelandic Sagas, Medieval Christianity


This article reviews the two most recent English-language translations of medieval sagas of Icelandic bishops, both from 2021: Margaret Cormack's The Saga of St. Jón of Hólar, published with the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and Theodore M. Andersson's Bishops in Early Iceland, published with the Viking Society for Northern Research. Both translations represent valuable new contributions to the field. In addition to a critical overview of these texts, the article overviews the history of English translations of the genre of medieval Icelandic bishops' sagas.

Author Biography

Ryder C. Patzuk-Russell, University of Iceland

Ryder C. Patzuk-Russell is a researcher at the Centre for Nordic and Old English Studies at the University of Silesia in Katowice. His first monograph, The Development of Education in Medieval Iceland, was released in February 2021 by MIP and De Gruyter.


Andersson, Theodore M., trans. 2021. Bishops in Early Iceland. London: Viking Society for Northern Research.

Basset, Camilla. 2013. Hungrvaka. MA dissertation: University of Iceland.

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Cormack, Margaret, trans. 2000. The Saga of Bishop Jón of Hólar. In Medieval Hagiography: an Anthology, edited by Thomas Head, 595–629. New York: Routledge, 2000.

———. 2021. The Saga of St. Jón of Hólar. With an introduction by Peter Foote. Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (ACMRS).

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Jakobsson, Ármann and David Clark, trans. 2013. The Saga of Bishop Thorlak. London: Viking Society for Northern Research.

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McGrew, Julia H., trans. 1970-74. Sturlunga saga. Vol 1-2. New York: Twayne Publishers, Inc.

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Simpson, Jacqueline, trans. 1965. The Northmen Talk: A Choice of Tales from Iceland. London: Phoenix House.

Turville-Petre, E.O.G and E.S. Olszewska, trans. 1942. The Life of Gudmund the Good, Bishop of Holar. London: Viking Society for Northern Research.

Vigfússon, Guðbrandur and F. York Powell, ed. and trans. 1905. Origines Islandicae: A Collection of the More Important Sagas and Other Native Writings Relating to the Settlement and Early History of Iceland. Vol. 1–2. Oxford: Clarendon Press.




How to Cite

Patzuk-Russell, R. C. (2023). Recent Translations of the Medieval Icelandic Bishops’ Sagas. Scandinavian-Canadian Studies, 30, 1–12.