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Battle of Örlygsstaðir

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Title: Battle of Örlygsstaðir  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Age of the Sturlungs, Gissur Þorvaldsson, Military history of Iceland, Sighvatr Sturluson, Sturla Sighvatsson
Collection: 1238 in Europe, 1238 in Iceland, 13Th Century in Iceland, Battles of the Middle Ages, Conflicts in 1238
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Battle of Örlygsstaðir

Battle of Örlygsstaðir
Part of Age of the Sturlungs
Date 21 August 1238 (trad.)
Location Örlygsstaðir, Iceland
Result Ásbirningar victory
Sturlungar Ásbirningar
Commanders and leaders
Sighvatur Sturluson 
Sturla Sighvatsson 
Kolbeinn Arnórsson
Gissur Þorvaldsson
~1000 ~1700
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

The Battle of Örlygsstaðir was a historic battle fought by the Sturlungar against the Ásbirningar and the Haukdælir clans in northern Iceland. The battle was part of the civil war that was taking place in Iceland at the time between various powerful clans during the time known as the Age of the Sturlungs.

The Battle of Örlygsstaðir was fought on 21 August 1238 between Sighvatur Sturluson (brother of Snorri Sturluson) and his son Sturla Sighvatsson on the one hand, and Kolbeinn ungi and Gissur Þorvaldsson (later Earl Gissur) on the other. Sighvatur had nearly 500 men but there no evidence available of Sturla's following. Gizurr and Kolbeinn had almost 1700 men in total. The latter faction was victorious after a short battle.[1] Over 50 men were killed on that day,[2] including Sighvatur and Sturla. According to Saga of the Icelanders, Gizurr only lost seven men whereas Kolbeinn lost none.[1]

Five others, including Þórir Jökull Steinfinnsson, were executed by beheading following the battle. The names of those who perished on that day are recorded in the Íslendinga saga which is included as a part of the Sturlunga saga.[2]

In 1988 a memorial was raised on the site of the battle, which describes the battle.


  1. ^ a b Karlsson, Gunnar (2000). The History of Iceland. pp. 80–81. 
  2. ^ a b (Historical Places in Northwest Iceland)Örlygsstaðir

Other sources

  • Jón Jóhannesson, Magnús Finnbogason and Kristján Eldjárn (eds.) Sturlunga Saga, Vol 1 & 2, (Sturlunguútgáfan, Reykjavík: 1946)
  • Árni Daníel Júlíusson, Jón Ólafur Ísberg, Helgi Skúli Kjartansson Íslenskur sögu atlas: Volume 1, Frá öndverðu til 18. aldar (Almenna bókafélagið, Reykjavík: 1989)

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