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Legal history: western Europe & Scandinavia: Scandinavia: middle ages

The Sources


Following the disintegration of the Commonwealth during the turbulent Sturlung Age, Iceland fell under the control of the Norwegian king. Magnus VI of Norway drew up a law code for Iceland entitled JárnsíðaThis law code restructured the traditional Icelandic system of government, removing power from the goðar, and increasing the power of the Norwegian king. A copy of Járnsíða is available online, or from the English Faculty Library.


Jónsbók is a formal codification of the laws, written in 1281 by Jón Einarsson. It superseded the earlier Járnsíða code.

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