By Andrew Stellman, Jennifer Greene

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Helgadóttir, Hrafns saga, Introduction, pp. lxv–lxxiv; Úlfar Bragason, ‘Structure and Meaning’, pp. 278, 284. ’ Hrafns saga, p. 6. 32 Ronald C. Finucane, Miracles and Pilgrims. Popular Beliefs in Medieval England (London, 1995), pp. 62–3. 27 ÁSDÍS EGILSDÓTTIR 36 and on physicians or wise people. 33 But the ultimate power over life and death was in God’s hands. 34 The description of Hrafn’s cures are not very different from the miraculous cures related in the Icelandic saints’ lives. The need for divine sanction and support is obvious when Hrafn has to perform a risky operation.

Jóhann S. , 1953), pp. 124–5. This page intentionally left blank HRAFN SVEINBJARNARSON, PILGRIM AND MARTYR Ásdís Egilsdóttir Hrafn Sveinjarnarson was a wealthy goði or chieftain, in Vestfirðir in the far north-west of Iceland. Besides being a chieftain, he was a renowned physician and a widely-travelled pilgrim. His saga describes the feud between the protagonist Hrafn and his adversary Þorvaldr, which ended in Hrafn’s execution in 1213. The saga was probably written about two decades after Hrafn’s death.

183 (normalised). 19 Ásdís Egilsdóttir, ‘Mannfræði Höllu biskupsmóður’, Sagnaþing helgað Jónasi Kristjánssyni sjötugum 10. apríl 1994 (Reykjavík, 1994), pp. 11–18. 17 HRAFN SVEINBJARNARSON, PILGRIM AND MARTYR 33 shows mercy and rejects worldly wealth and glory. Þorvaldr and his family are depicted as the opposite, ambitious and avaricious. Hrafn makes a solemn vow to St Thomas, which leads to his pilgrimage to Canterbury, and later to St Giles and Rome. When he visits the shrine of St Giles, he prays to God that he might never receive such wealth nor renown that they would prevent him from enjoying heavenly glory.

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