Gissur Þorvaldsson

This is an Icelandic name. The last name is a patronymic, not a family name; this person is properly referred to by the given name Gissur.

Gissur Thorvaldsson (1208 12 January 1268) (Icelandic: Gissur Þorvaldsson) was a medieval Icelandic chieftain or goði of the Haukdælir family clan, and great-grandson of Jón Loftsson.

Gissur played a major role in the period of civil war which is now known as Age of the Sturlungs: he fought alongside Kolbeinn the Young against the forces of Sturla Sighvatsson of the Sturlungar clan in the Battle of Örlygsstaðir in 1238 and led the force of men who murdered saga-writer Snorri Sturluson in 1241, at the behest of Haakon IV, King of Norway. In 1258, he was made Earl of Iceland (Icelandic: jarl) for his loyal service to the king. He held this title until his death.

Gissur worked actively to promote the Old Covenant (Icelandic: Gamli sáttmáli), an agreement which brought Iceland under the sovereignty of the Norwegian crown in 1264. The covenant is hence sometimes known as Gissur's Covenant, or Gissurarsáttmáli.

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