Cloisters and Culture in Iceland and the North 
in the Middle Ages

Grégory Cattaneo

Fimmtudaginn 23. janúar 2014 kl. 16.30
Árnagarði 423

Benedictine monasticism and local powers. An examination of two 13th-century charters from Þingeyraklaustur

Grégory Cattaneo 01
Grégory Cattaneo

This paper proposes to analyse how the Icelandic Benedictine house of Þingeyrar in the Northern diocese exerted power over the neighbouring territory from its foundation in the first half of the 12th century to the middle of the 13th century. Of the four Benedictine monasteries founded in Iceland, Þingeyraklaustur is the oldest and the most influential during this period. I will first present briefly the status of Benedictine monasticism in the 12th-13th centuries and its relation to local powers in Western Europe. The study is based on two 13th-century charters preserved in Þingeyrabók (AM 279 a 4to, fols. 8r and 12-13). I will analyse these documents and reposition them—where possible—within the wider context of Benedictine monasticism.

Grégory Cattaneo is a doctoral student in history at Sorbonne and the University of Iceland where his doctoral project concentrates on power in medieval Iceland. His research deals especially with military history and feudal societies.