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Allsherjargoði (Icelandic pronunciation: ​[ˈalsˌhɛrjarˌkɔði], All-People Chieftain; plural -goðar) was an office in the Icelandic Commonwealth, held by the goði who held the goðorð of the descendants of Ingólfr Arnarson, the first settler of Iceland. The role of the allsherjargoði was to sanctify the Althing as it began every year.

Þorsteinn Ingólfsson, son of Ingólfr Arnarson, was a goði when the Althing was founded in 930 and became the first allsherjargoði. His son, Þorkell máni Þorsteinsson, inherited the office ca. 945 while at the same time being lawspeaker. He was succeeded by his son Þormóðr Þorkelsson, who held office from 984 to 1020. His son, Hamall Þormóðsson held office until 1055. Hamall had three sons, Þormóðr, Torfi and Már but it is not known who of the three inherited the office and for the following century it is not known who held the office. In 1160, Guðmundr gríss Ámundason, presumably a descendant of Hamall, was in office as allsherjargoði. He held the office until his death in 1197 when his son, Magnús góði Guðmundarson, took over. Magnús held office until 1234. He had no sons and it is unknown who inherited the office after this. One theory holds that Árni óreiða Magnússon, nephew of Guðmundr gríss and son-in-law of Snorri Sturluson, inherited the office and became the last allsherjargoði. The Icelandic Commonwealth came to an end in 1262 when the goðar pledged fealty to the Norwegian king.

List of allsherjargoðar[edit]

From To Name
Office created in 930
c. 930 c. 945 Þorsteinn Ingólfsson
c. 945 984 Þorkell máni Þorsteinsson
984 1020 Þormóðr Þorkelsson
1020 1055 Hamall Þormóðsson
1055 1160 unknown
fl. 1160 Guðmundr gríss Ámundason
1160 1197 unknown
1197 1234 Magnús góði Guðmundarson
1234 1262 unknown
Office abolished in 1262

Years may be approximate.

See also[edit]


  • Gunnar Karlsson, Goðamenning. Investigation of the role of the goðar (chieftains) in the Old Commonwealth period. ISBN 9979-3-2553-4. ISK 4990. (2004)