Bandamanna saga

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Bandamanna saga (Icelandic pronunciation: ​[ˈpantamanːa saɣa]About this sound listen ) is one of the sagas of Icelanders. It is the only saga in this category that takes place exclusively after the adoption of Christianity in the year 1000.

The story starts with the relationship between Odd son of Ofeig and Ospak son of Glum; Ospak is the nephew of Grettir. Odd, with little help from his father, became rich and Ospak was known for his difficult character. Ospak asks to live with Odd at the latter's home; Odd agrees because of Ospak's connections even though he is aware of the man's reputation. Things go well until Odd wants to make a trading trip. He has to talk Ospak into becoming his steward and priest, although Ospak actually wants to do those things. While Odd is away, Ospak woos a rich woman named Svala and moves to her lands after a falling-out with Odd over the priesthood after Odd comes home.

Although everything went fine while Odd was away, after Ospak moves out Odd's animals start to go missing and Vali, who was raised by Odd's father and now lives with Odd, promises to find out if Ospak stole them as Odd suspects. Vali tells Ospak that he is suspected, and is killed later when he and Odd visit Ospak's home by mistake for Odd. Odd tries to bring Ospak to trial but makes a legal mistake and fails.

Going home disappointed, Odd meets his father, who promises to take on the case if paid what Odd would have paid anybody else who could have fixed things. Ofeig gets the jurymen to agree to do what they want to do, condemn somebody as infamous as Ospak, and get paid into the bargain, in spite of the legal technicality.

The bribe is suspected by Thorarin, father of Ospak's wife, and his friend Styrmir, and they form a band and swear an oath with six other men to take Odd to court and hopefully fine him of all his money.

The rest of the story is about Ofeig's handling of the case and its outcome. Ofeig, very skillfully, convinces two of the other six men conspiring against Odd (the six men being known as the "Confederates") into helping them instead with even more bribery, convincing them that they will get no money because Odd is already gone, that they will look like embarrassed fools when they are caught and promises one of them that Odd will marry one of their daughters (works out for Odd). They agree and Ofeig convinces the court that if they are allowed one thing in this court case (where 6 (the Confederates) against 1 (Odd) is unconventional) it is that at least Ofeig can choose 2 of the men within the Confederates to decide the case and punishment. As previously agreed by Ofeig and the 2 men, they find him guilty but charge him very minimally. Thus, they (the two Confederates) do not break their oaths with the other Confederates and still get money. All parties but the remaining conspirators win.

External links[edit]


Ellison, Ruth C., trans. "The Saga of the Confederates." in The Sagas of Icelanders: A Selection, edited by Örnólfur Thorsson and Bernard Scudder, 463-95. New York: Penguin,2001.