Einar Benediktsson

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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 Einar.

Einar Benediktsson, often referred to as 'Einar Ben' (October 31, 1864 – January 12, 1940),[1] was an Icelandic poet and lawyer.

Einar Benediktsson's poetry was a significant contribution to the nationalistic revival which led to Iceland's independence. To this end, he was active both in founding the Landvarnarflokkurinn in 1902, and as the editor of Iceland's first daily newspaper, Dagskrá, from 1896 to 1898. He pioneered as a strong advocate of inward foreign investment to utilize Iceland's natural resources. As a poet, he may be classified as a Neo-Romantic.

His translations include English, and American poetry, and a masterpiece in rendering Henrik Ibsen's epic, Peer Gynt, into Icelandic. Einar Benediktsson was buried at Iceland's national shrine, Þingvellir. He has descendants living today in Iceland, other European countries, and the United States, most notably including former ambassador and namesake Einar Benediktsson (b. 1931).

He resided at Höfði house in northern Reykjavík for many years. Einar's statue, by Ásmundur Sveinsson, now stands near the house.


  • 1897: Sögur og kvæði (Stories and poems)
  • 1901: Pétur Gautur, translation from Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt.
  • 1906: Hafblik, poems
  • 1913: Hrannir, poems
  • 1921: Vogar, poems
  • 1930: Hvammar, poems

(See Í.A. 1990: 331)

Further reading[edit]

  • Íslenska Alfræðiorðabókin A-G. 1990. Editors: Dóra Hafsteinsdóttir and Sigríður Harðardóttir. Örn og Örlygur hf., Reykjavík.
  • Ljóðasafn, 1979, editor Kristján Karlsson.


  1. ^ Lögfræðingatal 1736-1992. Reykjavík: Iðunn. 1993.