1246: Brandur Kolbeinsson, Age of the Sturlungs beheading

On this date in 1246, Brandur Kolbeinsson suffered a summary beheading.

The chieftain of Iceland’s powerful √Āsbirningar clan — it was powerful until April 19, 1246 — Brandur lost a pivotal battle during Iceland’s decades-long era of civil strife in the 13th century, the Age of the Sturlungs.

The victor, Thordr Kakali Sighvatsson, wisely offered leniency to his vanquished foes inducing many to swear oaths that helped Thoror cement his hold on the north of Iceland. But two chiefs are too many, and when Brandur was overtaken fleeing the battlefield, he was beheaded summarily. A crucifix erected in the 21st century now marks the spot.

On this day..