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Arason, Jon

ARASON, JON (1484-1551), Icelandic bishop and poet, became a priest about 1504, and having attracted the notice of Gottskalk, bishop of Holar, was sent by that prelate on two missions to Norway. In 1522 he succeeded Gottskalk in the see of Holar, but he was soon driven out by the other Icelandic bishop, Ogmund of Skalholt. His exile, however, was brief, and some years after his return he became involved in a dispute with his sovereign, Christian III., king of Denmark, because he refused to further the progress of Lutheranism in the island. Then in 1548, when a large number of the islanders had accepted the reformed doctrines, Arason and Ogmund joined their forces and attacked the Lutherans. Civil war broke out, and in 1551 the bishop of Holar and two of his sons were captured and executed. Arason, who was the last Roman Catholic bishop in Iceland, is celebrated as a poet, and as the man who introduced printing into the island.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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