Iceland is an odd place with an odd history. Despite being ranked among the wealthiest nations today, for much of its history it was left out of the growth and development of culture and technology throughout the Medieval period. It has never been a particularly hospitable environment for human habitation. Wind-blasted, cold, and rocky, it was an island left unsettled by humans long after it was discovered.
The Norse expansion into the North Atlantic is remarkable testimony to the maritime transformation of the early medieval world.
Norse North Atlantic Textiles and Textile Production: A Reflection of Adaptive Strategies in Unique Island Environments
Textile production was a key industry for the Norse colonies of the North Atlantic during the late Viking and Medieval period.
Although Egil’s Saga is memorable enough for its bloodshed, feuds, and comically disgusting mead-hall scenes, the one characteristic which most distinctly sets it apart from the other Icelandic sagas is its extensive use of poetry.
I shall first tell you briefly about Snorri’s background and his education and discuss his Edda, where he appears as mythographer, among other things, and then tell you about his career as a politician and discuss his Sagas of the Norwegian Kings.
How did medieval people pass the time during the coldest part of the year? I came across several instances of medieval people strapping on skates and taking a twirl (or a tumble!) on the ice. Here is how it all began!
Here is MaryAnn R. Adams’ winning advice on how to deal with Norse kings.
Skriðuklaustur monastery was the youngest of nine cloisters operated in Iceland during the Catholic period of the Middle Ages.
From Antiquity to the present day, the idea of the dead returning to interact with the living has greatly influenced human imagination, and this has been reflected in literature — the product of that imagination.
The purpose of the study was to evaluate dental health in Iceland 1000 years ago.
This month, a scholar is using Twitter to tell the stories of thirty lesser known tales written by Icelanders.
One book leads to the next. It’s a truism among writers, and particularly apt for explaining how my latest book, Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them, published by St Martin’s Press in September, came to be.
Read an excerpt from the latest book by Nancy Marie Brown
Medieval Icelandic literature is full of violence, calculated and reasoned violence, narrated in such a way as to focus largely on issues of personal honor and justice, less so on the spectacle of blood so common in the modem Hollywood action film.
This paper examines the relationship between the Sagas of Icelanders, which are concerned with tenth- and eleventh-century events, and the contemporary sagas of the mid-thirteenth century.
Comparison of the distribution of pagan burials in Iceland with medieval information about the number of farmers in different parts of the country allows a division of the country into three zones of low, medium and high frequency of pagan burials relative to the number of settlements.
The first saint from Iceland was Thorlak Thorhallsson. The saga of his life reveals dozens of the miracles that were attributed to him after his death. Here are ten of these miracles, which reveal much about religion and daily life in medieval Iceland.
It has long been believed that the first people to inhabit Iceland were the Norse settlers who arrived around the year 874 AD. However, the discovery of Christian crosses carved into man-made caves in the southern part of the island is offering evidence that Celtic-speaking people from Scotland and Ireland had come to Iceland around the beginning the ninth century.
Iron production may be used as a window through which to view, in part, the economic structure of Icelandic society during the Viking Age (c. AD 870-1000) and Early Medieval (AD 1000-1264) periods.
Local and Traditional on the Millennial Scale: Sustainable Waterfowl Management from Viking Age Iceland
Inhabited by Vikings since approximately 600 AD, the islands hosts an abundant, but terribly fragile resource, puffins, flightless birds that nest on rocky exposed cliffs, in easy range of the islanders other prime food source, pigs.