Elizabeth Rowe discusses how epidemics repeatedly struck the isolated community of Iceland in the later Middle Ages, and contemporary annals record them in ways that range from the horrifying to the humorous.
Do we share a sense of humour with Vikings? Dr Hannah Burrows talks about what might have made the Vikings laugh, and what was considered a serious matter in medieval Scandinavia. She will explore what puns, jokes, insults, and satire can tell us about early Scandinavian culture and social concerns.
We know that Norse settlers came to Iceland in the ninth century, and that Irish monks likely lived on the island before that. However, new research suggests that the ancient Greeks came to the northern island before the year 300 BC.
Then, in the middle of the night, the party was awakened by a noise as of someone fumbling about in the darkness: someone had broken into the farmhouse. The larder: the thief was in the larder.
As a medievalist it is sometimes a difficult task and I’m all too familiar with the refrain, “Why does something that happened 1,000 years ago matter?
Beñat Elortza Larrea describes the settlement of Iceland, the formation of its commonwealth and the eventual incorporation into the Norwegian tributary territories of the Atlantic Ocean.
The 12th-century AD Íslendingabók describes Iceland as having been ‘covered with woodland from the mountains to the seashores’ at the time of the Norse settlement in the late 9th-century AD.
Ármann Jakobsson attempts to answer the questions he keeps being asked about Icelandic sagas.
Icelandic annals record two severe plague epidemics for 1402-4 and 1494-95.
In Icelandic sagas, giants are described as awkward, evil and uncivilized, and curiously their diet mainly consists of two elements: horse meat and human flesh.
This eruption, which took place in 1257 at the Samalas caldera in Indonesia, caused a cooling effect across Europe until 1261, as the sulfur emissions from the volcano encircled the globe.
By Minjie Su You know the Christmas Cat, – That cat was enormous. People know not where he came from Nor to what…
This article examines how Mývatn Icelanders were able to partially connect to the continental trade in beads, the Baltic trade in flint, and to other European trade networks operating between the 9th and 15th centuries, and to what extent these networks were able to influence the early Mývatn economy.
In this thesis, I discuss how medieval Icelanders would have considered foreign languages and those people who could speak them.
The ghosts in sagas are no phantoms or incorporeal spirits, but appear to the living in their physical and tangible bodies at a dark time of the day or year. The dead look the same as they used to when they lived, and are thus easily recognized by the living.
This thesis tackles a globally significant issue in archaeology and palaeoecology that is subject to fierce and long-running debate – how best to synthesize large sets of radiocarbon (14C) dates to determine the most accurate and precise age ranges for key events in history.
The present study scrutinizes the outlawry and outlaws that appear in the Icelandic Family Sagas.
A doctoral student at the University of Iceland has recreated his dissertation in a novel way – by making it into a comic.
A team of researchers have shown that soon after the Norse arrived in Iceland, that island’s species of walrus went extinct.
At first sight, Jóns saga leikara is but your average chivalric romance, filled with exciting but somewhat generic little adventures.
Digital literary maps in particular, or maps that produce spatial data from texts that are considered imaginative or creative as opposed to charters or historical records, offer new critical possibilities for visualizing and understanding the interaction between spatial and geographic knowledge in literary texts.
In the Middle Ages, trolls were not really thought of a race or a species; that was a later development influenced by scientific taxonomy.
Comic, tragic, instructive, grandiose, witty and profound, the poems of the Edda have influenced artists from Wagner to Tolkien and a new generation of video-game and film makers.
This paper offers a visually distinct case of an under-represented and under-documented congenital condition for future identification within paleopathology.