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History of Iceland

Viking Age Iceland (Penguin History). Viking Age Iceland. A book that challenges the violent and lawless image of the Viking age and serves as a companion to the Icelandic sagas. The popular image of the Viking Age is of warlords and marauding bands pillaging their way along the shores of Northern Europe. In this history, Jesse Byock shows that Norse society in Iceland was an independent, almost a republican free state, without warlords or kings. Combining history with anthropology and archaeology, this study serves as a companion to the sagas, exploring all aspects of Viking Age life: feasting, farming, the power of chieftains and the church, marriage, and the role of women. With interpretations of blood feud and the sagas, Byock reveals how the law courts favoured compromise over violence, and how the society grappled with proto-democratic tendencies. A work with broad social and historical implications for our modern institutions, Byock's history aims to alter long-held perceptions of the Viking Age.

Gaelic Influence in IcelandGaelic Influence in Iceland: Historical and Literary Contacts - a Survey of Research. Gaelic Influence in Iceland. Scholars of Old Icelandic generally agree that Icelandic literature was influenced by the Gaelic world where oral literature was highly developed and written prose sagas were produced in the vernacular. Ireland and Iceland are the only countries in NW Europe where sagas of this kind were written down. The problem arises however when the importance of the influence on Icelandic culture has to be assessed. In this book, the author looks at the possible channels by which Gaelic influence could have reached Iceland and looks at the nature of the numerous parallels in different genres of Old Icelandic literature with Gaelic literature, especially Old Irish. The intention is two-fold: first, to provide a comprehensive bibliography of the subject, and second, to assess what these parallels can tell us about the importance of Gaelic influence for Icelandic literary tradition.

Iceland SagaIceland Saga. Magnus Magnusson relates the world-famous Icelandic sagas to the spectacular living landscapes of today, taking the reader of a literary tour of the mountains, valleys and fjords where the heroes and heroines of the sagas lived out their eventful lives. And he tells the story of the first Viking settler Ingolfur Anarson.

Manuscripts of Iceland. The Manuscripts of Iceland, which was organised by the Arni Magnusson Institute and opened in the Culture House in Reykjavik on October 5, 2002. In this collection of articles, scholars present the story of Icelandic manuscripts, their medieval origins, the literature they contain and its influence up to the present day. The meeting of written Christian and classical culture with the rich oral traditions in Iceland brought forth a remarkable literary flowering, an eloquent source of information about pagan Scandinavian culture and thought. In time this literature came to inspire the sense of national character in the Nordic countries and exerted notable influence in the German- and English-speaking worlds. This book is a tribute to the central role that medieval Icelandic literature played in forging national identities in Northern Europe.

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