Europe and North America are drifting apart, and where the plates diverge, an underwater volcanic mountain range has formed. It peeps above the ocean in several spots, the largest and most magnificent of which is Iceland. Iceland's underground magma and mountaintop glaciers have conspired to create a wonderland of fire and ice, the perfect setting for the development of a remarkable medieval culture.
In this episode, Noah Tetzner from the History of Vikings podcast joins us to discuss the settlement of Iceland, their literature (the sagas), their government, and their expansion to Greenland and North America.
There's Flóki, the raven-carrying discoverer who gave Iceland its name. There are Ingolf and Leif, the oil-and-water brothers who first settled the island. There's Aud the Deep-Minded, noblewoman and matriarch. There's Þorgeir Þorkelsson, who had to make a choice that would change Iceland forever. And there's Erik the Red and his son Leif, who set out to find new lands to the west.
In addition, listeners Brian Conn and Quinn Campagna describe their recent trips to the island and all the glorious natural wonders to see. And we'll have hot dogs (really), fermented shark meat (really), and Icelandic yogurt, or skyr, after a dip into the hot springs.
Ari Þorgilsson, The Book of the Icelanders
Averbuck, Alexis. Lonely Planet Iceland
Barraclough, Eleanor Rosamund. Beyond the Northlands: Viking Voyages and the Old Norse Sagas
The Book of Settlement (Landnámabók), translated by Thomas Ellwood
Ferguson, Robert. The Vikings: a History
Haywood, John. Northmen: the Viking saga, AD 793-1241
Konstam, Angus. Historical Atlas of the Viking World
Laxdæla Saga, translated by Muriel A. C. Press
Magnusson, Magnus. Vikings!
Rick Steves Iceland
Roberts, David. Iceland: Land of the Sagas
The Saga of Erik the Red, translated by J. Sephton
Music includes “Gjallar,” “Fólkvangr,” and “The Vikings” by Alexander Nakarada
Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com
Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Photograph by Andreas Tille