Snorre the Icelander tells us that the Danes fortified Southwark with ditch and rampart, which the English assailed in vain.
One of the most useful nutritious species is Cetraria islandica, " Iceland moss," which, after being deprived of its bitterness by boiling in water, is reduced to a powder and made into cakes, or is boiled and eaten with milk by the poor Icelander, whose sole food it often constitutes.
One of them is the "Saga of Eric the Red" as found in the collection known as Hauk's Book, so called because the manuscript was made by Hauk Erlendsson, an Icelander who spent much of his life in Norway.
Later, in 1003, an Icelander, Thorfinn Karlsefni, who was visiting the Greenland colony, and who had married Gudrid, the widow of Leif's brother Thorstein, set out with four vessels and 160 followers to found a colony in the new lands.
Almost every young Icelander of sufficient means and position, and a very large number of young Norsemen, made one or more viking expeditions.
Thorkelin, an Icelander, made or procured two transcripts of the poem, which are still preserved in the Royal Library at Copenhagen, and are valuable for the criticism of the text, the MS. having subsequently become in places less legible.
Fcereyinga tells the tale of the conversion of the Fa revs or Faroes, and the lives of its chiefs Sigmund and Leif, composed in the 13th century from their separate sagas by an Icelander of the Sturlung school.
His songs are mostly written in the medieval quatrains (ferskeytla), and are generally of a humorous and satirical character; his convivial songs are known by heart by every modern Icelander; and although some of the poets of the present day are more admired, there is none who is more loved by the people.
Among them are the sagas of Thorgils and Haflidi (I118-1121), the feud and peacemaking of two great chiefs, contemporaries of Ari; of Sturla (1150-1183), the founder of the great Sturlung family, down to the settlement of his great lawsuit by Jon Loptsson, who thereupon took his son Snorri the historian to fosterage, - a humorous story but with traces of the decadence about it, and glimpses of the evil days that were to come; of the Onundar-brennusaga (1185-1200), a tale of feud and fire-raising in the north of the island, the hero of which, Gudmund Dyri, goes at last into a cloister; of Hrafn Sveinbiornsson (1190-1213), the noblest Icelander of his day, warrior, leech, seaman, craftsman, poet and chief, whose life at home, travels and pilgrimages abroad (Hrafn was one of the first to visit Becket's shrine), and death at the hands of a foe whom he had twice spared, are recounted by a loving friend in pious memory of his virtues, c. 1220; of Aron Hiorleifsson (1200-1255), a man whose strength, courage and adventures befit rather a henchman of Olaf Tryggvason than one of King Haakon's thanes (the beginning of the feuds that rise round Bishop Gudmund are told here), of the Svinefell-men (1248-1252), a pitiful story of a family feud in the far east of Iceland.