In the end of the 9th century Iceland was colonized from Norway; and about 985 the intrepid viking, Eric the Red, discovered Greenland, and induced some of his Icelandic countrymen to settle on its inhospitable shores.
But the name (the Icelandic form of which is Bjolfr) is genuinely Scandinavian.
Dunkirk, Gravelines, Boulogne and Paimpol send considerable fleets to the Icelandic cod-fisheries, and St Malo, Fcainp, Granville and Cancale to those of Newfoundland.
JON ARASON (1484-1551), Icelandic bishop and poet, became a priest about 1504, and having attracted the notice of Gottskalk, bishop of Holar, was sent by that prelate on two missions to Norway.
In 1522 he succeeded Gottskalk in the see of Holar, but he was soon driven out by the other Icelandic bishop, Ogmund of Skalholt.
See the Icelandic account of the elephant, also a decidedly Alexandrian fragment upon the 7.iapyos, founded upon 4 Macc. i.
Dunkirk annually despatches a fleet to the Icelandic codfisheries, and takes part in the herring and other fisheries.
He made several voyages to the White Sea and to places in northern Russia, and in 1621 entered the service of the Danish Icelandic Company, then in its prime.
Basin or Carl et Elegast (preserved in Dutch and Icelandic), the Voyage de Charlemagne a Jerusalem and Le Couronnement Looys also belong to the heroic period.
The name, of which the Tene, Tayne and Thane are older forms. is derived from the Icelandic thing, " assembly" or "court."
B.) SIGUROSSON, JON (1811-1879), Icelandic statesman and man of letters, was born in the west of Iceland in 1811.
His name soon became prominent in the learned world, and it may safely be said that most of his historical works and his editions of Icelandic classics have never been surpassed for acute criticism and minute painstaking.
(Copenhagen, 1843-1847); the large collection of Icelandic laws edited by him and Oddgeir Stephensen; and last, not least, the Diplomatarium Islandicum, which after his death was continued by others.
To this the Danish government was vehemently opposed; it convoked an Icelandic National Assembly in 1851, and brought before that body a bill granting Iceland small local liberties, but practically incorporating Iceland in Denmark.
He was a man of fine appearance, with an eloquence and diplomatic gifts such as no others of his countrymen possessed, and his unselfish love of his country made itself felt in almost every branch of Icelandic life.
Recognizing the value of an intellectual centre, he made Reykjavik not only the political, but the spiritual capital of Iceland by removing all the chief institutions of learning to that city; he was the soul of many literary and political societies, and the chief editor of the Ny Felagsrit, which has done more than any other Icelandic periodical to promote the cause of civilization and progress in Iceland.
A great part of his fleet had been scattered and destroyed by storms. The most important event in his reign was the voluntary submission of the Icelandic commonwealth.
Worn out by internal strife fostered by Haakon's emissaries, the Icelandic chiefs acknowledged the Norwegian king as overlord in 1262.
These were increased in 1815 by the Brunswick, Bremen, Schleswig-Holstein, Strassburg and Eichsf eld (Saxony) Bible Societies, and the Icelandic Bible Society.
Thorfinn belonged to a leading Icelandic family and had great success in trading voyages.
999-1000), Scandinavian explorer, of Icelandic family, the first known European discoverer of "Vinland," "Vineland" or "Wineland, the Good," in North America.
Such is the account of the Saga of Eric the Red, supported by a number of briefer references in early Icelandic and other literature.
(often separately entitled Descriptio Insularum Aquilonis; Adam's is the earliest extant reference to Vinland, c. 1070): we have also notices of Vinland in the Libellus Islandorum of Ari Frodi (c. 1120), the oldest Icelandic historian; in the Kristni Saga (repeated in Snorri Sturlason's Heimskringla); in Eyrbyggia Saga (c. 1250); in Gretti Saga (c. 1290); and in an Icelandic chorography of the 14th century, or earlier, partly derived from the famous traveller Abbot Nicolas of Thing-eyrar (j'1159).
SNORRI STURLASON (1179-1241), the celebrated Icelandic historian, the youngest son of a chief in the VestfirOir (western fiords), was brought up by a powerful chief, Jon Loptsson, in Odda, who seems first to have awakened in him an interest for history and poetry.
When, owing to disputes between Icelandic and Norwegian merchants, Skuli thought of a military expedition to Iceland, Snorri promised to make the inhabitants submit to Haakon of their own free will.
The tidal currents, or races, or roost (as some of them are called locally, from the Icelandic) off many of the isles run with enormous velocity, and whirlpools are of frequent occurrence, and strong enough at times to prove a source of danger to small craft.
Flotta (372), east of Hoy, was the home for a long time of the Scandinavian compiler of the Codex Flotticensis, which furnished Thorrnodr Torfaeus (1636-1719), the Icelandic antiquary, with many of the facts for his History of Norway, more particularly with reference to the Norse occupation of Orkney.
1797), the hydrographer; Malcolm Laing (1762-1818), author of the History of Scotland from the Union of the Crowns to the Union of the Kingdoms; Mary Brunton (1778-1818), author of Self-Control, Discipline and other novels; Samuel Laing (1780-1868), author of A Residence in Norway, and translator of the Heimskringla, the Icelandic chronicle of the kings of Norway; Thomas Stewart Traill (1781-1862), professor of medical jurisprudence in Edinburgh University and editor of the 8th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica; Samuel Laing (1812-1897), chairman of the London, Brighton & South Coast railway, and introducer of the system of "parliamentary" trains with fares of one penny a mile; Dr John Rae (1813-1893), the Arctic explorer; and William Balfour Baikie (1825-1864), the African traveller.
Funeral Customs. - Icelandic writers of the 12th and 13th centuries distinguished between an earlier " age of burning " and a later " age of barrows," and the investigations of modern archaeologists have tended in general to confirm the distinction, though they have revealed also the burial-places of times antecedent to the age of burning.
In Scandinavian lands the change noted by Icelandic writers may be dated about the 5th and 6th centuries, though inhumation was certainly not altogether unknown before that time.
For our knowledge of this subject we are indebted chiefly to Icelandic literary men of the 12th and 13th centuries, who gave accounts of many legends which had come down to them by oral tradition, besides committing to writing a number of ancient poems. Unfortunately Icelandic history is quite unique in this respect.
In the literatures of other Teutonic countries we have only occasional references to the religious rites of heathen times, and these are generally in no way comparable to the detailed accounts given in Icelandic writings.
Hence it is often difficult to decide whether a given rite or legend which is mentioned only in Icelandic literature was really peculiar to that country alone or to the North generally, or whether it was once the common property of all Teutonic peoples.
Among the literary and scientific associations of Copenhagen may be mentioned the Danish Royal Society, founded in 1742, for the advancement of the sciences of mathematics, astronomy, natural philosophy, &c., by the publication of papers and essays; the Royal Antiquarian Society, founded in 1825, for diffusing a knowledge of Northern and Icelandic archaeology; the Society for the Promotion of Danish Literature, for the publication of works chiefly connected with the history of Danish literature; the Natural Philosophy Society; the Royal Agricultural Society; the Danish Church History Society; the Industrial Association, founded in 1838; the Royal Geographical Society, established in 1876; and several musical and other societies.
This passage offers important corroboration of the Icelandic accounts of the Vinland voyages, and is, furthermore, interesting "as the only undoubted reference to Vinland in a medieval book written beyond the limits of the Scandinavian world" (Fiske).
The fact that the Icelandic sagas concerning Vinland are not contemporaneous written records has caused them to be viewed by many with suspicion; hence such a significant allusion as that by Adam of Bremen is not to be overlooked.
The Icelandic colony was an interesting forerunner of the American republic, having a prosperous population living under a republican government, and maintaining an independent national spirit for nearly four centuries.
Icelandic literature consists mainly of the so-called "sagas," or prose narratives, and is rich in historical lore.
The other saga, which by chance came to be looked upon as the chief repository of facts concerning the Vinland voyages, is found in a large Icelandic work known as the Flatey Book, as it was once owned by a man who lived on Flat Island (Flatey), on the north-western coast of Iceland.
This collection of sagas, completed in about 1380, is "the most extensive and most perfect of Icelandic manuscripts," and was sent to Denmark in 1662 as a gift to the king.
Icelandic literary history says that Ari the Learned (born in 1067) was "the first man in this land who wrote in the Norse tongue history relating to times anciei and modern."
Under date of 1121 the Icelandic annals say: "Bishop Eric of Greenland went in search of Vinland."
Under the auspices of Archbishop Absalon the monks of Sorb began to compile the annals of Denmark, and at the end of the 12th century Svend Aagesen, a cleric of Lund, compiled from Icelandic sources and oral tradition his Compendiosa historic regum Daniae.
The poet Aarestrup (in 1848) declared that Blicher had raised the Danish language to the dignity of Icelandic. Blicher is a stern realist, in many points akin to Crabbe, and takes a singular position among the romantic idealists of the period, being like them, however, in the love of precise and choice language, and hatred of the mere commonplaces of imaginative writing.
His grammars of Old Frisian, Icelandic and AngloSaxon were unapproached in his own time, and are still admirable.
In 1872 appeared Love is Enough, structurally the most elaborate of his poems for its combination of the epic and dramatic spirits; and in the autumn he began to translate the shorter Icelandic sagas, to which his enthusiasm had been directed by two inspiring journeys to Iceland..
The word " Viking," in the sense in which it is used to-day, is derived from the Icelandic (Old Norse) Vikingr (m.), signifying simply a sea-rover or pirate.
Another instance of such more generic use occurs in the following typical passage from the Landnamabok (Sturlabok), where it is recorded how Harald Fairhair harried the vikings of the Scottish isles - that famous harrying which led to most of the settlement of Iceland and the birth of Icelandic literature: " Haraldr en harfari herjaoi vestr am haf ...
His renown was, however, not acquired by his writings in that language, but by his Icelandic poems and short stories.
He was well read in German literature, Heine and Schiller being his favourites, and the study of the German masters and the old classical writers of Iceland opened his eyes to the corrupt state of Icelandic poetry and showed him the way to make it better.
The excesses of Icelandic poetry were specially seen in the so-called rimur, ballads of heroes, &c., which were fiercely attacked by Jonas Hallgrimsson, who at last succeeded in converting the educated to his view.
JOnas Hallgrimsson, who died in 1844, is the father of a separate school in Icelandic lyric poetry.
He introduced foreign thoughts and metres, but at the same time revived the metres of the Icelandic classical poets.
The Swedish princes Eadgils, son of Ohthere, and Onela, who are mentioned in Beowulf, are in the Icelandic Heimskringla called Adils son of Ottarr, and Ali; the correspondence of the names, according to the phonetic laws of Old English and Old Norse, being strictly normal.
There are similar alternative possibilities with regard to the explanation of the striking resemblances which certain incidents of the adventures with Grendel and the dragon bear to incidents in the narratives of Saxo and the Icelandic sagas.
The Alexander legend was the theme of poetry in all European languages; six or seven German poets dealt with the subject, and it may be read in French, English, Spanish, Danish, Swedish, Icelandic, Flemish and Bohemian.
The basis of this growth is partly the story-telling instinct innate in all men, which loves to heighten an effect, sharpen a point or increase a contrast - the instinct which breathes in Icelandic sagas like that of Burnt Njal; partly the instinct of idolization, if it may be so called, which leads to the perversion into impossible greatness of an approved character, and has created, in this instance, the legendary figures of Peter the Hermit and Godfrey of Bouillon (qq.v.); partly the religious impulse, which counted nothing wonderful in a holy war, and imported miraculous elements even into the sober pages of the Gesta.
In 1833 he went to the university of Copenhagen and devoted himself to the study of Icelandic history and literature.
The Icelandic, in a Copenhagen MS. of the 13th century, was printed by Professor Th.