Stefnir Thorgilsson was one of the first Christian missionaries among the Icelanders at the end of the 10th century. He was born in Iceland. King Olaf Tryggvason, king of Norway (r. 997-1000) ordered him to return to his homeland in order to proselytize among the Icelanders. He destroyed a number of heathen temples and idols, for which he was expelled from the island.
Icelanders are a North Germanic ethnic group and nation who are native to the island country of Iceland and speak Icelandic.
Olaf Trygvasson was King of Norway from 995 to 1000. He was the son of Tryggvi Olafsson, king of Viken, and, according to later sagas, the great-grandson of Harald Fairhair, first King of Norway.
After the destruction of the pagan shrines, the Althing reached agreement to declare Christians frændaskömm (a disgrace to kinsman). Based on this, Christians could be denounced by their own relatives. Additionally, Stefnir became an outlaw and was forced to return to Norway.
The Alþingi is the national parliament of Iceland. It is the oldest surviving parliament in the world, a claim shared by Tynwald. The Althing was founded in 930 at Þingvellir, situated approximately 45 kilometres (28 mi) east of what later became the country's capital, Reykjavík. Even after Iceland's union with Norway in 1262, the Althing still held its sessions at Þingvellir until 1800, when it was discontinued. It was restored in 1844 and moved to Reykjavík, where it has resided ever since. The present parliament building, the Alþingishús, was built in 1881, made of hewn Icelandic stone. The unicameral parliament has 63 members, and is elected every four years based on party-list proportional representation.
In historical legal systems, an outlaw is declared as outside the protection of the law. In pre-modern societies, the criminal is withdrawn all legal protection, so that anyone is legally empowered to persecute or kill them. Outlawry was thus one of the harshest penalties in the legal system. In early Germanic law, the death penalty is conspicuously absent, and outlawing is the most extreme punishment, presumably amounting to a death sentence in practice. The concept is known from Roman law, as the status of homo sacer, and persisted throughout the Middle Ages.
Thorvald Konradsson the Far Traveller was one of the first Christian missionaries in Iceland and then in Belarus in the late 10th century. He was native to Iceland but went abroad where he was baptized by one Bishop Friedrich, a German. He returned to the island in Bishop Friedrich's retinue in 981. They were especially active in proselytising among the inhabitants of the northern parts of Iceland. However, Thorvald killed two men in a battle and was expelled from the island in 986.
The Sagas of Icelanders, also known as family sagas, are prose narratives mostly based on historical events that mostly took place in Iceland in the 9th, 10th, and early 11th centuries, during the so-called Saga Age. They are the best-known specimens of Icelandic literature.
Sagas are stories mostly about ancient Nordic and Germanic history, early Viking voyages, the battles that took place during the voyages, and migration to Iceland and of feuds between Icelandic families. They were written in the Old Norse language, mainly in Iceland.
The Icelandic Commonwealth, Icelandic Free State, or Republic of Iceland was the state existing in Iceland between the establishment of the Alþingi (Althing) in 930 and the pledge of fealty to the Norwegian king with the Old Covenant in 1262. With the probable exception of Papar, Iceland was an uninhabited island until around 870.
Egill Skallagrímsson was a Viking-Age poet, warrior and farmer. He is known mainly as the protagonist of Egil's Saga. Egil's Saga historically narrates a period from approximately 850 to 1000 CE and is believed to have been written between 1220 and 1240 CE.
Íslendingabók is a historical work dealing with early Icelandic history. The author was an Icelandic priest, Ari Þorgilsson, working in the early 12th century. The work originally existed in two different versions but only the younger one has survived. The older contained information on Norwegian kings, made use of by later writers of kings' sagas.
The Gray (Grey) Goose Laws are a collection of laws from the Icelandic Commonwealth period. The term Grágás was originally used in a medieval source to refer to a collection of Norwegian laws and was probably mistakenly used to describe the existing collection of Icelandic law during the sixteenth century. The Grágás laws in Iceland were presumably in use until 1262–1264 when Iceland was taken over by the Norwegian crown.
Religion in Iceland has been predominantly Christian since the adoption of Christianity as the state religion by the Althing under the influence of Olaf Tryggvason, the king of Norway, in 999/1000 CE. Before that, between the 9th and 10th century, the prevailing religion among the early Icelanders was the northern Germanic religion, which persisted for centuries even after the official Christianisation of the state.
The Age of the Sturlungs or the Sturlung Era was a 42–44 year period of violent internal strife in mid-13th century Iceland. It is documented in the Sturlunga saga.
Gunnlaugs saga ormstungu or the Saga of Gunnlaugr Serpent-Tongue is one of the Icelanders' sagas. Composed at the end of the 13th century, it is preserved complete in a slightly younger manuscript. It contains 25 verses of skaldic poetry attributed to the main characters.
Þangbrandr was a missionary sent to Iceland by king of Norway Óláfr Tryggvason to convert the inhabitants to Christianity. Snorri Sturluson described him as follows:
Iceland was Christianized in the AD 1000, when Christianity became the religion by law. In Icelandic, this event is known as the kristnitaka.
Guðríður Símonardóttir was an Icelandic woman who was one of 242 people abducted from the Westman Islands, Iceland in 1627 in a raid by Barbary pirates. These raids came to be known as the Turkish abductions and Guðríður became known as Tyrkja-Gudda. After being held as a slave and concubine for nearly a decade, she was one of a few captives ransomed by the Danish king. She returned to Iceland, marrying the young pastor Hallgrímur Pétursson, who became known for his poetry and hymns.
Mord Sighvatsson, better known as Mord "Fiddle" was a wealthy Icelandic farmer and expert on Icelandic law who lived during the late Settlement Period and early Commonwealth Period. According to Njals Saga, he was the son of Sighvat the Red, but Landnámabók asserts that Mord was Sighvat's grandson. Mord was the father of Unn Mordardottir, who for a time was married to Hrútr Herjólfsson.
For centuries Iceland's main industries were fishing, fish processing and agriculture. In the 19th century, 70–80% of Icelanders lived by farming, but there has been a steady decline over the years and now that figure is less than 5% of the total population. It is expected that the number will continue to fall in the future. Only 1% of the total land area is under arable cultivation, confined almost exclusively to the peripheral lowland areas of the country.
The Icelandic Reformation took place in the middle of the 16th century. Iceland was at this time a territory ruled by Denmark-Norway, and Lutheran religious reform was imposed on the Icelanders by King Christian III of Denmark. The Icelandic Reformation ended with the execution of Jón Arason, Catholic bishop of Hólar, and his two sons, in 1550, after which the country adopted Lutheranism.
Nobility in Iceland may refer to the following:
The history of Christianity in Iceland can be traced back to the Early Middle Ages when Irish hermits settled in Iceland at least a century before the arrival of the first Norse settlers in the 870s. Christianity started to spread among the Icelanders at the end of the 10th century. The adoption of the new faith by the whole population was the consequence of a compromise between the Christian and heathen chieftains, as well as the lawspeaker, at the national assembly or Alþingi of 999 or 1000.
Hestavíg was an entertainment activity during the Viking Age in the Icelandic Commonwealth, presumably a sport consisting of a brutal and bloody confrontation between two stallions, egged on by their masters, which mainly served to choose the best specimens for breeding. It was a cultural event of great importance and sometimes behaved verbal and physical confrontations among the spectators. The triumph of a champion or the other, could impact socially and politically in the pacts and alliances between goði (chieftains) and bóndi (homesteaders), as testified in the Norse sagas. The site where these battles held was a neutral place used to strengthen friendship or treat issues among rivals. It was also an opportunity for courtship between young couples. Sometimes rivalries raised among participants and ended in bloody conflicts. Some examples appear in the Njáls saga and Víga-Glúms saga.
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