Thorgeir Ljosvetningagodi Thorkelsson (Old Norse : Þorgeirr Ljósvetningagoði Þorkelsson [ˈθorˌɡɛirː ˈljoːsˌwetneŋɡɑˌɡoðe ˈθorˌkelsˌson] ; Modern Icelandic: Þorgeir ... [ˈθɔrˌceir ˈljousˌvɛhtniŋkaˌkɔːðɪ ˈθɔrˌcʰɛlsˌsɔːn] ; born c. 940) was a lawspeaker in Iceland's Althing from 985 to 1001.
In the year 999 or 1000, Iceland's legislative assembly was debating which religion they should practice: Norse paganism or Christianity. Thorgeir, himself a pagan priest and chieftain (a gothi ), decided in favour of Christianity after a day and a night of silent meditation under a fur blanket, thus averting potentially disastrous civil conflict. Under the compromise, pagans could still practice their religion in private and several of the old customs were retained. After his decision, Thorgeir himself converted to Christianity. Thorgeir's story is preserved in Ari Thorgilsson's Íslendingabók .
Paganism is a term first used in the fourth century by early Christians for people in the Roman Empire who practiced polytheism or ethnic religions other than Judaism. In the time of the Roman empire, individuals fell into the pagan class either because they were increasingly rural and provincial relative to the Christian population, or because they were not milites Christi. Alternative terms in Christian texts were hellene, gentile, and heathen. Ritual sacrifice was an integral part of ancient Graeco-Roman religion and was regarded as an indication of whether a person was pagan or Christian. Paganism has broadly connoted the "religion of the peasantry".
The Alþingi is the national parliament of Iceland. It is the oldest surviving parliament in the world. 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 by royal decree and moved to Reykjavík. The restored unicameral legislature first came together in 1845 and after 1874 operated in two chambers with an additional third chamber taking on a greater role as the decades passed until 1991 when Althing became once again unicameral. 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. The current speaker of the Althing is Steingrímur J. Sigfússon.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland, also called the National Church, is the officially established Christian church in Iceland. The church professes the Lutheran faith and is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Porvoo Communion, and the World Council of Churches.
Goðafoss is a waterfall in northern Iceland. It is located along the country's main ring road at the junction with the Sprengisandur highland road. The water of the river Skjálfandafljót falls from a height of 12 metres over a width of 30 metres. The river rises in the Icelandic highlands and runs through the Bárðardalur valley.
Old Norse Religion, also known as Norse Paganism, is the most common name for a branch of Germanic religion which developed during the Proto-Norse period, when the North Germanic peoples separated into a distinct branch of the Germanic peoples. It was replaced by Christianity and forgotten during the Christianization of Scandinavia. Scholars reconstruct aspects of North Germanic Religion by historical linguistics, archaeology, toponymy, and records left by North Germanic peoples, such as runic inscriptions in the Younger Futhark, a distinctly North Germanic extension of the runic alphabet. Numerous Old Norse works dated to the 13th century record Norse mythology, a component of North Germanic religion.
Germanic paganism refers to the various religious practices of the Germanic peoples from the Iron Age until Christianisation during the Middle Ages. Religious practices represented an essential element of early Germanic culture. From both archaeological remains and literary sources, it is possible to trace a number of common or closely related beliefs among the Germanic peoples into the Middle Ages, when the last areas in Scandinavia were Christianized. Rooted in Proto-Indo-European religion, Proto-Germanic religion expanded during the Migration Period, yielding extensions such as Old Norse religion among the North Germanic peoples, the paganism practiced amid the continental Germanic peoples, and Anglo-Saxon paganism among the Old English-speaking peoples. The Germanic religion is best documented in 10th- and 11th-century texts from Scandinavia and Iceland.
Jón Hnefill Aðalsteinsson was an Icelandic folklorist, philologist, and theologian. He was the first professor of folklore at the University of Iceland and published extensively, particularly on Old Norse religion.
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.
Eyrbyggja saga is one of the Icelanders' sagas; its title can be translated as The Saga of the People of Eyri. It was written by an anonymous writer, who describes a long-standing feud between Snorri Goði and Arnkel Goði, two strong chieftains within the Norse community that settled in Iceland. The title is slightly misleading as it deals also with the clans from Þórsnes and Alptafjörðr on Iceland. The most central character is Snorri Þorgrímsson, referred to as Snorri Goði and Snorri the Priest. Snorri was the nephew of the hero of Gísla saga, and is also featured prominently in Njáls saga and Laxdœla saga. Another main interest of the Eyrbyggja Saga is to trace a few key families as they settled Iceland, specifically around the Snæfellsnes peninsula.
Heathenry, also termed Heathenism, contemporary Germanic Paganism, or Germanic Neopaganism, is a modern Pagan religion. Scholars of religious studies classify it as a new religious movement. Developed in Europe during the early 20th century, its practitioners model it on the pre-Christian religions adhered to by the Germanic peoples of the Iron Age and Early Middle Ages. In an attempt to reconstruct these past belief systems, Heathenry uses surviving historical, archaeological, and folkloric evidence as a basis, although approaches to this material vary considerably.
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 Christianization of Scandinavia, as well as other Nordic countries and the Baltic countries, took place between the 8th and the 12th centuries. The realms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden established their own Archdioceses, responsible directly to the Pope, in 1104, 1154 and 1164, respectively. The conversion to Christianity of the Scandinavian people required more time, since it took additional efforts to establish a network of churches. The Sami remained unconverted until the 18th century. Newer archaeological research suggests there were Christians in Götaland already during the 9th century, it is further believed Christianity came from the southwest and moved towards the north.
Iceland was Christianized in the year 1000 CE, when Christianity became the religion by law. In Icelandic, this event is known as the kristnitaka.
Ljósvetninga saga is one of the sagas of Icelanders, commonly dated to the thirteenth century and takes place between the end of the tenth century to the mid-eleventh century in the North of Iceland. The saga's main character is Guðmundr inn ríki Eyjólfsson, a powerful chieftain from North-Iceland's Eyjafjörður district. In the early-twentieth century it was an important part of the freeprose-bookprose debate of the oral vs. literary origins of the sagas of Icelanders, due to its problematic manuscript transmission.
The White Viking is a 1991 film set in Norway and Iceland during the reign of Olaf I of Norway. The film loosely follows actual events.
Gothic religion was the original religion of the Goths before their conversion to Christianity.
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.
The Tale of Thorstein Shiver is an Icelandic þáttur about the conversion of the Nordic countries to Christianity. The þáttur tells the humorous tale of Thorstein Thorkelsson’s encounter with a demon and how he earns his nickname. The þáttur is contained in the Flateyjarbók. The story's status as a þáttur has been questioned.
Jörmundur Ingi Hansen is an Icelandic neopagan leader, designer, businessman and clothing retailer. Trained as a sculptor and known as a prominent member of Reykjavík's hippie scene, he co-founded the Icelandic neopagan organization Ásatrúarfélagið in 1972, co-creating its rituals, liturgy and clothing. From 1994 to 2002, he led the organization, holding the title allsherjargoði; during his time in office, Ásatrúarfélagið experienced significant membership growth, acquired a building in Reykjavík and constructed a pagan burial ground designed by Jörmundur. An internal conflict led to his removal from the position, and in 2004 he left and became the leader of a small splinter group.
Ólafía Einarsdóttir was an Icelandic archaeologist and historian, specialising in Icelandic chronology. She was the first Icelander to complete a degree in archaeology. After completing her PhD from Lund University in 1964, she taught at the University of Copenhagen and published many works about Icelandic sagas and Viking history.