Thorvald Konradsson the Far Traveller (Old Norse : Þorvaldr Konráðsson inn víðförli) 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.
In Norse mythology, Ragnarök is a series of events, including a great battle, foretold to lead to the death of a number of great figures, natural disasters and the submersion of the world in water. After these events, the world will resurface anew and fertile, the surviving and returning gods will meet and the world will be repopulated by two human survivors. Ragnarök is an important event in Norse mythology and has been the subject of scholarly discourse and theory in the history of Germanic studies.
Vinland, Vineland or Winland was an area of coastal North America explored by Vikings. Leif Erikson first landed there around 1000 CE, nearly five centuries before the voyages of Christopher Columbus and John Cabot. The name appears in the Vinland Sagas, and presumably describes both Newfoundland and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence as far as northeastern New Brunswick. Much of the geographical content of the sagas corresponds to present-day knowledge of transatlantic travel and North America.
Erik Thorvaldsson, known as Erik the Red, was a Norse explorer, described in medieval and Icelandic saga sources as having founded the first settlement in Greenland. He most likely earned the epithet "the Red" due to the color of his hair and beard. According to Icelandic sagas, he was born in the Jæren district of Rogaland, Norway, as the son of Thorvald Asvaldsson. One of Erik's sons was the well-known Icelandic explorer Leif Erikson.
In Norse mythology, Fáfnir or Frænir is a son of the dwarf king Hreidmar and brother of Regin, Ótr, Lyngheiðr, and Lofnheiðr. After being affected by the curse of Andvari's ring and gold, Fafnir became a dragon and was slain by Sigurd.
Leif Erikson, Leiv Eiriksson or Leif Ericson was a Norse explorer from Iceland. He is thought to have been the first known European to have set foot on continental North America, approximately half a millennium before Christopher Columbus. According to the sagas of Icelanders, he established a Norse settlement at Vinland, which is usually interpreted as being coastal North America. There is ongoing speculation that the settlement made by Leif and his crew corresponds to the remains of a Norse settlement found in Newfoundland, Canada, called L'Anse aux Meadows and which was occupied c. 1000.
Sagas are prose stories and histories, composed in Iceland and to a lesser extent elsewhere in Scandinavia.
Skræling is the name the Norse Greenlanders used for the peoples they encountered in North America. In surviving sources, it is first applied to the Thule people, the proto-Inuit group with whom the Norse coexisted in Greenland after about the 13th century. In the sagas, it is also used for the peoples of the region known as Vinland whom the Norse encountered during their expeditions there in the early 11th century.
Thorfinn Karlsefni was an Icelandic explorer. Around the year 1010 AD, he followed Leif Eriksson's route to Vinland, in a short-lived attempt to establish a permanent settlement there with his wife Guðríður Víðförla Þorbjarnardóttir and their followers.
Naddod was a Norse Viking who is credited with the discovery of Iceland.
Flóki Vilgerðarson was the first Norseman to intentionally sail to Iceland. His story is documented in the Landnámabók manuscript; however, the precise year of his arrival is not clear. He settled in this new land then known as Garðarshólmi.
Grœnlendinga saga is one of the sagas of Icelanders. Like the Saga of Erik the Red, it is one of the two main sources on the Norse colonization of the Americas. The Saga of the Greenlanders starts with Erik the Red, who leaves Norway and colonizes Greenland. The Saga also describes the expeditions of Leif Erikson.
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.
Gunnlaugr Leifsson was an Icelandic scholar, author and poet. He was a Benedictine monk at the Þingeyraklaustur monastery in the north of Iceland. Many sources refer to him simply as Gunnlaugr munkr or Gunnlaugr the Monk.
Iceland was Christianized in the year 1000 CE, when Christianity became the religion by law. In Icelandic, this event is known as the kristnitaka.
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.
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.
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 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.
Gissur Teitsson or Gissur the White was a chieftain or goði in Iceland at the turn of the 10th and 11th centuries. He played a preeminent role in the Christianisation of Iceland.
Jesse L. Byock is Professor of Old Norse and Medieval Scandinavian Studies in the Scandinavian Section at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Magnús góði Guðmundarson was a medieval chieftain (gothi) of Þingvellir in Iceland. He was the allsherjargoði of the Althing from 1197 to 1234. He inherited the office from his father Guðmundr gríss Ámundason, who was the descendant of Ingólfur Arnarson, one of the first Viking settlers on the island. Magnús was the next-to-last allsherjargoði before the dissolution of the Icelandic Commonwealth in 1262. He had no offspring, and contemporary sources only offer conjectures about his successor, possibly Árni óreiða Magnússon, nephew of Guðmundr gríss Ámundason and son-in-law of the skald Snorri Sturluson. In fact, the sagas narrate that Sturluson caused Magnús's fall: during his first term as lawspeaker, Sturluson convinced the Althing to outlaw (skógarmaðr) Magnús. Despite his title, Magnús was not one of Iceland's more powerful citizens.