Old Norse-Icelandic Calendar: 2019-2020

Want a cool graphic to help you navigate this year like a Viking? Want one that's historically informed to the best of this author's abilities? Well, for starters then, that was a poor use of the term 'Viking,' as most of my guests and readers will know by now. And if that sentence stumps you, …

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An Icelandic Pilgrim amid the Crusades: Nikulás Bergsson

During the mid-twelfth century, an Icelander named Nikulás Bergsson went on a pilgrimage that took him over 4,000 miles away from his home in northern Iceland to Jerusalem in the Holy Land. We don't know much about him, but it is clear that he was a lettered Benedictine monk.[1] Around the year 1153, however, Nikulás …

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“All Waters Flow to Dyrafjord”

This quote comes at a pivotal movement of Gisli's Saga, when a man named Vestein decides to face his fate despite warnings from his friends. At this point, those friends (who were sent by Gisli himself) had ridden tirelessly to catch up to Vestein, and they implored him to turn around before riding into the …

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Spring Arrives with Baldr

Today is the first day of spring, which, for me, is a day to admire the constant renewal of life in the world around us. More specifically, though, I always find myself thinking of Baldr, who (as many of us know) returns from Hel to restore life to the post-Ragnarok world. As stanza 59 of Völuspá recounts:  …

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07 – Njal's Saga: A Medieval Best-Seller Most People Haven’t Heard of

Meet Njal's Saga, a medieval best-seller that most people haven't heard of. But despite its relative obscurity today, it stands out as an epic story fused with both archetypal heroes and the tragic social realities of the 'Viking' world, which have become a cage trapping them and plunging them into a endless tide of human violence beyond …

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Resources for Njal’s Saga

Never heard of Njal's Saga? Don't worry, you're not alone---it's actually a medieval best-seller most people haven't heard of. But luckily, all you have to do is read this post to get yourself acclimated, and then you're all set to enjoy one of medieval Iceland's finest sagas (as so many saga-enthusiasts proudly proclaim)! That introductory …

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Njal’s Saga: A Medieval Best-Seller Most People Haven’t Heard of

If you want to experience a medieval Icelandic 'family' saga at peak performance, then this is the saga to read. [...]