Iceland, located in the North Atlantic Ocean to the east of Greenland, is just over three hours' flying time from London and Copenhagen, and is an increasingly popular visitor destination. At the end of the first millennium, Iceland was a springboard for Viking exploration to Greenland and Newfoundland. The island is defined by its dramatic landscape with massive glaciers, but also volcanoes, geysers, hot springs and lava fields. In 2017, the population of this island nation is less than 335,000, over 90 per cent of whom are descended from the original Norse settlers and Celtic Irish or Scots captured and taken to Iceland as slaves in the Viking Settlement period. Most of the population lives in the capital, Reykjavik, and Iceland has a proud history of a democratic parliament although it was a colony of Denmark for centuries before achieving independence. In the Middle Ages, literacy in Iceland inspired the recording of Viking oral traditions in the form of sagas and poetry, making a major cultural contribution to Scandinavian heritage.
Location and Viking settlement
Sagas and poetry
Scandinavian connections and cultures
Medieval and Early Modern Iceland
Fee: $50 due by Monday 31 July or contact Frieda and pay on the night!