Icelandic Language Blog

Tag Archives: sagas

The two great sorcerers of Iceland. Posted by on Oct 24, 2014

Last week’s entry about witchcraft in Iceland mentioned one interesting man, Galdra-Loftur (= Loftur the Magician), who’s definitely worth a closer look. The legend does not paint a very flattering image of him: he’s shown as an egoistical, cruel person who uses his talent and skills for his own profit only and does not care who he…

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Green Iceland, icy Greenland Posted by on Aug 6, 2014

By now I’m sure you’ve all seen that one meme that in all its simple beauty compares together a picture of Iceland and Greenland and their seemingly illogical names. It’s still somewhat understandable why someone would want to call Iceland icy, after all on the winter part of the year its whiteness can easily rival that…

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Where the wild vikings are. Posted by on Mar 17, 2014

Icelandic sagas are an unusual feature in Medieval literature for several reasons. The most obvious one is that they mostly take part in Iceland and tell of ordinary people who, although heads of the society of their time, still are little more than rich farmers. There’s an amusing way people describe sagas here in Iceland…

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The end is nigh (again). Posted by on Feb 13, 2014

Bad news first, the end of the world has been announced for the 22nd of February. Then for the good ones, this time it will be Ragnarök so no need to repent your sins, just strap yourself in and enjoy the ride! To be expected: earthquakes, volcanic activity, possible sightings of a massive sea serpent…

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The wisdom of the vikings – Hávamál Posted by on Apr 16, 2013

What was life like in the Medieval times? How did people view the world they lived in, how did they value it and what were their moral codes? When it comes to Iceland we know much more than for most of the now known world because so many Icelandic texts have survived all through the…

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Loki’s children. Posted by on Feb 20, 2013

“You can choose any text you like, except for poems or song lyrics.” The first translation course that the University of Iceland offers is typically on the first semester of the third year. It takes two years of studying Icelandic before we have gathered enough vocabulary and knowledge on Iceland and its culture to be…

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Snæfellsness, Iceland in miniature. Posted by on Nov 30, 2012

If you look over Faxaflói (= Horse mane bay) on a clear day you can see the white peak of Snæfellsjökull (= Snow mountain glacier) on Snæfellsnes (= Snow mountain cape) over a hundred kilometres away. It’s the tallest mountain of the peninsula, rising over 1400 m from the sea, and considered the most beautiful glacier…

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