Skip to main content
Old Icelandic Literature and Society
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 4
  • Cited by
    This book has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Blaxter, Tam 2015. Gender and language change in Old Norse sentential negatives. Language Variation and Change, Vol. 27, Issue. 03, p. 349.

    Horodowich, Elizabeth 2014. Venetians in America: Nicolò Zen and the Virtual Exploration of the New World. Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 67, Issue. 3, p. 841.

    Cormack, Margaret 2007. Fact and Fiction in the Icelandic Sagas. History Compass, Vol. 5, Issue. 1, p. 201.

    Melve, Leidulf 2003. Literacy --Aurality --Orality A Survey of Recent Research into the Orality/Literacy Complex of the Latin Middle Ages (600-1500). Symbolae Osloenses, Vol. 78, Issue. 1, p. 143.


Book description

From the period of settlement (870–930) to the end of the fourteenth century, Icelanders produced one of the most varied and original literatures of medieval Europe. This is the first book to provide a comprehensive account of Old Icelandic literature within its social setting and across a range of genres. An international team of specialists examines the ways in which the unique social experiment in Iceland, a kingless society without an established authority structure, inspired a wealth of innovative writing composed in the Icelandic vernacular. Icelanders explored their uniqueness through poetry, mythologies, metrical treatises, religious writing, and through saga, a new literary genre which textualised their history and incorporated oral traditions in a written form. The book shows that Icelanders often used their textual abilities to gain themselves political and intellectual advantage, not least in the period when the state's freedom came to an end.


‘… it works as a sound new slant on [Old Icelandic literature] from a contemporary academic perspective. All those working in the field will want to take account of it.’

Heather O’Donoghue Source: The Times Literary Supplement

' … the book provides a well-grounded and interesting introduction to Old Icelandic literature, with the bonus of multiple signposts towards new directions in Old Norse scholarship.'

Source: Modern Language Review

Refine List
Actions for selected content:
Select all | Deselect all
  • View selected items
  • Export citations
  • Download PDF (zip)
  • Send to Kindle
  • Send to Dropbox
  • Send to Google Drive
  • Send content to

    To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to .

    To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

    Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

    Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

    Please be advised that item(s) you selected are not available.
    You are about to send

Save Search

You can save your searches here and later view and run them again in "My saved searches".

Please provide a title, maximum of 40 characters.


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Book summary page views

Total views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between #date#. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed