The Sagas of Icelanders are enduring stories from Viking-Age Iceland filled with love and romance, battles and feuds, tragedy and comedy. Yet these tales are little read today, even by lovers of literature. The culture and history of the people depicted in the Sagas are often unfamiliar to the modern reader, though the audience for whom the tales were intended would have had an intimate understanding of the material. This text introduces the modern reader to the daily lives and material culture of the Vikings. Topics covered include Icelandic religion, social customs, the settlement of disputes, and major milestones in life of Viking-Age Icelanders. Issues of dispute among scholars, such as the nature of settlement and the division of land, are addressed in the text.
William R. Short is an independent scholar living in Southborough, Massachusetts. He regularly demonstrates and lectures on Viking-age topics in universities, museums, and other cultural institutions in North America and Iceland.