Annals and Sagas: The Historiography of Late Medieval Iceland


ACLS Fellowship Program


This projects presents an introduction to medieval Icelandic annalistics and examines the annals' relationship to the Old Norse sagas. It starts with a discussion of the origins and techniques of Icelandic annalistics. Next, each extant annal is treated in chronological order, with descriptions of the annal's date, contents, compiler(s), sources, environment of production, companion texts, and purpose. Lost and fragmentary annals are also covered. Building on this, the study broadens the discussion of the annals' cultural and political contexts to explore the relationships between annals, encyclopedias, and sagas, and it concludes with a discussion of the as-yet-unexplained end of medieval Icelandic annalistics in 1430.