Íslendingabók. Kristni saga. The Book of the Icelanders, The Story of the Conversion

Translated with introduction and notes by Siân Grønlie, 2006, ISBN 978 0 903521 71 0

Text Series XVIII

Ari Þorgilsson’s Íslendingabók (‘The Book of the Icelanders’), dated 1122–33, is the first surviving written history of the Icelanders and the first work to be written in the vernacular in Iceland. It covers the history of Iceland up to 1118, including the Settlement, the establishment of the system of government and the calendar and the discovery of Greenland; its most detailed account is of the conversion to Christianity and the history of the Icelandic Church. Kristni saga (‘The Story of the Conversion’), found only in Hauksbók (1306–10) but probably written in the mid-thirteenth century, widens the scope of Ari’s account of the Conversion and of Church history in Iceland, and is translated into English here for the first time.

The translations are based on the texts in Íslenzk fornrit I and XV. Siân Grønlie provides full commentary and an introduction evaluating the two texts, their relationships in the context of other European conversion narratives.

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