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The Icelandic Saga Map

The landscape of Iceland is an ever-present, important factor in Íslendingasögur (the Sagas of the Icelanders).

Perhaps the most famous example is from Brennu-Njáls saga when Gunnar, who has been sentenced to the lesser outlawry, is due to leave Iceland. As he starts to ride towards the ship, his horse stumbles and he is thrown to the ground. As he gets up, he looks towards the hill slopes of his home at Hlíðarendi and says:

Fögur er hlíðin svo að mér hefir hún aldrei jafnfögur sýnst, bleikir akrar en slegin tún, og mun eg ríða heim aftur og fara hvergi.

(“How beautiful the slopes are. They have never seemed so beautiful to me with the pale fields and mown meadows. I will ride back home and not leave.”) [Ch 75]

Thus bringing about not only his own death, but a series of events that destroys Njal’s family and others.

A research programme led by Dr Emily Lethbridge has produced the interactive Icelandic Saga Map which maps every location from all of the Íslendingasögur and Landnámabók.

I have found it an excellent source to plan saga-related itineraries in Iceland!

You can find the map here…

The Icelandic Saga Map showing sites from Brennu-Njáls saga
(click on the image to enlarge)