Episode 1A: The Settlement Age

Our podcast begins with an introduction to the Settlement Age of Iceland (c.870-930 A.D.), a combination of Scandinavian migration and land-grab that led to an unprecedented consensus-based medieval Commonwealth. The story of anti-authoritarian Norsemen fleeing the expansionist wars of Norwegian king Harald Fair-Hair is only one part of a wave of settlement that saw shiploads of men, women, children, and livestock suddenly transplanted onto a volcanic island in the north Atlantic. Join Andy and John in a discussion of the life-or-death questions faced by these hardy souls as they learned to thrive in this challenging new land. They brought their swords, their livestock, and their high-seat pillars, so they were ready for anything…or so they thought. But were the new settlers prepared to deal with one another?

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3 thoughts on “Episode 1A: The Settlement Age

  1. Hello Andy and John, I found your podcast via a Rex Factor recommendation. I’ve so far only listened to Episode 1A, which I enjoyed. I was particularly interested to learn just how quickly, and with what devastating effect, the settlers in Iceland impacted on the environment there. The speed of the deforestation seems remarkable.


    • David, Thanks for the kind words. The settlers’ impact on the landscape is indeed fascinating. I enjoy looking at how the saga authors describe the environment in different sagas. Sometimes Iceland appears as a land of milk and honey and sometimes it appears as a desolate wasteland. It’s probably a bit of both and depends largely on where and when a person settled. Hope you enjoy the rest of episode 1.


  2. Pingback: Episode Archive | Saga Thing

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