Full text: Iceland 1930

In connexion with historical writing it may not be out of place to 
mention the Icelandic Folk-Tales, perhaps the most remarkable branch 
of our literature. These are: stories of elves; stories of trolls; ghost 
stories; stories of magic; legends; stories of outlaws; fairy-tales, etc. 
etc. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries they have been 
collected, and several volumes have already been published; but the 
subject is by no means exhausted yet. They are a good mirror of the 
nation’s imaginative power and art of story-telling, for they have been 
told and written down by men of all classes, and show the influence 
which the reading of the Icelandic sagas by generation after generation 
has exercised on the popular style and form. 
From the 17th century onwards many eminent Icelandic scholars, 
both at home and abroad, have devoted themselves to the scientific 
study of the Icelandic language and literature, to the compiling of 
dictionaries, and to editing and elucidating Old-Icelandic texts. Some 
of the most prominent among these are Magniis Olafsson, Gudmundur 
Andrésson, Hilfddn Einarsson, Bjérn Halldérsson, Sveinbjérn Egils- 
son, Finnur Magnisson, Konr4d Gislason, rector Jén Thorkelsson, 
Gudbrandur Vigfisson, Bjérn M. Olsen, Finnur Jénsson, Sigfis 
Bléndal, Halldér Hermannsson. SigurBur Nordal. Alexander Téhann- 
Much has been written on Icelandic laws, ancient and modern, and 
something also on medical science. A great deal of Theological litera- 
ture, for the most part translations, dates from the Reformation period. 
Icelandic translations of the New Testament and the Bible were prin- 
ted in 1540 and 1584 respectively. Of the many books of sermons 
which in course of time have appeared in Iceland, mention should 
be made of bishop Jén Vidalin’s Hiispostilla (Book of Family Ser- 
mons), first published 1718—20 (13th edition in 1838). Bishop 
Vidalin is the greatest pulpit orator Iceland has ever produced. His 
language is rich and racy and his sermons distinguished by religious 
fervor, eloquence, and profound observations of life. 
In the field of Natural science Eggert Olafsson did great research 
work, the most imporfant results of which are contained in his Travel- 
Book (Itinerary) in two large 4to volumes, published in Copenhagen 
in 1772. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the geology of Ice- 
land has been made the subject of scientific study by Jénas Hallgrims- 
son, Th. Thoroddsen, H. Pjeturss, and Gudmundur Béirdarson. The 
study of the botany of Iceland has been pursued by Stefin Stefénsson 
and Helgi Jénsson. In zoology Bjarni Semundsson has made inde-

Note to user

Dear user,

In response to current developments in the web technology used by the Goobi viewer, the software no longer supports your browser.

Please use one of the following browsers to display this page correctly.

Thank you.