Icelandic Sagas Tell of Viking Life

National Geographic: A series of 40 narratives written in the 13th and 14th centuries tell of the Viking Age in Iceland and may have influenced Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings." The Icelandic sagas are full of epic battles, great heroes and a depiction of 13th and 14th century Viking life -- and they may be among the most accessible medieval literature. Written several hundred years after the Norse invasions, the sagas have become an integral part of Icelandic life and are as important to their culture as Shakespeare's plays are to the English. They are one of the few favorable depictions of Viking life.

"The vast majority of the settlers were farmers, who wished to live in peace, free from pirates and taxation by kings in their homes," said Arni Bj