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Vestvågøy Theme - 5
Written Sources

The main source of written information from the Viking period is the Sagas, mainly the Sagas of the Norwegian kings (dating from the 12th and 13th centuries) and the Sagas of the Icelandic families.

When the Sagas are used as a source of information, a critical mind is necessary. The time span between the events themselves and the period of writing them down could be as great as 300 years. This fact is a basis for discussions, as well as a reason to question the authenticity of the Sagas.

In the written sources, the place name of Borg is not mentioned earlier than 1335, but at this year, a document is referring to the place. (DN IV, no.217).

The written sources name two chieftains from the Viking period that possibly can be connected to the chieftain's residence at Borg. Tore Hjort (the Stag) is the best known. Olaf Tvennumbruni (with the shaggy eyebrows) can almost certainly be connected with Vestvågøy.

The Icelandic Lándnáma bók (Book of Settlers) is a register of the early settlers of Iceland in the period from 870AD to 930 AD. In this register we can read about the chieftain Olav Tvennumbruni, who settled in the south of Iceland.

Icelandic manuscripts exhibited in Reykjavik (Photo: Wenche Brun)

Initial page of Landnámabók in a paper manuscript copy in the National and University Library of Iceland. (photograph unknown)

Mayo - Vestvågøy - Mid-Argyll

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