The country is sometimes erroneously called The Republic of Iceland and sometimes its counterpart Lýðveldið Ísland in Icelandic, but the official name is rather like the official name of Canada - simply the country name. One example of the former is the name of the Constitution of Iceland, which in Icelandic is Stjórnarskrá lýðveldisins Íslands and literally means "the Constitution of the republic of Iceland", but note that "republic" is not capitalized. The official title of the President of Iceland (Forseti Íslands) does also not include the word republic as in some other republics. See also Names for Iceland.
Hrafnkels saga is one of the Icelanders' sagas. It tells of struggles between chieftains and farmers in the east of Iceland in the 10th century. The eponymous main character, Hrafnkell, starts out his career as a fearsome duellist and a dedicated worshiper of the god Freyr. After suffering defeat, humiliation, and the destruction of his temple, he becomes an atheist. His character changes and he becomes more peaceful in dealing with others. After gradually rebuilding his power base for several years, he achieves revenge against his enemies and lives out the rest of his life as a powerful and respected chieftain.
The saga has been interpreted as the story of a man who arrives at the conclusion that the true basis of power does not lie in the favor of the gods but in the loyalty of one's subordinates. It remains widely read today and is appreciated for its logical structure, plausibility, and vivid characters. For these reasons, it has served as a test case in the dispute on the origins of the Icelandic sagas.
The Goðafoss (meaning waterfall of the gods), situated in north-central Iceland, is one of the country's most spectacular waterfalls. The water of the river Skjálfandafljót falls from a height of 12 meters over a width of 30 meters.
Davíð Oddsson (born 17 January 1948 in Reykjavík) is an Icelandic politician and the longest-serving Prime Minister of Iceland, holding office from 1991 to 2004. He also served as foreign minister from 2004 to 2005. Previously, he was mayor of Reykjavík from 1982 to 1991, and since 2005 he has chaired the board of governors of the Central Bank of Iceland. By Icelandic standards, Davíð Oddsson’s career is very successful. He was only 34 years old when he became Mayor of Reykjavík, and only 43 years when he formed his first government. Although his implementation of wide-ranging and radical free-market reforms against bitter opposition generated controversy, he has left a large mark on Icelandic political history and that under his leadership, the Icelandic economy has changed beyond recognition.
When we stop caring for our independence and are swept into some superpower’s ocean of nationhood, when the last old women who can recite an Icelandic verse is dead, then the world has become poorer. And the superpower who might have swallowed us would not be any the richer for it.