That Gaelic monasticism flourished in the early medieval period is well established. The "Irish School" penetrated large areas of Europe and contemporary authors describe North Atlantic travels and settlements. Across Scotland and beyond, Celtic-speaking communities spread into the wild and windswept north, marking hundreds of Atlantic settlements with carved and rock-cut sculpture. They were followed in the Viking Age by Scandinavians who dominated the Atlantic waters and settled the Atlantic rim.
WithInto the Ocean, Kristján Ahronson makes two dramatic claims: that there were people in Iceland almost a century before Viking settlers first arrived c. AD 870, and that there was a tangible relationship between the early Christian "Irish" communities of the Atlantic zone and the Scandinavians who followed them.
Ahronson uses archaeological, paleoecological, and literary evidence to support his claims, analysing evidence ranging frompapplace names in the Scottish islands to volcanic airfall in Iceland. An interdisciplinary analysis of a subject that has intrigued scholars for generations,Into the Oceanwill challenge the assumptions of anyone interested in the Atlantic branch of the Celtic world.