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Orkneyinga Saga

The Orkneyinga saga (also called the History of the Earls of Orkney) is an unique historical narrative of the history of the Orkney Islands from their capture by the Norwegian king in the 9th century onwards until about 1200 AD.

The saga was written around 1200 AD by an unknown Icelandic author and, as was generally the case with Icelandic language writing of this period, the saga is as much a fictional story as an historic document. It is thought to have been compiled from a number of sources, combining oral legends with historical facts. The saga begins with the semi-mythical capture of the islands by the King of Norway before moving on to more factual matters.

Throughout the story, a number of mythical characters are introduced: Sigurd the Powerful, Haakon Paulsson, Sigurd the Stout, Earl Rognvald and St Earl Magnus the Martyr. All these characters are still a part of Orcadian folklore today.

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