This book focuses specifically on the concept and role of islands in the medieval world. The main characteristic of an island is, of course, that of being isolated from the rest of the world; in geography by waters, in more abstract and symbolic meanings by other kinds of separating borders. Islands were the place ‘on the other side’, of difference, otherness and remoteness. As one of the articles in this volume puts it, islands are often depicted “as sites for extraordinary events and happenings”.
The contributions cluster around the concept of islands under the following perspectives: • search for undiscovered and paradise islands in literature and cartography • idea of fictional islands in Old Norse texts • quality of islands in literary texts • monasteries as islands and monasteries on islands • human body as an island of religious achievements • seasonal islandisation of certain lands.