In the year 1000 , Iceland's central parliament, the Althingi was established, along with a constitutional law code.
It is considered to be the oldest parliament in the world.
Bringing his family and dependents to Iceland, he built a farm in what eventually became the capitol city of Reykjavik.
Like many of the first settlers to Iceland, Arnarson had fled Norway to avoid oppression under the tyrannical ruler, Harald the Fairheaded.
Bishoprics, or dioceses, were quickly established in the towns of Skalholt in 1056 and Holar in 1106.
Both places became centers of learning, typical of medieval universities throughout Europe which were established for training clerics.
It is often referred to as "the Land of Fire and Ice" because of its glaciers and volcanoes.
Iceland's fishing industry provides more than 70 percent of Icelandic exports. Ninety-three percent of Icelanders belong to the Lutheran Church of Iceland.
Feuds and civil war came to Iceland between 12, and by 1397, Iceland was under the dominion of Denmark.
Danish kings took control over the church, forcing Icelanders to abandon Catholicism for Danish Lutheranism.
The first census in 1703 revealed a population of 50,000.
It plunged to a low of 35,000 following a smallpox epidemic between 17.Iceland was further plagued with a series of famines and natural disasters until the end of the century, keeping the population below 40,000.