Flatøybok contains a comprehensive history of the birth of the kingdom of Norway, from the mythical earliest times until the year 1387.
These are tales of a period in the history of Norway and Scandinavia that were characterised by great political and religious upheavals, and by the individuals who shaped both their own age and later ages. Via the texts of the Icelandic writers of the sagas we gain an unusual insight into the lives and minds of our forefathers, into the material and spiritual battles they fought – and the nation that came into being during these centuries.
Flatøybok also tells of the close and important ties that have long existed between Norway, Iceland, Denmark and Sweden. No other corresponding work exists that narrates in such detail the common cultural and historical inheritance we Scandinavians share. Flatøybok is then a work about a common past in northern Europe – a past that also still binds us together as people of this modern age.
The original edition of the Flatøybok from the 1390s only exists in one copy, which is now kept in Iceland. But the work was in Norway for more than 20 years at the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th century, when the Icelander Tormod Torfæus, commissioned by the Danish monarch, used it as a main source for his great work on the history of Norway in Latin, while on the island of Karmøy in Rogaland. We in Norway are profoundly grateful for the work that has been carried out both in Iceland and in Denmark to preserve this unique treasure trove of sagas.