By Tucker Wills
Iceland's national anthem
The earliest inhabitants of Iceland were Irish hermits, who left the island upon the arrival of the pagan Norse people in the late 9th century. A constitution drawn up c. 930 created a form of democracy and provided for an Althing , the world's oldest practicing legislative assembly. The island's early history was preserved in the Icelandic sagas of the 13th century.
In 1262–1264, Iceland came under Norwegian rule and passed to ultimate Danish control through the unification of the kingdoms of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark in 1397.