1530s Iceland: Reykjahlíð vs. Saxa and Scalholdin. Vanished cities?


While looking for the origins of Saint Patersburg, I came across this 1539 map called Carta Marina. After zooming in on Iceland, and googling some of the cities, I ran into another map called Da Islandia Insula, and attributed to 1566. Below are some of my observations. This is a reader's thread, and requires paying attention to detail.
  • Note: the maps below are not oriented North to South due to the older maps orientation.
Personally, I find the below two maps rather fascinating. Da Islandia Insula'1566 is a map of the island of Iceland. Carta Marina'1539 is a much bigger map. For the purposes of this thread we are going to limit ourselves to its island of Iceland only. If you spot any other interesting things on the Carta Marina (which you most likely will), please do not derail this thread, and start a separate one.

Map Links:
It appears that these maps could be revealing way too much. The question is... too much of what?
  • We have, at least, a couple of vanished cities, which are Saxa and Scalholdin.
  • Also in the maps are contemporary looking buildings, with one being (arguably) six stories high.
  • We have strange objects (resembling chimneys, or water towers) which appear to be the sources of several rivers.
  • The maps contain "Cryptoporticus" passage ways.
  • We also have a couple suspicious lakes.
  • Chaos inscriptions and other things, etc.
  • To tie all of this together - none of the above appears to exist any longer.
Da Islandia Insula by Incognito

The 1566 map of Iceland DA ISLANDIA INSULA has no known author. Web sources tell us, that it uses Carta Marina of Olaus Magnus as its model for Iceland, even if it is not obvious at a glance. If you flip the country over and turn it 90° right, you can see that it resembles Carta Marina´s Iceland. Camoccio published practically the same map under the same title in 1570 and 1574.
  • Essentially, the author is unknown and the map is attributed to 1566. Weird how we have no clue where it came from, but we know that it was done in 1566.
Carta Marina by Olaus Magnus

In a nutshell, Mr. Magnus lived (allegedly, of course) between 1490 and 1557. The Carta Marina map was published in 1539. Its full name is Carta marina et descriptio septentrionalium terrarum, which translates to Marine map and description of the Northern lands.

Map Comparison
I am going to put Da Islandia Insula, and Carta Marina Iceland side by side with each other, and with the Google Map of Iceland. For right now, let us just see whether these two older maps are somewhat accurate as they pertain to today's outline of Iceland. Please make your own conclusion how representative of our contemporary Iceland these maps are.

Da Islandia Insula vs Carta Marina

Da Islandia Insula vs Google Maps

Carta Marina vs Google Maps

It is probably hard to judge which map came first, for the 1566 explanation sounds like they do not really know. The two look fairly similar, but are not quite the same. The difference is primarily in the outline of the island, while the contents are very much the same. Whether one of the two is a poor copy of the other is unknown. The earliest date given to us by the official history is 1539 (for the Carta Marina). That's the date we are going to use.

Saxa and Scalholdin

Judging by what we see on the older maps, Saxa and Scalholdin appear like two major cities, or towns. At the same time, today's state of things suggests that they were not.
  • Scalholdin is allegedly today's Skálholt, but is it really? Below is the comparison of 1539 vs 2000s.
Some history of Scalholdin as we know it today:
  • Adam of Bremen, writing circa 1075, described Skálholt (Scaldholz) as the "largest city" in Iceland.
  • Skálholt is a historical, cultural, and religious center on the river Hvítá near Laugarvatn in the south of Iceland. The town was an ecclesiastic power center – the ancient headquarters of Iceland’s bishops and the seat of culture, education, and worldly power for 700 years. It was one of the two bishoprics which, until the Reformation in 1540, governed the Icelandic people. The original cathedral was dismantled in the 18th century. The present church was built in 1963.
  • The first Cathedral was built in the 12th century, and altogether there have been 10 churches here built of wood, some of them burnt down, others were destroyed by bad weather etc. Some of them were much larger than the present memorial Cathedral, which was built from 1956-1963.
  • Thirty-two Catholic bishops sat here until the Reformation to Lutheranism in 1540. The Reformation was not done peacefully and the last Catholic bishop, Jón Arason at Hólar, and his two sons were beheaded here in 1550. After this tragic event, 13 Lutheran bishops sat here until 1801 when the see was moved to Reykjavík.
  • Although many of the artefacts from the ancient churches of Skálholt are held in the National Museum in Reykjavik, the religious and general history of this town attracts visitors to it. For a start, the church has beautiful artwork and visitors can learn more about the interesting history of the place, including its executions and beheadings. Another attraction in this area is Snorri’s Pool at Reykholt, which is situated west of Borgarnes. The Viking historian and renowned writer, Snorri Sturluson, created many of his works at this place. He was assassinated here in 1241, during the early years of the saga age in Iceland, by Gissur Þorvaldsson, a political adversary. The Snorrstofa museum in the town is devoted to Sturluson. There is another monument to Sturluson called Snorralaug (which means Snorri’s pool) behind the town’s school. This is a round pool of about 4 meters (13 ft) in diameter, and behind it is a path, which is said to lead to the cellar where the famous writer was assassinated.
  • Skálholt is arguably one of Iceland’s most historic sites. In addition to being the seat of bishops from 1056 until 1785, the country’s first school was also founded here in 1056. The effort to build the enormous cathedral in 1153 was considerable, with timbers being transported all the way from Norway. Its intriguing history alone merits a visit to Skálholt.

But when we search for the historical images of Scalholdin, we run into pages like this one: The historical Skálholt Episcopal See in South-Iceland. And this is where a total different picture gets painted.


A sarcophagus was found in 1954 during the excavation for the foundations of the church, containing the remains of our bishop Páll Jónsson, who died in 1211. The sarcophagus is on display in the church crypt/cellar. The sarcophagus is by far the most important old relic to be found at Skálholt. In the crypt, you will also find 2 Icelandic tombstones and foreign tombstones of 5 bishops and 1 councillor.


Apparently Bloody Vikings are being blamed for the annihilation of Scalholdin. I guess, they also destroyed Saxa, and to confuse everybody named a coast area geyser after it.

Catch 22: Today's Skálholt is not really our Scalholdin. At least their respective locations on the map do not match.


KD: Today, Saxa is not a city or town, and located at a different place. Today's Skálholt is not our Scalholdin, and is also located at a different place.
  • What else is new?
Scalholdin a.k.a. Reykjahlíð?
Yup, I think our Scalholdin was located where today's Reykjahlíð is. This photograph below represents the village of Reykjahlíð. It has approximately 300 inhabitants and is situated on the shores of Lake Mývatn in the North of Iceland.


And Scalholdin was supposed to be the biggest city in Iceland back in the day. 300 inhabitants and no ruins hardly cut it.
  • Bla-bla-bla: During the so-called Mývatn fires, caused by the eruption of the nearby volcano Krafla in 1729, the village was destroyed by a lava stream. However, the inhabitants were saved when the lava flow stopped in front of the village church on higher ground, allegedly as the result of the prayers of the village priest.
  • From Reykjahlíð, it is possible to go to many sights in the area, most notably Krafla. The volcano last erupted in 1984, but the vapour of a warm lava field and of sulphur springs can still be seen. Not far from there is the crater Víti (meaning "hell" in Icelandic), but looking today rather harmless with a blue lake at its bottom. Its apparent tranquility belies the fact that its last eruption was as recent as 1976.
  • Other interesting places are on the lake itself, like the volcano Hverfjall, the pseudo-craters of Skútusstaðir and Dimmuborgir (a strange lava formation).
  • The name Mývatn is sometimes used not only for the lake but the whole surrounding inhabited area. The River Laxá, Lake Mývatn and the surrounding wetlands are protected as a nature reserve (the Mývatn-Laxá Nature Conservation Area, which occupies 4,400 km2 (440,000 ha).
Attention: This bullet above states - protected as a nature reserve. In the US we have National Register of Historic Places, and National Parks. On a bigger scale we have UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In Iceland we, apparently, have National Parks and Protected Areas.
  • Ladies and Gentlemen, this is where they are hiding our stolen history. Digging is strictly prohibited, for we need to "preserve and conserve". If not protected, people will start discovering cities similar to Scalholdin and Saxa. Preserve and Conserve the lies that is.
On the shores of Lake Mývatn
Traditional BS comes first: Mývatn is a shallow lake situated in an area of active volcanism in the north of Iceland, not far from Krafla volcano. The lake was created by a large basaltic lava eruption 2300 years ago, and the surrounding landscape is dominated by volcanic landforms, including lava pillars and pseudocraters.

This is where the reader needs to get familiarized with my earlier thread, for this lake did not exist in 1539 (IMHO):
Wikipedia article pertaining to Lake Mývatn has 5 or 6 photographs in it. But they chose poorly, and possibly deliberately. Here are a few real photographs covering the area of Myvatn Lake, Iceland.
Lake Myvatn area, Iceland


More Images

As a matter of fact, the entire Northeast of Iceland looks like the "laked" images below. What happened there?



Where is the real Scalholdin?
Obviously, we do not appear to have any real ruins of Scalholdin remaining in the area. Yet, we have these "natural" formations similar to the one represented by the image below. Could these be the remnants of the once great city of Scalholdin?


KD Opinion: I think Scalholdin, and Saxa, were annihilated by some force which was not supposed to exist around 1539. Yet, we might have enough evidence that such force did exist. If it was a natural force similar to asteroids, there would be no reason to hide it from us. Yet, the reality appears to be hidden. My only reasonable conclusion would be something similar to the War of Gods. Mahabharata type of war that is.

Rectangular Buildings
I do not know about you, but to me the below 1539 buildings look bizarre. I am not sure they are representative of the time frame they are attributed to. Did they really build like that prior to 1539. To show what I mean, I made this "two time frames" compilation below. Whether the space between those wavy lines on the map buildings represent stories, I am not sure. At the same time, if they do, the one on the right would be 6 stories high. To be honest, the real 1566 version of the map shows more of them lines. So... whatever they are, those lines.
  • May be these wavy lines are related to electricity through frequencies and vibrations. This is for someone else to hypothesize, and I'm just throwing this out here.

While the above Saxa, and Scalholdin appear to be two different cities, the structural resemblance is rather strange. At least to me it is. If I were to speculate based on the other items from the same maps, these contemporary looking buildings could be the remnants of the previous civilization. One way or the other, they do not exactly belong in 1539 as we know it.

ICE: Water Towers & Lakes
I do not know what these water "towers" were supposed to be, (may be you have an idea). It appears we have river sources originating at the above four locations.


Then again, may be we have some sort of a Sulfur Factory of the previous civilization. Sulfur and Chaos...


At the same time, what do I see is that these water towers, and two lakes are very conveniently iced over on the Google Map below. What a coincidence. There appears to be more questions than answers.


Hekla Volcano
I am not sure how the above older maps account for the famous Volcano of Hekla. It appears we do not even have any mountains in that area in 1539. Maps of Ortelius (high res) produce more questions than answers, for they place Hekla at a totally different location. Wikipedia conveniently covered it up with publishing only a portion of the Ortelius's map.
  • As we can see, Ortelius's Hekla is located under the icecap of the so-called Vatnajökull Mountains. Additionally Ortelius's Hekla still does not correspond to the one titled Mons Heclafiel (presented on this Da Islandia Insula map). Looks like Ortelius picked Mons Helgafiel and called it Hekla.

for larger images reference sources below
Another interesting thing we can see on the maps authored by Ortelius is where he places Skalholt. It's west of Hekla, like way west of Hekla. This confirms our placement of Scalholdin, which is located North from Hekla. It can mean only one thing: Skalholt is not Scalholdin.


In Ancient Roman architecture a cryptoporticus (from Greek crypta and porticus) is a covered corridor or passageway. The usual English is "cryptoportico". The cryptoportico is a semi-subterranean gallery whose vaulting supports portico structures above ground and which is lit from openings at the tops of its arches.


May be somebody can figure out where this "covered passageways" could lead to, but Ancient Roman cryptoporticus looked something like this. I did not find any ruins of this structure in the contemporary Iceland. Chances are, I simply did not look good enough. Pretty sure the map did not mean Turf Houses.

Cryptoporticus Example

North-South Issue
I think this Da Islandia Insula could be a much older map, when compared to all the other ones, including the 1539 Carta Marina. Why do I think so? Because the North on this old map appears to be where today's West is.


KD Opinion: Now, I'm not saying that I'm right about any of the above. These are just my observations, and here is what I think:
  • First of all, Iceland on the Carta Marina is a mirror image of the real Iceland at the time.
  • If any of this North being West, and South being East has any merit, the World was a very different place not that long ago.
  • Taking this 90 degree flip could explain the absence of ice on the older maps. Trees grow everywhere.
    • It could probably explain the "Green" in Greenland too.
  • The Island of Iceland suffered a cataclysmic event (natural, or intelligent being caused), which resulted in the presented above.
  • Let us not forget about the disappearance of Friesland about the same time frame.
  • Questionable sites (like former Scalholdin) are being protected under various international "Preservation and Conservation" acts.
  • We are being lied to about various locality names. The names get shuffled around geographically.
  • Technological remnants of the previous (destroyed) civilization were present in multiple locations in between 15th and 19th centuries.
Well, that about it for now.


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Using this map
click to expand

Da Islandia Insula'1566 google translate detects Romanian and translates it into English as "Is Islandia '1566"

Dropping the i from islandia gets this romanian to English translation. "Yes Island of the Island '1566"

Could be in non machine English "Island of the Ice Land". As with every historical document there are all, at least the ones I come across, 'out of time' and fiddled with.

Anyway running with googles machine translate.
The word 'caos' translates from romanian to caos in english. Google translate suggest spanish and that translation produces the english word "chaos".

Next up comes sufer which going from romanian to english becomes "sulfuric" spanish to english doesn't translate.

Saxa from romanian to english becomes "Saxe". However the machine suggestion is latin which translates as "rocks".
Scalholdin is detected as english with no suggestions as an alternative so using the three romanian, spanish, latin produces no translation.

Hanefiord produces no translations but a machine suggestion is hanefjord which produces a norwegian to english"rooster fjord"
Changing the f to an s produces no translation but one suggestion as hindi which gives the english translation as "Hanesiorad"

Vestrabord is detected as latin yet doesn't translate into anything else in english using any of the above languages.

Hote ansis is detected as latvian which in english is "hotel ansis"
Hote anfis is detected as marathi which doesn't translate into english

Levante is detected as english and doesn't translate into anything else in any of the other languages above.
Same applies to borghem

Ponente is detected as spanish and translates to "speaker" it suggest italian which translates as "west"

Mezzo di is detected as italian which translates to "means of"

Cripto portions is detected as english which translates in english as "crypto portions"

Tramontana is detected as english in italian it translates as "north wind"

Words from the description top left.
Deislanda invula is detected as icelandic but doesn't translate into english
Changing the v to a u gets it detected as romanian which gives the english as "deislanda island"

Ferando berteli exc produced no translation
A gibiru serch brought up this page Fernando Bertelli (15..-15..?) - Auteur - Ressources de la Bibliothèque nationale de France which produces the image below so it appears to me the map maker was ferando berteli (not posted to derail but posted as evidence the same man was the author of both maps) EDIT: further investigation suggests he was publisher or copier not the mapmaker.

My thread on Ferando i566 and all that. Ferando Berteli maps
But the most striking thing is the date on the map of the ice land is not 1566 but i566.

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Those craters are incredible! What could cause something like that? Plasma outbursts from the sun or a huge comet...or plasma weapons, maybe? There are lots of stories in the myths, telling of a war in heaven. The Hindu myths are very detailed, describing what must be high-tech weapons in a language that is inadequate for the job. Who was at war with whom, and when, and what were they fighting over?

Ice Nine

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After watching the Helverton lab plasma experiments, plasma outbursts look like a viable explanation. Whether is was natural or a weapon, I don't know.
I seem to know less and less every day.


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abbatia helgeial

mons oncis detected as latin translates mountain Oncius
mons helgafiel detected as latin translates mountain helgafiel
mons halafiel detected as latin translates mountain halafiel
cannot read the other mons clearly enough.
Oncius was a son of Apollo
helgafiel brings up this page 733 (Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus)
which contains the term Helgafiel abbatia.which is latin that translates to Helgafiel Abbot. which suggests that the little building tucked under the mons with the illegible name is a monastery or an abbey and
abbatia helegial is actually abbatia helgafiel

That page also contains this sentence Capsæ autem hujus abundantis butyri, reperiuntur in Abbatia Helgafiel Helgafiel abbatia.
which translates into this
Caps of this, however, a man of affluence of butter, was found in the abbey in the abbey of Helgafiel Helgafiel Abbot.
Which in turn explains the cow by mons helafiel and the man behind the cow possibly a monk?

The two fish are possibly salmon note the beak on the lower one facing inland and the four pots could be fish traps run by the abbey or monastary.

saxa in latin translates to rocks.
When I was a kid we uses Saxa brand table salt.

My guess is saxa is simply a place where the monks? produced salt as icelandic salt is still sold today. Natural Salt from Iceland
Reasoned from this;

The translation from latin into english of the iceland part of the linked page is below.

IN THE the island of Island, so much the same, beyond that of butter of salt, on account of the Butyri supply for them.
the number of animals and the pastures richness found the supply of, as they can not sufficient for this purpose the vessels or the urinous, chests of butter or 30. capsasex a wooden chest with the feet.
odprisero tree of the company made up, 30. or 40. feet;long, 4. in truth, or V. The height, quotanms in a number of places may be filled, domestic use, and in the Indeed, conservation and commercial exchange.
A messenger was for the use of fish, Blind man, this kind of steps with butter, in place of bread use most often, so even eaters applied
As explained below, the structure of bones and ribs, sea monsters.
Caps of this, however, a man of affluence of butter, was found in the abbey in the abbey of Helgafiel Helgafiel.
the host nation, named things in butter and dry fish, as best stores it is based on how and two cathedrals of Scalholdensis and Holen Scalholdenssis & Holen cathedral.
together with the noble mansions, most of which have a similar result.
On behalf of the semen exotica that nation, drink, beer, out of the cities of Germany, on the coast navigid conflict. Prætereab with those nations, sources Cereal liquid as sweet as that of liquid sources Cereal taste referentci.
who give to all of them to the necessity in drinking, it is further accompanied by pleasure, and by a sound the taste will help quite a lot, in a similar manner as in chapter tells Solinus.

A search for abbey of helgafiel brings up this pdf: Opera Breve, which contains this.
  • A: indicates the extraordinary mountains on whose summit there is eternal snow, and at whose feet, is a dreadful abyss. There is also everlasting fire, similar to the Sicilian Etna with its horror, and also to Vulcan’s cave, mentioned when talking of punishment of the soul. One of them is commonly called Heclafiel, the other Crucis, the third Helgafiel, or holy mountain. On those mountains there are upright stones, put there in memory of the deeds of the ancestors, and on which are inscribed the feats of the ancient populations. [It also indicates] the Scalholdensis Episcopal Church.
  • B: is put near four springs, distinguished by their opposite nature: one is marvelously warm, one frigid, one suitable to quench human thirst, the fourth deadly. Around those springs the inhabitants extract a great quantity of sulfur, which they sell at a very low price, a thousand pounds for a tenth of a florin.
  • C: is between two marvelous sights, that is between a fire, which not having wick to burn, continuously consumes the water, and a certain abyss, whose depth one cannot perceive by sight, but that can be perceived with difficulty by dropping a rope from the edge, where are painted scenes of dead people. Because it happens often that the men drowned in the sea appear to their kin the same day, as if they were alive, and when one asks them to enter the house, sighing they reply that they must go to the mount Hecla.
  • D: is put there to show mostly bears, foxes, hares, and the whitest crows, which here are found everywhere.
  • E: is ice, which emits the most unhappy moan and cry in a human voice: this proves that the souls of men are tortured there.
  • F: shows stones carried by violent exhalations, so that they are sent through the air as if they were flying without anybody throwing them.
  • G: shows such abundance of fish that is put for sale in great mounds, because the inhabitants are almost all fish eaters, since they sow little wheat, and because of this, they reap little. I do not doubt that if they sowed more, they would have more bread, which now they buy brought in from elsewhere. I do believe that they are not so interested in agriculture because of the immense quantity of fish, which they trade for other things.
  • H: contains a very high mountain, considered holy, and the Abbey of Helgafiel, whose great entrance is made of butter, abundant everywhere and distributed in the land.
  • I: shows the Holensis cathedral, and here the pasture is so rich that if the oxen were not taken from the meadows, they would burst because of fatness.
  • K: [shows] great whales similar to mountains, [which] overthrow ships: they are not frightened or slowed by the din and noise of trumpets or by round, empty vessels thrown in the water.
  • L: Inexperienced sailors are at times in danger, as they often cast anchor on some part of the whale’s body, as if they had found an island.
  • M: shows the fights of merchants to obtain the best anchorage, because the lords of these lands do not usually control what happens on high seas.
  • N: has the ensign of the kingdom of Norway, and of Iceland, which belongs to the same kingdom. Besides this, [the letter shows] a knight next to the Norwegian ensign, thrown on the ground by the forces of wind.
  • O: shows here great churches, and houses built with the bones of fish and of sea whales. There are also caves, which are used by the inhabitants against the cold, as Africans hide in similar places against the heat of the sun. And armed knights are shown fighting the cruelest wars against each other, often for unimportant reasons. The citharist attracting birds and fish with the sound [of his instrument], proves also that in the extreme frontiers of this land, music is appreciated, and sometimes is used in fishing and bird catching.
Besides this, in the Arctic sea, on floating slabs of ice, which last eight months, one can see on the ice, bears diving, capturing fish, and devouring them: this could not happen if there weren’t great abundance of fishin the pools of water.
The circle, which shows the different winds, is self-explanatory. The small fighting dwarf in Greenland shows that here one finds men with a very small body but of great spirit and perseverance. On Huitsarch, or I should say White Mountain, there is a clock with lead letters made by sea pirates, which guides those who navigate the sea around the cliffs of Greenland, and can thus avoid shipwrecking. But every learned man will be able to figure out the parallels and degrees of longitude:
  • I do not doubt that my labor will be approved by scholars, and accepted with benign gratitude.
The title on the front of the whole map is the following:
  • Marine map and description of the Northern Lands, and of extraordinary things, in it depicted with great diligence.
More here about the kingdom of Norway and its lands Septentrionalium Press. So it would appear the four 'pots' are actually springs with the deadly one marked sulfur for good reason. It seems the Abbey was indeed located at the foot of Helgafell and was of the Augustinian order. Figure 1. Helgafellklaustur ( 1184–1551 ) , an Augustinian monastery,...

The monastic site is supposed to have been located at the foot of Helgafell, ... Helgafellklaustur ( 1184–1551 )

The Boethian Influence on Saga Narrative. Eyrbyggja saga is thought to have been written at the monastery that was located at. Helgafell on the south side of Breiðafjörður during the 13th century

Helgafell means holy mountain. Saga Spots: Helgafell, The Holy Mountain - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Of relevance.It will be argued that the production of Codex Hardenbergianus might also be linked to the Cathedral workshop of the southern Icelandic diocese of Skálholt, an important literary production centre of legal texts at the time.
Bergen and Iceland: The Production of Codex Hardenbergianus and the West Icelandic Helgafell Workshop

The abbey held these islands ISLANDS AKUREYJAR (Helgafellssveit). These islands are the namesakes of a more renowned group of islands off Skardstrond further east. They offered some advantages, such as birds, shore and fish and contained fishing outfits before the turn of the 18th century. The oldest preserved boat with the Breidafiord shape is from there. According to the Saga of the Marshland Killings, Styr the savage acquired them with violence and false accusations. In 1360 they were the property of the Helgafell monastery.


Within just one generation (c. 1340–1400), the Augustinian monastery of Helgafell rose to become the most important centre of illuminated manuscript production in western Iceland.
Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities - Our Research - Previously Funded Projects - Drechsler, Stefan

Quite an outfit these Augustinians.

Diocese of Skálholt
Skálholt (Latin (or Roman) Diocese) [Catholic-Hierarchy]

Apparently one of the other little buildings on that map must be this one cannot figure out which it is.
Hólar (Latin (or Roman) Diocese) [Catholic-Hierarchy]

Then along comes the re-form-ation and everything gets wiped, well just about.

Just had a quick look for Holensis cathedral which brought up this pdf A briefe commentarie of Island: wherein the errors of such as haue written concerning this Island, are detected, and the slanders, and reproches of certaine strangers, which they haue vsed ouer-boldly against the people of Island are confuted.
which contains this bolded bit which I find staggering.

A celebrated Icelandic astronomer, disciple of Tycho Brahe, and coadjutor of the Bishop of Holen, died in 1649 at the great age of 95. His principal works, besides his Description and History of Iceland, (published at Amsterdam in 1643, 4to), are Idea Vera Magistratus (Copenhagen, 1689, 8vo); Rerum Islandicarum libri tres (Hamburg, 1630, 4to); The Life of Gundebrand de Thorlac, etc. He is remembered amongst the peasantry of Iceland as the only instance known in that country of a man of ninety-one marrying a girl in her teens.
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The ABC copied out above from that PDF is the key to the Carta Marina Olaus Magnus - Bell Library: Maps and Mapmakers
The middle of the three towers is colured red on that map which suggest to me the towers act like cooling towers and are situated over some geothermal activity that brings up very salty water which evaporates as it rises through the tower leaving the salt on the sides.
Three because production was so good according to the above research?
Three to allow one to be harvested whilst a second is prepared for use with one in use? (the red one on the map)
Really would like to see how if this were the case they directed the water to each tower.

Holensis Cathdral is there on the Carta Marina though seemingly missing on the DaIslanda map or maybe misnamed will have a look later.
Top right on Carta Marina we see the dwarf man and 'normal size man of the day' quite clearly together with the sinking broken apart ship which seems to have run into what look like floating tree trunks which suggests to me that not only was greenland ice free but trees were growing on it and probably much further north. This 'tree line' above or beyond which trees don't grow is a modern invention.

Having slept on it the thing that appears to have taken down the monasteries on Iceland and the one locally (Augustinian Iceland Cistercian Britain both Catholic) was the re form ation which looks to have gone through 'the world' as it was at the time as ripple moves though water. It is also clear no single map can be considered definitive as some embelish, some anglicise, some flip the 'point of view' and some simply have things left off them.

A simply stunning source of names of navigators. Not strictly relevant to this thread, on first blush, but a convenient place to note it. KD; Please move if it serves the sites purposes better The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries by Richard Hakluyt - Full Text Free Book
The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries
Richard Hakluyt
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The mountains on those old maps seem to burn. The word "chaos" appears next to the burning "mountains". Mysterious.


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Looking at it again, the things that look like mountains above the fire might simply be the artists attempt to draw smoke. They definitely look slightly different than the natural mountains. The word chaos could mean the area is out of control due to some tech exploding and some material like sulfur, etc. burning, and no one knew how to extinguish. The material seems to wash into the rivers. Needs to be a pretty long lasting fire to be painted on a map.


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What I struggled to fathom given the depth of information that there are latin speaking and writing monks all over the island of island to give it its title of the day is why caos appears on the map bearing Bertelli's name and the i566 date. Then it dawned that h is as silent in latin as it is in english so whoever annotated the map may not have been as bilingual as he thought.
A wander through the etymology's reveals it means confusion and disorder. On the maps it appears to apply to the land itself but honest that is what I see which may well not be what the map maker intended.
The mountains correlate on both maps and the holy mountain today does look exactly like the holy mountain on the map bearing Berteli's name.

Iceland tody is actively volcanic as Top Gear confirmed on two occasions in the past decade and the descriptions in the carta marina map key suggest it was just so when the map was made just 453 years ago (assuming the i566 is accurate)

What is of interest to me is who were the people of the islands before 1052 (i52 most likely) when the Augustinians turned up to spread the catholic version of 'events' after all if there were no people, no heathens then there is nothing to indoctrintate.


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Very interesting thread. I am not sure if it is mentioned here or in the Friesland thread, if at all, but there were also inhabited islands between Iceland and Greenland called Gunnbjorns Skerries.

I mention them because they are now underwater, due to having blown up in the past. So it is not unprecedented in mainstream history for such a thing to happen. There also was an inhabited peninsula I think in the west of Iceland that was supposed to have blown up and disappeared in medieval times, sorry can't think of its name off the top of my head.

Also, I think there is a thread here about Pythias of Massalia having travelled to Iceland in ancient times and reporting that Iceland was inhabited at that time, but apparently not by the scandinavian people who live there now. I think the Landnámabók refers to Irish being present in Iceland when they first arrived.

So there is certainly scope for there to have been other cities or any kind of ruins or societies or whatever up there.


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You have intrigued me so went off to gibiru and searched for the skerries and found this EIRIKR THORVALDSSON – Volume I (1000-1700)

EIRIKR THORVALDSSON (Eric the Red), first European to explore and settle Greenland; fl. 985.

His father Thorvaldr Asvaldsson was exiled from Norway and settled in Iceland where Eric was born. In 982 Eric was sentenced to three years outlawry for manslaughter. He determined to go in search of a land in the west, sighted many years before by Gunnbjörn Ulfsson and known as the Skerries of Gunnbjörn (likely the mountains on the east coast of Greenland). He sailed to Greenland and spent his three years of outlawry exploring the west coast. In 985 he returned to Iceland, organized a colonization company and led that year or the next a flotilla of 25 ships (14 of which reached their goal) to Greenland. These people formed the nucleus of the two Icelandic colonies, the Western and Eastern Settlements on the west coast of Greenland.

So Erik was sent off of Iceland for a period of three years so he chose to sail to Greenland where he survivd and explored the coast. Questions for me is how did he survive, what did he survive on, was he alone in his exile, were there 'other people' on Greenland at the time.
The tale above suggests there weren't.

This suggests there were! The book of the settlement of Iceland - Bækur.is


Next up I searched gibiru for Landnámabók which produced a slew wikiliar pages (always a good sign something is being obscured) and in among them this, Landnámabók (Sturlubók) which is in Icelandic I feel so google translate as much as it too is a gatekeeper will be employed to see what it contains.

No need for a google translation: Landnámabók- THE BOOK OF THE SETTLEMENT OF ICELAND.

Gets interestingg straight away!

Iceland before the Settlement - Testimony of Bede - Anchorites from Britain.
This is the Prologue to this Book. In that Book on the reckoning of time, which the Venerable Bede drew up, there is mention made of the Island called Tili, which in books is said to be six days' sailing north from Britain. There he said day came not in winter, nor night in summer, when day is at its longest. By wise men the reason why Iceland is called Tili is held to be this, that, wide about the land the sun shines all night when the day is at its longest, and that wide about it the sun is not seen in the day time when night is at its longest.

But Bede, the Priest, died 735 years after the Incarnation of our Lord, according to what is written, and more than one hundred years before Iceland was peopled by the Northmen. But before Iceland was peopled from Norway there were in it the men whom the Northmen called Papar; they were Christian men, and it is held that they must have come over sea from the west, for there were found left by them Irish books, bells, and croziers, and more things besides, from which it could be understood that they were Western (Irishmen); these things were found east in Pap-isle and Papyle, and it is stated in English books that in those times voyages were made between these countries.

A search for papar led to this page The Great Circle

Well it appears there were plenty of Icelanders prior to the Augustinians arrival.
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@jd755, could you please give us a short summary of your personal understanding of this story. You have been neck deep in research for a few days now. What's your personal opinion after combing through so much info?


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An excellent source of the animals and their letters on the Ortelius map The monsters of Islandia
@jd755, could you please give us a short summary of your personal understanding of this story. You have been neck deep in research for a few days now. What's your personal opinion after combing through so much info?
Well I don't do opinions I find they tend to colour observation and feelings to such a degree that the 'way through' gets obscured.
However I do have a feeling I am being led a merry dance by someone or some people long dead and alive right now.

For example the wording changes on the two version of the same map just scream 'fiddling' to me, caos and chaos being the obvious one by itself an alarm bell, but add in the 'missing name' on the clearer version and the missing symbols such as the two men swinging axes? by the two fish and it suggests something is off.

Then comes a nagging feeling all these map people appear and disappear in a bloody short period of the mainstream chronological time frame. it feels though there was a map making enterprise or club in operation run by people whose names are never even noticed let alone investigated.

The date on the darker of the two Deislanda maps is clearly i566 which suggests the 1000 addition to the 'from christ' timeline is indeed real and is one of god know how many such mnipulations.

The involvement of the church at every stage of the game is slowly revealing itself and by chuch i mean the catholi version. Abbeys, monastery's appear all over the place in a similar mainstream time span to the rise and fall of these map makers, no such thing as coincidnce in my book. There is one such abbey not two miles away from where this is being typed, well its remains are and it doesn't feel to me to be the 'great antiquity' we are told it is, "begun in 1147" indeed.

The discovery of the connection between an astronomer abbot of iceland and tycho brahe throws a spanner in the works given brahes connection to a non heliocentric earth which becomes heliocentric but not in the way copernicus's heliocentricty works.Add in the bishop of holar likely having a hand in the ortelius map and it once again becomes a very convenient set of circumstances which feel very script like.

Moving backwards from the date on the map we get into the 'viking tales' which frankly have alway had the ring of not being 'what we are told' even back when i frst heard about them in grammar school days and by ring i mean feeling something was not quite right as though everything was 'certain' or conveniently placed into a timeline that feels impossible to be real.

That's about it at the moment. Save to say the monks here were savigny and then cistercians and they too were into salt production from the sea which they achieved by creating salt lagoons which only filled on the high tides which they left to evaporate and then collected the sea salt off the dry lagoons. The lagoons are long gone but the farm the monks used to opearate from is stll here and the area is still called salthouse and has been on all the old local maps i have seen. It too doesn't feel to date from the 1100's.

Just discovered this which does suggest that the saxo was simply an area of salt production and the map maker embemmished it with the age old 'towers of salt' a visible 'cartoon' of the salt production with religious connections whenever the map was created.
Story — SALTVERK - Hand harvested sustainable sea salt from the Westfjords of Iceland

The Danish king established salt production in the 18th century using geothermal energy to produce salt. The production stopped a few decades later and the tradition of saltmaking in Iceland came to an end.

Its as if those icelandic salt poducing monks never existed.

Too tired last night to complete this but today refeshed.
Another thing that refuses to sit still within me is the cartoon like drawings that appear on these maps alongside accurate drawings of people.
The animals in particular are almost always depicted as mythical with bits added on like feet or eyes or horns teeth etc and I find it incredulous that there were no accurate first hand drawings/sketches/paintings of these animals around at the time for the map makers to use.
It feels as though they have been 'made mythical' either for artistic purposes or for obfuscation.
The drawings of people in maps and margins have a 'natural feel' to them wheras all the animals lack this. Maybe just a perception (or opinion creeping in) but there it is.
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Just a quick one - "saxa" means "stones" in Latin. The little drawing looks like standing stones, like these ones:

Now, officially, Iceland shouldn't have these, since they're a relic of "Neolithic culture" and those guys never reached Iceland - officially. Of course, practically speaking, they almost certainly could have (it was both warmer and calmer in the north back then, and they already had boats capable of crossing the North Sea). Anyway, looking through the surface layer of the web, it seems like there are not and never have been standing stones in Iceland before the modern era - excepting maybe some runestones (though again, apparently, Iceland has none - what? The place where Old Norse culture and language survived and thrived for the longest has no runestones?)

Anyway, "saxa" on maps (as far as I'm aware) is often referring to standing stones of some description. Which is interesting in itself, since there are none reported from that time - 1500s or earlier. Something's a bit fishy with it all anyway.

Onto reading the rest of the replies :)


I’m just curious why you guys choose latin to translate Saxa, when other location names appear to be a mix of latin and Icelandic.


Active member
Mons is Latin, the stuff in the corner is Latin, and the Icelandic names are written with Latin orthography - the author is clearly not Icelandic, first and foremost because he's got his map the wrong way round (it's flipped left-to-right, "east" is to the left and "west" is to the right), secondly because the names given for places are approximations of their more complicated pronunciations (Hanafiord is "Hafnarfjörður", not easy for a Romance speaker to write down).

It makes more sense to me tha Saxa is "stones", given their appearance, or, that if it means "cut" (as in "scissors" etc.) then it refers to the engravings - those are writing-stones on the first map, stones with symbols on them. That's why I referenced runestones. Either way, it still represents something that "shouldn't be there" according to received history.

Also, quick question: why would east and west be flipped on the map? Is there some tradition of producing mirror-image maps around this time?

And another one: the old map has "Sufur", not "Sulfur". There are some inconsistencies between them; the second and third look like "clean ups" of the first (with the first being more accurate as a result...)


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I’m just curious why you guys choose latin to translate Saxa, when other location names appear to be a mix of latin and Icelandic.
I didn't google translate suggested it.
The 'historical' references to salt are above either in the links or the copy pasted and icelandic salt is still exported today.
Also google translate suggested Romainian for the first bits of text I pasted in. Yes it is a machine that is part of the gatekeeper empire but still it is interesting to see what it makes of these words.

The thing is with the 'oldest maps' themselves the orientation of the island is only wrong from the viewers perspective coloured as it is with a globular world and in my case mercator projection school atlas's.
Again I find it inconceivable that whoever ordered the map or whoever made it got arse about tit without it being noticed even when the 'clener' ones were being made.

Saxa = standing stones. Never come across that one before and here the standing stones are all over the place and according the the mainstream there were latinised romans wandering around for centuries. There is a circle of them not five miles, as the crow flies, distant equally undateable as all the others. Not very impressive to be honest looks like something some kids would do.
Every date for a standing stone is bloody guess, quite frankly and a guess that to me serves to lock the things into a specfic time frame so securely it get taken for granted and no-one pays them any mre attention.

Just for the hell of it I went here and it said no such word in latin as Saxa but offered up this lot intead

Latin Definition for: saxeus, saxea, saxeum (ID: 34165) - Latin Dictionary and Grammar Resources - Latdict
saxeus, saxea, saxeum

  1. rocky, stony, made of stones
it translates salt in english into this in latin
sal, salis

  1. salt
  2. wit
If only I had found this site the other day Map Categories - The first maps of Iceland | Íslandskort.is
I find it odd that the i566 map appeared 4 years before the Carta Marina yet is said to be a flipped copy of it.

Getting Ortelius and Olaus mixed up.
Just a quick one - "saxa" means "stones" in Latin. The little drawing looks like standing stones, like these ones:

Now, officially, Iceland shouldn't have these, since they're a relic of "Neolithic culture" and those guys never reached Iceland - officially. Of course, practically speaking, they almost certainly could have (it was both warmer and calmer in the north back then, and they already had boats capable of crossing the North Sea). Anyway, looking through the surface layer of the web, it seems like there are not and never have been standing stones in Iceland before the modern era - excepting maybe some runestones (though again, apparently, Iceland has none - what? The place where Old Norse culture and language survived and thrived for the longest has no runestones?)

Anyway, "saxa" on maps (as far as I'm aware) is often referring to standing stones of some description. Which is interesting in itself, since there are none reported from that time - 1500s or earlier. Something's a bit fishy with it all anyway.

Onto reading the rest of the replies :)
You are going to love this page second image and description in particular Olaus Magnus - Carta Marina
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