The Scandinavian influence was the earliest, and arguably one of the strongest external forces that went into the making of modern English. Consequently, a kwledge of the Icelandic language is of utmost importance. Not only does Icelandic supply a linguistic basis for such a study, it also provides the source of a great deal of the necessary information for the understanding of medieval British history. Old Icelandic literature, both in poetry and prose, presents a wealth of interesting material, which in some respects stands unrivalled among the literatures of medieval Europe, and without which, one's kwledge of the ancient North would certainly be limited. First published in England in 1910 and last printed in 1975, Geir T. Zoega's A Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic has long been the foremost reference source for the Icelandic language. Compiled on the general principle of including all the words the ordinary student of Icelandic is likely to meet, the dictionary has helped to bring about a wider interest in the language and literature of Iceland and is considered an essential complement to the study of medieval Nordic literature.
Geir T. Zoega (1857-1928) was the first master in the Grammar School of Reykjav k and the author of An English-Icelandic and Icelandic-English Dictionary.