This is a timeline of Icelandic history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Iceland and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see history of Iceland.
|860||Naddoðr discovers Iceland.|
He was heading to the Faroe Islands but drifted off course and landed near Reyðarfjörður in Iceland. As he returned to his boat it started to snow and thereby he reputedly named the land Snæland (lit. Snowland).
|Garðarr Svavarsson discovers Iceland.|
Blown from a storm near the Orkney Islands. He circumnavigated Iceland, thus the first to establish that the landmass was an island. He stayed for one winter in Skjálfandi. He praised the new land and called it Garðarshólmi (lit. Garðar's Islet).
|<870||Hrafna-Flóki Vilgerðarson becomes the first Scandinavian to deliberately sail to Iceland as news of a country in the west reached Norway. When Hrafna-Flóki climbed a mountain in Vatnsfjörður he spotted drift ice in a fjord that inspired the name of the country, Ísland (lit. Iceland).|
|874||Ingólfr Arnarson becomes the first permanent Nordic settler of Iceland. The settlement of Iceland begins.|
|930||The Icelandic Commonwealth is founded with the establishment of the Icelandic parliament (Althing), which had legislative and judicial power, but no executive power was present in the country.|
|1000||The Christianisation of Iceland is initiated due to pressure from the King of Norway.|
|> 1000||The Fifth Court is established as an appellate court for the Quarter Courts of Iceland.|
|1056||Ísleifur Gissurarson becomes the first bishop of Skálholt.|
|1096||A tithe is instigated by the church authorities.|
|1104||The volcano Hekla erupts, resulting in the devastation of Þjórsárdalur.|
|1106||Jón Ögmundsson becomes the first Bishop of Hólar.|
|1112||Þingeyraklaustur is founded as the first cloister in Iceland.|
Jón Ögmundsson, Bishop of Hólar, founded the cloister in 1112 but it was not formally established until 1133.
|1122||Ari Þorgilsson begins to write the historical work Book of Icelanders.|
|1208||9 September||The Battle of Víðines takes place. Kolbeinn Tumason is mortally wounded.|
|1238||21 August||The Battle of Örlygsstaðir takes place. Sturla Sighvatsson and Sighvatr Sturluson are killed.|
|1244||25 June||The Battle of the Gulf takes place.|
|1246||19 April||The Battle of Haugsnes takes place.|
|1253||22 October||The Flugumýri Arson takes place.|
|1258||Unknown||Gissur Þorvaldsson is appointed Jarl of Iceland by the King of Norway.|
The appointment aimed to further solidify the king's control over Iceland which was still independent. Gissur Þorvaldsson was also given domain over Southern farthing, Northern farthing and Borgarfjörður which had previously been seceded to the king by their respective chieftains.
|1262||Unknown||The Old Covenant is delivered to Iceland.|
The agreement made Icelanders subjects of the King of Norway and gave Icelanders and Norwegians equal rights in each other's countries. It received its first signatures in 1262 and went into effect in 1264 after receiving its final signatures.
|1397||17 June||The Kalmar Union is established.|
The kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and their respective dependencies joined in a personal union.
|1402||The Black Death hits Iceland for the first time.|
It is estimated that half of the population died in the years 1402–1404.
|1433||Jöns Gerekesson, bishop of Skálholt, is killed.|
|1494||The Black Death hits Iceland for the second time.|
It is estimated that half of the population died in the years 1494–1495.
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|1501||English merchants plunder Bessastaðir.|
|1539||Gissur Einarsson is made bishop.|
|1541||The Skálholt see turns Lutheran.|
|1550||Bishop Jón Arason and his sons are beheaded in Skálholt.|
|1551||The Hólar see turns Lutheran.|
|1559||The English are driven from Vestmannaeyjar.|
|1571||Guðbrandur Þorláksson becomes bishop of Hólar.|
|1584||Guðbrandsbiblía, the first Icelandic bible, is published.|
|1602||The King of Denmark grants Danish merchants monopoly on trade with Iceland.|
|1615||The Slaying of the Spaniards take place.|
|1625||The first person is burnt alive for witchcraft.|
|1627||The Turkish Abductions occur.|
Hundreds of Icelanders are kidnapped by Barbary pirates.
|1639||Brynjólfur Sveinsson becomes bishop of Skálholt.|
|1656||Kirkjuból witch trial.|
|The Flateyjarbók manuscript is sent to Denmark.|
|1662||Icelanders are made to accept the absolute monarchy of the King of Denmark.|
|1666||The Passion Psalms are composed by Hallgrímur Pétursson.|
|1703||First Icelandic census.|
|1707||The Bubonic plague spreads in Iceland. A quarter of the population dies.|
|1712||Jarðabók is completed.|
|1720||The manuscripts of Árni Magnússon are moved to Denmark.|
|1760||Icelanders start exporting salted fish to Spain.|
|1783||The Mist Hardships occur.|
A volcanic eruption at Laki destroys a great deal of the livestock in Iceland, causing famine and misery. 20-25% of Iceland perishes. 
|1787||Danish trade monopoly ceases.|
|1800||6 June||The Althing is abolished.|
|1801||The bishoprics of Skálholt and Hólar are united, located in Reykjavík.|
|1805||The Bessastaðaskóli is founded.|
|1807||Trade with Iceland all but disappears due to the Napoleonic Wars.|
|1809||Jørgen Jørgensen seizes power in Iceland and declares independence, but is deposed by the Danes shortly afterwards.|
|1835||The first copy of Fjölnir is published.|
|1841||Jón Sigurðsson starts publishing New Associated Writings.|
|1843||8 March||The King of Denmark orders the Althing to be resurrected.|
|1845||1 July||The Althing is resurrected, and the house of the Menntaskóli í Reykjavík is opened.|
|1851||National Assembly of 1851.|
|1855||The Danes grant Icelanders free trade.|
|1871||The Danish Parliament passes the Stöðulög laws.|
|1874||The King of Denmark visits Iceland and grants Icelanders a constitution. 1000 years of settlement celebrated throughout the country.|
|1875||First session of the restored Althing which has the power to pass laws. The Askja volcano erupts.|
|1880||The climate grows much colder, driving many Icelanders to emigrate to the New World.|
|1915||Universal suffrage.|
|1916||The political parties Social Democratic Party and Progressive Party are founded.|
|1918||1 December||Iceland becomes a sovereign, independent nation. The Danish King remains head of state.|
|1929||The Icelandic Independence Party is founded.|
|1930||20 December||The Icelandic Communist Party is founded. The Icelandic State Radio begins broadcasting.|
|1939||Following the occupation of Denmark by Nazi Germany, a national emergency government is formed under Sveinn Björnsson.|
|1940||10 May||The British invade, violating Icelandic neutrality.|
|1941||7 July||The United States Army, still officially neutral, replaces the British occupation force.|
|1944||17 June||Iceland becomes an independent republic, severing the last political ties to Denmark. Sveinn Björnsson becomes president.|
|1946||The Keflavik Agreement.|
|1948||Iceland receives Marshall Aid from the United States.|
|1949||30 March||Riots break out on Austurvöllur.|
|4 April||Iceland joins the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.|
|1951||The United States Army establishes a base in Keflavík.|
|1952||1 August||Exclusive economic zone extended to 4 nautical miles. Ásgeir Ásgeirsson becomes president.|
|1958||Exclusive economic zone extended to 12 nautical miles.|
|1963||14 November||Volcanic eruption forms Surtsey.|
|1966||30 September||The Icelandic State Television begins its first broadcasts.|
|1968||1 August||Kristján Eldjárn becomes president. Collapse of the fishing industry.|
|1970||1 January||Iceland joins the European Free Trade Association.|
|1972||Exclusive economic zone extended to 50 nautical miles.|
|1973||23 January||Volcanic eruption in Vestmannaeyjar.|
|1975||Exclusive economic zone extended to 200 nautical miles.|
|1980||1 August||Vigdís Finnbogadóttir becomes president of Iceland, the first woman in the world to become elected head of state.|
|1994||1 January||Iceland joins the European Economic Area.|
|1996||1 August||Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson becomes president.|
|2000||17–21 June||Southern Iceland is hit by two earthquakes, the first 6.6 ML and the second 6.5 ML. There were no fatalities but a few people were injured and there was some considerable damage to infrastructure.|
|2004||2 June||The president of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, refuses to sign a bill from the parliament for the first time in the nation's history.|
|2005||23 March||Bobby Fischer moves to Iceland after having been granted an Icelandic passport and full citizenship.|
|2006||30 September||The United States Army abandons the military base in Keflavík, thus ending a 55-year U.S. military presence in Iceland.|
|2008||29 May||A doublet earthquake strikes southern Iceland with a composite magnitude of 6.1 MW|
|September||Iceland faces financial crisis following the collapse of the country's three major commercial banks.|
|2009||26 January||After months of rallies outside the parliament building the Icelandic government resigns.|
|1 February||After the collapse of the government, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir becomes the first female Prime Minister of Iceland and the world's first openly gay head of government of the modern era.|
|16 July||The parliament narrowly passes a bill authorising the government to apply for EU membership.|
|2010||5 January||The president of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, refuses to sign a bill from the parliament for the second time in the nation's history.|
|20 March||Volcanic eruption of Eyjafjallajökull.|
|2011||20 February||The president of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, refuses to sign a bill from the parliament for the third time in the nation's history.|
|21 May||Volcanic eruption of Grímsvötn.|
|2016||4 April||Panama Papers reveal that Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson had links to private companies dealing in offshore tax havens, resulting in a call for a snap election" |
|1 August||Guðni Th. Jóhannesson becomes president of Iceland.|
Tilvist landsins í vestri spurðist út á vesturströnd Noregs og hélt Flóki Vilgerðarson, norskur maður, af stað til að finna landið.
Fyrri ferð sína til Íslands hefur Flóki átt að fara um eða skömmu fyrir árið 870 samkvæmt Landnámabók.
Flóki gekk upp á fjall eitt í Vatnsfirði og sá þá ofan í annan fjörð, líklega Arnarfjörð, og var hann fullur af hafís. Í 2. kafla Landnámu segir að eftir þetta hafi Hrafna-Flóki og menn hans nefnt landið Ísland.
Ingólfur Arnarson was said to be the first settler. He was a chieftain from Norway, arriving in Iceland with his family and dependents in 874.
During the next 60 years or so, Viking settlers from Scandinavia and also from Norse colonies in the British Isles – Ireland, Scotland and the Scottish Isles – settled in the country.
In the year 930, at the end of the settlement period, Althingi (legislature and judiciary) was established and a legal code was adopted.
The establishment of Althingi marks the formation of the Icelandic Commonwealth, although it had no executive power.
Christianity was peacefully adopted in Iceland at Althingi in the year 1000. The main reason for this conversion was most likely pressure from the king of Norway.
Skömmu eftir árið 1000 var stofnaður svokallaður fimmtardómur sem náði til landsins alls. Þangað mátti skjóta málum sem dæmd höfðu verið í fjórðungsdómi. Hefur hugmyndin líklega verið sú að stuðla að réttareiningu í landinu.
Ísleifur Gissurarson var fyrsti biskup Íslendinga, árin 1056–1080.
Tekjustofnar sveitarfélaga voru ákveðnir í svokölluðum tíundarlögum sem sett voru árið 1097 að forgöngu Gissurar Ísleifssonar biskups.
An eruption at Hekla volcano in 1104, devastated the inhabited Thjorsardalur valley.
Jón Ögmundsson er einn frægasti kirkjumaður Íslandssögunnar. Hann varð fyrsti biskup Hólabiskupsdæmis árið 1106 og beitti sér mjög fyrir eflingu kristinnar trúar í landinu.
Jón Ögmundsson, biskup á Hólum stofnaði klaustur að Þingeyrum árið 1112 en engar heimildir eru til um klausturlíf þar fyrr en 1133, þegar Vilmundur Þórólfsson var vígður fyrsti ábóti þess.
Íslendingabók var samin á árunum 1122–32 af prestinum Ara Þorgilssyni sem hlaut viðurnefnið hinn fróði (1068–1148).
Víðinesbardagi var háður í Hjaltadal í Skagafirði. Nokkrir höfðingjar sóttu með 360 manna lið að Guðmundi biskupi Arasyni og mönnum hans. Í bardaganum féllu tólf menn, þeirra á meðal Kolbeinn Tumason, 35 ára. Sagt er að á banadægri sínu hafi Kolbeinn samið sálminn Heyr himna smiður.
Örlygsstaðabardagi var háður 21. ágúst 1238 í Skagafirði austanverðum á stað sem var kallaður Örlygsstaðir, skammt fyrir norðan Víðivelli en nokkru lengra fyrir sunnan Miklabæ.
Feðgarnir Sighvatur og Sturla voru báðir drepnir.
25. júní 1244 Flóabardagi, eina verulega sjóorrusta Íslendinga, var háður á Húnaflóa.
Haugsnessfundur, mannskæðasta orrusta á Íslandi, var háð í Blönduhlíð í Skagafirði.
22. október 1253 Flugumýrarbrenna. Sturlungar brenndu bæinn á Flugumýri í Skagafirði, en þar stóð brúðkaup.
Árið 1258 var Gissur með Hákoni konungi Hákonarsyni í Noregi. Þá gaf konungur honum jarlsnafn og sendi hann til Íslands í því skyni að leggja landið undir konung. Um leið skipaði konungur hann yfir Sunnlendingafjórðung, Norðlendingafjórðung og Borgarfjörð. Nokkrir íslenskir höfðingjar höfðu þá afsalað sér til konungs héraðsvöldum, því sem upphaflega var goðavald.