The period in our history from 930 until 1262 is normally referred to as the Icelandic commonwealth. This marks the establishment of Althingi, our parliament, and the pledge of fealty to the Norwegian king in 1262. The commonwealth was a community of people that lived under the rule of clans and abided by the same laws but did not live under any government or executive power.

Althingi is the oldest working parliament in the world, founded in 930. It was in session from Thursday of the week of summer, annually, for up to two weeks at a time. The goths and the parliament were the main foundations of the Icelandic community in the age of the commonwealth. When the parliament was founded there were 36 goths but in 965 they were increased to 39.

The Lawspeaker was the presiding official of the parliament. He was elected for a three year term at a time but was often re-elected and paid a small salary. His main role was to protect the law from being forgotten. As such he had to know them by heart and then write them in Gragas or Greygoose as we call our oldest laws. The assembly had 39 goths and 9 extra’s so to say and each goth would have two consultants by his side. 

The judiciary power resided at Althingi. There were two stages, Fjordungsdomur and Fimmtardomur. In the previous one there were 36 judges, appointed by goths. To issue a verdict the result needed 31 votes. The second one, that acted like the supreme court, there were 48 judges, appointed by goths, and a simple majority ruled the verdict.