An overview of knowledge of the Arctic in the middle ages. Claims that any one of the writers displays woeful ignorance, but collectively they provide a good picture of the medieval Arctic, from cold to frostbite, from skies to polar bears, to unicorn horns. The writers he cites are Saxo Grammaticus who is in “the very first rank of medieval writers about the north” and who wrote about geysers and volcanoes in Iceland, and Finnish use of skies. See his History of the Danes, 2 volumes, 1978-9.
Others are Albertus Magnus on Animals (esp. whales and whaling) and Dante’s De Monarchia(1:14) who refers to inequality of days and the extreme cold of the Scythians.