Iceland is a prosperous island nation located near the Arctic Circle in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Since the first settlers reached the island in the 9th century from nearby Norway, Iceland has forged its own identity and gained economic prosperity through its vast mineral wealth. From the 12th to the 16th centuries, Iceland built a vast colonial empire which it maintains to this day, with core territories being the City of Yarmouth on the south shore of the Acadian Peninsula (bordering the English province of Nova Scotia ), Laapland and the Canary Islands . Since 1891, Iceland has been militarily and economically allied with Rome .