Early Voyages and Northern Approaches, 1000-1632

Early Voyages and Northern Approaches, 1000-1632

Early Voyages and Northern Approaches, 1000-1632

Early Voyages and Northern Approaches, 1000-1632

Excerpt

It is now some twenty-five years since I first became seriously interested in and began the study of pre-Columbian voyages to America, particularly those of the Icelanders, or Norsemen, as they are so often called. Then, about twenty years ago, I read Dr Jon Duason's huge work on the pre- Columbian explorations and settlements of the Icelanders in the western hemisphere. The central part of this work deals with the relations of the Icelanders in Greenland and various parts of the Canadian Arctic with the aborigines of these regions. I found this a fascinating study and undertook to translate all three volumes of the work from Icelandic into English. Since then I have continuously worked with Duason, especially on the problem of racial intermixture between the aborigines and the Icelanders and the fate of both these peoples after they came into contact with one another sometime in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. This problem occupies the central position in this volume. Those who know Duason's work will at once see how heavily indebted I am to him, although we do have our points of disagreement. At times I find it difficult to distinguish between his opinions and mine, for I have consulted all the works he used, in addition to the literature that has appeared since 1947, the year in which the final fascicles of his book appeared. Needless to say, he is in no way, except as explained above, to be held responsible for the views expressed in this book.

Hundreds of works have been consulted over the years. The bibliography appended to this volume is a highly selective one. However, it does, I hope contain at least as many titles that oppose as support the view which I have tried to put forward here. Indeed, that is all but inevitable. Duason is almost the only scholar whose views are largely the same as mine, and support for them is found only indirectly in the many works that deal with the above problem. The authors in setting forth the facts have placed in most cases a different interpretation on them from mine because they have . . .

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