CHAPTER XIV
GREENLAND

A GREAT adventurer was Eric the Red. With his father, because they were implicated in a murder-suit, he had left his home in the Jaeder in Norway and fared to Iceland where he had settled and married; but here too ill-luck had attended him, and in 981 or 982 a stormy and quarrelsome sojourn ended in his being outlawed. Accordingly Eric prepared his ship for departure, telling his friends that it was his purpose to seek for the land that one GunnbjÖrn had sighted nearly a century ago when he had been driven far west past Iceland. This country, of which there was still talk, was Greenland, and thither Eric turned his prow when he put out to sea, intending to prove or disprove the tale of GunnbjÖrn's accidental discovery. The voyage was successful; he soon sighted the ice-bound eastern coast of Greenland, sailed south, rounded Cape Farewell, and following the ice to the north-west eventually found an opening through the floes and put in to land at a point on the west coast probably about the latitude of Cape Desolation; thence he explored many of the fjords in the search for a habitable district and spent his first winter at Ericsey which lies opposite the entrance to Ericsfjord not far from the modern Julianehaab. In the summer he explored large tracts of the western coast, giving names to many places that he visited, and the second winter he spent at Ericsholm near Cape Desolation; the next summer he explored northwards as far as the modern Unatok. Then he returned to Ericsey and penetrated inland up to the head of Ericsfjord, and the third winter he abode once more at Ericsey. The following summer he returned to Iceland.

DISCOVERY BY GUNNBJÖRN AND FIRST EXPLORATION BY ERIC THE RED

There he was soon involved again in the quarrels that had led to his being outlawed, and though he eventually patched up a peace with his principal enemy, he left Iceland the summer after his return with the express purpose of founding a colony in the new country west-over-sea, this being called by him Greenland for the reason that a good name might attract other

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A History of the Vikings
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • List of Abbreviations viii
  • Contents ix
  • Contents x
  • List of Illustrations in the Text xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - The Lands of the Vikings 41
  • Chapter II - The North Germans 62
  • Chapter III - The Birth of the Viking Nations 78
  • Chapter IV - Scandinavia and Denmark in Viking Times 117
  • Part II - The Vikings Abroad 143
  • Chapter VI - The South and East Baltic Coasts 179
  • Chapter VII - The Western Empire 193
  • Chapter VIII - England 227
  • Chapter IX - Ireland 274
  • Chapter X - Scotland and Man 300
  • Chapter XI - Wales 323
  • Chapter XII - The Faroe Islands 328
  • Chapter XIII - Iceland 336
  • Chapter XIV - Greenland 361
  • Chapter XV - America 370
  • Select Bibliographies 389
  • Index of Authors 393
  • General Index 396
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