Grœnlendinga saga or the Saga of the Greenlanders is an Icelandic saga. Iceland, officially the Republic of Iceland ( ( Ísland or Lýðveldið Ísland ( The sagas (from Icelandic saga, plural sögur) are stories about ancient Scandinavian and Germanic history about early Viking voyages Along with Eiríks saga rauða it is one of the two main literary sources of information for the Norse exploration of North America. As early as the 10th century Norse sailors (often referred to as Vikings explored and settled areas of the North Atlantic, including the northeastern fringes of It relates the colonization of Greenland by Erik the Red and his followers. Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat meaning "Land of the Greenlanders" Grønland is a self-governing Danish Province located between the Erik the Red (950–c 1003 ( Old Norse: Eiríkr rauði; Icelandic: Eiríkur rauði; Norwegian: Eirik Raude; Danish It then describes several expeditions further west led by Erik's children and Thorfinn Karlsefni. Thorfinn Karlsefni (Thorfinnr Thordarson ( Old Norse: Þorfinnr Karlsefni, Icelandic: Þorfinnur Karlsefni) was an Icelandic explorer
The saga is preserved in the late 14th century Flateyjarbók manuscript and is believed to have been first committed to writing sometime in the 13th century while the events it relates take place around 970 to 1030. The Flatey Book, (Flateyjarbók 'Flat-island book' is one of the most important medieval Icelandic Manuscripts It is also known as GkS 1005 fol 970 was a year in the 10th century. Events This is an area code in Northwest Colorado Also see 970 Gang By Place Parts of the saga are fanciful but it is believed to be formed by a collective memory of the time.
Erik the Red (Old Norse: Eiríkr rauði) emigrates from Norway to Iceland with his father because of some killings. Erik the Red (950–c 1003 ( Old Norse: Eiríkr rauði; Icelandic: Eiríkur rauði; Norwegian: Eirik Raude; Danish Old Norse is the North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age Norway ( Norwegian: Norge ( Bokmål) or Noreg ( Nynorsk) officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Constitutional Iceland, officially the Republic of Iceland ( ( Ísland or Lýðveldið Ísland ( In Iceland, Erik finds a wife, Thjodhild (ON: Þjóðhildr). He again becomes a part of a dispute and is proclaimed an outlaw at a local assembly. He resolves to go west and seek a land spotted by a man named Gunnbjorn (ON: Gunnbjörn) who had gone astray. Gunnbjörn Ulfsson (Norwegian flourished circa 10th century) name also given as Gunnbjörn Ulf-Krakuson, was the first European to sight North America
Erik sets sail from near Snæfellsjökull and reaches the coast of a glacial land. Snæfellsjökull is a Stratovolcano with a Glacier ( Icelandic: jökull) covering its summit in western Iceland. He travels south along the coast searching for a habitable area. After two years of exploring the country, he returns to Iceland and tells of his discoveries. He names the land which he had explored Greenland (ON: Grœnland) because he said people would be attracted to go there if the land had a good name. Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat meaning "Land of the Greenlanders" Grønland is a self-governing Danish Province located between the
After spending one winter in Iceland, Erik sets sail again intending to colonize Greenland. His expedition has 30 ships but only 14 reach their destination. Erik founds a colony in Brattahlid (ON: Brattahlíð) in south-west Greenland. Brattahlíð (anglicised as Brattahlid) was Erik the Red 's estate in the Eastern Settlement Viking Colony he established He becomes a respected leader. With Thjodhild he has the sons Leif (ON: Leifr), Thorvald (ON: Þorvaldr) and Thorstein (ON: Þorsteinn) as well as the daughter Freydis (ON: Freydís). Leif Ericson ( Old Norse: Leifr Eiríksson) (c 970 – c 1020 was a Norse Explorer who was probably the first European to land in Thorvald Ericsson ( old Icelandic: Þorvaldr Eiríksson) was the son of Eric the Red and brother of Leif Ericsson. Freydís Eiríksdóttir was a daughter of Eric the Red, associated with the Norse exploration of North America.
A man named Bjarni Herjolfsson (ON: Bjarni Herjólfsson) has the custom of spending alternate winters in Norway and in Iceland with his father. Bjarni Herjólfsson ( fl 10th century) was a Norwegian explorer who is the first known European discoverer of the mainland of the Americas When he arrives one summer in Iceland he finds that his father has emigrated to Greenland. He resolves to follow him there though he realizes that it is a dangerous proposition since neither he nor any of his crew has been in Greenland waters.
After sailing for three days from Iceland, Bjarni receives unfavorable weather, north winds and fog and loses his bearing. After several days of bad weather the sun shines again and Bjarni reaches a wooded land. Realizing that it isn't Greenland Bjarni decides not to go ashore and sets sail away. Bjarni finds two more lands but neither of them matches the descriptions he had heard of Greenland so he does not go ashore despite the curiosity of his sailors. Eventually the ship does reach Greenland and Bjarni settles there.
The description of Bjarni's voyage is unique to Grœnlendinga saga. Bjarni is not mentioned at all in Eiríks saga rauða which gives Leif the credit for the discoveries.
Leif Eriksson becomes interested in Bjarni's discoveries and buys a ship from him. He hires a crew of 35 people and asks Erik to lead an expedition to the west. Erik is reluctant and says he is too old but is eventually persuaded. As he rides to the ship, his horse stumbles and Erik falls to the ground and hurts his foot. Considering this an ill omen, he says: "It is not ordained that I should discover more countries than that which we now inhabit. " Leif, instead, leads the expedition.
Setting sail from Brattahlid, Leif and his crew find the same lands Bjarni had discovered earlier but in the reverse order. First they come upon an icy land. They step ashore and find it to be of little interest. Leif names the country Helluland (Stone-slab land). Helluland is the name given to one of the three lands discovered by Leif Eriksson sometime around 1000 AD on the North Atlantic coast of North America They sail further and find a forested land with white shores. Leif names it Markland (Wood land) and again sets sail. Markland is the name given to a part of shoreline in Labrador Canada, named by Leif Eriksson when he landed in North America
Now Leif sails for two days with a north-easterly wind and comes upon a new land which appears very inviting. They decide to stay there for the winter.
As Leif and his crew explore the land, they discover grapes (ON: vínber; wine-berries) and Leif names the country Vinland (ON: Vínland; Wine land - however, the Norse word vin also meant pasture/plain, as in place-names Granvin and Bjørgvin. Vinland was the name given to an area of North America by the Norseman Leifr Eiríksson, about the year A Old Norse is the North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age Granvin is a municipality in the county of Hordaland, Norway The population is 964 Bjørgvin is a Diocese in the Church of Norway. It covers Hordaland and Sogn og Fjordane. See Vinland#Localization debate for more information). Vinland was the name given to an area of North America by the Norseman Leifr Eiríksson, about the year A In the spring the expedition sets sail back to Greenland with a ship loaded with wood and grapes. In the voyage home they come upon and rescue a group of ship-wrecked Norsemen. After this Leif is called Leif the Lucky (ON: Leifr heppni).
Leif's voyage is discussed extensively in Brattahlid and Thorvald, Leif's brother, thinks that Vinland was not explored enough. Leif offers him his ship for a new voyage there and he accepts. Setting sail with a crew of 30, Thorvald arrives in Vinland where Leif had previously made camp. They stay there for the winter and live on fishing.
In the spring Thorvald goes exploring and sails to the west. They find no signs of human habitation except for one corn-shed. They return to their camp for the winter.
The next summer Thorvald explores to the east and north of their camp. At one point the explorers disembark in a pleasant forested area.
The natives, called Skraelings (ON: Skrælingar) by the Norsemen, return with a larger force and attack Thorvald and his men. Skræling (plural skrælingjar) is the name the Norse Greenlanders gave to the Thule people they encountered in Greenland and perhaps to The Skraelings fire missiles at them for a while and then retreat. Thorvald receives a fatal wound and is buried in Vinland. His crew returns to Greenland.
Thorstein Eriksson resolves to go to Vinland for the body of his brother. The same ship is prepared yet again and Thorstein sets sail with a crew of 25 and his wife Gudrid (ON: Guðríðr).
The expedition never reaches Vinland and after driving about the whole summer the ship ends up back at the coast of Greenland. During the winter, Thorstein falls ill and dies but speaks out of his dead body and tells the fortune of his wife Gudrid, predicting a long and prosperous life for her.
A ship arrives in Greenland from Norway commanded by Thorfinn Karlsefni (ON: Þorfinnr karlsefni), a man of means. Thorfinn Karlsefni (Thorfinnr Thordarson ( Old Norse: Þorfinnr Karlsefni, Icelandic: Þorfinnur Karlsefni) was an Icelandic explorer He falls in love with Gudrid and they marry. Karlsefni is encouraged by his wife and other people to lead an expedition to Vinland. He agrees to go and hires a crew of 60 men and 5 women. The expedition arrives in Leif's and Thorvald's old camp and stays there for the winter in good conditions.
The next summer a group of Skraelings come visiting, carrying skins for trade. The Skraelings want weapons in return but Karlsefni forbids his men to trade weapons. Instead he offers the Skraelings dairy products and the trade is successful.
Near the beginning of their second winter the Skraelings come again to trade. This time one of Karlsefni's men kills a Skraeling as he reaches for Norse weapons. The Skraelings run off. Karlsefni fears the natives will return, hostile and in larger numbers. He forms a plan for the coming battle. The Skraelings do come again and the Norsemen manage to fight them off. Karlsefni stays there for the remainder of the winter and returns to Greenland next spring.
During their stay in Vinland, Karlsefni and Gudrid had the son Snorri.
Freydis, daughter of Erik, now wants the prestige and wealth associated with a Vinland journey. Freydís Eiríksdóttir was a daughter of Eric the Red, associated with the Norse exploration of North America. She makes a deal with two Icelandic men, Helgi and Finnbogi, that they should go together to Vinland and share all profits half and half. They agree to bring the same amount of men but Freydis secretly takes more.
In Vinland, Freydis betrays her partners, has them and their men attacked when sleeping and killed. She personally executes the five women in their group since no-one else would do the deed.
Freydis wants to conceal her treachery and threatens death to anyone who tells of the killings. She goes back to Greenland after a year's stay and tells the story that Helgi and Finnbogi had chosen to remain in Vinland.
But not everyone is silent and word of the killings eventually reaches the ears of Leif. He has three men from Freydis's expedition tortured until they confess the whole occurrence. Thinking ill of the deeds he still does not want "to do that to Freydis, my sister, which she has deserved".
Karlsefni made a good profit of his journeys west. He later settled in Iceland with his wife and son and their descendants included some of the earliest Icelandic bishops. The saga ends with what seems to be an attempt to establish its credibility: