The Vinland Saga

798 Words 4 Pages
[Title] The Vinland Sagas consist of two similar sagas – The Saga of the Greenlanders and Eirik the Red’s Saga – which recount the discovery and attempted settlement of what is now North America. These sagas which have long been thought of as unreliable historic accounts, are being re-examined after the discovery of L’Anse aux Meadows, a Norse settlement in Canada. Although they are invaluable resources that have provided us with a deeper understanding of Norse exploration, the stories the sagas recount are simply too ambiguous to be considered a factual primary source, but are perhaps better suited as a starting point for further research into the subject.

Information from the Vinland Sagas that can be considered credible, consist mainly of facts that verified through other sources, be it through archaeological findings, or through coinciding recounts from other groups in history. The sagas recount comparable narratives of Norse exploration in North America, yet they differ in a very important aspect; they portray their ‘historical figures’/’characters’ in a different manner with contradicting roles. The Greenlanders Saga recognizes Leif as the discoverer of North America where he happened upon a land with “fields of wild wheat… vine-tree[s] in full growth… and [maple] trees” (ch. 4), whereas Eirik the Red’s
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There are factual aspects, such as meeting the Natives, there are clearly false aspects, such as Thorstein coming back to life to tell Gudrid her fortune (Greenlanders ch. 6), and there are components which are a bit harder to distinguish. We may never know exactly who discovered Vinland first, but we do know that Norsemen visited North America thanks to the Vinland Sagas, which is a huge revelation in

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