Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Erik Thorvaldsson

Erik the Red, byname of Erik Thorvaldsson was the founder of the first European settlement on Greenland (c. 985). He was born in Rogaland, Norway in 950 CE.

He left Norway as a child when his father, Thorvald, was exiled to Iceland. Thorvald family settled in the western part of the island, where Greenland could be seen 175 miles away.

In AD985, Erik the Red Thorvaldsson led an expedition of 25 ships from Iceland to the vast new territory he had optimistically named himself.

He rounded the southern tip of the island (later known as Cape Farewell) and sailed up the western coast. About 14 ships out of 25 eventually reached a part of the coast that, for the most part, seemed ice-free and consequently had conditions—similar to those of Iceland—that promised growth and future prosperity. According to the Saga of Erik the Red, he spent his three years of exile exploring this land.

Leif Eriksson, Erik the Red’s son, established a settlement in Vinland in AD1000. Although the Norse only stayed a few years, unequivocal evidence for their presence in North America was discovered at presentday L’Anse aux Meadows (Newfoundland) in 1961.

Erik died in an epidemic that killed many of the colonists in the winter year 1003.
Erik Thorvaldsson

5 most popular articles