AMERICA 417 AMERICA Norse discoveries in America, but also because it is entirely independent of Icelandic writings, and rests directly on Norse traditions which were at the time still recent. The second witness is Ari Thorgilsson (d. 1148), the oldest and most trustworthy of all the historians of Iceland. Like Adam, Ari is conscien- tious in citing the sources of his information. His authority was his uncle, Thorkel Gelisson, who in turn was indebted for the details of the discovery and settlement of Greenland to a companion of the discoverer himself. Krom his undo, Ari learned tlio name of the discoverer, the origin of the name of the country, the date of settlement, and other welcome details iis to the degree of civilization among the people inhabiting Greenland before the advent of the Nortlimcii. The di-scoverer was Eric the Red, who named the icy coasts Greenland, to induce his Ice- lanilic countrymen to colonize the land. As to the date, .ri learned that it was the fourteenth or fif- teenth winter before the formal introduction of Chris- tianity into Iceland (1000), i. e. 9S5 or 9.S(i. Ari's information witli respect to the civilization of the earlier population of Greenland is of peculiar impor- tance, giving as it does a glimp,se of conditions in Vinland. Besides traces of human habitation, Kric and his companions found in Greenland the remains of leather canoes and stone implements. " From this", concludes .ri, "it may be inferred that this was once the dwelling place of the same people who inhabited Vinland, and were called by the Green- landers Skndin'/s". Ari in his "Book of Settle- ments" (Landndinab(')k), as well as in his "Book of Icelanders", goes into detail concerning the discovery and colonization of Greenland, h'.it mentions the dis- covery of Vinland only incidentally in connection with the genealogy of the famous Icelandic merchant Thorlinn Karlsefni, who "found Vinland the Good". In the Kristni saga and Snorri's Kings' saga (c. 11.50), the discovery of Vinland is attributed in almost iden- tical words to Leif, son of Eric the Red. On his homeward journey from Norway, near Greenland, where he had been commissioned by King Olaf of Norway to preach the Catholic Kaith, he found Vin- land the Good. As Leif on the same voyage rescued some shipwrecked mariners from certain death, he was surnamed "the Lucky". It is quite significant that Vinland the Good is everywhere spoken of as of a country universally known and needing no further explanation. These historical data were happily completed in the middle of the twelfth century by a geographer, prob- ably Nicholas, Abbot of Tliingeyre (d. 11.59). Ac- cording to him, south of Greenland lies Ilelluland, next is .Markland, and from there it is not a great dis- tance to Vinland the Good. Leif the Lucky first dis- covered Vinland and then coming upon merchants in peril of death, he rescued tliem by the grace of God. He introduced Christianity into Greenland, and it made such progress that a diocese was erected in Gardar. It may be remarked in passing that this took place about 1125. Vc also learn from the well- informed geographer that Thorfinn Karlsefni, set- ting out later to seek Vinland the Good, came to a countrj' "where this land was supposc<l to be", but was unable to explore and colonize Vinland sis he had wished. It should be expressly noted that the geog- rapher speaks of only two voyages to Vinland, the accidental discovery of Leif, and Thorfinn 's oyage of exploration; also that in addition to ^'inland he mentions two other lands lying to the .south of Green- land, which he calls respectively Ilelluland anil Mark- land. The accounts just cited constitute the oldest historical records of the Norse discoveries in Green- land and . ierica, and have been for the greater part overlooked by earlier scholars, even by Win.sor. Tlicy were first given prominence, and justly so, by Storm and Reeves. Although containing but brief allusions to Vinland, they still bear evidence to a consistent unanimous tradition throughout the North reaching back to the eleventh century and giving proof posi- tive that Eric the Red in 98.5 or 9S0 di.scovered and colonized Greenland, that his son Leif, returning from Norway to Greenland where he was to iiitniduce Christianity, discovered Vinland the Good (1000), that Thorfinn Karlsefni later attempted the coloniza- tion of Vinland, but after an unsuccessful engagement with the natives was obliged to desist, that tlicsi" dar- ing voyages brought to light two other countries ly- ing south of Greenland, Markland and Ilelluland. In addition to these earliest records, three sagas come up for consideration inasmuch as they give detailed accounts of the important discoveries made by the old Vikings. If wo consider the age of the MSS. through which it has come down to us (or that now represent for us the original), the most important of these sagas is the Karlsefni saga in "Hauk's Book" (i:iO,5-35); next King Glaf's saga in the Flatey-book (c. 1.387); the third is the saga of Eric the Red in a MS. dating from the beginning of the fifteenth century. A com- pari.son of tliose three sagas sliows that the Thorfinn Karlsefni saga agrees with the saga of Kric the Red in all important points, but difTers substantially from the King Olaf saga as found in the Flatey-book. Ac- cording to the first two sagxs Vinland was discovered by Leif, a son of Eric the Red, while on his homeward voyage from Norway to fulfil the commission of King Olaf to preach Christianity in Greenland. According to the Olaf saga the glory of having discovered Amer- ica belongs to Biarni, son of Herjulf, who was be- lieved to have discovered Vinland, Markland, and Ilelluland as early as 985 or 98G on a voyage from Icelaml to Greenland. As already observed, the Olaf .saga is directly opposed Ixjtli to the account of the twelfth-century geographer, who distinctly states that Leif discovered Vinland, and to the Kristni and Snorri sag;i3 containing the same statement, with the additional information that it was during a voyage from Norway to Greenland whither he had been sent by King Olaf to preach Christianity. Unfortunately the Olaf saga, preserved in MS. only in the Flatey- book, was first used to narrate the discoverj' of Amer- ica by the Northmen. This saga represents the ole the Vinland of Leif, but no mention is made of Leif 's ImfSir. The rules of his- torical criticism have, accordingly, given precedence to the Thorfinn and Eric sagas, but it must not be overlooked that the Olaf .saga mentions in additiim tliree lands discovered to the south-west of Greenlaml, of which the first was stony, the second wooded, and the third rich in the vine. They were therefore named resiiectively Ilelluland, Markland, and in- land. The same saga also records a futile attempt to colonize Vinland. Taking as a basis the more de- tailed and historically trustworthy account given in the sagas of Thorfinn Karlsefni and of Eric the Red, the voyages to Vinland may be thus briefly summa- rized. In the year 999, Leif, son of Eric the Red, set out from Grcenl.and to Norway. His course, though too far to the south, at last brought Leif to his destination and he entered the service of Olaf Trj'ggvason, King of Norway. Having been con-
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