Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/472

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AMERICA 420 AMERICA determined, and the results obtained by archaeolog- ical research up to the present time are in full accord with the original sources, especially with the circum- stantial account of Ivar Bardsson (c. 1350), who for many years administered the Church of Greenland as the representative of the Bishop of Gardar. Archaeological investigations, taken in conjunction with ancient Norse legends, give evidence not only of the location of the settlements, but of the number of churches, monasteries, and manors, the approximate numbers of the Norse population, their pursuits and mode of life. As to the churches, which average in length from fifty to sixty-five feet, and in breadth twenty-six, and "are built of large, carefully selected stones, tiie Gripla, an old northern chorography, fragments of which have come down to us, records twelve in the eastern settlement, and four in the western. In a Hst dating from the year 13U0 the number of the former remains unchanged, but the number of churches in the western colony, which had been previously overrun by the Eskimo, was reduced to three, and in Ivar's list (c. 1370) is given as one, that of Steinesness, for a time the seat of " a cathe- dral and an episcopal residence". This statement of Ivar has given rise to the inference that there were two dioceses in Greenland, Gardar and Steinesness. According to the conjecture of Torfaeus, only Eric, the missionary bishop, who in 1121 set out for Vin- land, had a cathedral in Steinesness. Greenland had but one bishopric, that of Gardar, and it had this [as is expressly stated in the " King's Mirror ", one of the principal sources (c. 1250)] only because it was so far removed from other dioceses. Had it been nearer to other countries, it would have been " the third part of a diocese". There were but two mon- asteries in Greenland, one of the Canons Regular of the Order of St. Augustine dedicated to Sts. Olaf and Augustine, and a convent of Benedictine nuns. The Dominican monastery fantastically described by Zeno the Younger (1558) never existed in Greenland. During the most flourishing period the number of manors in Greenland amounted to 280, 190 in the eastern and 90 in the western settlement. As- suming that each manor had an average of ten to fifteen inhabitants, we have a sum total of 2800-4200 souls, which is probably near the truth. Dwelling house, shed, and stable were single story buildings. Generally the buildings for horses, cows, sheep, and goats were not adjoining. The chief occupations of the inhabitants were cattle breeding and the chase. The Kjokkenmoddings which are often to be found to a height of over three feet in front of dwellings, prove that the ancient Northmen were fearless in the pur- suit of large game. In these heaps of bones and ashes, the greater part of the remains are those of seals. There are traces of the following domestic animals: a species of small horned cattle {bos taurus), goats (capra hircus), sheep {ovis aries), small horses {equus caballus) and well-developed dogs (canis familiaris). Of the other animals native to Greenland, the bone piles show traces of the polar bear (ursus maritimus), the walrus {trichechus rosmarus), three species of seal (erignathus barbatus, phoca vUulina, and phoca joe- lida) and especially the hooded .seal {cystophora cris- tata). It is not surprising then that the crusade tax levied on the inhabitants of Greenland, who had no currency, consisted of cattle hides, seal skins, and the teeth of whales. Gronlandice decima this was termed in a letter of Pope Martin IV to the Arch- bishop of Trondhjem (4 March, 1282): "Non per- cipitur nisi in bovinis et phocarum coriis ac dentibus et funibus balenarum." In perfect accord with this is Ivar Bard.sson'8 emphatic mention, not only of the white bears and white falcons found everywhere in great abundance, but more particularly of the herds of cowH, sheep, and goats, which were, next to the fisheries, the Greenlanders' principal Bource of income. Cattle raising and the chase caused the inhabitants to explore their icy country on all sides. To quote from the "King's Mirror", "the people have often attempted in various places to scale the highest rocks to obtain an extensive view, and see whether they could find a place free from ice and suitable for habitation. Such a region, however, could not be discovered, except those parts already built up which stretched a long distance along the coast. They found both mountain ridges and valleys coated with ice". The daring Greenlanders not confining their atten- tion to the interior showed a remarkable acquain- tance with the ice-bound ocean and the peculiarities of the coast. According to the "King's Mirror" the ice of the sea is eight to ten feet thick, and is as flat as though it were frozen in that very place. As the ice extends a journey of four or five days from land, and farther towards the east and northeast than south or southwest, anyone wi.shing to reach land must sail towards the west and southwest, until he has pas.sed all places where there is a possibility of finding ioe, and then .set sail landward. From the smootTi ice rise icebergs like a high cliff from the sea", not joined to the rest of the ice bui, separate. All well-to-do peasants in Greenland had large and small boats for fishing. NorSrseta, probably in the vicinity of the present Upernivik, was accounted especially favourable for seal fishing. Here too col- lected " all the driftwood that floateil across from the inlets of Markland". How far to the northwest the hardy fishers pushed their voyages we learn from a runic stone venerable for its age, which was discov- ered in 1824 and taken to the National Museum of Copenhagen. It was set up by three Northmen, 25 April, 1135, on the island of Kingittorsuaq (72'^ 55' north lat.). In the summer of 1266 a point even farther north was reached by the polar expedition of which Haldur, a Greenland priest, gives an account to Arnold, his former colleague, then court chaplain to Magnus, King of Norway. On their northern voyage these men found traces of Skra>lings only in the Kr6ksfjar5arhei3i, and the opinion thenceforth prevailed " that it must be the shortest way for them (the Skra>lings) to go, no matter where they came from. Thereupon the priests sent a sliip towards the north in order to have investigations made with regard to the conditions north of the most distant region which they had yet visited". Driven by a southern gale, the ship sailed northward from KroksfjaraarheiSi. "right into the bay (hafsbotnin, i. e. bay of the sea, seems to correspond with Mel- ville Bay) and then they lost sight of the whole land, both the southern stretch of the coast and the glaciers". On the return voyage, a three days' sail brought them to a place where they found traces of Skrselings who had visited islands soiith of Snaefjall. "After that they sailed south to Kr6ksfjarSarhci3i. a good day's rowing, St. James's day". They there took an observation which even to-day can serve as an approximate indication of latitude. "It froze", they say, " there, then at nights, but the sun shone both night and day, and it was no higher when it was in the south than that when a man laid himself cross- wise in a six-oared boat, stretched out against the railing, then the shadow of the railing which was nearest to the sun fell on his face; but at midnight it was as high as it is at home in the colony, when it is in the northwest. Then they travelled home to Gar- dar". These statements formerly led to the belief that Kr*')ksfjari3arhci(ii should bo" sought for about 75° north lat . on the other side of Baliin Bay. Lat- terly Thalbitzer has expressed the opinion that the "heifle" was situated on the western coast of Green- land. At all events the Vikings clearly penetrated much farther north Upernivik (73° n. lat.). The Northmen of Greenland c])lorcd also the east- ern coast of the country during the eleventh, twelfth