Leif Eriksson is a crucial figure in maritime exploration: this Viking navigator is believed to have discovered the Americas at the turn of the first millennium AD, over 500 years before Christopher Columbus. Indeed, at this point in history the Vikings were far better explorers than other Europeans due to their more technologically advanced ships and excellent navigation skills, which allowed them to reach distant and undiscovered lands. Thanks to the Norse sagas, we are now aware of Eriksson’s extraordinary feats of navigation, which have emerged from obscurity to be recognized in both the USA and Scandinavia. In just 50 minutes, you will find out how Eriksson’s discoveries brought the Vikings new wealth and resources and learn about his significance in European history.
This straightforward and informative book provides a thorough discussion of the key moments in Eriksson’s eventful life, including his conversion to Christianity and his discovery of Vinland in what is now Canada. It also features a full biography, a valuable introduction to the political, social and economic context and an evaluation of the impact of his discoveries, giving you all the essential information about this crucial yet neglected figure.
About Leif Eriksson
Everything we know about Leif Eriksson’s life and career comes from the Norse sagas, which recount the great feats of a range of Viking heroes. After growing up in Iceland, he and his family were exiled and settled on the newly discovered island of Greenland. Eriksson explored the seas from an early age, and in around 1000 AD set off in search of a rumored new land to the West. This unfamiliar territory turned out to be the vast American continent, but Eriksson and his men spent only a few months there before returning to Greenland.
This clear and accessible 33-page book is structured as follows:
- Introduction to Leif Eriksson
- Biography of Leif Eriksson
- Leif Eriksson: a life told through Norse sagas
- Childhood in exile
- Discovering Christianity
- The rumor at the heart of Eriksson’s expedition
- Political, social and economic context
- Did you say Viking?
- The Vikings as merchants
- The Vikings as explorers
- The expedition
- Seeking a fortune
- The Viking ship en route to the Americas
- Impact of Eriksson’s discovery
50MINUTES.COM – History