One of the most arresting stories in the history of exploration, these two Icelandic sagas tell of the discovery of America by Norsemen five centuries before Christopher Columbus. Together, the direct, forceful twelfth-century Graenlendinga Saga and the more polished and scholarly Eirik’s Saga, written some hundred years later, recount how Eirik the Red founded an Icelandic colony in Greenland and how his son, Leif the Lucky, later sailed south to explore – and if possible exploit – the chance discovery by Bjarni Herjolfsson of an unknown land. In spare and vigorous prose they record Europe’s first surprise glimpse of the eastern shores of the North American continent and the natives who inhabited them.
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