Archive | July 13, 2020

500 Years Before Columbus, Viking Explorer Leif Erikson Was Likely The First European To Step Foot In The Americas

Make Like a Tree and Leif: When Viking Explorer Leif Erikson ...

Why does Columbus get a vacation for cruising to the Carribean when Viking leader Leif Erikson presumably landed in North America centuries prior to?

Christopher Columbus has actually become a significantly questionable figure in current years. Discussions of his “discovery” of The United States and Canada should consider the brutal slaughter and mistreatment of Native Americans that occurred in its wake.

What’s more, it’s ended up being ever more extensively understood that Columbus never even set foot in The United States and Canada in the first place. However, proof recommends that another explorer did.

According to both simultaneous accounts and archaeological proof revealed in the 1960s, many scholars now think that Viking explorer Leif Erikson reached The United States and Canada circa 1000 A.D.– which may make him the very first European to ever enter the New World.

But who was Leif Erikson and did he genuinely reach The United States and Canada 500 years before Columbus?

Who Was Leif Erikson?


According to the Ancient History Encyclopedia, Leif Erikson (also spelled Leif Eriksson, Leif Ericson, or Leifr Eiríksson in Old Norse) was born in Iceland around 970-980 A.D. He was nicknamed “Leif the Lucky” by his dad, the popular Erik the Red, who established the first Viking colony in Greenland in the 985 A.D. after he was eradicated from Iceland for murder.

In Greenland, a young Erikson met rich farmers and chieftains who were leaders in this colony. Maybe that’s how he came to want to cruise the Atlantic one summertime.

The truth is, historians do not learn about this– or much of Erikson’s life– for certain.

Undoubtedly, comprehending the history of the Vikings as a whole is not a straightforward task. Most of the details that historians have actually collected on Leif Erikson stems from the 13th-century Vinland Sagas, a collection of tales which inform the story of Erikson’s heritage, starting with his daddy, Erik the Red’s story in the eponymous collection Erik the Red’s Legend. This is followed by The Legend of the Greenlanders, however neither document is by any means totally accurate.

These half-legends are semi-historical accounts and they do prove the assertion that Leif Erikson landed in America centuries prior to Columbus did. However these tales aren’t totally reliable sources either.

Hvalsey Church - Hvalsø Kirke - Greenland Photos - Greenland ...
Hvalsey Church in Greenland

Rather, the accounts were made a note of more than 200 years after the events therein were supposed to have actually occurred. The files do recommend, nevertheless, that these occasions did likely happen, were spoken of in stories that were passed down orally, and described genuine people and real events in some regard.

It does not harmed, either, that the archaeological remains of a Norse settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows in the northern most tip of Newfoundland were discovered in 1961. These remnants were right where the stories said the Vikings had settled.

However long before this proof emerged, the sagas of Leif Erikson’s journeys were the sole documents of his adventures.

There are two different accounts of Erikson’s arrival in North America. One account described in Erik the Red’s Saga asserts that Erikson was blown off course in the Atlantic while sailing back home to Norway and accidentally landed on American shores.