For learning. For inspiration. Or just for fun.
King Ethelred the Unready (978-1016)
Vinland : Scandinavian warrior Leif Ericson was sent to bring Christianity to Greenland, but accidentally discovered North America instead.

Based on The Saga of Eric the Red (12th century).

A Viking settlement dated to around AD 1000 was uncovered in 1960 on the northernmost tip of Newfoundland, with more sites in the region tentatively identified in 2012. Suddenly, a tale from the Norse sagas, routinely dismissed as myth, looked very different.

A map showing Norway, Greenland and Newfoundland.

OLAF Tryggvason became a Christian while visiting the Scilly Isles and England in 994, and after he came to the throne of Norway in 997, he entrusted Leif Ericson, one of his royal bodyguards and a fellow-Christian, with the conversion of the Orkneys and of Greenland, Leif’s home.

However, Leif’s ship was driven far off her homeward course. When at last he sighted land, it was not Greenland, nor anywhere he knew. But he remembered that his father Eric’s friend Bjarni Herjólfsson had reported seeing land far out west.

More curious than Bjarni, Leif came ashore, and found two fellow-Scandinavians there, survivors of a shipwreck.*

On his return to Greenland, Leif mounted a full-scale expedition in Bjarni’s ship: his brief glimpse had promised salmon, maples for timber, and vines, and he was not disappointed.

Leif established a permanent outpost there at the Gulf of St Lawrence, in what he called Vinland, and his merchants became the first European settlers in North America.

* These two shipwrecked mariners were the first recorded Europeans to set foot in North America, not Leif Ericson, nor John Cabot in 1497.

Based on The Saga of Eric the Red (12th century).

More like this

Anglo-Saxon History (44) Mediaeval History (62) History (405)

Picture: © Tony Webster, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0. View original
Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, lies within the Gulf of St Lawrence, surrounded by Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Labrador and the island of Newfoundland.

Amazon Books

Featured Music

Letters Game

Make words from two or more of the tiles below. What is the highest-scoring word you can make?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: High Tiles Games with Words

Numbers Game

Work across from the number on the left, applying each arithmetical operation to the previous answer. What’s the final total?

Tip: Click any of the four inner squares to check your running total.

More like this: Maths Steps (Mental Arithmetic Game) Mental Arithmetic

Selected Stories
Elfric of Eynsham
Elfric, Abbot of Eynsham in the reign of Æthelred the Unready, reflects on two appearances of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.
By Edmund Burke MP
Britain’s ‘empire’ owed its existence not to her armies or politicians but to her merchants and her unique brand of liberty.
By Samuel Taylor Coleridge
In Coleridge’s epic poem, the Ancient Mariner, amid the horrors of a ship of dead men, sees a sight both beautiful and surreal.
Paris, prince of Troy, takes the not unwilling Queen of Sparta back home with him, and sparks twenty years of retribution.
Based on a fable by
Aesop of Samos
An affectionate father came up with an imaginative way to get his sons to work on the farm.
As Japan’s ruling shoguns resist the tide of progress, a Nagasaki-based Scottish entrepreneur steps in.