Vinland

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Vinland (Wineland) was the name given to part of North America when discovered by the Viking Leif Eriksson. After the explorations of the coast of Greenland, It is believed that the first landing of the Vikings was in Newfoundland, Canada. There is evidence of a settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows, however the exact area described as "Vinland" is unknown.

Vinland was first recorded by Adam of Bremen, a geographer and historian. In 1072 he wrote the "Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum", a history of Hamburg and the Christian Missions in the North, starting with AD 788. This is the chief source of knowledge of the North until the 13st century. In 1068 Adam came on invitation of Archbishop Adalbert of Bremen to write a detailed history. Adam of Bremen took a trip to personally interview king Svend Estridson, who had knowledge of the history and geography of the northern lands.

There is textual evidence of the trip in at least two different Icelandic sources. Piecing together information from these, the settlement period seems to have been only one year or two.

The disbandment of the small Viking colony probably had several reasons. Disagreements among the men about the few women that followed on the trip and fighting with the Micmac Indians already living on the land (called "Skrälingar" by the Vikings) are both reasons that are indicated in the written sources.

The name may well be an early marketing effort (something like the naming of Greenland). The publicisers indicated that there were huge amounts of grapes growing in the Vinland area (hence the name). However, grapes don't grow in any of the areas possible as a site of Vinland.

Besides Vinland there were other areas recorded as Markland and Helluland, perhaps in the Massachusetts and Florida areas.

/Talk