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Manuscript of the Saga of Erik the Red
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Grænlendinga Saga and Eiriks Saga

These two sagas describe the discovery and attempted settlement of America by the Vikings some five centuries before the voyages of Christopher Columbus.

The sagas tell how Erik the Red, who had been outlawed from Iceland, founded a settlement on the western coast of Greenland, and how a merchant named Bjarni Herjolfsson was blown off course when sailing to Greenland and how he sighted unknown land to the west of Greenland.

The sagas also tell how, fifteen years later, Erik’s son, Leif the Lucky, bought Bjarni’s ship and set sail to discover these new lands.

These sagas have been the centre of controversy for over a century, for the sagas contradict each other on several major details.

The videos below give a good introduction to the Vinland Sagas and the events that they depict.

The History Channel Video “Leif Erickson” is in three parts: