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 Who where the Vikings?

Vikings invading Britian in an 11th century drawing.
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Outlaws at home in Scandinavia, the Vikings pillaged England unceasingly. Later they spread westward, jumping from island to island, first to Iceland and then to Greenland, they established permanent colonies and their own kingdoms. Leif Erikson ventured further still, and founded a colony in a place he called Vinland.

Erik the Red's Saga. Although it bears only the name of Erik the Red, this saga might be more aptly named "Gudrid's Saga." It is preserved in two manuscripts; this one is from the bishopric at Skálholt and dates ca. 1420-50.
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All this is recorded in the Norse sagas and in the archaeological record. A chapter in Erik the Red's saga deals wth Erik the Red's discovery and settlement of Greenland. (The rest of the text focuses on the family of Gudrid Thorbjarnadottir and the travels she and her husband, Throrfinn Karlsefni, made to Vinland.)


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