See the Heims-Kringla, in the Saga Library, trans.
The saga says that he was "tossed about" on this long voyage, and came upon an unknown country, where he found "selfsown wheatfields, and vines," and also some trees called "mosur," of which he took specimens.
Later the saga says: "No snow came there, and all of their live stock lived by grazing, and thrived."
And here it is important to remember that before the age of writing in Iceland there was a saga-telling age, a most remarkable period of intellectual activity, by the aid of which the deeds and events of the seething life of the heroic age was carried over into the age of writing.
Gairsay (33) was the residence of Sweyn Asleifson, the rover, celebrated in the Orkneyinga Saga for his exploits as a trencherman and his feats in battle.
Francke under the title of the Kesar Saga, is a widely known tale of a heroic warrior king of northern Asia named Kesar (believed by some to be a transcription of " Czar "), but it is not found as a printed book.
Then the saga relates that one morning a large number of men in skin canoes came paddling toward them and landed, staring curiously at them: "They were swarthy men and ill-looking, and the hair of their heads was ugly; they had large eyes and broad cheeks."
Dr Finnur Jonsson of Copenhagen says: "The classic form of the saga and its vivid and excellent tradition surely carry it back to about 1200."
Hull, The Cuchullin Saga (London, 1898).
(c) The growth of a legend, or perhaps better, a saga of the First Crusade began, according to von Sybel, even during the Crusade itself.
These instincts and impulses would be at work already among the soldiers during the Crusade, producing a saga all the more readily, as there were poets in the camp; for we know that a certain Richard, who joined the First Crusade, sang its exploits in verse, while still more famous is the princely troubadour, William of Aquitaine, who joined the Crusade of Iloo.
The ninth branch of the Karlamagnus Saga (ed.
Henri de Tourville, in his Histoire de la formation particulariste (1903), basing his argument on the Ynglinga Saga, interpreted in the light of " Social Science," reveals Odin, " the traveller," as a great " caravan-leader " and warrior, who, driven f rem Asgard - a trading city on the borders of the steppes east of the Don - by " the blows that Pompey aimed at Mithridates," brought to the north the arts and industries of the East.
It consequently rests upon a distinct basis of fact, the saga (in the older and wider sense of any story said or sung) being indeed the oldest form of historical tradition; though this of course does not exclude the probability of the accretion of mythical elements round persons and episodes from the very first.
Looking at the record in Eric the Red Saga, it would seem probable that Leif's Vinland answers to some part of southern Nova Scotia.
(often separately entitled Descriptio Insularum Aquilonis; Adam's is the earliest extant reference to Vinland, c. 1070): we have also notices of Vinland in the Libellus Islandorum of Ari Frodi (c. 1120), the oldest Icelandic historian; in the Kristni Saga (repeated in Snorri Sturlason's Heimskringla); in Eyrbyggia Saga (c. 1250); in Gretti Saga (c. 1290); and in an Icelandic chorography of the 14th century, or earlier, partly derived from the famous traveller Abbot Nicolas of Thing-eyrar (j'1159).
The later work opens with the Ynglinga Saga, a brief history of the pretended immigration into Sweden of the Aesir, of their successors in that country, the kings of Upsala, and of the oldest Norwegian kings, their descendants.
Magmusson (1893) and the Saga of King Olaf Tryggwason, trans.
We are left to affirm, on account of definite references in various sagas and annals to Leif Ericsson and the discovery of Vinland, that the saga as preserved in Hank's Book (and also in No.
Vigfusson, in speaking of the sagas in general, says: "We believe that when once the first saga was written down, the others were in quick succession committed to parchment; some still keeping their form through a succession of copies, other changed..
He published also translations of the Samunder Edda and Herwara-Saga, and a history of Sweden to Charles XII.
So curiously alike in their general features were the sepulchral usages connected with barrow-burial over the whole of Europe, that we find the Anglo-Saxon Saga of Beowulf describing the chambered tumulus with its gigantic masonry "held fast on props, with vaults of stone," and the passage under the mound haunted by a dragon, the guardian of the treasures of heathen gold which it contained.
During the Saga Age (900-1050), in the beginning of Norse literature, vikingr is not as a rule used to designate any class of men.
But the use of vikingr in a more generic sense is still to be found in the Saga Age.
If the designation of this or that personage as mikill vikingr or rauba vikingr (red viking) be not reckoned an instance of such use; we have it at all events in the name of a small quasi-nationality, the Jomsvikingar, settled at J6msborg on the Baltic (in modern Pomerania), to whom a saga is dedicated: who possessed rather peculiar institutions evidently the relic of what is now called the Viking Age, that preceded the Saga Age by a century.
The mythical saga of Ragnar Lodbrog is undoubtedly concerned with the Viking Age, though it is impossible now to identify most of the expeditions attributed to this northern hero, stories of conquest in Sweden, in Finland, in Russia and in England, which belong to quite a different age from this one.
Naturally the shipbuilding developed: so that vessels in the viking time would be much smaller than in the Saga Age.
She pretended so well to be interested in the recitation of the saga that he almost believed she was becoming a fan.
If we are to follow von Sybel rather than Kugler, this saga of the First Crusade found one of its earliest expressions (c. 1120) in the prose work of Albert of Aix (Historia Hierosolymitana) - genuine saga in its 1 His somewhat legendary treatise, De liberatione civitatum Orientis, was only composed about 1155.
The Slavonic heroic saga of Russia centres round Vladimir of Kiev (980-1015), the first Christian ruler of that country, whose personality is eclipsed by that of Ilya (Elias) of Mourom, the son of a peasant, who was said to have saved the empire from the Tatars at the urgent request of his emperor.
These two were followed by Politik og Historie (1807-1810); Saga (1816-1820), a quarterly review edited by J.
One of them is the "Saga of Eric the Red" as found in the collection known as Hauk's Book, so called because the manuscript was made by Hauk Erlendsson, an Icelander who spent much of his life in Norway.
(Reeves's Finding of Wineland contains fine photographs of all the vellum pages that give the various Vinland narratives.) According to Flatey Book saga, Biarni Heriulfsson, on a voyage from Iceland to Greenland in the early days of the Greenland colony, was driven out of his course and sighted new lands to the south-west.
According to the Vinland saga in Hank's Book, Leif Ericsson, whose father, Eric the Red, had discovered and colonized Greenland, set out on a voyage, in 999, to visit Norway, the native land of his father.
Most region of Vinland, the saga says: "They found self-sown wheatfields in the lowlands, but vines everywhere on higher places..
To these must be added a large number of Old Norse writings including the older Edda and the prose Edda (the chief authorities for Northern mythology), Islands Landnamabok and many sagas dealing with the history of families in Iceland (such as Eyrbyggia Saga) or with the lives of Norwegian and other kings, both historical and legendary (in Heimskringla, Fornmanna Sogur and Rafn's Fornaldar Sogur Norr landa).
Such is the account of the Saga of Eric the Red, supported by a number of briefer references in early Icelandic and other literature.
But this secondary authority (the Flatey Book narrative), which till lately formed the basis of all general knowledge as to Vinland, abounds in contradictions and difficulties from which Eric the Red Saga is comparatively free.
See Gustav Storm, "Studies on the Vineland Voyages," in the Memoires de la Societe royale des Antiquaires du Nord (Copenhagen, 1888); and Eiriks Saga Raudha (Copenhagen, 1891); A.
There are also translations of Flatey and Red Eric Saga in Beamish, Discovery of North America by the Northmen (Lond., 1841); E.
It may be noticed that the Flatey Book narrative gives a somewhat different but much slighter account of Thorfinn's expedition, making both Thorvald Ericsson and Freydis undertake separate Vinland ventures - one before, the other after, Karlsefni's enterprise - Thorvald being killed on his (as in Red Eric Saga, but with divergent details), and Freydis on her committing atrocities upon her comrades, the Icelanders Helgi and Finnbogi, which are unnoticed in Red Eric. The latter, however, in its mention of the domestic broils which arose over the women of the colony in its third winter, points to something which may have been the germ of the highly elaborated Freydis story in Flatey.
On Flatey Book, Red Eric Saga and the whole bibliography for the Vinland voyages, including that of Thorfinn, see Leif Ericsson and Vinland.