Erik The Red: First Nordic Settlement In Greenland

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Erik the Red Biography Erik the Red (Eiríkur Rauði c.950-1003) was the founder of the first Nordic settlement in Greenland (long before it had been named Greenland, it had been inhabited by the Inuit people) and father of Leifur "the Lucky" Eiríksson (Leif Ericson). Erik the Red was so called because of his red hair. Born in Norway, he was the son of Þorvaldur (notice that the letter at the beginning of this first name is a thorn) Ásvaldsson (Thorvald Asvaldsson), and was also called Erik Torvaldsson (or Eiríkur Þorvaldsson). Note that the Þorvaldsson is a patronymic, not a surname. In about 960, Erik 's father was forced to flee Norway because of a murder. The family settled in Iceland, but in 982, Erik was outlawed there too because of another murder. He decided to search for a land further west of Iceland which had been spotted earlier by a discoverer named Gunnbjörn, who gave it the name "Gunnbjarnarsker" ("Gunnbjörn 's skerries").…show more content…
With a large number of colonists, he returned to Greenland in 985 and established two colonies on its west coast: the eastern settlement (near the south point), which he named Eystribyggð ("red dragon" in old Swedish) and the western settlement, Vestribyggð (around Nuuk). In Osterbygd, he built the estate Brattahlíð, near what is now Narssarssuaq, for himself. His title was that of paramount chieftain of Greenland. The settlement venture involved twenty-five ships, fourteen of which made the journey successfully--some turned back, while others were lost at
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