Christopher Columbus was not the first explorer to discover North America. Let’s get that important tidbit of information out of the way. There is a lot of debate surrounding the issue of who “discovered” America; and it is a argument to have another day. There is something, however, that can and will be explored today and that is how sagas show the Viking’s voyage to Vinland.
Vinland is an area in North America, the eastern shore of Canada. First found, assuming that we are not discussing the Native population that was already present on said land, by the great Viking, Lief Errikson in 1000 ce. The voyage was recorded in both the Saga of the Greenlanders and Erik the Red’s Saga. Both of these sagas give a great description of the voyage to Vinland and of Vinland itself. The only problem is that these sagas were are not considered to be truthful of all the events that occurred.
The sagas about the great voyage to Vinland, or the land of wine, were considered to be fables, or folktales, that were written purely for entertainment until 1961. A viking settlement was found in L’Anse Aux Meadows in Newfoundland, Canada. Many would say that the vikings discovered North America, however, that is also widely contested.
“What they did in America did not change their own or anybody else’s view of the world….There was practically no feedback from the Vinland voyages. What is most remarkable is not that the Vikings actually reached America, but that they reached America and even settled there for a while, without discovering America.” – Daniel Boorstin