Leif Eriksson the Lucky

▪ Norse explorer
Eriksson also spelled  Ericson,  Eiríksson,  or  Erikson , Norwegian  Leiv Eriksson den Hepne , Icelandic  Leifur Eiríksson 
flourished 11th century
 
 Norse explorer widely held to have been the first European to reach the shores of North America. The 13th- and 14th-century Icelandic accounts of his life and additional later evidence show that he was certainly a member of an early Viking voyage to North America, but it remains doubtful whether he led the initial expedition.

      The second of three sons of Erik the Red, the first European colonizer of Greenland, Leif sailed from Greenland to Norway in 1000, according to the Icelandic Eiríks saga (“Saga of Erik”), and was there converted to Christianity by the Norwegian king Olaf I Tryggvason. The following year Leif was commissioned by Olaf to urge Christianity upon the Greenland settlers. He sailed off course on the return voyage and landed on the North American continent, at a region (possibly Nova Scotia) he called Vinland—perhaps because of the wild grapes and fertile land he found there. On returning to Greenland, he proselytized for Christianity and converted his mother, who built the first Christian church in Greenland, at Brattahild.

      According to the Groenlendinga saga (Grænlendinga saga; “Tale of the Greenlanders”) in the Flateyjarbók (“Songbook”), considered more reliable than the Eiríks saga by many modern scholars, Leif learned of Vinland from the Icelander Bjarni Herjulfsson, who had been there 14 years earlier. The Saga pictures Leif as reaching North America several years after 1000 and visiting Helluland (possibly Labrador) and Markland (possibly Newfoundland) as well as Vinland. Further expeditions to Vinland were then made by Thorvald, Leif's brother, and by the Icelander Thorfinn Karlsefni.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Leif Eriksson — or Leif Eriksson the Lucky Norwegian Leiv Eriksson den Hepne flourished 11th century Icelandic explorer, possibly the first European to reach North America. The second son of Erik the Red, he was on his way back from Norway to Greenland, where he …   Universalium

  • Eriksson — (as used in expressions) Gustav Eriksson Vasa Magnus II Eriksson Leif Eriksson Leiv Eriksson den Hepne Leif Eriksson the Lucky * * * …   Universalium

  • Leif Ericson — (Old Norse: Leifr Eiríksson) [In modern Icelandic the first name is Leifur and in modern Norwegian Leif or Leiv. The patronym is Anglicized in various ways, such as Ericson, Eriksson, Ericsson, Erickson, Erikson and Eiriksson.] (c. 970 – c. 1020) …   Wikipedia

  • Vinland — /vin leuhnd/, n. a region in E North America variously identified as a place between Newfoundland and Virginia: visited and described by Norsemen ab. A.D. 1000. Also, Vineland. * * * Wooded land in North America visited and named by Leif Eriksson …   Universalium

  • Norway — /nawr way/, n. Norwegian, Norge. a kingdom in N Europe, in the W part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. 4,404,456; 124,555 sq. mi. (322,597 sq. km). Cap.: Oslo. * * * Norway Introduction Norway Background: Despite its neutrality, Norway was not able …   Universalium

  • Greenland — Greenlander, n. Greenlandish, adj. /green leuhnd, land /, n. a self governing island belonging to Denmark, located NE of North America: the largest island in the world. 55,558; ab. 844,000 sq. mi. (2,186,000 sq. km); over 700,000 sq. mi.… …   Universalium

  • Yarmouth — /yahr meuhth/, n. 1. a city in SE Massachusetts. 18,449. 2. a seaport in SW Nova Scotia, in SE Canada: summer resort. 7801. 3. Great. See Great Yarmouth. * * * ▪ Nova Scotia, Canada       town, seat of Yarmouth county, southwestern Nova Scotia …   Universalium

  • Christianity — /kris chee an i tee/, n., pl. Christianities. 1. the Christian religion, including the Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox churches. 2. Christian beliefs or practices; Christian quality or character: Christianity mixed with pagan elements; …   Universalium

  • Massachusetts — /mas euh chooh sits/, n. 1. a state in the NE United States, on the Atlantic coast. 5,737,037; 8257 sq. mi. (21,385 sq. km). Cap.: Boston. Abbr.: MA (for use with zip code), Mass. 2. Massachusett. * * * I officially Commonwealth of Massachusetts… …   Universalium

  • Columbus, Christopher — Italian Cristoforo Colombo Spanish Cristóbal Colón born between Aug. 26 and Oct. 31?, 1451, Genoa died May 20, 1506, Valladolid, Spain Genoese navigator and explorer whose transatlantic voyages opened the way for European exploration,… …   Universalium

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