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Erik the Red

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Erik the Red

Woodcut frontispiece from the 1688 Icelandic publication of Arngrímur Jónsson's Gronlandia (Greenland)

Public Domain

This profile of Erik the Red is part of
Who's Who in Medieval History

A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 

Erik the Red was also known as:

Erik Thorvaldson (also spelled Eric or Eirik Torvaldsson; in Norwegian, Eirik Raude). As the son of Thorvald, he was known as Erik Thorvaldson until he was dubbed "the Red" for his red hair.

Erik the Red was noted for:

Founding the first European settlement on Greenland.

Occupations:

Leader
Explorer

Places of Residence and Influence:

Scandinavia

Important Dates:

Born: c. 950
Died: 1003

 

About Erik the Red:

Born in Norway, Erik accompanied his father to western Iceland when Thorvald was exiled for manslaughter. When Erik was exiled from Iceland for killing a man in 980, he set off to explore the land that lay to the west, which was visible from the mountaintops of western Iceland. Although the Norwegian Gunnbjörn Ulfsson had sailed near the gigantic island, Erik's party was the first European group known to make landfall.

Dubbing the place "Greenland," Erik convinced many colonists to join him on a second expedition. 14 of the 25 ships landed safely and established a settlement. Erik's colony would eventually die out, but other Norse settlements would survive until the 1400s, when communications ceased for more than a century.

Erik's son Leif would lead an expedition to America around the turn of the millennium.

 

Erik the Red on the Web:

Eric the Red
Brief overview at Infoplease.

Eric the Red: Explorer
Friendly bio at Enchanted Learning.

More Erik the Red Resources

Eirik the Red's Saga
Erik the Red in Print

Exploration, Expansion & Discovery
Vikings and Scandinavian History



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