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Title: In Northern Mists (Volume 2 of 2) - Arctic Exploration in Early Times
Author: Nansen, Fridtjof, 1861-1930
Language: English
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  G.C.V.O., D.Sc., D.C.L., Ph.D.,







  CHAP.                                                               PAGE

        THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA                                         1

     X. ESKIMO AND SKRÆLING                                             66


        IN THE POLAR SEA, WHALING AND SEALING                          135

        AGES                                                           182



        CONCLUSION                                                     379

        LIST OF THE MORE IMPORTANT WORKS REFERRED TO                   384

        INDEX                                                          397

[Illustration: From an Icelandic MS., fourteenth century]




[Sidenote: Wineland == the African islands]

A confirmation of the identity of Wineland and the Insulæ Fortunatæ, which
in classical legend lay to the west of Africa, occurs in the Icelandic
geography (in MSS. of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries) which may
partly be the work of Abbot Nikulás of Thverá (ob. 1159) (although perhaps
not the part here quoted), where we read:

    "South of Greenland is 'Helluland,' next to it is 'Markland,' and then
    it is not far to 'Vínland hit Góða,' which some think to be connected
    with Africa (and if this be so, then the outer ocean [i.e., the ocean
    surrounding the disc of the earth] most fall in between Vinland and

This idea of the connection with Africa seems to have been general in
Iceland; it may appear surprising, but, as will be seen, it finds its
natural explanation in the manner here stated. It also appears in Norway.
Besides a reference in the "King's Mirror," the following passage in the
"Historia Norwegiæ" relating to Greenland is of particular importance:

    "This country was discovered and settled by the Telensians [i.e., the
    Icelanders] and strengthened with the Catholic faith; it forms the end
    of Europe towards the west, nearly touches the African Islands
    ('Africanas insulas'), where the returning ocean overflows" [i.e.,
    falls in].

It is clear that "Africanæ Insulæ" is here used directly as a name instead
of Wineland, in connection with Markland and Helluland, as in the
Icelandic geography. But the African Islands (i.e., originally the Canary
Islands) were in fact the Insulæ Fortunatæ, in connection with the
Gorgades and the Hesperides; and thus we have here a direct proof that
they were looked upon as the same.

[Illustration: The conception of the northern and western lands and
islands in Norse literature.]

    G. Storm [1890] and A. A. Björnbo [1909, pp. 229, ff.] have sought to
    explain the connection of Wineland with Africa as an attempt on the
    part of the Icelandic geographers to unite new discoveries of western
    lands with the classical-mediæval conceptions of the continents as a
    continuous disc of earth with an outer surrounding ocean. But even if
    such "learned" ideas prevailed in Iceland and Norway (cf. the "King's
    Mirror"), it would nevertheless be unnatural to unite Africa and
    Wineland, which lay near Hvítramanna-land, six days' sail _west_ of
    Ireland, unless there were other grounds for doing so. Although
    agreeing on the main point, Dr. Björnbo maintains (in a letter to me)
    that the Icelanders may have got their continental conception from
    Isidore himself, who asserted the dogma of the threefold division of
    the continental circle; and the question whether Wineland was African
    or not depended upon whether it came south or north of the line
    running east and west through the Mediterranean. But the same Isidore
    also described the Insulæ Fortunatæ and other countries as islands in
    the Ocean, and his dogma could not thus have hindered Wineland from
    being regarded as an island like other islands (cf. Adam of Bremen's
    islands), but why then precisely African? Besides, the Icelandic
    geography and the Historia Norwegiæ represent two different
    conceptions, one as a continent, the other as islands. It cannot,
    therefore, have been Isidore's continental dogma that caused them both
    to assume the country to be _African_. It seems to me that no other
    explanation is here possible than that given above.

[Sidenote: The vine North America]

It might be objected to the view that "Vínland hit Góða" originally meant
"Insulæ Fortunatæ," that several sorts of wild grape are found on the east
coast of North America; it might therefore be believed that the
Greenlanders really went so far and discovered these. Storm, indeed,
assumed that the wild vine grew on the outer east coast of Nova Scotia;
but he is unable to adduce any certain direct evidence of this, although
he gives [1887, p. 48] a statement of the Frenchman Nicolas Denys in 1672,
which points to the wild vine having grown in the interior of the
country.[2] He also mentions several statements of recent date that
wild-growing vines of one kind or another have been observed near
Annapolis and in the interior of the country, but none on the south-east
coast. Professor N. Wille informs me that in the latest survey of the
flora of North America Vitis vulpina is specified as occurring in Nova
Scotia; but nothing is said as to locality. The American botanist, M. L.
Fernald [1910, pp. 19, f.], on the other hand, thinks that the wild vine
(Vitis vulpina) is not certainly known to the east of the valley of the
St. John in New Brunswick (see map, vol. i. p. 335), where it is rare and
only found in the interior. From this we may conclude that even if it
should really be found on the outer south-east coast of Nova Scotia, it
must have been very rare there, and could not possibly have been a
conspicuous feature which might have been especially mentioned along with
the wheat. But even if we might assume that the saga was borne out to this
extent, it would be one of those accidental coincidences which often
occur. It must, of course, be admitted to be a strange chance that the
world of classical legend should have fertile lands or islands far in the
western ocean, and that Isidore should describe the self-grown vine and
the unsown cornfields in these Fortunate Isles, and that long afterwards
fertile lands and islands, where wild vines and various kinds of wild corn
grew, should be discovered in the same quarter. Since we have the choice,
it may be more reasonable to assume that the Icelanders got their wine
from Isidore, or from the same vats that he drew his from, than that they
fetched it from America. Again, even if the Greenlanders and Icelanders
had found some berries on creepers in the woods--is it likely that they
would have known them to be grapes? They cannot be expected to have had
any acquaintance with the latter.[3] The author of the
"Grönlendinga-þáttr" in the Flateyjarbók is so entirely ignorant of these
things that he makes grapes grow in the winter and spring (like the fruits
all the year round on the trees in the myth of the fortunate land in the
west), and makes Leif's companion Tyrker intoxicate himself by eating
grapes (like the Irishmen in the Irish legends), and finally makes Leif
cut down vine-trees ("vínvið") and fell trees to load his ship, and at
last fill the long-boat with grapes (as in the Irish legends); in the
voyage of Thorvald Ericson they also collect grapes and vine-trees for a
cargo, and Karlsevne took home with him "many costly things: vine-trees,
grapes and furs." It is scarcely likely that seafaring Greenlanders about
380 years earlier had any better idea of the vine than this saga-writer,
and we hear nothing in Eric's Saga about Leif or his companions having
ever been in southern Europe. No doubt it is for this very reason that the
"Grönlendinga-þáttr" makes a "southman," Tyrker, find the grapes.

[Sidenote: The wild wheat]

Wheat is not a wild cereal native to America. It has therefore been
supposed that the "self-sown wheat-fields" of Wineland might have been the
American cereal maize. As this proved to be untenable, Professor
Schübeler[4] proposed that it might have been the "wild rice," also called
"water oats" (Zizania aquatica), an aquatic plant that grows by rivers and
lakes in North America. But apart from the fact that the plant grows in
the water and has little resemblance to wheat, although the ripe ear is
said to be like a wheat-ear, there is the difficulty that it is
essentially an inland plant, which is not known in Nova Scotia. "Though it
occurs locally in a few New England rivers, it attains its easternmost
known limit in the lower reaches of the St. John in New Brunswick, being
apparently unknown in Nova Scotia" [Fernald, 1910, p. 26]. For proving
that Wineland was Nova Scotia it is therefore of even less use than the

It results in consequence that the attempts made hitherto to bring the
natural conditions of the east coast of North America into agreement with
the saga's description of Wineland[5] have not been able to afford any
natural explanation of the striking juxtaposition of the two leading
features of the latter, the wild vine and the self-sown wheat, which are
identical with the two leading features in the description of the Insulæ
Fortunatæ. If it were permissible to prove in this way that the ancient
Norsemen reached the east coast of North America, then it might be
concluded with almost equal right that the Greeks and Romans of antiquity
were there; for they already had the same two features in their
descriptions of the fortunate isles in the west. It should be remembered
that wheat was not a commonly known cereal in the North, where it was not
cultivated, and it would hardly be natural for the Icelanders to use that
particular name for a wild species of corn. Both wheat and grapes or vines
were to them foreign ideas, and the remarkable juxtaposition of these very
two words shows that they came together from southern Europe, where, as
has been said, we find them in Isidore, and where wine and wheat were
important commercial products which one often finds mentioned together.

[Sidenote: Encounters with the Skrælings in Wineland]

If we now proceed further in the description of the Wineland voyages in
the Saga of Eric the Red, we come to the encounters with the Skrælings.
These encounters are, of course, three in number: first they come to see,
then to trade, and then to fight; this again recalls the fairy-tale. The
narrative itself of the battle with the Skrælings has borrowed features.
The Skrælings' catapults make one think of the civilised countries of
Europe, where catapults (i.e., engines for throwing stones, mangonels)
and Greek fire (?) were in use.[6]

[Illustration: Icelandic representation of the northern and western lands
as connected with one another, by Sigurd Stefansson, circa 1590 (Torfæus,
1706). Cf. G. Storm, 1887, pp. 28, ff.]

    Catapults, which are also mentioned in the "King's Mirror," had a long
    beam or lever-arm, at the outer end of which was a bowl or sling,
    wherein was laid a heavy round stone, or more rarely a barrel of
    combustible material or the like [cf. O. Blom, 1867, pp. 103, f.]. In
    the "King's Mirror" it is also stated that mineral coal ("jarðkol")
    and sulphur were thrown; the stones for casting were also made of
    baked clay with pebbles in it. When these clay balls were slung out
    and fell, they burst in pieces, so that the enemy had nothing to throw
    back. The great black ball, which is compared to a sheep's paunch, and
    which made such an ugly sound (report ?) when it fell that it
    frightened the Greenlanders, also reminds one strongly on the
    "herbrestr" (war-crash, report) which Laurentius Kálfsson's saga [cap.
    8 in "Biskupa Sögur," i. 1858, p. 798] relates that Þrándr Fisiler,[7]
    from Flanders, produced at the court of Eric Magnusson in Bergen, at
    Christmas 1294. It "gives such a loud report that few men can bear to
    hear it; women who are with child and hear the crash are prematurely
    delivered, and men fall from their seats on to the floor, or have
    various fits. Thránd told Laurentius to put his fingers in his ears
    when the crash came.... Thránd showed Laurentius what was necessary to
    produce the crash, and there are four things: fire, brimstone,
    parchment and tow.[8] Men often have recourse in battle to such a
    war-crash, so that those who do not know it may take to flight."
    Laurentius was a priest, afterwards bishop (1323-30) in Iceland; the
    saga was probably written about 1350 by his friend and confidant, the
    priest Einar Hafliðason. It seems as though we have here precisely the
    same notions as appear in the description of the fight with the
    Skrælings. It is true that this visit of Thránd to Bergen would be
    later than the Saga of Eric the Red is generally assumed to have been
    written; but this may have been about 1300. Besides, there is no
    reason why the story of the "herbrestr" should not have found its way
    to Iceland earlier.[9] In any case this part of the tale of the
    Wineland voyages has quite a European air.

For the rest, this feature too seems to have a connection with the
"Navigatio Brandani." It is there related that they approach an island of
smiths, where the inhabitants are filled with fire and darkness. Brandan
was afraid of the island; one of the inhabitants came out of his house "as
though on an errand of necessity"; the brethren want to sail away and
escape, but

    "the said barbarian runs down to the beach bearing a long pair of
    tongs in his hand with a fiery mass in a skin[10] of immense size and
    heat; he instantly throws it after the servants of Christ, but it did
    not injure them, it went over them about a stadium farther off, but
    when it fell into the sea, the water began to boil as though a
    fire-spouting mountain were there, and smoke arose from the sea as
    fire from a baker's oven." The other inhabitants then rush out and
    throw their masses of fire, but Brendan and the brethren escape
    [Schröder, 1871, p. 28].

In the narrative of Maelduin's voyage a similar story is told of the smith
who with a pair of tongs throws a fiery mass over the boat, so that the
sea boils, but he does not hit them, as they hastily fly out into the open
sea [cf. Zimmer, 1889, pp. 163, 329]. The resemblances to Karlsevne and
his people flying with all speed before the black ball of the Skrælings,
like a sheep's paunch, which is flung over them from a pole and makes an
ugly noise when it falls, is obvious; but at the same time it looks as
though this incident of the Irish myth--which is an echo of the classical
Cyclopes of the Æneid and Odyssey (cf. Polyphemus and the Cyclopes), and
the great stones that were thrown at Odysseus--had been "modernised" by
the saga-writer, who has transferred mediæval European catapults and
explosives to the Indians.

The curious expression--used when the Skrælings come in the spring for the
second time to Karlsevne's settlement--that they came rowing in a
multitude of hide canoes, "as many as though [the sea] had been sown with
coal before the Hóp" [i.e., the bay], seems to find its explanation in
some tale like that of the "Imram Brenaind" [cf. Zimmer, 1889, p. 138],
where Brandan and his companions come to a small deserted land, and the
harbour they entered was immediately filled with "demons in the form of
pygmies and dwarfs, who were as black as coal."

The "hellustein" (flat stone) which lay fixed in the skull of the fallen
Thorbrand Snorrason is a curious missile, and reminds one of trolls (cf.
Arab myth, chapter xiii.). Features such as that of the Skrælings being
supposed to know that white shields meant peace and red ones war have an
altogether European effect.[11]

Another purely legendary feature in the description of the fight is that
of Freydis frightening the Skrælings by taking her breasts out of her sark
and whetting the sword on them ("ok slettir á sverdit"). As it stands in
the saga this incident is not very comprehensible, and appears to have
been borrowed from elsewhere. Possibly, as Moltke Moe thinks, it may be
connected in some way with the legend of the wood-nymph with the long
breasts who was pursued by the hunter. The mention of Unipeds and
"Einfötinga-land" shows that classical myths have also been adopted. The
idea was, moreover, widely current in the Middle Ages. Thus in the
so-called Nancy map of Claudius Clavus (of about 1426) we find "unipedes
maritimi" in the extreme north-east of Greenland. In the "Heimslýsing" in
the Hauksbók [F. Jónsson, 1892, p. 166] and in the "Rymbegla" [1780]
"Einfötingar" are mentioned with a foot "so large that they shade
themselves from the sun with it while asleep" (cf. also Adam of Bremen,
vol. i. p. 189). But in the Saga of Eric the Red the incident of the
Uniped and the pursuit of him are described as realistically as the
encounters with the Skrælings. Einfötinga-land is also mentioned in the
same manner as Skrælinga-land in its vicinity.

[Sidenote: The Skrælings are originally mythical beings]

In reading the Icelandic sagas and narratives about Wineland and Greenland
one cannot avoid being struck by the remarkable, semi-mythical way in
which the natives, the Skrælings, are always spoken of;[12] even Are
Frode's mention of them appears strange. Through finding the connection
between Wineland the Good and the Fortunate Isles, and between the latter
again and the lands of the departed, the "huldrelands," fairylands, and
the lands of the Irish "síd," I arrived at the kindred idea that perhaps
Skræling was originally a name for those gnomes or brownies or mythical
beings, and that it was these that Are Frode meant by the people who "were
inhabiting Wineland"--and further, that when the Icelanders in Greenland
found a strange, small, foreign-looking people, with hide canoes and
implements of stone, bone and wood, which also looked strange to them,
they naturally regarded them as these same Skrælings; and then they may
afterwards have found similar people (Eskimo, and perhaps Indians) on the
coast of America. It agrees with the view of the Skrælings as a small
people that elves and brownies in Norway were small, often only two or
three feet high, and that the underground or huldre-folk in Skåne were
called "Pysslingar" (dwarfs). This idea that the Skræling was originally
a brownie was strengthened by the discovery of the above-mentioned
probable connection between many features in the description of the
Skrælings' appearance in Wineland and the demons, like pygmies and dwarfs,
that Brandan meets with in a land in the sea (see p. 10), and the smiths
(or Cyclopes) in another island who throw masses of fire at Brandon and
Maelduin (see p. 9). That Unipeds and Skrælings are both mentioned as
equally real inhabitants of the new countries, and that a Uniped even
kills Thorvald Ericson near Wineland, and is pursued, points in the same

[Illustration: Eskimos cutting up a whale. Woodcut from Greenland,
illustrating a fairy-tale; drawn and engraved by a native]

I then asked Professor Alf Torp whether he knew of anything that might
confirm such an interpretation of the word Skræling; he at once mentioned
the German word "walt-schreckel" for a wood-troll, and afterwards wrote to
me as follows:

    "The word I spoke about is found in modern German dialects:
    'schrähelein' 'ein zauberisches Wesen, Wichtlein'; cf. Middle High
    German 'walt-schreckel,' which is translated by 'faunus.' This
    'schrähelein' (from the Upper Palatinate) agrees entirely both in form
    and meaning with 'skrælingr': the only difference is that one has the
    diminutive termination '*-ilîn' (primary form '* skrahilîn'), the
    other the diminutive termination '-iling' (primary form '*
    skrahiling'). The primary meaning was doubtless 'shrunken figure,
    dwarf.' From a synonymous verbal root come the synonymous M.H.G. words
    'schraz' and 'schrate,'[13] 'Waldteufel, Kobold.' This seems greatly
    to strengthen your interpretation of 'skrælingr' as 'brownie' or the
    like. Now, of course, 'skræling' means 'puny person' or the like, but
    it is to be remarked that we do not find that meaning in the ancient

It seems to me that this communication is of great importance. It is
striking that the word Skræling is never used in the whole of Old Norse
literature as a term of reproach or to denote a wretched man, and there
must have been plenty of opportunity for this if it had been a word of
common application with its present meaning, and not a special designation
for brownies. It only occurs there as applied to the Skrælings of
Wineland, Markland and Greenland. Again, the Skrælings in Greenland are
called "troll" or "trollkonur" in the Icelandic narratives, and in the
descriptions of the Wineland voyages demoniacal properties are attributed
to them as to the underground folk. In the fight with the Skrælings they
frightened Karlsevne and his people not only with the great magic
ball,[14] but also by glamour. And in the "Grönlendinga-þattr" it is
related that when the Skrælings came for the second time to trade with

    "his wife Gudrid was sitting within the door by the cradle of her son
    Snorre, and there walked in a woman in a black gown, rather low in
    stature, and she had a band on her head, and light-brown hair, was
    pale and big-eyed, so that no one had seen such big eyes in any human
    head. She went up to where Gudrid sat, and said: What is thy name?
    says she. My name is Gudrid, and what is thy name? My name is Gudrid,
    says she. Then Gudrid, the mistress of the house, stretched out her
    hand to her, and she sat down beside her; but then it happened at the
    same time that Gudrid heard a great crash ['brest mikinn,' cf. the
    noise or crash of the great ball in the Saga of Eric the Red] and that
    the woman disappeared, and at the same moment a Skræling was slain by
    one of Karlsevne's servants, because he had tried to take their
    weapons, and they [the Skrælings] went away as quickly as possible;
    but they left their clothes and wares behind them. No one had seen
    this woman but Gudrid."[15]

This phantasmal Gudrid is obviously a gnome or underground woman; and as
she makes both her appearance and disappearance together with the
Skrælings it is reasonable to suppose that they too were of the same kind,
like the illusions in the battle with the Skrælings. It is further to be
remarked that she is short, and has extraordinarily large eyes, exactly as
is said of the Skrælings and of huldre- and troll-folk (cf. vol. i. p.
327), and also of pygmies.

[Illustration: Fight with mythical creatures (From an Icelandic MS.)]

On account of the identity of name one might perhaps be tempted to think
that it was Gudrid's "fylgja" (fetch) coming to warn her. But she does
nothing of the kind in the saga, nor was there any reason for it, as the
Skrælings came to trade with peaceful intentions, and fled as soon as
there was disagreement. But the story is obscure and confused, and it is
probable that this is a borrowed incident, and that something of the
meaning or connection has dropped out in the transfer. Another remarkable
feature (which Moltke Moe has pointed out to me) is that while in Eric's
Saga Karlsevne pays for the Skrælings' furs and red cloth, in the
"Grönlendinga-þáttr" he makes "the women carry out milk-food ('búnyt') to
them" (it was placed outside the house or even outside the fence), "and as
soon as the Skrælings saw milk-food they would buy that and nothing else."
Now the natives of America cannot possibly have known milk-food; but on
the other hand it happens to be a characteristic of the underground folk
that they are fond of milk and porridge (cream-porridge), which is put out
for the mound-elves and the "nisse." Another underground feature comes out
in the incident of the five Skrælings in Markland, three of whom "escaped
and sank into the earth" ("ok sukku i jorð niðr"). Possibly the statement
that the people in Markland "lived in rock-shelters and caves" may have a
similar connection.

As the Skrælings of Greenland were dark, it was quite natural that they
should become trolls, and not elves, which were fair.

It may also be supposed that the troll-like nature of the Skrælings is
shown in the curious circumstance that Are Frode, speaking of them in
Greenland, only mentions dwelling-places and remains of boats and stone
implements that they had left behind (see vol. i. p. 260), as a sign that
they had been both in the east and west of the country, while the people
themselves are never mentioned; this is like troll-folk, who leave their
traces without being seen themselves. One might suppose that such a mode
of expression agreed best with the current Icelandic view of them as
trolls. In a similar way it might be related of the first discoverer of an
earlier Norway, inhabited only by supernatural beings, that he found
traces both in the east and the west of the land which showed that the
kind of folk ("þjóð") had been there that inhabit Risaland, and that the
Norwegians call giants. In this way possibly this passage in Are may be
understood (but cf. p. 77); it might be objected that this expression: who
"inhabited Wineland" ("hefer bygt") does not suggest troll-folk, but real
human beings; if, however, the existence of these troll-folk is supported
by the actual finding of natives, in any case in Greenland (and doubtless
also in Markland), then such an expression cannot appear unreasonable.
Besides, there would be a general tendency on the part of the
rationalising Icelanders, with their pronounced sense of realistic
description, to make these trolls or brownies or "demons" into living
human beings in Wineland, while the designation of troll still persisted
for a long time in Greenland, side by side with Skræling--as a name
approximately synonymous therewith. The realistic description of the
Uniped affords a parallel to this. One is inclined to think that the
Skrælings of the saga have come about through a combination of the
original mythical creatures (like the síd-people in the Irish happy lands)
to whom at first the name belonged with the Eskimo that the Icelanders
found in Greenland, and perhaps the Eskimo and Indians that they found on
the north-east coast of North America. It is, as in fact Moltke Moe has
maintained in his lectures, by the fusing of materials taken from the
world of myth and from reality that the human imagination is rendered
most fertile and creative in the formation of legend. The points of
departure may often be pure accidents, resemblances of one kind or
another, which have a fructifying effect.

That the Skrælings, from being originally living natives, should later
have become trolls or brownies, is an idea that Storm among others seems
to have entertained (cf. note, p. 11); but this would be the reverse of
what usually happens. That the Eskimo should have made a strange and
supernatural impression on the superstitious Norsemen when they first met
them is natural, and so it is that this impression should have persisted
so long, until it gradually wore off through more intimate acquaintance
with them in Greenland; but the contrary, that the supernatural ideas
about them should only have developed gradually, although they were
constantly meeting them, is incredible.

In Scandinavian literature also we find mythical ideas attached to the
Skrælings of Greenland. In the Norwegian "Historia Norwegiæ" (thirteenth
century) it is said that when "they are struck with weapons while alive,
their wounds are white and do not bleed, but when they are dead the blood
scarcely stops running." The Dane Claudius Clavus (fifteenth century)
relates that there were pygmies in Greenland two feet high (like our elves
and brownies), and the same is reported in a letter to Pope Nicholas V.
(circa 1450), with the addition that they hide themselves in the caves of
the country like ants (see next chapter); that is, like underground
beings, although this trait may well be derived from knowledge of the
Eskimo. Mythical tales about the Greenland Eskimo also appear in Olaus
Magnus, and in Jacob Ziegler's Scondia (sixteenth century) [cf. Grönl.
hist. Mind., iii. pp. 465, 501].

[Sidenote: Borrowed features]

A little touch like that of Thorvald Ericson drawing the Uniped's arrow
out of his intestines and saying: "There is fat in the bowels, a good land
have we found..." shows how the saga-writer embroidered his romance:
Thorvald was the son of a chief and naturally required a more honourable
death than other men. The Fosterbrothers' Saga and Snorre have the same
thing about Thormod Kolbrunarskald at the battle of Stiklestad, when he
drew out the arrow and said, "Well hath the king nourished us, there is
still fat about the roots of my heart." But of course there had to be a
slight difference; while Thormod receives the arrow in the roots of his
heart and has been well treated by the king, Thorvald gets it in his small
intestines and has been well nourished by the country. Similar features
are found in other Icelandic sagas.

It is a characteristic point that both in the "Navigatio Brandani" and in
the "Imram Maelduin" three of the companions perish, or disappear, either
through demons or mythical beings. With this the circumstance that in
Karlsevne's voyage three of his companions fall, two by the Skrælings and
one by a Uniped, seems to correspond. We may also compare the incident in
the "Imram Brenaind" where Brandan and his companions come to a large,
lofty and beautiful island, where there are dwarfs ("luchrupán") like
monkeys, who instantly fill the beach and want to swallow them, and devour
one of the men (the "crosan") (cf. the circumstance that in the fight with
the Skrælings two men fell, of whom only one is mentioned by name).

When it is related first that Karlsevne found five Skrælings asleep near
Wineland, whom they took for exiles (!) and therefore slew, and that in
the following year they again found five Skrælings, of whom, however, they
only took two boys, while the others escaped, we may probably regard these
as two variants of the same story. This feature also has an air of being
borrowed in its dubious form, especially in the former passage; but I have
not yet discovered from whence it may be derived.

    In the "Grönlendinga-þáttr" there is yet another variant. There
    Thorvald Ericson and his men see three hide-boats on the beach, and
    three men under each. "Then they divided their people, and took them
    all except one who got away with his boat. They killed the eight...."
    This is altogether improbable. Since one man could run away with his
    boat, the hide-boats must be supposed to be kayaks, and the men
    Eskimo; but in that case only one man would have been lying under
    each; if they were larger boats (women's boats ?) it would be unlike
    the Eskimo for three men to lie under each, and in any case one man
    could not run away with a boat.

The tale of the kidnapped Skræling children also shows incidents and ideas
from wholly different quarters that have been introduced into this saga.
That the grown-up Skræling was bearded ("skeggjaðr") agrees, of course,
neither with Eskimo nor Indians, but it agrees very well with trolls,
brownies and pygmies, and also with the hermits of the Irish legends who
were heavily clothed with hair. That this man, with the two women who
escaped, "sank down into the earth" has already been mentioned as an
underground feature. That the Skrælings of Markland had no houses, but
lived in caves, does not sound any more probable; unless indeed this
feature is taken from underground gnomes, it may come from the hermits in
Irish legends. Thus the holy Paulus [Schröder, 1871, p. 32] dwelt in a
cave and was covered with snow-white hair and beard (cf. the bearded
Skræling), whom Brandan met on an island a little while before he came to
the Terra Repromissionis (cf. the circumstance that Markland lay a little
to the north of Wineland). The myth of Hvítramanna-land is derived from
Ireland, and has of course nothing to do with the Skræling boys. Storm, it
is true, thought they might have told of a great country (Canada or New
Brunswick) with inhabitants in the west, which later became the Irish
mythical land; but this too is not very credible. The names they gave are
obviously not to be relied on: they may be later inventions, from which no
conclusion at all can be drawn as to the language of the Skrælings, as has
been attempted by earlier inquirers.[16] The two kings' names,
"Avalldamon" and "Avalldidida" (or "Valldidida"), which are attributed to
them, may be supposed to be connected with "Ívaldr" or "Ívaldi." He was of
elfin race, was the father of Idun, who guarded the apples of
rejuvenation, and his sons, "Ívalda synir," were the elves who made the
hair for Sif, the spear Gungner for Odin, and Skiðblaðnir for Frey. In
Bede he is called "Hewald," and in the Anglo-Saxon translation
"Heávold."[17] The name "Vætilldi" (nom. "Vætilldr" ?) of the mother of
the Skræling boys recalls Norse names; it might be a combination of "vætr"
or "vættr" (gnome, sprite, cf. modern Norwegian "vætt," a female sprite)
and "-hildr" (acc., dat. "-hildi"); the word is also written in some MSS.
"Vætthildi," "Vetthildi," "Vethildi," "Veinhildi."

[Sidenote: The maggot-sea]

The last tale of Bjarne Grimolfsson who got into the maggot-sea
("maðk-sjár") bears a stamp of travellers' tales as marked as those of the
Liver-sea. But even this feature seems to have prototypes in the Irish
legends; it resembles the incident in the tale of the voyage of the three
sons of Ua Corra (twelfth century ?), where the sea-monsters gnaw away the
second hide from under the boat (which originally had three hides) [cf.
Zimmer, 1889, pp. 193, 199].

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: The saga narrative a mosaic]

It will therefore be seen that the whole narrative of the Wineland
voyages is a mosaic of one feature after another gathered from east and
west. Is there, then, anything left that may be genuine? To this it may be
answered that even if the romance of the voyages be for the most part
invented--to some extent perhaps from ancient lays--the chief persons
themselves may be more or less historical. It is nevertheless curious that
it should be reserved to father and son first to discover and settle
Greenland, and then accidentally to discover Wineland. That to Leif, the
young leader, should further be attributed the introduction of
Christianity, and that he should thus represent the new faith in
opposition to his father, the old leader, who represented heathendom, may
also seem a remarkable coincidence, but it may find an explanation in the
probability of a new faith being introduced by men of influence, and just
as in Norway it was done by kings, so in Greenland it was naturally the
work of the future chief of the free state. Although it is strange that
such a circumstance should not be mentioned when Leif's name occurs in the
oldest authorities ("Landnáma"), this may thus appear probable. On the
other hand, no such explanation can be found for the circumstance that he
of all others should accidentally discover America. It would be somewhat
different if, as in the "Grönlendinga-þáttr," Leif had of set purpose gone
out to find new land, like his father. It is also curious that in the saga
we hear no more either of Leif or his ship on the new voyages, after his
accidental discovery, while it is another, Karlsevne, who becomes the
hero. It looks as though the tale of Leif had been inserted without proper
connection. In the "Grönlendinga-þáttr," too, this discovery is attributed
to another man, Bjarne Herjolfsson, which shows that the tradition about
Leif was not firmly rooted. It may be supposed that there was a tradition
in Iceland of the discovery of new land to the south-west of Greenland,
and this became connected with the legends of the fortunate "Wineland the
Good." Popular belief then searched for a name with which to connect the
discovery, and as it could not take that of the discoverer of Greenland
itself, the aged Eric who was established at Brattalid, it occurred to
many to take that of his son; whilst others chose another. It is doubtless
not impossible that Leif was the man; but what is suggested above, coupled
with so much else that is legendary in connection with the voyages of him
and the others, does not strengthen the probability of it.

But however this may be, it may in any case be regarded as certain that
the Greenlanders discovered the American continent, even though we are
without any means of determining how far south they may have penetrated.
The statements as to the length of the shortest day in Wineland, which are
given in the Flateyjarbók's "Grönlendinga-þáttr," are scarcely to be more
depended upon than other statements in this romantic tale.

[Sidenote: Features that appear genuine]

Incidents such as the bartering for skins with the Wineland Skrælings, and
the combat with unfortunate results, seem to refer to something that
actually took place; they cannot easily be explained from the legends of
the Fortunate Isles, nor can representations of fighting in which the
Norsemen were worsted be derived from Greenland. They must rather be due
to encounters with Indians; for it is incredible that the Greenlanders or
Icelanders should have described in this way fights with the unwarlike
Eskimo, or at all events with the Greenland Eskimo, who, even if they had
been of a warlike disposition, cannot have had any practice in the art of
war. This in itself shows that the Greenlanders must have reached America,
and come in contact with the natives there.

The very mention of the countries to the south-west: first the treeless
and rocky Helluland (Labrador ?), then the wooded Markland (Newfoundland
?) farther south, and then the fertile Wineland south of that, may also
point to local knowledge. It must be admitted that this could be explained
away as having been put together from the general experience that
countries in the north are treeless, but become more fertile as one
proceeds southward; but the names Helluland and especially Markland have
in themselves an appearance of genuineness, as also has Kjalarnes. The
different saga-writers, in the Saga of Eric the Red and in the
Flateyjarbók's "Grönlendinga-þáttr," give different explanations of the
reason for the name of Kjalarnes, which shows that the name is an old one
and that the explanations have been invented later (cf. vol. i. p. 324). A
point which agrees remarkably well with the trend of the Labrador coast
and may point to a certain knowledge of it, is that Karlsevne steers well
to the south-east from Helluland; but this may possibly be connected with
the idea mentioned later in the saga, that Wineland became broader towards
the south, and the coast turned eastwards, which was evidently due to the
assumption that it was connected with Africa (cf. vol i. p. 326).

[Illustration: Felling trees. Marginal decoration of the Jónsbók
(fifteenth century)]

The oldest and most original part of Eric's Saga, as of most other sagas,
is probably the lays. Of special interest are the lays attributed to
Thorhall the Hunter; they give an impression of genuineness and do not
harmonise well with the prose text, which was evidently composed much
later. One of the lays, which describes the poet's disappointment at not
getting wine to drink in the new country instead of water, shows that a
notion was current that wine was abundant there, and this notion must have
come from the myth of the Fortunate Land or Wineland; for, if we confine
ourselves to this one saga, the notion cannot have been derived from the
single earlier voyage thither that is there mentioned--namely, Leif's:
during his short visit he cannot possibly have had time to make wine, even
if he had known how to do so. The lay seems therefore to show that men had
really reached a country which was taken to be the "Wineland," or
Fortunate Isles, of legend, but which turned out not to answer to the
ideas which had been formed of it. The second lay attributed to Thorhall
(see vol. i. p. 326) may also point to the country they had arrived at not
being so excessively rich, for they had to cook whales' flesh on
Furðustrandir (and consequently were obliged to support themselves by
whaling). This gives us an altogether more sober picture than the prose
version of the saga; the latter, moreover, says nothing of whales except
the one that made them ill and was thrown out.

[Sidenote: Surest historical evidence]

The surest historical evidence that voyages were made to America from
Greenland is the chance statement, referred to later, in the Icelandic
Annals: that in 1347 a ship from Greenland bound for Markland was driven
by storms to Iceland. This reveals the fact that, occasionally at any
rate, this voyage was made; and if the sagas about the Wineland voyages
must be regarded as romances, or as a kind of legendary poetry--which
therefore made no attempt whatever to give a historical exposition of the
communication with the countries to the south-west--then many more voyages
may have been made thither than the sagas had use for. A prominent feature
of the different tales is that of the Greenlanders bringing timber from
thence; this appears already in the story of Leif's discovery of the
country--he found various kinds of trees and "mǫsurr," and brought them
home with him--and still more in the tales of the Flateyjarbók, where on
each voyage it is expressly stated that they felled timber to load their
ships, as though that were their chief object. In the Icelandic geography
mentioned on p. 1, there is an addition, probably of late date:

    "... It is said that Thorfinn Karlsevne felled wood [in Markland ?]
    for a 'húsa-snotra,' and then went on to seek for Wineland the Good,
    and arrived where this land was thought to be, but was not able to
    explore it, and did not settle there ..."[19]

In the Flateyjarbók's "Grönlendinga-þáttr" it is stated that Karlsevne, in
Wineland, cut down timber to load his ship, and that he had a
"húsa-snotra" of "masur" from Wineland. Both accounts show how highly
timber was prized in Greenland and Iceland. It is likely enough that this
was so, since they had no timber in Greenland but driftwood, dwarf birch
and osiers. But in order to find timber the Greenlanders need have gone no
farther south than Markland (Newfoundland ?); and this name (perhaps also
Helluland) may therefore have the surest historical foundation.

[Sidenote: Are Frode's evidence]

If Adam of Bremen (circa 1070) mentions no more than Wineland, this is
doubtless because he has only heard of that legendary country; the belief
in its existence may already have been confirmed in his time by the
discovery of new lands. More remarkable is the statement of the sober Are
Frode (circa 1130) as to the Skrælings who "inhabited Wineland" ("Vínland
hefer bygt"). This looks as if Wineland was familiar to him; it may be the
mythical name that has passed into a common designation for the countries
discovered in the south-west (cf. vol. i. pp. 368, 384). But there is also
a possibility that only the mythical country is in question, and that, as
suggested above (vol. i. p. 368; vol. ii. p. 16), its inhabitants are
merely the Skrælings of myths, since this mythical land and its
inhabitants were the best known and most talked of. If this be so, it does
not exclude the possibility of Are's having heard of other, less well
known, but actually discovered countries in the south-west, which he does
not mention. To make use of a parallel, let us suppose that Utröst with
its fairy people was better known in Nordland than the islands to the
north with their semi-mythical Lapps. If then we had read of a discovery
of Finmark that traces had been found there of the same kind of folk
("þjóð") who inhabit Utröst, then we should no more be able from this to
conclude that Utröst was a real land than that Vesterålen and Senjen, for
instance, had not been discovered. It must be remembered that it does not
appear with certainty from Are's words where he got his Wineland from (cf.
vol. i. p. 367).

Another document of a wholly different nature, wherein possibly the name
of Wineland is mentioned, has been found--namely, the runic stone of

[Sidenote: Runic stone from Hönen]

On the estate of Hönen, in Ringerike, there was found at the beginning of
last century a runic stone, which was still from to be seen there in 1823,
when the inscription was copied. Afterwards the stone disappeared.[20] The
drawing made in 1823 is now only known from a somewhat indistinct copy;
but from this Sophus Bugge [1902] has attempted to make out the runic
inscription, and he reads it thus:

  "Ut ok vítt ok þurfa
  þerru ok áts
  Vínlandi á ísa
  í úbygð at kómu;
  auð má illt vega,
  [at] döyi ár."

[Illustration: The existing drawing of the runic stone from Hönen,
Ringerike (S. Bugge, 1902)]

In prose this verse may, according to Bugge, be rendered somewhat as

    "They came out [into the ocean] and over wide expanses ('vîtt'), and
    needing ('þurfa') cloth to dry themselves on ('þerru') and food
    ('áts'), away towards Wineland, up into the ice in the uninhabited
    country. Evil can take away luck, so that one dies early."

Bugge regards this reading of this somewhat difficult inscription as
doubtful; but if it is correct, this verse may be part of an inscription
cut upon one or more stones in memory of a young man (or perhaps several)
from Ringerike, who took part in an expedition by sea. According to his
explanation, they were then driven far out into the ocean in the direction
of Wineland, and were lost, perhaps in the ice on the east coast of
Greenland (which in the sagas is generally called the uninhabited country,
"ubygð"); they abandoned their ship and had to take to the drift-ice. He
(or they) to whom the inscription refers thereby met his death at an early
age, while at any rate some one must have made his way back and brought
the tale of the voyage. Probably there was a commencement of the
inscription, now lost, giving the name of the young man, who must
certainly have been of good birth; for otherwise, as Bugge points out, a
memorial with an inscription in verse would hardly have been raised to
him. He or his family belonged to Ringerike, and to the neighbourhood in
which the stone was put up.

The form of the runes makes it probable, according to Bugge, that the
inscription dates from the eleventh century, and perhaps from the period
between 1000 and 1050; scarcely before that, though it may be later. The
inscription would thus acquire a value as possibly the earliest document
in which Wineland is mentioned. What kind of expedition the inscription
records we cannot tell; there is nothing to show that it was a real
Wineland voyage; the words seem rather to point to their having been
driven against their will out to sea in the direction of "Wineland,"
whether we are to regard this as the Wineland of myth or as a historical
country; it might well be used figuratively in an epitaph to describe more
graphically how far they went from the beaten track. It may equally well
have been on a voyage to Ireland, the Faroes, Iceland, or merely to the
north of Norway that the disaster occurred, and they were driven by
storms to the Greenland ice; but since it cannot be denied that, as the
verse has been translated, the expressions appear somewhat unnatural, it
is difficult to form any opinion as to this.[21]

If this runic inscription from Ringerike has been correctly copied and
interpreted--which, as has been said, is uncertain--then this and Adam of
Bremen's information from Denmark would show that Wineland was known and
discussed in various parts of the North in the eleventh century, long
before Icelandic literature began to be put into writing. But strangely
enough, in the Norwegian thirteenth-century work, "Historia Norwegiæ," no
mention is made of Wineland, although in other respects the author has
made extensive use of Adam of Bremen's work; he merely states that
Greenland approaches the African Islands, by which, as pointed out above
(p. 1), he shows clearly enough that Wineland was regarded as belonging to
the African Islands, or Insulæ Fortunatæ. The "King's Mirror,"[22] which
gives a detailed description of Greenland, does not mention Wineland,
although the author evidently held the view that Greenland approached the
universal continent (i.e., Africa) on the south. The knowledge of it must
soon have been forgotten in Norway, or it was regarded as a mythical
country, while the tradition persisted longer in Iceland.

[Sidenote: Bishop Eric seeks Wineland]

The last time we meet with the name of Wineland in connection with a
voyage is in the "Islandske Annaler,"[23] where it is related in the year
1121 that "Eirikr, bishop of Greenland [also called Eirikr Upsi], went out
to seek (leita) Wineland." But we are not told anything more of this
expedition. The use of "leita" shows that Wineland was not a known
country, it can only apply to lands about which legends or reports are
current; just in the same way Gardar in the Sturlubók "went to seek ('fór
at leita') Snælandz" on the advice of his mother, who had second sight
(vol. i. p. 255), or Ravna-Floki "fór at leita Gardarshólms" (vol. i. p.
257), and Eric the Red "ætlaði at leita lands þess" which Gunnbjörn had
seen, etc. (vol. i. p. 267). As soon as the way was known, it was no
longer necessary to "leita" countries. If the voyage is historical, it may
have been to seek for the mythical country, the happy Wineland that Bishop
Eric set out, as St. Brandan in the legend sought for the Promised Land,
and as, 359 years later, the city of Bristol actually sent men out to look
for the happy isle of Brazil; but as the coast of America seems to have
been known, it may apply to a country there, of which reports had come,
and to which the name of the mythical country had been transferred. As
Eric is called a bishop, it has been thought that this was a missionary
voyage, which met with disaster [cf. Y. Nielsen, 1905, p. 8]; but who was
there to be converted in an unknown land, for which one had first to
"seek"? It would have to be the unknown Skrælings; but is this really
likely, when we hear of no mission to the Skrælings of Greenland? There
must have been enough of the latter to convert for the time being, if it
had been thought worth the trouble. Nor do we know much more about this
Eric Upsi.[24] Probably he was the same man who is called in the
Landnámabók "Eirikr Gnupssonr Grönlendinga-byskup." It is possible that
the see of Greenland was founded as early as 1110,[25] and that Eric was
the first bishop of Greenland, and went out there in 1112,[26] but he
cannot have been solemnly consecrated at Lund, like later bishops after
1124. It is possible that Eric was lost, for we hear no more of him, and
in 1122 and 1123 the Greenlanders made efforts to obtain a new bishop, who
was consecrated at Lund in 1124; but it is curious that nothing is then
said about any earlier bishop; moreover, the entry in the annals about
Eric dates at the earliest from the thirteenth century.

    Some years ago it was asserted that a stone with a runic inscription
    had been found in Minnesota, the so-called Kensington stone. On this
    is narrated a journey of eight Swedes and twenty-two Norwegians from
    Wineland as far as the country west of the Great Lakes. But by its
    runes and its linguistic form this inscription betrays itself clearly
    enough as a modern forgery, which has no interest for us here [cf. H.
    Gjessing, 1909; K. Hoegh, 1909; H. R. Roland, 1909; O. J. Breda,

[Sidenote: Wineland in mediæval literature]

The name of Wineland occurs extremely rarely in mediæval literature and on
maps outside Iceland, and as a rule it is confused with Finland, as
already mentioned (vol. i. p. 198), or again with Vindland (Vendland).
Ordericus Vitalis (1141) gives "The Orkneys and Finland, together with
Iceland and Greenland" as islands under the king of Norway.[27] As the
passage seems to be connected with Adam of Bremen, who also erroneously
mentions these islands and Wineland as subject to the Norwegians (see vol.
i. p. 192), this Finland may be Wineland. It was pointed out in vol i. p.
198, that the Latin "vinum" was translated into Irish as "fín." Ordericus
(1075-1143), who lived in England until his tenth year, and wrote in an
abbey in Normandy, may well have had communication with Irishmen. In
Ranulph Higden's "Polychronicon" (circa 1350) the following are described
as islands in the outer ocean (surrounding the disc of the earth): first
the "Insulæ Fortunatæ" (see vol i. p. 346), immediately afterwards "Dacia"
(== Denmark), and to the _west_ of this island "Wyntlandia," besides
"Islandia," which has Norway to the south and the Polar Sea to the north,
"Tile" (Thule) the extreme island on the north-west, and "Noruegia"
(Norway). As this "Wyntlandia," which in the various editions of Higden's
map is called Witland, Wintlandia, Wineland, etc., is placed out in the
ocean on the west, it is possibly connected with the old Wineland which
was an oceanic island; but as it is mentioned together with Dacia, it may
also be confused with Vindland (Vendland),[28] and the circumstance that
the inhabitants are supposed to have sold winds to sailors who came to
them may have contributed to this. This may be connected with what Mela
[iii. 6] says about the island of Sena in the British Sea, off Brittany
(see vol. i. p. 29), where the nine priestesses of the oracle of the
Gaulish deity

    "set seas and winds in motion through their incantations, change
    themselves into what animal they please, cure sickness ... know the
    future and foretell it, but they only assist those sailors who come to
    ask counsel of them."

But the wind-selling wizards of the Polychronicon have also evidently been
confused with the Finns (Lapps) of Finmark, whom Adam of Bremen had
already described as particularly skilled in magic. The Polychronicon is a
free revision of an earlier English work, the "Geographia Universalis," of
the thirteenth century. In this "Winlandia" (or "Wynlandia") and its
inhabitants, who sell winds, are described at greater length; it is there
placed on the continent on the sea-coast and borders on the mountains of
Norway on the east.[29] It is therefore Finland, or perhaps rather the
country of the Lapp wizards, Finmark. Thus through similarity of sound
three countries may have been confused in the Polychronicon: Wineland,
Vindland, and Finland (Finmark). Evidently the "Vinland" to be found on
the continent in the map of the world in the "Rudimentum Novitiorum" of
Lübeck (1475) refers to Finland, and likewise the "Vinlandia" mentioned in
a Lübeck MS. of 1486-1488, which is an extensive island reaching as far as
Livonia.[30] Whether we regard Wineland as merely a mythical country, or
as a country actually discovered to which the name of the mythical land
was transferred, this limited dissemination of it in literature and on
maps is striking. It shows that knowledge of the myth, or of the country
with the mythical name, belonged to older times, was not very widely
spread outside the Scandinavian countries and Ireland, and was afterwards
forgotten, in spite of the frequent communication that existed between the
intellectual world of the North and that of the South [cf. Jos. Fischer,
1902, pp. 106, ff.].

[Sidenote: Wineland in Faroese lays]

While probably the name of Hvítramanna-land is still preserved in the
fairy-tale of Hvittenland, it is possibly the name of Wineland that has
been preserved in that "Vinland" which is mentioned in the Faroese lay of
"Finnur hinn Fríði";[31] but if so, it is the only known instance of its
occurrence in popular poetry. The Norwegian jarl's son, Finnur hinn Fríði
(Finn the Fair), courts Ingebjörg, the daughter of an Irish king; she is
beautiful as the sun, and the colour of her maiden cheeks is like blood
dropped upon snow.[32] She makes answer: "Hadst thou slain the Wine-kings,
then shouldst thou wed me." To Wineland is a far voyage, with currents and
mighty billows. But Finn begs his brother, Halfdan, to go with him over
the Wineland sea. They hoist their silken sail, and never lower it till
they arrive at Wineland. There they found the three Wine-kings. Thorstein,
the first, came on a black horse, but Finn tore him off at the navel; the
second, Ivint, also came on a black horse. But the third transformed
himself into a flying dragon; arrows flew from each of his feathers, and
he killed many of their men. The worst was that he shot venom from his
mouth under Finn's coat of mail, who, though he could not be killed by
arms, had to die. He then drew a golden ring from his arm and sent it by
Halfdan to Ingebjörg, bidding her live happily. But Halfdan sprang into
the air, seized the third Wine-king, and tore him off at the navel.
Halfdan sailed back to Ireland, brought Ingebjörg these tidings and the
ring, and slept three nights with her, but on the fourth she dies of
grief, since she can love no chieftain after Finn. Halfdan had a castle
built for himself and passed his years in Ireland, but all his days he
mourned for his brother. Although the whole of this legend seems to have
no connection with what we know about Wineland, it is most probable that
it is the same name, but that--like the tale itself of the Irish king's
daughter whose cheek was as blood upon snow--it came from Ireland. The
name may thus be a last echo of the Irish mythical ideas from which the
Wineland of the Icelanders arose.

[Illustration: Map by the Icelander Jón Gudmundsson, born 1574 (Torfæus,

[Sidenote: Helluland in legend]

Curiously enough Helluland is the only one of the names of the western
lands that has been widely adopted in Icelandic fairy-tales and legendary
sagas. It has to some extent become a complete fairyland, with trolls and
giants, and it is located in various places, usually far north, even to
the north of Greenland, and sometimes on its north-east coast. In this
fairyland was the fjord "Skuggi" (shadow); it is mentioned in Örvarodds
Saga (circa 1300), where the hero departs to seek his enemy, the wizard
Ǫgmund, in Helluland, and again in Bárðarsaga Snæfellsáss (fifteenth
century), in the "Þáttr" of Gunnari Keldugnúpsfífl, in the Hálfdanarsaga
Brönufóstra, in the Saga of Hálfdani Eysteinssyni, and in Gest Bárdsson's

In the geography which under the name of "Gripla" was included in Björn
Jónsson's "Grönland's Annaler," it is said of the countries opposite

    "Furðustrandir is the name of a land, where is severe frost, so that
    it is not habitable, so far as people know; south of it is Helluland,
    which is called Skrælingja-land; thence it is a short distance to
    Wineland the Good, which some people think goes out from Africa...."

With this may be compared another MS. of the seventeenth century, where we

    "West of the great ocean from Spain, which some call Ginnungagap, and
    which goes between lands, there is first towards the north Wineland
    the Good, next to it is called Markland farther north, thereafter are
    the wastes [i.e., the wastes of Helluland] where Skrælings live, then
    there are still more wastes to Greenland." [Cf. Grönl. hist. Mind.,
    iii. pp. 224, 227.]

From this it looks as if Helluland was regarded as inhabited by Skrælings,
which agrees with the reality, if it is Labrador. But these MSS. belong
to the seventeenth century, and may be influenced by the geographical
knowledge of later times. In Gripla there is evident confusion, as
Furðustrandir has been confounded with Helluland, and the latter with

[Sidenote: Voyage to Markland, 1347]

No record is found of any voyage to Wineland after 1121; but on the other
hand there is mention more than two hundred years later of the voyage,
referred to above, to Markland from Greenland in 1347. Of this we read in
the Icelandic Annals (Skálholts-Annals) for that year: "Then came also
[i.e., besides ships from Norway already mentioned] a ship from Greenland,
smaller in size than the small vessels that trade to Iceland. It came to
Outer Straumfjord [on the south side of Snæfellsnes]; it was without an
anchor. There were seventeen men on board [in the Flatey-annals there are
eighteen men], and they had sailed to Markland, but afterwards [i.e., on
the homeward voyage to Greenland] were driven hither."

As the Skálholts-Annals were written not many years after this (perhaps
about 1362), it must be regarded as quite certain that this ship had been
to Markland; but on the homeward voyage, perhaps while she lay at anchor,
was overtaken by a storm, so that the cable had to be cut, and was driven
out to sea past Cape Farewell right across to the west coast of Iceland.
It is not likely that they sailed so far as Markland simply to fish, which
they might have done off Greenland; the object was rather to fetch timber
or wood for fashioning implements, which was valuable in treeless
Greenland; the driftwood which came on the East Greenland current did not
go very far. It is true that they could not carry much timber on their
small vessel; but they had to make the best of the craft they possessed,
and they could always carry a sufficient supply of the more valuable woods
for the manufacture of tools, weapons and appliances. They must for
instance have had great difficulty in obtaining wood for making bows;
driftwood was of little use for this.

But if this voyage took place in 1347, and we only hear of it through the
accident of the vessel getting out of her course and being driven to
Iceland, we may be sure that there were many more like it; only that these
were not the expeditions of men of rank, which attracted attention, but
everyday voyages for the support of life, like the sealing expeditions to
Nordrsetur, and when nothing particular happened to these vessels, such as
being driven to Iceland, we hear nothing about them. We must therefore
suppose that, even if they had to give up the idea of forming settlements
in the west, the Greenlanders occasionally visited Markland (Newfoundland
or the southernmost part of Labrador ?), perhaps chiefly to obtain wood of
different kinds.

In the so-called Greenland Annals, put together from old sources by Björn
Jónsson of Skardsá (beginning of the seventeenth century), it is said of
the districts on the west coast of Greenland, to the north of the Western
Settlement, that they "take up trees and all the drift that comes from the
bays of Markland" (cf. vol i. p. 299). This shows that it was customary to
regard Markland as the region from which wood was to be obtained. The name
itself (== woodland) may have contributed to this view; but the fact that
it survived long after all mention of Wineland had ceased may probably be
due to communication with the country having been kept up in later times,
and to this name being the really historical one on the coast of America.

According to the Icelandic Annals the voyagers from Markland who came to
Iceland in 1347, proceeded in the following year (1348) to Norway. This
was no doubt with the idea of getting back to Greenland, as there was no
sailing to that country from Iceland, and they would not trust their
vessel on another ocean voyage. But in Norway, where they arrived at
Bergen, they had a long while to wait. "Knarren," the royal trading ship,
seems to have been the only vessel that kept up communication with
Greenland at that time. We know that "Knarren" returned to Bergen in 1346,
and did not sail again until 1355. From a royal letter of 1354, which has
been preserved, it appears that extraordinary preparations were made for
the fitting-out and manning of this expedition, to prevent Christianity in
Greenland from "falling away." Perhaps the presence in Norway of these
Markland voyagers from Greenland had something to do with the awakening of
interest in that distant country, and perhaps it is not altogether
impossible that the intention was not only to secure and strengthen the
possessions in Greenland, but also to explore the fertile countries
farther west. It cannot be remarked, however, that it brought about any
change in the fading knowledge of these valuable regions, and we hear no
more of them until their rediscovery at the close of the fifteenth

[Sidenote: Norse ball-game in America]

Ebbe Hertzberg, Keeper of the Public Records of Norway, has shown [1904,
pp. 210, ff.] that there is a remarkable and interesting similarity
between the game of lacrosse, which is played by the Indians of the
north-east of North America, and the ancient Norse game, "knattleikr"
(i.e., ball-game), so far as we know it from the sagas. It was greatly in
favour in Iceland. If Hertzberg is right in his supposition that the
Indians may have got this game from the Norsemen, this would lend strong
support to the view that the latter had considerable intercourse with
America and its natives.

    According to Hertzberg's acute interpretation of the accounts of
    "knattleikr" in the various sagas, it was played on a large level
    piece of ground ("leikvǫllr," i.e., playing-ground), or on the ice,
    usually by many players. These were divided into two sides, in such a
    way that those most nearly equal in strength on each side were paired
    as opponents and stood near to each other, and the two teams were thus
    spread in pairs over the whole ground. Each player had a club with
    which he either struck or caught and "carried" the ball. The club had
    a hollow or a net in which the ball could be caught and lie. When the
    ball was set going, the game was for the one who was nearest to seize
    or catch it, preferably with his club, and to run off with it and try
    to "carry it out," i.e., past a goal or mark; but in this his
    particular opponent tried to hinder him with all his strength and
    agility. The other players might not interfere directly in the
    struggle of the two opponents for the ball. If the one who had the
    ball was so hard pressed by his opponent that he had to give it up, he
    tried to throw it to one of his own side, who then again had to reckon
    with his own opponent in his attempt to "carry it out." This game was
    much played by the Icelanders; it was apt to be rough, and men were
    often disabled, or even killed, by their opponents.

[Illustration:The game of Lacrosse among the Menomini Indians (after W. J.
Hoffmann, 1896). On the left, a "crosse," about a yard long]

    Hertzberg shows how the Canadian Indians' game of lacrosse, which has
    become the national game of Canada, completely resembles in all
    essentials this peculiar Norse ball-game from Iceland. The game of
    lacrosse is, as Professor Y. Nielsen has pointed out [1905], more
    widely diffused among the Indian tribes of North America than
    Hertzberg was aware. Dr. William James Hoffman[35] has described it
    among the Menomini Indians in Wisconsin, the Ojibwa tribe in northern
    Minnesota, the Dakota Indians on the upper Missouri, and among the
    Chactas, Chickasaws and kindred tribes farther south. Hoffmann also
    mentions that opponents are picked and that the game is played in
    pairs [1896, i. p. 132]. Among the Ojibwas, he says, the player who is
    carrying the ball is often placed hors de combat by a blow on the arm
    or leg; serious injuries only occur when the stakes are high, or when
    there is enmity between some of the players. Among the more southern
    tribes, on the other hand, the game is much more violent, the crosse
    is longer, made of hickory, and it is often sought to disable the
    runner. This, then, is even more like the Icelandic game.

Hoffmann thinks that the game is undoubtedly derived from one of the
eastern Algonkin tribes, possibly in the valley of the St. Lawrence.
Thence it reached the Huron Iroquois, and later it spread farther south to
the Cherokees, etc. In a similar way it was carried westwards and adopted
by many tribes. This then points to its having originated in just those
districts where one would have expected it to come from, if it was brought
by the Norsemen, as Hertzberg thinks. That the game is so widely diffused
in America and has become so much a part of the Indians' life, even of
their religious life, shows that it is very ancient there, and this too
supports Hertzberg's assumption that it is derived from the Norsemen. It
is true that Eug. Beauvois[36] has pointed out the possibility of the game
having been introduced into Canada by people from Normandy after the
sixteenth century; but before such an objection could carry weight, it
would have to be made probable that the characteristic Norse game was
really played in Normandy; but this is not known. In support of
Hertzberg's view it may also be adduced--a point that he himself has not
noticed--that the Icelanders appear to have introduced the same ball-game
to another American people with whom they came in touch, namely, the
Eskimo of Greenland. Hans Egede [1741, p. 93] says:

    "Playing ball is their most usual game, especially by moonlight, and
    they have two ways of playing: When they have divided themselves into
    two sides, one throws the ball to another who is on his own side.
    Those of the other side must endeavour to get the ball from them, and
    thus it goes on alternately among them...." (The other way of playing
    mentioned by Egede is more like football.)

[Illustration: Game of ball among the Eskimo of Greenland (Hans Egede,

This description, together with Egede's drawing, from which it appears,
amongst other things, that the opponents are arranged in pairs, seems to
show that the Eskimo game was very like the Icelanders' "knattleikr" and
the Indians' "lacrosse"; but with the difference that according to Egede's
account the Eskimo did not use any club or crosse; moreover, from Egede's
drawing it looks as if both men and women took part, as with certain
Indian tribes. That there is a connection here appears natural. The most
probable explanation may be that the Eskimo as well as the Indians got
this ball-game from the Norsemen. That the Eskimo should have learnt it
from the whalers after the rediscovery of Greenland in the sixteenth
century is unlikely, as also that it should have come to the Indians from
the Eskimo round the north of Baffin Bay and through Baffin Land and
Labrador; nor is it any more likely that the Icelanders should have learnt
it of the Eskimo in Greenland, who again had it from America.

[Sidenote: Difficulties in the way of colonisation]

It is in itself a strange thing that the discovery of a country like North
America, with conditions so much more favourable than Greenland and
Iceland, should not have led to a permanent settlement. But there are
many, and in my judgment sufficient, reasons which explain this. We must
remember that such an outpost of civilisation as Greenland offered poor
opportunities for the equipment of such settlements; the settlers would
have to be prepared for continual conflicts with the Indians, who with
their warlike capacity and their numbers might easily be more than a
match for a handful of Greenlanders, even though the latter had some
advantage in their weapons of iron--and of these too the Greenlanders
never had a very good supply, as appears from several narratives. There
would also be need of ships, which were costly and difficult to procure in
Greenland; the few that were there certainly had enough to do, and could
hardly manage more than an occasional trip to Markland for timber.
Moreover, as the Greenland settlements themselves and their oversea
communications declined after the close of the thirteenth century, so also
of course did their communication with America decrease, until it finally
ceased altogether.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: Hvítramanna-land]

It would thus appear, from all that has been put forward in this chapter,
that Wineland the Good was originally a mythical country, closely
connected with the happy lands of Irish myths and legends--which had their
first source in the Greek Elysium and Isles of the Blest, in Oriental
sailors' myths, and an admixture of Biblical conceptions. The description
of the country has acquired important features from Isidore's account of
the Insulæ Fortunatæ and from older classical literature. This mythical
country is to be compared with "Hvítramanna-land" (the white men's land),
"which some call Ireland the Great ('Irland hit Mikla')." Of this the
Landnáma tells us (cf. vol i. p. 353) that it lay near Wineland, in the
west of the ocean, six "dœgr's" sail west of Ireland (according to the
Eyrbyggja Saga it lay to the south-west); the Icelandic chief Are Mársson
was driven there by storms, was not allowed to depart, but was baptized
there and held in great esteem. Furthermore, the same land is mentioned in
the Saga of Eric the Red as lying opposite Markland (cf. vol. i. p. 330).
Finally, in the Eyrbyggja Saga there is a tale of a voyage (see later)
which evidently had the same country as its object, though it is not
mentioned by name. Since Thorkel Gellisson is given as the authority for
the story in the Landnáma, the legend may have reached Iceland about the
close of the eleventh century.

[Sidenote: Origin of the name]

This Irish land may also be derived from an adaptation of the ancients'
myth of the western Isles of the Blest,[37] and it evidently corresponds
to one of the mythical countries of the Christianised Irish legends. It
bears great resemblance in particular to "the Island of Strong Men"
("Insula Virorum Fortium") in the Navigatio Brandani, which is also called
there "the Isle of Anchorites" [Schröder, 1871, pp. 24, 17]. Three
generations dwelt there: the first generation, the children, had clothes
white as driven snow, the second of the colour of hyacinth, and the third
of Dalmatian purple. The name itself, which in Old Norse would become
"Starkramanna-land," shows much similarity of formation; besides which it
is the Isle of Anchorites that is in question, and one of the three
generations wears white garments; we are thus not far from the formation
of a name "Hvítramanna-land." There is yet another point of agreement, in
that, just as Are Mársson was not allowed to leave Hvítramanna-land, so
one of Brandan's companions had to stay behind on the Isle of Anchorites.
It may also be supposed that the name of the White Men's Land is connected
with the White Christ and with the white garments of the baptized; the
circumstance of Are Mársson being baptized there points in the same
direction.[38] But to this it may be added that various myths and legends
show it to have been a common idea among the Irish that aged hermits and
holy men were white. The old man who welcomes Brendan to the promised land
in the "Imram Brenaind" [cf. Zimmer, 1889, p. 139; Schirmer, 1888, p. 34]
has no clothes, but his body is covered with dazzling white feathers, like
a dove or a gull, and angelic is the speech of his lips. In the Latin
account of Brandan's life ("Vita sancti Brandani") the man is called
Paulus, he is again without clothes, but his body is covered with white
hair,[39] and in both tales the man came from Ireland [cf. Schirmer, 1888,
p. 40]. The cave-dweller Paulus on an island in the Navigatio Brandani
[Schröder, 1871, p. 32] is without clothes, but wholly covered by the hair
of his head, his beard and other hair down to the feet, and they were
white as snow on account of his great age. It is evident that the
whiteness is often attributed, as in the last instance, to age; but it is
also the heavenly colour, and the white clothing of hair (or feathers)
may also have some connection with the white lamb in the Revelation. In
the tale of Maelduin's voyage, which is older than those of Brandan's,
Maelduin meets in two places, on a sheep-island and on a rock in the sea,
with hermits wholly covered with the white hair of their bodies--they too
were both Irish--and on two other islands, the soil of one of which was as
white as a feather, he meets with men whose only clothing was the hair of
their bodies[40] [cf. Zimmer, 1889, pp. 162, 163, 169, 172, 178]. In the
Navigatio Brandan also meets on the island of Alibius an aged man with
hair of the colour of snow and with shining countenance. (Cf. Christ
revealing himself among the seven candlesticks to John on the isle of
Patmos: "His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow;
and his eyes were as a flame of fire" [Rev. i. 14].)

    Among the Irish the white colour again forms a conspicuous feature in
    the description of persons, especially supernatural beings, in ancient
    non-Christian legends and myths. The name of their national hero Finn
    means white. To Finn Mac Cumaill there comes in the legend a king's
    daughter of unearthly size and beauty, "Bebend" (the white woman),
    from the Land of Virgins ("Tír na-n-Ingen") in the west of the sea,
    and she has marvellously beautiful white hair [cf. Zimmer, 1889, p.
    269]. The corresponding maiden of the sea-people, in the "Imram
    Brenaind," whom Brandan finds, is also whiter than snow or sea-spray
    (see vol. i. p. 363). The physician Libra at the court of Manannán,
    king of the Promised Land, has three daughters with white hair. When
    Midir, the king of the síd (fairies), is trying to entice away Etáin,
    queen of the high-king of Ireland, he says: "Oh, white woman, wilt
    thou go with me to the land of marvels?... thy body has the white
    colour of snow to the very top," etc. etc.[41] [cf. Zimmer, 1889, pp.
    273, 279]. A corresponding idea to that of the Irish síd-people,
    especially the women, being white, is perhaps that of the Norse elves
    being thought light (cf. "lysalver," light-elves), or even white. The
    elf-maiden in Sweden is slender as a lily and white as snow, and elves
    in Denmark may also be snow-white (cf. also the fact that elves are
    described as white nymphs, "albæ nymphæ").

It seems natural that these ideas--of whiteness as specially beautiful,
and mostly applied to the "síd" or elves, to the garments of baptism, and
to holy men and hermits--led to a name which, in conformity with the
Strong Men's Island of the Navigatio, would become the White Men's Land,
for the mythical western land oversea, where Are Mársson was baptized, but
which he could not leave again, and where, according to the Eyrbyggja
Saga, the language resembled Irish. This, then, is precisely the "Isle of
Anchorites." The country may have originated through a contact of ideas
from the religious world and the profane, original conceptions from the
latter having become Christianised. Doubtless the white garments, which
were connected with the other world, and which became the heavenly raiment
of the Christians, have also played a part. In Plato a white-clad woman
(i.e., one from the other world) comes to Socrates in a dream and
announces to him that in three days he is to depart. During the
transfiguration on the mountain Jesus' face "did shine as the sun, and his
raiment was white as the light" [Matt. xvii. 2], or "his raiment became
shining, exceeding white as snow" [Mark ix. 3]. On the basis of this
Christian conception the image of the world beyond the grave has taken the
form of a fair, shining land, as in the immense literature of visions; and
thus too in the Floamanna Saga [Grönl. hist. Mind., ii. p. 103], where
Thorgils's wife Thorey sees in a dream a "fair country with shining white
men" ("menn bjarta"), and Thorgils interprets it to mean "another world"
where "good awaits her" and "holy men would help her."

There is further a possibility that some of the conceptions attached to
Hvítramanna-land may be connected with ancient Celtic tales which in
antiquity were associated with the Cassiterides (in Celtic Brittany); in
any case there is a remarkable similarity between the mention in Eric the
Red's Saga of men who went about in white clothes, carried poles before
them, and cried aloud (see vol. i. p. 330), and Strabo's description (see
vol. i. p. 27) of the men in the Cassiterides in black cloaks with kirtles
reaching to the feet, who wander about with staves, like the Furies in
tragedy. That Strabo should see a resemblance to the Eumenides (Furies)
and therefore make his men black, while the Northern author has the
Christian ideas and in agreement with the name of Hvítramanna-land gives
them white clothes, need not surprise us. Even if Storm [1887] is correct
in his supposition that the white men's banners, or "poles to which strips
were attached" (see vol. i. p. 330), are connected with ecclesiastical
processions, this may be a later popular modification, just as the white
hermits out in the ocean may be a modification of pre-Christian, or at any
rate non-religious, conceptions in Ireland.

    Reference has been made (p. 32) to the resemblance between the
    accounts of the inhabitants of Wyntlandia (== Wineland), who were
    versed in magic, and of the Celtic priestesses in the island of Sena
    off Brittany. One might be tempted to think that here again there is
    some connection or other between these Breton priestesses and, on the
    one hand the Irishmen in Hvítramanna-land, on the other the men of the
    Cassiterides (near Sena) who were like the Furies. Dionysius
    Periegetes [510; cum Eustath. 1] relates that on this island of Sena
    women crowned with ivy conducted nocturnal bacchanals, with shrieks
    and violent noise (cf. the men in white clothes in Hvítramanna-land,
    who carried poles and cried aloud). No male person might set foot on
    the island, but the women went over to the men on the mainland, and
    returned after having had intercourse with them (cf. vol. i. p. 356).
    Exactly the same thing is related by Strabo [iv. 198] of the Samnite
    women on a little island in the sea, not far from the mouth of the
    Liger (Loire); inspired by Bacchus they honour that god in mysteries
    and other unusually holy actions. The druids had their sanctuaries on
    islands, and Mona (Anglesey) was their headquarters. Tacitus [Ann.
    xiv. 30] tells of their fanatical women who, in white clothes
    (grave-clothes), with dishevelled hair and flaming torches, conducted
    themselves altogether like Furies on the arrival of the Romans.

The circumstance of Hvítramanna-land being, according to the Eyrbyggja
Saga, a forbidden land may correspond to that of men being prohibited from
setting foot on the priestesses' island, or again to the way to the
Cassiterides being kept secret and to the precautions taken to prevent
people from reaching them (cf. vol. i. p. 27). Something similar, it may
be added, is told of the rich, fertile island which the Carthaginians
discovered in the west of the ocean, and which, under pain of death, they
forbade others to visit [Aristotle, Mir. Auscult., c. 85; cf. also
Diodorus, v. 20]. That in late classical times there was a confusion
between the Cassiterides and the mythical isles in the west appears
further from Pliny's saying [Hist. Nat., iv. 36] that the Cassiterides
were also called "Fortunatæ," and from Dionysius Periegetes making tin,
the product of the Cassiterides, come from the Hesperides.

[Sidenote: The name Great-Ireland]

It was mentioned above (vol. i. p. 357) that the name of the promised
land, "the Land of Marvels," was also called in Irish legend the "Great
Strand" ("Trág Mór"), or the "Great Land" ("Tír Mór"); "two or three times
as large as Ireland" (vol. i. p. 355). It does not seem unlikely that the
Icelanders, hearing from Ireland of this great land, should come to call
it "Irland hit Mikla" (Ireland the Great); and this seems to be a more
natural explanation than Storm's [1887, p. 65] interpretation of the name
as meaning "the Irish colony," like "Magna Græcia" (the Greek colony in
Italy) and "Svíþjód it Mikla" (the Swedish colony in Russia, the name of
which may however have been derived from the name of the latter: "Scythia
Magna"); on the other hand, he gives an obvious parallel in "Great Han,"
the mythical land in the Great Ocean beyond China (Han).

In the Eyrbyggja Saga we read of Björn Asbrandsson, called
Breidvikinge-kjæmpe, and his exploits. He bore illicit love to Snorre
Gode's sister, Thurid of Fróðá, the wife of Thorodd, and had by her an
illegitimate son, Kjartan. Finally he had to leave Iceland on account of
this love; but his ship was not ready till late in the autumn. They put to
sea with a north-east wind, which held for a long time that autumn.
Afterwards the ship was not heard of for many a day.

[Sidenote: Gudleif's voyage]

    Gudleif Gudlaugsson was the name of a great sailor and merchant; he
    owned a large merchant vessel. In the last years of St. Olaf's reign
    he was on a trading voyage to Dublin; "when he sailed westward from
    thence he was making for Iceland. He sailed to the west of Ireland,
    encountered there a strong north-east wind, and was driven far to the
    west and south-west in the ocean," until they finally came to a great
    land which was unknown to them. They did not know the people there,
    "but thought rather that they spoke Irish." Soon many hundred men
    collected about them, seized and bound them, and drove them up into
    the country. They were brought to an assembly and sentence was to be
    pronounced upon them. They understood as much as that some wanted to
    kill them, while others wanted to make slaves of them. While this was
    going on, a great band of men came on horseback with a banner, and
    under it rode a big and stately man of great age, with white hair,
    whom they guessed to be the chief, for all bowed before him. He sent
    for them; when they came before him he spoke to them in Norse and
    asked from what country they came, and when he heard that most of them
    were Icelanders, and that Gudleif was from Borgarfjord, he asked after
    nearly all the more important men of Borgarfjord and Breidafjord, and
    particularly Snorre Gode, and Thurid of Fróðá, his sister, and most of
    all after Kjartan, her son, who was now master there. After this big
    man had discussed the matter at length with the men of the country, he
    again spoke to the Icelanders and gave them leave to depart, but
    although the summer was far gone, he advised them to get away as soon
    as possible, as the people there were not to be relied upon. He would
    not tell them his name; for he did not wish his kinsmen such a voyage
    thither as they would have had if he had not helped them; but he was
    now so old that he might soon be gone, and moreover, said he, there
    were men of more influence than he in that country, who would show
    little mercy to foreigners. After this he had the ship fitted out, and
    was himself present, until there came a favourable wind for them to
    leave. When they parted, this man took a gold ring from his hand, gave
    it to Gudleif, and with it a good sword, and said: "If it be thy lot
    to reach Iceland, thou shalt bring this sword to Kjartan, master of
    Fróðá, and the ring to Thurid, his mother." When Gudleif asked him who
    he was to say was the sender of these costly gifts, he answered: "Say
    he sent them who was more a friend of the mistress of Fróðá than of
    the 'gode' of Helgafell, her brother...." Gudleif and his men put to
    sea and arrived in Ireland late in the autumn, stayed that winter at
    Dublin, and sailed next summer to Iceland [cf. Grönl. hist. Mind., i.
    pp. 769, ff.].

It is clear that Björn Breidvikinge-kjæmpe here is the same as Are Mársson
in the Landnáma, who was also driven by storms to Hvítramanna-land, had to
stay there all his life, and according to the report of Thorfinn earl of
Orkney (ob. circa 1064) had been recognised (by travellers like Gudleif
?), and was much honoured there. This incident of the travellers coming to
an unknown island and there finding a man who has been absent a long while
has parallels in many Irish legends. Thus it may be mentioned that
Brandan, in the Navigatio, comes to the convent-island of Alibius, with
the twenty-four Irish monks of old days, and meets there the old
white-haired man who was prior of the convent and had been there for
eighty years, but who does not tell his name. Brandan asks leave to sail
on, but this is not permitted until they have celebrated Christmas there
[Schröder, 1871, pp. 15, ff].[42]

[Sidenote: Guð-Leifr and Leifr hinn Heppni]

The resemblance between the two names "Guð-Leifr" (Gudleif == God-Leif)
and "Leifr hinn Heppni" (Leif the Lucky) also deserves notice, as perhaps
it is not merely accidental. One sails during the last years of St. Olaf
from Ireland to Iceland and is carried south-westwards to
Hvítramanna-land; the other sails during the last years of Olaf Tryggvason
from Norway to Greenland and is carried south-westwards to Wineland the

    It might also be thought to be more than a mere coincidence that,
    while Leif Ericson is given the surname of "hinn heppni," a closely
    related surname is mentioned in connection with Gudleif in the
    Eyrbyggja Saga, where he is called "Guðleifr Guðlaugsson hins auðga"
    (i.e., son of Gudlaug the rich). In the one case, of course, it is the
    man himself, in the other the father, who bears the surname. "Auðigr"
    means rich, but originally it had the meaning of lucky, and the rich
    man is he who has luck with him (cf. further "auðna" == luck,
    "auðnu-maðr" == favourite of fortune). Gudleif Gudlaugsson also occurs
    in the Landnámabók, but this surname is not mentioned, nor is anything
    said about this voyage, in exactly the same way as Leif Ericson is
    named there, but without a surname and without any mention of a voyage
    or a discovery; in both cases this is an addition that occurs in later
    sagas. In spite of the difference alluded to, one may suspect that
    there is here some connection or other. Possibly it might be that, as
    Guðriðr is the Christian woman among all the names beginning with
    Thor- and Freyðis, so the name of Guðleifr, which was placed in
    association with the Christian Hvítramanna-land, was used because it
    had a more religious stamp than "happ" and "heppen," which in any case
    are as nearly allied to popular belief as to religiosity, and which
    were associated with the non-Christian Wineland.

[Sidenote: Voyage of eight adventurers in Edrisi]

The following tale in Edrisi, the Arabic geographer, whose work dates from
1154, bears considerable resemblance to the remarkable story of Gudleif's

    Eight "adventurers" from Lisbon built a merchant ship and set out with
    the first east wind to explore the farthest limits of the ocean. They
    sailed for about eleven days [westwards] and came to a sea with stiff
    (thick) waves [the Liver-sea] and a horrible stench,[44] with many
    shallows and little light (cf. precisely similar conceptions, vol. i.
    pp. 38, 68, 181, 182, note 1). Afraid of perishing there, they sailed
    southward for twelve days and reached the Sheep-island ("Djazîrato
    'l-Ghanam"), with innumerable flocks of sheep and no human beings (cf.
    Dicuil's account of the Faroes, and Brandan's Sheep-island, vol. i.
    pp. 163, 362). They sailed on for twelve days more towards the south
    and found at last an inhabited and cultivated island. On approaching
    this they were soon surrounded by boats, taken prisoners, and brought
    to a town on the coast. They finally took up their abode in a house,
    where they saw men of tall stature and red complexion, with little
    hair on their faces, and wearing their hair long (not curled), and
    women of rare beauty. Here they were kept prisoners for three days. On
    the fourth day a man came who spoke to them in Arabic and asked them
    who they were, why they had come, and what country they came from.
    They related to him their adventures. He gave them good hopes, and
    told them that he was the king's interpreter. On the following day
    they were brought before the king, who asked them the same questions
    through the interpreter. On their replying that they had set out with
    the object of exploring the wonders of the ocean and finding out its
    limits, the king began to laugh and told the interpreter to explain
    that his father had once ordered one of his slaves to set out upon
    that ocean; this man had traversed its breadth for a month, until the
    light of heaven failed them and they were obliged to renounce this
    vain undertaking. The king further caused the interpreter to assure
    the adventurers of his benevolent intentions. They then returned to
    prison and remained there until a west wind came. Then they were
    blindfolded and taken across the sea in a boat for about three days
    and three nights to a land where they were left on the shore with
    their hands tied behind their backs. They stayed there till sunrise in
    a pitiable state, for the cords were very tight and caused them great
    discomfort. Then they heard voices, and upon their cries of distress
    the natives, who were Berbers, came and released them. They had
    arrived on the west coast of Africa, and were told that it was two
    months' journey to their native land.

[Sidenote: Resemblance between Edrisi's tale and Gudleif's voyage]

As points of similarity to Gudleif's voyage it may be pointed out that the
Portuguese sail for thirty-five days altogether, to the west and
afterwards to the south, and arrive at a country which thus lies
south-south-west. Gudleif is carried before a north-east wind towards the
south-west and reaches land after a long time. Both the Portuguese and the
Icelanders are taken prisoners shortly after arrival; the former are
surrounded by boats, the latter by hundreds of men. The Portuguese saw
red-complexioned men of tall stature with long hair, the Icelanders saw a
tall, stately man with white hair coming on horseback. They had to wait
awhile before they were addressed in a language they could understand; the
Portuguese being first spoken to by an interpreter in Arabic[45] who gave
them good hopes, and afterwards brought them before the king, who assured
them of his benevolent intentions; while the Icelanders were sent for by
the great chief, who, when they came before him, spoke to them in Norse
and was friendly towards them, and after long deliberations spoke to them
again, and gave them leave to depart. The Portuguese had to wait in prison
for a west wind before they could get away; the Icelanders had to wait for
a favourable wind, which was again a west wind. The Portuguese were led
away blindfold, obviously in order that they should not find their way
back; when the Icelanders left it was enjoined upon them never to return.
The Portuguese came to the west coast of Africa, from whence they
afterwards had to sail northward to Lisbon; the Icelanders arrived in
Ireland, and sailed thence the next summer northward to Iceland. It seems
reasonable to suppose that there is some connection between the two tales;
the same myth may in part form the foundation of both, and this again may
be allied to the myth alluded to above of the Carthaginians' discovery of
a fertile island out in the ocean to the west of Africa. But there are
also striking resemblances between Edrisi's tale and the description in
the Odyssey of Odysseus's visit to the Phæacians in the western isle of
Scheria. On his arrival there Athene warns Odysseus to be careful, as this
people is not inclined to tolerate foreigners, and no other men come to
them. Odysseus is brought before the king, Alcinous, who receives him in
friendly fashion, and tells him that no Phæacian shall "hold him back by
force," and Odysseus relates his many adventures. Finally the Phæacians
convey him while asleep across the sea in a boat, carry him ashore at
dawn, and go away before he awakes [Od. xiii. 79, ff.]; this corresponds
to the Portuguese being taken blindfold across the sea and left bound on
the shore, until they are released at sunrise. The promise of the
Phæacians, after Poseidon's revenge for their helping Odysseus, never
again to assist any seafarer that might come to them, may bear some
resemblance to the incident of Björn Breidvikinge-kjæmpe trying to prevent
Icelanders from seeking a land which "would show little mercy to

Moreover, the tales, both of Gudleif's voyage and of Edrisi's Portuguese
adventurers, resemble ancient Irish myths.

[Sidenote: Irish myth]

    In the "Imram Snedgusa acus meic Riagla" [of the tenth or close of the
    ninth century, cf. Zimmer, 1889, pp. 213, f., 216], the men of Ross
    slay King Fiacha Mac Domnaill for his intolerable tyranny. As a
    punishment, sixty couples of the guilty were sent out to sea, and
    their judgment and fate left to God. The two monks, Snedgus and Mac
    Riagail, afterwards set out on a voluntary pilgrimage on the
    ocean--while the sixty couples went involuntarily--and, after having
    visited many islands,[46] reached in their boat a land in which there
    were generations of Irish, and they met women who sang to them and
    brought them to the king's house (cf. Odysseus's meeting first with
    the women in the Phæacians' land, and their showing him the way to the
    palace of Alcinous). The king received them well and inquired from
    whence they came. "We are Irish," they replied, "and we belong to the
    companions of Columcille." Then he asked: "How goes it in Ireland, and
    how many of Domnaill's sons are alive?" They answered: "Three Mac
    Domnaills are alive, and Fiacha Mac Domnaill fell by the men of Ross,
    and for that deed sixty couples of them were sent out to sea." "That
    is a true tale of yours; I am he who killed the King of Tara's son
    [i.e., Fiacha], and we are those who were sent out to sea. This
    commends itself to us, for we will be here till the Judgment [i.e.,
    the day of judgment] comes, and we are glad to be here without sin,
    without evil, without our sinful desires. The island we live on is
    good, for on it are Elijah and Enoch, and noble is the dwelling of

The similarity to the meeting of Gudleif and the Icelanders with the
likewise exiled great man and chief, who did not give his name but hinted
at his identity, is evident. If we suppose that the island Gudleif reached
was originally the white men's, or the holy (baptized) men's land, then it
may be possible that the great man's words to Gudleif about there being
men on the island who were greater ("ríkari") than he is connected with
the mention of Elijah and Enoch.

Thus we see a connection between Gudleif's voyage (and the exiled
Breidvikinge-kjæmpe on the unknown island) and Irish myths and legends,
the Arabic tale, and finally the Odyssey. What the mutual relationship
may be between Edrisi's tale and the Irish legends is to us of minor
importance. As the Norse Vikings had much communication with the Spanish
peninsula[47] it might be supposed that the Norse tale, derived from Irish
myths, had reached Portugal; but as the Arabic tale has several
similarities to the voyages of Brandan and Maelduin, and to Dicuil's
account of the Faroes (with their sheep and birds), which are not found in
the Norse narrative, it is more probable that the incidents in the
experiences of the Portuguese adventurers are derived directly from
Ireland, which also had close connection with the Spanish Peninsula,
chiefly through Norse ships and merchants. We must in any case suppose
that the Icelandic tale of Gudleif's voyage came from Ireland; but it may
have acquired additional colour from northern legends.

[Sidenote: Northern tales]

    There is a Swedish tale of some sailors from Getinge who were driven
    by storms over the sea to an unknown island; surrounded by darkness
    they went ashore and saw a fire, and before it lay an uncommonly tall
    man, who was blind; another equally big stood beside him and raked in
    the fire with an iron rod. The old blind man gets up and asks the
    strangers where they come from. They answer from Halland, from Getinge
    parish. Whereupon the blind man asks: "Is the white woman still
    alive?" They answered yes, though they did not know what he meant.
    Again he asks: "Is my goat-house still standing?" They again answered
    yes, though ignorant of what he meant. He then said: "I could not keep
    my goat-house in peace because of the church that was built in that
    place. If you would reach home safely, I give you two conditions."
    They promised to accept these, and the blind old man continued: "Take
    this belt of silver, and when you come home, buckle it on the white
    woman; and place this box on the altar in my goat-house." When the
    sailors were safely come home, the belt was buckled on a birch-tree,
    which immediately shot up into the air, and the box was placed on a
    mound, which immediately burst into flame. But from the church being
    built where the blind man had his goat-house the place was called
    Getinge [in J. Grimm, ii. 1876, p. 798, after Bexell's "Halland,"
    Göteborg, 1818, ii. p. 301]. Similar tales are known from other
    localities in Sweden and Norway. The old blind man is a heathen giant
    driven out by the Christian church or by the image of Mary (the white
    woman); sometimes again he is a heathen exile.

Here we have undeniable parallels to the storm-driven Icelanders' meeting
with the exiled Breidvikinge-kjæmpe, who asks after his native place and
his woman, Thurid,[48] and who also sends two gifts home, though with very
different feelings and objects. It may be supposed that the
Swedish-Norwegian tale is derived from ancient myths, and the Icelandic
narrative may have borrowed features, not, of course, from this very tale,
but from myths of the same type.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: Japanese fairy-tale]

Remarkable points of resemblance both to the voyages of the Irish (Bran's
voyage) to the Fortunate Isles in the west, and to those of Gudleif and of
the eight Portuguese (in Edrisi), are found in a Japanese tale of the
fortunate isles of "Horaisan," to which Moltke Moe has called my

    This happy land lies far away in the sea towards the east; there on
    the mountain Fusan grows a splendid tree which is sometimes seen in
    the distance over the horizon; all vegetation is verdant and flowering
    in eternal spring, which keeps the air mild and the sky blue; the
    passing of time is unnoticed, and death never finds the way thither,
    there is no pain, no suffering, only peace and happiness. Once on a
    time Jofuku, body physician to a cruel emperor of China, put to sea
    on the pretext of looking for this country and seeking for his master
    the plant of immortality which grows on Fusan, the highest mountain
    there. He came first to Japan; but went farther and farther out into
    the ocean until he really reached Horaisan; there he enjoyed complete
    happiness, and never thought of returning to prolong his tyrant's

    The old Japanese wise man, Vasobiove, who had withdrawn from the world
    and passed his days in contemplative peace, was one day out fishing by
    himself (to avoid many trivial visits), when he was driven out to sea
    by a violent storm; he then rowed about the sea, keeping himself alive
    by fishing. After three months he came to the "muddy sea," which
    nearly cost him his life, as there were no fish there. But after a
    desperate struggle, and finally twelve hours' hard rowing, he reached
    the shore of Horaisan. There he was met by an old man whom he
    understood, for he spoke Chinese. This was Jofuku, who received
    Vasobiove in friendly fashion and told him his story. Vasobiove was
    overjoyed on hearing where he was. He stayed there for a couple of
    hundred years, but did not know how long it was; for where all is
    alike, where there is neither birth nor death, no one heeds the
    passing of time. With dancing and music, in conversation with wise and
    brilliant men, in the society of beautiful and amiable ladies, he
    passed his days.

    But at last Vasobiove grew tired of this sweet existence and longed
    for death. It was hopeless, for here he could not die, nor could he
    take his own life, there were no poisons, no lethal weapons; if he
    threw himself over a precipice or ran his head against a sharp rock,
    it was like a fall on to soft cushions, and if he threw himself into
    the sea, it supported him like a cork. Finally he tamed a gigantic
    stork, and on its back he at last returned to Japan,[50] after the
    stork had carried him through many strange countries, of which the
    most remarkable was that of the Giants, who are immensely superior to
    human beings in everything. Whereas Vasobiove was accustomed to
    admiration wherever he propounded his philosophical views and systems,
    he left that country in humiliation; for the Giants said they had no
    need of all that, and declared Vasobiove's whole philosophy to be the
    immature cries of distress of the children of men.

A connection between the intellectual world of China and Japan and that of
Europe in the Middle Ages may well be supposed to have been brought about
by the Arabs, who penetrated as far as China on their trading voyages, and
who, on the other hand, had close communication with Western Europe.
Furthermore, it must be remembered how many of our mythical conceptions
and tales are more or less connected with India, just as many of the
Arabian tales evidently had their birthplace there [cf. E. Rohde, 1900,
pp. 191, ff.]; while on the other side there was, of course, a close
connection between India and the intellectual world of China and Japan, as
shown by the spread of Buddhism. A transference of the same myths both
eastward to Japan and westward to Europe is thus highly probable, whether
these myths originated in Europe or in India and the East. It is striking,
too, that even a secondary feature such as the curdled, dead sea (cf.
"Morimarusa," see vol. i. p. 99; the stinking sea in Edrisi, vol. ii. p.
51) is met with again here as the "muddy sea" without fish (cf.
resemblances to Arab ideas, chapter xiii.).

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: Retrospect]

If we now look back upon all the problems it has been sought to solve in
this chapter, the impression may be a somewhat heterogeneous and negative
one; the majority will doubtless be struck at the outset by the
multiplicity of the paths, and by the intercrossing due to this
multiplicity. But if we force our way through the network of by-paths and
follow up the essential leading lines, it appears to me that there is
established a firm and powerful series of conclusions, which it will not
be easy to shake. The most important steps in this series are:

(1) The oldest authority,[51] Adam of Bremen's work, in which Wineland is
mentioned, is untrustworthy, and, with the exception of the name and of
the fable of wine being produced there, contains nothing beyond what is
found in Isidore.

(2) The oldest Icelandic authorities that mention the name of "Vinland,"
or in the Landnáma "Vindland hit Góða," say nothing about its discovery or
about the wine there; on the other hand, Are Frode mentions the Skrælings
(who must originally have been regarded as a fairy people). The name of
Leif Ericson is mentioned, unconnected with Wineland or its discovery.

(3) It is not till well on in the thirteenth century that Leif's surname
of Heppni, his discovery of Wineland ("Vinland" or "Vindland"), and his
Christianising of Greenland are mentioned (in the Kristni-saga and
Heimskringla), but still there is nothing about wine.

(4) It is not till the close of the thirteenth century that any
information occurs as to what and where Wineland was, with statements as
to the wine and wheat there, and a description of voyages thither (in the
Saga of Eric the Red). But still the accounts omit to inform us who gave
the name and why.

(5) The second and later principal narrative of voyages to Wineland (the
Flateyjarbók's Grönlendinga-þáttr) gives a very different account of the
discovery, by another, and likewise of the later voyages thither.

(6) The first of the two sagas, and the one which is regarded as more to
be relied on, contains scarcely a single feature that is not wholly or in
part mythical or borrowed from elsewhere; both sagas have an air of

(7) Even among the Greeks of antiquity we find myths of fortunate isles
far in the western ocean, with the two characteristic features of
Wineland, the wine and the wheat.

(8) The most significant features in the description of these Fortunate
Isles or Isles of the Blest in late classical times and in Isidore are the
self-grown or wild-growing vine (on the heights) and the wild-growing
(uncultivated, self-sown or unsown) corn or wheat or even cornfields
(Isidore). In addition there were lofty trees (Pliny) and mild winters.
Thus a complete correspondence with the saga's description of Wineland.

(9) The various attempts that have been made to bring the natural
conditions of the North American coast into agreement with the saga's
description of Wineland are more or less artificial, and no natural
explanation has been offered of how the two ideas of wine and wheat, both
foreign to the Northerners, could have become the distinguishing marks of
the country.

(10) In Ireland long before the eleventh century there were many myths and
legends of happy lands far out in the ocean to the west; and in the
description of these wine and the vine form conspicuous features.

(11) From the eleventh century onward, in Ireland and in the North, we
meet with a Grape-island or a Wineland, which it seems most reasonable to
suppose the same.

(12) From the Landnámabók it may be naturally concluded that in the
eleventh century the Icelanders had heard of Wineland, together with
Hvítramanna-land, in Ireland.

(13) Thorkel Gellisson, from whom this information is derived, probably
also furnished Are Frode with his statement in the Islendingabók about
Wineland; this is therefore probably the same Irish land.

(14) The Irish happy lands peopled by the síd correspond to the Norwegian
huldrelands out in the sea to the west, and the Icelandic elf-lands.

(15) Since the huldre- and síd-people and the elves are originally the
dead, and since the Isles of the Blest or the Fortunate Isles of antiquity
were the habitations of the happy dead, these islands also correspond to
the Irish síd-people's happy lands, and to the Norwegian huldrelands and
the Icelandic elf-lands.

(16) The additional name of "hit Góða" for the happy Wineland and the name
"Landit Góða" for huldrelands in Norway correspond directly to the name of
"Insulæ Fortunatæ," which in itself could not very well take any other
Norse form. And as in addition the huldrelands were imagined as specially
good and fertile, and the underground, huldre- and síd-people or elves are
called the "good people," and are everywhere in different countries
associated with the idea of "good," this gives a natural explanation of
both the Norse names.

(17) The name "Vinland hit Góða" has a foreign effect in Norse
nomenclature; it must be a hybrid of Norse and foreign nomenclature,
through "Vinland" being combined with "Landit Góða," which probably
originated in a translation of "Insulæ Fortunatæ."

(18) The probability of the name of Skrælings for the inhabitants of
Wineland having originally meant brownies or trolls--that is, small
huldre-folk, elves or pygmies--entirely agrees with the view that Wineland
was originally the fairy country, the Fortunate Isles in the west of the

(19) The statement of the Icelandic geography, that in the opinion of some
Wineland the Good was connected with Africa, and the fact that the
Norwegian work, Historia Norwegiæ, calls Wineland (with Markland and
Helluland) the African Islands, are direct evidence that the Norse
Wineland was the Insulæ Fortunatæ, which together with the Gorgades and
the Hesperides were precisely the African Islands.

(20) Even though the Saga of Eric the Red and the Grönlendinga-þáttr
contain nothing which we can regard as certain information as to the
discovery of America by the Greenlanders, we yet find there and elsewhere
many features which show that they must have reached the coast of America,
the most decisive amongst them being the chance mention of the voyagers
from Markland in 1347. To this may be added Hertzberg's demonstration of
the adoption of the Icelandic game of "knattleikr" by the Indians. The
name of the mythical land may then have been transferred to the country
that was discovered.

(21) Hvítramanna-land is a mythical land similar to the wine-island of the
Irish, modified in accordance with Christian ideas, especially perhaps
those of the white garments of the baptized--as in the Navigatio Brandani
in reference to the Isle of Anchorites or the "Strong Men's Isle" (==
Starkra-manna-land)--and of the white hermits.

(22) Finally, among the most different people on earth, from the ancient
Greeks to the Icelanders, Chinese and Japanese, we meet with similar myths
about countries out in the ocean and voyages to them, which, whether they
be connected with one another or not, show the common tendency of humanity
to adopt ideas and tales of this kind.

       *       *       *       *       *

But even if we are obliged to abandon the Saga of Eric the Red[52] and the
other descriptions of these voyages as historical documents, this is
compensated by the increase in our admiration for the extraordinary powers
of realistic description in Icelandic literature. In reading Eric's Saga
one cannot help being struck by the way in which many of the events are so
described, often in a few words, that the whole thing is before one's eyes
and it is difficult to believe that it has not actually occurred. This is
just the same quality that characterises our Norwegian fairy-tales: all
that is supernatural is made so natural and realistic that it is brought
straight before one. The Icelanders created the realistic novel; and at a
time when the prose style of Europe was still in its infancy their prose
narrative often reaches the summit of clear simplicity. In part this may
doubtless be explained by their not being merely authors, but men of
action; their presentment acquired the stamp of real life and the brevity
that belongs to the narrator of things seen. And to this, of course, must
be added the fact that as a rule the tales were sifted and abridged by
generations of oral transmission. In later times this style became
corrupted by European influence.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: Postscript]

After I had given, on October 7, 1910, the outlines of this examination of
the sagas of the Wineland voyages before the Scientific Society of
Christiania, attention was called in Sweden, by Professor F. Läffler, to
the fact that the Swedish philologist, Professor Sven Söderberg, whose
early death in 1901 is much to be regretted, had announced views about
Wineland similar to those at which I have arrived. The manuscript of a
lecture that he delivered on the subject at Lund in May 1898, but which
was never printed, was then found, and has been published in the
"Sydsvenska Dagbladet Snällposten" for October 30, 1910. As I have thus
become acquainted with this interesting inquiry too late to be able to
include it in my examination, I think it right to mention it here.

Professor Söderberg thinks, as I do, that there can be no doubt about the
Norsemen having discovered a part of North America; but he looks upon the
tales of the wine and everything connected therewith as later inventions.
He maintains that the name of "Vinland" originally meant grass-land or
pasture-land (from the old Norse word "vin" == pasture), therefore
something similar to the meaning of Greenland, and that it may have been
the name of a country discovered in the west. Curiously enough, I took at
first the same view, and thought too that Adam of Bremen might have
misunderstood such a word, just as Söderberg thinks; but I allowed myself
to be convinced by the linguistic objection that the word "vin" (pasture)
seems to have gone out of use before the eleventh century (cf. vol. i. p.
367). However, Söderberg's reasons for supposing that the word was still
in use appear to have weight; and he also makes it probable that the name
formed thereby might be Vinland and not Vinjarland. (In support of this
Mr. A. Kiær gave me as an example the Norwegian name Vinås.) Professor
Söderberg then thinks that Adam of Bremen heard this name in Denmark, and,
misinterpreting it as a foreigner to mean the land of wine, himself
invented the explanation of the country's being so called. Söderberg gives
several striking examples to show how this kind of "etymologising" was
just in Adam's spirit (e.g., Sconia or Skåne is derived from Old German
"sconi" or "schön"; Greenland comes from the inhabitants being
bluish-green in the face, etc.). An example from a country lying near
Denmark, which appears to me even more striking than those given by
Söderberg, is Adam's explanation of Kvænland as the Land of Women (cf.
vol. i. pp. 186, f., 383), the Wizzi as white people, or Albanians, the
Huns as dogs, etc. Söderberg has difficulty in explaining the statement
about the unsown corn in Wineland; but if he had noticed Isidore's
description of the Insulæ Fortunatæ with the self-grown vine and the
wild-growing corn, he would have found a perfectly natural explanation of
this also. If Adam had misunderstood a "Vinland" (== grass-land), and then
perhaps Finland (Finmark, cf. vol i. p. 382), as meaning the land of wine,
it would be just in his spirit to transfer thither Isidore's description
of the Insulæ Fortunatæ; a parallel case is that in interpreting Kvænland
as Womanland he transfers thither the myth of the Amazons and its fables,
and this in spite of its being a country on the Baltic about which it must
have been comparatively easy for him to obtain information. In the same
way he transfers to the "island" of Halagland, mentioned immediately
before Wineland, an erroneous account of the midnight sun and the winter
night taken from older writers (cf. vol. i. p. 194, note 2). But one
reason for thinking that "Vinland" really meant the land of wine as early
as that time is the circumstance put forward above (vol. i. p. 365), that
at about the same time there occurs a Grape-island in the Navigatio

Professor Söderberg then goes through the Icelandic accounts of Wineland,
and points out, in the same way as has been done in this chapter, that the
oldest authorities have nothing remarkable to report about the country,
and do not mention wine there, and he rightly lays stress on this being
particularly significant in the case of Snorre Sturlason,

    "knowing as we do how prone Snorre is to digress from his proper
    subject, when he has anything really interesting to communicate. The
    reason must be that he did not know anything particularly remarkable
    about Wineland; and without doubt this is due to his not having known
    Adam of Bremen. It has, in fact, been shown that Snorre has not a
    single statement from Adam."

Later, Söderberg thinks, Adam of Bremen's fourth book became known in
Iceland, and on the foundation of that the tale of Leif's discovery of the
country with the wine and corn arose, and the later sagas developed,
especially that of Thorfinn Karlsevne's voyage, which he thinks in the
main "rests on a truthful foundation," though he points out that a
particular feature like that of the two Scottish runners must be "pure
invention, or rather ... borrowed from another saga." If Professor
Söderberg had remarked how most of the incidents in this saga are
spurious, he would have found even stronger support for his views in this




[Sidenote: Distribution]

Of all the races of the earth that of the Eskimo is the one that has
established itself farthest north. His world is that of sea-ice and cold,
for which nature had not intended human beings. In his slow, stubborn
fight against the powers of winter he has learnt better than any other how
to turn these to account, and in these regions, along the ice-bound
shores, he developed his peculiar culture, with its ingenious appliances,
long before the beginning of history. As men of the white race pushed
northward to the "highest latitudes" they found traces of this remarkable
people, who had already been there in times long past; and it is only in
the last few decades that any one has succeeded in penetrating farther
north than the Eskimo, partly by learning from him or enlisting his help.
In these regions, which are his own, his culture was superior to that of
the white race, and from no other people has the arctic navigator learnt
so much.

[Illustration: Distribution of the Eskimo (after W. Thalbitzer, 1904)]

The north coast of America and the islands to the north of it, from Bering
Strait to the east coast of Greenland, is the territory of the Eskimo.
The map (below) shows his present distribution and the districts where
older traces of him have been found. Within these limits the Eskimo must
have developed into what they now are. In their anthropological
race-characteristics, in their sealing- and whaling-culture, and in their
language they are very different from all other known peoples, both in
America and Asia, and we must suppose that for long ages, ever since they
began to fit themselves for their life along the frozen shores, they have
lived apart, separated from others, perhaps for a long time as a small
tribe. They all belong to the same race; the cerebral formation, for
instance, of all real Eskimo from Alaska to Greenland is remarkably
homogeneous; but in the far west they may have been mixed with Indians and
others, and in Greenland they are now mixed with Europeans. They are
pronouncedly dolichocephalic; but have short, broad faces, and by their
features and appearance are easily distinguished from other neighbouring
peoples. Small, slanting eyes; the nose small and flat, narrow between the
eyes and broad below; cheeks broad, prominent and round; the forehead
narrowing comparatively above; the lower part of the face broad and
powerful; black, straight hair. The colour of the skin is a pale brown.
The Eskimo are not, as is often supposed, a small people on an average;
they are rather of middle height, often powerful, and sometimes quite
tall, although they are a good deal shorter, and weaker in appearance,
than average Scandinavians. In appearance, and perhaps also in language,
they come nearest to some of the North American Indian tribes.

[Sidenote: Original home]

From whence they originally came, and where they developed into Eskimo, is
uncertain. The central point of the Eskimo culture is their seal-hunting,
especially with the harpoon, sometimes from the kayak in open water and
sometimes from the ice. We cannot believe that this sealing, especially
with the kayak, was first developed in the central part of the regions
they now inhabit; there the conditions of life would have been too severe,
and they would not have been able to support themselves until their
sealing-culture had attained a certain development. Just as in Europe we
met with the "Finnish" sea-fishing on a coast that was connected with
milder coasts farther south, where seamanship was able first to develop,
so we must expect that the Eskimo culture began on coasts with similar
conditions, and these must be looked for either in Labrador or on Bering

As the coasts of Labrador and Hudson Bay are ice-bound for a great part of
the year, it is not likely that traffic by sea began there at any very
early time; and consequently no particularly favourable conditions existed
there for an early development of seamanship. Nor is this the case to any
great extent on the east coast of North America farther south, which, with
the exception of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, has little protection from the
sea, and offers few facilities for coastal traffic.[53] Nor has it
produced any other maritime people or any similar fishing-culture. Again,
if the Eskimo culture had arisen there, it would be impossible to
understand how they learned to use dogs as draught-animals. It is
otherwise on the northern west coast of North America, which is indented
by fjords and has many outlying islands, with protected channels between
them and the land. Here seamanship might be naturally developed and form
the necessary basis for a higher sealing-culture like that of the Eskimo.
In addition there is abundance of marine animals which afforded excellent
conditions for hunting. Here too we have many different peoples with
maritime habits: on the one side the Eskimo northwards along the coast of
Alaska; on the other side the Aleutians on the islands extending out to
sea, besides Indian tribes along the coast of southern Alaska and British
Columbia. Until, therefore, research has produced sufficient evidence for
a different view, it must seem most natural that in these favourable
regions with a rich supply of marine animals of all kinds we must look for
the cradle of the culture that was to render the Eskimo capable of
distributing themselves over the whole Arctic world of America. To this
must be added that in these regions, by intercourse with people on the
Asiatic side of Bering Strait, the seafaring Eskimo may have learnt the
use of the dog as a draught-animal, which is an Asiatic, and not an
American invention, and which is also of great importance to the whole
life and distribution of the Eskimo in the ice-bound regions. We cannot
here pursue further the inquiry into the still open question of the origin
of the Eskimo and the development of their culture.[54]

[Illustration: Kayak-fishers and a women's boat ("umiak"). Woodcut from
Greenland, drawn and engraved by a native]

[Sidenote: Earlier distribution]

One might get the impression from the map, which shows where older traces
of the Eskimo have been found, that they were more numerous and more
widely distributed in former times. This is probably a mistake. They are
hunters and fishermen who are entirely dependent on the supply of game,
and who therefore frequently become nomadic and search for fishing-grounds
where they think the prospects are good. Sometimes they settle in a good
district for a considerable time, and then they may move again; but
sometimes, if exceptionally severe winters chance to come, they may
succumb to famine or scurvy. But everywhere they leave behind them their
peculiar sites of houses and tents and other traces, and thus these must
always be found over larger areas than are actually inhabited by the
Eskimo themselves. It might be objected that on the American Arctic
Islands they no longer live so far north as older traces of them are
found; thus Sverdrup found many relics of Eskimo in the new countries
discovered by him, especially along the sound by Axel Heiberg Land. But
these people may, for instance, have migrated eastward to Greenland. If we
suppose the reverse to be the case, that the most northerly Eskimo tribe
now known, on Smith Sound, had moved westward to Sverdrup's new islands or
to the Parry Islands, then we should have found numerous traces of them in
the districts about Smith Sound and Cape York, and might thus have
concluded that the Eskimo were formerly more widely distributed towards
the north-east.

[Sidenote: Period of immigration into Greenland]

How early the Eskimo appeared, and came to the most northern regions, we
have as yet no means of determining. All we can say is that, as they are
so distinct in physical structure, language and culture from all other
known races of men, with the exception of the Aleutians, we must assume
that they have lived for a very long period in the northern regions apart
from other peoples. It would be of special interest here if we could form
any opinion as to the date of their immigration into Greenland. It has
become almost a historical dogma that this immigration on a larger scale
did not take place until long after the Norwegian Icelanders had settled
in the country, and that it was chiefly the hordes of Eskimo coming from
the north that put an end, first to the Western Settlement, and then to
the Eastern. But this is in every respect misleading, and conflicts with
what may be concluded with certainty from several facts; moreover, the
whole Eskimo way of life and dependence on sealing and fishing forbids
their migration in hordes; they must travel in small scattered groups in
order to find enough game to support themselves and their families, and
are obliged to make frequent halts for sealing. They will therefore never
be able to undertake any migration on a large scale.

There can be no doubt that the Eskimo arrived in Greenland ages before the
Norwegian Icelanders. The rich finds referred to, amongst others, by Dr.
H. Rink [1857, vol. ii.], of Eskimo whaling and sealing weapons and
implements of stone from deep deposits in North Greenland show that the
Eskimo were living there far back in prehistoric times.[55] They must
originally have come by the route to the north of Baffin Bay across Smith
Sound, and must have had at the time of their first immigration much the
same culture in the main as now, since otherwise they would not have been
able to support themselves in these northern regions.[56] Their means of
transport were the kayak and the women's boat in open water, and the
dog-sledge on the ice. Their whaling and sealing were conducted in kayaks
in summer, but with dog-sledges in winter, when they hunted the seal at
its breathing-holes in the ice, the walrus, narwhale and white whale in
the open leads, and pursued the bear with their dogs. In winter they
usually keep to one place, living in houses of stone, or snow, but in
summer they wander about with their boats and tents of hides to the best
places for kayak fishing. In this way they came southward from Smith Sound
along the west coast of Greenland to the districts about Umanak-fjord,
Disco Bay, and south to the present Holstensborg (the tract between 72°
and 68° N. lat.). Here they found an excellent supply of seal, walrus,
small-whale and fish, there was catching from kayaks in summer and on the
ice in winter; altogether rarely favourable conditions for their
accustomed life, and it is therefore natural that they settled here in
large numbers.[57] Some went farther south along the coast; but they no
longer found there the same conditions of life as before, the ice was for
the most part absent, the walrus became rare, seal-hunting became more
difficult in the open sea, and winter fishing from the kayak was not very
safe. Southern Greenland therefore had no great attraction, so long as
there was room enough farther north. When they came round Cape Farewell to
the east coast they found the conditions more what they were used to,
although the sealing and whaling were not so good as on the northern west

[Sidenote: Routes of immigration]

    It has been assumed by several inquirers that the Eskimo immigrated to
    Greenland by two routes. One branch is supposed to have come southward
    along the west coast from Smith Sound, as suggested above, while the
    other branch went northward from Smith Sound and Kane Basin along the
    coast, where relics of Eskimo are found as far north as 82° N. lat.
    They thus gradually worked their way round the north of Greenland and
    turned southward again along the east coast. The Eskimo who formerly
    lived on the northern east coast, and whom Clavering found there in
    1823, are supposed to have come by that route and possibly also the
    tribe that still lives at Angmagsalik. But in the opinion of some they
    may have travelled farther south, right round Cape Farewell, and have
    populated the south-west coast as far north as Ny-Herrnhut by
    Godthaab. The Dane Schultz-Lorentzen [1904, p. 289][58] thinks that
    support may be found for this theory of the southern immigration from
    the east coast in the sharp line of demarcation that exists between
    the dialect spoken by the Eskimo in Godthaab and northward along the
    whole west coast, and that spoken to the south and on the east coast;
    furthermore, there are other points of difference: in the build and
    fitting together of the kayaks, in the use of partitions between the
    family compartments on the couches in houses and tents, etc. Although
    in an earlier work [1891, pp. 8, f.; Engl. ed. pp. 12, ff.] I put
    forward reasons that are opposed to such an immigration round the
    north of Greenland, I must admit that there is much in favour of the
    Eskimo who formerly lived on the northern east coast having come that
    way; on the other hand, it does not appear to me very likely that this
    should have been the case with the Eskimo of the southern east coast
    and of the west coast. The difference alluded to, at Godthaab, may be
    accounted for by a later immigration from the north to the northern
    west coast, which did not come any farther south than this. That the
    boundary-line between the two kinds of Eskimo should be so sharp just
    between Ny-Herrnhut and Godthaab, which lie close together on the same
    peninsula, is easily explained by the fact of the former settlement
    having always belonged to the recently abandoned German Moravian
    mission, while the latter was the seat of Egede's and the later Danish
    mission. There is always the essential objection to be made against
    the Eskimo having migrated to the southern east coast round the north
    of Greenland, that the conditions of life for Eskimo, who live
    principally by sealing and whaling, were poor on the north coast of
    Greenland, where there are no seals worth mentioning and few bears;
    and they can scarcely have got enough musk-oxen to support themselves.
    Their diffusion to the east coast could not have gone on rapidly. In
    the ice-bound regions they may have forgotten the use of the kayak, as
    the Eskimo of Smith Sound had done until thirty years ago, when they
    became acquainted with it again through a chance immigration from the
    west. In any case their practice in building and using kayaks must
    have greatly fallen off. But when the Eskimo came southward on the
    east coast they again had use for both the kayak for sealing and the
    women's boat for travelling, and it is scarcely likely that the craft
    they produced after such a break in the development should be so near
    to the women's boats and handsome kayaks of the northern west coast as
    we now find them; unless, indeed, we are to suppose that they improved
    them again through contact with the Eskimo of the northern west coast,
    but in that case the whole theory appears somewhat strained.

[Sidenote: Meeting of Eskimo and Europeans]

We will now look at what the known historical authorities have to tell us
about the Eskimo in Greenland during the early days of the Norse
settlement. I have already stated (pp. 12, ff.) that the Norse name
"Skræling" for Eskimo must originally have been used as a designation of
fairies or mythical creatures. Furthermore, there is much that would imply
that when the Icelanders first met with the Eskimo in Greenland they
looked upon them as fairies; they therefore called them "trolls," an
ancient common name for various sorts of supernatural beings. This view
persisted more or less in after times. Every European who has suddenly
encountered Eskimo in the ice-covered wastes of Greenland, without ever
having seen them before, will easily understand that they must have made
such an impression on people who had the slightest tendency to
superstition. The mighty natural surroundings, with huge glaciers,
floating icebergs and drifting ice-floes, all on a vaster scale than
anything they had seen before, might in themselves furnish additional food
for superstition. Such an idea must from the very beginning have
influenced the relations between the Norsemen and the natives, and is
capable of explaining much that is curious in the mention of them, or
rather the lack of mention of them, in the sagas, since they were
supernatural beings of whom it was best to say nothing.

[Sidenote: The fairy nature of the Skrælings]

In connection with what has been said earlier (pp. 12, ff.) as to the
Skrælings being regarded as fairies (of whom the name was originally
used), it may be adduced that, as Storm pointed out, the word was always
translated in Latin by "Pygmæi" in the Middle Ages (cf. above, p. 12). But
the Pygmies were precisely "short, undergrown people of supernatural
aspect"--that is, like fairies--and the Middle Ages inherited the belief
in them from the Greeks and Romans, and, as Moltke Moe has pointed out,
the northern Pygmies (Βόρειοι Πυγμαῖοι) were already spoken of in
classical times as inhabiting the regions about Thule. But authors like
Apollodorus and Strabo denied their existence, and consigned them,
together with Dog-headed, One-eyed, One-footed, Mouthless, and other
similar beings, to the ranks of fabulous creatures in which classical
tradition was so rich. Through St. Augustine the enumeration of these
creatures reached Isidore; and from him the knowledge of the Pygmies was
disseminated over the whole of mediæval Europe--partly in the same sense,
that of a more or less fabulous people from the uttermost parts of the
earth; and partly in the sense of a fairy people [cf. the demons in the
form of Pygmies in the "Imram Brenaind," see above, p. 10]. Supported by
popular belief in various countries, the latter meaning soon became
general. Of this Moltke Moe gives a remarkable example from the Welshman
Walter Mapes (latter half of the twelfth century), who in his curious
collection of anecdotes, etc. (called "De nugis curialium"), has a tale
of a prehistoric king of the Britons called Herla.[59]

    To him came a fairy- or elf-king, "rex pygmæorum," with a huge head,
    thick hair and big eyes; the pygmy-king foretells to King Herla
    something that is to happen, and when this is fulfilled King Herla
    promises as a mark of gratitude to be present at his wedding. The
    moment the pygmy-king turns his back he vanishes. Herla comes to the
    wedding of the fairy-king. Entering a vast cave he comes through
    darkness to the banqueting-hall inside the mountain, lighted by a
    multitude of lamps, where he is splendidly entertained. When he
    returns, believing he has been away for three days, he discovers that
    he has been absent for several hundred years.

This is a typical elf-myth, with many of the features characteristic of
elves and fairies: the low stature, the big, hairy head with large eyes,
the gift of prophecy, and the power of making themselves invisible in an
instant, their dwelling in caves and mountains far from the light of day,
the way thither through darkness and mist, the rapid disappearance of time
in the fairy world, etc. But we recognise most of these, and even more
fairy features, precisely in the Icelandic descriptions of the Skrælings
in Wineland, Markland and Greenland, as appears from what is said about
them on pp. 12, ff.; and when, for instance, ugly hair ("ilt hár") and big
eyes are expressly attributed to the Skrælings, this applies neither to
Indians nor Eskimo, but it applies exactly to fairies. Further, we may
point to the Skrælings of Markland being governed by kings (cf. p. 20),
which again does not apply either to Indians or to Eskimo, while the elves
and huldre-folk have kings. It was mentioned earlier (p. 20) that the name
"Vætilldi" or "Vethilldi" may be Vætthildr, compounded of the word "vættr"
or "vettr" (fairy).

Everything points in the same direction, that the Skrælings of Wineland,
Markland and Greenland were regarded as a kind of fairy people. Nor can
this surprise us when we consider that even the Lapps of Finmark, who
lived so near to and were so well known by the Norwegians, were regarded
as a half-supernatural people, and had various magical properties
attributed to them.

[Sidenote: The oldest authorities on the Skrælings]

From the statement quoted earlier from Are Frode's Íslendingabók (circa
1130) it appears that the Skrælings, or Eskimo, had been in South
Greenland before Eric the Red and his men, and that the latter found
dwelling-sites and other traces of them, from which they could tell that
the same kind of people had been there who "inhabited Wineland and whom
the Greenlanders call Skrælings ('Vinland hefer bygt oc Grönlendingar
calla Scrælinga')." These words of Are have generally been understood to
imply that he did not know of any meeting of Norsemen and Skrælings in
Greenland, but only in Wineland, and that consequently it must have been
after his time that the Norsemen encountered the Eskimo in Greenland. I am
unable to read Are's meaning in this way. He uses the present tense:
"calla," and what one "calls Skrælings" must presumably be a people one
knows, and not one that one's ancestors had met with more than a hundred
years ago. In that case we should rather expect it to be those ancestors
who "called" them by this nickname.[60] I have already suggested (p. 16)
the possibility of a connection between this statement and the view of the
Skrælings as trolls; but we have besides a remarkable parallel to Are's
whole account of the first coming of the Icelanders to Greenland and the
natives there in his account of the Norwegians' first settlement of
Iceland, where he says that there were Christian men before they came,
"whom the Norwegians call ('calla') Papar" (i.e., priests). They left
behind them traces "from which it could be seen that they were Irish men."
From these words it might be concluded, with as much justification as from
the statement about the traces of Skrælings, that the newcomers did not
come in contact with the earlier people; but in the latter case this is
incredible, and moreover conflicts with Are's own words in the passages
immediately preceding, according to which the Christians left _after_ the
heathen Norsemen arrived. Three kinds of traces are mentioned in each
case: the Papar left Irish books, bells and croziers; the Skrælings left
dwelling-places, fragments of boats, and stone implements. This may have
somewhat the look of a turn of style in the sober Are, who thought it of
more value to lay stress on visible signs of this kind than to give a
possibly less trustworthy statement about the people themselves. We must
also bear in mind how terse and condensed the form of the Íslendingabók
is. I therefore read Are's words as though he meant to say something like
the following: "As early as Eric's first voyage to Greenland they found at
once dwelling-places both in the Eastern and Western Settlements, and
fragments of boats, and stone implements, so that from this it can be seen
that over the whole of that region there had been present the same kind of
people who also live in Wineland, and who are the same as those the
Greenlanders call Skrælings." Nothing is said about the waste districts of
Greenland, where the Skrælings especially lived, and it is only in passing
that Wineland is mentioned in this one passage. Are's Íslendingabók cannot
therefore be used as evidence that the Norsemen had not yet met with the
Skrælings of Greenland in Are's time. As he expressly says that they found
"manna vistir bæþe austr oc vestr á lande" (human dwelling-places both
east and west in the land--i.e., both in the Eastern and Western
Settlements), this, too, shows that the stay of the Eskimo in south
Greenland cannot have been merely a short and cursory summer visit; but
there must have been many of them who stayed there a long time, for
otherwise they would hardly have left remains so conspicuous and
distributed over so wide an area as to be mentioned with such emphasis as

    That Eskimo were living on the south coast of Greenland when the
    Icelanders arrived there may also possibly be concluded from the
    mention, in the list of fjords of the Eastern Settlement in Björn
    Jónsson's "Vetus chorographia," of an "Ütibliks fjord" [Grönl. hist.
    Mind., iii. p. 228; F. Jónsson, 1899, p. 319], which does not sound
    Norwegian and may recall the Eskimo "Itiblik," a tongue of land. As
    Finnur Jónsson [1899, p. 276] points out, the name of the fjord in
    Arngrim Jónsson's copy of the same list is "Makleiksfjörðr," and both
    names may be misreadings of a man's name ending in "-leikr," from
    which the fjord was called (in the same way as Eiriks-fjörðr, etc.);
    but as "Ütiblik" has such a pronounced Eskimo sound, it appears to me
    more probable that "Makleik-" may have arisen through a misreading of
    this name, which was incomprehensible to Arngrim Jónsson and may have
    been indistinctly written, rather than that both names should be
    corruptions, of what? In that case it would afford strong evidence,
    not only that there were Eskimo in the Eastern Settlement when the
    Icelanders established themselves there, but also that they had
    intercourse with them.

The "Historia Norwegiæ" (thirteenth century) shows that a hundred years
later the Skrælings of Greenland were known in Norway, and perhaps it is
because they there seemed stranger that the Norwegian author mentions
them. He says [Storm, 1880, pp. 76, 205]:

    "On the other side of the Greenlanders towards the north [i.e., on the
    northern west coast of Greenland] there have been found by hunters
    certain small people whom they call Skrælings; when these are struck
    while alive by weapons, their wounds turn white without blood, but
    when they are dead the blood scarcely stops running. But they have a
    complete lack of the metal iron; they use the tusks of marine animals
    ['dentibus cetimes,' here walrus and narwhale tusks] for missiles and
    sharp stones for knives."

The curiously correct mention of the Skrælings' weapons must be derived
from a well-informed source, and the statement established the fact that
the Norsemen met with the Eskimo of Greenland at any rate in the
thirteenth century, while at the same time it may imply that at that time
the Skrælings were not generally seen in the settlements of Greenland. The
statement as to their wounds, although connected with myth, may further
point to there having been conflicts between them and the Norse hunters,
who in Viking fashion dealt with them with a heavy hand; but at the same
time it discloses the view of the Skrælings as troll-like beings (see p.

A valuable piece of evidence of the Norsemen having early had intercourse
with the Skrælings in Greenland is a little carved walrus, of
walrus-ivory, which was found during excavations on the site of a house in
Bergen, and which appears to be of Eskimo workmanship.[61] Unfortunately
the age of the find has not been determined, nor has it been recorded at
what depth it lay; but as it was amongst the deepest finds "right down in
the very foundations," and so far as can be made out from the description
much deeper than "a burnt layer, which lay under the remains of the fire
of 1413," this walrus may be of the twelfth, or at the latest of the
thirteenth, century. It might, no doubt, have been accidentally found by
Greenlanders in a grave or dwelling-site of Skrælings, and afterwards
accidentally found on the site of this house in Bergen; but this is
assuming a good many accidents, and it is most natural to suppose that the
Greenlanders obtained it from the Skrælings themselves, and that it is
thus an evidence of intercourse with the latter at that time.

[Illustration: Carved walrus of Eskimo work, of the twelfth century (?);
found on the site of a house in Bergen (after Koren-Wiberg, 1908)]

[Sidenote: Silence about Skrælings in Icelandic literature]

[Sidenote: Allusions to Skrælings in Icelandic literature]

It is striking that the Skrælings are scarcely ever mentioned in the
descriptions of the Norsemen in Greenland in the Icelandic saga
literature, and that it is only in one or two places that Greenland
Skrælings are mentioned in passing in Icelandic narratives; but at the
same time there are detailed descriptions of both peaceful and warlike
encounters with the Skrælings in Wineland, and also in Markland (see vol.
i. pp. 327, ff.). This is like what we found in Are Frode. The explanation
must be that, while the saga-teller could bring out the distant Skrælings
of Wineland in large bodies and as dangerous opponents, quite worthy of
mention even for nobles, the harmless and timorous Skrælings of Greenland
were too well known to be used as interesting material; they were met with
in small, scattered bands, and could be maltreated without any particular
danger. They belonged to the commonplace, and commonplace was what a
saga-writer had to avoid above all; it is for the same reason that we
scarcely hear anything about the Greenlanders' and other Norsemen's
whaling and sealing and their expeditions for this purpose (e.g., to
Nordrsetur); only here and there a few words are let fall about these
things, which to us would be of so much greater value than all the tales
of fighting and slaughter. But as regards the Skrælings of Greenland there
was the additional circumstance that they were heathens; consequently
intercourse with them was forbidden by the laws of the Church, and it was
therefore best to say nothing about it. Besides, they were always regarded
in Iceland as fairies or trolls, and, as we have said, their name was
translated by "pygmæi," and it has been the same with them as with
huldre-folk and goblins, who as a rule are not mentioned in the sagas
either in Iceland or Norway, though of course they were believed in, and
there can have been no lack of "authentic" stories about them. In several
passages of Icelandic literature the Skrælings are alluded to as trolls;
to kill them was perhaps meritorious, but it was nothing to boast about.
In the Floamanna-saga it is related that Thorgils Orrabeinsfostre, on his
wonderful voyage along the east coast of Greenland, one morning saw a
large sea-monster stranded in a creek, and two troll-hags (in
skin-kirtles) were tying up big bundles of it; he rushed up, and as one of
them was lifting her bundle he cut off her hand so that her burden fell,
and she ran away. They may be regarded as Eskimo. It is true that this
saga is so full of marvels and inventions (cf. vol. i. p. 281) that we
cannot attribute much historical value to it, but it shows nevertheless
the way in which they were looked upon. In another passage of this
description Thorgils saw two "women," which must mean the same. It is
stated that "they vanished in an instant" ("þær hurfu skjótt"), just like
the underground beings. In the description of the voyage of Björn
Einarsson Jorsalafarer (given in Björn Jónsson's Annals of Greenland) it
is related that when in 1385 the same Björn (together with three other
vessels) on his way to Iceland was driven out of his course to Greenland,
and had to stay there till 1387, he rescued on a skerry two "trolls," a
young brother and sister, who stayed with him the whole time [Grönl. hist.
Mind., iii. p. 438]. These, then, were Skrælings in the Eastern
Settlement; but the designation troll is here used as a matter of course,
although nothing troll-like is related of them.

    It may further be mentioned that in legendary tales and in many of the
    fanciful sagas we hear of trolls in Greenland, who may originally have
    been derived from the Skrælings, but who have acquired more of the
    troll- or giant-nature of fairy-tale. In the tale of the shipwreck of
    the Icelandic chief Björn Thorleifsson and his wife on the coast of
    Greenland,[62] the two were saved by a troll man and a hag who each
    took one of them in panniers on their shoulders and carried them to
    the homestead enclosure at Gardar. In the "Þáttr af Jökli Búasyni"
    Jökul is wrecked in the fjord "Öllum Lengri" on the east coast of
    Greenland, which was peopled by trolls and giants, and where a
    friendly troll woman helps him to slay King Skrámr, etc. [Grönl. hist.
    Mind., iii. p. 521]. It will be seen that here there is nothing left
    of the Skrælings' nature, but the usual Norse ideas of trolls and
    giants predominate.

    The most important records of Skrælings in Greenland in older times,
    in addition to the works named above and the Íslendingabók, are: the
    "Icelandic Annals," where they are mentioned in one year, 1379,
    besides the allusion to the voyage from Nordrsetur in 1267 (cf. vol.
    i. p. 308), Ivar Bárdsson's description of Greenland [Grönl. hist.
    Mind., iii. p. 259], and finally Gisle Oddsson's Annals, where they
    are called "the people of America" [Grönl. hist. Mind., iii. p. 459;
    G. Storm, 1890a, p. 355].

As the Norsemen, at all events during early days in Greenland, were to a
great extent dependent on keeping cattle, as they had been in Iceland,
they must have stayed a good deal at their homesteads within the fjords;
while the Eskimo, being engaged in fishing and sealing, kept to the outer
coast. And even if the latter, after the arrival of the Icelanders in the
country, had lived scattered along the southern part of the coast, there
may thus have been little contact between them and the Norsemen.

From the statements cited earlier (vol. i. pp. 308, f.) about the
Nordrsetur expeditions we may conclude that the Greenlanders came across
Skrælings in those northern districts. It is true that the expression
"Skrælingja vistir" has usually been interpreted as Skræling sites or
abandoned dwelling-places; but in this account a distinction is made
between "Skrælingja vistir" and "Skrælingja vistir fornligar." The latter
are old dwelling-places that have been abandoned, while the former must be
dwelling-places still in use. In the account of the voyage to the north,
about 1267, we read that at the farthest north there were found some old
Skræling dwelling-places ("vistir fornligar"), while farther south, on
some islands, were found some "Skrælingja vistir"--that is, inhabited
ones. In agreement with this it is also stated of the men who came from
the north in 1266 that

    "they saw no 'Skrælingja vistir' except in [i.e., farther north than
    in] Kroksfjardarheidr, and therefore it is thought that they [the
    Skrælings] must by that way have the shortest distance to travel
    wherever they come from. From this one can hear [adds Björn Jónsson]
    how carefully the Greenlanders took note of the Skrælings' places of
    abode at that time."

It is clear enough that this refers to dwelling-places in use and not to
old sites, for this is absolutely proved by the expression that "they have
the shortest distance to travel..."; and we thus see that the Skrælings
were found in and in the neighbourhood of Kroksfjord,[63] but on the other
hand not in the extreme north, where only old sites left by them were
found;[64] and from this the conclusion was drawn that they could not
come from the north, but by the route through Kroksfjord, wherever their
original home may have been. As they cannot well have come from inland,
nor from out at sea either, this statement may give one the impression of
something semi-supernatural. It is significant that the Skrælings
themselves are not spoken of here either; this may be due to the fact that
there was nothing remarkable in meeting with them; what, on the other
hand, was interesting was their distribution in the unknown regions
farther north.

It was remarked in an earlier chapter (vol. i. p. 297) that the runic
stone, found north of Upernivik, shows that Norsemen were there in the
month of April, perhaps about 1300, and possibly it may also point to
intercourse with the Eskimo. It was further mentioned (vol. i. p. 308)
that the finding in 1266 "out at sea" of pieces of driftwood shaped with
"small axes" (stone axes ?) and adzes (i.e., the Eskimo form of axe), and
with wedges of bone imbedded in them, shows that there were Eskimo on the
east coast of Greenland at that time. It is true that nothing is said as
to what part of the sea the driftwood was found in; but from the context
it must have been between the west coast of Greenland and Iceland; so that
in any case it was within the region of the East Greenland current, and it
cannot very well be supposed that these pieces of driftwood came from
anywhere but the east coast of Greenland, unless indeed they should have
come all the way from Bering Strait or Alaska. The way in which they are
spoken of shows that they were regarded as something out of the common,
which was not due to Norsemen.

[Sidenote: Allusions to Eskimo in European literature]

The brevity of Icelandic literature in all that concerns the Skrælings is
again striking when we compare it with the information about the Eskimo
that appears in the maps and literature of Europe in the fifteenth
century. Claudius Clavus in his description of the North (before the
middle of the fifteenth century) speaks of Pygmies ("Pigmei") in the
country to the north-east of Greenland; they were one cubit high, and had
boats of hide, both short and long (i.e., kayaks and women's boats), some
of which were hanging in the cathedral at Trondhjem (see further on this
subject under the mention of Claudius Clavus). He further speaks of "the
infidel Karelians," who "constantly descend upon Greenland in great
armies."[65] The name may be derived, as shown by Björnbo and Petersen,
from the Karelians to the north-east of Norway on older maps and have been
transferred to the west, and it may then perhaps also have been confused
with the name of Skræling.

[Illustration: Eskimo playing ball with a stuffed seal. Woodcut from
Greenland illustrating a fairy-tale, drawn and engraved by a native]

    Michel Beheim, who travelled in Norway in 1450, gives in his poem
    about the journey [Vangensten, 1908, p. 18] a mythical description of
    the Skrælings ("schrelinge"), who are only three "spans" high, but are
    nevertheless dangerous opponents both on sea and land. They live in
    caves which they dig out in the mountains, make ships of hides, eat
    raw meat and raw fish, and drink blood with it. This points to his
    having found in Norway ideas about the Skrælings as supernatural
    beings of a similar kind to those already mentioned.

    In a letter to Pope Nicholas V. (1447-1455) it is related [cf. G.
    Storm, 1899]: "And when one travels west [from Norway] towards the
    mountains of this country [Greenland], there dwell there Pygmies in
    the shape of little men, only a cubit high. When they see human beings
    they collect and hide themselves in the caves of the country like a
    swarm of ants. One cannot conquer them; for they do not wait until
    they are attacked. They live on raw meat and boiled fish." This
    resembles what is said about the Pygmies in Clavus, but as additional
    information is given here, it is probable that both Clavus and the
    author of this letter, and perhaps also Beheim, have derived their
    statements from older sources, perhaps of the fourteenth century,
    which either were Norwegian or had obtained information from Norway.
    The description of the Pygmies and how they fly on the approach of
    strangers points to knowledge of the Eskimo and their habits. The idea
    about caves is, perhaps, more likely to be connected with pixies and
    fairies, who lived in mounds and caves (cf. pp. 15, 76); but reports
    of the half-underground Eskimo houses may also have had something to
    do with it. It is possible that the common source may be the lost work
    of the English author Nicholas of Lynn, who travelled in Norway in the
    fourteenth century (cf. chapter xii. on Martin Behaim's globe).

    Archbishop Erik Walkendorf (in his description of Finmark of about
    1520) has a similar allusion to the Eskimo, which may well have the
    same origin. He transfers them to the north-north-west of Finmark,
    like the Pygmies on Claudius Clavus' map. He says: "Finmark has on its
    north-north-west a people of short and small stature, namely a cubit
    and a half, who are commonly called 'Skrælinger'; they are an
    unwarlike people, for fifteen of them do not dare to approach one
    Christian or Russian either for combat or parley. They live in
    underground houses, so that one can neither examine them nor capture
    them. They worship gods" [Walkendorf, 1902, p. 12].[66]

We thus see that while Icelandic literature, subsequent to Are Frode,
affords scarcely any information about the Greenland Skrælings themselves,
it is a Norwegian author, as early as the thirteenth century, who makes
the first statements about them and their culture; and a Danish author of
the fifteenth century, whose statements may originally have been derived
from Norway (like those in the letter to the Pope and in Walkendorf),
mentions no other inhabitants of Greenland but the Eskimo (Pygmies and
Karelians);[67] but they are still referred to as semi-mythical and
troll-like beings.

The explanation must doubtless be sought in a fundamental difference in
the point of view. To the Icelandic authors, brought up as they were in
saga-writing (and for the most part priests), the life and struggles of
their ancestors in Greenland were the only important thing, while
ethnographical interest in the primitive people of the country, the
heathen, troll-like Skrælings, was foreign to them. To this must be added
the reasons already pointed out (p. 81). In Norway, on the other hand,
kinship with the Icelandic Norsemen in Greenland was more distant, and
interest in the strange, outlandish Skrælings was correspondingly greater.
Here also different intellectual associations, and intercourse with a
variety of nationalities, caused on the whole a greater awakening of the
ethnographical sense.

[Sidenote: Silence of the "King's Mirror" about the Skrælings]

A remarkable exception is the "King's Mirror" (circa 1250), which makes no
mention of the Skrælings, although a good deal of space is devoted to
Greenland and the Greenlanders. But this, as it happens, throws light upon
the curious silence on the Skrælings in Icelandic literature. From the
"Historia Norwegiæ," which seems to have been written approximately at the
same time as or soon after the "King's Mirror" (perhaps between 1260 and
1264), it appears, as we have said, that the Greenland Skrælings were
known in Norway at that time; and in that case it is incredible that the
well-informed author of the "King's Mirror," who shows such intimate
knowledge of conditions in Greenland, should not have heard of them. If
he, nevertheless, does not allude to them, it appears that this must be
for a similar reason to that which caused them to be so little mentioned
in Icelandic literature. That the Skrælings should have been spoken of in
a missing portion of the "King's Mirror," which perhaps was never finished
by the author, is improbable, as the account of Greenland and its natural
conditions seems to be concluded.[68]

Concerning the "King's Mirror" as a whole one ought to be cautious in
drawing conclusions from its silence on various subjects; from its
mentioning whales in the Iceland sea and seals in Greenland but not in
Norway one might conclude that neither whale nor seal occurred in Norway;
and the same is the case with the aurora borealis, which is only mentioned
in Greenland.

[Sidenote: Summary of the allusions to Skrælings in Greenland]

If we attempt to sum up what we may conclude from the historical sources
as to the Eskimo or Skrælings of Greenland during the first centuries of
the Norse settlement there, something like the following is the result:
When Eric the Red arrived in Greenland he found everywhere along the west
coast traces left by the Skrælings, but whether and to what extent he met
with the people themselves we do not hear. The probability is that the
primitive people retired from those parts of the coast, the Eastern and
Western Settlements, where the warlike and violent Norsemen established
themselves; while they continued to live in the "wastes" to the north. The
Historia Norwegiæ (besides the accounts of the voyages to the north from
Nordrsetur in 1266 and 1267) shows that the Norsemen met with them there,
but at the same time speaks of immediate fighting. The mythical tale of
Thorgils Orrabeinsfostre (p. 81) also points in the latter direction, as
does the myth in Eric the Red's Saga of the Greenlanders in Markland
stealing Skræling children. We have further the stories in Claudius Clavus
and Olaus Magnus of hide-boats and Eskimo (Pygmies) that were captured at
sea. This points to the Norsemen of that early time having looked upon the
Skrælings as legitimate spoil, wherever they met them. Doubtless upon
occasion the latter may have offered resistance or taken revenge, as may
be shown by the statement in the Icelandic Annals of the "harrying" in
1379; but as a rule they certainly fled, as is their usual habit. I have
myself seen on the east coast of Greenland how the Eskimo take to their
heels and leave their dwellings on the unexpected appearance of strangers,
and this has been the common experience of other travellers in former and
recent times. It is not likely that the ancient Norsemen, when they came
upon a dwelling-place thus suddenly abandoned, had any hesitation about
appropriating whatever might be useful to them; unless indeed a
superstitious fear of these heathen "trolls" restrained them from doing
so. It is therefore natural that the Skrælings avoided that part of
Greenland where the Norsemen lived in large numbers. But where they came
in contact we may suppose that friendly relations sometimes arose between
Eskimo and European at that time, as has been the case since; nor can the
Norsemen of those days have been so inhuman as to make this impossible;
and gradually as time went by the relations between them probably became
altogether changed, as will be discussed in the next chapter, particularly
when imports from outside ceased and the Norsemen were reduced to living
wholly on the products of the country; they then had much to learn from
the Eskimo culture, which in these surroundings was superior.

In course of time the Eskimo of North Greenland grew in numbers, partly by
natural increase--which may have been constant there, where their catches
were assured for the greater part of the year, and they were free from
famine and ravaging diseases--and partly perhaps through a fresh gradual
immigration from the north. They therefore slowly spread farther to the
south, and gradually the whole of the southern west coast received a
denser Eskimo population, probably after the Norsemen of the Western and
Eastern Settlements had declined in prosperity and numbers, so that they
no longer appeared so formidable, and at the same time they undoubtedly
behaved in a more peaceful and friendly fashion, in proportion as their
communication with Europe fell off, and their imaginary superiority to the
Skrælings proved to be more and more illusory.

[Sidenote: The Skrælings of Wineland]

We have still to speak of the Skrælings whom the Greenlanders, according
to the sagas, are said to have met with in Wineland. G. Storm [1887]
maintained that they must have been Indians, which of course seems natural
if we suppose, with him, that the Greenlanders reached southern Nova
Scotia; but in recent years several authors have endeavoured to show that
they were nevertheless Eskimo.[69] From what has been made out above as to
the romantic character of these sagas it may seem a waste of time to
discuss a question like this, since we have nothing certain to go by;
especially when, as already mentioned, the name of Skræling may originally
have been used of the pixies who were thought to dwell in the Irish
fairyland, the land of the "síd," which was called Wineland. But even if
this origin of the name be correct, it does not prevent later encounters
with the natives of America (besides those of Greenland) having
contributed to make the Skrælings of Wineland more realistic, and given
them features belonging to actual experience.

    The description of them in these "romance-sagas" may thus be
    considered of value, in so far as it may represent the common
    impression of the natives of the western countries, with whom the
    Greenlanders may have had more intercourse than appears from these
    tales; but even so we cannot in any case draw any conclusions from it
    with regard to the distribution of Indians or Eskimo on the east coast
    of America at that period. If it could really be established, as it
    cannot, that the Wineland Skrælings of the saga were Eskimo, then this
    alone would lead to the conclusion that the Greenlanders on their
    voyages had not been so far south as Nova Scotia, but at the farthest
    had probably reached the north of Newfoundland. If the authors
    mentioned have thought themselves justified in concluding that the
    Greenlanders found Eskimo in Nova Scotia, because the natives of
    Wineland are called Skrælings and are consequently assumed to be the
    same people with the some culture as those in Greenland, they cannot
    have been fully alive to the difficulty involved in its being
    impossible for the Skrælings of Nova Scotia, with its entirely
    different natural conditions, to have had the same arctic whaling and
    sealing culture as the Skrælings of Greenland, even if they belonged
    to the same race. For we should then have to believe that they had
    reached Nova Scotia from the north with their culture, which was
    adapted for arctic conditions. They would have to have dislodged the
    tribes of Indians who inhabited these southern regions before their
    arrival, although they possessed a culture which under the local
    conditions was inferior, and were doubtless also inferior in warlike
    qualities. In addition, these Eskimo with their Eskimo culture in Nova
    Scotia must have completely disappeared again before the country was
    rediscovered 500 years later, when it was solely inhabited by Indian
    tribes. We are asked to accept these various improbabilities chiefly
    because the word "Skræling"--which, it most be remembered, was not
    originally an ethnographical name, but meant dwarf or pixy--is used of
    the people both in Wineland and Greenland, because the word
    "keiplabrot" is used by Are Frode (see vol. i. p. 260), and because in
    two passages of Eric the Red's Saga, written down about 300 years
    after the "events," the word "huðkeipr" is used of the Skrælings'
    boats in Wineland, while in four passages they are called "skip"
    (i.e., vessel), and in another merely "keipana." It appears to me that
    this is attributing to the ancient Icelanders an ethnographical
    interest which Icelandic literature proves to have been just what they
    lacked (see above, pp. 80, ff.). In any case there is no justification
    for regarding these tardily recorded traditions as ethnographical
    essays, every word of which has a scientific meaning; and for that
    they contain far too many obviously mythical features. It is not
    apparent that any of the authors mentioned has decided of what kind of
    hide the Skrælings in southern Nova Scotia, or even farther south
    ("where no snow fell"), should have made their hide-boats.

    Opportunities of supporting themselves by sealing cannot have existed
    on these Southern coasts. The species of seal which form the Eskimo's
    indispensable condition of life farther north are no longer found. The
    only species of seal which occurs frequently on the coast of Nova
    Scotia is, as Professor Robert Collett informs me, the grey seal
    (Halichœrus grypus), which is also found on the coast of Norway and is
    caught, amongst other places, on the Fro Islands. But this seal cannot
    have been present in sufficiently large numbers in southern Nova
    Scotia or farther south to fulfil the requirements of the ordinary
    Eskimo sealing culture. They must therefore have adopted hunting on
    land as their chief means of subsistence, like the Indians; but what
    then becomes of the similarity in culture between the Skrælings of
    Greenland and Wineland, which is just what should distinguish them
    from the Indians? The very foundation of the theory thus disappears.
    Professor Y. Nielsen [1905, pp. 32, f.] maintains that the Skrælings
    of Nova Scotia need only have had "transport boats" or "women's boats"
    of hides, and that "what is there related of them does not even
    contain a hint that they might have used kayaks." This makes the
    theory even more improbable. If these Skrælings were without kayaks,
    which are and must be the very first condition of Eskimo sealing
    culture on an open sea-coast, then they cannot have had seal-skins for
    women's boats or clothes or tents either. They must then have covered
    these boats with the hides of land animals; but what? True, it is
    known that certain Indian tribes used to cover their canoes with
    double buffalo hides, a fact which the authors mentioned cannot have
    remarked, since they regard hide-boats as decisive evidence of Eskimo
    culture; moreover, the Irish still cover their coracles with ox-hides;
    but neither buffaloes nor oxen were to be found in Nova Scotia; are
    we, then, to suppose that the natives used deer-skin? The whole line
    of argument than leads us from one improbability to another, as we
    might expect, seeing it is built up on so flimsy a foundation.

    The Greenlanders may well have called the Indians' birch-bark canoes
    "keipr" or "keipull" (a little boat); but it is still more probable
    that as the details of the tradition became gradually obliterated in
    course of time, the designation of the Skræling boat came to be that
    which was used for the only boats known in later times to be peculiar
    to the Skrælings, namely, the hide-boats of Greenland. In addition to
    this, hide-boats were also known from Ireland, while the making of
    boats of birch-bark was altogether strange to the Icelanders. Besides,
    if we are to attach so much importance to a single word, "huðkeipr,"
    which plays no part in the narrative, what are we to do with the
    Skrælings' catapults ("valslǫngur") and their black balls which made
    such a hideous noise that they put to flight Karlsevne and his
    men?--these are really important features of the description, to say
    nothing of the glamour. If these, like many other incidents of the
    saga, are taken from altogether different quarters of the world, it is
    scarcely unreasonable to suppose that a word like "huðkeipr" is
    borrowed from Greenland and from Irish legend.

    The names which according to the saga were communicated by the two
    Skræling children captured in Markland, and which are supposed to have
    lived in oral tradition for over 250 years, have no greater claim to
    serious consideration. Everything else that these children are said to
    have related is demonstrably incorrect; the tale of Hvítramanna-land
    is a myth from Ireland (cf. pp. 42, ff.); the statement attributed to
    them that in their country people lived in caves is improbable and
    obviously derived from elsewhere (cf. p. 19);[70] is it, then, likely
    that the names attributed to them should be any more genuine? W.
    Thalbitzer [1905, pp. 190, ff.] explains these names as misunderstood
    Eskimo sentences, and supposes them to mean: _Vætilldi_, "but do wait
    a moment"; _Vægi_, "wait a moment"; _Avalldamon_, "towards the
    uttermost"; _Avaldidida_, "the uttermost, do you mean?" As we are told
    that the two Skræling boys learned Icelandic, Thalbitzer must suppose
    the men to have misinterpreted these sentences as names during the
    homeward voyage from Markland to Greenland, and then he must make the
    Skrælings die shortly afterwards, before the misunderstanding could be
    explained. After that these meaningless names must have lived in
    practically unaltered form in oral tradition for several hundred
    years, until they were put into writing at the close of the thirteenth
    century. It appears to me that such explanations of the words as are
    attempted on p. 20 have a greater show of probability. In addition, as
    pointed out in the same place, the "bearded" Skræling and their
    "sinking into the earth" are mythical features which are associated
    with these Skrælings.

    While the points that have been mentioned are incapable of proving
    anything about Eskimo, there are other features in the saga's
    description of the Skrælings of Wineland which would rather lead us to
    think of the Indians: that they should attack so suddenly in large
    numbers without any cause being mentioned seems altogether unlike the
    Eskimo, but would apply better to warlike Indians. We are told that
    the Skrælings attacked with loud cries; this is usual in Indian
    warfare, but seems less like the Eskimo. During the fight with the
    Skrælings Thorbrand Snorrason was found dead with a "hellustein" in
    his head. Whether this means a flat stone or a stone axe (as Storm has
    translated it [1887, 1899]), it is in any case not a typical Eskimo
    weapon; while a stone axe used as a missile might be Indian. But, as
    stated above, there is too much romance and myth about the whole tale
    of the Wineland voyages to allow of any certain value being attached
    to such details. I have already (p. 23) maintained that the
    description of hostilities with the natives, in which the Greenlanders
    were worsted, cannot be derived from Greenland, but may be due to
    something actually experienced. In that case this, too, points rather
    to the Indians.[71]

    William Thalbitzer [1904, pp. 20, f.] has adduced, as a possible
    evidence of the more southerly extension of the Eskimo in former
    times, the fact that the name "Nipisiguit," of a little river in New
    Brunswick (46° 40' N. lat.), bears a strong resemblance to the Eskimo
    place-name "Nepisät" in Greenland, and he also mentions another
    place-name, "Tadoussak," which has a very Eskimo look. But in order to
    form any opinion we should have to know the language of the extinct
    Indian tribes of these parts, as well as the original forms of the
    names given. They are now only known from certain old maps; but we
    cannot tell how they got on to those maps.

[Sidenote: Ultimate fate of the Eskimo]

The Eskimo are one of the few races of hunters on the earth who with their
peculiar culture have still been able to hold their own fairly well in
spite of contact with European civilisation; the reason for this is partly
that they live so far out of the way that the contact has been more or
less cursory, partly also, as far as Greenland is concerned, that they
have been treated with more or less care, and it has been sought to
protect them against harmful European influences. In spite of this it has
not been possible to prevent their declining and becoming more and more
impoverished. The increase of their population in recent years might
doubtless give a contrary impression; but here other factors have to be
reckoned with. When the Eskimo first came in contact with European
culture, it was, as will be shown in the next chapter, their own culture
which in these surroundings gained the upper hand as soon as communication
with Europe was cut off. This would happen again if European and Eskimo
could be left to themselves, entirely cut off from the outer world. But as
this is impossible, the Eskimo culture is doomed to succumb slowly to our
trivial, all-conquering European civilisation.




[Sidenote: Decline of the Greenland settlements]

The Eastern and Western Settlements in Greenland seem, as we have said, to
have grown rapidly immediately after the discovery of the country and the
first settlement there. Their flourishing period was in the eleventh,
twelfth, and part of the thirteenth centuries; but in the fourteenth they
seem to have declined rapidly; notices of them become briefer and briefer,
until they cease altogether after 1410, and in the course of the following
hundred years the Norse population seems to have disappeared entirely. The
causes of this decline were many.[72] It has been thought that it was
chiefly due to an immigration into Greenland on a large scale of Eskimo,
who gradually overpowered and exterminated the Norsemen; but, as will be
shown later, there is no ground for believing this; even if hostile
encounters took place between them, these cannot have been of great

In the first place the decline must be attributed to changes in the
relations with Norway. From the "King's Mirror" (cf. vol. i. p. 277),
amongst other authorities, we see that the Greenlanders doubtless had to
manage to some extent without such European wares as flour and bread; they
lived mainly by sealing and fishing, and also by keeping cattle, which
gave them milk and cheese. But there were many necessary things, such as
iron for implements and weapons, and to some extent even wood[73] for
larger boats and ships, which had to be obtained from Europe, besides the
encouragement and support which were afforded in many ways by
communication with the outer world. This was not of small moment to people
who lived in isolation under such hard conditions, at the extreme limit at
which a European culture was possible; it wanted little to turn the scale.
It is therefore easy to understand that as soon as communication with the
mother country declined, the conditions of life in Greenland became so
unattractive that those who had the chance removed elsewhere, and
doubtless in most cases to Norway.

[Sidenote: Decline in reproduction]

But at the same time there was certainly a physiological factor involved.
For the healthy nourishment of a European cereals (hydro-carbons) are
necessary, and there can be no doubt that a prolonged exclusive diet of
meat and fat will in the case of most Europeans reduce the vital force,
and not least the powers of reproduction. This agrees with my own
experience and observation under various conditions, as, for instance,
during ten consecutive months' exclusive diet of meat and fat. It is also
confirmed by physiological experiments on omnivorous animals. The
Greenlanders were reduced to living by sealing, fishing, and keeping
cattle; milk, with its sugar of milk, was their chief substitute for the
hydro-carbons in cereals; besides this, they no doubt collected
crowberries, angelica and other vegetables; but even during the short
summer this cannot have been sufficient to counterbalance the want of
flour. It is therefore probable that their powers of reproduction
underwent a marked decrease, and they became a people of small fecundity.
The Eskimo have had thousands of years for adapting themselves through
natural selection to their monotonous flesh-diet, since those among them
who were best fitted for it had the better chance of producing offspring;
there is certainly a great difference between individuals in this respect;
some of us are by nature more vegetarian, while others are more
carnivorous. It is therefore natural that the present-day Eskimo should be
better suited for this diet; but it is none the less striking that the
rate of productiveness among them is also low.

As, then, the Greenlanders' communications with Norway fell off more and
more, their imports of corn and flour finally ceased altogether. Their
cattle-keeping must then have declined as well, since they would have
little opportunity of renewing their stock or getting other kinds of
supplies, when bad years intervened and the greater part of the stock had
to be slaughtered or died of hunger. Consequently the people became still
more dependent on sealing; and thereby the cattle must have been
neglected. In this way their diet would become even less varied, since
milk would be lacking, and their reproduction would be further restricted.
Add to this that their average proficiency in sealing, at first in any
case, was doubtless not to be compared with that of the Eskimo, and that
they were without salt for preserving their catch, which therefore had to
be dried or frozen. They were thus not able to lay up a large provision,
and were always more and more dependent on occasional catches. It is easy
to understand that their power of resistance was not great, when bad
seasons for sealing occurred, or when they were ravaged by disease, and it
is not surprising if the population decreased.

[Sidenote: Cessation of communication with Europe]

The cessation of the communication of Greenland with Iceland and Norway
came about in the following way: between 1247 and 1261, during the reign
of Håkon Håkonsson, Greenland voluntarily became subject to the Norwegian
crown, whilst before this it had been a free State like Iceland. In 1294,
trade with the tributary countries of Norway, Greenland among them, was
declared a sort of royal monopoly or privilege, which the king could farm
out to Norwegian subjects. The result of this was that only the king's
ships--and of these there was as a rule only one, called "Knarren," for
the Greenland traffic--were permitted to sail there for the purposes of
trade,[74] and this was the beginning of the end. Even before that time
communication with Greenland was rare. Thus we read in the "King's Mirror"
that people seldom went there. But now, when the royal trading ship was
practically the only one that made the voyage, things were to be much
worse. Frequently several years were occupied on one trip. As some time
elapsed also between each voyage, it will be understood that, at the best,
the communication was not lively. But when it occasionally happened that
"Knarren" was wrecked, things were still worse. That the communication may
have been defective as early as the beginning of the fourteenth century is
seen from a letter from Bishop Arne, of Bergen, to Bishop Tord in
Greenland, of June 22, 1308, wherein it is taken for granted that the
death of King Eric nine years before, in 1299, was not yet known in
Greenland. In the middle of the fourteenth century, for instance,
"Knarren" returned to Bergen in 1346 safe and sound and with a very great
quantity of goods; but perhaps did not sail again until 1355, and we hear
nothing of her return before 1363 (?). In 1366 we hear that "Knarren" was
again fitted out; but she was wrecked north of Bergen in the following
year, probably on the outward voyage. In the year following a new trading
ship must actually have arrived with the new bishop, Alf; but it is stated
that Greenland had then been without a bishop for nineteen years. In 1369
the Greenland ship seems again to have been sunk off Norway.[75]

It looks as if these voyages of "Knarren" became rarer and rarer, until at
the beginning of the fifteenth century (1410) they presumably ceased
altogether; in any case, we hear no more of them. Even though the
Greenland traffic may have paid, it cost money to fit out "Knarren," and
when there was so much doing in other quarters, it was not always easy to
procure the necessary funds. Another reason for the decline was the
growing influence and power of the Hanseatic League over trade and
navigation in Norway. Together with the Victualien Brethren and the
adherents of the captive King Albrekt of Sweden, the Leaguers took and
sacked Bergen in 1393. In 1428 the town was again taken by the Hanseatic
League. It may easily be understood that events of this kind had a
disturbing and perhaps entirely paralysing effect on the Greenland
traffic, which had its headquarters in this town. Moreover, Norway had
before this been much weakened by the Black Death, which visited the
country in 1349. It raged with special virulence in Bergen; but there is
no notice of the disease having spread to Greenland; perhaps that country
was spared through "Knarren" not having sailed there before 1355, and
probably no other ship having made the voyage in the interval. In 1392
there was again a severe pestilence throughout Norway, and many people
died. In that year too a great many ships were wrecked. There were thus a
number of misfortunes at that time, and the people of Norway had enough to
occupy them in their own affairs. Another circumstance unfavourable to the
communication with Greenland was the union of Norway with Denmark, and for
a time with Sweden. The seat of government was thereby removed to
Copenhagen, and interest in Norway, and especially in its so-called
tributary countries, was further greatly diminished by the larger claims
of Denmark and Sweden.

It is reasonable to suppose that under such conditions the settlements in
Greenland, which were almost entirely cut off, must have decayed;
comparatively few, perhaps, were able to get a passage, and left the
country by degrees; but the people declined in numbers; they adopted an
entirely Eskimo mode of living, and mixed with the Eskimo, who perhaps at
the same time spread southwards in greater numbers along the west coast of
Greenland. It was remarked in the last chapter that the Norsemen, when
they arrived in the country, evidently looked down upon the stone-age,
troll-like Skrælings, whom they could hunt and ill-use with impunity; with
their iron weapons, their warlike propensities, and their larger vessels,
they may perhaps have been able to maintain this imaginary superiority in
the early days, so long as they still had some kind of supplies from
abroad. But it is obvious that these relations must have been
fundamentally changed when this communication gradually ceased, and they
were reduced, without any support from Europe, to make the best of the
country's resources; then the real superiority of the Eskimo in these
surroundings asserted its full rights, and the Greenlanders had to begin
to look upon them in a very different light. It is therefore perfectly
natural that from this very fourteenth century a fundamental change in the
relations between Norsemen and Skrælings set in. And that such was the
case seems to result in many ways from the meagre information we possess.

[Sidenote: Gisle Oddsson's annals on the decline of the Greenlanders]

In the Annals of Bishop Gisle Oddsson, written in Iceland in Latin before
1637, we read under the year 1342 [G. Storm, 1890a, pp. 355, f.; Grönl.
hist. Mind., iii. p. 459]:

    "The inhabitants of Greenland voluntarily forsook the true faith and
    the religion of the Christians, and after having abandoned all good
    morals and true virtues turned to the people of America ('ad Americæ
    populos se converterunt'); some also think that Greenland lies very
    near to the western lands of the world. From this it came about that
    the Christians began to refrain from the voyage to Greenland."

It is not known from whence Gisle Oddsson took this statement. As the
expression "the people of America" ("Americæ populi") is a curious one,
and as the statements in the bishop's annals following that quoted above
are entirely myths and inventions taken from Lyschander's "Grönlands
Chronica" (but originally derived from Saxo and Adam of Bremen), Storm
regarded the whole account as spurious and lacking any mediæval authority.
Interpreting, curiously enough, "ad Americæ populos se converterunt" to
mean that the Greenlanders had emigrated to America, Storm supposes that
this may be a hypothesis "formed to explain the disappearance from
Greenland of the old Norwegian-Icelandic colony." But the meaning of the
passage can scarcely be interpreted otherwise than as translated above,
that the Greenlanders had forsaken Christianity, given up good morals and
virtues, and had been converted to the belief and customs of the American
people (i.e., the Skrælings). The people of America must be a strained
expression the bishop has used to denote the heathen Skrælings (who
inhabited Greenland and the American lands) in contradistinction to the
Christian Europeans. Greenland was frequently regarded in Iceland in those
times as a part of America (cf. the map, p. 7). Hans Egede, for example,
thought the natives of Greenland were "Americans." In other words, the
statement simply means that in 1342 a report came that the Greenlanders
were associating amicably with the heathen Skrælings (which was forbidden
by the ecclesiastical law of that time), and had begun to adopt their mode
of life; which, in fact, is extremely probable.

The question is, then, from whence Gisle Oddsson may have derived this,
which is not known from any other source. Storm thought it out of the
question that it was taken from Lyschander (from whom the same annals
have borrowed so much else); but we cannot be so sure of this. After
having related the volcanic eruption and disasters in Iceland in 1340
(also recorded by Gisle Oddsson), Lyschander continues:

  "Norway and Sweden and Greenland also
  They were hereafter well able to perceive
  That such things boded ill to them.
  These kingdoms they came into the hands of the Dane,
  And Greenland went astray on the strand,
  Not long after these times."

Whatever may be meant by this strained, obscure expression about Greenland
(is "strand" a misprint for "stand"--"went astray in its condition" ?), it
might at any rate be interpreted to mean that its inhabitants had been
converted (gone astray) to a heathen religion (the people of America);
"not long after these times" (i.e., after 1340) may thus have been made
into 1342. But the mention of a definite date--which, it may be remarked,
would suit very well for the time when the Greenlanders passed into Eskimo
in larger numbers, at any rate in the Western Settlement (cf. Ivar
Bárdsson's description, see below, p. 108)--may possibly indicate that
some ancient authority or other is really the foundation for the
statement, and perhaps also for the lines quoted from Lyschander. Finn
Magnussen [Grönl. hist. Mind., iii. p. 459] thinks that Gisle Oddsson may
have derived much information from the archives and library of Skálholdt
cathedral, which was burnt in 1630.

[Sidenote: Conversion of the Greenlanders into Eskimo]

Whether genuine or not, this statement may correctly describe the fate of
the Greenland settlements. Deserted by the mother country, and left to
their own resources, the Greenlanders were forced to adopt the Eskimo mode
of life, and became absorbed in them. This took place first in the more
northerly and more thinly populated Western Settlement, and later in the
Eastern Settlement as well. The Eskimo with their kayaks and their sealing
appliances were the superiors of the Greenlanders in sealing (as appears
from the account of Björn Jorsalafarer), and their mode of life was
better suited to the conditions of Greenland; it is therefore incredible
that their culture should not gain the upper hand in an encounter, under
conditions otherwise equal, with that of Europeans, even though there were
certain things that they might learn of the Europeans, especially the use
of iron.[76] Furthermore, the Greenlanders' stock of cattle, goats and
sheep had, as we have seen (p. 97), greatly declined owing to the long
severance from Europe, and for this reason also they were obliged to adopt
more of the Eskimo way of life. But then their places of residence within
the fjords, far from the sealing-grounds, were no longer advantageous, and
by degrees they entirely adopted the Eskimo's more migratory life along
the outer coast. Then, again, the Eskimo women were probably no less
attractive to the Northerners of that time than they are to those of the
present day, and thus much mixture of blood gradually resulted. The
children came to speak the Eskimo language, and took at once to a wholly
Eskimo way of life, just as at the present day the children of Danes and
Eskimo in Greenland do. As the Norsemen at that time must also have been
very inferior to the Eskimo in numbers, they must by degrees have become
Eskimo both physically and mentally; and when the country was rediscovered
in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries there were only Eskimo there,
while all traces of the Norwegian-Greenland culture seemed to have

[Illustration: Ruins of church at Kakortok in the Eastern Settlement
(after Th. Groth)]

Let us suppose that we could repeat the experiment and plant a number of
European sealers in Baffin Land, for instance, with their women, together
with a greater number of Eskimo, and then cut off all communication with
the civilised world. Can we have any doubt as to the kind of culture we
should find there if we could come back after two hundred years? All the
inhabitants would be Eskimo, and we should find few traces of European

[Illustration: Salmon-fishing in Vazdal by Ketils-fjord in the Eastern
Settlement (see map, vol. i. p. 265), where the "birch forest" is as high
as 20 ft. From a photograph by Dr. T. N. Krabbe (A. S. Jensen, 1910)]

[Sidenote: Norse traces among the Greenland Eskimo]

It would doubtless seem reasonable to expect that the descendants of the
ancient Norsemen of Greenland and of the Eskimo with whom they became
absorbed should have shown signs in their external appearance of this
descent, when discovered in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; but
unfortunately we have no descriptions of them from that time which allow
of any conclusions being drawn on the subject. It is true that Hans Egede
says [1741, p. 66] that the Eskimo of Greenland "have broad faces and
thick lips, are flat-nosed and of a brownish complexion; though some of
them are quite handsome and white"; but nothing definite can be concluded
from this, and in the period after Egede's arrival the natives on the west
coast became so mixed that it is now hopeless to look for any of the
original race. It is, however, remarkable that Graah found in 1829-1831
Eskimo on the east coast of Greenland, many of whom struck him as
resembling Scandinavians in appearance--a fact which he sought to explain
by European sailors having perhaps been wrecked there.

But if it is now difficult to prove in this way the partially Norse
descent of the natives on the southern west coast of Greenland, it is to
be expected that there should be many vestiges in their myths and
fairy-tales which would give evidence of this. And this is precisely what
we find. In an earlier work [1891, pp. 207, ff.; Engl. ed., pp. 248, ff.]
I think I have pointed out numerous features in their tales that bear a
resemblance to the Norse mythical world, and that must have been derived
from thence; and many more might be adduced. The similarities are
sufficiently numerous to bear witness to a quite intimate intellectual
contact, and are in full agreement with what we should expect. But it may
seem strange that their religious ideas did not show more Christian
influence, especially when we see that even so late as 1407 Christianity
was powerful enough in the Eastern Settlement for a man to be burnt for
having seduced another's wife by witchcraft. There are, however, many
features in their conceptions of another world, of which Egede speaks,
which appear to be necessarily of Christian origin; we must suppose, too,
that Christian education was at a very low ebb in Greenland at the close
of the fourteenth century, and soon ceased altogether.

[Sidenote: Norse words in the Eskimo language]

Only a few words in the language of the Greenland Eskimo on the southern
west coast have been shown to be of Norse origin. Hans Egede himself
pointed out the following: "kona" (== wife, Old Norse kona), "sava" or
"savak" (== sheep, O.N. sauðr, gen. sauða), "nisa" or "nisak" (==
porpoise, O.N. hnísa), "kuanek" (== angelica, O.N. hvǫnn, plur. hvannir).
Some of these words recur in Labrador Eskimo, but may have been introduced
by the Moravian missionaries from Greenland. We may also mention the name
the Eskimo of southern Greenland apply to themselves, "karālek" or
"kalālek," which may come from the word Skræling (which in Eskimo would
become "sakalālek"). This, as the Eskimo told Egede, was the name the
ancient Norsemen had called them by; otherwise the Eskimo call themselves
"inuit" (== human beings); and curiously enough "kalālek" is not used by
the Eskimo of northern Greenland; on the other hand, it is known to the
Labrador Eskimo, but may have been brought by the missionaries, although
the latter asserted that it was known when they came. It is perhaps of
more importance that, according to H. Rink, a similar word ("kallaluik,"
"katlalik" or "kallaaluch," for chief or shaman) occurs in the dialects of

[Sidenote: Complaints of apostasy in notices of Greenland]

Through all the notices of Greenland and its condition, especially those
from religious sources, there runs after the fourteenth century a cry of
apostasy, which is ominous of this mixture of the Norsemen with the
Skrælings: we see it in the doubtful statement from 1342 about their
conversion to "the people of America"; a little later, according to Ivar
Bárdsson's account (see p. 108), the heathen Skrælings were predominant in
the Western Settlement; furthermore, the trading ship was fitted out in
1355 to prevent the "falling away" of Christianity [Grönl. hist. Mind.,
iii. p. 122]; Björn Einarsson's account (see below, p. 112) concludes with
the statement that when he was there (1386) "the bishop of Gardar was
lately dead, and an old priest ... performed all the episcopal
ordinations" [Grönl. hist. Mind., iii. p. 438]; after that time no bishop
came to Greenland; and finally the papal letter of 1492-93 describes the
Greenlanders as a people abandoned by bishop and priest, for which reason
most of them had fallen from the Christian faith, although they still
preserved a memory of the Christian church service (see later).[77] This
may all point in the same direction: that the Norsemen in Greenland
became more and more absorbed by the Eskimo.

[Sidenote: War of extermination improbable]

Of course there may have been occasional hostile encounters between the
Eskimo and Norsemen in Greenland, especially as the latter, as pointed out
in the last chapter, must frequently have acted with a heavy hand when
they had the power. But that the Eskimo should have carried on a regular
war of extermination, which resulted in the complete destruction first of
the Western and then of the Eastern Settlement, as has been generally
assumed until quite recently--this is incredible to any one who knows the
Eskimo and considers what their conditions of life were. Where should they
have developed this warlike propensity which was afterwards foreign to
them, and where should they have had training in the art of war? This idea
of the destruction of the settlements by hostilities is the result mainly
of three statements about Greenland, of which one is very improbable and
on many points impossible, another deals possibly with an actual attack,
and the third is demonstrably false. We must here examine these notices a
little more closely.

[Sidenote: Ivar Bárdsson on the Western Settlement]

In 1341 Bishop Hákon of Bergen sent a priest, Ivar Bárdsson, to Greenland.
He was for a number of years steward of the bishop's residence at Gardar,
and is said also to have visited the Western Settlement. We do not know
for certain how long he was in Greenland, but in 1364 he again appears in
Norway [cf. G. Storm, 1887, p. 74]. There exists in Danish a description
of the fjords, more especially of the Eastern Settlement, which, according
to its own words, must to a great extent be derived from oral
communications of this Ivar (see below). These must originally have been
taken down by another Norwegian, in Norwegian, and were thence translated
into Danish [cf. F. Jónsson, 1899, p. 279]. There is thus a double
possibility that the third-hand version we possess may contain many errors
and misconceptions, of which, in fact, it bears evident marks. After
speaking of the fjords in the Eastern Settlement, it says of the Western
Settlement and of the journey thither:[78]

    "Item from the Eastern Settlement to the Western is a dozen
    sea-leagues and all is uninhabited, and there in the Western
    Settlement stands a great church which is called Stensness Church;
    this church was for a time a cathedral and the see of a bishop.[79]
    Now the Skrælings possess the whole Western Settlement; there are
    indeed horses, goats, cattle and sheep, all wild, and no people either
    Christian or heathen.

    "Item all this that is said above was told us by Iffuer bort [or
    Bardsen], a Greenlander, who was steward of the bishop's residence at
    Gardum in Greenland for many years, that he had seen all this and he
    was one of those who were chosen by the 'lagmand' to go to the Western
    Settlement against the Skrælings to expel the Skrælings from the
    Western Settlement, and when they came there they found no man, either
    Christian or heathen, but some wild cattle and sheep, and ate of the
    wild cattle, and took as much as the ships could carry and sailed with
    it home [i.e., to the Eastern Settlement], and the said Iffuer was
    among them.

    "Item there lies in the north, farther than the Western Settlement, a
    great mountain which is called 'Hemelrachs felld' [or 'Himinraðz
    fjall,' cf. vol. i. p. 302], and farther than to this mountain must no
    man sail, if he would preserve his life from the many whirlpools which
    there lie round the whole sea."

[Illustration: From an Icelandic MS. of the fourteenth century]

Strangely enough no author has expressed a doubt of the credibility of
this description, although as usually interpreted it contains an
impossibility, which must strike any one on a closer examination. It is
still commonly interpreted as though Ivar Bárdsson had found the whole
Western Settlement destroyed by Eskimo.[80] But if this was so, how could
he have found there wild cattle, sheep, horses and goats? The whole
Western Settlement must then have been destroyed the summer that he was
there; for the wild cattle could not possibly have supported themselves
through the winter in Greenland; evidently the author, who was
unacquainted with the conditions in Greenland, did not think of this.
Besides, can any one who knows the Eskimo imagine that they slaughtered
the men, but not the cattle? This represented food to them, and that is
what they would first have turned their attention to. It is not stated
which fjord of the Western Settlement it was that Ivar visited; but in any
case it is hardly to be supposed that it was all the fjords, which thus
would all have been destroyed at the same time. The conclusion that Ivar
found the whole Western Settlement laid waste is therefore in any case
unfounded; it can at the most have been one fjord, or perhaps only one
homestead (?). If there should really be some historical foundation for
the description of Ivar Bárdsson's voyage, then it may perhaps be
interpreted in an altogether different way. The people of the Western
Settlement, where the conditions for keeping cattle were far less
favourable than farther south in the Eastern Settlement, undoubtedly
became earlier absorbed among the Eskimo and went over to their mode of
living. This may also be what is alluded to in the perhaps approximately
contemporary statement of 1342, already quoted (p. 101), which says that
the Greenlanders "turned to the people of America." It is possible that it
was just this same state of things that was the cause of Ivar's being sent
to expel the Skrælings from the Western Settlement. When he arrived in the
summer at the fjord which he possibly visited, the people may therefore,
in Eskimo fashion, have been absent on sealing expeditions somewhere out
on the sea-coast and living in tents, while the cattle were turned out at
pasture round the homesteads.[81] This would explain how they came to be
found alive. The men of the Eastern Settlement then, with or against their
better conscience, stole and carried off the property of the half-Eskimo
men of the Western Settlement during their absence, and when the latter
returned they found their homesteads plundered, not by Eskimo but by
Greenlanders. But it is perhaps very questionable whether the whole
account of this voyage is particularly historical. The statement about the
whirlpools, for one thing, is mythical, pointing to an idea that this was
near the end of the earth, and in the description immediately following
like and unlike are mixed together in a way that is calculated to arouse
doubt. We read thus:

    "Item in Greenland there are silver-mines [which are not found there],
    white bears having red spots on the head [sic!].... Item in Greenland
    great tempests never come. Item snow falls much in Greenland, it is
    not so cold there as in Iceland and Norway, there grows on high
    mountains and down below fruit as large as some apples and good to
    eat, the best wheat that can be grows there."[82]

As will be seen, one absurdity succeeds another. It may be objected that
as it is not stated that this last paragraph is due to Ivar the
Greenlander, it may have been added later; but it contains an admixture of
statements that must come from Greenland--e.g., about the white bears,
whales' tusks (i.e., of walrus or narwhale), walrus hides, soapstone
(steatite), of which they make pots, and large vessels; it is also stated
that "there are many reindeer," and it seems probable that it is all
derived from the same untrustworthy source.

To what has here been said some will object that, even if this description
ascribed to Ivar Bárdsson bears evident marks of being inexact, it shows
at any rate that in Norway, when it was taken down, the view prevailed
that the Western Settlement had been destroyed by an attack of the
Skrælings. But nothing of the kind is really stated in the account (cf.
above, p. 108, note 3); and the possibly contemporary statement (of 1342
?) which has already been given (p. 100) shows that in Iceland, at any
rate in the seventeenth century, the contrary view prevailed, unless
indeed we are to explain this statement as having arisen through a
misunderstanding of Lyschander.

[Sidenote: Eskimo attack in 1379]

Under the year 1379 the so-called "Gottskalks Annáll" (of the second half
of the sixteenth century) has a statement which cannot be regarded as
certain, as it is not found in the other Icelandic annals, but which may
have been taken from older sources. It reads [G. Storm's edition of
Islandske Annaler, 1888, p. 364]:

    "The Skrælings harried the Greenlanders and killed of them eighteen
    men and took two boys and made slaves of them."

[Sidenote: Björn Jorsalafarer's account, 1385-87]

It is possible that this may have some historical foundation, and in that
case it doubtless refers to some collision or attack, perhaps at sea, in
which the Eskimo were superior and the Greenlanders were defeated, which
latter circumstance is the reason of our hearing something about it; in
the contrary case it would not have been reported. That the Eskimo took
two boys is conceivable if they were quite young, so that they could be
trained for sealing; they would thus provide an increase of the capital of
the community. It is not unlikely that rumours of some such collisions as
this may have contributed to form the ideas prevalent in Norway as to the
formidable character of the Skrælings,[83] while at the same time there
existed ideas of their flying from Europeans, which appear in the reports
of the Pygmies (cf. the letter to the Pope, about 1450, and Walkendorf,
above, p. 86). Whether the encounter referred to took place in the Western
or in the Eastern Settlement (or perhaps in Nordrsetur ?) we do not know.
If we are to place any reliance on Ivar Bárdsson's description, we must
suppose that the Western Settlement and its fate were little known at that
time. But that friendly relations between the Greenlanders and the Eskimo
may have prevailed also in the Eastern Settlement later than this seems to
result from the account of the widely travelled Icelander Björn Einarsson
Jorsalafarer's stay in Greenland from 1385 to 1387. On a voyage to Iceland
in 1385 he was in distress, and was driven out of his course to the
Eastern Settlement with four ships, which all arrived safe and well in
Iceland in 1387.[84] It seems that there was a difficulty in feeding all
these crews, but Björn is said to have had the district of Eric's fjord
handed over to him while he was there (?), and received as a contribution
130 fore-quarters of sheep (?). There is also related a fable that on his
coming there and going down to the sea to look for seals he happened to
witness a combat between a polar bear and a walrus, "who always fight when
they meet,[85] and he afterwards killed them both."

    "Then Björn the franklin found maintenance for his people through one
    of the largest rorquals being driven ashore, with a marked harpoon
    belonging to Olaf of Isafjord in Iceland, and finally it was also of
    importance that he came to the assistance of two trolls [i.e.,
    Eskimo], a young brother and sister, on a tidal skerry [i.e., one that
    was under water at high tide]. They swore fidelity to him, and from
    that time he never was short of food; for they were skilled in all
    kinds of hunting, whatever he wished or needed. What the troll girl
    liked best was when Solveig, the mistress of the house, allowed her to
    carry and play with her boy who had lately been born. She also wanted
    to have a linen hood like the mistress, but made it for herself of
    whale's guts. They killed themselves, and threw themselves into the
    sea from the cliffs after the ships, when they were not allowed to
    sail with the franklin Björn, their beloved master, to Iceland."

The description of Björn Einarsson's voyage is full of extravagances and
anything but trustworthy; but his stay in Greenland with the four ships is
certainly historical; and the description of the two young Eskimo has many
features so typical of the Eskimo--such as the girl's fondness for
children, her making a hood of whale's guts, and their superior skill in
sealing--that they show without doubt that at that time there was
intercourse with the Eskimo in the Eastern Settlement.

From an existing royal document of 1389 it appears that, when Björn and
his companions came from Iceland to Bergen in 1388, they were prosecuted
for illegal trading with Greenland, which was a royal monopoly; but they
were acquitted, since they had been driven there in great distress and
were obliged to trade in order to obtain food [Grönl. hist. Mind., iii.
pp. 139, f.].

[Sidenote: Papal letter of 1448 on an Eskimo attack]

A document to which much weight has been attached is a papal letter which
has been preserved, from Nicholas V. in 1448 to the two bishops of
Iceland. It is there said of Greenland, amongst other things [Grönl. hist.
Mind., iii. p. 170]:

    "From the neighbouring coasts of the heathens the barbarians came
    thirty years ago with a fleet, attacked the people living there [in
    Greenland] with a cruel assault, and so destroyed the land of their
    fathers and the sacred edifices with fire and sword that only nine
    parish churches were left in the whole island [Greenland], and these
    are said to be the most remote, which they could not reach on account
    of the steep mountains. They carried the miserable inhabitants of both
    sexes as prisoners to their own country, especially those whom they
    regarded as strong and capable of bearing constant burdens of slavery,
    as was fitting for their tyranny. But since, as the same complaint
    adds,[86] in the course of time most of them have returned from the
    said imprisonment to their own homes, and have here and there repaired
    the ruins of their dwellings, they long to establish and extend divine
    service again, as far as possible...." Then follows a lengthy
    discourse on their religious needs, and what might be done to relieve
    them, without costing the rich Papacy anything.

As the barbarians here must undoubtedly mean the Eskimo, it has been
regarded as a historical fact that the latter about 1418 made a
devastating attack on the Eastern Settlement, and this document has thus
lent weighty support to the general opinion that the Greenland settlements
perished as the result of an Eskimo war of extermination. But the letter
itself shows such obvious ignorance of conditions in Greenland, especially
with regard to the Eskimo, that there must be some doubt about the
complaint on which it is based. To begin with, it is in itself unlikely
that the peaceful and unwarlike Eskimo, who can have had no practice in
warfare, since they had previously had no one to fight with, except
walruses and bears, should have come with a "fleet" and made an organised
attack in large masses, and destroyed people and houses and churches in
the Eastern Settlement. Even if they might have been provoked to
resistance or even revenge by ill-usage on the part of the Greenlanders,
or perhaps have coveted their iron implements, it is an impossibility that
they should have organised themselves for a campaign. But it is added that
they carried off the inhabitants of both sexes to use them as slaves; for
what work?--in sealing they were themselves superior, in preparing skins
and food their women were superior; and other work they had none. To a
Greenland Eskimo it would be an utterly absurd idea to feed unnecessary
slaves, and it betrays itself as of wholly European origin. The statement
that after the incursion only nine parish churches were left also betrays
ignorance; as pointed out by Storm, there were never more than twelve,
even in the flourishing period of the Settlement, and by about 1418 there
were certainly not nine in all. Furthermore, the letter is not addressed
to the two bishops really officiating in Iceland, but to the two
impostors, the German Marcellus and his confederate Mathæus, who by means
of false representations had induced Pope Nicholas V. to consecrate them
bishops of Iceland [cf. G. Storm, 1892, p. 399]. The probability is that
the two impostors themselves composed the complaint from Greenland which
was the cause of the papal letter, and which thus did not reach the Pope
until thirty years after the alleged incursion; their object must have
been to obtain further advantages. The papal document of 1448 must
therefore be entirely discarded as historical evidence so far as its
statements about Greenland are concerned.

[Sidenote: Eskimo legends of fighting with Norsemen]

Consequently the only possibly historical statement left to us, to prove
that the Eskimo took the offensive, is that of their "harrying" in 1379;
but from this we can doubtless only conclude that at the most there was a
collision between Eskimo and Greenlanders. It has also been adduced that
the Eskimo of Greenland have a few legends of fighting with the ancient
Norsemen, and one which tells how the last of the Norsemen was slain. It
must, however, be remembered that these legends were taken down in the
last century, when the Eskimo had again been in contact with Europeans for
several hundred years, and when Norwegians and Danes had been living in
the country for over a hundred years. Some of the legends certainly refer
to recent collisions with Europeans, and it is not easy to say what value
can be attached to the others as evidence of an extermination of the last
Norsemen. It is also to be remarked that the Norsemen, or Long-Beards, are
not spoken of with ill-will in these legends, but rather with sympathy,
which is difficult to understand if there had been such hatred as would
account for a war of extermination. Add to this that the particular
encounter which led to the last Long-Beard being pursued and slain arose,
according to the tale, quite accidentally, which is difficult to imagine
if it was the conclusion of a lengthy war of extermination, in which
homestead after homestead and district after district had been harried and
laid waste. The legends of the Eskimo cannot therefore be cited as
evidence of the probability of any such war.

[Sidenote: Unwarlike disposition of the Eskimo]

It has been said that even if such warlike proceedings would be entirely
incompatible with the present nature, disposition and way of thinking of
the Greenland Eskimo, it may formerly have been otherwise. But in any
case no long time can have elapsed between the alleged final overthrow of
the Eastern Settlement, perhaps about 1500, and the rediscovery of
Greenland in the sixteenth century. It is not likely that the Eskimo
should have so completely changed their nature in the few intervening
years; those whom the discoverers then found seem, from the accounts, to
have strikingly resembled those we find later. And if one reads Hans
Egede's description of the Eskimo among whom he lived and worked, it
appears absolutely impossible that the same people two hundred years
earlier should have waged a cruel war of extermination against the last of
the Norsemen.

There is, it is true, a possibility, as Dr. Björnbo has pointed out to me,
that the mixture of race which gradually took place between Eskimo and
Norsemen may for a time have produced a mixed type, which possessed a more
quarrelsome disposition than the pure Eskimo, and may have inherited the
not very peaceful habits of the Norsemen, and that in this way, for
instance, a possible attack in 1379 may be explained. But this can only
have been the case at the beginning of the period of intermixture, and the
type must have changed again in proportion as the Eskimo element in race
and culture became preponderant.[87]

[Sidenote: No tradition of a war of extermination can be proved]

The allusion to the Pygmies of Greenland in the letter to Nicholas V.,
quoted above (p. 86), gives us the Eskimo as we are accustomed to see
them; and the description of these small men, a cubit high, who fly in a
body at the sight of strangers, gives a surer and truer picture of the
Skrælings than when they are represented as warlike and dangerous
barbarians. The statements about the Pygmies in Claudius Clavus also
enable us to see how the Norsemen sometimes treated the Eskimo, when they
caught them

    "at sea in a hide-boat, which now hangs in the cathedral at Trondhjem;
    there is also a long boat of hides [i.e., a women's boat] which was
    also once taken with such Pygmies in it."

But that these little Pygmies, a cubit high, were regarded as formidable
warriors, engaged in exterminating the Norsemen, is difficult to
believe,[88] even though Michel Beheim attributes warlike qualities to
them (cf. p. 85). Walkendorf, who had so carefully collected all
traditions about Greenland, describes (circa 1520) the Skrælings as an
"unwarlike" and harmless people (see above, p. 86). It is impossible to
reconcile this with a tradition of a war of extermination.

There are therefore good grounds for supposing that Arne Magnussen was
approximately correct when he said in 1691 [Grönl. hist. Mind., iii. p.

    "It is probable that owing to the daily increase of the ice and its
    drifting down from the Pole, it thus befell Greenland, and the
    Christian inhabitants either died of hunger or were constrained to
    practise the same Vitæ genus as the savages, and thus degenerated into
    their nature."

[Sidenote: Last known voyage to the Eastern Settlement]

In the year 1406 the Icelanders Thorstein Helmingsson, Snorre Thorvason
and Thorgrim Solvason, in one ship, were driven out of their course to
Greenland. "They sailed out from Norway, and were making for Iceland. They
stayed there [in Greenland] four winters" [cf. Islandske Annaler, ed.
Storm, 1888, p. 288]. While they were there, in the following year [1407]

    "a man named Kolgrim was burnt in Greenland for that he lay with
    Thorgrim Solvason's wife, who was the daughter of a 'lagmand' of high
    standing in Iceland. This man got her consent by black art; he was
    therefore burnt according to sentence; nor was the woman ever after
    in her right mind, and died a little later."

In 1408 one of the Icelanders married in Greenland, which is of interest
from the fact that several documents bearing witness to the marriage are
extant. In 1410 "Thorstein Helmingsson and Thorgrim Solvason and Snorre
Thorvason and the rest of their crew sailed to Norway." Whether this was
in their own ship we do not know; but as they sailed to Norway and not to
Iceland it is doubtless most probable that their ship was destroyed and
that they had to wait these four years for a passage to Norway. In
1411[89] a small vessel was wrecked on the coast of Iceland; on board her
came Snorre Thorvason from Norway. His wife, Gudrun, had during his
absence married another man in 1410. She "now rode to meet him. He
received her kindly." "Snorre took his wife to him again, but they only
lived a little while together before he died, and she then married Gisle
[the other man] again."

This is the last certain information we have of any voyage to the ancient
settlements of Greenland. After that time all notices cease. As Holberg
says [Danm. Hist., i. 531], after the time of Queen Margaret the
succeeding kings had so much to do that they had no time to think of old

[Sidenote: Trade with Norway's tributary countries]

In 1431 King Eric of Pomerania complained to the English king, Henry VI.,
of the illegal trading which the English had carried on for the previous
twenty years (that is, since 1411) with "Norway's Lands and Islands":
Iceland, Greenland, the Faroes, Shetland, the Orkneys, Helgeland and
Finmark; and of the acts of violence and piratical incursions, with fire
and rapine, that they had committed in this period, by which they had
carried off many ships laden with fish and other goods, and many people
had perished.[91] As early as 1413 King Eric's ambassador to the English
king, Henry V., had made a strong protest against all foreign and
unprivileged trade with these countries. On Christmas Eve, 1432, a treaty
was signed between the two kings, whereby Henry VI. engaged himself to
make good all the damage the English had caused to King Eric's subjects in
the said countries, and all the people who during those twenty years had
been violently carried off were, by the direction of the English king,
wherever they might be found in his dominions, to receive payment for
their services and to return freely to their native places. Further, the
old prohibition of trading with the Norwegian tributary lands was renewed.
The same prohibition was renewed and enforced on the English side by Henry
VI. in 1444, and by a new treaty between him and Christiern I., concluded
at Copenhagen, July 17, 1449; but this was only to remain in force till
Michaelmas 1451. After that time the English merchants, some of whom no
doubt were Norwegians established at Bristol, seem to have seized upon
nearly the whole of the trade with Iceland, and often conducted themselves
with violence there. But in 1490 this trade was made free on certain

These negotiations give us an insight into the state of things in Northern
waters at that time. At the same time there were difficulties with the
Hanseatic League, which tried to seize upon all trade.

Among these so-called Norwegian tributary countries was Greenland, which
is mentioned with the others in the complaint of 1431; but whether this
means that the English extended their trading voyages, which frequently
became piratical expeditions, so far, we do not know; in any case it is
not impossible, although of course the voyage to Iceland with its rich
fisheries was much more important. We know that this was carried on from
Bristol in particular, where, as has been said, many Norwegians were

[Sidenote: Possibility of voyages to Greenland in the 15th century (?)]

The statements about Greenland contained in the papal letter of 1448 were,
as we have seen, false. Perhaps not very much more weight is to be
attached to the story, in Peyrere's "Relation du Groënland" (Paris, 1647),
of Oluf Worm of Copenhagen having found in an old Danish MS. a statement
that about 1484 there were more than forty experienced men living at
Bergen, who were in the habit of sailing to Greenland every year and
bringing home valuable goods; but as they would not sell their wares to
the Hanse merchants, the latter revenged themselves by inviting them to a
supper and killing them all at night. This then was said to be the end of
the Greenland voyage, which had to cease thenceforward, because no one
knew the course any more [cf. Grönl hist. Mind., iii. pp. 471, f.]. The
story as given here is in many respects improbable; but even if the forty
or more men and the annual voyage are exaggerations, there are other
indications that about that time there may have been some sort of
communication with Greenland or the countries to the west of it, as will
be mentioned later. The royal monopoly of the Iceland trade was no longer
in force, and the same may have applied to Greenland. It is then
conceivable that merchants may have gone there; and if their trading
prospered they had every reason to keep it as secret as possible, lest
others should interfere with their livelihood. This would explain why such
voyages are not mentioned by historical authorities. Just then, too, was
an uneasy time, with a sort of war of privateers between England and
Denmark-Norway, which was not concluded until the provisional peace of
1490; there were thus many pirates and privateers in Northern waters, who
may well have extended their activity upon occasion to the remote and
unprotected Greenland, where they could plunder with even greater
impunity than in Iceland, and perhaps they increased the ruin of the
settlements there.

[Sidenote: Papal letter on Greenland, 1492]

Of great interest is a letter from Pope Alexander VI.[92] of the first
year of his papacy, 1492-1493, which was written in consequence of a
Benedictine monk named Mathias having applied to the Pope to be appointed
bishop of Greenland, and declared himself willing to go there personally
as a missionary to convert the apostates. The letter runs:

    "As we are informed, the church at Gade [i.e., Gardar] lies at the
    world's end in the land of Greenland, where the people, for want of
    bread, wine and oil, live on dried fish and milk; and therefore, as
    well as by reason of the extreme rarity of the voyages that have taken
    place to the said land, for which the severe freezing of the waters is
    alleged as the cause, it is believed that for eighty years no ship has
    landed there; and if such voyages should take place, it is thought
    that in any case it could only be in the month of August, when the
    same ice is dissolved; and for this reason it is said that for eighty
    years or thereabouts no bishop or priest has resided at that church.
    Therefore, and because there are no Catholic priests, it has befallen
    that most of the parishioners, who formerly were Catholics, have (oh,
    how sorrowful!) renounced the holy sacrament of baptism received from
    them; and that the inhabitants of that land have nothing else to
    remind them of the Christian religion than a corporale [altar-cloth]
    which is exhibited once a year, and whereon the body of Christ was
    consecrated a hundred years ago by the last priest who was there." For
    this reason, "to provide them with a fitting shepherd," Pope
    Alexander's predecessor, Innocent VIII., had appointed the Benedictine
    monk Mathias bishop of Gade [Gardar], and he "with much godly zeal
    made ready to bring the minds of the infidels and apostates back to
    the way of eternal salvation and to root out such errors," etc. Then
    follow exhortations to the Curia, the chancellors, and all the
    religious scriveners under pain of excommunication to let the said
    Mathias, on account of his poverty, escape all expenses and
    perquisites connected with the appointment and correspondence, etc.

The statements in the letter agree remarkably well with what we gather
from other historical sources. In 1410--that is, eighty-two years before
the date of the letter--the last ship of which we have any notice arrived
in Norway from Greenland (see above, p. 118). This agrees with the
statement in the letter that no ship had been there for eighty years. In
1377 the last officiating bishop of Gardar died, and six years later the
news reached Norway, that is, 109 years before the date of the letter.
This agrees with what is said about the altar-cloth being used a hundred
years before by the last priest ("ultimo sacerdote," perhaps meaning here
bishop ?) at the administration of the sacrament. The assertion that it
was not until August that Greenland became free of ice and that voyages
could be made thither also shows a certain local knowledge; for it was not
till late in the summer, usually August, that "Knarren" was accustomed to
sail from Bergen to Greenland.

[Illustration: A portion of Gourmont's map of 1548, with the north-west
coast of Iceland and the rocky island of Hvitserk]

Whether news had recently arrived from Greenland at the time the letter
was written does not appear from the words of the letter, and cannot, in
my opinion, be inferred therefrom, though Storm [1892, p. 401] thought it
could. The only thing which might point to this is the story of the
altar-cloth being exhibited once a year; but this, of course, may be a
tradition which goes back to the last ship, eighty years before.

[Sidenote: Pining's possible voyages to Greenland]

Meanwhile we meet with obscure information in other quarters about a
possible communication with Greenland at that time. In a map of Iceland,
printed in Paris in 1548 by Hieronymus Gourmont,[93] a rocky island is
marked to the north-west of Iceland, with a compass-card and a Latin
inscription. This, as A. A. Björnbo has pointed out,[94] is of interest;
it reads in translation:

    "The lofty mountain called Witsarc, on the summit of which a sea-mark
    was set up by the two pirates (piratis), Pinnigt and Pothorst, to warn
    seamen against Greenland."

[Illustration: The rock Hvitserk, and a fight with a Greenland Pygmy
(Olaus Magnus, 1557)]

The map is a modified copy of Olaus Magnus's well-known large chart of
1539, on which the island with the compass-card is found, but not the

It is possibly a fuller version or adaptation of the substance of this
inscription, or of the source from which it is taken, that is met with
again in Olaus Magnus's work on the Northern peoples, of 1555, where he
says of "the lofty mountain 'Huitsark,' which lies in the middle of the
sea between Iceland and Greenland":

    "Upon it lived about the year of Our Lord 1494 two notorious pirates
    (piratæ), Pining and Pothorst, with their accomplices, as though in
    defiance and contempt of all kingdoms and their forces, since, by the
    strict orders of the Northern kings, they had been excluded from all
    human society and declared outlaws for their exceedingly violent
    robberies and many cruel deeds against all sailors they could lay
    hands on, whether near or far."... "Upon the top of this very high
    rock the said Pining and Pothorst have constructed a compass out of a
    considerable circular space, with rings and lines formed of lead;
    thereby it was made more convenient for them, when they were bent on
    piracy, as they thus were informed in what direction they ought to put
    to sea to seek considerable plunder."

It may be the expression "piratæ," which might be used both of an ordinary
pirate and of a privateer or freebooter, which misled Olaus Magnus into
constructing this wonderful story. The mere fact that, both in his map of
1539 and in his work of 1555, he makes Hvitserk, which of course was in
Greenland, into a rocky island out at sea between Greenland and Iceland,
where no island is to be found, is enough to shake one's belief in the
trustworthiness of this strange report. His incomprehensible story of the
compass constructed there does not make things any better. G. Storm [1886,
p. 395] thought it might have come about in this way: that Olaus Magnus,
who was no great sailor or geographer, read on a chart a note about
Pining's voyage to Greenland, and saw in its proximity the name Hvitserk
and a compass-card in the middle of the sea; and then, without
understanding its real meaning, he made it an island and gave it his own
explanation. Björnbo and Petersen [1909, pp. 250, 251] have, it is true,
pointed out that something of the same sort is told of the North Cape by
Sivert Grubbe, who accompanied Christian IV. on his voyage to Finmark, and
who writes in his journal (in Latin) on May 12, 1599: "We sailed past the
North Cape. On the top of this mountain is a compass cut into the rock."
But as they "sailed past," Grubbe cannot have been up and seen this
compass; it may therefore be supposed that a similar error is at the base
of this improbable statement; it is difficult to see what value for
mariners such a compass could have. But notwithstanding Olaus Magnus's
fantastic story, Pining and Pothorst may really have been in Greenland.
The former must be the Norwegian nobleman Didrik Pining, who together with
Pothorst ("Pytchehorsius") is said to have distinguished himself during
the later years of Christiern I., "not less as capable seamen than as
matchless freebooters" (piratæ). He was much employed by Christiern I. and
King Hans against the English and sometimes against the Hanseatic League,
and is mentioned by several historical authorities.[95] He seems also to
have extended his activity upon occasion to the Spaniards, Portuguese and
Dutch, for about 1484 he captured, off the English coast or off Brittany
and in the Spanish Sea, three Spanish or Portuguese ships, and brought
them to the king at Copenhagen. In a treaty which was concluded in 1490
between King Hans and the Dutch it is expressly stipulated that Didrik
Pinning and a certain Busch were to be excluded from the peace. Didrik
Pining is spoken of as lord over Iceland, or perhaps over the eastern and
southern part, in 1478; but on the death of Christiern I. in 1481, another
was appointed as "hirdstjore" (or stadtholder), and it is stated in the
letter of appointment, issued by the council at Bergen in 1481, that
Pining had "gone out of Iceland"; but a few years later he is again
mentioned as hirdstjore there. When in 1487 King Hans took possession of
Gotland, Pining accompanied him thither, doubtless as commander of the
Danish-Norwegian squadron; he is called "Skipper Pining," which
corresponds to commodore or admiral in our time (cf. Christiern I.'s
"Skipper Clemens"). In July 1489 Didrik Pining was among the Norwegian
noblemen who paid homage at Copenhagen to the king's son, Christiern
(II.) as heir to the kingdom of Norway; and in August and September 1490
he took part in the settlement of a suit concerning a large inheritance at
Bergen; but in two Icelandic laws or edicts of that time, 1489 and 1490,
the so-called "Pining's Laws," he is described as "'hirdstjore' over the
whole of Iceland," and a later chronicler speaks of him as one of the most
famous men in Iceland, and he says that "he was in many ways a serviceable
man and put many things right that were wrong." It must be the same Didrik
Pining who was appointed in 1490 governor of Vardöhus, and it may be
supposed that he was commander-in-chief on sea and land in northern

We hear of Pining, and his associate Pothorst, in an old (Icelandic ?)
report which, together with Ivar Bárdsson's description of Greenland, was
found in an old book of accounts in the Faroes, and which in an English
translation was included in "Purchas his Pilgrimes" (London, 1625, vol.
iii.), where we read:

    "Item, Punnus [corruption of Pinning] and Potharse, have inhabited
    Island certayne yeeres, and sometimes have gone to Sea, and have had
    their trade in Groneland. Also Punnus did give the Islanders their
    Lawes, and caused them to bee written. Which Lawes doe continue to
    this day in Island, and are called by name Punnus Lawes."

[Sidenote: A new document on Pining]

As this last statement agrees with the two "Pining's Laws" mentioned
above, there may also be some truth in the voyages to Greenland. An
unexpected confirmation of this recently came to light in the discovery of
a document by Louis Bobé [1909] at Copenhagen; it is a letter, dated March
3, 1551, from Burgomaster Carsten Grip, of Kiel, to King Christiern III.
Grip was, as we are told in the letter, the king's commissioner for the
purchase of books, paintings, and the like. He tells the king that he has
not found any valuable books or suitable pictures, but sends him two maps
of the world,

    "from which your majesty may see that your majesty's land of
    Greenland extends on both maps towards the new world and the islands
    which the Portuguese and Spaniards have discovered, so that these
    countries may be reached overland from Greenland. Likewise that they
    may be reached overland from Lampeland [i.e., Lapland], from the
    castle of Vardöhus, etc.[96] This year there is also published at
    Paris in France a map of your majesty's land of Iceland and of the
    wonders there to be seen and heard of; it is there remarked that
    Iceland is twice as large as Sicily, and that the two skippers
    ['sceppere,' i.e., commodores or admirals] Pyningk and Poidthorsth,
    who were sent out by your majesty's royal grandfather, King Christiern
    the First, at the request of his majesty of Portugal, with certain
    ships to explore new countries and islands in the north, have raised
    on the rock Wydthszerck [Hvitserk], lying off Greenland and towards
    Sniefeldsiekel in Iceland on the sea, a great sea-mark on account of
    the Greenland pirates, who with many small ships without keels
    ('szunder bodem') fall in large numbers upon other ships," etc.

It seems, as Dr. Björnbo has suggested,[97] that the Paris map here spoken
of may be Gourmont's of 1548, mentioned above. But Grip's letter contains
information about the despatch of the expedition and about the Eskimo
kayaks, which cannot be taken from the inscription attached to Hvitserk on
that map. The statement about the Eskimo (the Greenland pirates) recalls
what Ziegler says in his work "Scondia" (1532) of the inhabitants of
Greenland, that "they use light boats of hide, safe in tossing on the sea
and among rocks; and thus propelling themselves they fall upon other
ships" [Grönl. hist. Mind., iii. p. 499]. It also has some resemblance to
what Olaus Magnus says in his later work of 1555 of the Greenland
"pirates, who employ hide-boats and an unfair mode of seamanship, since
they do not attack the upper parts of merchant ships, but seek to destroy
them by boring through the hull from outside, down by the keel," etc.
These statements may be derived from mythical accounts of the Greenland
Eskimo, which have come down by some channel we do not know of. Something
of the sort may have appeared on some now lost map, from which Grip may
have taken it; but his statement as to the two skippers having been sent
out by Christiern I. shows that in any case there was in his day a
tradition of the voyage of Pining and Pothorst. We must therefore assume
that they were despatched on a voyage of discovery by Christiern I. (some
time before 1481, when he died), probably at the request of the well-known
King Alfonso V. of Portugal (1438-1481). As Hvitserk must be on the coast
of Greenland, they seem, in agreement with the other sober statement in
Purchas, to have really reached Greenland, perhaps more than once, and to
have traded by barter with the natives, which may have ended, as it
frequently did later, in skirmishes brought about by the encroachments of
the Europeans. This last possibility would explain Grip's statement about
the Greenland pirates attacking in many small ships without keels, as also
the mythical statements of Ziegler and Olaus Magnus. Nor is it impossible
that Pining may have set up some sea-mark or other there. All this sounds
more probable than Olaus Magnus's wonderful story. But nevertheless it
does not appear to me that the authorities now known justify us in
altogether rejecting the latter and the date 1494. As there is mention in
1491 of a new "hirdstjore" in Iceland, we must suppose that Pining was
either dead or had left the island; if we compare with this the fact that
Pining was excluded from the peace that King Hans concluded in 1490 with
the Dutch, and thus in a way became an outlaw to the latter, and that in
the same year a provisional peace was made with the king of England, by
which, of course, all privateering against English subjects on the part of
Norwegians and Danes was strictly forbidden, we may possibly perceive a
connection. Pining and Pothorst were not able to break themselves of old
habits, and thus had both the English king and their own, besides the
Dutchmen, against them, and were compelled to fly the country as outlaws.
This would also agree with Olaus Magnus's words, that they were outlawed
by the strict edict of the northern kings ("aquilonarium regum severissimo
edicto"). It may be supposed that, like the outlawed Eric the Red 500
years before, they took refuge in distant Greenland, which they already
knew. But finally they may have come to grief; for among the many
"pirates" who "met with a miserable death, being either slain by their
friends or hanged on the gallows or drowned in the waves of the sea,"
Paulus Eliæ mentions "Pyning" and "Pwthorss."[98]

[Sidenote: Johannes Scolvus's voyage to Greenland]

We have yet to mention certain obscure statements about another Northern
sailor of this time, Johannes Scolvus (Jón Skolv ?).[99] The Spanish
author Francesco Lopez de Gomara, who was a priest in Seville about 1550,
and published his "Historia de las Indias" (i.e., America) in 1553, says
there of "la Tierra de Labrador":

    "Hither also came men from Norway with the pilot ['piloto,' i.e.,
    navigator] Joan Scoluo, and Englishmen with Sebastian Gaboto."

As, according to Storm's showing [1886, p. 392], Gomara met Olaus Magnus
"in Bologna and Venice" (perhaps about 1548), and says himself that the
latter had given him much information about Northern waters and the
sea-route from Norway, the statement about Scolvus may also be due to him.

An English State document--probably of 1575, and written on the occasion
of the preparations for Frobisher's first voyage (1576)--gives a brief
survey of earlier attempts to find the North-West Passage,[100] and
mentions among others Scolvus. This the historians who have written about
him have not noticed. After stating that Sebastian [should be John]
Cabotte was sent out by King Henry VII. of England in 1496 [should be
1497] to find the passage from the North Sea [i.e., the Atlantic Ocean] to
the South Sea [i.e., the Pacific], and that "one Gaspar Cortesreales, a
pilot of Portingale," had visited these islands on the north coast of
North America in 1500, the document continues:

    "But to find oute the passage oute of the North Sea into the Southe we
    must sayle to the 60 degree, that is, from 66 unto 68. And this
    passage is called the Narowe Sea or Streicte of the three Brethren
    [i.e., the three brothers Corte-Real]; in which passage, at no tyme in
    the yere, is ise wonte to be found. The cause is the swifte ronnyng
    downe of sea into sea. In the north side of this passage, John Scolus,
    a pilot of Denmerke, was in anno 1476."

Then follows a story of a Spaniard who in 1541 is said to have been on the
south side of this passage with a troop of soldiers, and to have found
there some ships that had come thither with goods from Cataya (China).
Complete impossibilities, like this last story, are thus blended together
with statements that have a sure historical foundation, like the voyage of
Gaspar Corte-Real. As the statement about Scolus or Scolvus contains
things that are not found in Gomara, it seems to be derived from another
source; the date in particular is remarkable. That Scolus is a pilot from
Denmark, while the pilot Scolvus in Gomara came from Norway, is perhaps
immaterial, as of course Norway and Denmark were under a common king, who
resided in Denmark.

On an English map of 1582 (after Frobisher's voyages), which is attributed
to Michael Lok, there is a country to the north-west of Greenland, upon
which is written: "Jac. Scolvus Groetland." As the name is here written
Jac. Scolvus, it is not likely that it can be derived from the document we
have quoted of 1575. The corresponding country on Mercator's map of 1569
is inscribed: "Groclant, insula cuius incole Suedi sunt origine" (island
whose inhabitants are Swedes by descent). It may seem as if this
inscription also was connected with Scolvus, and we thus get the third
Scandinavian country as his native land; but this word "Suedi" may be
derived from Olaus Magnus, who happens to have often used it in the sense
of Scandinavians--i.e., Swedes and Norwegians.

In 1597 the Dutchman Cornelius Wytfliet in his description of America
("Continens Indica") states that its northern part was first discovered by
"Frislandish" fishermen [i.e., from the imaginary Frisland of the Zeno
map], and subsequently further explored about 1390 during the voyage of
the brothers Zeno (which is fictitious).

    "But [he continues] the honour of its second discovery fell to the
    Pole Johannes Scoluus (Johannes Scoluus Polonus), who in the year
    1476--eighty-six years after its first discovery--sailed beyond
    Norway, Greenland, Frisland, penetrated the Northern Strait, under the
    very Arctic Circle, and arrived at the country of Labrador and

Estotiland is another fictitious country on the notorious Zeno map (a
fabrication from several earlier maps). Apart from this introduction of
the Zeno voyage the statement contains nothing that has not already
appeared in Gomara and in the English document of 1575, with the exception
that Scolvus is called a Pole (Polonus), but this, as pointed out by Storm
[1886, p. 399], must be due to a misreading of "Polonus" for
"piloto."[101] As Norway is named first among the countries beyond which
the voyage extended, it may have started from thence in Wytfliet's

On the L'Ecuy globe, of the sixteenth century, there is written in Latin
between 70° and 80° N. lat. and in long. 320°:[103] "These are the people
to whom the Dane Johannes Scovvus penetrated in the year 1476." The
description of Scolvus as a Dane may indicate the same source as the
English mention of him in 1576.[104]

Finally it may be mentioned that Georg Horn in his work "Ulysses
peregrinans" (Louvain, 1671), after speaking of voyages of the Icelanders
(Thylenses) to "Frisland or Finmark" (sic!), to Iceland, Greenland,
Scotland, and Gotland under "auspiciis Margaretæ Semiramis Dan., Sued.,
Norv.," and then of the voyages of the Zenos in the year 1390, says:

    "Joh. Scolnus Polonus discovered under the auspices of Christian I.,
    King of the Danes, the Anian-strait and the country Laboratoris in the
    year 1476."

The Anian-strait was the mythical strait between Asia and north-western
America, which was talked about and which appeared upon maps more than a
hundred years before Bering Strait was discovered by the Russian Deshenev
in 1648. But the name may sometimes have been extended to the whole of the
strait, called above, p. 130, the Strait of the Three Brethren, which was
assumed to go north of America to the Pacific. What is new in Horn's
statement is that the voyage is said to have been made under the auspices
of Christiern I.; it may be supposed that he knew enough of the history of
Denmark to draw this conclusion from the date 1476.

This is what is known from old sources about this Scolvus and his voyage.
It must be remembered that the name of Labrador (in various forms) was
used on the maps of the sixteenth century both for Greenland and Labrador,
and was originally the name of the former. It is therefore most probable
that the statements about Scolvus's voyage referred in the first instance
to Greenland, which in the first part of the sixteenth century was known
as Labrador.

[Sidenote: Pining, Pothorst and Scolvus on the same voyage]

To sum up what has been said above, we have, on the one hand, statements,
from wholly different sources, of one or more voyages to Greenland under
the leadership of Pining and Pothorst, in the time of Christiern I.--i.e.,
before 1481; on the other hand, we have statements, probably from several,
but at least from two sources independent of each other, about a voyage,
also to Greenland, with the pilot Johannes Scolvus, from Denmark or more
probably from Norway, in the time of Christiern I., and this is even
referred to a particular year, 1476. One is therefore led to conclude, as
G. Storm has already done, that we are here concerned with the same voyage
or voyages to Greenland, which were made under the leadership of the two
"skippers" and freebooters Pining and Pothorst, with Johannes Scolvus (Jón
Skolvsson ?) as pilot or navigator. In some authorities of Scandinavian
origin the voyage was connected with the names of the real leaders, while
in Southern authorities it was connected with that of the pilot or
navigator, in the same way as, for instance, the name of William Barentsz
was associated with the voyages in which he took part, instead of those of
Hemkerck and the other leaders. There seem thus to be sufficiently good
historical documents in support of at least one expedition having reached
Greenland in the latter part of the sixteenth century, possibly sent out
by Christiern I. in 1476, and perhaps there were more. Possibly it was
rumours of this new communication with Greenland that awoke a desire in
the monk Mathias to go there as bishop.

But then we hear no more of it. For a while longer bishops continued to be
appointed to Greenland, a land which was no longer known to any one, and
to these bishops least of all. Thus ends the history of the old Greenland
settlements. Notices of them become rarer and rarer, with long
intermissions, until after this time they cease altogether, and we know no
more of the fate of the old Norsemen there.

  "The standing-stone on the mound bears no mark,
        and Saga has forgotten what she knew."





[Sidenote: Expeditions to the White Sea]

Even if Ottar was perhaps not the first Norwegian to reach the White Sea,
his voyage is in any case a remarkable exploring expedition, whereby both
the North Cape and the White Sea became known, even in the literature of
Europe, nearly seven hundred years before Richard Chancellor reached the
Dvina in the ship "Edward Buonaventura" in 1553, from which time the
discovery of this sea has usually been reckoned.

In Ottar's time, or soon after, the Norwegian king asserted his
sovereignty over all the Lapps as far as the White Sea, and in the
Historia Norwegiæ it is said that Hálogaland reached to Bjarmeland. The
headland Vegistafr is mentioned in the Historia Norwegiæ, in the laws, and
elsewhere, as the boundary of the kingdom of Norway towards the Bjarmas
(Beormas). This may have been on the south side of the Kola peninsula by
the river Varzuga, already mentioned, or by the river Umba (see the map,
vol. i. p. 170).[105] After Ottar's time the Norwegians more frequently
undertook expeditions, doubtless for the most part of a military
character, to the White Sea and Bjarmeland. We hear about several of them
in the sagas.

[Sidenote: Harold Gråfeld's expedition to the Dvina]

Eric Blood-Axe marched northward, about 920, into Finmark and as far as
Bjarmeland, and there fought a great battle and gained the victory. His
son, Harold Gråfeld, went northward to Bjarmeland one summer about 965
with his army, and there ravaged the country and had a great fight with
the Bjarmas on "Vinu bakka" [i.e., the river bank of the Dvina (Vina)], in
which King Harold was victorious and slew many men; and then laid the
country waste far and wide, and took a vast amount of plunder. Of this
Glumr Geirason speaks:

  "Eastward the bold-spoken king
  intrepidly stained his sword red,
  north of the burning town;
  there I saw the Bjarmas run.
  For the master of the body-guard good spear-weather
  was given on this journey,
  on Vina's bank; the fame
  of a young noble travelled far."

[Sidenote: Trollebotten]

At that time, then, the Norwegians must have reached the Dvina and
discovered the east side of the White Sea, which was still unknown to
Ottar. They had thus proved it to be a gulf of the sea. The Bjarmas
probably lived along the whole of its south side as far as the Dvina, and
the name of "Bjarmeland" was now extended to the east side also, and thus
became the designation of the country round the White Sea. As a people of
strange race of whom they knew little, the Norwegians regarded the Lapps
as skilled in magic; but it was natural that the still less known and more
distant Bjarmas gradually acquired an even greater reputation for magic,
and in these regions stories of trolls and giants were located. The Polar
Sea was early called "Hafsbotn," later "Trollebotten," and the White Sea
was given the name of "Gandvik," to which a similar meaning is attributed,
since it is supposed to be connected with "gand" (the magic of the Lapps);
but the name evidently originated in a popular-etymological corruption of
a Karelian name, Kanðanlaksi, as already shown (vol. i. pp. 218, f.,

[Sidenote: Thore Hund's expedition to Bjarmeland]

Snorre Sturlason (ob. 1241) included in the Saga of St. Olaf a legend from
Nordland about an expedition to Bjarmeland, supposed to have been
undertaken in 1026 by Thore Hund, in company with Karle and his brother
Gunnstein from Hálogaland, men of the king's bodyguard. The tale may be an
indication that at that time more peaceful relations had been established
between the Nordlanders and the Bjarmas. They went in two vessels, Thore
in a great longship with eighty men, and the brothers in a smaller
longship with about five-and-twenty. When they came to Bjarmeland, they
put in at the market-town;[106] the market began, and all those who had
wares to exchange received full value. Thore got a great quantity of
skins, squirrel, beaver and sable. Karle also had many wares with him, for
which he bought large quantities of furs. But when the market was
concluded there, they came down the river Vina; and then they declared the
truce with the people of the country at an end. When they were out of the
river, they held a council of war, and Thore proposed that they should
plunder a sanctuary of the Bjarmas' god Jomale,[107] with grave mounds,
which he knew to be in a wood in that part of the country.[108] They did
so by night, found much silver and gold, and when the Bjarmas pursued
them, they escaped through Thore's magical arts, which made them
invisible. Both ships then sailed back over Gandvik. As the nights were
still light they sailed day and night until one evening they lay to off
some islands, took their sails down and anchored to wait for the tide to
go down, since there was a strong tide-rip (whirlpool) in front of them
("rǫst mikil var fyrir þeir"). This was probably off "Sviatoi Nos" (the
sacred promontory), where Russian authorities speak of a strong current
and whirlpool. Here there was a dispute between the brothers and Thore,
who demanded the booty as a recompense for their having escaped without
loss of life owing to his magical arts. But when the tide turned, the
brothers hoisted sail and went on, and Thore followed. When they came to
land at "Geirsver" (Gjesvær, a fishing station on the north-west side of
Magerö)--where we are told that there was "the first quay as one sails
from the north" (i.e., east from Bjarmeland)--the quarrel began again, and
Thore suddenly ran his spear through Karle, so that he died on the spot;
Gunnstein escaped with difficulty in the smaller and lighter vessel; but
was pursued by Thore, and finally had to land and take to flight with all
his men at Lenvik, near Malangen fjord, leaving his ship and cargo.

[Sidenote: Expedition to Bjarmeland, 1217]

Even if this expedition is not historical, the description of the voyage
and the mention of place-names along the route nevertheless show that
these regions were well known to Snorre's informants; and journeys between
Norway and Bjarmeland cannot have been uncommon in Snorre's time or before
it. Many things show that the communication with Gandvik and Bjarmeland
continued through the whole of the Middle Ages, and was sometimes of a
peaceful, sometimes of a warlike character; but of the later voyages only
three are, in fact, mentioned in Norwegian authorities: one of them was
undertaken by the king's son Håkon Magnusson about 1090; of this
expedition little is known. In Håkon Håkonsson's time we have an
account[109] of another expedition to Bjarmeland in the year 1217, in
which took part Ǫgmund of Spånheim from Hardanger, Svein Sigurdsson from
Sogn, Andres of Sjomæling from Nordmör, all on one ship, and Helge
Bograngsson and his men from Hálogaland, on another. Svein and Andres
went home with their ship the same autumn; but Ǫgmund proceeded southward
through Russia to the Suzdal kingdom in East Russia, on a tributary of the
Volga. Helge Bograngsson and his Nordlanders stayed the winter in
Bjarmeland; but he came in conflict with the Bjarmas and was killed. After
this Ǫgmund did not venture to return that way, but went on through Russia
to the sea (i.e., the Black Sea) and thence to the Holy Land. He came
safely home to Norway after many years.

[Illustration: Bjarmas and Skridfinns fighting on ski and riding reindeer
(after Olaus Magnus, 1555)]

[Sidenote: Expedition to Bjarmeland, 1222]

When the rumour of what had happened to Helge and his men reached home, a
punitive expedition was decided on. The king's officers in Nordland,
Andres Skjaldarbrand and Ivar Utvik, placed themselves at the head of it;
and they came to Bjarmeland with four ships in the year 1222, and
accomplished their purpose; "they wrought great havoc in plunder and
slaughter and obtained much booty in furs and burnt silver." But on the
homeward voyage Ivar's ship was lost in the whirlpool at "Straumneskinn,"
and only Ivar and one other escaped. "Straumneskinn" is probably Sviatoi
Nos (see p. 138).

[Sidenote: Warlike and peaceful relations with the White Sea in the
twelfth century and later]

This is the last Norwegian expedition to Bjarmeland of which Norwegian
accounts are known; but that the White Sea traffic continued, though it
was never very active, may be concluded from other sources. The name of
the Bjarmas themselves disappears after the middle of the thirteenth
century, when it is related that a number of Bjarmas fled before the
"Mongols" and received permission from King Håkon to live in Malangen
fjord. After that time in the districts near the Dvina we only hear of
Karelians and their masters the Russians of Novgorod.

That there was considerable navigation, probably combined with piratical
incursions, between the north of Norway and the countries to the east, may
also appear from a provision of the older Gulathings Law, where in cap.
315, in a codex of 1200-1250, we find:

    "The inhabitants of Hálogaland are to fit out thirteen twenty-seated
    and one thirty-seated ship in the southern half, but six in the
    northern half; since they [i.e., the inhabitants of the northern half]
    have to keep guard on the east."

This keeping guard might, it is true, refer to Kvæns in Finmark, but it
seems rather to point to ships coming from the east. In the negotiations
of 1251, between the Grand Duke of Novgorod (Alexander Nevsky) and Håkon
Håkonsson, there is express mention of disturbances from the east in
Finmark, and after that time we hear more frequently of hostile incursions
of Karelians and Russians in Finmark; they may have come by land, but
occasionally also by sea.

[Illustration: On snow-shoes through the border-lands of Norway (Olaus
Magnus, 1555)]

A treaty of 1326 between Norway and Novgorod shows that Norwegian
merchants traded with the people of Novgorod on the White Sea. The
erection of the fortress of Vardöhus, as early as 1307, also shows the
importance attached to these eastern communications, and the fortress
certainly afforded them a fixed point of support. Thus about 1550 we see
that "Vardöhus weight" (mark and pound) had penetrated into northern
Russia and was generally used in the North Russian fish and oil trade. The
Norwegians chiefly bought furs in Bjarmeland, but what they exported
thither is not mentioned in the Norwegian notices; it may even at that
time have been to some extent fish, which in later times was the most
important article of export to North Russia from the north of Norway.

As G. Storm [1894, p. 100] has pointed out, the Russian chronicles tell of
many hostile expeditions by sea between Norway and the White Sea in the
fifteenth century. In 1412 the inhabitants of "Savolotchie" (the countries
on the Dvina) made a campaign against the Norwegians. A complaint from
Norway of 1420 shows that the attack was directed against northern
Hálogaland, without informing us whether it was made by land or by sea.
Some years later, in 1419, the Norwegians made a campaign of reprisal and

    "with an army of 500 men in trading-vessels and sloops and ravaged the
    Karelian district about the Varzuga [on the Kola peninsula on the
    north side of the White Sea] and many parishes in Savolotchie [on the
    Dvina], amongst others St. Nikolai [at the mouth of the Dvina], Kigö
    and Kiarö [in the Gulf of Onega], and others. They burned three
    churches and cut down Christians and monks, but the Savolotchians sank
    two Norwegian sloops, and the rest fled across the sea."[110] "In 1444
    the Karelians went with an army against the Norwegians, and fought
    with them, and in 1445 the Norwegians came with an army to the Dvina,
    ravaged Nenoksa [in the gulf off the mouth of the Dvina] with fire and
    sword, killed some and carried off others as prisoners; but the
    inhabitants on the Dvina hastened after them, cut down their 'voivods'
    [leaders, chiefs] Ivar and Peter, and captured forty men who were sent
    to Novgorod."[110]

This will be sufficient to show that the White Sea voyage remained
familiar in Norway. This communication increased about the beginning of
the sixteenth century, and this had a decisive influence on the so-called
rediscovery of the White Sea by the English.

[Sidenote: Early connection of the Bjarmas with southern civilisation]

In reading Otter's narrative and the earliest Norse accounts of voyages to
Bjarmeland it must strike us that the Bjarmas we hear about seem to have
possessed a surprisingly high degree of culture. As Professor Olaf Broch
has also pointed out to me, this may be an indication that a comparatively
active communication had existed long before that time along the Dvina and
the Volga between the people of the White Sea and those on the Caspian and
the Black Sea (by transport from the Volga to the Don). In those early
times, before the Russians had yet established themselves in the territory
of the upper Volga, this communication may have passed to the east of the
Slavs through Finnish-speaking peoples the whole way from the lower Volga
and the Finnish Bulgarians (cf. the Mordvin tribes of to-day).

It appears to me that various statements in Arabic literature may indicate
such a connection.[111] The Arabs received information about northern
regions through their commercial communications with the Mohammedan
Finnish nation of the Bulgarians, whose capital Bulgar lay on the
Volga[112] (near to the present town of Kazan), and was a meeting-place
for traders coming up the river from the south and coming down the river
from the north. Special interest attaches to the mention of the mysterious
people "Wîsu," far in the north. This is evidently the same name as the
Russian Ves[113] for the Finnish people who, according to Nestor[114]
(beginning of the twelfth century), lived by Lake Byelo-ozero (the white
lake) in 859 A.D. They are mentioned together with Tchuds, Slavs, Merians
and Krivitches, and were doubtless the most northerly of them, possibly
spreading northwards towards the White Sea. They are probably the same
people that Adam of Bremen [iv., c. 14, 19] calls "Wizzi" (see vol. i. p.
383; vol. ii. p. 64), and possibly those Jordanes calls
"Vasinabroncæ,"[115] who together with "Merens" (Merians ?) and "Mordens"
(Mordvins ?) were subdued by Ermanrik, king of the Goths. But the Arabic
Wîsu seems sometimes to have been a common name for all Finnish (and even
Samoyed) tribes in North Russia and on the coast of the Polar Sea.

According to Jaqût,[116] Ahmad Ibn Fadhlân (about 922 A.D.)[117] stated in
his work that

    "the King of the Bulgarians had told him that behind his country, at a
    distance of three months' journey, there lived a people called Wîsu,
    among whom the nights [in summer] were not even one hour long." Once
    the king is said to have written to this people, and in their answer
    it was stated that the people "Yâǵûǵ and Mâǵûǵ [on the Ob ?] lived
    over three months' journey distant from them [i.e., the Wîsu] and that
    they were separated from them by the sea" (?). The Yâǵûǵ and Mâǵûǵ
    lived on the great fish that were cast ashore. The same is told by
    Dimashqî (ob. 1327) about the Yâǵûǵ and Mâǵûǵ, and by Qazwînî
    (thirteenth century) about the people "Yura" on the Pechora.

Jaqût (ob. 1229) in his geographical lexicon[118] has an article on

    "'Wîsu' situated beyond Bulgar. Between it and Bulgar is three months'
    journey. The night is there so short that one is not aware of any
    darkness, and at another time of year, again, it is so long that one
    sees no daylight." In his article on "Itil" Jaqût says: "Upon it [the
    river Itil or Volga] traders travel as far as 'Vîsu'[119] and bring
    [thence] great quantities of furs, such as beaver, sable and

Al-Qazwînî (ob. 1283) says:[120]

    "The beaver is a land- and water-animal, which dwells in the great
    rivers in the land of 'Isu' [i.e., Wîsu, cf. al-Bîrûnî], and builds a
    home on the bank of a river." He further relates that "the inhabitants
    of 'Wîsu' never visit the land of the Bulgarians, since when they come
    thither the air changes and cold sets in--even if it be in the middle
    of summer--so that all their crops are ruined. The Bulgarians know
    this, and therefore do not permit them to come to their country."
    Qazwînî also gives the information that "Wîsu" is three months'
    journey beyond Bulgar, and continues: "The Bulgarians take their wares
    thither for trade. Each one lays his wares, which he furnishes with a
    mark, in a certain spot and leaves them there. Then he comes back and
    finds a commodity, of which he can make use in his own country, laid
    by the side of them. If he is satisfied with this, he takes what is
    offered in exchange, and leaves his wares behind; if he is not, he
    takes his own away again. In this way buyer and seller never see one
    another. This is also the proceeding, as we have related, in the
    southern lands, in the land of the blacks." The same story of dumb
    trading with a people in the north is met with again in Abu'lfeda (ob.
    1321) and Ibn Batûta (cf. also Michel Beheim, later, p. 270).

Ibn Batûta (1302-1377) has no name for this people, any more than
Abu'lfeda; but he calls their country "the Land of Darkness," and has an
interesting description of the journey thither.[121]

    He himself, he says, wished to go there from Bulgar, but gave it up,
    as little benefit was to be expected of it. "That land lies 40 days'
    journey from Bulgar, and the journey is only made in small cars[122]
    drawn by dogs. For this desert has a frozen surface, upon which
    neither men nor horses can get foothold, but dogs can, as they have
    claws. This journey is only undertaken by rich merchants, each taking
    with him about a hundred carriages [sledges ?], provided with
    sufficient food, drink and wood; for in that country there is found
    neither trees, nor stones nor soil. As a guide through this land they
    have a dog which has already made the journey several times, and it is
    so highly prized that they pay as much as a thousand dinars [gold
    pieces] for one. This dog is harnessed with three others by the neck
    to a car [sledge ?], so that it goes as the leader and the others
    follow it. When it stops, the others do the same.... When the
    travellers have accomplished forty days' journey through the desert,
    they stop in the Land of Darkness, leave their wares there, and
    withdraw to their quarters. Next morning they go back to the same spot
    ..." and then follows a description of the dumb barter, like that in
    Qazwînî. They receive sable, squirrel and ermine in exchange for their
    goods. "Those who go thither do not know with whom they trade, whether
    they be spirits or men; they see no one."[123]

Of special interest for our subject is the following statement in Abû
Hâmid (1080-1169 or 1170) which may point to the peoples on the shores of
the Polar Sea having obtained steel for their harpoons and sealing weapons
from Persia:

    "The traders travel from Bulgâr to one of the lands of the infidels
    which is called Îsû [Wîsu], from which the beaver comes. They take
    swords thither which they buy in Âdherbeiǵân [Persia], unpolished
    blades. They pour water often over these, so that when the blades are
    hung up by a cord and struck, they ring.... And that is as they ought
    to be. They buy beavers' skins with these blades. The inhabitants of
    Îsû go with these swords to a land near the darkness and lying on the
    Dark Sea [the northern Atlantic or the Polar Sea] and sell these
    swords for sables' skins. They [i.e., the inhabitants of that country]
    again take some of these blades and cast them into the Dark Sea. Then
    Allâh lets a fish as big as a mountain come up to them, etc. They cut
    up its flesh for days and months, and sometimes fill 100,000 houses
    with it," etc. [Cf. Jacob, 1891, p. 76; 1891a, p. 29; Mehren, 1857,
    pp. 169, f.]

It is not credible that the swords which rang in this way were harpoons,
as Jacob thinks. We must rather suppose that they were rough
("unpolished") steel blades, which were used for making harpoons and
lances (for walrus-hunting and whaling). The blades having water poured
over them must doubtless mean the tempering of the steel, through which,
when it was afterwards hung up by a cord, it came to give the true ring.
Although Abû Hâmid is no trustworthy writer, it seems that there must be
some reality at the base of this statement; and we here have information
about some of the wares that the traders carried to Wîsu, and that were
derived from their commercial intercourse with Arabs and Jews. The people
to whom the inhabitants of Wîsu or Vesses took the steel blades must have
been fishermen on the shore of the Polar Sea, who carried on seal- and
walrus-hunting, and perhaps also whaling, and this is what is referred to
by the fish that Allâh sends up. They may have been Samoyeds (on the
Pechora), Karelians, Tver-Finns, and even Norwegians. It might be objected
that sables cannot be supposed to have been obtained from the last-named;
but this is doubtless not to be taken too literally. Ibn Ruste (circa 912
A.D.) thus says that the Rûs (Scandinavians, usually Swedes) had no other
occupation but trading in sables, squirrel and other furs, which they sold
to any one who would buy them.

It seems to result from what may be trustworthy in these statements that
there was fairly active commercial intercourse from Bulgar with the Vesses
and with the peoples on the White Sea, and perhaps in districts near the
Polar Sea. A shortest night of one hour would take us to a little north of
the mouth of the Dvina. In the land of the Vesses by Lake Byelo-ozero
there was an easy way across from the Volga's tributary Syexna to Lake
Kubenskoye, which has a connection with the Dvina; and there was also
transit to the river Onega. There was thus easy communication along the
great rivers; but besides this the traders seem also to have travelled
overland with dogs; this was probably when going north to Yugria and the
country of the Pechora, in the same way as traders in our time generally
go there with reindeer. The trade in furs was then, as in antiquity, the
powerful incentive; it was that too which chiefly attracted the Norwegians
to Bjarmeland.

It is not likely that the Arabs themselves reached North Russia; one would
suppose rather that travelling Jews assisted as middlemen in the trade
with these regions. But the finding of Arab coins on the Pechora would
point to Arab trade having penetrated through intermediaries to the shores
of the Polar Sea.[124]


[Sidenote: The Frisian nobles' Polar expedition]

Among mediæval voyages to the North there remain yet to be mentioned
Harold Hardråde's expedition[125] and the voyage of the Frisian nobles,
related by Adam of Bremen in the descriptions already given (vol. i. pp.
195, f.). That the latter voyage must be an invention, and cannot contain
much of historical value, is obvious (cf. vol. i. p. 196). The whole
description of the abyss or maelstrom is taken from Paulus Warnefridi (as
will be seen by a comparison of the descriptions on pp. 157 and 195, vol.
i.); the Cyclopes of marvellous stature, as well as the treasures of gold
that they guard, are originally derived from classical literature,
although Adam may have taken them from earlier mediæval authors, and
Northern ideas about the giants in the north in Jotunheim may have helped
to localise the story.[126] The great darkness, the stiffened sea, chaos
and the gulf of the abyss at the uttermost end of the world or of the
ocean are all classical conceptions, and the description itself of the
dangers of the voyage, of the darkness that could scarcely be penetrated
by the eyes, etc., is just what we find in classical literature, and in
many points bears great resemblance to the poem of Albinovanus Pedo, for
example (see vol. i. p. 82). It is possible, of course, that there may be
thus much historical truth in the story, that some Frisian nobles made a
voyage to the Orkneys or perhaps to Iceland, but even this is doubtful,
and the rest is demonstrably invention. In spite of this Master Adam
asserts that Archbishop Adalbert in person had told him all this, and that
it happened in the days of his predecessor, Archbishop Alebrand, who had
the story from the travellers' own lips; for they returned to Bremen and
brought thank-offerings to Christ and to their saint "Willehad" for their
safety. One might suppose that these nobles themselves had invented the
story and told it to the archbishop;[127] but it does not seem likely that
they were acquainted with Paulus Warnefridi's description of the
maelstrom, and the Cyclopes with their treasures in the north seem also to
be learned embroidery; they might have heard oral tales about them, but in
any case we may doubtless suppose that the story has been much "improved"
by Adam. There is a mediæval folk-song about the dangers of sailors at sea
which may also be supposed to have contributed to the description.

[Sidenote: King Harold's voyage to the maelstrom]

Be that as it may, this story must weaken our confidence in Adam's
credibility, or rather in his critical sense. If his narrative of a voyage
which started from his own adopted town of Bremen not long before his time
is so untrustworthy, what are we to think of his statement about the
experienced Norwegian king Harold's expedition to explore the extent of
the ocean? No doubt it may appear as though he had his information about
this voyage from the Danish king Svein, who is mentioned as his authority
for the statements immediately preceding, and so far this information
might have a good source; but it has received precisely the same
decoration as the other voyage, with the mist or darkness that shuts out
the uttermost end of the world, and the vast gulf of the abyss which was
narrowly escaped. This is certainly of older origin, and he has not even
given himself the trouble to make a little alteration in the dangers of
the two stories. Another thing that weakens our confidence in his
statements is his saying that the Danish king had told him that all the
sea beyond the island of Winland was filled with intolerable ice and
immeasurable darkness. It may doubtless be supposed that classical
conceptions had even at that time created superstitions of this kind in
the North, and thus King Svein may have told him this; but it must be more
probable that all these ancient book-learned ideas are due, not to the
unlearned and travelled monarch, but to the well-read magister, who
moreover himself quotes in the same connection Marcianus's words about the
congealed sea beyond Thule.

It would be entirely in Adam's vein if some accidental resemblance or
association had given him an opportunity of making use in this way of
ideas he had from his learned reading, just as the name of Kvænland gave
him the chance of bringing in the myths of the Amazons, Cynocephali, etc.
(cf. vol. i. p. 383). It was pointed out earlier (vol. i. pp. 195, 197)
that the statements about the sea "beyond this island" and about Harold's
voyage are possibly a later addition by Adam himself, which has been
inserted in the wrong place; "this island" might then mean Thyle (Iceland)
and not Winland. Whether we regard the latter as a newly discovered
country in America or as the Insulæ Fortunatæ, it is difficult to
understand why precisely the sea on the other side of this island should
be particularly associated with the ancient conceptions of the dark or
misty, and the congealed or ice-filled sea; ice and darkness are nowhere
connected in this way with Wineland in later authorities. It is true that
in Arabian myth there are islands in the west near the Sea of Darkness
(cf. chapter xiii.) and that the Promised Land in Irish myth is surrounded
by darkness (== fog) like the Norwegian huldrelands and the Icelandic
elflands; but if Adam got his ideas in this way, it would only show more
conclusively how mythical his narrative is. If Adam confused the names of
Vinland and Finland (i.e., Finmark) (cf. vol. i. pp. 198, 382; vol. ii. p.
31), it would also be natural for him to imagine that beyond it were ice
and darkness.

[Sidenote: Whirlpool]

The view has been held that the whirlpool in which King Harold and the
Frisian nobles were nearly drawn down was of Scandinavian or Germanic
origin [cf. S. Lönborg, 1897, pp. 173, f.]. It seems undoubtedly to
correspond to the Norse "Ginnungagap" [cf. G. Storm, 1890, pp. 340, ff.];
but it is a question how early this idea arose. I have already (vol. i.
pp. 11, 12, 17) pointed out the probable connection between it and the
Greek Tartaros (and Anostos) or Chaos, and have shown (vol. i. pp. 158,
f.) that Paulus Warnefridi took his whirlpool from this source, and called
it Chaos. But now it is evident, as we have seen, that Adam took his
description of the whirlpool from Paulus, and thus we have the full
connection. It may also be mentioned as curious that Lucian in his Vera
Historia tells of just such an abyss:

    "We sailed through a crystal-clear, transparent water until we were
    obliged to stop before a great cleft in the sea.... Our ship was near
    being drawn down into this abyss, if we had not taken in the sails in
    time. As we then put our heads out and looked down, we saw a depth of
    a thousand stadia, before which our minds and senses stood still...."
    Finally with great difficulty they rowed across a bridge of water that
    stretched over the abyss [Wieland, 1789, iv. p. 222].

    With this may be compared that in the Irish legend (Imram Maelduin)
    Maelduin and his companions came to a sea like green glass, so clear
    that the sun and the green sand of the sea were visible through it.
    Thence they came to another sea which was like fog (clouds), and it
    seemed to them that it could hardly support them or their boat; they
    saw in the sea beneath them people adorned with jewels and a
    delightful land, etc.; but when they also saw down below a huge
    monster which devoured a whole ox, they were seized with fear and
    trembling, for they thought they would not be able to get across this
    sea without falling through to the bottom, because it was as thin as
    cloud; but they came over it with great danger [cf. Zimmer, 1889, p.

Although, as already mentioned (vol. i. p. 362), Lucian does not seem to
have been read in western Europe before the fourteenth century, I cannot
get away from the impression that in some oral way or other (cf. vol. i.
pp. 362, f.) there must be a connection between the Irish tale (written
down long before Adam of Bremen's work) and the above-mentioned fable (as
well as many others) which Lucian reproduces, whether the connection be
with Lucian himself or with the authors he parodies. But then it will not
be rash to conclude further that there may also be a connection between
the cleft in the sea or profound abyss of Lucian or of Greek fable, from
which mariners escaped with difficulty, and Adam's whirlpool, which King
Harold avoided by turning back.

[Sidenote: Maelstrom among the Irish]

But it is also conceivable that the various currents in northern waters
may have furnished food for these constantly recurring ideas about
maelstroms and whirlpools. Such maelstroms appear also in Irish legends.
In the "Imram Brenaind" [cf. Zimmer, 1889, p. 134] it is related that:

    One day the voyagers saw on the ocean deep, dark currents [whirlpools]
    and their ships seemed to be drawn into them with the force of the
    storm. In this great danger all eyes were turned upon Brandan. He
    spoke to the sea, saying that it should be satisfied with drowning him
    alone, but spare his comrades. Thereupon the sea became calm, and the
    rushing of the whirlpool ceased immediately; from that time until now
    it has done no harm to others.

[Sidenote: Maelstrom in Norway; the Moskenström]

The Historia Norwegiæ places "Charybdis, Scylla, and unavoidable
whirlpools" in the north in "Hafsbotn" (cf. later). This must have been a
general idea in Norway; for about one hundred years later, in 1360, the
Englishman, Nicholas of Lynn, who travelled in Norway in the middle of the
fourteenth century, wrote his lost work, "Inventio Fortunata," on the
northern countries and their whirlpools from 53° to the North Pole; but
unfortunately we do not know its contents.[128] The conceptions of these
whirlpools may doubtless be connected with reports of dangerous currents
in the north. The Moskenström by the Lofoten Islands may in particular
have given rise to much superstition at an early time. In winter with a
westerly wind it runs at a rate of as much as six miles an hour, and with
a rising tide it may be altogether impassable. It may set up a high
topping sea, which breaks over the whole current so that it can be heard
three or four miles off.[129] In later times there are terrifying
descriptions of this dangerous current. Thus Olaus Magnus (1555) says that
between Roest and Lofoten

    "is so great an abyss, or rather Charybdis, that it suddenly swamps
    and swallows up in an instant those mariners who incautiously
    approach" (see the illustration, vol. i. p. 158).... "Pieces of
    wreckage are very seldom thrown up again, and if they come to light,
    the hard material shows such signs of wear and chafing through being
    dashed against the rocks, that it looks as if it were covered with
    rough wool." And the natural force here manifested exceeds all that is
    related of Charybdis in Sicily and other wonders.

The Englishman, Anthony Jenkinson, who made a voyage to the White Sea in
1557, writes of it:[130]

    "Note that there is between the said Rost Islands & Lofoot, a whirle
    poole called Malestrand, which from halfe ebbe untill halfe flood,
    maketh such a terrible noise, that it shaketh the ringes in the doores
    of the inhabitants houses of the sayd Islands tenne miles off. Also if
    there commeth any Whale within the current of the same, they make a
    pitifull crie. Moreover, if great trees be caried into it by force of
    streams, and after with the ebbe be cast out againe, the ends and
    boughs of them have bene so beaten, that they are like the stalkes of
    hempe that is bruised."

Schönnerböl in 1591 gives a more detailed description of the current, in
which the same things are reported

    of the iron ring "in the house door ... it is shaken hither and
    thither by the rushing of the current"; of the whale, who when "he
    cannot go forward on account of the strong stream, gives a great cry,
    as it were a great ox, and then he is gone..."; and, finally, of great
    trees, spruce or fir, which disappear in this current, and when at
    last they come up again, "then all the boughs, all the roots and all
    the bark is torn off, and it is shaped as though it had been cut with
    a sharp axe." He says that "many people are of the opinion that there
    is a whirlpool in this current or immediately outside it"; and "when
    the stream is strongest, one can see the sun and the sky through the
    waves, since they go as high as other high mountains."[131]

Peder Claussön Friis gives a similarly exaggerated description of the
current (circa 1613), sometimes using the same expressions as the authors
quoted. The resemblance between these various descriptions is so great
that it cannot easily be explained merely by their reporting the same oral
tradition; what they have in common must rather be derived from an older
written source (Nicholas of Lynn ?), which again has adopted ancient
mythical conceptions. It is strange how few more recent ideas have been
added even in Schönneböl, who was sheriff of Lofoten and Vesterålen for at
least twenty years (from 1570), and must have had plenty of opportunity
for gathering information on the spot; but it is the usual experience that
everything that could be got from old books was preferred. That stories of
the Moskenström may have been known in Adam of Bremen's time is highly
probable, perhaps even Paulus Warnefridi had heard of it (cf. vol. i. p.

[Sidenote: Possible truth in Harold's ocean voyage]

When we have shorn Adam's tale of all borrowed features, is there enough
left to make it possible that the Norwegian king Harold undertook a voyage
out into the ocean? It is not easy to form a definite opinion on this, but
the probability must be that King Svein or the Danes told some such story,
which was then adorned by Master Adam. As the voyage was supposed to have
taken place recently, it must be Harold Hardråde who was intended,
otherwise one might be led to think of Harold Gråfeld's celebrated voyage
to Bjarmeland.[132] What the object may have been, and what direction the
voyage took, we do not know. As Adam says it was to explore "the breadth
of the northern ocean" ("latitudinem septentrionalis oceani"), one must
suppose that in his opinion it set out from Norway northward or
north-westward over the ocean towards its uttermost limit, since according
to the maps and ideas of that time he imagined the ocean as surrounding
the disc of the earth like a ribbon (see vol. i. p. 199), and he may then
have sailed across this to find out its extent.[133] But it is quite
possible, as P. A. Munch [1852, ii. pp. 269, ff.] suggested, that Master
Adam may have heard something about a northward voyage undertaken by
Harold, during which he had been exposed to some danger in the Saltström
or the Moskenström;[134] or if it was a voyage to Bjarmeland (Harold
Gråfeld's ?) that he heard of, then it might be the current at Sviatoi
Nos or Straumneskinn, often spoken of in the sagas, that Adam has made
into the whirlpool.


[Sidenote: The Norwegians as whalers.]

The skill of the Norwegians as fishermen, whalers and sealers had, of
course, a great deal to do with the development of their seamanship and
ability to travel and support themselves along unknown and uninhabited
shores. The accurate knowledge of the many species of seals and whales
shown in the "King's Mirror," to which no parallel is met with earlier in
the literature of the world, proves how important the hunting of these
animals must have been; for otherwise so much attention would not have
been paid to them.[135] When in speaking of the greater whales a
distinction is made between those that are shy and keep away from the
hunters, and those that are tamer and easier to approach, and when the
longest of all ("reyðr") is mentioned as being specially tame and easily
caught, we can only regard this as showing that whaling was also carried
on in the open sea; that is, not in a merely accidental fashion, as when
the whales entered narrow fjords where they could be intercepted, or when
they ran aground.

[Illustration: Cutting up a whale (from an Icelandic MS. of the fourteenth
century of Magnus Lanabóter's Icelandic Land Law)]

From Ottar's statement to King Alfred (cf. vol. i. p. 172)--that "in his
own land [i.e., Norway] there is the best whaling. They are forty-eight
cubits long, and the largest are fifty cubits long"--we may conclude that
the Norwegians, and perhaps the Lapps also, hunted the great whales as
early as the ninth century, and doubtless long before that time, while
King Alfred does not seem to have known of any such whaling being
practised in England.[136] We are not told in what way the whale was
caught in those days, but from statements elsewhere it is probable that
the Norwegians had several methods of taking whales, as is the case even
to the present day in Norway: one way was with the harpoon and
harpoon-line in open waters, that is, without cutting off the whale's
escape with nets.

The Arab cosmographer, Qazwînî (of the thirteenth century), quoting the
Spanish-Arabic writer Omar al-'Udhrî[137] (of the eleventh century), says
that the Norsemen in Irlânda (Ireland).

    "hunt young whales, and they are very great fish. They hunt their
    young and eat them.... Of the method of catching them al-'Udhrî
    relates that the hunters collect in their ships. They have a great
    iron hook [i.e., harpoon] with sharp teeth, and on the hook a strong
    ring, and in the ring a stout rope. When they come to a young one,
    they clap their hands and make a noise. The young one is amused by the
    clapping of hands and approaches the ship, delighting therein.
    Thereupon one of the seamen approaches and scratches its forehead,
    which the young one likes. Then he lays the hook to the middle of its
    head, takes a heavy iron hammer and gives three blows with all his
    force upon the hook. It does not heed the first blow, but with the
    second and third it makes a great commotion, and sometimes it catches
    some part of the ship with its tail, and knocks it to pieces, and it
    continues in violent agitation until it is overcome by exhaustion.
    Then the crew of the ship draw it to shore with their combined force.
    Sometimes the mother notices the movements of the young one, and
    pursues them. Then they have a great quantity of crushed onions in
    readiness, and throw it into the water. When the whale perceives the
    smell of the onions it finds it detestable, turns round and retreats.
    Then they cut the flesh of the young one in pieces and salt it.[138]
    And its flesh is white as snow, and its skin black as ink."[139]

This is, clearly enough, a layman's naive description of whaling with
harpoon and harpoon-line in open waters, a method which had therefore
already been introduced into Ireland by the Norwegians at that time. It
may consequently be regarded as certain that the Norwegians were
acquainted with harpooning. That this was very usual appears also from the
"King's Mirror" and the ancient Norwegian laws, where whaling and
whale-harpoons ("skutill") are often mentioned.

[Illustration: Cutting up a whale (from an Icelandic MS.)]

On the west coast of Norway, in the neighbourhood of Bergen, there is
still practised to-day another method of catching whales which must be
very ancient. When the great whales enter certain fjords which have a
narrow inlet, their escape is cut off by nets, and they are shot with
poisoned arrows from bows which entirely resemble the crossbows of the
Middle Ages. The arrows used are old and rusty, and convey bacteria from
one whale to another. When the whale has been hit by these arrows it is
rapidly weakened from blood-poisoning, so that it may easily be harpooned
and then killed by lances, after which it is cut up and divided among the
inhabitants of the fjord, according to ancient, unwritten rules. In spite
of the blood-poisoning, the whale's flesh and blubber are eaten, and are
regarded as very valuable provisions. I have myself often taken part in
this kind of whaling. Possibly Peder Claussön Friis [cf. Storm, 1881, p.
70] refers to a similar method of whaling when he says that

    "in ancient times many expedients or methods were used for catching
    whales, which ... on account of men's unskilfulness have fallen out of

They had "a spear with sharp irons, so that it could not be pulled out
again." This was hurled into the whale, which died in a short time, or
became so weakened that it could be drawn to land;

    "which whales were then cut up and divided among those who had shot,
    and him who owned the land, or him who had first found the whale
    driven in, according to the provisions of the law."

We must suppose that this iron was poisoned with bacteria from former
whales, in a similar way to the arrows mentioned above, whereby the
animal's wound was infected. However, Peder Claussön's description of the
hunt is evidently taken in great measure from older literary sources,
since similar descriptions are found as early as in Albertus Magnus (ob.
1280) [De animalibus, xxiv. 651], and in Vincent of Beauvais [Speculum
universalis, i. 1272]. In all three authors the whale dives after being
struck, and tosses about on the bottom or rubs itself against it, thereby
driving the spear farther in; but in Peder Claussön it does so in order to
"get rid of the shot," while in Albertus it is on account of salt water
getting into the wound, and in Vincentius the salt water penetrates and
kills the wounded whale. As the descriptions of Albertus and Vincentius
evidently refer to ordinary harpoon-whaling, it may be doubtful whether
Peder Claussön's statement really relates to a method of catching
different from the usual one with harpoon and line, although one is
disposed to believe that it does. He also mentions in the same place other
whales that they could "pursue with boats and drive into bays and small
fjords, and kill them there with hand-shot and bow-shot." This may be
supposed to refer to a method similar to that mentioned above, with
poisoned arrows; but, on the other hand, it may relate to a third method
of taking small whales, which was certainly practised from very early
times in Norway, and which consists in schools of small whales being
driven into bays and inlets, where they are intercepted with nets and
driven ashore.

The method of whaling with poisoned arrows or throwing-spears must, as has
been said, be very ancient. Whether it was invented by the Norwegians
themselves, or whether they did not rather learn it from the older
hunter-people of Norway, the "Finns," is difficult to determine. Nor do we
know how ancient whaling in general may be in the North; it may date from
early times, though Ottar's mention of it is the earliest known in

[Sidenote: Harpoon-fishing in the Mediterranean in antiquity]

It is evident that a high development of seamanship, skill in hunting, and
resourcefulness were required before men could venture to encounter the
great whales of the ocean in open fight with free sea-room, where the
whale was not crippled by having run aground or into narrow fjords with no
outlet. This whaling in the open sea demanded the invention of special
appliances, of which the harpoon with its line was of special importance.
It may be possible, though it is not certain, that the Norwegians were the
first Europeans to practise this kind of whaling, and as, from numerous
documents, we may conclude that whaling was actively carried on by the
Normans in Normandy as early as the tenth and eleventh centuries, one is
inclined to suppose that it was the Normans who first introduced the
method of harpoon and line there,[140] and then passed it on to the
Basques. But we ought not to lose sight of the fact that there are other
possibilities, since the harpoon was probably known to and used on smaller
marine animals by the neolithic people of Europe, and the taking of larger
fish with harpoon and line was known in the Mediterranean in
antiquity,[141] as appears, for instance, from Polybius's description of
the catching of swordfish at Scyllæum (on the Straits of Messina), which
is reproduced in Strabo, i. 24:

    "A common look-out man goes at their head, while they collect in many
    two-oared boats to lie in wait for the fish; two in each boat. One of
    them rows, the other stands in the bow with a spear, while the
    look-out man gives warning of the appearance of the fish; for the
    animal swims with a third of its body above water. As soon as the boat
    has reached the fish, the spearman pierces it by hand, and immediately
    draws the spear out of its body again, with the exception of the
    point; for this is provided with barbs, and is purposely attached
    loosely to the shaft, and has a long line fastened to it. This is paid
    out after the wounded fish, until it is tired by floundering and
    attempts at flight; then it is drawn to land, or taken into the boat
    if it is not very large." No better description of harpoon-fishing is
    to be found in the Middle Ages. The dolphin was to the Greeks
    Poseidon's beast, and they did not take it; but from Oppian's account
    we see that the barbarian fishermen on the coast of Thrace had no such
    scruples, but caught dolphins with harpoons to which a long line was
    attached [cf. Noël, 1815, p. 42].

If the Iberian people of the western Mediterranean practised this kind of
fishing, the Basques may also have been acquainted with it. But if they
used the harpoon on swordfish and small whales, the further step to using
it for the Biscay whale was not insuperable to these hardy seamen, and
they may thus have themselves developed their methods of whaling without
having learnt from the Normans, even if no evidence is forthcoming of
their having been acquainted with whaling so early as the latter.[142] It
may also be supposed that the Norsemen in the beginning, far back in grey
antiquity, took their harpoon-fishing from the south, just as they
obtained the form of their craft to some extent from the Mediterranean.

Thus, although we cannot regard it as certain that the Norwegians
introduced the knowledge of whaling with the harpoon and line in Normandy,
it is in any case probable that they were particularly active in
practising and developing this method, and we may conclude that they must
have been acquainted with whaling before they came there, since we see
that the whalers of Normandy bore the Scandinavian name of
"walmanni."[143] If they had learnt their whaling in the foreign land, it
goes without saying that they would also have taken the name from thence,
and it is extremely improbable that they should have acquired a
Scandinavian designation for an occupation the knowledge of which they
had not brought with them from their native land.

The Normans also took with them the knowledge of whaling as far as the
Mediterranean. In Guillelmus Appulus's description (of about 1099-1111) of
the Norman conquest of southern Italy it is related[144] that when Robert
Guiscard comes to the town of Regina in Calabria he hears

    "the rumour that there is a fish not for from the town in the waves of
    the Adriatic, a great one with an immense body, of an incredible
    aspect, which the people of Italy had not seen before. The winds of
    spring, on account of the fresh water, had driven it thither. It was
    captured by the ingenuity of the leader [i.e., Robert] by means of
    various arts. It swam into a net made of fine ropes, and when it was
    completely entangled in the nets with the heavy iron, it dived down to
    the depths of the sea, but at last it was hit by the seamen in various
    projecting places, and with much pains dragged ashore. There the
    people look at it as a strange monster. Then it is out in pieces by
    order of the leader. Thereof he obtains for himself and his men much
    food, and also for the people who dwelt on the coasts of Calabria. And
    the Apulian people also have a share of it."

[Illustration: Cutting up a whale (from an Icelandic MS. of the sixteenth

It looks as though the author's view was that the whale was caught with
nets and killed by the throwing of lances, which is not impossible; but it
may also be supposed that the poetical description is somewhat misleading,
and that the "nets with the heavy iron" were the harpoon with its line

It may be regarded as doubtful whether the harpooning of great whales in
open waters was ever so actively carried on and brought to such perfection
during the Middle Ages in Norway, Iceland and Greenland as was evidently
the case in Normandy and especially among the Basques, from whom later
the English and the Dutch learned it. As in those days there was abundance
of whales to be caught on the Norwegian coast (the nord-caper was then
numerous there), this kind of whaling would not tempt the Norwegians to
seek better hunting-grounds along other coasts in northern waters. On the
other hand, it is evident that practice in whaling must have been of great
importance to them, wherever they settled in these regions.

[Sidenote: Albertus Magnus on walrus-hunting]

Albertus Magnus (ob. 1280), who gives a detailed description of the
harpoon and of whaling (cf. above, p. 158), has also the following
description of walrus-hunting:

    "Those whales which have bristles, and others, have very long
    tusks,[145] and by them they hang themselves up on stones and rocks
    when they sleep. Then the fisherman approaches, and tears away as much
    as he can of the skin from the blubber by the tail, and makes fast a
    strong rope to the skin he has loosened, and he binds the ropes fast
    to rings fixed in the rocks or to very strong posts or trees. Then he
    throws large stones at the fish and wakes it. When the fish is awake
    and wants to go back [into the sea], it pulls its skin off from the
    tail along the back and head, and leaves it behind there. And
    afterwards it is caught not far from the spot, when it has exhausted
    its strength, as it floats bloodless upon the sea, or lies half-dead
    on the shore."

He also tells us that walrus-rope[146] was commonly sold at the fair at
Cologne, which shows that walrus-hunting must have acquired great
importance at that time. It can only have been carried on by the
Norwegians (and Icelanders ?), the Finns or Lapps, the peoples of the
north coast of Russia, and the Greenlanders. It is unlikely that the ropes
were brought all the way from Russia by land to Cologne; they must rather
have come from Norway. The Norwegians obtained a certain quantity of
walrus-rope ("svarðreip") through the trade with Greenland, and perhaps
with North Russia, but they probably got most from their own hunting in
northern waters. The quantity of walrus they could kill in Finmark would
not be sufficient to satisfy the demand, and, as suggested earlier (vol.
i. p. 177), they must certainly have sought fresh hunting-grounds, above
all eastwards in the Polar Sea.

[Sidenote: Hunting expeditions of the Norwegians eastward and northward in
the Polar Sea]

Norse-Icelandic literature does not tell us that the Norwegians in their
voyages to Bjarmeland went any farther east than "Gandvik" (the White Sea)
and the Dvina. But it is to be noted that the sagas as a rule only mention
the expeditions of chiefs, with warlike exploits, fighting and slaughter
of one kind or another; while peaceful trading voyages, which were
certainly numerous, are not spoken of, nor walrus-hunting and hunting
expeditions in general, since such occupations were not usually followed
by chiefs. We cannot therefore expect to find anything in the sagas about
countries or waters where there were no people, and where only hunting was
carried on.

From Ottar, however, who was not a saga-writer, we learn that
walrus-hunting was practised, and doubtless very perseveringly, in the
ninth century (vol. i. p. 176), and that even at that time he went in
pursuit of it as far as the White Sea. It is thus extremely improbable
that such hardy hunters should have stopped there, and not continued to
move eastward, where there was such valuable prey to be secured. We must
suppose that at least they reached the west coast of Novaya Zemlya, where
there were walrus and seal in abundance. That such was the case is just as
probable as the reverse is improbable, and as it is improbable that
expeditions of this kind should have found mention in the sagas. That the
Norwegians knew Novaya Zemlya may perhaps be concluded from the mediæval
Icelandic geography (cf. vol. i. p. 313; vol. ii. p. 1), according to
which the land extended northward from Bjarmeland round the north of
Hafsbotn (the Polar Sea) as far as Greenland, making the latter continuous
with Europe (cf. the map, p. 2). The knowledge that the west coast of
Novaya Zemlya extended northwards into the unknown may have given rise to
such an idea. It was general in Scandinavia and Iceland in the latter part
of the Middle Ages, whilst Adam of Bremen speaks of Greenland as an
island, like Iceland and other islands in the northern ocean. The
discovery of "Svalbard" (Spitzbergen ?) in 1194 may, as we shall see
directly, have lent support to the belief in this connection by land.

[Sidenote: Saxo's Farther Bjarmeland]

Saxo Grammaticus in his Danish history, of the beginning of the thirteenth
century, also has mythical tales of voyages to Bjarmeland. Amongst others
the legendary king Gorm and Thorkel Adelfar on a mythical voyage to the
north and east came first to Hálogaland, then to "Hither Bjarmeland,"
which had steep shores and much cattle, and then to a land with continual
cold and heavy snow, without any warmth of summer, rich in impenetrable
forests, which was without produce of the fields, full of beasts unknown
elsewhere, and where many rivers rushed through rocky beds. This land was
"Farther Bjarmeland."[147] If we except the forests this description suits
Novaya Zemlya better than the Kola peninsula; but it is extremely doubtful
whether any real knowledge of these regions lies at the root of Saxo's
mythical tales, in which, for instance, the travellers come to the river
of death and the land of the dead. The designation Farther Bjarmeland may
nevertheless point to a land having been known beyond the often-mentioned

In the old legendary sagas there is frequent mention of "the Farther
Bjarmeland," which lay to the north or north-east of the real Bjarmeland
(Permia), and where there was a people of gigantic size and immense
riches. This fabulous country may, it is true, be entirely mythical,
perhaps originally derived from ancient Greek myths; but on the other hand
it may be the knowledge of Novaya Zemlya that has influenced the formation
of the myths about it. However this may be, we may be sure that the
voyages of the Norwegian hunters in those days extended into the eastern
Polar Sea far beyond the limits of Ottar's voyage, and much farther than
the chance mentions in the sagas of more or less warlike expeditions of
chiefs to the White Sea would indicate.

[Sidenote: Discovery of Svalbarð]

A notice that is extant relating to the year 1194 shows better than
anything else that the Norwegians probably made extensive voyages in the
Polar Sea, and the mention of it is purely fortuitous. In the "Islandske
Annaler" (in six different MSS.) it is briefly stated of the year 1194:
"Svalbarðs fundr" or "Svalbarði fundinn" (Svalbard was discovered); but
that is all we are told; surely no great geographical discovery has ever
been more briefly recorded in literature. Svalbarði means the cold edge or
side, and must here mean the cold coast. In the introduction to the
Landnámabók we read about this land:

    "From Reykjanes on the south side of Iceland it is five [in Hauk's
    Landnáma three] dœgr's sea [i.e., sail] to Jolldulaup in Ireland to
    the south, but from Langanes on the north side of Iceland it is four
    dœgr's sea to Svalbard on the north in Hafsbotn,[148] but it is one
    dœgr's sail to the uninhabited parts of Greenland from Kolbeins-ey in
    the north."

As will be seen, Svalbard is spoken of, here and in the Annals, as a land
that is known. It is also mentioned in Icelandic legendary sagas of the
later Middle Ages.

[Illustration: Countries and seas discovered by the Norwegians and
Icelanders. The shaded coasts were probably all known to them. The scale
gives "dœgr"-sailing, reckoning 2° (or 120 geographical miles) to each
"dœgr's" sail]

The Historia Norwegiæ says of a country in the north:[149]

    "But in the north on the other side of Norway towards the east there
    extend various peoples who are in the toils of heathendom (ah, how
    sad), namely the Kiriali and Kwæni, horned Finns[150] and both
    Bjarmas. But what people dwell beyond these we do not know for
    certain, though when some sailors were trying to sail back from
    Iceland to Norway, and were driven by contrary winds to the northern
    regions, they landed at last between the Greenlanders and the Bjarmas,
    where they asserted that they had found people of extraordinary size
    and the Land of Virgins ('virginum terram'), who are said to conceive
    when they taste water. But Greenland is separated from these by
    ice-clad skerries ('scopulis')."

And in a later passage we read:

    "The fourth part [of Norway] is Halogia, whose inhabitants live in
    great measure with the Finns [Lapps], and trade with them; this land
    forms the boundary of Norway on the north as far as the place called
    Wegestaf, which divides it from Bjarmeland ('Biarmonia'); there is the
    very deep and northerly gulf which has in it Charybdis, Scylla, and
    unavoidable whirlpools; there are also ice-covered promontories which
    plunge into the sea immense masses of ice that have been increased by
    heaving floods and are frozen together by the winter cold; with these
    traders often collide against their will, when making for Greenland,
    and thus they suffer shipwreck and run into danger."

It may seem probable that this description of a country in the north
referred to Svalbard; and the naive allusion to glacier-ice plunging from
the land is most likely to be derived from voyagers to the Polar Sea; for
it seems less probable that it should be merely information about
Greenland transferred to the North. Storm, it is true, dated the Historia
Norwegiæ between 1180 and 1190, that is, before the discovery of Svalbard
according to the Annals; but later writers place it in the thirteenth
century, even as late as 1260 (see vol. i. p. 255). The ideas of the
people of great size and of the Land of Virgins are obviously taken from
Adam of Bremen, and may be a literary ornament.

[Sidenote: Svalbard probably Spitzbergen]

There have been different opinions as to what country Svalbard was. Many
have thought that it might be the northern east coast of Greenland; Jan
Mayen has also been mentioned; while others, like S. Thorlacius, a hundred
years ago (1808), supposed that it was "the Siberian coasts of the Arctic
Ocean, lying to the east of Permia (Bjarmeland), that the ancient Norsemen
included under the name of Svalbard, i.e., the cold coast." Gustav Storm
[1890, p. 344] maintained that Svalbard in all probability must be
Spitzbergen,[151] and many reasons point to the correctness of this

No certain conclusion can be drawn about Svalbard from the passage quoted
from the Landnámabók. "On the north in Hafsbotn" must mean in some
northerly direction; for it is only the chief points of the compass,
north, south and west, that are mentioned, and no intermediate points;
for one course alone, from Bergen to Hvarf in Greenland, the direction
"due west" is given, which must be true west.[152] Langanes is said to lie
on the north side of Iceland instead of on the north-east, from Reykjanes
to Ireland the course was south, instead of south-east, etc. The points of
the compass are evidently used in the same way as is still common in
Norway; "in the north of the valley" may be used even if the valley bends
almost to the west. The Landnáma's statement (Sturlubók) that it is four
"dœgr's sea" from Snæfellsnes "west" to Greenland (i.e., Hvarf) then
agrees entirely with the common mode of expression that I have found among
the arctic sailors of our day in Denmark Strait, where they never talk of
anything but sailing east or west along the edge of the ice, even though
it is north-east and south-west; we sail westward from Færder to
Christianssand, or we travel south from Christiania to Christianssand.
Consequently "on the north in Hafsbotn" means the same as when we say
north in Finmark (cf. Ottar's directions, vol. i p. 171), or even north in
the White Sea, and speak of sailing north to Jan Mayen. As Langanes in
particular, the north-east point of Iceland, is mentioned as the
starting-point, we should be inclined to think that Svalbard was supposed
to lie in a north-easterly direction; it is true that the course to
Ireland is calculated from Reykjanes and not from the south-east point of
Iceland; but this may be because the voyage was mostly made from the west

The distances given in these sailing directions in the Landnámabók are
even less accurate than the points of the compass. From Stad in Norway to
the east coast of Iceland is said to be seven "dœgr's" sail, while from
Snæfellsnes to Hvarf is four "dœgr," from Reykjanes to Ireland three or
five "dœgr," from Langanes to Svalbard four "dœgr," and from Kolbeins-ey
to the uninhabited parts of Greenland one "dœgr." The actual distances
are, however, approximately: from Norway to Iceland 548 nautical miles,
from Snæfellsnes to Hvarf 692, from Reykjanes to Ireland 712, from
Langanes to Spitzbergen 840 (from Langanes to Jan Mayen 288), and from
Mevenklint to the east coast of Greenland 184 nautical miles. It is
hopeless to look for any system in this; the distances from Iceland to
Greenland and from Iceland to Ireland are given as being much less (4/7
and 3/7 or 5/7) than the distance from Norway to Iceland, whereas in
reality they are considerably more. In the fourth part of the "Rymbegla"
[1780, p. 482] a "dœgr's" sail is given as equal to two degrees of
latitude, that is, 120 nautical miles (or twenty-four of the old Norwegian
sea-leagues), but according to the measurements given there would be 80
nautical miles in a "dœgr's" sail between Norway and Iceland, 172 between
Iceland and Greenland, and 236 (or 144) between Iceland and Ireland. These
measurements of distance are therefore far too uncertain to be of any use
in finding Svalbard. According to the scale in the "Rymbegla" it would be
two and a half "dœgr" to Jan Mayen, and seven "dœgr" to Spitzbergen from

The old Norwegians imagined Hafsbotn [or Trollabotn][154] as the end
("botn") of the ocean to the north of Norway and north-east of Greenland,
as far as one could sail to the north in the Polar Sea. But Svalbard lay
according to the Landnámabók in the north of Hafsbotn; and if one tries to
sail northward in summer-time, either from Langanes, the north-east point
of Iceland, or from Norway, endeavouring to keep clear of the ice, it will
be difficult to avoid making Spitzbergen. If one followed the edge of the
ice northwards from Iceland in July, it would infallibly bring one there.
Such a voyage would correspond to the sailing directions from Snæfellsnes
when they steered west to the edge of the ice off Greenland, and then
followed it south-westwards round Hvarf. On the other hand, it would be
impossible to arrive at the northern east coast of Greenland without
venturing far into the ice, and it is not likely that the ancient Norsemen
would have done this unless they knew that there was land on the inside
and consequently hunting-grounds (cf. vol. i. p. 286). No doubt one might
make Jan Mayen; but it is difficult to suppose that this little island
should have been given such a name, which is only suited to the coast of a
larger country. The conclusion that Svalbard was not the northern east
coast of Greenland seems also justified from the latter being mentioned
immediately afterwards in Hauk's Landnámabók under the name of "the
uninhabited parts of Greenland," one "dœgr's" sail north of Kolbeins-ey
(see vol i. p. 286; vol. ii. p. 166).

As has already been said, the Norwegians (cf. Historia Norwegiæ and the
"King's Mirror") and Icelanders (cf. the mediæval Icelandic geography)
thought that "land extended from Bjarmeland to the uninhabited parts in
the north, and as far as the beginning of Greenland," that is, round the
whole of the north of Hafsbotn. From several legendary sagas of the
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries we can see that Svalbard was in fact
reckoned among these uninhabited parts in the north, which were reached by
sailing past Hálogaland and Finmark, and northward over Dumbshav (see map,
p. 34).

Thus, in Samson Fagre's Saga [of about 1350] we read in the thirteenth
chapter, "On the situation of the northern lands":

    "Risaland lies east and north of the Baltic, and to the north-east of
    it lies the land that is called Jotunheimar, and there dwell trolls
    and evil spirits, but from thence until it meets the uninhabited parts
    of Greenland goes the land that is called Svalbard; there dwell
    various peoples." [Grönl. hist. Mind., iii. p. 524.]

The outcome of what has been advanced above will be briefly: there can be
no doubt, from the sober statement in the Icelandic Annals and in the
Landnáma, that the land of Svalbard really was discovered, even though the
date need not be accurate; and it may further be regarded as probable that
this land was Spitzbergen.

It may be supposed that it was discovered accidentally by a ship on the
way between Iceland and Norway, as stated in the Historia Norwegiæ, being
driven by storms to the north of Hafsbotn; but the mention of the country
in the Landnámabók may indicate that the voyage was made more than once,
and that knowledge of the country cannot in any case have been limited to
an accidental discovery of this sort. It is more probable that the
Norwegians and Icelanders carried on seal- and walrus-hunting northwards
along the edge of the ice in the Polar Sea, and in that case it was
unavoidable that they should arrive at Svalbard or Spitzbergen. And when
it was once discovered they must often have resorted to it; for the
valuable walrus was at that time very plentiful there.

[Sidenote: The Russians' arctic sealing a continuation of the Norwegians']

As we nowhere find mention of these sealing expeditions of the Norwegians
in the Polar Sea, except in Ottar's narrative, it may be difficult to show
certain evidence of their having taken place; but the Russians'
seal-hunting in the Polar Sea, of which we hear as early as the sixteenth
century, can in my opinion scarcely be explained in any other way than as
a continuation in the main of the Norwegians' sealing. When the English,
and later the Dutch, came to the Murman coast and the coasts eastwards as
far as the Pechora, Vaigach and Novaya Zemlya, they found fleets of
Russian smacks engaged in fishing and walrus-hunting; most of them were
from the Murman coast, some from the White Sea, and a few from the
Pechora. Stephen Burrough thus found in June 1556 no less than thirty
smacks in the Kola fjord, which had come sailing down the river, on their
way to fishing- and sealing-grounds to the east. These smacks sailed well
with the wind free, could also be rowed with twenty oars, and had each a
crew of twenty-four men.

Pistorius[155] refers to Andrei Mikhow as saying that the "Juctri"
(Yugrians in the Pechora district) and "Coreli" (Karelian) on the coast of
the Polar Sea hunted seals and whales, of whose skins they made ropes,
purses, and ...? ("redas, bursas et coletas"), and used the blubber (for
lighting ?) and sold it. They also hunted walrus (called by Mikhow by its
Norwegian name "rosmar"),[156] the tusks of which they sold to the
Russians. The latter kept a certain quantity for their own use, and sent
the rest to Tartary and Turkey. The hunting was said to proceed in a
curious fashion; the walruses, which were very numerous, clambering up on
to the mountain-ridges and there perishing in great numbers.[157] The
Yugrians and Karelians then collected the tusks on the shore. Is there
here some confusion with stories of the collection of mammoth tusks?

What was said earlier (p. 145) from an Arabian source about steel blades
being sold to the peoples on the coast of the Polar Sea in North Russia
seems to point to sea-hunting having been well developed in these regions
as early as the twelfth century; for otherwise steel for hunting
appliances could not have been a common article of commerce.

That Norwegians and Russians often met in northern waters may apparently
be concluded from the words already quoted from Erik Walkendorf, about
1520 (cf. p. 86), that fifteen of the Skrælings did not venture to
approach a Christian or Ruten (i.e., Russian). As he places the land of
the Skrælings north-north-west of Finmark, this seems to be a legend that
is brought into connection with the Polar Sea. Of walrus-tusks he says
that "these are costly and greatly prized among the Russians." Unless this
is taken from older literary sources (?), one might suppose that it was
information he himself had obtained in Finmark, and it might then point to
the Norwegians having sold walrus-tusks to the Russians.

[Sidenote: Russians and Lapps learned walrus-hunting from the Norwegians]

The fact that, as mentioned above, a Russian author of the sixteenth
century (Mikhow) uses the Norwegian name "rosmar" seems also to point to
Russian connection with the Norwegians in the arctic fisheries. In
addition to this, the Russian word "morsh" for walrus is evidently the
same as the Lappish "moršša" (Finnish "mursu"), and may originally be the
same word as "rosmar" ("rosmhvalr"). For it is striking that the same
letters are present in "morsh" or "moršša" as in "rosm(hvalr)," or in
"rosmar"; there is only a transference of consonants, which is often met
with in borrowed words in different languages.

    I asked Professor Konrad Nielsen what he thought about this, and
    whether he could imagine any Finnish-Ugrian origin of the word, or
    whether any similar word was known, for instance, in Samoyed. He
    considers that my assumption may "be quite well founded."[158] He has
    consulted Professor Setälä of Helsingfors about it, and the latter
    thinks that if the word was borrowed from Finnish into Russian, there
    is nothing to prevent its being connected with the Norse
    rosm(hvalr)--the latter would then, of course, be the primary form.
    Similar metatheses are found in other Norse loan-words in Finnish.
    Konrad Nielsen thinks that "the Lappish word is pretty certainly
    borrowed from Finnish, so that the idea of its Norse origin meets with
    no difficulty from that quarter." And as to the possible Russian
    origin of the word, he has spoken to the Slavic authority, Professor
    Mikkola, who informs him that in popular language the Russian word is
    only found in the most northern dialects, and there is no point of
    connection in other Slavic languages, so that he regards it as
    probable that it is not originally a Slavic word. No Finnish-Ugrian
    etymology for the word can, according to Konrad Nielsen, be put
    forward. "In Samoyed," he says, "the name for walrus is only known as
    far as Jura-Samoyed (the most western dialect of Samoyed) is
    concerned: 't'ewot'e,' 'tiut'ei.' I have compared this with the
    Lappish name for seal, 'dævok'--'davak'--'dævkka.' In this I see
    evidence that the Lapps (contrary to Wiklund's view) were acquainted
    with the Polar Sea and its animals before they came to Scandinavia."
    He also draws my attention to the fact that "the Finnish 'norsu' (in
    the older language also 'nursa'), 'elephant,' seems to be connected
    with 'mursu,' which is easily explained by the analogous use of
    walrus-tusks and elephant-tusks."

    Professor Olaf Broch also considers my assumption probable, and has
    submitted the question of the etymology of the Russian "morsh" to
    Professor Berneker, who may doubtless be regarded as the first
    authority in questions of this kind. He replies that a "wild"
    etymologist might connect the word with a series of words in Slavic
    languages which express various movements; but the Russian word,
    being so definitely localised, must doubtless be derived from the
    North-Finnish linguistic region. Whether the Finnish "mursu," Lappish
    "moršša," "morša," can be referred to a metathesis of Old Norse
    rosmhvalr, Danish rosmer, etc., Professor Berneker is unable to
    determine. "But with loan-words all sorts of anomalies take place, and
    no rules can be laid down."

If we compare these various utterances of such eminent authorities, it
appears to me that there are paramount reasons for regarding the
Russian-Finnish name for walrus as of Norse origin. But in that case it
also becomes probable that the Norwegians were the pioneers in
walrus-hunting along the coasts of the Polar Sea, and that both the
Finnish peoples and the Russians learned from them.

It will doubtless be difficult to find a natural explanation of the
peoples on the northern coasts of Russia having from the first developed
their arctic sea-hunting with large craft, unless we suppose that they
learned it from the Norwegians, and that it is thus a continuation of the
methods of the latter. It should also be remembered that the Kola
peninsula as far as the White Sea itself was reckoned a tributary country
of Norway (cf. p. 135), and that the name of the Murman coast means simply
the Norwegians' coast. None of the peoples on the north coast of Russia
can have been a seafaring people very far back, as is shown by their boats
and appliances; and it is difficult to believe that they should have been
able to develop independently a system of navigation on a coast presenting
such unfavourable conditions; no doubt they could have done so with small
boats, originally river-boats,[159] but not with larger craft; this they
must most probably have learned from their nearest seafaring neighbours,
the Norwegians, who were masters at sea.

It is remarkable that already as early as in Adam of Bremen white bears
(polar bears) are mentioned as occurring in Norway (cf. vol. i. pp. 191,
f.). That this might be due to the connection with Iceland and Greenland,
even at that time, is perhaps possible, but not very probable, as these
countries are mentioned separately by Adam. The white bears in Norway may
rather point to a connection with the Polar Sea and to the Norwegians
having practised sealing there.

[Sidenote: Mention of white bears in Norway]

    It is perhaps due to the same connection of the Norwegians with the
    Polar Sea that we find on the Italian Dalorto's map of 1325 (see next
    chapter) and on several later maps the statement that there are white
    bears in northern Norway. Probably polar bears' skins were brought to
    the south from Norway as an article of commerce and the Norwegians may
    have obtained the skins partly by their own hunting in the Polar Sea,
    partly by the trade with Greenland, and partly, no doubt, by that with
    the peoples on the north coast of Russia. The Arab Ibn Sa'id
    (thirteenth century) mentions white bears in the northern islands,
    amongst them the island of white falcons (i.e., Iceland). "These
    bears' skins are soft, and they are brought to the Egyptian lands as
    gifts." In the "Geographia Universalis" of the thirteenth century (see
    next chapter) the white bears in Iceland are described. It was a
    common idea in southern Europe in the Middle Ages that Greenland, and
    sometimes also Iceland (cf. Fra Mauro's map), lay to the north of
    Norway, or they were made continuous with it, and even a part of it.

    The Venetian Querini, who was wrecked on Röst Island and travelled
    south through Norway in 1432, says that he saw a perfectly white
    bear's skin at the foot of the Metropolitan's chair in St. Olaf's
    Church at Trondhjem.[160] As Greenland was under the jurisdiction of
    the Archbishop of Trondhjem, this skin may have been a gift from pious
    Greenlanders, as perhaps were also the Eskimo hide-canoes mentioned by
    Claudius Clavus (cf. p. 85). In Norse literature polar bears are
    always connected with Icelanders or Greenlanders, who sometimes
    brought them alive as gifts to kings.

[Sidenote: Decline of the Norwegians' sea-hunting]

We may thus conclude from what has been advanced above that the hunting of
whales, seals, and particularly walrus was of great importance to the
Norwegians in ancient times, and for the sake of the last they certainly
made extended expeditions in the Arctic Ocean. It may therefore be
difficult to understand how it came about that this sea-hunting declined
to such an extent in more recent times that we hear nothing about the
Norwegians' hunting in the Polar Sea, while in the sixteenth century
fleets from the northern coasts of Russia were engaged in fishing and
walrus-hunting; and Peder Claussön Friis is able to say of whaling in
Norway (about 1613):

    "In old time many expedients or methods were used in these lands
    [i.e., Norway] for catching whales ... but on account of men's
    unskilfulness they have fallen out of use, so that they now have no
    means of hunting the whale unless he drifts ashore to them."

This seems to show that the Norwegians' whaling in open sea had really
gone out of practice, for otherwise this author must have known of it; on
the other hand, whale-hunting in the fjords, which were closed by nets,
has continued to our time. Walrus-hunting (as well as sealing) appears to
have been still carried on in Finmark in Peder Claussön Friis's time.

    His description of the animal and its hunting is in part accompanied
    by stories similar to those in Olaus Magnus and Albertus Magnus (see
    p. 163), and he mentions the great strength of walrus-hide ropes, and
    their use "for clappers in hanging bells, item for shore-ropes and
    other ropes, and for the screws on the quay at Bergen, with which the
    dried fish is screwed into barrels, and for such other uses as no
    hawser or cable can so well serve for." This shows that these ropes
    must have been widely employed and that there must have been
    considerable hunting of walrus. According to an order of Christian
    IV., dated from Bergenhus Castle, July 6, 1622, fifteen walrus-hides
    were to be bought yearly for the King's service,[161] and from K.
    Leem's description it seems that walrus was still hunted in Finmark in
    his time (1767). He says too [1767, p. 302] that "even the Sea-Lapps
    of the Varanger-Fiord formerly practised whaling, using for that
    purpose appliances invented and made by themselves." To this is added
    in a note by Gunnerus: "The same thing may also be said in our time of
    the Lapps in Schjerv-island and of a few peasants in Nordland,
    especially in Ofoten."

But in none of these accounts is there any hint that the Norwegians
carried on their hunting beyond the limits of the country, as Ottar did in
the ninth century.

The decline of this productive hunting may have come about through the
concurrence of many circumstances. Hostile relations with the Karelians
and Russians on the east may have had some influence on it; as the latter
in increasing numbers took up the same hunting in their smacks, the
eastward waters may have become unsafe for the Norwegians, who, though
superior in seamanship, were inferior in numbers. But a more important
factor was the rapid growth of the fisheries on the home coasts in Finmark
after the fourteenth century, which may have claimed all available hands,
leaving none over for fishing in more distant waters. Besides which the
influence of the Hanseatic League no doubt contributed; then, as later,
they learned to prefer the valuable trade in dried fish to fitting out
vessels for the more uncertain and dangerous hunting in the Polar Sea,
which they knew nothing about. Finally came the royal edict of April 1562,
which enforced Bergen's monopoly in the trade with Finmark, whereby the
dead hand was laid upon this part of the country, as formerly upon
Greenland. In those days a corresponding displacement of the arctic
fisheries must have taken place from Norway to north Russia, as in the
last century again a displacement took place in the contrary direction,
when the Russian hunting in the Arctic Ocean and Spitzbergen ceased and
the Norwegians again became the only hunters in these waters.

[Sidenote: Decline of Norwegian navigation]

It was a concatenation of unfortunate accidents that produced the gradual
decline of the voyages of the Norwegians and of their unrestricted command
of all northern waters from the White Sea, and probably also Novaya Zemlya
and Spitzbergen, over all the northern islands, Shetland, the Orkneys (to
some extent the Hebrides, Man and Ireland), the Faroes, Iceland, and as
far as Greenland, and probably also for a time the north-east coast of
America. Unfavourable political conditions had a great deal to do with
this, not the least of them being the long union with Denmark, with the
removal of the seat of government to Copenhagen, which was extremely
unfavourable to the interests of Norwegian commerce. To this was added the
growing power of the Hanseatic League in Norway, the effect of which was
as demoralising to all activity in the country as it was paralysing to our
navigation. But not the least destructive were the royal monopolies of
trade with the so-called tributary countries of the kingdom; like all
State monopolies, they laid their dead hand upon all private enterprise.
In this way the Norwegian command of northern waters received its
death-blow; while the mercantile fleets of other nations, especially the
English, came to the fore, to a large extent by making use of Norwegian
seamanship and enterprise; thus the English seaport of Bristol seems to
have had many Norwegians among its citizens, who certainly found there
better conditions to work under than at home.

The mass of knowledge the Norwegians had acquired about the northern
regions, before their time entirely unknown, was to a great extent
forgotten again; and at the close of the Middle Ages all that remained was
the communication with Iceland and the knowledge of the neighbouring seas,
besides the continuance of the connection between the White Sea and
Norway; while the voyage to Greenland, to say nothing of America, was
forgotten, at any rate by the mass of the people.

The development of humanity often proceeds with a strangely lavish waste
of forces. How many needless plans and unsuccessful voyages, how much toil
and how many human lives would not a knowledge of the Norwegians'
extensive discoveries have been able to save in succeeding ages? How very
different, too, might have been the development of many things, if by the
chances of an unlucky destiny the decline of Norwegian navigation had not
come just at a time when maritime enterprise received such a powerful
impetus among more southern nations, especially the Portuguese, then the
Spaniards, later the French, the English and the Dutch. By their great
discoveries it was these nations who introduced a new era in the history
of navigation, and also in that of polar voyages. But if Norwegian
seamanship had still been at its height at that time, then certainly the
Scandinavians of Greenland would once more have sought the already
discovered countries on the west and south-west, and the Greenland
settlements might then have formed an important base for new undertakings,
whereby a new period of prosperity for Norwegian navigation and Norwegian
enterprise might have been introduced. This was not to be; it was only
reserved for the Norwegians to be the people who showed the way to the
other nations out from the coasts and over the great oceans.




At the beginning of the Middle Ages and down to the fifteenth century the
cartography of the Greeks, which had reached its summit in the work of
Ptolemy, was entirely unknown in Europe; while the early Greek conceptions
(those of the Ionian school) of the disc of the earth or "œcumene" as a
circle (called by the Romans "orbis terrarum," the circle of the earth)
round the Mediterranean--and externally surrounded by the universal
ocean--had persisted through the late Latin authors, and probably also
through Roman maps. At the same time Parmenides' doctrine of zones (cf.
vol. i. pp. 12, 123) remained prevalent owing to its enunciation by
Macrobius, and maps exhibiting this doctrine were common until the
sixteenth century. These two conceptions became the foundation of the
learned view and representation of the world, and consequently also of the
North, throughout the greater part of the Middle Ages. It was the age of
speculation, not of observation. The Scandinavians were the first
innovators in geography, by going straight to nature as it is, unfettered
by dogmas. The Italian and Catalan sailors followed later with their
portulans (sailing-books) and compass-charts.

[Illustration: Map of the world from Albi in Languedoc, also called the
Merovingian map (eighth century). The east is at the top, the
Mediterranean in the middle, and the universal ocean outside, with its
three bays: the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea]

[Sidenote: Oldest mediæval maps]

[Sidenote: The wheel-map type]

We find what is perhaps the oldest known Christian map of the world (cf.
vol. i. p. 126) in the "Christian Topography" of Cosmas
Indicopleustes.[162] An attempt is made to combine the Roman classical
view of the world, as lands grouped round the Mediterranean, with Cosmas's
pious conception of it as formed on the same rectangular plan as the Jews'
tabernacle. A map of the world of somewhat similar form is found in a MS.
(by Orosius and Julius Honorius) of the eighth century, preserved in the
library at Albi in Languedoc. But these attempts must be regarded as
accidental. Typical of that time were the so-called wheel- or T-maps, the
shape of which was due especially to Isidore Hispaliensis (cf. vol. i. pp.
151, ff.). The circular Roman maps of the world seem already to have had a
tendency to a tripartition of the world: Europe, Asia and Africa. Sallust
(in the "Bellum Jugurtinum") indicates something of the sort, and
Orosius's geographical system seems to be founded upon a map of this
kind. In St. Augustine we first find the division of the T-map clearly
expressed. This dogmatic-schematic form was fixed by Isidore, according to
whom the round disc of the earth surrounded by the outer ocean was to be
compared to a wheel (or an O), divided into three by a T.[163] Mechanical
map-forms after this prescription (cf. vol. i. pp. 125, 150) were common
during the whole of the first part of the Middle Ages until the fourteenth
century; indeed they circulated and exercised influence far into the
sixteenth; but sometimes, in accordance with the four corners of the earth
in the Bible, the maps were given a square form instead of a round. In
spite of the fact that most authors, among them Isidore himself, expressly
declare that the earth had the form of a globe, this does not seem to have
been anything more than a purely theoretical doctrine, for in
cartographical representations, through the whole of the Middle Ages to
about the close of the fifteenth century, there is never any hint of
projection, or of any difficulty in transferring the spherical surface of
the earth to a plane, which had been so clearly present to the minds of
the Greeks.

[Illustration: Beatus map, from Osma, 1203. The east is at the top]

[Illustration: Northern Europe on Heinrich of Mainz's map, at Cambridge

[Sidenote: The Beatus map]

[Sidenote: Sallust-maps]

The wheel-maps were, as we have said, from the first purely formal; but by
degrees an attempt was made to bring into the scheme real geographical
information, although the endeavour to approach reality in the
representation is scarcely to be traced. To this type of map belongs the
so-called Beatus map, which the Spanish monk Beatus (ob. 798) added to his
commentary on the Apocalypse, and which was reproduced in very varying
forms, ten of which have been preserved. The original map, which is not
known, was probably round, but in the reproductions the circle of the
earth is sometimes more or less round (as in the illustration, p. 184),
sometimes oblong (cf. vol. i. p. 199), and sometimes four-sided with
rounded corners [cf. K. Miller, ii., 1895]. Jerusalem was frequently
placed in the centre of the wheel-maps, Paradise (often with Adam and Eve
at the time of the Fall, or with the four rivers of Paradise) in the
extreme east of Asia, which is at the top of the map, and the
Mediterranean (Mare magnum), which forms the stem of the T, pointing down
(cf. vol. i. p. 150). The cross-stroke of the T was formed by the rivers
Tanais (with the Black Sea) and Nile. In the band of ocean surrounding the
disc of the earth the oceanic islands were distributed more or less
according to taste, and as there happened to be room. Thus in the version
of the Beatus map here given, from Osma in Spain (of 1203), Scandinavia
appears as an island ("Scada insula") by the North Pole, as in the Ravenna
geographer (cf. the map, vol. i. p. 152), and the "Orcades" (the Orkneys)
and "Gorgades" (the fabulous islands of the Greeks to the west of Africa)
are placed on the north-east of Asia. The so-called Sallust-maps, drawn up
from Sallust's description of the world in the Bellum Jugurtinum [cf. K.
Miller, iii., 1895, pp. 110, ff.], were another type of very formal
wheel-maps that were still current in the fourteenth century.

[Illustration: Northern Europe on the Hereford map (circa 1280)]

[Illustration: Northern part of the Psalter map (thirteenth century)]

[Sidenote: The North on known wheel-maps of the Middle Ages]

But by degrees many changes were introduced into the strict scheme. The
outer coast-line of the continents was in parts indented by bays and
prolonged into peninsulas, and the islands were given a less formal shape.
Such attempts appear, for instance, in Heinrich of Mainz's map, which is
taken to have been drawn in 1110 [cf. K. Miller, iii., 1895, p. 22], and
the closely related "Hereford map" of about 1280 by Richard de Holdingham
[cf. K. Miller, iv., 1896; Jomard, 1855]. Some resemblance to these maps
is shown by the "Psalter" map in London, of the second half of the
thirteenth century, and the closely related "Ebstorf" map of 1284 [cf. K.
Miller, iii. pp. 37, ff.; iv. p. 3; v.]; and it is quite possible that
they may all be derived from the same original source; there is in
particular a great resemblance in their representation of Britain and
Ireland. On the first three of these maps Scandinavia or Norway ("Noreya"
or "Norwegia") forms a peninsula with gulfs on the north and south sides.
On Heinrich's map there is beyond this an island or peninsula, called
"Ganzmir," a name which occurs again on the Hereford map (cf. vol. i. p.
157); Miller explains it as a corruption of Canzia, Scanzia (Scandinavia).
On the "Lambert" map in the Ghent codex of before 1125 [cf. K. Miller,
iii., 1895, p. 45], "Scanzia," also with the name "Norwegia," is
represented as a peninsula with narrow gulfs running up into the continent
on each side. "Island" (or "Ysland") appears on Heinrich's and the
Hereford maps as an island near Norway. On the Ebstorf map "Scandinavia
insula" and "Norwegia" are also shown as islands. Many fabulous countries,
such as "Iperboria" (the land of the Hyperboreans), "Arumphei" (on the
Psalter map, i.e., the land of the Aremphæans, cf. vol. i. p. 88), etc.,
appear as peninsulas or islands in the northern regions on several of
these maps; on the other hand, neither Greenland nor Wineland occurs on
any of them.

[Illustration: Northern Europe on the Lambert map at Ghent (before 1125)]

[Illustration: Ranulph Higden's map of the world, in London (fourteenth

[Sidenote: Higden's work and the Geographia Universalis]

Ranulph Higden's map of the world, which accompanied his already mentioned
work, "Polychronicon" (of the first part of the fourteenth century), is
more fettered by the scheme of the wheel-maps in the form of the outer
coast-line and of the islands. He took his vows in 1299, was a monk of St.
Werburg's Abbey at Chester, and died at a great age in 1363. Various
reproductions of his map are known, but they display little sense of
realistic representation. "Scandinavia" is placed in Asia on the Black
Sea, together with the Amazons and Massagetæ, and to the north of it
"Gothia" (Sweden ?). Islands in the ocean off the coast of northern Europe
are called "Norwegia," "Islandia," "Witland" (or "Wineland," etc.), with
"gens ydolatra," "Tile" (Thule) and "Dacia" (Denmark) with "gens
bellicosa" somewhere near the North Pole. In spite of this representation
on the map, the Polychronicon (cf. above, p. 31) contains various
statements about the North, which may point to a certain communication
with it, or may be echoes of Northern writers. Higden to a large extent
copied an earlier work, the "Geographia Universalis," a sort of
geographical lexicon by an unknown author of the thirteenth century,[164]
which is for the most part based on earlier writers, especially Isidore.
Both works are practically untouched by the knowledge of the North that
had already appeared in King Alfred and in Adam of Bremen, and show how
much ignorance could still prevail in learned quarters on many points
connected with these regions. The "Geographia" speaks of "Gothia," or
lower Scythia, as a province of Europe, but obviously confuses Sweden (the
land of the Götar) and Eastern Germania (the land of the Goths). Norway
("Norwegia") was very large, far in the north, almost surrounded by the
ocean; it bordered on the land of the Goths (Götar), and was separated
from Gothia (Sweden) on the south and east by the river Albia (the Göta
river). The inhabitants live by fishing and hunting more than by bread;
crops are few on account of the severity of the cold. There are many wild
beasts, such as white bears, etc. There are springs that turn hides, wood,
etc., into stone; there is midnight sun and corresponding winter darkness.
Corn, wine and oil are wanting, unless imported. The inhabitants are tall,
powerful and handsome, and are great pirates. "Dacia"[165] was divided
into many islands and provinces bordering on Germania. Its inhabitants
were descended from the Goths (Götar ? cf. Jordanes, vol. i. p. 135), were
numerous and finely grown, wild and warlike, etc. "Svecia" (the land of
the Svear) is also mentioned. That part of it which lay between the
kingdoms of the Danes and of the Norwegians was called Gothia. Svecia had
the Baltic Sea on the east and the British Ocean on the west, the
mountains and people of Norway on the north, and the Danes on the south.
They had rich pastures, metals and silver mines. The people were very
strong and warlike, they once ruled over the greater part of Asia and

    "'Winlandia' is a country along the mountains of Norway on the east,
    extending on the shore of the ocean; it is not very fertile except in
    grass and forest; the people are barbarously savage and ugly, and
    practise magical arts, therefore they offer for sale and sell wind to
    those who sail along their coasts, or who are becalmed among them.
    They make balls of thread and tie various knots on them, and tell
    them to untie three or more knots of the ball, according to the
    strength of wind that is desired. By making magic with these [the
    knots] through their heathen practices, they set the demons in motion,
    and raise a greater or less wind, according as they loosen more or
    fewer knots in the thread, and sometimes they bring about such a wind
    that the unfortunate ones who place reliance on such things perish by
    a righteous judgment."

It is possible that the name "Winlandia" itself is a confusion of Finland
(i.e., the land of the Finns [Lapps], Finmark) with Vinland (cf. above, p.
31); although the description of the country must refer to the former. It
may be supposed that a misunderstanding of the name was the origin of the
myth of selling wind being connected with it. The idea persisted, and the
same myth is given so late as by Knud Leem [1767, p. 3] from an anonymous
book of travels in northern Norway.

Of Iceland the "Geographia" says:

    "'Yselandia' is the uttermost part of Europe beyond Norway on the
    north.... Its more distant parts are continually under ice by the
    shore of the ocean on the north, where the sea freezes to ice in the
    terrible cold. On the east it has Upper Scythia, on the south Norway,
    on the west the Hibernian Ocean.... It is called Yselandia as the land
    of ice, because it is said that there the mountains freeze together to
    the hardness of ice. Crystals are found there. In that region are also
    found many great and wild white bears, that break the ice in pieces
    with their claws and make large holes, through which they plunge down
    into the water and take fish under the ice. They draw them up through
    the said holes, and carry them to the shore, and live on them. The
    land is unfertile in crops except in a few places.... Therefore the
    people live for the most part on fish and hunting and meat. Sheep
    cannot live there on account of the cold, and therefore the
    inhabitants protect themselves against the cold and cover their bodies
    with the skins of the wild beasts they take in hunting.... The people
    are very stout, powerful, and very white ('alba')."

In Higden's Polychronicon Gothia is also spoken of as lower Scythia, but
among the provinces of Asia, although it is said that it lies in Europe;
it has on the north Dacia and the Northern Ocean. But the geographical
confusion in this work is greater; as already mentioned (p. 31), the
countries of the Scandinavians are described together with the Insulæ
Fortunatæ, Wyntlandia, etc., as islands in the outer ocean. The
disagreement between Higden's text and his map gives us an insight into
how little weight was attached at that time to the relation between maps
and reality; they are for the most part merely graphic schemes. Probably
Higden's map was partly copied from an older one, and the desirability of
bringing it into better agreement with his text did not occur to him.

[Sidenote: The Cottoniana map]

The so-called "Anglo-Saxon mappamundi" or "Cottoniana" (reproduced vol. i.
pp. 180, 183), which is in the British Museum, occupies a position of its
own among early mediæval maps. Its age is uncertain; it may at the
earliest date from the close of the tenth century, but possibly it is as
late as the twelfth [cf. K. Miller, iii., 1895, p. 31]. It exhibits no
agreement with the text of Priscian (Latin translation of Dionysius
Periegetes, see vol. i. p. 114), to which it is appended. Many of the
names might rather be derived from Orosius, there is also great
resemblance to Mela (cf. vol. i. pp. 85, ff.), and in some ways to the
mediæval maps already mentioned, although the representation of the North
is different. Probably an older, perhaps Roman (?) map formed the basis of
it. Name-forms like Island, Norweci[166] (Norwegia), Sleswic, Sclavi, may
remind us of Adam of Bremen, but they may also be older. This map is
doubtless less formal than the pronounced wheel-map type, but it does not
bear a much greater resemblance to reality, although the form of Britain,
for instance, may show an effort in that direction. The peninsula which
has been given the name of Norweci (Norway) has most resemblance to
Jutland, and the name seems to have been misplaced. No doubt it ought
rather to have been attached to the long island lying to the north, which
has been given the names Scridefinnas and Island. The representation has
great resemblance to Edrisi's map (cf. p. 203), where Denmark forms a
similar peninsula, and Norway a similar long island, with two smaller
islands to the east of Denmark, which is also alike. The "Orcades Insule"
are given a wide extension on the Cottoniana map, and Tyle (Thule) lies to
the north-west of Britain, as it should do according to Orosius. This map
does not therefore indicate, any more than the others, any particular
increase of knowledge of the North, and compared with King Alfred's work
it is still far behind in the dark ages.

[Sidenote: Macrobius's zone-maps]

The zone-maps, already alluded to, which are derived from Macrobius (cf.
vol. i. p. 123), gave a formal representation of the earth of a peculiar
kind, which was common throughout the whole of the Middle Ages; they may
be regarded as mathematical geography more than anything else. The earth
is divided in purely formal fashion into five zones, two of which are
habitable: our temperate zone and the unknown temperate zone of the
antipodes (in the southern hemisphere); and three uninhabitable: the
torrid zone with the equatorial ocean, and the two frigid zones, north and
south. These conceptions also reached the North at an early time, and are
mentioned in the "King's Mirror," amongst other works, although its author
thought that the inhabited part of Greenland really lay in the frigid
zone. A zone-map from Iceland is also known of the thirteenth century.
Another of the fourteenth century and a kind of wheel-map of the twelfth
century, but with geographical names only without coast-lines, are also
found in Icelandic MSS., besides a small wheel- and T-map.[167] Otherwise
it is not known that maps were drawn in the North during the Middle Ages.
A purely formal wheel- and T-map is known from Lund before 1159 [see
Björnbo, 1909, p. 189]. Another Danish wheel-map of the sixteenth century
is known [see Björnbo, 1909, p. 192], and Björnbo reproduces [1909, pp.
193, ff.] two wheel-maps of 1486 from Lübeck, belonging to Professor
Wieser, where the lands and islands of the North are drawn as round discs
(with names) in the outer universal ocean.


[Sidenote: The Arabs' many connections]

If we turn now from the intellectual darkness of Christian Western Europe
in the early Middle Ages to contemporary Arabic literature, it is as
though we entered a new world; not least is this shown in geographical
science, where the authors follow quite different methods. Through their
contact with the intellectual world of Greece in the Orient, the Arabs
kept alive the Greek tradition; they had translations in their own
language of Euclid, Archimedes, Aristotle, the now lost work of Marinus of
Tyre, and others, and of special importance to their geographical
knowledge was their acquaintance with Ptolemy's astronomy and geography,
which had been forgotten in Europe, and which first became known there
through the Arabs (cf. vol. i. p. 116). They were also acquainted with
Greek cartography. To this education in Greek views and interests was
added the fact that they had better opportunities than any other nation of
collecting geographical knowledge; through their extensive conquests and
through their trade they reached China on the east--where for a
considerable time their merchants had fixed colonies, first in Canton (in
the eighth century), and later, in the ninth century, even in Khânfu (near
Shanghai)[168]--and the western coasts of Europe and Africa on the west,
the Sudan and Somaliland (and even Madagascar) on the south, and North
Russia on the north. In spite of the religious fanaticism which in the
seventh century made them an irresistible nation of conquerors, they had
civilisation enough to remember that "the ink of science is worth more
than the blood of martyrs," and there flourished among them a remarkably
copious literature, with an endless variety of works, from the ninth
century through the whole of the Middle Ages.

[Sidenote: The Arabs' sense for geography]

Although the Arabs never attained the Greeks' capacity for scientific
thinking, their literature nevertheless reveals an intellectual
refinement which, with the dark Middle Ages of Europe as a background, has
an almost dazzling effect. The Arab geographers have a special gift for
collecting concrete information about countries and conditions, about
peoples' habits and customs, and in this they may serve as models; on the
other hand sober criticism is not their strong side, and they had a
pronounced taste for the marvellous; if classical writers, and still more
the learned men of the European Middle Ages, had blended together
trustworthy information and fabulous myth more or less uncritically, the
Arabs did so to an even greater degree, and we often find in them a truly
oriental splendour in the mythical; thus it must not surprise us to hear
of whales two hundred fathoms long and snakes that swallow elephants in
the same author (Ibn Khordâḏbah) who says that the earth is round like a
sphere, and that all bodies are stable on its surface because the air
attracts their lighter parts [thus we have the buoyancy of the air], while
the earth attracts towards its centre their heavy parts in the same way as
the magnet influences iron [a perfectly clear description of gravitation].

Chiefly on account of the language the new fund of geographical knowledge,
which, together with much that is mythical, is contained in the rich
literature of the Arabs, did not attain any great importance in mediæval
Europe; on the other hand the Arabs exercised more influence through the
geographical myths and tales which they brought orally from the East to
Europe, and, as we have seen, the world of Irish myth, amongst others, was
influenced thereby.

[Sidenote: The Arabs' connection with the North]

The ideas of the Arabs about the North are, in most cases, very hazy.
Putting aside the partly mythical conceptions that they had derived from
the Greeks (especially Ptolemy), they obtained their information about it
chiefly in two ways: (1) by their commercial intercourse in the east with
Russia--chiefly over the Caspian Sea with the towns of Itil and
Bulgar[169] on the Volga--they received information about the districts
in the north of Russia, and also about the Scandinavians, commonly called
Rûs, sometimes also Warank. (2) Through their possessions in the western
Mediterranean, especially in Spain, they came in contact with the northern
peoples of Western Europe, the Scandinavian Vikings ("Maǵûs") in
particular, and in that way acquired information.

"Maǵûs"[170] means in the west the same northern people, the
Scandinavians, whom in the east the Arabs called Rûs or Warangs, which
word they may have got from the Greek "Varangoi" (Βάραγγοι) and the
Russian "Varyag."

All that the Arab authors of the _oldest_ period have about the North, and
that is not taken from the Greeks, they got through their commercial
connections with Russia; but it is not until the ninth century and later
that anything worth mentioning appears, and even in the tenth and eleventh
centuries their ideas on the subject are very much tinged with myth.
Professor Alexander Seippel in his work "Rerum Normannicarum fontes
Arabici" [1896], printed in Arabic, has collected the most important
statements about the North in mediæval Arabic literature, and has been
good enough to translate parts of these, which I give in the following
pages. I have also made some additions from other sources. In an earlier
chapter (pp. 143, ff.) several Arabic authors have already been quoted on
the connection with Northern Russia.

The imperfection of Arabic script and its common omission of vowels easily
give rise to all kinds of corruptions and misunderstandings; this is
especially fatal to the reproduction of foreign words and geographical
names, which explains the great uncertainty that prevails in their

[Sidenote: Ibn Khordâḏbah, A.D. 885]

In the oldest Arab writers, of the ninth century and later, there is
little or no knowledge of the North. We are only told in some of their
works that furs come from there, and that the ocean in the north is
entirely unknown. Abu'l-Qâsim Ibn Khordâḏbah (ob. 912), a Persian by
descent and the Caliph's postmaster in Media, thus relates in his "book
of routes and provinces" (completed about 885):[171]

    "As concerns the sea that is behind [i.e., to the north of] the Slavs,
    and whereon the town of Tulia [i.e., Thule] lies, no ship travels upon
    it, nor any boat, nor does anything come from thence. In like manner
    none travels upon the sea wherein lie the Fortunate Isles, and from
    thence nothing comes, and it is also in the west." "The Russians,[172]
    who belong to the race of the Slavs [i.e., Slavs and Germans], travel
    from the farthest regions of the land of the Slavs to the shore of the
    Mediterranean (Sea of Rum), and there sell skins of beaver and fox, as
    well as swords" (?).

The Russian merchants also descended the Volga to the Caspian Sea, and
their goods were sometimes carried on camels to Bagdad.[173]

[Sidenote: Ibn al-Faqîh, 900 A.D.]

[Sidenote: Ibn al-Bahlûl, 910 A.D.]

[Sidenote: Qodâma]

There was no great change in knowledge of the North in the succeeding
centuries. Ibn al-Faqîh, about 900 A.D., has nothing to say about the
North. He mentions in the seventh climate women who "cut off one of their
breasts and burn it at an early age so that it may not grow big,"[174] and
he says that Tulia (Thule) is an island in the seventh sea between Rumia
(Rome) and Kharizm (Khwarizm in Turkestan), "and there no ship ever puts
in." Ibn al-Bahlûl, about 910 A.D., gives information after Ptolemy about
the latitudes of the northern regions and mentions two islands of Amazons,
one with men and one with women, in the extreme northern ocean [Seippel,
1896]. Qodâma Ibn Ǵafar (ob. 948 or 949 A.D.) says of the encircling ocean
(the Oceanus of the Greeks) in which the British Isles lie that

    "it is impossible to penetrate very far into this ocean, the ships
    cannot get any farther there; no one knows the real state of this
    ocean." [Cf. De Goeje in Ibn Khordâdhbeh, 1889, p. 174.]

[Sidenote: Ibn Ruste, 912 A.D.]

Abû 'Alî Ahmad Ibn Ruste, about 912 A.D., says of the Russians ("Rûs,"
that is, Scandinavians, usually Swedes) that they live on an island, which
is surrounded by a sea, is three days' journey (about seventy-five miles)
long, and is covered with forest and bogs; it is unhealthy and saturated
to such a degree that the soil quakes where one sets foot on it. They come
in ships to the land of the Slavs and attack them, etc. They have neither
fixed property, nor towns, nor agriculture; their only means of support is
the trade in sable, squirrel and other skins, which they sell to any one
who will buy them. They are tall, of handsome appearance, and courageous,
etc.[175] Probably there is here a confusion of various statements; the
ideas about the unhealthy bog-lands are doubtless connected with northern
Russia, and the trade in sables can scarcely be referred to the Swedes on
the Baltic.[176]

[Sidenote: Al-Mas'ûdî, before 950 A.D.]

The well-known historian, traveller and geographer, Abu'l Hasan 'Alî
al-Mas'ûdî (ob. 956), in his book (allegorically entitled "Gold-washings
and Diamond-mines") repeats certain Arab astronomers who say

    "that at the end of the inhabited world in the north there is a great
    sea, of which part lies under the north pole, and that in the vicinity
    of it there is a town [or land] which is called Tulia, beyond which no
    inhabited country is found." He mentions two rivers in Siberia: "the
    black and the white Irtish; both are considerable, and they surpass in
    length the Tigris and Euphrates; the distance between their two mouths
    is about ten days. On their banks the Turkish tribes Kaimâk and Ghuzz
    have their camps winter and summer."

He also states that the black fox's skin, which is the most valuable of
all, comes from the country of the Burtâsians (a Finnish people in
Russia, Mordvins ?), and is only found there and in the neighbouring
districts. Skins of red and white foxes are mentioned from the same
locality, and he gives an account of the extensive trade in furs, whereby
these skins are brought to the land of the Franks and Andalusia [i.e.,
Spain], and also to North Africa, "so that many think they come from
Andalusia and the parts of the land of the Franks and of the Slavs that
border upon it."[177] He also has a statement to the effect that before
the year 300 of the Hegira [i.e., 912 A.D.] ships with thousands of men
had landed in Spain and ravaged the country.

    "The inhabitants asserted that these enemies were heathens, who made
    an inroad every two hundred years, and penetrated into the
    Mediterranean by another strait than that whereon the copper
    lighthouse stands [i.e., the Straits of Gibraltar]. But I believe
    (though Allah alone knows the truth) that they come by a strait
    [canal] which is connected with Mæotis [the Sea of Azov] and Pontus
    [the Black Sea], and that they are Russians [i.e., Scandinavians] ...
    for these are the only people who sail on these seas which are
    connected with the ocean."[178]

This is evidently the ancient belief that the Black Sea was connected
through Mæotis with the Baltic.

[Sidenote: Al-Bîrûnî, 1030 A.D.]

The celebrated astronomer and mathematician, Abu-r-Raihân Muhammad
al-Bîrûnî (973-1038, wrote in 1030),[179] a Persian by birth, is of
interest to us as the first Arabic author who uses the name "Warank"[180]
for Scandinavian, and mentions the Varangians' Sea or Baltic.

    In his text-book of the elements of astronomy he says that from "the
    Encircling Ocean" [the Oceanus of the Greeks], out into which one
    never sails, but only along the coast, "there proceeds a great bay to
    the north of the Slavs, extending to the vicinity of the land of the
    Mohammedan Bulgarians [on the Volga]. It is known by the name of the
    Varangians' Sea ('Baḥr Warank'), and they [the Varangians] are a
    people[181] on its coast. Then it bends to the east in rear of them,
    and between its shore and the uttermost lands of the Turks [i.e., in
    East Asia] there are countries and mountains unknown, desert,

Al-Bîrûnî also has a very primitive map of the world as a round disc in
the ocean, indented by five bays, of which the Varangians' Sea is one [cf.
Seippel, 1896, Pl. I]. The peoples who are beyond the seventh climate,
that is, in the northernmost regions, are few, says he, "such as the Îsû
[i.e., Wîsû], and the Warank, and the Yura [Yugrians] and the like."

[Sidenote: Al-Ġazâl's voyage to the Maǵûs]

The Arabs of the West came in contact with the North through the Norman
Vikings, whom they called Maǵûs (cf. p. 55), and who in the ninth century
and later made several predatory expeditions to the Spanish Peninsula.
Their first attack on the Moorish kingdom in Spain seems to have taken
place in 844, when, amongst other things, they took and sacked Seville.
After that expedition, an Arab writer tells us, friendly relations were
established between the sultan of Spain, 'Abd ar-Raḥmân II., and "the king
of the Maǵûs," and, according to an account in Abu'l-Khațțâb 'Omar Ibn
Diḥya[183] (ob. circa 1235), the former is even said to have sent an
ambassador, al-Ġazâl, to the latter's country. Ibn Diḥya says that he took
the account from an author named Tammâm Ibn 'Alqama (ob. 896), who again
is said to have had it from al-Ġazâl's own mouth. It is obviously
untrustworthy, but may possibly have a historical kernel. The king of the
Maǵûs had first sent an ambassador to 'Abd ar-Raḥmân to sue for peace (?);
and al-Ġazâl accompanied him home again, in a well-appointed ship of his
own, to bring the answer and a present. They arrived first at an island on
the borders of the land of the Maǵûs people.[184] From thence they went to
the king, who lived on a great island in the ocean, where there were
streams of water and gardens. It was three days' journey or 300 [Arab]
miles from the continent.

    "There was an innumerable multitude of the Maǵûs, and in the vicinity
    were many other islands, great and small, all inhabited by Maǵûs, and
    the part of the continent that lies near them also belongs to them,
    for a distance of many days' journey. They were then heathens (Maǵûs);
    now they are Christians, for they have abandoned their old religion of
    fire-worship,[185] only the inhabitants of certain islands have
    retained it. There the people still marry their mothers or sisters,
    and other abominations are also committed there [cf. Strabo on the
    Irish, vol. i. p. 81]. With these the others are in a state of war,
    and they carry them away into slavery."

This mention of many islands with the same people as those established on
the continent may suit the island kingdom of Denmark; but Ireland, with
the Isle of Man, the Scottish islands, etc., lies nearer, and moreover
agrees better with the 300 miles from the continent.

We are next told of their reception at the court of the king and of their
stay there, and especially how the handsome and wily Moorish ambassador
paid court in prose and verse to the queen,[186] who was very compliant.
When Ibn 'Alqama asked al-Ġazâl whether she was really so beautiful as he
had given her to understand, that prudent diplomatist answered:
"Certainly, she was not so bad; but to tell the truth, I had use for
her...." When he was afraid his daily visits might attract attention, she
laughed and said:

    "Jealousy is not among our customs. With us the women do not stay with
    their husbands longer than they like; and when their consorts cease to
    please them, they leave them." With this may be compared the statement
    for which Qazwînî gives aț-Țartûshi (tenth century) as authority, that
    in Sleswick the women separate from their husbands when they please
    [cf. G. Jacob, 1876, p. 34].

After an absence of twenty months, al-Ġazâl returned to the capital of the
sultan 'Abd ar-Raḥmân. In the excellence of its realistic description and
the introduction of direct speeches this tale bears a remarkable
resemblance to the peculiar method of narration of the Icelandic sagas.

[Sidenote: Al-Idrîsî, 1154 A.D.]

The best known of the western Arab geographers is Abû 'Abdallâh Muḥammad
al-Idrîsî (commonly called Edrisi), who gives beyond comparison the most
information about the North. He is said to have been born in Sebta (Ceuta)
about 1099 A.D., to have studied in Cordova, and to have made extensive
voyages in Spain, to the shores of France, and even of England, to Morocco
and Asia Minor. It is certain that in the latter part of his life he
resided for a considerable time at the court of the Norman king of Sicily,
Roger II., which during the Crusades was a meeting-place of Normans,
Greeks and Franks. According to Edrisi's account, Roger collected through
interpreters geographical information from all travellers, caused a map to
be drawn on which every place was marked, and had a silver planisphere
made, weighing 450 Roman pounds, upon which were engraved the seven
climates of the earth, with their countries, rivers, bays, etc.[187]
Edrisi wrote for him his description of the earth in Arabic, which was
completed in 1154, and was accompanied by seventy maps and a map of the
world. Following the Greek model, the inhabited world, which was situated
in the northern hemisphere, was divided into seven climates, extending to
64° N. lat.; farther north all was uninhabited on account of the cold and
snow. Edrisi describes in his great work the countries of the earth in
these climates, which again are divided each into ten sections, so that
the book contains in all seventy sections.[188]

[Illustration: Edrisi's representation of Northern Europe, put together,
and much reduced, from eight of his maps. (Chiefly after Seippel's
reproduction [1896] and after Lelewel [1851].) Some of the Arabic names
are numbered on the map and given below according to Seippel's reading

(1) "Khâlia" (empty); (2) the first part of the 7th climate; (3) "ǵazîrat
Birlânda" (the island of Birlânda, by a common error for Ireland); (4)
"kharâb" (desert); (5) the island of "Dans" or "Vans" (Seippel reads
Wales); (6) "ǵazîrat Angiltâra" (the island of England); (7) "ǵazîrat
Sqôsia" (the island, or peninsula, of Scotland); (8) "al-baḥr al-muslim
ash-shamâlî" (the dark northern ocean); (9) "ǵazîrat Islânda" (the island
of Iceland); (10) "ǵazîrat Dânâmarkha" (the island, or peninsula, of
Denmark); (11) "Hrsns" (Horsens); (12) "Alsia" (Als ?); (13) "Sliaswiq";
(14) "Lundûnia" (Lund); (15) "sâḥil arḍ Polônia" (the coast of Poland);
(16) "Derlânem" (Bornholm ?); (17) "Landsu(d)den" (in Finland); (18)
"Zwâda" (Sweden); (19) "nahr Qutalw" (the Göta river); (20) "ǵazîrat
Norwâga" (the island of Norway); (21) may be read "Trônâ" (Trondheim);
(22) "'Oslô" (Oslo); (23) "Siqtûn"; (24) "bilâd Finmark" (the district of
Finmark); (25) "Qalmâr"; (26) "Abûda" (Åbo ?); (27) "mabda' nahr
D(a)n(a)st" (the beginning of the river Dniestr ?); (28) "arḍ Tabast" (the
land of Tavast); (29) "Daġwâda" (Dagö ?); (30) "ǵazîrat Amazânûs er-riǵâl
al-maǵûs" (the island of the male heathen Amazons); (31) "ǵazîrat Amazânûs
an-nisâ" (the island of the female Amazons)]

On the outside of all is the Dark Sea [i.e., Oceanus, the uttermost
encircling ocean], which thus forms the limit of the world, and no one
knows what is beyond it. After describing Angiltâra [England] with its
towns, Edrisi continues:

    "Between the end of Sqôsia [Scotland], a desert island [i.e.,
    peninsula],[189] and the end of the island of Irlânda is reckoned two
    days' sail to the west. Ireland is a very large island. Between its
    upper [i.e., southern, as the maps of the Arabs had the south at the
    top] end and Brittany is reckoned three and a half days' sail. From
    the end of England to the island of Wales (?)[190] one day. From the
    end of Sqôsia to the island of Islânda two-thirds of a day's sail in a
    northern direction. From the end of Islânda to the great island of
    Irlânda one day. From the end of Islânda eastward to the island of
    Norwâga [Norway] twelve miles (?).[191] Iceland extends 400 miles in
    length and 150 in breadth."

Dânâmarkha is described as an island, round in shape and with a sandy
soil; on the map it is connected with the continent by a narrow isthmus.
There are "four chief towns, many inhabitants, villages, well protected
and well populated ports surrounded by walls." The following towns are
named: "Alsia" [Als ?], "Tordîra" or "Tondîra" [Tönder], "Haun"
[Copenhagen], "Horsnes" [Horsens], "Lundûna" [Lund], "Slisbûlî" [Sliaswiq
?]. From "Wendilskâda," written "Wadî Lesqâda" [Vendelskagen], it is a
half-day's sail to the island of "Norwâġa" [Norway]. An island to the east
of Denmark and near Lund is called on the map "Derlânem" [Bornholm ?].

On the continent to the south of Denmark is the coast of "Polônia"
[Poland], and to the east of it, also on the continent, is "Zwâda"
[Sweden], and a town "Gûta" [Götaland], also "Landsu(d)den" [in Finland].
We have further the river "Qutelw" [the Göta river], on which is the town
of "Siqtun." There is also "Qîmia" [Kemi ?]. Farther east is "bilâd
Finmark" [the district of Finmark],[192] where we still find the river
Qutelw with the town of "Abûda" [Åbo ?] inland, and "Qalmâr" on the coast
near another outlet of the Göta river. These two towns are

    "large but ill populated, and their inhabitants are sunk in poverty;
    they scarcely find the necessary means of living. It rains there
    almost continually.... The King of Finmark has possessions in the
    island of Norwâġa."

Next on the east comes the land of "Tabast" [Tavast] with "'Daġwâda' [Dagö
?], a large and populous town on the sea." In the land of Tabast

    "are many castles and villages, but few towns. The cold is more severe
    than in Finmark, and frost and rain scarcely leave them for a moment."

Farther east Esthonia and the land of the heathen are also mentioned.

    "As regards the great island of Norwâġa [Norway], it is for the most
    part desert. It is a large country which has two promontories, of
    which the left-hand one approaches the island of Dânâmarkha, and lies
    opposite to the harbour that is called Wendilskâda, and between them
    the passage is short, about half a day's sail; the other approaches
    the great coast of Finmark. On this island [Norwâġa] are three
    inhabited towns,[193] of which two are in the part that turns towards
    Finmark, the third in the part that approaches Dânâmarkha. These towns
    have all the same appearance, those who visit them are few, and
    provisions are scarce on account of the frequent rain and continual
    wet. They sow [corn] but reap it green, whereupon they dry it in
    houses that are warmed, because the sun so seldom shines with them. On
    this island there are trees so great of girth as are not often found
    in other parts. It is said that there are some wild people living in
    the desert regions, who have their heads set immediately upon their
    shoulders and no neck at all. They resort to trees, and make their
    houses in their interiors and dwell in them. They support themselves
    on acorns and chestnuts. Finally there is found there a large number
    of the animal called beaver; but it is smaller than the beaver [that
    comes] from the mouth of Russia" [i.e., no doubt, from the mouths of
    the Russian rivers].

    "In the Dark Sea [i.e., the outer encircling ocean] there are a number
    of desert islands. There are, however, two which bear the name of the
    Islands of the Heathen Amazons. The western one is inhabited solely by
    men; there is no woman on it. The other is inhabited solely by women,
    and there is no man among them. Every year at the coming of spring the
    men travel in boats to the other isle, live with the women, pass a
    month or thereabouts there, and then return to their own island, where
    they remain until the next year, when each one goes to find his woman
    again, and thus it is every year. This custom is well known and
    established. The nearest point opposite to these islands is the town
    of Anhô (?). One can also go thither from Qalmâr and from Daġwâda
    [Dagö ?], but the approach is difficult, and it is seldom that any one
    arrives there, on account of the frequency of fog and the deep
    darkness that prevails on this sea."

Edrisi says that there are many inhabited and uninhabited islands in the
Dark Sea to the west of Africa and Europe; indeed, according to Ptolemy
"this ocean contained 27,000 islands." He mentions some of them. There is
an island called "Sâra," near the Dark Sea.

    "It is related that Ḏu'l-Qarnain (Alexander the Great ?) landed there
    before the deep darkness had covered the surface of the sea, and spent
    a night there, and that the inhabitants of the island attacked him and
    his companions with stones and wounded many of them [cf. the
    Skrælings' attack in Eric the Red's Saga, and the island of smiths in
    the Navigatio Brandani, vol. i. p. 328; vol. ii. p. 9]. Another island
    in the same sea is called the Isle of Female Devils ('ǵazîrat
    as-sa'âlî'), whose inhabitants resemble women more than men; their
    eyeteeth protrude, their eyes flash like lightning, their cheeks are
    like burnt wood; they speak an incomprehensible language and wage war
    with the monsters of the ocean...."

He also mentions the Isle of Illusion ("ǵazîrat khusrân" == "Villuland,"
cf. vol. i. p. 377), of great extent, inhabited by men of brown colour,
small stature, and with long beards reaching to their knees; they have a
large (broad)[194] face and long ears [cf. the ideas of the Pygmies,
dwarfs, underground people and brownies], they live on plants that the
earth produces of itself. There was a further large island "al-Ġaur," with
abundance of grass and plants of all kinds, where wild asses and oxen with
unusually long horns lived in the thickets. There was the Isle of
Lamentation ("ǵazîrat al-mustashkîn"), which was inhabited, and had
mountains, rivers, many trees, fruits and tilled fields; but where there
was a terrible dragon, of which Alexander freed the inhabitants. On the
island of "Kalhân" in the same sea the inhabitants have the form of men
but animal heads; another island was called the Isle of the Two Heathen
Brothers, who practised piracy and were changed into two rocks. He also
names the Island of Sheep and "Râka," which is the Island of Birds (cf.
pp. 51, 55).

    "To the islands in this sea belongs also the island of 'Shâsland'
    [presumably Shetland, perhaps confused with Iceland], the length of
    which is fifteen days' journey, and the breadth ten. It had three
    towns, large and populous; ships put in and stayed there to buy ambra
    (amber ?) and stones of various colours; but the majority of the
    inhabitants perished in dissensions and civil war which took place in
    the country. Many of them removed to the coast of the European
    continent, where large numbers of this people still live...."

What is here said about this island is approximately the same as Edrisi
elsewhere states about the island of Scotland, following the "Book of
Wonders," which is attributed to Mas'ûdî.

It will be seen that he has a very heterogeneous mixture of islands in
this western ocean. Some of them, like the Island of Sheep and that of
Birds, as already suggested (p. 55), probably came from Ireland, and this
whole archipelago is evidently related to the numerous islands of Irish
legend, and points to an ancient connection, which may have consisted in
reciprocal influence; while many of these conceptions travelled from the
east through the Arabs to western Europe and Ireland, the Arabs again may
have received ideas from the Irish and from western Europe and carried
them to the east. Thus Edrisi relates that, according to the author
[Mas'ûdî] of the "Book of Wonders," the king of France sent a ship (which
never returned) to find the island of Râkâ; we may therefore conclude that
the Arabs had this myth from Europe. That many of these islands are
inhabited by demons and little people, who resemble the northern brownies
and the Skrælings, is interesting, and shows that whether the myths came
from the Irish to the Arabs or vice versa, there were in this mythical
world various similar peoples who may have helped to form the epic
conceptions of the Skrælings of Wineland (cf. pp. 12, 75).

Edrisi's map of the world is to a great extent an imitation of Ptolemy's,
but shows much deviation, which may resemble the conceptions of Mela, for
instance. It might seem possible that Edrisi was acquainted with some
Roman map or other. In his representation of the west and north coast of
Europe, for instance, there are also remarkable resemblances to the
so-called Anglo-Saxon map of the world (cf. vol. i. p. 183; vol. ii. p.
192); this may point to both being derived from some older source, perhaps
a Roman map (?).[195]

[Sidenote: Ibn Sa'îd, thirteenth century]

Abu'l-Hasan 'Alî Ibn Sa'îd (1214 or 1218-1274 or 1286) says (in his book:
"The extent of the earth in its length and breadth")[196] of Denmark (the
name of which he corrupts to "Ḥarmûsa") that from thence are obtained true
falcons (for hunting):

    "Around it are small islands where the falcons are found. To the west
    lies the island of white falcons, its length from west to east is
    about seven days and its breadth about four days, and from it and from
    the small northern islands are obtained the white falcons, which are
    brought from here to the Sultan of Egypt, who pays from his treasury
    1000 dinars for them, and if the falcon arrives dead the reward is 500
    dinars. And in their country is the white bear, which goes out into
    the sea and swims and catches fish, and these falcons seize what is
    left over by it, or what it has let alone. And on this they live,
    since there are no [other] flying creatures there on account of the
    severity of the frost. The skin of these bears is soft, and it is
    brought to the Egyptian lands as a gift."

He speaks of the women's island and the men's island which are separated
by a strait ten miles across, over which the men row once a year and stay
each with his woman for one month. If the child is a boy, she brings it up
until it reaches maturity, and then sends it to the men's island; the
girls stay on the women's island.

    "To the east of these two islands is the great Saqlab island [i.e. the
    Slavs' island, which is Edrisi's Norwâġa], behind which there is
    nothing inhabited in the ocean either on the east or north, and its
    length is about 700 miles, and its width in the middle about 330
    miles." Then he says a good deal about the inhabitants, amongst other
    things that they are still heathens and worship fire, and on account
    of the severity of the cold do not regard anything as of greater
    utility than it. This is evidently the same error as in Ibn Diḥya, due
    to the designation of "Maǵûs" (== Magian) for heathen (cf. p. 201).

[Sidenote: Qazwînî, thirteenth century]

Zakarîyâ Ibn Muḥammad al-Qazwînî (ob. 1283) has in his cosmography[197]
several statements about the North, some of which have already been
referred to (vol. i. pp. 187, 284; vol. ii. p. 144). Of the northern
winter he has very exaggerated ideas. Even of the land of "Rûm" [the
Roman, especially the Eastern Roman Empire; in a wider sense the countries
of Central Europe] he says that winter there has become a proverb, so that
a poet says of it:

    "Winter in Rûm is an affliction, a punishment and a plague; during it
    the air becomes condensed and the ground petrified; it makes faces to
    fade, eyes to weep, noses to run and change colour; it causes the skin
    to crack and kills many beasts. Its earth is like flashing bottles,
    its air like stinging wasps; its night rids the dog of his whimpering,
    the lion of his roar, the birds of their twittering and the water of
    its murmur, and the biting cold makes people long for the fires of

    He says of the people of Rûm [i.e., the Germanic peoples of Central
    Europe] that "their complexion is for the most part fair on account of
    the cold and the northern situation, and their hair red; they have
    hardy bodies, and for the most part are given to cheerfulness and
    jocularity, wherefore the astronomers place them under the influence
    of the planet Venus."

Of the cold in "Ifranǵa" [the land of the Franks, Western Europe] he says
that it

    "is quite terrible, and the air there is thick on account of the
    excessive cold."[198]

    "'Burǵân' [or 'Bergân,' as the first vowel is doubtful] is a land
    which lies far in the north. The day there becomes as short as four
    hours and the night as long as twenty hours, and vice versa [cf.
    Ptolemy on Thule, vol. i. p. 117]. The inhabitants are heathens
    ['Maǵûs'] and worshippers of idols. They make war on the Slavs. They
    resemble in most things the Franks [West Europeans]. They have a good
    understanding of all kinds of handicraft and ships."

Professor Seippel considers it not impossible that there may here be a
corruption of the Arabic Nurmân [== Normans] to Burǵân, and to a layman
this looks probable. In any case Burǵân cannot here, as elsewhere in Arab
authors, be Bulgar [the Bulgarians]; on the other hand it might be the
Norwegian town of Bergen. In any case the description seems to suit the
Norwegians best, and the mention of Ptolemy's latitude for Thule (the
longest night of twenty hours) also points to this. That they are said to
be heathens is due again to the name "Maǵûs" (cf. pp. 201, 209).

Qazwînî also[199] tells us that

    "Warank is a district on the border of the northern sea. For from the
    ocean in the north a bay goes in a southerly direction, and the
    district which lies on the shore of this bay, and from which the bay
    has its name, is called Warank. It is the uttermost region on the
    north. The cold there is excessive, the air thick, and the snow
    continuous. [This region] is not suited either for plants or animals.
    Seldom does any one come there, because of the cold and darkness and
    snow. But Allâh knows best [what is the truth of the matter]."

As mentioned above (p. 199), elsewhere in Arab writers the Varangians' Sea
undoubtedly meant the Baltic; but here, as is also suggested by Professor
Seippel, one might be tempted to think that it is Varanger or the
Varanger-fjord in Finmark that is intended.[200] It may also be recalled
that Edrisi already knew the name of Finmark. But as Qazwînî has such
exaggerated ideas of the cold in Rûm and in Ifranǵa, he may also be
credited with such a description of the regions on the Baltic.[201] No
importance can be attached to the statement that the bay proceeds from the
northern ocean in a southerly direction, as ideas of that kind were

[Sidenote: 'Ash-Shîrazî circa 1300]

Mahmûd ibn Mas ûd 'ash-Shîrâzî (ob. 1310) has the following about the
northern regions:[202]

    "Thus far as regards the islands: you may know that in that part [of
    the sea] which goes into the north-western quarter [of the earth] and
    is connected with the western ocean there are three, whereof the
    largest is the island 'Anglîsî' [or 'Anglisei' (-island), probably
    England], and the smallest the island Irlânda. The most handsome of
    hunting-birds--those that are known by the name of 'sunqur'
    [hunting-falcons]--are only found on it [this island]. The middlemost
    of them is the island of Orknia." Probably Ireland and Iceland are
    here thrown together under the name of Irlânda, as elsewhere falcons
    are especially attributed to the latter. "The longest day reaches
    twenty hours where the latitude is 63° [cf. Ptolemy, vol. i. p. 117].
    There is an island that is called Tûlê. Of its inhabitants it is
    related that they live in heated bathrooms [literally, warm baths] on
    account of the severe cold that prevails there. This is generally
    considered to be the extreme latitude of inhabited land." It appears
    to be Norway that is here meant by Thule.

    Shîrazî says that "the sea that among the ancients was called Mæotis
    is now called the Varangians' Sea, and these are a tall, warlike
    people on its shore. And after the ocean has gone past the Varangians'
    country in an easterly direction it extends behind the land of the
    Turks, past mountains which no one traverses and lands where no one
    dwells, to the uttermost regions of the land of the Chinese, and
    because these are also uninhabited, and because it is impossible to
    sail any farther upon it [the ocean], we know nothing of its
    connection with the eastern ocean."

[Sidenote: Dimashqî, circa 1300]

Shams ad-dîn Abû 'Abdallâh Muḥammad ad-Dimashqî (1256-1327) in his
cosmography has little of interest about the North, and his ideas on the
subject are obscure.

    "The habitable part of the earth extends as far as 66-5/12°;[203] the
    regions beyond, up to 90°, are desert and uninhabited; no known
    animals are found there on account of the great quantity of snow and
    the thick darkness, and the too great distance from the sun.... It is
    the climate of darkness." It lies in the middle of the seventh
    climate, which surrounds it as a circular belt, and "around it the
    vault of heaven turns like the stone in a mill."

    "The sea beyond the deserts of the Qipdjaks [southern Russia,
    Turkestan and western Siberia] in latitude 63° has a length of eight
    days' journey, with a breadth varying to as little as three. In this
    sea there is a great island [probably Scandinavia], inhabited by
    people of tall stature, with fair complexions, fair hair and blue
    eyes, who scarcely understand human speech.[204] It is called the
    Frozen Sea because in winter it freezes entirely, and because it is
    surrounded by mountains of ice. These are formed when the wind in
    winter breaks the waves upon the shore; as they freeze they are cast
    upon the icy edges, which grow in layers little by little, until they
    form heights with separate summits, and walls that surround

He has besides various strange fables about the northern regions and the
fabulous creatures there. Of the sea to the north of Britain he says that
its coasts

    "turn in a north-westerly direction, and there is the great bay that
    is called the Varangians' Sea, and the Varangians are an inarticulate
    people who scarcely understand human speech, and they are the best of
    the Slavs, and this arm of the sea is the Sea of Darkness in the

Afterwards the coasts extend farther still to the north and west, and lose
themselves in the climate of Darkness, and no one knows what is there.

Of the whales he says that in the Black Sea a kind of whale is often seen
which the ignorant assert to have been carried by angels alive into Hell,
to be used for various punishments, while others think it keeps at the
bottom of the sea and lives on fish;

    "then Allâh sends to it a cloud and angels, who lift it up out of the
    sea and cast it upon the shore for food for Yâǵûǵ and Mâǵûǵ. The
    whales are very large in the Mediterranean, in the Caspian Sea(!) and
    in the Varangians' Sea(!), as also off the coasts of Spain in the
    Atlantic Ocean."

[Sidenote: Book of Wonders, tenth century]

There is preserved an "abstract of wonders" (oldest MS. of 1484),[206] by
an unknown Arab author, which gives a picture of the Arabs' mythical ideas
in the tenth century. It also tells of islands in the west, which are of
interest to us on account of their resemblance to many of the mediæval
mythical conceptions of Western Europe.

    "In the great ocean is an island which is visible at sea at some
    distance, but if one tries to approach it, it withdraws and
    disappears. If one returns to the place one started from, it is seen
    again as before. It is said that upon this island is a tree that
    sprouts at sunrise, and grows as long as the sun is ascending; after
    midday it decreases, and disappears at sunset. Sailors assert that in
    this sea there is a little fish called 'shâkil,' and that those who
    carry it upon them can discover and reach the island without its
    concealing itself. This is truly a strange and wonderful thing."

    This is evidently the same myth as that of the Lost Isle, already
    referred to (Perdita, cf. vol. i. p. 376), and of the Norwegian
    huldrelands, etc. It also bears resemblance to legends from China and
    Japan. The tree is the sun-tree of the Indian legends, which was
    already introduced into the earliest versions of the Alexander romance
    (Pseudo-Callisthenes, circa 200 A.D.), and which is met with again in
    the fairy-tales and mythical conceptions of many peoples.[207]
    Possibly it is this same tree that grows on the mountain Fusan in the
    Japanese happy land Horaisan, and which is sometimes seen over the sea
    horizon (see p. 56).

    "The island of 'as-Sayyâra.' There are sailors who assert that they
    have often seen it, but they have not stayed there. It is a
    mountainous and cultivated island, which drifts towards the east when
    a west wind is blowing, and vice versa. The stone that forms this
    island is very light.... A man is there able to carry a large mass of
    rock." This floating island resembles those met with in tales from the
    Faroes and elsewhere (cf. vol. i. pp. 375, f.). Even Pliny [Nat.
    Hist., ii. c. 95] has statements about floating islands, and Las
    Casas, in 1552-61 [Historias de las Indias in "Documentos ineditos,"
    lxii. p. 99], says that in the story of St. Brandan many such islands
    (?) are spoken of in the sea round the Cape Verde Islands and the
    Azores, and he asserts that "the same is mentioned in the book of
    'Inventio fortunata,'" that is, by Nicholas of Lynn [cf. de Costa,
    1880, p. 185].

    "'The Island of Women.' This is an island that lies on the borders of
    the Chinese Sea. It is related that it is inhabited only by women, who
    become pregnant by the wind, and who bear only female children; it is
    also said that they become pregnant by a tree, of which they eat the
    fruit.[208] They feed on gold, which with them grows in canes like
    bamboo." This myth, as will be seen, resembles Adam of Bremen's tale
    of the land of women, Kvænland (vol. i. p. 186). Myths of women's
    islands are, moreover, very widespread; they are found in various
    forms in classical authors (p. 47), in Arab writers (cf. above, pp.
    197, 206), in Indian legends, among the Irish (vol. i. pp. 354, 357),
    among the Chinese, etc. It is partly the Amazon idea that appears
    here, partly the happy land desired by men.

[Sidenote: The Arabs and the compass]

Through an apparently small thing the Arabs possibly exercised more than
in anything else a transforming influence upon the navigation, geography
and cartography of Europe; for it was probably they who first brought to
Europe the knowledge of the magnetic needle as a guide. We know that the
Chinese were acquainted with it, at any rate in the second century A.D.,
and used it for a kind of compass for overland journeys. Whether they also
used it at sea we do not know, but it may readily be supposed that they
did. That the Arabs through their direct commercial intercourse with the
Chinese became acquainted with this discovery at an early date seems
probable; but curiously enough we hear nothing of it in Arabic literature
before the thirteenth century. As the Arabs and Turks after that date used
the Italian word "bossolo" for compass (bussol), it has been thought that
they may have derived their knowledge of it, not from China, but from
Italy; but it seems more reasonable to suppose that, while they had their
first knowledge of the magnetic needle from China, they obtained an
improved form of the compass from Italy, and with it the Italian word.


[Sidenote: Oldest authorities on the compass in Europe]

We do not know how early the magnetic needle's property of pointing to the
north became known in Europe and used for finding the way at sea. The
first mention of it is found at the close of the twelfth century in the
works of the Englishman Alexander Neckam, professor in Paris about
1180-1190, and of the troubadour Guyot de Provins from Languedoc. The
latter, in a satirical poem of about 1190, wishes the Pope would imitate
the immutable trustworthiness of the polar star by showing the steadiness
of the heavenly guide; for sailors come and go by this star, which they
are always able to find, even in fog and darkness, by a needle rubbed with
the ugly brown lodestone; stuck in a straw and laid upon water, the needle
points unfailingly to the north star. As late as in 1258 Dante's teacher,
Brunetto Latini, saw as a curiosity in the possession of Roger Bacon at
Oxford a large and ugly lodestone, which was able to confer on an iron
needle the mysterious power of pointing to the star; but he thinks that it
cannot be of any use, for ship-masters would not steer by it, nor would
sailors venture to sea with an instrument which was so like an invention
of the devil. As always when the progress of humanity is at stake,
orthodoxy and religious prejudice raises its head. It is certain that the
use of the compass-needle must have been known in the Mediterranean at the
beginning of the thirteenth century, and probably even in the twelfth. It
has been alleged that the compass was known long before that time, even in
the eleventh and tenth centuries; but no proof of this has been found, and
it does not appear very probable.[209] How early the compass, or
lodestone, was known in the North is uncertain. We only know that when
the Hauksbók was written, at the beginning of the fourteenth century, it
was at any rate known in Iceland (cf. vol. i. p. 248); but it may of
course have been known before that time, and it does not appear that any
long time elapsed between the instrument's being known in the
Mediterranean and its reaching the Scandinavians.

[Sidenote: Oldest sea-charts]

When the compass came into general use on Italian ships in the thirteenth
century, it naturally led to the development of an entirely new type of
map, the Italian sea-charts or compass-charts, which were to be of
fundamental importance to all future cartography. The mediæval maps of the
world already mentioned were learned representations which were of no
practical use to the navigator. The Greeks had drawn land-maps which were
also of no great use at sea, and we do not know that they had sea-charts.
On the other hand sailing-books ("peripli"), which gave directions for
coasting voyages, were in use far back in antiquity. In the Middle Ages
sailing-books, called "portolani," which gave information about harbours,
distances, etc., were an important aid to the navigator, especially in the
Mediterranean. It was the Italians before all others who at that period
developed navigation. When coasting was to some extent replaced by sailing
in open sea, after the compass came into use, sea-charts became a
necessary adjunct to the written sailing-books or portolani. How early
they began to be developed is unknown; we only know that charts were in
use on Italian ships in the latter half of the thirteenth century;[210]
and we must suppose that they were employed long before that time.
Whether, as some have maintained, there was a connection between these
charts and the maps of the Greeks is doubtful, though there may indeed
have been an indirect connection through the Arabs, among whom Edrisi, for
instance, seems perhaps to have exercised some influence. But in any case
it is certain that the Italians of the Middle Ages were not acquainted
with Greek cartography, and this may in a way be regarded as an advantage;
for they were thus obliged to invent their own mode of representation. For
Greek thought the chief thing was to find the best expression for the
system of the world and the "œcumene," to solve problems such as the
reduction of a spherical to a plane surface by projection, etc.; while the
sense of accurate detail was less prominent. The Italian sailor and
cartographer went straight to nature, unhindered by theory, and to him it
appeared a matter of course to set down on the map coasts and islands as
accurately as possible according to the course sailed and the distance,
without reflecting that sea and land form a spherical surface.

The Italian sea-charts seem especially to have been developed in the
republics of northern Italy, Genoa and Pisa, and to some extent Venice.
Later the Catalans of the Balearic Isles and of Spain (Barcelona and
Valencia) also learned the art, probably from Genoa. The charts have been
justly admired for their correct and detailed representation of the coasts
known to the Italians and the seamen of the Mediterranean; the world had
never before produced any parallel to such a representation. It shows that
the sailors of that time were masters in the use of their compass,[211]
and in making up their reckoning. The remarkable thing is that the first
known compass-charts, of the beginning of the fourteenth century, were
already of so perfect a form that there was little to add to or improve in
them in later times. It looks as though this type of chart suddenly sprang
forth in full perfection, like Athene from the brain of Zeus, without our
knowing of any forerunner; it held the field with its representation of
the coasts of the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, and Western Europe almost
unaltered through three centuries. There is something puzzling in that. We
must suppose in any case that these charts were developed through many
smaller special charts throughout the whole of the thirteenth century, but
even that seems a short period for the development of a representation so
complete as this, which thenceforward became almost stereotyped. It is
principally the coasts that are represented, with many names, while inland
there are comparatively few, which of course is natural in sea-charts.

[Sidenote: Extent of the compass-charts]

As Italian trade did not extend farther north than Flanders and England
(from whence came wool), it is also characteristic of the compass-charts
that their detailed representation of the coast extends to the south of
England and to Sluis in Flanders, and to the mouth of the Scheldt. Farther
than this the Italian ships did not sail; beyond this boundary began the
commercial domain of the Hanseatic League. The delineation on the
compass-charts of the greater part of Ireland, northern England, Scotland,
the north coast of Germany, Denmark, the Baltic and Scandinavia has an
entirely different character from that of the more southern coasts. The
coast-lines are there evidently drawn in a formal way, and more or less
hypothetically; the names (chiefly those of a few ports, bishops' sees and
islands) are also strikingly few. It is clearly seen that these coasts
cannot have been drawn from actual compass courses and reckonings; they
are sketches based on second- or third-hand information. For this reason
too the shape of the northern countries may be subject to considerable
variation in the different types of compass-charts.

We know little of the sources from which they may have obtained their
delineation of the North; probably they were many and of different kinds.
A glance at the maps reproduced (pp. 226, 232) will convince one that
their image of the North differed greatly from that which we find on the
wheel-maps, and from that which was probably shown on the maps of
antiquity. It is a decisive step in the direction of reality, although the
representation is still imperfect. In a whole series of these charts the
image of the North shows certain typical features. The coast of Germany
and Jutland goes due north from Flanders, thus coming much too near
Britain, and the North Sea becomes nothing but a narrow strait. Even on
the earliest charts (Dalorto's chart, p. 226) the shape of Jutland is
quite good. Norway, the coasts of which are indicated by chains of
mountains, is placed fairly correctly in relation to Jutland, but is put
too far to the west and too near to England. It is also made too broad.
The Skagerak appears more or less correctly, but the Danish islands,
including Sealand, usually as a round island, are placed in the Cattegat
to the north-east of Jutland. This greatly distorts the picture. Sweden is
much too small, and is given too little extension to the south; the Baltic
has a curious form: it extends far to the east and has a remarkable
narrowing in the middle, through the German coast making a great bend to
the north towards Sweden. Gotland lies in the great widening of its inner
portion. The Gulf of Bothnia seems to be unknown. The islands to the north
of Scotland: Shetland (usually called "scetiland," "sialanda" or
"stillanda"), the Orkneys, and often Caithness as an island, come to the
west of Norway, frequently placed in a somewhat arbitrary fashion, and in
the wrong order. "Tille" (Thule), the round island off the north-east
coast of Scotland, is a characteristic feature on many compass-charts. Its
origin is uncertain, but possibly it may be connected with the Romans
having thought they had seen Thule to the north of the Orkneys (?) (cf.
vol. i. p. 107). The names in the North are in the main the same on most
of the compass-charts,[212] and one cartographer has copied another; by
this means also many palæographic errors have been introduced, which are
afterwards repeated. As an example: the Baltic is originally called "mar
allemania," this is read by Catalan draughtsmen as "mar de lamanya," also
written "de lamãya," and thus we get "mar de la maya" (cf. pp. 231, 233).
Another example: Bergen is originally called "bergis" (cf. p. 221), a
draughtsman corrupts this to "bregis," and that becomes the name of the
town in later charts (cf. p. 232). Whence these names first came we do not
know; partly, no doubt, from sailors, and partly from literary sources.
The latter must be true of names in the interior. There are also various
legends or inscriptions on these charts, e.g., in Norway, in Sweden, in
the Baltic, on the islands in the Northern Ocean, and in Iceland. Many of
these legends can be certainly proved to have a literary origin. Some of
them (e.g., that attached to Norway) may be derived in part from the
Geographia Universalis. Others are connected with such authors as Giraldus
Cambrensis, Higden, and others. Certain resemblances to Arabic writers,
especially Edrisi, might also be pointed out; but it is uncertain whether
these are not due in part to their being derived from a common source.

[Sidenote: Carignano's chart, circa 1300]

The first known compass-chart, the so-called "Carte Pisane," of about
1300,[213] goes no farther north than to the coast of Flanders and
southern England. But the compass-chart[214] drawn by the Genoese priest
Giovanni da Carignano (ob. 1344), evidently a little after 1300, already
gives a delineation of Great Britain, Ireland, the Orkneys and
Scandinavia, with the Baltic. That these regions are only represented
hypothetically, and do not belong to the compass-chart proper, is also
indicated by their partly lying outside the network of compass-lines. It
is in the main a land map, with many names in the interior of the
continents, but the delineation of the known coasts (to the south of
Flanders) is evidently taken from the sea-charts. The representation of
the British Isles and of the North reminds one a good deal of the
Cottoniana map (cf. vol. i. p. 183), and of Edrisi's representation (cf.
p. 203);[215] as an example: it is difficult to suppose that the western
inclination of Scotland should have come about independently on each of
the three maps. There is also considerable resemblance to Edrisi in the
names on other parts of the chart; but Carignano has no hint of Edrisi's
"Island," nor of the Cottoniana's island of Tylen (Thule). Whether his
Scandinavia is a peninsula, as usually asserted, and not rather a long
island, as on the two maps in question, is uncertain, since the
delineation has suffered a good deal and is indistinct in the inner part
of the Baltic. To judge from a photograph of the chart [Ongania, Pl. III.]
it appears to me most probable that it was an island, which then has
considerable resemblance to the island of Norwâġa [Norway] in Edrisi.
Names that are legible on this island or peninsula are: "noruegia,"
"finonia" [Finmark or Finland], "suetia"; also "bergis" [Bergen],
"tromberg" [Tönsberg], "uamerlant" [Vermeland], "scarsa" [Skara on Lake
Vener], "kundgelf" [Kungelf], "scania" [Skåne], "lendes" [Lund], "stocol"
[Stockholm], etc. On the two islands in the Baltic there are "scamor"
[i.e., "scanior" ? Skanör] and "gothlanda" [Gotland]. Many of these names
appear here for the first time in any known authority. Carignano may have
taken them from older unknown maps, but he may also in some way or other
have received information from the North; possibly, for instance, he may
have had the names of ports, etc., from sailors. His representation of the
western part of Scandinavia, with three long peninsulas (cf. Saxo), is
curious; of these the eastern, with "scania," might be south Sweden with
Skåne; the central one with "tromberg" [Tönsberg] might be Vestfold and
Grenmar, and the western with Bergen might be western Norway. The smaller
peninsula to the north might be Tröndelagen [the district of Trondhjem]
(cf. also Historia Norwegiæ, below, p. 235).

[Illustration: Northern portion of Carignano's chart (a few years later
than 1300)]

[Sidenote: Sanudo's work and Pietro Vesconte's charts, circa 1320]

Between the years 1318 and 1321 the Venetian Marino Sanudo wrote a work,
"Liber secretorum fidelium crucis" (the Book of Secrets for Believers in
the Cross), to rouse enthusiasm for a new crusade, and himself presented a
copy of it with a dedication to the Pope at Avignon, which is probably one
of the two now preserved at the Vatican. The work is accompanied by
several charts which must have been drawn by the well-known cartographer
Pietro Vesconte in 1320, since an atlas bearing his name has been found in
the Vatican with charts that completely correspond.[216] Among them is a
circular map of the world of the wheel type, but on which the forms of the
coasts from the compass-charts are introduced. Scandinavia is there
represented as a peninsula with a mountain chain (Kjölen ?) along the
middle (see map, p. 223), and the names "Gotilandia," "Dacia," "Suetia,"
"Noruega" may be read. On the continent is written "Guenden [Kvænland, or
else == "Suenden" == Sweden ?] vel Gotia"; and on the coast to the north
of the peninsula is "Liuonia" and to the south of it "Frixia" [Friesland].
As Kretschmer has shown, Scandinavia was originally drawn (in both
atlases) as an island, but was afterwards connected with the continent by
a narrow isthmus. This representation of Scandinavia as a peninsula
resembles that on many of the wheel-maps mentioned above (see pp. 185,
ff.). It also bears a strong resemblance to the view of Saxo (beginning of
the thirteenth century), who says:[217]

    "Moreover the upper arm of the ocean [i.e., the southern arm, the
    Baltic, as the south is supposed to be at the top of the map], which
    cuts through and past Dania, washes the south coast of Gothia
    [Götaland, i.e., Sweden] with a bay of fair size; but the lower
    [northern] branch, which goes past the north coast of Gothia and
    Noruagia, turns towards the east with a considerable widening, and is
    bounded by a curved coast. This end of the sea was called by our
    ancient primæval inhabitants Gandvicus. Between this bay and the
    southern sea lies a little piece of continent, which looks out upon
    the seas washing it on both sides. If nature had not set this space as
    a limit to the two almost united streams, the arms of the sea would
    have met one another, and made Suetia and Noruagia into an island."

[Illustration: Northern Europe in Vesconte's mappamundi (1320) in the
Vatican (Kretschmer, 1891)]

It seems not improbable that the delineation on Vesconte's map may have a
connection with this description; it has also very nearly the same forms
of names. The regions far in the north and east on his map are pure fancy,
and the "rifei montes" are still found there.

Eight other MSS. (in various libraries) of Sanudo's work are known,
accompanied by maps, and six of them have the circular mappamundi; but the
reproductions differ considerably one from another, especially in the
representation of the northern coast of Europe.[218] The mappamundi in the
MS. in Queen Christina's collection in the Vatican (Codex Reginensis,
548), and the exactly similar map in the MS. at Oxford, have a remarkably
good delineation of the Scandinavian Peninsula (see map, p. 224), with the
names "Suetia" [Svealand], "Gotia" [Götaland], and "Scania" on the east,
"Noruegia" on the west, "Finlandia" and "Alandia" [Åland, or perhaps
Hallandia ?] in the extreme north-east. On the continent is written
"Kareli infideles," "Estonia," "Liuonia," etc. In the Baltic are two
islands, "Gotlandia" in the middle, and "Ossilia" [Ösel] farthest in. The
shape of Jutland [with the names "Dacia" and "Jutia"], the direction of
the coast of northern Europe and the Baltic, with Scandinavia parallel to
it, remind one a good deal of Edrisi's map, of the Cottoniana and also of
Carignano's map. Evidently there is here new information which Vesconte
did not possess when he drew the map previously mentioned; the correct
placing of the names in Sweden and Norway is especially striking. These
names, as also "Jutia," occur in Saxo in approximately the same forms (cf.
also Historia Norwegiæ). Marino Sanudo, according to his own statement,
had himself sailed from Venice to Flanders, and had also travelled in
Holstein and Slavonia. He was thus able to collect geographical
information, and, as suggested by Björnbo [1909, pp. 211, f.], may have
received communications from North German priests whose picture of the
North had been formed by the study of Adam of Bremen and Saxo; but there
does not appear to me to be any necessity for such a hypothesis, he may
just as well have received direct information from people who knew the
localities, while doubtless the names are to a great extent literary. If
we suppose that it was Pietro Vesconte who drew all the maps, he may have
derived his information about the North through Sanudo himself; but in
that case it would be strange that he did not use it for his first map.
We must therefore suppose that it was after this that their real
collaboration began.

[Illustration: Northern Europe in the mappamundi in the MS. of Sanudo's
work at Oxford (Björnbo, 1910, p. 123)]

But here we come upon another difficulty, and this is the third entirely
different form of the delineation of the North that is found in the
corresponding mappamundi in the MS. of Sanudo at Paris. There the
Scandinavian Peninsula is divided in an unaccountable way into several
islands, the largest of which bears the name "scania de regno dacie" or
"scãdinaua." To the north of it is a long island, "gotlandia," which has
been read by some "yrlandia" or "yslandia," and made into Iceland [as in
Thoroddsen, i., 1897, p. 84]. "Noruegia" is written outside the border of
the map to the north of Jutland [called "dacia"], and the name "prouincia
noruicie" is placed on the west coast of Jutland, which has been given a
fantastic extension towards the north with many bays. An island in the
ocean to the north of Russia ["rutenia"] is marked "kareli infideles." The
whole of this representation is in complete disagreement with the other
Sanudo maps, and it is difficult to understand that Vesconte can have also
drawn this one, although in other respects it may bear much resemblance to
the rest from his hand. One might be inclined to think that some other man
had tinkered at this part of the map, introducing ideas which he entirely

[Illustration: Northern Europe in the mappamundi in the Paris MS. of
Sanudo's work (Björnbo, 1910, p. 123)]

    A remarkable thing about it is that it is, perhaps, the first that has
    a legend about the North. For on the large island in the Baltic (?) we
    read: "In hoc mari est maxima copia aletiorum" [in this sea is the
    greatest abundance of herrings ?]. In the opinion of Björnbo this may
    allude to the herring fishery in the Sound.[219]

[Illustration: The North on Dalorto's map of 1325. The network of
compass-lines is omitted for the sake of clearness. Only a few of the
names are given]

[Sidenote: Dalorto's map, 1325]

The type which is first known from Angellino Dalorto's map of 1325 (or
1330 ?), and from that of 1339 signed Angellino Dulcert, which is
undoubtedly by the same man, was of fundamental importance to the
representation of the North on the Catalan compass-charts. It has been
thought that he belonged to a well-known Genoese family named Dalorto, and
that the first map was drawn in Italy, while the latter was certainly
drawn in Majorca, either by a copyist who corrupted the name of Dalorto to
Dulcert, or by himself, who in that case must be supposed to have given
his name a more Catalan sound on settling in Majorca. But in any case
these maps had Italian models; this appears clearly in the form of the
names [cf. Kretschmer, 1909, pp. 118, f.].

The two maps are much alike. The oldest, of 1325 (1330 ?),[220] gives a
more complete representation of the North and of the Baltic than any
earlier map known (see illustration). In its names it shows a connection
both with Carignano's map and with Marino Sanudo, but new names and fresh
information have been added, the delineation of Great Britain and Ireland
is more correct, and there is also a more reasonable representation of
Scandinavia and of the extent of the Baltic than on Carignano's map.
Amongst new names in the North may be mentioned "trunde" [Trondhjem, cf.
"Throndemia" in the Historia Norwegiæ], and "alogia" for a town on the
west side of Norway; this is evidently Halogia [Hálogaland], a form of the
name which was used, for instance, in the Historia Norwegiæ and by Saxo.
Another name in the far north, and again at the south-western extremity of
Norway, is "alolandia" (see illustration, p. 226). One might suppose that
the form of the name and its assignment to these two places are due to a
confusion of the name Hálogaland with Hallandia (in Saxo) and "alandia" on
the Sanudo-Vesconte map (see p. 224).

It will be seen that Norway, which is represented as a pronouncedly
mountainous country,[221] has on this map been given a great increase of
breadth, so that its west coast is brought to the same longitude as the
west coast of Great Britain. In the legends attached to Norway we read
that from its deserts are brought "birds called gilfalcos" (hunting
falcons), and in the extreme north is the inscription:

    "Here the people live by hunting the beasts of the forest, and also on
    fish, on account of the price of corn which is very dear. Here are
    white bears and many animals."

The substance of this may be derived in the main from the Geographia
Universalis (cf. pp. 189, f.; see also p. 177). Islands in the ocean to
the west of Norway are: farthest north, "Insula ornaya" [the Orkneys];
farther south, "sialand" [Shetland, "Insula scetiland" on the map of 1339,
and "silland" or "stillanda" on later maps]. The resemblance to
"shâsland," the name of an island in Edrisi (cf. above, p. 207), is great,
but it cannot be supposed that we have here a corruption of Iceland. At
the north-eastern corner of Scotland is the round island, "Insula tille"
(cf. p. 219).

[Sidenote: The Isle of Brazil]

In the ocean to the west of Ireland we find for the first time on this map
an island called "Insula de montonis siue de brazile." This island is met
with again on later compass-charts under the name of "brazil" as late as
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.[222] It is evidently the Irish
fortunate isle "Hy Breasail," afterwards called "O'Brazil," that has found
its way on to this map, or probably on to the unknown older sources from
which it is drawn. On this and the oldest of the later maps the island has
a strikingly round form, often divided by a channel.

    The Irish myth of Hy Breasail, or Bresail,[223] the island out in the
    Atlantic (cf. vol. i. p. 357), is evidently very ancient; the island
    is one of the many happy lands like "Tír Tairngiri" [the promised
    land]. In the opinion of Moltke Moe and Alf Torp the name may come
    from the Irish "bress" [good fortune, prosperity], and would thus be
    absolutely the same as the Insulæ Fortunatæ. The Italians may easily
    have become acquainted with this myth through the Irish monasteries in
    North Italy, unless indeed they had it through their sailors, and in
    this way the island came upon the map. The form "brazil" may have
    arisen through the cartographer connecting the name with the valuable
    brazil-wood, used for dyeing. The channel dividing the island of
    Brazil on the maps may be the river which in the legend of Brandan ran
    through the island called "Terra Repromissionis," and which Brandan
    (in the Navigatio) was not able to cross. It is probably the river of
    death (Styx), and possibly the same that became the river at Hop in
    the Icelandic saga of Wineland (see vol. i. p. 359). We thus find here
    again a possible connection, and this strengthens the probability that
    Brazil was the Promised Land of the Irish, which on the other hand
    helped to form Wineland.

    On later compass-charts several isles of Brazil came into existence.
    As early as in the Medici Atlas (1351) an "Insula de brazi" appears
    farther south in the ocean, to the west of Spain, and on the Pizigano
    map (1367) and the Soleri map (1385) there is to the west of Brittany
    yet a third "brazir," afterwards commonly called "de manj," or
    "maidas," etc.[224] The name "Insula de montonis" is difficult to
    understand. If we may believe it to be an error for "moltonis" (or
    perhaps "moutonis," a latinisation of the French "mouton" ?), it might
    mean the sheep island of the Navigatio Brandani, which was originally
    Dicuil's Faroes (cf. vol. i. p. 362). Thus this name also carries us
    to Ireland.[225]

    At the same time another Irish mythical conception has found its way
    on to the map of 1325, and faithfully attends the isle of "Brazil" on
    its progress through all the compass-charts of later times; this is
    the fortunate lake, "lacus fortunatus," with its islands, "insulle
    sc̄i lacaris" [Lough Carra or Lough Corrib ?], which were so numerous
    that there was said later to be one for every day of the year. On
    Perrinus Vesconte's map of 1327 the same lake with its many islands is
    found, and as far as I can read the greatly reduced reproduction in
    Nordenskiöld's Periplus (Pl. VII.) the words are: "gulfo de issolle
    CCCLVIII.[226] beate et fortunate" (the gulf of the 358 blessed and
    happy islands), as also found on some later maps.[227] I have not had
    an opportunity of examining the map of the British Isles in the same
    draughtsman's atlas of 1321, to see whether this happy lake and the
    isle of Brazil are given there; the gulf with the 358 islands is
    stated to be on Vesconte-Sanudo maps [cf. Harrisse, 1892, pp. 57, f.],
    which I have also had no opportunity of consulting.

[Sidenote: Dulcert's (Dalorto's) map of 1339]

Angellino Dulcert's (Dalorto's) map of 1339[228] differs somewhat from the
map of 1325 (1330 ?) in its delineation of the North, in that Norway is
given a narrower and more rectangular form, with only those four headlands
on the south side which are largest on the map of 1325, while the country
with the smaller headlands to the west of these is cut away, whereby the
narrower shape is brought about.[229]

Dalorto's maps of 1325 and 1339 furnish the prototype for the
representation of the North in later compass-charts; and this persists
without important alteration until well into the fifteenth century. But
while later Italian charts (cf. Pizigano's of 1367) more closely resemble
the Italian Dalorto map of 1325, the Majorca map of 1339 represents the
type of the later Catalan charts. In the one preserved at Modena, and
dating from about 1350,[230] the Catalan compass-chart is combined with
the representation of the world of the wheel-maps. We find the picture of
the North to be the same in all its main outlines; but here a new feature
is added, in that Iceland appears as a group of eight islands in the far
north-west, out on the margin of the map, with the note: "questas illes
son appellades islandes" (these islands are called Icelands). The
southernmost island is called "islanda," the others have incomprehensible
names ("donbert," "tranes," "tales," "brons," "bres," "mmau...," "bilanj"
[?]); but the name of Greenland is not found. In the ocean to the north of
Norway there is "Mare putritum congelatum" [the putrid, frozen sea]. This
is evidently the idea of the stinking Liver Sea (as in Arab myths, cf. p.
51), combined with that of the frozen sea. On the approximately
contemporary Catalan compass-chart (see the reproduction, pp. 232-233),
preserved in the National Library at Florence (called No. 16), we find the
same group of islands called "Island," with a long inscription (see p.
232; cf. also Björnbo and Petersen, 1908, p. 16), which is partly
illegible, but wherein it is stated that "the islands are very large,"
that "the people are handsome, tall and fair, the country is very cold,"
etc. The name of Greenland does not occur on this chart either.[231]

[Illustration: North-western Europe on the wheel-shaped compass-chart at
Modena (circa 1350). The network of compass-lines, names and legends
omitted. Mountains indicated by shading]

[Illustration: North-western Europe on the anonymous Catalan mappamundi of
the middle of the fourteenth century, in the National Library at Florence.
Reproduced mainly from a tracing of the original made by Dr. A. A.
Björnbo. The text of the names and legends has been somewhat enlarged to
render it legible in the reduced reproduction. In the legend on the Baltic
the erroneous "gronlandia" is given, while the original has "gotlandia"
(according to O. Vangensten)]

[Sidenote: Viladeste's chart of 1413]

The same type of Catalan charts includes Charles V.'s well-known
mappamundi, or "Catalan Atlas," of 1375, as well as Mecia de
Viladeste's chart of 1413,[232] and many others.[233]

[Sidenote: The Medici Atlas, 1351]

We find a different representation of the North, especially of the
Scandinavian Peninsula, in the anonymous atlas of 1351, preserved at
Florence and commonly called the "Medicean Marine Atlas,"[234] which is an
Italian, probably a Genoese, work. The North is here represented on a map
of the world and on a map of Europe (reproduced pp. 236, 260). The
representation to a great extent resembles the Dalorto type. Its division
of western Scandinavia into three great promontories no doubt recalls the
Carignano map to such an extent that one may suppose it to have been
influenced by some Italian source of that map; but in the names it shows
more resemblance to the Dalorto maps: the delineation of the Baltic and of
the peninsula corresponding to Skåne is practically the same, it perhaps
resembles in particular the Modena map and the anonymous map at Florence
(cf. pp. 232, 233). Jutland, on the other hand, has been greatly prolonged
and given a different shape. The three great tongues of land in Norway,
with a smaller one on the east near Denmark, may correspond to the four
headlands on the south coast of Norway on the Dalorto maps (cf. especially
that of 1339). Through these being considerably increased in size, and the
bays between them being enlarged, the west coast of Norway has been moved
even farther to the west than on the map of 1325, and has been given a
somewhat more westerly longitude than Ireland. On the map of Europe "C.
trobs" ["capitolum tronberg" ? i.e., Tönsberg] is written on the first bay
[like "trunberg" on the Dalorto map], "c. bergis" ["capitolum bergis,"
i.e., the see of Bergen] and "c. trons" (?) [the see of Trondhjem] on each
of the two other bays. Finally, "alogia," which on the Dalorto map is
marked as a town on the northern west coast of Norway, to the north of
Nidroxia [Nidaros], has followed the west coast and is placed on the
westernmost tongue of land. How the whole of this delineation came about
is difficult to say. One might be tempted to think that it was through a
misunderstanding of a description of Norway, like that we find in the
Historia Norwegiæ, where the country is described as divided into four
parts, the first being the land on the eastern bay near Denmark, the
second "Gulacia" [Gulathing], the third "Throndemia," the fourth
"Halogia."[235] The map of the world in the Medici atlas is drawn in the
same way as the compass-charts. It has no names of towns in Scandinavia,
and the westernmost tongue of land is without a name (see the
reproduction). On the other hand, the name "alolanda" occurs inland in
eastern Norway, and is there obviously a corruption of "Hallandia" (cf. p.
227). This mappamundi is interesting from the fact that it makes the
land-masses of the continent extend without a limit on the north, whereas
Africa is terminated by a peninsula on the south.

[Illustration: The north-western portion of the mappamundi in the Medicean
Marine Atlas (1351). The degrees are here inserted after the maps of

[Sidenote: Pizigano's map, 1367]

The map of the Venetian Francesco Pizigano, of 1367, resembles Dalorto's
of 1325 in its delineation of the North; the south side of Norway has
somewhat the same rounded form with seven headlands, and "Alogia" is a
town on the west coast.

[Illustration: From the Bayeux tapestry, eleventh century]


[Sidenote: Scandinavian view of Greenland as mainland]

It has been already pointed out that, while the oldest northern authority,
Adam of Bremen, regarded the countries of the North, outside Scandinavia,
as islands in the ocean surrounding the earth's disc (in agreement with
the learned view and with the wheel-maps), the Scandinavians, unfettered
by learned ideas, assumed that Greenland was connected with the continent,
for the reason, amongst others, that, as the author of the "King's Mirror"
expresses it, continental animals such as the hare, wolf and reindeer
could not otherwise have got there. But, as we have seen, this land
communication could only be supposed to exist on the far side of Gandvik
(the White Sea) and the Bjarmeland (Northern Russia) that they knew, and
to go round the north of the sea that lay to the north of Norway. Thus the
sea came to be called Hafsbotn (i.e., the bay or gulf of the ocean). We
find the clearest expression of this view in the Icelandic geography
already referred to, which may in part be attributed to Abbot Nikulás
Bergsson of Thverá[236] (cf. vol. i. p. 313; vol. ii. pp. 1, 172), and
where we read:

    "Nearest Denmark is lesser Sweden [so called to distinguish it from
    'Sviþjóð it Mikla,' Russia], there is Öland, then Gotland, then
    Helsingeland, then Vermeland, then two Kvænlands, and they are north
    of Bjarmeland. From Bjarmeland uninhabited country extends northward
    as far as Greenland. South of Greenland is Helluland," etc. [cf. the
    continuation, above, p. 1]. In a variant of this geography in an older
    MS. we read: "North of Saxland is Denmark. Through Denmark the sea
    goes into 'Austrveg' [the countries on the Baltic]. Sweden lies east
    of Denmark, but Norway on the north. To the north of Norway is
    Finmark. From thence the land turns towards the north-east, and then
    to the east before one comes to Bjarmeland. This is tributary to the
    Garda-king [the king of Gardarike]. From Bjarmeland the land stretches
    to the uninhabited parts of the north, until Greenland begins. To the
    south of Greenland lies Helluland," etc.

We have yet a third, later and more detailed variant in the so-called
"Gripla," given in vol. i. p. 288.

The belief in this land connection with Greenland may have originated in,
or at any rate have been considerably strengthened by, the discovery of
countries such as Novaya Zemlya, Svalbard (Spitzbergen ?), and the
northern uninhabited parts of the east coast of Greenland[237] (cf. above,
pp. 165, ff.). In addition to this, those sailing the Polar Sea came
across pack-ice wherever they went in a northerly direction, closing in
the sea and making it like a gulf, and it must therefore have been natural
to believe in a continuous coast which connected the countries behind the
ice, and which held this fast. The belief in a land connection seems to
have been so ingrained that it can scarcely have rested on nothing but
theoretical speculations, but must rather have been supported by tangible
proofs of this kind.

[Sidenote: Saxo on the far North]

It was to be expected that the countries on the north of Hafsbotn should
become fairylands in popular belief, Jotunheimr and Risaland, inhabited by
giants. Even Saxo (beginning of the thirteenth century) says that to the
north of Norway

    "lies a land, the name and position of which are unknown, without
    human civilisation, but rich in people of monstrous strangeness. It is
    separated from Norway, which lies opposite, by a mighty arm of the
    sea. As the navigation there is very unsafe, few of those who have
    ventured thither have had a fortunate return."

As it can hardly be the Christian settlements in Greenland that Saxo
refers to as a land without human civilisation, we must doubtless suppose
that his land in the north is a confusion of the eastern uninhabited
tracts of Greenland with Jotunheimr, as in Icelandic ideas. For Adam of
Bremen already had giants (Cyclopes) on an island in the north, and we
have seen that there were similar conceptions in the Historia Norwegiæ
(cf. p. 167).

[Sidenote: The tale of Halli Geit]

A mediæval Icelandic tale [inserted in Björn Jónsson's Greenland Annals]
says of Halli Geit that

    "he alone succeeded in coming by land on foot over mountains and
    glaciers and all the wastes, and past all the gulfs of the sea to
    Gandvik and then to Norway. He led with him a goat, and lived on its
    milk; he often found valleys and narrow openings between the glaciers,
    so that the goat could feed either on grass or in the woods."

[Illustration: From the Bayeux tapestry, eleventh century]

[Sidenote: Land at the North Pole]

Ideas of this kind led to the view held by some that there was land as far
as the North Pole, which appears in an Icelandic tract, included in the
"Rymbegla" [1780, p. 466]. Of a bad Latin verse, there reproduced, it is

    "Some will understand this to mean that he [i.e., the poet] says that
    land lies under 'leidarstjarna' [the pole star], and that the shores
    there prevent the ring of the ocean from joining [i.e., around the
    disc of the earth]; with this certain ancient legends agree, which
    show that one can go, or that men have gone, on foot from Greenland to

[Sidenote: The Outer Ocean]

But the mediæval learned idea of the Outer Ocean surrounding the whole
disc of earth also asserts itself in the North, and appears in Snorre's
Heimskringla and in the "King's Mirror," amongst other works. This ocean
went outside Greenland, which was connected with Europe, and made the
former into a peninsula. In the work already referred to, "Gripla" (only
known in a late MS. in Björn Jónsson of Skardsá, first half of the
seventeenth century), we read, in continuation of the passage already
quoted (p. 35): "Between Wineland and Greenland is Ginnungagap, it
proceeds from the sea that is called 'Mare oceanum,' which surrounds the
whole world." Since Wineland [i.e., the Insulæ Fortunatæ], as already
stated (pp. 1, ff.), was by some, evidently through a misunderstanding,
made continuous with Africa,[238] it is clear that the Outer Ocean must be
supposed to go completely round both Greenland and Wineland (cf. the
illustration, p. 2). Thus it was also natural to suppose that there was an
opening somewhere between these two countries, through which the Outer
Ocean was connected with the inner, known ocean between Norway, Greenland,

[Sidenote: Ginnungagap]

At least as old as the Norsemen's conceptions of countries beyond the
ocean in the North was probably the idea of the great abyss, Ginnungagap,
which there forms the boundary of the ocean and of the world, and which
must be derived from the Tartarus and Chaos of the Greeks (cf. p. 150).
When the Polar Sea (Hafsbotn) was closed by the land connection between
Bjarmeland and Greenland, it was natural that those who tried to form a
consistent view of the world could no longer find a place for the abyss in
that direction; and G. Storm [1890] is certainly right in thinking that it
was for this reason that Ginnungagap was located in the passage between
Greenland and Wineland; since, no doubt, the idea was that this "gap" in
some way or other was connected with the void Outer Ocean. But this view
is first found in the very late copy (seventeenth century) of "Gripla,"
and of the somewhat older map of Gudbrand Torlaksson [Torlacius] of 1606
[Torfæus, 1706; Pl. I., p. 21], where "Ginnunga Gap" is marked as the name
of the strait between Greenland and America. What Ginnungagap really was
seems never to have been quite clear, different people having no doubt had
different ideas about it; but when, as here, it is used as the name of a
strait through which the Outer Ocean enters, it cannot any longer be an
abyss; at the most it may have been a maelstrom or whirlpool, which,
indeed, is suggested by the whirlpool on Jón Gudmundsson's map (cf. p.
34). But even this interpretation of the name became effaced, and in
another MS. of the seventeenth century (see p. 35) it is simply used as a
name for the great ocean to the west of Spain (that is, the Atlantic).

[Illustration: From an Icelandic MS. of 1363]

On the other hand we have seen (pp. 150, ff.) that ideas of whirlpools in
the northern seas appear to have been widely spread in the Middle Ages.
There is a possibility, as already hinted (vol. i. p. 303), that when in
Ivar Bárdsson's description of the northern west coast of Greenland "the
many whirlpools that there lie all over the sea" are spoken of, it was
thought that here was the boundary of the ocean and of the world, and that
it was formed by the many whirlpools, or abysses in the sea. In that case
these cannot be regarded merely as maelstroms like the Moskenström, but
more like the true Ginnungagap. But this is extremely uncertain; it may
again have been one of those embellishments which were often used in
speaking of the most distant regions.

[Sidenote: Saxo]

Saxo Grammaticus (first part of the thirteenth century) in the preface to
his Danish history gives geographical information about Scandinavia and
Iceland, to which we have already referred several times. He does not
mention Greenland. He says himself that he has made use of Icelandic
literature to a large extent; but he has also mingled with it a good deal
of mythical material from elsewhere.

[Sidenote: The King's Mirror, circa 1240 ?]

Beyond comparison the most important geographical writer of the mediæval
North, and at the same time one of the first in the whole of mediæval
Europe, was the unknown author who wrote the "King's Mirror,"[240]
probably about the middle of the thirteenth century.[241] If one turns
from contemporary or earlier European geographical literature, with all
its superstition and obscurity, to this masterly work, the difference is
very striking. Even at the first appearance of the Scandinavians in
literature, in Ottar's straightforward and natural narrative of his voyage
to King Alfred, the numerous trustworthy statements about previously
unknown regions are a prominent feature, and give proof of a sober faculty
of observation, altogether different from what one usually meets with in
mediæval literature. This is the case to an even greater degree in the
"King's Mirror," and the difference between what is there stated about the
North and what we find less than two hundred years earlier in Adam of
Bremen is obvious. Apart from the fact that the whole method of
presentation is inspired by superior intelligence, it shows an insight and
a faculty of observation which are uncommon, especially at that period;
and in many points this remarkable man was evidently centuries before his
time. Although well acquainted with much of the earlier mediæval
literature, he has liberated himself to a surprising extent from its
fabulous conceptions. We hear nothing of the many fabulous peoples, who
were still common amongst much later authors, nor about whirlpools, nor
the curdled and dark sea, but instead we have fresh and copious
information about the northern regions, and it comes with a clearness like
that which already struck us in Ottar. We have a remarkably good
description of the sea-ice, its drift, etc. (cf. vol. i. pp. 279, f.); we
have also a description of the animal world of the northern seas to which
there is no parallel in the earlier literature of the world (cf. pp. 155,
ff.). No less than twenty-one different whales are referred to fully. If
we make allowance for three of them being probably sharks, and for two
being perhaps alternative names for the same whale, the total corresponds
to the number of species that are known in northern waters. Six seals are
described, which corresponds to the number of species living on the coasts
of Norway and Greenland. Besides these the walrus ["rostung"] is very well
described. But even the author of the "King's Mirror" could not altogether
avoid the supernatural in treating of the sea. He describes in the seas of
Iceland the enormous monster "hafgufa," which seems more like a piece of
land than a fish, and he does not think there are more than two of them in
the sea. This is the same that the Norwegian fishermen now call the krake,
and certainly also the same that appears in ancient oriental myths, and
that is met with again in the Brandan legend as the great whale that they
take for an island and land on (cf. p. 234). In the Greenland seas the
"King's Mirror" has two kinds of trolls, "hafstrambr" [a kind of merman],
with a body that was like a glacier to look at, and "margygr" [a mermaid],
both of which are fully described. There is also mention in the Greenland
seas of the strange and dangerous "sea-fences," which are often spoken of
in the sagas [and about which there is a lay, the "hafgerðinga-drápa"].
The author does not quite know what to make of this marvel, for "it looks
as if all the storms and waves that there are in that sea gather
themselves together in three places, and become three waves. They fence in
the whole sea, so that men cannot find a way out, and they are higher than
great mountains and like steep summits," etc. It is probable that the
belief in these sea-fences is derived from something that really took
place, perhaps most likely earthquake-waves, or submarine earthquakes,
which may sometimes have occurred near volcanic Iceland. But it is curious
that in the "King's Mirror" these waves are connected with Greenland. They
might also be supposed to be connected with the waves that are formed when
icebergs capsize.

[Illustration: Marginal drawing in the Flateyjarbók (1387-1394)]

The principal countries described are Ireland, Iceland and Greenland; but
it is characteristic of the author that the farther north he goes, away
from regions commonly known, the freer his account becomes from all kinds
of fabulous additions. In Ireland he is still held fast by the
superstition of the period, and especially by the priests' fables about
themselves and their holy men, and by the English author Giraldus
Cambrensis.[242] In Iceland, as a rule, he is free of this troublesome
ballast, and gives valuable information about the glaciers of Iceland,
glacier-falls, boiling springs, etc. In his opinion the cold climate of
Iceland is due to the vicinity of Greenland, which sends out great cold
owing to its being above all other lands covered with ice; for this reason
Iceland has so much ice on its mountains. Although he thinks it possible
that its volcanoes are due to the fires of Hell, and that it is thus the
actual place of torment, and that Hell is therefore not in Sicily, as his
holiness Pope Gregory had supposed, he nevertheless has another and more
reasonable explanation of the origin of earthquakes and volcanoes. They
may be due to hollow passages and cavities in the foundations of the land,
which by the force either of the wind or of the roaring sea may become so
full of wind that they cannot stand the pressure, and thus violent
earthquakes may arise. From the violent conflict which the air produces
underground, the great fire may be kindled which breaks out in different
parts of the country. It must not be thought certain that this is exactly
how it takes place, but one ought rather to lay such things together to
form the explanation that seems more conceivable, for

[Sidenote: Fire derived from force (labour)]

    "we see that from force ['afli'] all fire comes. When hard stone and
    hard iron are brought together with a blow, fire comes from the iron
    and from the force with which they are struck together. You may also
    rub pieces of wood together until fire comes from the labour that they
    have. It is also constantly happening that two winds arise from
    different quarters, one against the other, and if they meet in the air
    there is a hard shock, and this shock gives off a great fire, which
    spreads far in the air," etc.

This idea of a connection between labour (friction) and force (motion),
and this explanation of the possible origin of volcanoes are surprising in
the thirteenth century, and seem to bring the author centuries in advance
of his time; we here have germs of the theory of the conservation of

[Sidenote: The inland ice of Greenland]

His statements about Greenland are remarkable for their sober
trustworthiness. He gives the first description of its inland ice:

    "But since you asked whether the land is thawed or not, or whether it
    is covered with ice like the sea, you must know that there are small
    portions of the land which are thawed, but all the rest is covered
    with ice, and the people do not know whether the country is large or
    small, since all the mountains and valleys are covered with ice, so
    that no one can find his way in. But in reality it must be that there
    is a way, either in those valleys that lie between the mountains, or
    along the shores, so that animals can find a way, for otherwise
    animals cannot come there from other countries, unless they find a way
    through the ice and find the land thawed. But men have often tried to
    go up the country, upon the highest mountains in various places, to
    look around them, to see whether they could find any part that was
    thawed and habitable, but they have not found any such, except where
    people are now living, and that is but little along the shore itself."

[Illustration: Norwegian MS. of the Gulathings law. Fourteenth century]

This, as we see, is an extremely happy description of the mighty
ice-sheet. He also describes the climate of the country, both the fine
weather that often occurs in summer, and its usually inclement character,
which causes so small a proportion of the country to be habitable.

[Sidenote: The glaciers of Greenland a pole of maximum cold]

    "The land is cold, and the glacier [i.e., the great ice or inland ice]
    has this nature, that he sends out cold gusts which drive away the
    showers from his face, and he usually keeps his head bare. But often
    his near neighbours have to suffer for it, in that all other lands
    which lie in his neighbourhood get much bad weather from him, and all
    the cold blasts that he throws off fall upon them."

Though in simple and everyday words, this really expresses the idea that
Greenland and the neighbouring regions are disproportionately cold, and
that, in part at any rate, this is due to the glaciers of Greenland, which
have a refrigerating effect (as an anticyclonic pole of maximum cold).
This is to a certain degree correct. In crossing Greenland in 1888 we
found that a pole of cold [anticyclone] lies over the inland ice, which
gives off cold air. Scientific greatness does not always depend on
erudition or acute learned combinations; it is just as often the result of
a sound common-sense.

The allusion in the "King's Mirror" to the Norse inhabitants of Greenland
and their life has already been quoted in part (vol. i. p. 277); curiously
enough the Skrælings are not mentioned. The author gives a graphic
description of the aurora borealis, and attempts to explain its cause. As
already noted (p. 155), it is curious that he should speak of it as
something peculiar to Greenland, when he must of course have known it well
enough in Norway.

The cosmography of the "King's Mirror" is based on older mediæval writers,
especially Isidore. The spherical form of the earth and the course of the
sun are mentioned, as is Macrobius's doctrine of zones. In the frigid
zones the cold has attracted to itself such power that the waters throw
off their nature and are changed to ice, and all the land and sea is
covered with ice. They are usually uninhabitable, but nevertheless the
author considers that Greenland lies in the north frigid zone. He thinks
that "it is mainland, and connected with other mainland," as already
mentioned, because it has a number of terrestrial animals that are not
often found on islands. It

    "lies on the extreme side of the world on the north, and he does not
    think there is land outside 'Heimskringla' [the circle of the world,
    'orbis terrarum'] beyond Greenland, only the great ocean which runs
    round the world; and it is said by men who are wise that the strait
    through which the empty ocean flows comes in by Greenland, and into
    the gap between the lands ('landa-klofi'), and thereafter with fjords
    and gulfs it divides all countries, where it runs into Heimskringla."

This is, as we see, the same idea as already (p. 240) referred to, that
the Outer Ocean runs in through a sound between Greenland and another
continent to the south, evidently Wineland, which is thus here again
regarded as part of Africa (cf. p. 1).

It is moreover striking that neither Wineland, Markland, nor Helluland is
mentioned in the "King's Mirror," and Bjarmeland, Svalbard, etc., are also
omitted. Thus it does not give any complete description of the northern
lands, but it must be remembered that what we know of the work is only a
fragment, and perhaps it was never completed.

[Illustration: The Nancy map. A copy, of 1427, of Claudius Clavus's first
map of the North. The lines of latitude and longitude are omitted for the
sake of clearness]


[Sidenote: Claudius Claussön Swart, born 1388]

[Sidenote: Clavus's maps]

The credit of having introduced the name of Greenland, with the ancient
Norsemen's geographical ideas about the extreme North, into cartography
belongs, so far as is known, to the Dane Claudius Claussön Swart, usually
called in Latin Claudius Clavus (sometimes also Nicolaus Niger). He was
born in Funen, travelled about Europe, and, as shown by Storm [1891, pp.
17, f.], was probably the "Nicolaus Gothus" who is mentioned at Rome in
January 1424, and who is reported to have there given out that he had seen
a copy of Livy in the monastery of Sorö, near Roskilde (which was probably
a romance on his part). We are told that he was a man of acute
intelligence, but a rover and unsteady. His subsequent history is unknown.
As a supplement to Ptolemy's Geography, which just at that time (1409) was
becoming known in Western Europe in a Latin translation, he made, probably
in Italy, two maps of the North, with accompanying descriptions. The maps
must have been drawn either by himself or with his help. They are the
first maps known in Western Europe which are furnished, after the model of
Ptolemy (or Marinus), with lines of latitude and longitude,[243] and they
thus mark the beginning of a more scientific cartography and geography in
Western Europe.[244]

His first map (the Nancy map) must have been drawn between the years 1413
and 1427, probably between 1424 and 1427; but it can never have been
widely known, as it has exercised no noticeable influence on the
cartography of the succeeding period. The French cardinal Filastre (ob.
1428), who was staying in Rome in 1427, became acquainted with it there,
and made a reduced copy of it, which, together with a copy of the
accompanying text, he had bound up with his copy of the Latin translation
of Ptolemy's Geography with maps. This work was not rediscovered at Nancy
until 1835, when it was published; the map is therefore usually called the
Nancy map. Clavus's second map, which seems to have been drawn later than
that just mentioned, has on the other hand had considerable influence on
the cartographical representation of the northern regions through a period
of two centuries.

A copy of the later map was first brought to light by Nordenskiöld at
Warsaw in 1889 [1889, p. xxx.]; since then several copies have been
rescued from oblivion, while the text accompanying the map was
accidentally discovered in 1900 by Dr. A. A. Björnbo in a mediæval MS. at
Vienna [Björnbo and Petersen, 1904]. The original map is lost; but except
as regards details of no great consequence there can now be no doubt as to
what it was like.

The reproductions (pp. 248 and 251) will give an idea of the
representation of the North on the two maps. As far as Ptolemy's map
extended (cf. vol. i. pp. 118, f.), it will be seen that its coast-lines
and islands are almost slavishly adhered to on both maps. To this the
Nancy map adds a Scandinavia, with Iceland, the east coast of Greenland,
and a northern land connection between the latter and Russia. On the later
map Scandinavia has been given a somewhat altered form, and Greenland has
a west coast. The Nancy map has few names, many more being mentioned in
the text, especially in Denmark. Even as regards Denmark they are
evidently to a great extent taken from an older itinerary like that of
Bruges ["Itinéraire Brugeois," cf. Storm, 1891, p. 19]. Some of the names
on the map, like "bergis," "nidrosia," etc., may be taken from older
compass-charts; both texts have the northern form "Bergen." Headlands,
bays and islands (on the coasts of Norway, Iceland and Greenland), for
which he had no names (and which moreover are due to the free
imagination of the draughtsman), have been designated in the Nancy text
by Latin numerals ("Primum," "Secundum," etc.), or are simply named after
each other (in Iceland), a sure sign that Clavus neither knew nor had
heard anything about these coasts.

[Illustration: Copy, of about 1467, of Claudius Clavus's later map. The
copy was executed by Nicolaus Germanus. Owing to the map being transferred
to the latter's trapezoidal projection, with converging meridians,
Greenland, for instance, has been given a very oblique appearance]

[Sidenote: Mystification in Clavus's geographical names]

On his later map Clavus has made up for the want of names in an
astonishing way. On some of the coasts he has continued to use Latin
numerals for bays, etc., but side by side with this on the shores of the
Baltic and in Sweden he has used Danish numerals, such as, "Förste aa
fluuii ostia" (First river, river-mouth), "Anden aa" (Second river) ...,
etc. The southerners, who did not understand Danish, of course regarded
these as names, and subjected them to all sorts of corruptions. Matters
became worse when in Gotland and Norway he used as the names of headlands
and rivers the words of a meaningless rigmarole: "Enarene," "apocane,"
"uithu," "wultu," "segh," "sarlecrogh," etc. (evidently corresponding to
children's rigmaroles like "Anniken, fanniken, fiken, foken," etc.)[245]
In Iceland he used the names of the runic characters for headlands and
rivers; but most remarkable of all are his names in Greenland, alternately
for headlands and the mouths of rivers(!). If, as shown by Björnbo and
Petersen, these are read continuously from the most northern headland on
the east coast round the south of the country, the following verse in the
dialect of Funen is the result:

  "Thær boer eeynh manh secundum [== ij ?][246] eyn Gronelandsz aa,
      ooc Spieldebedh mundhe hanyd heyde;
      meer hawer han aff nidefildh,
      een hanh hawer flesk hinth feyde.
      Nordh um driuer sandhin naa new new."

      (There lives a man (in ?) a Greenland river,
      and Spieldebedh is his name;
      he has more vermin (?)
      than he has fat bacon, etc.)

The verse, as pointed out by Axel Olrik, is evidently an imitation or
travesty of the folk-songs, and, as Karl Aubert has shown,[247] its
prototype must certainly have been the first verse of the same folk-song
that is now known in Sweden by the name of "Kung Speleman":

      "Dher bodde een kjempe vid Helsingborg,
      Kung Speleman månde han heta,
      Visst hade han mera boda sölf,
      Än andra flesket dhet feta.
  Uren drifver noran, och hafvet sunnan för noran."

      (There lived a giant by Helsingborg,
      King Fiddler was his name.
      Sure he had greater store of silver
      Than others of fat bacon, etc.)

This method of fabricating geographical names adopted by Clavus recalls
the designation of the notes in the mediæval scale, for which the words of
a Latin hymn were used, and it seems likely that this is what he has
imitated. But his mystification, with all these strange names which no one
in Southern Europe understood, and which in course of time underwent many
corruptions, has caused a good deal of trouble; many intelligent men have
racked their brains to discover learned etymological interpretations of
their origin, until Björnbo's lucky find of the later text of Clavus
solved the riddle.

[Sidenote: Different views of Clavus's maps and their origin]

Björnbo and Petersen, who by their valuable work on Claudius Clavus with a
reproduction of this text have the credit of throwing light on the
relation between his first and second maps, have put forward the view that
Clavus must have made his first map (the Nancy map) with its Latin text in
Italy; but curiously enough they think he entirely rejected the Italian
compass-charts as unsuitable for the representation of the North, and
constructed his delineation of the northern regions independently of them,
as an addition to Ptolemy's coast-lines, simply from information he had
derived from northern sources. After this we are to suppose that, in order
to extend his geographical knowledge, he went back to Denmark; and since
the authors place reliance on Clavus's assertion (in his later text) that
he had seen the places himself, they even credit him with having made a
voyage of geographical exploration, first to Norway (Trondhjem) and then
to Greenland. And then he is supposed to have drawn his later map, and
written the text for it (in Latin), in the North.

I have come to an entirely different conclusion. His older map must be
based, in my opinion, not only on Ptolemy, but to a great extent on
Italian maps. His later map and text, I consider, show beyond doubt that
he cannot have been either in Norway or Greenland, and I cannot find a
single statement in the Vienna text, or any coast-line in his later map,
which shows that he was outside Italy in the period between the two works.
Doubtless the delineation of Denmark, especially Sealand, is more detailed
in the second map; but the additions do not disclose any more local
knowledge than might be attributed to Clavus as a native of Funen before
his first map was drawn, even though he had not then ventured to change
the form of Ptolemy's Scandia, which to him, of course, became Sealand.
After this first attempt, however, he may have gained courage to launch
out further with his knowledge. He may also have discovered a few fresh
pieces of information, in the papal archives, for instance. Besides this,
he may, of course, have received oral communications from people from the
northern countries; but even of this I am unable to find sure signs. In
consideration of the imaginative tendencies shown by Clavus in his
distribution of names, and to some extent in the coast-lines on his map,
which perhaps may also have asserted themselves in his statement that he
had seen a complete MS. of Livy in Sorö monastery,[248] we shall scarcely
be insulting him if we believe his statements (in two passages of the
Vienna text) that he himself had seen Pygmies from a land in the North,
and Karelians in Greenland, to be rhetorical phrases, calculated to
strengthen the reader's confidence, and to mean at the outside that he had
seen something about these people in older authorities.

After having heard my reasons, Björnbo and Petersen have in all essentials
come round to my views. In particular they agree with me that Clavus
cannot have been in Greenland, but that the delineation of that country on
his later map is based on the Medicean map of the world, which will be
mentioned later. I therefore consider it superfluous to combat any further
here the reasons given in their work for their former view.

Claudius Clavus's task must have been to supplement the newly discovered
atlas of Ptolemy by what he knew of the North; and to this end his maps
were drawn, either by himself or by a professional draughtsman in Italy
from his instructions. The text was prepared after each of the maps, as a
description of it; and the latitudes and longitudes are taken from the map
[cf. Björnbo and Petersen, 1904, p. 130]. With the superstitious respect
of the period for older learned authorities in general, and for Ptolemy in
particular, he did not venture to alter the latter's coast-lines or
latitudes as far as they extended; even in the Danish islands he has done
so with hesitation, thus Sealand in his first sketch [the Nancy map] has
still the same form as Scandia in Ptolemy, etc. He then added to the
latter's coast-lines what he knew or could get together from other

[Sidenote: Sources and genesis of the Nancy map]

His first map [the Nancy map] may presuppose the following sources,
besides Ptolemy's various maps of Northern Europe; Pietro Vesconte's
mappamundi (circa 1320) in Marino Sanudo's work,[249] and the anonymous
mappamundi, now preserved in the so-called Medicean Marine Atlas, of
1351, at Florence.[250] In addition to these, either the Bruges itinerary
itself [Itinéraire Brugeois, cf. Storm, 1891, p. 19], or one of its
earlier sources. Possibly he also had, in part at all events, a tract [in
Icelandic ?] that is included in the fourth part of the "Rymbegla" [1780];
that he also knew of the Icelandic sailing directions, as assumed by
Björnbo and Petersen, I regard as less certain, although not impossible;
perhaps it would be safer to suppose that he may have seen some statements
from Ivan Bárdsson's description of Greenland, in an itinerary, for
instance. I have not been able to find any certain indication of his
having been acquainted with the Icelandic geography mentioned on p. 237;
perhaps he may rather have known of the land connection between Greenland
and Russia from some tale or other, or from a legendary saga;[251] from
the same source (or from Ivar Bárdsson's description ?) may also be
derived the name Nordbotn (cf. p. 171, note 1), which is not known in the
Icelandic geography, but which seems most probably to be a legendary form.
Certain names, such as those of the bishops' sees in Norway and Iceland,
Clavus may easily have found in the papal archives in Rome.

In the first place, exactly following Ptolemy, the draughtsman has marked
Ireland with the islands around it and six Hebrides to the north-east,
Scotland with the island of Dumna and the archipelago "Orcadia" to the
north (the island of Ocitis a little farther east), and the south coast of
Thule farther north; next Jutland with its small islands round about, and
with the large island of Scandia, which, of course, became Sealand (he has
added Funen and a number of other islands); finally the coast of Germany
and Sarmatia eastwards to 63° N. lat., and with the same number of
river-mouths as in Ptolemy. As this coast does not extend nearly so far to
the east as does the Baltic on the compass-charts, it resulted that
Clavus's Baltic became much shorter than that of the charts, and its shape
had to be altered to suit Ptolemy's coast-line. Then, at its northern end,
the draughtsman has placed possibly Pietro Vesconte's Scandinavian
peninsula, going out towards the west (see the two maps, pp. 223, 224);
but as he saw Norway on the compass-charts extending west as far as to the
north of Scotland, where on Ptolemy's map he found Thule, it was natural
that he should take the latter to be the southern point of Norway, and he
was obliged to move Vesconte's peninsula farther to the west. Its south
coast may have been drawn with the Medici map, or a similar one, as model.
As the southern coast of the Baltic was moved far to the south, after
Ptolemy, and Jutland was given a different and smaller form than on the
Medici map, besides a marked inclination to the east, and as Skåne had to
be near Sealand (Scandia), the draughtsman was obliged to move the
peninsula corresponding to Skåne about five degrees to the south. The
south coast of the peninsula on the north of Scotland on the Medici map
(see pp. 236, 260) corresponded very nearly to the south coast of Thule
(with an east-south-easterly direction) on Ptolemy's map; it lay in an
almost corresponding latitude, but on account of the puzzling prolongation
of Scotland to the east on Ptolemy's map, it had to be moved a good
fifteen degrees of longitude to the east. Thule was thus united to
Norway[252] and its south coast was given exactly the same shape as the
south coast of the peninsula in question, with three arched bays (the
broadest on the east) and a projecting point towards the south-east. The
coast between this promontory and Skåne may then have been drawn with the
same number of four large bays as on the Medici map: a deeper one farthest
west, then a broad peninsula, next two wide, open bays, with a narrow
peninsula between them, and finally a smaller bay opposite Sealand. The
"Halandi" of the Nancy map is thus brought to the corresponding place with
the "Alolanda" of the Medici map (p. 236).[253]

Thus far it may be fairly easy to compare the maps; but then Norway
according to most of the compass-charts ought not to have any considerable
farther extension to the west, while on the other hand Northern ideas
demanded a Greenland in the far west, as well as a land in the north
between that and Russia. With the latter the westernmost tongue of land in
Norway on the Medicean mappamundi[254] agrees remarkably well. The
southern point of Clavus's Greenland has also the same length in
proportion to the west coast of Ireland, and about the same breadth, as on
this map. There was also an extensive mass of land in the north. According
to various representations, such as those of Vesconte's mappamundi, Saxo's
description (cf. p. 223), and others, there should be a gulf on the north
side of the Scandinavian Peninsula. According to representations like that
of the Lambert map at Ghent (cf. p. 188), this arm of the sea had the same
form as that on the south side of Scandinavia, and there should only be a
narrow isthmus between these two arms of the sea, connecting the peninsula
with the mainland (cf. Saxo). On the Nancy map, too, the north coast of
Scandinavia is drawn almost exactly like the south coast, with the same
number of promontories and bays, which correspond very nearly even in
their shape. In this way Clavus's "Nordhindh Bondh" [Norðrbotn], also
called "Tenebrosum mare" [i.e., the dark sea] or "Quietum mare" [the
motionless sea], may have originated. This remarkable bay is connected on
his map with the Baltic by a canal (which is also mentioned in the Vienna
text). By this means Scandinavia really becomes an island. Clavus cannot
have acquired such an idea from any known source, although, as already
mentioned, Saxo says that it is nearly an island (p. 223); but similar
conceptions seem to have arisen in Italy (cf. above on Pietro Vesconte's
mappamundi, p. 223).

[Illustration: Scandinavia on the map of Europe in the Medici Atlas (of
1351). The scales of latitude and longitude are here added from Ptolemy's
maps. The network of compass-lines is omitted]

The south coast of Norway [with "Stauanger"] and the southern point of
Greenland retained on Clavus's map the same relation of latitude, a
difference of 1-1/2°, as the corresponding localities on the Medici map,
with very nearly the same degrees of latitude as on the latter, if we
there employ a scale of latitude calculated upon this map's representation
of Spain (the Straits of Gibraltar) and France (Brittany), and use
Ptolemy's latitudes for these countries. This has been done in the
reproduction of the Medicean mappamundi on p. 236.[255] The scale of
longitude is calculated in the same proportion to the latitude as in
Ptolemy. In some tract like that included in the fourth part of the
"Rymbegla" [1780, p. 466] Clavus may have found that Bergen lay in
latitude 60° and so placed the town on the west coast of Norway in this
latitude according to his own scale (on the right-hand side of the Nancy
map, see p. 474). In relation to the south coast of Norway Bergen was thus
brought 3/4° farther south than "c. bergis" on the Medici map (above).
Calculated according to Ptolemy's scale of latitude (on the left-hand side
of the Nancy map), Bergen was consequently placed in Clavus's text in 64°,
while the southern point of Greenland is placed in 63° 15',[256] a
difference in latitude of 45' (in the Vienna text the difference is 35'),
while in reality it is 38'; a remarkable accidental agreement. According
to Clavus's own scale of latitude on the right-hand side of the Nancy map,
we get the following latitudes: Bergen 60°, the southern point of
Greenland 59° 15', Stavanger 58° 30'. In reality the latitudes of these
places are: 60° 24', 59° 46', and 58° 58'. This agreement is remarkable,
as a displacement of the scale of latitude half a degree to the north on
the Nancy map would give very nearly correct latitudes.[257] The mutual
relation between the latitudes of the three places may, as we have seen,
be explained from the Medici map, but hardly from a possible acquaintance
with the Icelandic sailing directions; for according to these Bergen and
the southern point of Greenland would be placed in the same latitude,
since we are told that from Bergen the course was "due west to Hvarf in
Greenland."[258] The Medici map may also give a natural explanation of
places like Bergen and the southern point of Greenland having been given
by Clavus a latitude so much too northerly (even in the Nancy map), and of
the southern point of Greenland having only half a degree more westerly
longitude than the west coast of Ireland.[259]

Iceland lay, according to the Bruges itinerary, midway between Norway and
Greenland, precisely as on the Nancy map. Between Norway and Iceland,
according to the same itinerary, lay "Fareö" [Færö], and the fabulous
island "Femöe," "where only women are born and never men."

After speaking of the "third headland" in 71° on the east coast of
Greenland, the Nancy text goes on:

    "But from this headland an immense country extends eastward as far as
    Russia. And in its [i.e., the country's] northern parts dwell the
    infidel Karelians ('Careli infideles'), whose territory ('regio')
    extends to the north pole ('sub polo septentrionalis') towards the
    Seres[260] of the east, wherefore the pole ['polus' == the arctic
    circle ?], which to us is in the north, is to them in the south in

It is probable, as suggested by Björnbo and Petersen, that these "Careli
infideles" are identical with those who are found almost in the same
place, in the ocean to the north of Norway, on one of the maps in Marino
Sanudo's work (in the Paris MS., see above, p. 225), and who on other maps
belonging to that work are placed on the mainland to the north-east of
Scandinavia. As pointed out by Storm, "Kareli" are also mentioned
together with Greenland and "Mare Gronlandicum" in the Bruges itinerary.

Björnbo and Petersen maintain that Claudius Clavus has here consciously
put forward a new and revolutionary view which was a complete break with
the cosmogony of the whole of the Middle Ages, since according to the
latter the disc of the earth was entirely surrounded by sea to the south
of the North Pole, as represented on the wheel-maps. I think this is
attributing to Clavus rather too much original thought, of which his maps
and text do not otherwise give evidence. It is, of course, correct that
the idea of land, and inhabited land, too, at the North Pole, or to the
north of the Arctic Circle, did not agree with the general learned
conception of the Middle Ages; but the same idea had already been clearly
enough expressed in Norwegian-Icelandic literature. Even the Historia
Norwegiæ has inhabited land beyond the sea in the north, and the Icelandic
legendary sagas and Saxo have it too. In addition to these, the tract
included in the "Rymbegla" says distinctly (see above, p. 239) that this
land in the opinion of some lies under the pole-star (cf. Clavus's
expression: "sub polo septentrionalis"). The fact that the continent on
the Medicean map of the world extended boundlessly on the north into the
unknown (whereas Africa ended in a peninsula on the south) must have
confirmed Clavus in the view that the land reached to the pole. To this
was added, what perhaps weighed most with him, the fact that such a view
did not conflict with Ptolemy, whose continent also had no limit on the

On the connecting land in the north is written, on the Nancy map:
"Unipedes maritimi," "Pigmei maritimi," "Griffonii regio vastissima," and
"Wildhlappelandi." As these names are not mentioned in Clavus's text, it
is uncertain whether the fabulous creatures may not be to some extent
additions for which he is not responsible.

After the map was drawn, with its bays and headlands, and the coast of
Scandinavia provided with a suitable number of islands, Claudius Clavus
set himself to describe it; where he had no names from earlier sources, he
numbered the headlands, bays and islands, "Primum," "Secundum," etc.

A remarkable thing about the Nancy map is that it has two divisions of
latitude: one according to Ptolemy on the left-hand side of the map, and
another according to Clavus himself, on a scale four degrees lower, on the
right-hand side. According to the latter, Roskilde would have a longest
day of seventeen hours (through a transposition the Nancy map gives
seventeen hours thirty minutes), which, as pointed out by Björnbo [1910,
p. 96], exactly agrees with what Clavus may have learnt from a Roskilde
calendar ("Liber daticus Roskildensis") of 1274. Björnbo has also remarked
that Bergen is given a remarkably correct latitude, 60° (the correct one
is 60° 24'), and thinks it possible that there may have been a Bergen
calendar which Clavus has used. But a more likely source, unnoticed by
Björnbo, is to be found, as mentioned on p. 260, in the "Rymbegla" tract,
where the latitude of Bergen is given as 60°. It is true that the same
tract gives the latitude of Trondhjem (Nidaros) as 64°, which does not
agree with the Nancy map, where there is a difference of only 2° between
Bergis and Nidrosia. Even though it is probable that Clavus was acquainted
with some such tract, with which his statement as to land at the North
Pole also agrees, it may have been a somewhat different version from that
which found its way into the "Rymbegla," and perhaps the latitude of
Trondhjem was not mentioned there. On the other hand, he may have found,
there or elsewhere, the latitude of Stavanger given, 1-1/2° farther south
than Bergen (?).

If we assume that Clavus, even in the construction of his first map, made
use of the Medicean map of the world, and that his Greenland is the most
westerly peninsula of the latter's Norway, it will seem strange that he
did not also draw the west coast of that peninsula, which would naturally
become the west coast of Greenland. It is true that the Nancy map is only
a copy, but as the west coast of Greenland is not mentioned in the copy
of Clavus's text either, we are bound to believe that he did not include
it. The margin on the western side of Clavus's first map was evidently
determined by that of Ptolemy's map of the British Isles, and follows
precisely the same meridian. Thus there was no room for the Medici map's
peninsula corresponding to Clavus's Greenland. As already stated, it is
difficult to get away from the belief that the Medici map was used for the
east coast of Greenland, the south coast of Norway, etc.; the resemblances
are too great, and otherwise inexplicable (cf. p. 261, note 3).

[Sidenote: Clavus's later map and text, and their genesis]

After the first map was drawn, Clavus may have made further cartographical
studies in Italy, and may thus have become acquainted with other
compass-charts, especially those of the Dalorto type. At the same time he
may have obtained a new and more accurate determination of the latitude of
Trondhjem, probably by the length of its longest day. As Trondhjem was an
archbishopric, it is not unlikely that he found such a piece of
information in the papal archives at Rome. He may then naturally have
wished to bring his map more into agreement with his new knowledge, and
this may have led to his later map, which is now known to us through
several somewhat varying copies. To this he then wrote a new text (the
Vienna text), which in all important points resembles the former, but has
various additions and alterations. The later map has not the double scale
of latitude on any of the copies known, but curiously enough only
Ptolemy's degrees. Besides a more accurate delineation of Jutland and the
Danish islands, especially Sealand, Bornholm and Gotland are drawn in
closer resemblance to the Medici map; the south coast of Scandinavia has
been altered to agree more with compass-charts of the Catalan type. In
particular the south coast of Norway has been given the four
characteristic promontories (as on the Dalorto map of 1339, and on the
Modena map, etc.; cf. the reproductions, pp. 226, 231), and Bergen
("Bergis") has been placed at the head of the westernmost of the three
bays thus formed, which is also a peculiarity of the maps of this type
(the Catalan chart of 1375 has five promontories with four bays, cf.
Nordenskiöld, 1896, Pl. XI.). The other two diocesan towns, Stavanger and
Hamar, are placed at the heads of the other two bays to the east, and
Stavanger has thus lost the remarkably correct position in relation to
Bergen and the south point of Greenland which it had on the older map.
Trondhjem has been placed at the extremity of the westernmost promontory,
possibly because there had been found a more correct determination of the
latitude of the town, which was to be fitted into Ptolemy's graduation;
thereby the shape of Norway has become still narrower and farther removed
from reality.

From the "lac scarsa" (Lake Skara, i.e., Vener) with its river is derived
the great lake "Vona" (Vener) in the centre of Scandinavia on all the
copies of Clavus's later map, from which the river "Vona" (also mentioned
in the Vienna text) runs into the deep bay by "Aslo" (Oslo) and the island
of "Tunsberg." A connection, especially with Dalorto's map of 1339, seems
again to be implied by Clavus's statement in the Vienna text that on
Lister Ness "white falcons are caught" ("Liste promontorium, ubi capiuntur
falcones albi"). On Dalorto's map there is a picture of a white falcon on
the headland to the west of that which Clavus has made into Lister, and
the words "hic sunt girfalcos" (here are hunting falcons). That Clavus has
moved the hawks to a headland farther east is of small importance. Either
he may have taken his hawks from Dalorto's or a similar map, or else they
are derived from an older common source.

Through the alteration of the south coast of Norway, it became necessary
to separate it from Thule, which again became an island as originally in
Ptolemy; but on the copies of the map it has in addition the name
"Bellandiar," which may be a corruption of Hetlandia (Shetland). The
north-west coast of Norway has also been given a form which agrees better
with the compass-charts, although it has a much more east-north-easterly
direction than even on the Modena map; but this was, of course, necessary
to make room for the sea "Nordhenbodnen" (Nordbotn). That the
compass-charts might lead to something resembling Clavus's last form of
Scandinavia, and especially of the south coast of Norway, is shown by the
map of Europe in Andrea Bianco's atlas of 1436, which must have been drawn
without knowledge of Clavus's work. If on this map we move the coast of
the Baltic farther south and Skåne also, which would be necessitated by a
better knowledge of Denmark (and by the alteration of the map following
Ptolemy), and draw the coast-line of Norway towards the east-north-east
from the south-western promontory (instead of making it go in a northerly
direction), we shall get a Scandinavia of very similar type to that in
Clavus's later map.

[Illustration: The north-western portion of the map of Europe in Andrea
Bianco's atlas of 1436. The compass-lines are omitted]

Björnbo and Petersen have maintained in their monograph that Clavus must
have been in Norway before he drew this map, and that amongst other things
his remarkably correct latitude for Trondhjem must be due to his own
observation of the length of the day at the summer solstice. Storm [1889,
p. 140] seems also to have supposed that Clavus may really have been in
Norway. To me it appears that his map and text are conclusive evidence
against his ever having been there; for a man who had sailed to Trondhjem
along the coast of Norway could not possibly have produced a
cartographical representation of the country so entirely at variance with
reality as Clavus has done, however ignorant we may suppose him. The fact
in itself that "Trunthheim" (Trondhjem) or "Nedrosia" is placed at the
extremity of the south side of the south-western promontory of the
country is extraordinary. If he had come there asleep he could not have
got any such idea; and for a man who had sailed in through the long
channel of the Trondhjem fjord up to the town it is incredible. It is
equally incredible that a man who had sailed along the coast from
Stavanger and Bergen to Trondhjem could place the latter town in a
latitude 10' to the south of Bergen, and only 10' to the north of
Stavanger. We are not justified in attributing to Clavus such an entire
lack of power of observation, especially if we are to suppose him capable
of determining with remarkable accuracy the length of the longest day at
Trondhjem. That Trondhjem is placed to the west of Bergen and Stavanger,
that the Dovrefjeld is called a high promontory, while on the Nancy map it
was inland, that Hamar ("Amerensis") is put on the sea-coast, etc., all
shows the same want of knowledge of the country and its configuration. The
names he may have taken from an itinerary or other sources, and, as
already suggested, it is not unlikely that he may have found in the papal
archives a fairly correct statement of the latitude (or length of the
longest day) of Trondhjem, which was an archbishop's see. That the towns
he gives are just those that are the heads of dioceses is perhaps an
indication of a connection with the Vatican.

Clavus tells us further that

    "Norway has eighteen islands, which in winter are always connected
    with the mainland, and are seldom separated from it, unless the summer
    is very warm," and that "'Tyle' [Thule] is a part of Norway and is not
    reckoned as an island, although it is separated from the land by a
    channel or strait, for the ice connects it with the land for eight or
    nine months, and therefore it is reckoned as mainland. The same
    applies to the sea 'Nordhinbodnen' [Nordbotn], which separates
    'Wildlappenland' from 'Vermenlandh'[261] and 'Findland' by a long
    strait, since the countries are united by almost eternal ice."

This discloses an extraordinary lack of knowledge of Northern conditions.
Such a connection of the islands with the mainland by ice occurs, of
course, nowhere on the whole outer coast of Norway from Færder to the
Murman Coast. On the other hand, the Gulf of Bothnia and the Åland
archipelago are frozen over for a long time in winter, and it might be
supposed that Clavus had heard reports of this. But I have not been able
to discover any source from which he may have derived these fables. Most
probably they are embellishments of the same kind as the eighteen islands
of Norway, that form an arbitrary decoration of the coast-line of his map,
a circumstance which does not hinder him from describing them as real.
Clavus has used the ice as a transition between the representation of his
older map, where Thule was part of the mainland, and that of the later
one, where it was made into an island.

At the northernmost limit of Norway, between two places called "Ynesegh"
and "Mestebrodh," Clavus connected the Polar Sea ("Nordhinbodhn") by a
narrow channel with the Gotland Sea [the Baltic], and a little farther
north, in 67°, he says that

    "the uttermost limit is marked with a crucifix, so that Christians
    shall not venture without the king's permission to penetrate farther,
    even with a great company." "And from this place westwards over a very
    great extent of land dwell first Wildlappmanni [Wild Lapps, i.e.,
    Mountain Lapps, Reindeer Lapps ? cf. vol. i. p. 227], people leading a
    perfectly savage life and covered with hair, as they are depicted; and
    they pay yearly tribute to the king. And after them, farther to the
    west, are the little Pygmies, a cubit high, whom I have seen after
    they were taken at sea in a little hide-boat, which is now hanging in
    the cathedral at Nidaros; there is likewise a long vessel of hides,
    which was also once taken with such Pygmies in it."

Two things are to be remarked about this assertion that he himself had
seen these Pygmies (one might suppose in Norway): (1) if he had really
seen a captive Eskimo brought to Norway (by whom ?), he could hardly have
been ignorant that this remarkable native was from Greenland, and not from
a fabulous northern land. And (2), how could he then give their height as
no more than a cubit, like the Pygmies of myth? It appears to me that in
one's zeal to defend Clavus, one would thus have to attribute to him two
serious falsehoods, instead of a more innocent rhetorical phrase about
having seen this, that, and the other.

Clavus's statement about the Pygmies' small hide-boats, and the long
hide-boat, that hung in Trondhjem cathedral, is, however, of great
interest from the fact that this is the first mention in literature of the
two forms of Eskimo boat: the kayak and the women's boat ("umiak").
Perhaps he got this from the same unknown source (in the Vatican ?) in
which he found the statement of the latitude of Trondhjem (?). In the fact
that the Wild Lapps are mentioned first, and after them the Pygmies,
Clavus's text again bears a great resemblance to the anonymous letter to
Pope Nicholas V. (of about 1450). In the northernmost regions (to the
north-west of Norway) this letter mentions [cf. Storm, 1899, p. 9]

    "the forests of Gronolonde, where there are monsters of human aspect
    who have hairy limbs, and who are called wild men."... "And as one
    goes west towards the mountains of these countries, there dwell
    Pygmies," etc. (cf. above, p. 86).

Michael Beheim also mentions "Wild lapen," who live in the forests to the
north of Norway, and who carry on a dumb barter of furs with the
merchants, like that described by the Arab authors as taking place in the
country north of Wîsu (cf. p. 144), and he goes on to speak of the
Skrælings, three spans high, etc. (cf. above, p. 85). Beheim's statement
differs from Clavus's text, and this again from the letter to Nicholas V.,
so that one cannot be derived from the other. It is therefore most
probable, as suggested already (p. 86), that they have all drawn from some
older source, and it may be supposed that this was Nicholas of Lynn. We
have seen that there are other points in Clavus that lead one's thoughts
in the same direction.

Clavus proceeds:

    "The peninsula of the island of Greenland stretches down from land on
    the north which is inaccessible or unknown on account of ice.
    Nevertheless, as I have seen, the infidel Karelians daily come to
    Greenland in great armies (bands of warriors, 'cum copioso exercitu'),
    and that without doubt from the other side of the North Pole.
    Therefore the ocean does not wash the limit of the continent under the
    Pole [Arctic Circle ?] itself, as all ancient authors have asserted;
    and therefore the noble English knight, John Mandevil, did not lie
    when he said that he had sailed from the Indian Seres [i.e., China ?]
    to an island in Norway."

If we compare this with the "Rymbegla" tract already mentioned [1780, p.
466], we see that these are much the same ideas as there expressed. We
read there

    "that it is the report of the same men that the sea is full of eternal
    ice to the north of us and under the pole star, where the arms of the
    Outer Ocean meet...."

When it is there stated that

    "those shores [under the pole star] hinder the ring of the ocean from
    coming together [i.e., round the earth]" ... and "that one can go on
    foot ... from Greenland to Norway" [cf. above, p. 239],

this is evidently something similar to what Clavus says; but the latter's
words as to the voyage which he attributes to Mandeville from the Indian
Seres to Norway being more probable because there is land at the North
Pole are somewhat incomprehensible.

    John Mandeville's book about a voyage through many lands to the far
    east and China dates from between 1357 and 1371, and is put together
    from various accounts of voyages, with the addition of all kinds of
    fables. Mandeville does not himself claim to have made any such voyage
    from China to Norway; on the other hand, he has much to say, in
    chapter xvii., about the possibility of sailing round the world, which
    he declares to be practicable, and if ships were sent out to explore
    the world, one could sail round the world, both above and below. He
    says that when he was young he heard of a man who set out from England
    to explore the world, and who went past India and the islands beyond
    it where there are more than five thousand islands, and so far did he
    travel over sea and land that he finally came to an island where he
    heard them calling to the ox at the plough in his own language, as
    they did in his own country. This island afterwards proved to be in

Clavus's assertion that he himself saw ("ut uidi") Karelians in Greenland
is impossible. As it is expressly stated that there was land at the North
Pole, and as it is not mentioned that these Karelians had hide-boats like
the Pygmies, the meaning must be that their armies came marching by the
land route, which, of course, is an impossibility, which, if he had been
in Greenland, would make him a worse romancer than if we suppose his "ut
uidi" to mean that he had seen something of the sort stated in a
narrative; but even this may be doubtful. In the Bruges itinerary [cf.
Storm, 1891, p. 20] or some similar older authority, which we know he may
have used, he may have seen "Kareli" beyond Greenland spoken of as "in
truth a populus monstrosus." We have already said that on the maps
accompanying Marino Sanudo's work he may have seen "Kareli infideles"
marked on the mainland to the north-east of Norway, or even on an island
out in the northern sea, and he would then naturally have connected the
Karelians of the itinerary with these Karelians north of Norway. If we add
to this that on the Medicean map of the world he saw the mass of the
continent extending from Scandinavia and the peninsula corresponding to
Greenland, northwards into the unknown, and that in the "Rymbegla" tract
he saw mention of land at the North Pole--then, indeed, his whole
statement seems to admit of a perfectly natural explanation.

His lack of knowledge of the conditions in Greenland appears again in his
speaking of Pygmies and Karelians as two different peoples, one apparently
on the sea, and the other marching in armies on land; and in his
mentioning hide-boats as something peculiar to the former in the fabulous
northern country, while he does not say that the Karelians in Greenland
had boats or went to sea. If he had only spoken to people who had been in
Greenland, he could hardly have avoided hearing of the Skrælings who come
to meet every traveller in their hide-boats.

[Illustration: Map constructed by Dr. Björnbo after Clavus's later
description (the Vienna text). (Björnbo and Petersen, 1904, Pl. II.)]

[Sidenote: Clavus's west coast of Greenland taken directly from the Medici

It is an important difference between Clavus's first and second maps (and
also between his first and second texts) that on the latter Greenland is
given a west coast. Its form bears an altogether striking resemblance to
the west coast of the corresponding peninsula on the Medicean mappamundi,
so that there can be no doubt that this coast is copied from it.[263]
This is notably the case if we confine ourselves to Björnbo and Petersen's
reconstruction of the coast after the text of Clavus, from which it
appears plainly enough that there are the same number of bays as on the
Medici map; they are closest together near the southern point of the
country; then come two larger bays to the north, then a very broad bay,
longer than the two others together, and then a straighter coast-line to
the north of that (cf. p. 236). The east coast of Greenland has in part
been provided with corresponding bays, although this coast is almost
straight on the Medici map; but this answers to the north coast of
Scandinavia on the Nancy map having very nearly the same indentations as
the south coast. In taking the Medici map as the foundation of Clavus's
Greenland coast we also have a natural explanation of the relation between
his distribution of names on the east coast and the west. In his later
text it is striking that his description of the east coast of Greenland
does not reach farther than to his "Thær promontorium" in 65° 35', while
the description of the west coast goes as far north as 72°. This might
seem to be connected with real local knowledge, since the latitude 65° 35'
on the east coast agrees in a remarkable way with the latitude of Cape
Dan, 65° 32', where the coast turns in a more northerly direction. To the
north of this the coast is usually blocked with ice, and this place has
therefore frequently been given as the northern limit of the known east
coast, and probably it was there that the Icelanders first arrived off the
land on their voyage westward to the Greenland settlements. But this is
one of those accidental coincidences that sometimes occur, and that warn
us to be careful not to draw too many conclusions from evidence of this
nature.[264] We find the explanation in the Medici map (p. 236), where the
east coast of the peninsula corresponding to Greenland does not go farther
north than to about the same latitude as the promontory on the south side
of the broad bay already referred to on the west coast, which promontory
Clavus calls "Hynth" ["Hyrch"]; it lies in 65° 40'. As Clavus's coast from
this point of the east coast northward had no map to depend on, he did not
venture to go farther in his description this time, though in the Nancy
text he goes to 71° with his northernmost cape.

The Medicean map of the world gives us at the same time a simple
explanation of Clavus's designations for the two most northerly points on
the west coast of Greenland. If we confine ourselves to the scale of
latitude for the Medici map, which, as stated above (p. 259), we have
found by using Ptolemy's latitudes for more southern places on the map
(Gibraltar and Brittany), and which is inserted in the left-hand margin of
the reproduction, p. 236, we shall find the following: just at the spot of
which Clavus declares: "New, the uttermost limit of the land which we know
on this side, lies in 70° 10',"[265] the heavy colouring of the land on
the Medici map comes to an end (judging from the photograph in Ongania,
Pl. V.). Farther to the north extends the coast of the lightly coloured
mass of land; but just at this point, in 72°, where Clavus has his
"ultimus locus uisibilis" [last point visible][266] this coast-line
disappears into the oblique frame which cuts off the upper left-hand
corner of the map. The agreement is here so exact and so complete that it
would be difficult to find any way out of it.

[Sidenote: The position of Iceland]

Björnbo and Petersen have asserted that Iceland, on the later map and in
the Vienna text, has been given a position more in agreement with the
sailing directions than on the Nancy map. I cannot see the necessity for
this supposition, as it has almost exactly the same position in relation
to the southern point of Greenland and to Norway in both works; the chief
difference is merely that the longitude of all three countries is made 3°
farther east in the later work (and the latitude of the southern points of
Iceland and Greenland is put somewhat farther south), and that the east
coast of Greenland has a more oblique north-eastward direction than the
corresponding north-east coast on the Medici map, with the direction of
which the Nancy map agrees fairly well. In this way it is brought nearer
to Iceland; but that this should be due to a knowledge of the sailing
directions seems very uncertain, and is not disclosed, so far as I can
see, elsewhere in the later work. The only things I have found which might
possibly point to northern authorities having been consulted since the
production of the Nancy work, are the accurate latitude of Trondhjem,
already referred to, and the island of "Byörnö" between Iceland and
Greenland. The latter might be the Gunnbjörnskerries (or Gunnbjarnar-eyar)
mentioned, amongst other places, in Ivar Bárdsson's description of
Greenland; but the abbreviation of the name is curious. Perhaps the island
may be due to some oral communication, or an erroneous recollection of
something the author may have heard of in Denmark in his youth.

[Sidenote: Clavus's merits]

On the whole we shall be compelled after all to detract considerably from
Claudius Clavus's reputation as a Northern traveller and cartographer. His
journey did not extend farther north than the Danish islands, and perhaps
Skåne. On the other hand, he was in Italy, where he drew his maps or had
them drawn, and where he also found his most important authorities. His
chief merit as a cartographer is that he is the first we know of to have
adopted Ptolemy's methods, and that he gave the name of Greenland to the
westernmost tongue of land in Norway on the Medicean mappamundi, and
altered this a good deal with the help of other compass-charts and
Vesconte's mappamundi, to make it agree better with the ideas of the North
which he may have acquired to some extent in his youth through legendary
tales, and later through Saxo and other writers.

[Illustration: North-western portion of Nicolaus Germanus's first revision
of Ptolemy's map of the world (after 1466). (J. Fischer, 1902, Pl. I.)]

[Sidenote: Clavus's influence on later cartography]

[Sidenote: Nicolaus Germanus, circa 1460-1470]

Claudius Clavus's later map of the North exercised for a long period a
decisive influence on the representation of Scandinavia and to some extent
of Greenland. This was chiefly due to the two well-known cartographers,
Nicolaus Germanus and Henricus Martellus.[267] The former must have become
acquainted with Clavus's map soon after 1460, and included copies of it in
the splendid MSS. of Ptolemy's Geography which proceeded from his workshop
at Florence. In these copies, of which several are known (cf. p. 251), he
has redrawn Clavus's map in the trapezoidal projection invented by
himself, whereby his Greenland has been given a more oblique position than
the Greenland of the original map and the corresponding peninsula on the
Medici map. He also introduced this Greenland into his map of the world
[cf. J. Fischer, 1902, Pl. I., III.; Björnbo, 1910, p. 136]; but, in order
to make it agree better with the learned mediæval view of the earth's disc
surrounded by ocean, he surrounded it by sea on the north, so that it came
to form a long and narrow tongue of land projecting from northern Russia,
instead of the northern mass of land extending to the North Pole according
to Clavus. But this long peninsula does not seem to have entirely
satisfied this priest's erudite ideas of the continent, and on later maps
(which were printed after his death in the Ulm editions of Ptolemy of 1482
and 1486) he shortened it so much that it became a rounded peninsula to
the north of Norway, with the name "Engronelant,"[268] and at the same
time he moved Iceland out into the ocean to the north-west. This
apparently quite arbitrary alteration may perhaps be due to a desire to
bring the map as far as possible into agreement with the learned dogma of
the continent [cf. Björnbo, 1910, pp. 141, ff.]; but older conceptions of
Greenland may also have contributed towards it [cf. J. Fischer, 1902, pp.
87, ff.]. We have already seen that Adam of Bremen regarded Greenland as
an island "farther out in the ocean opposite the mountains of Suedia" (see
vol i. p. 194), and in his additions to the copy of Ptolemy, Cardinal
Filastre (before 1427) states that Greenland lay to the north of Norway;
we find the same view in the letter of 1448 from Pope Nicholas V. (see
above, p. 113).[269] It is also somewhat remarkable that on the Genoese
mappamundi of 1447 (or 1457) there occurs a peninsula north of Scandinavia
just at the place where Clavus's Greenland should begin (see p. 287).[270]
On Fra Mauro's mappamundi (1457-59) there are several peninsulas to the
north of Scandinavia, some of which proceed from Russia (see p. 285).

[Illustration: Map of the North by Nicolaus Germanus (before 1482), after
Claudius Clavus, but with Greenland transferred to the north of Norway]

[Sidenote: Henricus Martellus, circa 1490]

The cartographer Henricus Martellus, who succeeded Nicolaus Germanus,
again adopted Clavus's form of Greenland, wholly or in part, on his maps
dating from about 1490.

In this way there arose on the maps of the close of the Middle Ages two
types of the North: one with Greenland in a comparatively correct position
to the west of Iceland, though far too near Europe and connected
therewith, and another type with "Engronelant" as a peninsula to the north
of Norway. The latter remained for a long time the usual one in all
editions of Ptolemy, in other cartographical works and on many globes.
After the rediscovery of Greenland we even get sometimes two delineations
of this country on the same map, one to the north of Norway and the other
in its right place in the west.

[Sidenote: Illa verde]

Greenland seems to have been given a wholly different form on a Catalan
compass-chart from Majorca, of the close of the fifteenth century, where
in the Atlantic to the west of Ireland and south-west of Iceland
["Fixlanda"] there is an island called "Illa verde" [the green isle]. It
seems, as assumed by Storm [1893, p. 81], that the name must be a
translation of Greenland, which is called in the Historia Norwegiæ
"Viridis terra." The representation of Iceland ["Fixlanda"] on this map is
incomparably better than on all earlier maps, and gives proof of new
information having come from thence. As the place-names point to an
English source, it is possible that the cartographer may have received
information from Bristol, which city was engaged in the Iceland trade and
fisheries, and his island, "Illa verde," may be due to an echo of reports
about the forgotten Greenland in the west. It is worth remarking that the
island is connected with the Irish mythical "Illa de brazil," which lay to
the west of Ireland and which appears in this map twice over in its
typical round form (cf. above, p. 228).[271] If we remember that this
happy isle is in reality the Insulæ Fortunatæ, and that in the Historia
Norwegiæ (see above, p. 1) it is said that Greenland ["Viridis terra"]
nearly touches the African Islands (i.e., Insulæ Fortunatæ), then we
possibly have an explanation of this juxtaposition. But as it is said in
the same passage that Greenland forms the western end of Europe, we cannot
suppose that the cartographer was acquainted with this work. The
probability is, no doubt, that Greenland [Illa verde] together with Brazil
or the Insulæ Fortunatæ had become transformed into mythical islands out
in the ocean.

[Illustration: Part of a Catalan compass-chart of the fifteenth century,
preserved at Milan. (Nordenskiöld, 1892, Pl. 5)]

On another compass-chart, bound up in a Paris MS. of Ptolemy of the latter
part of the fifteenth century, a similar island (or peninsula ?), with the
same round island to the south of it, is seen to project southwards from
the northern border of the chart out into the Atlantic, and a little
farther east than the Insulæ Fortunatæ. On the island is written: "Insula
uiridis, de qua fit mentio in geographia" [the green island, of which
mention is made in the geography].[272] We do not know what geographical
work may here be meant; Björnbo suggests that it might be the lost work of
Nicholas of Lynn, who again may have used the Historia Norwegiæ. It is
striking that the island, besides being connected with a round island like
Brazil, but without a name, is placed on this map near the Insulæ

This "green island," which thus is probably a remnant of old Greenland,
occurs again in various forms and in various places on many
sixteenth-century maps.

[Sidenote: Lascaris's journey to Norway and Iceland, fifteenth century]

It is not surprising that information about the northern lands made its
appearance also on the maps of this time, as we know that the North was
visited more frequently, and sometimes by eminent southerners, from the
year 1248, when the well-known Matthew Paris, who, amongst other things,
drew a map of England remarkable for his time, visited Norway. Rather is
it strange that the direct knowledge thus obtained did not leave more
definite traces. Early in the fifteenth century (some year between 1397
and 1448) a Byzantine, Cananos Lascaris, travelled in the North and wrote
about it (in Greek). He mentions amongst other things that in Bergen, the
capital of Norway ("Bergen Vagen"), money was not used in trading [this
must have been due to scarcity of coin]; but in Stockolmo, the capital of
Sweden, they had money of alloyed silver. Bergen had a month of daylight
from June 24 to July 25. He also says that he himself went to the land of
the Ichthyophagi (fish-eaters), "Islanta," from "Inglenia," and stayed
there for twenty-four days. The people were strong and powerfully built,
they lived only on fish, and they had a summer day of six months [cf.
Lampros, 1881].

[Sidenote: Fifteenth-century maps of the world]

It would take us too far here to attempt a mention of all the
fifteenth-century maps which have a different representation of the North;
but perhaps some of the mappemundi in wheel-form, which were still current
at this time, ought to be referred to. We saw that on Vesconte's map of
the world accompanying Marino Sanudo's work the coast-lines of the
compass-charts in the Mediterranean, etc., had already been introduced. On
the Modena map (p. 231) this has also been carried out as regards the
North. In the fifteenth century we have various wheel-maps, of which some
seem to be more antiquated. Lo Bianco's round mappamundi, in his atlas of
1436, is connected with the compass-charts of that time. Johannes
Leardus's round mappamundi, in many editions of 1448 and earlier,[273]
likewise shows a strong affinity to the compass-charts, although there is
little detail in the delineation of the North. The same is the case with
the anonymous round mappamundi in a codex in the Library of St. Mark at
Venice [cf. Kretschmer, 1892, atlas, Pl. III., No. 13], but this map has
also points of similarity to Vesconte's mappamundi in Sanudo's work, and,
amongst other things, it has the same mountain-chain along the north coast
of the continent, and the same form of the Baltic.

[Illustration: Europe on the mappamundi in the Geneva MS. of Sallust of
about 1450. (The south should be at the top)]

The round mappamundi in a MS. of Mela of 1417 at Rheims[274] is, on the
whole, of a very antiquated type, but its image of the North seems more
modern, and it has the same mountain-chain along the north coast of the
continent as Vesconte's map. The "Sallust" map at Geneva, of about 1450,
is also antiquated, but its Baltic resembles the compass-charts, and the
two mountain ridges, one along the north coast of the continent, the other
parallel with it in the interior, strongly recall Vesconte's map of the
world. On the other hand, the connection by water between the Baltic and
Mæotis (the Sea of Azov) is evidently derived from an earlier age (cf. p.
199). Out in the ocean to the north-west and west of Norway lie four
islands. Björnbo supposes [1910, p. 75] that the two more northerly of
these may correspond to Adam of Bremen's Greenland and Wineland, but this
must be very uncertain.[275]

[Illustration: North-western portion of Andreas Walsperger's mappamundi
(of 1448). Most of the names are omitted. (The south should be at the

[Sidenote: Walsperger's map of 1448]

A curious delineation of the North is found on the round mappamundi which
was drawn at Constance in 1448 by the Benedictine monk Andreas Walsperger
of Salzburg [cf. Kretschmer, 1891a]. The map is in most respects imperfect
and antiquated, but shows also more recent, particularly German,

    The Mediterranean and the Baltic are disproportionately large, and the
    mass of land between them has been contracted. There are many mediæval
    mythical conceptions, and items showing possible influence by Adam of
    Bremen [cf. Miller, iii. 1895, p. 147]. Thus in northern Asia we have
    "Cenocephali" and Cannibals ["Andropophagi"], bearded women, Gog,
    Magog, etc. In Norway we read: "Here demons often show themselves in
    human shape and render service to men, and they are called trolls."
    Claudius Clavus also speaks of trolls in Norway. In the northern ocean
    to the north-west of Norway is written: "In this great sea there is no
    sailing on account of magnets." This is evidently the widely
    distributed mediæval myth of the magnet-rock, which attracted all
    ships with iron in them; in Germany it occurs in the legend of Duke
    Ernst's wanderings in the Liver Sea, and it is doubtless derived from
    the Arabian Nights. On the mainland to the north-east of Norway we
    read that "here under the North Pole the land is uninhabitable on
    account of the excessive cold which produces a condition of continual
    frost...." In the extreme north of the ocean, near the Pole, is
    written: "Hell is in the heart or belly of the earth according to the
    opinion of the learned."

    "Palus meotidis" [the Sea of Azov] is marked as a lake due east of the
    Baltic. Along the north coast of Europe (and Norway) is indicated a
    ridge of mountains, somewhat similar to that in the Sanudo-Vesconte
    maps of the world. The delineation of Denmark ("dacia," with
    "koppenhan" and "londoma," i.e., Lund), the straight south coast of
    the Baltic, and a long-shaped island called "Suecia" (with "Stocholm"
    and "ipsala") on the north, remind us a good deal of Edrisi's map (p.
    203), and also somewhat of the Cottoniana (vol. i. p. 183). To the
    north of the island of Suecia "the very great kingdom of Norway
    ['Norwegie']" projects to the west as a long peninsula bounding the
    Baltic, with "brondolch" [Bornholm ?] and "nydrosia metropolis" [the
    capital Nidaros] as towns on its south coast, and with the land of
    "Yslandia" [Iceland] and the town of "Pergen" [Bergen] on its extreme

[Sidenote: The Borgia map, after 1410]

Another peculiar type of the round mappamundi is the so-called Borgia map
of the fifteenth century (after 1410). Its representation of Europe, with
the Mediterranean on the southern side of the earth's disc, is very
imperfect and far removed from reality. The same is the case with its
delineation of the North, but curiously enough its Scandinavia, which is
different from that of the compass-charts, and in which Skåne forms a
peninsula on the south, to the east of Denmark, has a greater resemblance
to reality than that of other maps of this time. This map, too, has a
chain of mountains along the north coast of the continent, as in the
Vesconte maps [see Nordenskiöld, 1897, Pl. XXXIX.].

[Illustration: North-western portion of Fra Mauro's mappamundi (of
1457-59), preserved at Venice. The legends and most of the names are
omitted. (The south should be at the top)]

[Sidenote: Fra Mauro's map, 1458]

The best known fifteenth-century map of the world is that of Fra Mauro
(1457-59), which is also drawn in wheel-form and is preserved at Venice.
The coast-lines are taken to a great extent from the compass-charts, but a
great deal of new matter has been added. As regards Norway, this consists
of information from Querini's voyage in 1432, as well as from other
sources which are unknown to us; this is indicated by, amongst other
things, an inscription on the sea to the north of Russia ["Permia"], which
relates that a short time before two Catalan ships had sailed thither [cf.
Vangensten, 1910]. On this map the Scandinavian Peninsula has been given a
more reasonable extension to the north; but the west coast is very
imaginatively supplied with peninsulas and islands, while the ocean
outside is full of fabulous islands and contains many legends.

    Denmark ["Datia"] has been made into an island (which is also called
    "Isola islandia"), and the Baltic ["Sinus germanicus"] has been
    widened into an inland sea with islands. In its northern part is a
    note that on this sea the use of the compass is unknown [cf.
    Vangensten, 1910]. Could this inscription be due to a misunderstanding
    like that on the Walsperger map in the ocean to the north-west of
    Norway, that it could not be navigated on account of magnets (cf. p.
    283)? There is no hint of the name of Greenland on this map; on the
    other hand, Iceland appears in three or four different places: besides
    Denmark, as mentioned above, there is in northern Norway or Finland a
    peninsula named "Islant," "where wicked people dwell, who are not
    Christians"; also a large island, "Ixilandia," north-west of Ireland,
    and finally an intricate peninsula in the middle of Norway called
    "Isola di giaza" [i.e., the island of ice]. On the north of Norway or
    Finland a peninsula projects into the Polar Sea with the name of
    "Scandinabia." The map does not contribute anything new of importance
    about the North, but points to a few fresh pieces of information about
    Norway, which are not to be traced in the older compass-charts; thus
    Bergen comes nearly in its right place on the west coast, and
    Marstrand appears to the east of Christiania fjord.

[Sidenote: Genoese mappamundi, 1447]

A picture of the North of a wholly different type is given on the
elliptical Genoese mappamundi [of 1447 or 1457], which is still more
fantastic than any of those hitherto mentioned. The Scandinavian Peninsula
has a very long extension to the west, and ends in a promontory projecting
northwards. To the north of this Scandinavia there is another fantastic
peninsula where Lelewel thinks he can read the name "Grinland," which is
probably due to a misunderstanding, since, as pointed out by Björnbo
[1910, p. 80], the name cannot be seen on the much-damaged original, or on
Ongania's photographic reproduction [Fischer-Ongania, Pl. X.]. Many
imaginary islands are scattered about in the sea round these peninsulas.

[Illustration: Northern Europe on the Genoese mappamundi of 1447 or 1457]

[Sidenote: Globes of the fifteenth century]

[Sidenote: Behaim's globe, 1492]

Towards the close of the fifteenth century the discovery was made of
representing the surface of the earth, with land and sea, on globes. It
was evidently the efforts of Toscanelli that led to the general adoption
of this mode of representation, which had been used by the Greeks at an
early time (cf. vol. i. p. 78); in 1474 he announced that his idea of the
western route to India could best be shown on a sphere. Columbus seems to
have taken a globe with him on his voyage of 1492, according to his own
words in the ship's log. The oldest known terrestrial globe that is
preserved was made in 1492 by the German Martin Behaim (born at Nuremberg
in 1459).[276] He spent much time in Portugal, and also in the Azores,
after making a distinguished marriage with a native of those islands, a
sister-in-law of Gaspar Corte-Real's sister. But it was during a visit to
his native town (1490-93) that he constructed his globe. The sources of
Behaim's representation of the North were principally Nicolaus Germanus's
mappamundi in the Ulm editions of Ptolemy, of 1482 and 1486, where
Greenland is placed to the north of Norway, and Marco Polo's travels,
which speak of the northern regions of Asia. Besides these a name like
"tlant Venmarck" (the land of Finmark), for instance, points to a use of
the same older authority as in the anonymous letter to Pope Nicholas V.,
of about 1450, where in the existing French translation there is mention
of "lieux champestres de Venmarche" [the plains of Finmark].[277] Thus we
are here again led to the lost work of Nicholas of Lynn, "Inventio
fortunata" (1360), as the possible source. That it really was this work
that was used seems also to result from the fact that the countries about
the North Pole on Behaim's globe bear a remarkable resemblance to Ruysch's
map of 1508, where this note is given at the North Pole:

    "In the book 'De Inventione fortunata' it may be read that there is
    high mountain of magnetic stone, 33 German miles in circumference.
    This is surrounded by the flowing 'mare sugenum,' which pours out
    water like a vessel through openings below. Around it are four
    islands, of which two are inhabited. Extensive desolate mountains
    surround these islands for 24 days' journey, where there is no human

[Illustration: Northernmost Europe and the north polar regions on Behaim's
globe, 1492]

What is new in Behaim's picture of the North is chiefly this circle of
land and islands around the North Pole, which he evidently took from
Nicholas of Lynn, and which is not represented on any older map known to
us. It consists of a continuous mass of land proceeding from his
Greenland-Lapland to the north of Scandinavia, and extending eastward
nearly to the opposite side of the Pole, where the Arctic Ocean ("das
gefroren mer septentrional") to the north of the continent becomes an
enclosed sea. On the other side of the Pole are two large islands and a
number of smaller ones. On one of the large islands is a picture of an
archer in a long dress attacking a polar bear (which may be connected with
myths about Amazons ?), and on the other side is written: "Hie fecht man
weisen valken" [here they catch white falcons]. It might be supposed that
this was derived from statements about Scandinavia or Iceland (cf. e.g.,
the legends of the compass-charts); but, as assumed by Ravenstein [1908,
p. 92] and Björnbo [1910, p. 156], it is more likely to come from Marco
Polo's travels, where the Arctic coast of Siberia is spoken of. The many
correct names, in a German form, in Martin Behaim's Scandinavian North
point to the possibility of his also having received oral information,
though they may equally well be derived from older German maps.

[Illustration: A portion of the Laon globe of 1493. (After d'Avezac.)]

[Sidenote: Laon globe, 1493]

Almost contemporary with Behaim's globe is the so-called Laon globe of
1493, which was accidentally discovered in a curiosity shop at Laon some
years ago. It gives a wholly different representation of the North, more
in agreement with the usual maps of the world of the Nicolaus Germanus
type, with sea at the pole round the north of the continent, which
terminates approximately at the Arctic Circle. The Scandinavian Peninsula
(called "Norvegia") has a form somewhat resembling this type; but to the
north of it "Gronlandia" appears as an island, with a land called Livonia
projecting northward on the east, and two islands, Yslandia and Tile, on
the west. Nothing is known of the origin of the Laon globe, or of the
sources of its representation of the North.

Such were the geographical ideas of the North at the close of the Middle
Ages, when the period of the great discoveries was at hand; they were
vague and obscure, and the mists had settled once more over large regions
which had been formerly known; but out in the mists lay mythical islands
and countries in the north and west.




[Sidenote: Awakening of geographical research]

Over the cloud-bridge of illusion lies the path of human progress. The
greatest achievements in history have been brought about more by the aid
of ideas than of truth. Religious illusions have ennobled the rude masses
and raised them to higher forms of society; in the domain of science
intuition and hypothesis have led to fresh victories, as also in
geographical exploration; there too illusions, like a fata Morgana, have
impelled men forward to great discoveries.

It is true that Columbus's plan was based on the correct idea that the
world was round; but if he had known the real distance of India--if he had
not been fettered by the ancient dogmas of the Greeks about the great
extension of the continent to the east, and their low estimate of the
earth's circumference, which made India appear so enticingly near--if he
had not believed in myths of lands in the west--he certainly would never
have been the discoverer of a new world.

The people of the Middle Ages lived, as we have seen, to a great extent
on remnants of the geographical knowledge and conceptions of the Greeks.
It was the age of superstition and speculation; with the exception of the
Norsemen and the Arabs, and in some degree also the Irish monks, there was
during the earlier part of this period no enterprise that broke through
the bounds of the known, except in the mythical world of fancy. It was not
until the Crusades that the horizon began to be widened. The eastern trade
of the Italian republics and the development of capable Italian seamen
were of great significance. At an early date they made discoveries along
the west coast of Africa. Of even greater importance was it that the
Portuguese learned seamanship from them, and no doubt from the Arabs as
well, and displayed great enterprise on the ocean along the shores of
Africa, finding groups of islands in the west, and finally the Azores in
1427; but these must have been discovered earlier, since similar islands
occur on Italian maps of the fourteenth century (cf. the Catalan Atlas of

When Ptolemy's work, and through it the geography of the Greeks, became
known in Western Europe at the beginning of the fifteenth century, it
created a greater stir in the learned world than even the discovery of
America did later; the circle of geographical ideas was greatly changed,
and the world was regarded with new eyes as a sphere. The doctrine of the
possibility of circumnavigating the earth was especially framed and
scientifically established by the celebrated astronomer Toscanelli of
Florence. But this was not a new doctrine; for the Greeks, Eratosthenes
and Posidonius, for example (cf. vol. i. pp. 77, 79), had already
announced it clearly enough, and even in the Middle Ages it was not
forgotten. We saw that Mandeville, the writer of fabulous narratives,
fully understood the possibility of sailing round the globe, and related
ancient tales about such a voyage (cf. p. 271). But at the close of the
fifteenth century the idea was seriously taken up by two men of action,
both Genoese. One of them was Columbus, the other Cabot. Whether the
latter had already conceived the idea before the first voyage of Columbus
we do not know for certain, but it is not improbable; the thought was
latent in the age, and many must have come near it. Another force
impelling men to the western voyage, and perhaps as powerful a one as
these scientific speculations, was the belief in the mythical world of
enticing islands that lay out in the ocean to the west of Europe and
Africa; the Isles of the Blest of the Greeks and the Atlantis of Plato,
conceptions, originally derived from the East, which were still alive,
though in other forms. There lay Antillia, the Isle of the Seven Cities,
mythical islands of the Arabs, and the Irish legendary world, Brandan's
isles and many others; some of them had had a part in creating the Norse
idea of Wineland and the White Men's Land; now they were given a fresh
lease of life, and power over the imagination of Western Europe. Possibly
in connection with echoes of tales of the Norsemen's discoveries--coming
from Iceland to Bristol, and thence to the continent--these mythical
islands helped to form a widespread belief in countries in the far west
across the ocean. The fact that the Portuguese, as has been said, really
found islands, the Azores, out in the Atlantic in 1427, also contributed
to establish this belief. From these islands many expeditions set out in
the course of the fifteenth century to search for new lands farther

[Sidenote: Connection of Bristol with Iceland]

From the beginning of the fifteenth century Bristol was in frequent
communication with Iceland, both for the fishery and for trade. As already
pointed out, this was certainly due in no small degree to the number of
Norwegians who had settled in the town. Sailors and merchants returning
from voyages to Iceland doubtless brought thence many tales of marvels and
of unknown islands and countries out in the ocean; legends of the
Icelanders' voyages to Greenland and Wineland may have served to entertain
the winter evenings in Bristol.[279] It was therefore surely not an
accident that attempts to find land in the west should originate
precisely in this enterprising sea-port.

[Sidenote: The Isle of Brazil]

On the maps of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries there lay out in the
ocean to the west of Ireland the Isle of Brazil (cf. p. 228). It was the
Irish fortunate isle Hy Breasail, of which it is sung:

  "On the ocean that hollows the rocks where ye dwell,
  A shadowy land has appeared, as they tell;
  Men thought it a region of sunshine and rest,
  And they called it O'Brazil--the isle of the blest.

  From year unto year, on the ocean's blue rim,
  The beautiful spectre showed lovely and dim;
  The golden clouds curtained the deep where it lay,
  And it looked like an Eden, away, far away."
                                    [Gerald Griffin.]

[Sidenote: Expedition to find Brazil, 1480]

We have seen that on certain maps this round fabled isle was brought into
connection with an "Insula verde," probably Greenland, and this conception
of the latter probably came from Iceland by way of England. We do not know
what myths were associated with Brazil at that time; but the belief in it
was so much alive that ships were sent out from Bristol to search for the
island. A contemporary account of such an attempt made in 1480 has come
down to us:[280]

    "On the 15th of July [25th of July N.S.] ships ... [belonging to ?]
    ... and John Jay junior, of 80 tons burthen, sailed out of the port of
    Bristol [to navigate] as far as the island of Brazil ["insulam de
    Brasylle"] on the west side of Ireland, ploughing the seas by ... and
    ... Thlyde [Thomas Lyde or Lloyd ?] is the most expert seaman in the
    whole of England, and on the 18th of September [27th of September
    N.S.] the news reached Bristol that after having sailed the seas for
    about 9 months they had not discovered the island, but on account of
    storms had returned to the port ... in Ireland to allow the ships and
    men to rest."

Parts of the MS. being illegible, it does not appear whether John Jay,
junior, was one of the leaders of the expedition or (as Harrisse thinks)
one of the owners of the ships, but in any case we must suppose that the
Thomas Lyde mentioned above was the actual leader or navigator. The "nine
months" ("9 menses") must either be a clerical error for two months or for
nine weeks, either of which would fit the dates given, while nine months
is meaningless. This must at any rate have been a serious attempt to find
lands in the west, twelve years before Columbus's discovery of the West
Indies; and this was not the last attempt made from Bristol to find this
happy land, for in 1497 Ayala, the Spanish Minister in London, writes:

    "For the last seven years the Bristol people have equipped every year
    two, three, or four caravels to go in search of the islands of Brazil
    and of the Seven Cities,[281] following the imagination of this

[Sidenote: Giovanni Caboto]

"This Genoese" is Giovanni Caboto, or John Cabot, as he was called in
England. We find only a few casual statements about this man, who was to
give England the right of discovery to a new continent, and who, together
with his fellow townsman, Columbus, forms the great turning-point in the
history of discovery; for the most part an impenetrable obscurity rests
upon his life and activity.[282] As he is often called, e.g., in letters
from the contemporary Spanish Ambassadors in London, "this Genoese," or "a
Genoese like Columbus," we must suppose that he was born in Genoa; but
from existing State documents of the republic of Venice it appears that
Joanni Caboto obtained his freedom in Venice on March 28, 1476, after
having lived there fifteen years, which was the legal period necessary to
enable a foreigner to become a citizen of the republic.[283] From the
statements of contemporaries we must conclude that John Cabot was a
capable seaman and navigator, with a good knowledge of charts and
cartography; he also constructed a globe to illustrate his voyages. This
is no more than was to be expected of a Genoese, trained in the Venetian
school, which at that time was the foremost in seamanship. It may,
therefore, be regarded as probable that John Cabot was familiar with the
leading ideas of the geographical world of his time. Thus, while still
living at Venice, he may have heard of the idea of reaching Eastern Asia
by sailing to the west, which was put forward, notably by Toscanelli, as
early as 1474, and in this way it is possible that, independently of
Columbus, he may have thought of accomplishing this voyage to the fabulous
riches of the East by a shorter route than that which the Portuguese
sought to the south of Africa. In support of this it may be mentioned that
in 1497 he himself told the Minister of Milan in London, Raimondo di
Soncino, that

    "he had once been at Mecca, whither spices were brought by caravans
    from distant lands, and that those who brought them, when asked where
    the said spices grew, answered that they did not know, but that other
    caravans came to their home with this merchandise from more distant
    lands, and these [other caravans] again say that it is brought to them
    from other regions situated far away." Soncino adds that "Cabot
    reasons thus--that if the eastern people tell those in the south that
    these things come from places far distant from them, and so on from
    hand to hand, then, granting the earth to be round, the last people
    must obtain them in the north-west; and he says it in such a way that,
    as it does not cost me more than it costs, I too believe it...."[284]

It is not improbable that Cabot may have thought that as, on account of
the spherical form of the earth, the circumference of the lines of
latitude decreases towards the north, the shortest way over the western
ocean to the east coast of Asia must lie along the northern latitudes (cf.
Posidonius, vol. i. p. 79). But we cannot lose sight of the fact that
Cabot did not advance this until long after the first voyage of Columbus,
and it is, therefore, uncertain whether the idea occurred to him before or
after that time. When this journey to Mecca took place we do not know.

Pedro de Ayala, the Spanish Minister in London, says in a letter to
Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, in 1498, that Cabot is "another Genoese
like Columbus, who has been in Seville and Lisbon, endeavouring to obtain
help for this discovery" [i.e., of land in the west]. The question is
whether this "who" refers to Columbus or Cabot. The latter appears more
likely, as it seems superfluous for the Minister to inform Ferdinand and
Isabella that Columbus had been in Seville. But here again we do not learn
when Cabot may have made this journey to Spain and Portugal, whether
before or after Columbus's voyage in 1492. In any case it may point to his
having been occupied for a long time with plans of this sort.

[Sidenote: John Cabot arrives in England, circa 1490 ?]

Nor do we know when John Cabot came to England; but perhaps it was about
1490 that he settled in Bristol. If he really came there with ideas of
making for Asia across the western ocean, he certainly found a favourable
soil for such plans in the port which had already sent out ships in 1480
to look for the island of Brazil. But it is also very possible that these
plans occurred to him after he had heard of this expedition, and had
become familiar at first hand with the ideas of western lands which
dominated the minds of the sailors of Western Europe (Englishmen and
Portuguese) of that time. With the many fresh arguments he brought with
him from Italy and the Mediterranean countries, it cannot have been
difficult for him to induce the merchants of Bristol to make fresh
attempts to find these countries in the west or north-west; and, to judge
from Ayala's letter of 1497 about the expeditions sent out annually for
the previous seven years, he seems to have been persistent.

We do not know whether Cabot himself took part in the attempts made after
1490. None of them seems to have met with any success before 1497, for
otherwise it would have been mentioned. But it was while the people of
Bristol were occupied with such enterprises that Cabot's great
fellow-countryman, Columbus, made his remarkable voyage across the ocean
farther to the south, in 1492, and found a new world, which he took to be
India. With that came the awakening with which the time was pregnant. The
news of the achievement, which fired all the adventurers of Europe, must
soon have reached Bristol, and put new life and a wider purpose into the
old plans.[285] That Cabot now became the soul of these plans is clear
enough from all the facts, and we see from existing public documents that
at the beginning of 1496 he was making special efforts to get an important
expedition sent out, and was applying to the King of England for
protection and letters patent to assure to himself and his three sons,
Lewis, Sebastian and Sancto, the profit of the discoveries he expected to
make on this expedition, which was to consist of five ships.

[Sidenote: Cabot's letters patent, 1496]

The letters patent were accorded on March 5 (14th N.S.), 1496,[286] and
give Cabot and his sons the right under the English flag

    "to sail in all parts, regions and bays of the sea, in the east, west
    and north, with five ships or vessels of whatever burthen or kind, and
    with as many men as they wished to take with them, at their own
    expense, and to find, discover and investigate whatever islands,
    countries, regions or provinces belonging to heathens or infidels, in
    whatsoever part of the world they might be, which before that time
    were unknown to all Christians." They also had the right as vassals or
    governors of the King of England, to take possession of whatsoever
    towns, camps or islands they might discover and be in a position to
    capture and occupy. They were to give the king a fifth part of all
    merchandise, profits, etc., of this voyage or of each voyage, as often
    as they came to Bristol, to which port alone they were bound to
    return. They were exempted from all duty on goods they might bring
    from newly discovered lands, and were given a monopoly of all trade
    and traffic with them. Furthermore, all English subjects, both by land
    and sea, were ordered to afford the said John, his sons, heirs and
    assigns, good assistance, "both in fitting-out their ships or vessels,
    and in supplying them with provisions which were paid for with their
    own money."

As the south is not mentioned among the regions which might be explored,
and as the new countries might not be known to Christians, it is clear
that Cabot is here enjoined not to frequent those waters where the
Spaniards and Portuguese had just made their most important discoveries,
and thus run the risk of bringing England into conflict with the Spanish
or Portuguese Crown.

[Sidenote: Cabot's preparations and plans]

As the letters patent bear the same date (March 5) and are to some extent
couched in the same terms as Cabot's petition, they must have been granted
as the result of previous negotiation and agreement between Cabot and the
King, and must therefore contain Cabot's plans for the new voyage, which
were thus already formed in March 1496, when he had doubtless made at all
events some preparations for the expedition.

That Cabot's plans had been spoken of at the English Court as early as
January of that year appears from an existing letter from Ferdinand and
Isabella of Spain to the Spanish Ambassador in England, Dr. Ruy Gonzales
de Puebla. The letter is dated March 28 (April 6, N.S.), 1496, and is an
answer to a letter, now lost, of January 21 (30, N.S.) from the
Ambassador. The answer is as follows:

    "You write that one like Columbus has come to propose to the King of
    England another enterprise like that of the Indies, without prejudice
    to Spain or Portugal. He has full liberty. But we believe that this
    enterprise was put in the way of the King of England by the King of
    France in order to divert him from other business. Take care that the
    King of England be not deceived in this or any other matter. The
    French will try as much as they can to lead him into such enterprises;
    but they are very uncertain undertakings, and are not to be commenced
    for the moment. Moreover they cannot be put into execution without
    prejudice to us and to the King of Portugal."[287]

It will be understood from this that Cabot's plans had attracted attention
in London, and that great importance was attached to them; consequently
they must have been discussed for some time before the granting of letters
patent. For this reason also, we must suppose that Cabot was prepared for
his expedition in March 1496. It seems therefore unlikely that this was
the expedition which did not leave until the year following that in which
he applied for the letters patent, all the more so as the expedition of
1497 consisted of only one ship.[288] If we may interpret Ayala's words
of 1498 literally, that Bristol had sent out ships yearly for the seven
previous years to search for the island of Brazil, etc., then we must
suppose that Cabot actually set out in 1496 with the projected expedition
of five ships, but for some reason or other turned back without having
accomplished his object. After having been unfortunate in so large an
undertaking, Cabot may have found it less easy to enlist support for a
fresh attempt in 1497, and was thus obliged to content himself with one
small ship and a scanty crew (eighteen men).[289] It may also be supposed
that as the earlier expeditions consisting of several ships had failed to
find the land they were looking for, Cabot as a practical seaman wished to
make a pioneer expedition with a small swift-sailing craft and a picked
crew, before again embarking on a large and costly undertaking. He was
more independent, and could sail farther and more rapidly to the west,
than when he was tied by having to keep a fleet of several ships together.

[Sidenote: Sebastian Cabot's participation in 1497 doubtful]

Cabot's sons, who are mentioned in the letters patent, may have taken part
in the voyage of 1496; on the other hand, it is less probable that they
were among the eighteen men in 1497.[290] It is true that his son
Sebastian claimed to have been present as one of the leaders of the
expedition, but he also claimed to have made the voyage alone, so that no
weight can be attached to his words. In any case, he must have been very
young at that time, and he cannot have played any important part. Nor is
a word said about him in a single one of the letters from contemporary
foreign ambassadors in London, and in Pasqualigo's letter of August 23,
1497, we are told of John Cabot after his return that "in the meantime
[i.e., until his next voyage] he is staying with his Venetian wife and his
sons in Bristol." This does not seem to show that any of the sons had been
with him; and the protest of the Wardens of the Drapers' Company of London
(see later) against Sebastian as a navigator points in the same direction.

Not a line have we from Cabot's own hand either about this important
voyage of 1497 or any other. We hear that he made maps of his discoveries;
but these too have been lost, like so many other maps that must have been
drawn during this period before 1500.[291] We can, therefore, only draw
our conclusions from the statements of others, some contemporary and some

The most important documents giving trustworthy information about John
Cabot's voyage in 1497 are the following:

[Sidenote: Most important authorities for the voyage of 1497]

(1) The three letters from his two compatriots in London: one from the
Venetian, Lorenzo Pasqualigo, to his two brothers in Venice, dated August
23 (September 1, N.S.), 1497; and two letters from the Milanese Minister,
Raimondo di Soncino, to the Duke of Milan, dated August 24 (September 2,
N.S.) and December 18 (27), 1497.

(2) An entry in the accounts of the King of England's privy purse, from
which we see that Cabot was back in London by August 10 (19, N.S.), 1497.

(3) The map of the world, drawn in 1500, by the well-known Spanish pilot,
Juan de la Cosa.

(4) A Bristol chronicle by Maurice Toby, written in 1565, but from older

Besides these may be mentioned a legend on the map of the world of 1544
which, according to what is written on it, was the work of Sebastian
Cabot. But even if this be correct, the legend is of no great value, as he
cannot be regarded as a trustworthy authority.[292]

[Sidenote: Pasqualigo's letter of Aug. 23, 1497]

Lorenzo Pasqualigo writes on August 23 (September 1, N.S.), 1497, to his
two brothers in Venice, amongst other things:

    "Our Venetian, who set out with a little ship from Bristol to find new
    islands, has returned, and says that he has discovered 700 leagues
    [Italian nautical leagues] away the mainland of the kingdom of the
    Great Khan ('Gran Cam') [China], and that he sailed 300 leagues along
    its coast and landed, but saw no people; but he brought here to the
    King some snares that were set up to catch game, and a needle for
    making nets, and he found some trees with cuts in them, from which he
    concluded that there were inhabitants. Being in doubt he returned to
    the ship,[293] and was three months on the voyage, and this is
    certain; and on the way back he saw two islands on the right hand, but
    would not land so as not to lose time, as he was short of provisions.
    He says that the tides are sluggish and do not run as here [i.e., in
    England]. The King has promised him next time ten ships fitted out
    according to his desires, and has given him as many prisoners to take
    with him as he has asked, except those who are in prison for high
    treason; and he has given him money to enjoy himself with in the
    meantime, and now he is with his Venetian wife and his sons at
    Bristol. His name is Zuam Talbot [sic, for Cabot], and he is called
    the Grand Admiral and great honour is shown him, and he goes dressed
    in silk and the Englishmen run after him like madmen, but he will have
    nothing to do with any of them, and so [do] many of our vagabonds. The
    discoverer of these things has planted on the soil he has found the
    banner of England and that of St. Mark, as he is a Venetian; so that
    our flag has been hoisted far away" [cf. Harrisse, 1882, p. 322].

[Sidenote: Soncino's letter of Aug. 24, 1497]

The Minister, Raimondo di Soncino, writes on August 24 (September 2,
N.S.), 1497, to the Duke of Milan, amongst other things:

    "Some months ago ('sono mesi passate') his majesty the King [of
    England] sent out a Venetian who is a good sailor, and has much
    ability in finding islands, and he has returned safely and has
    discovered two very large and fertile islands, and found as it seems
    the seven cities[294] 400 leagues to the west of the island of
    England. His majesty the King here will on the first opportunity send
    him with fifteen or twenty ships..." [cf. Harrisse, 1882, p. 323].

[Sidenote: Soncino's letter of Dec. 18, 1497]

On December 18 (27), 1497, Soncino again writes to the Duke more fully
about Cabot's voyage:

    "Perhaps amongst Your Excellency's many occupations it may not be
    unwelcome to hear how this Majesty has acquired a part of Asia without
    drawing his sword. In this kingdom is a Venetian called Messer Zoanne
    Caboto, of gentle bearing, very skilful in navigation, who, seeing
    that the most serene Kings, first of Portugal and then of Spain, had
    taken possession of unknown islands, proposed to himself to make a
    similar acquisition for the said Majesty. After having obtained the
    royal privilege, which assured to him the use of the dominions he
    might discover, while the Crown retained the sovereignty over them, he
    gave himself into the hands of fortune with a small ship and eighteen
    men, and sailed from Bristol, a port on the west of this kingdom; and
    after passing Ireland farther west, and then steering to the north, he
    began to sail towards the eastern regions [i.e., westwards to the
    lands of the Orient, thus making for the east coast of Asia], leaving
    (after some days) the pole-star on his right hand; and after a good
    deal of wandering ('havendo assai errato') he finally came to the land
    ('terra ferma'), where he raised the royal banner and took possession
    of the country for this Highness, and after having taken some tokens
    [of his discovery] he returned. As the said Messer Zoanne [John] is a
    foreigner and poor, he would not be believed, if his crew, who are
    nearly all English and belong to Bristol, had not confirmed the truth
    of what he said. This Messer Zoanne has the description of the world
    on a chart, and also on a solid sphere which he has made, showing on
    it where he has been; and in travelling towards the East he went as
    far as to the land of the Tanais [i.e., Asia], and they say that the
    country there is excellent and temperate, and expect that brazil-wood
    (il brasilio) and silk[295] grow there, and they declare that this sea
    is full of fish which can be caught not only with the seine, but also
    with a dip-net [or bow-net ?], to which is fastened a stone to sink it
    in the water, and this I have heard related by the said Messer Zoanne.
    And the said Englishmen, his companions, say that they took so many
    fish that this kingdom will no longer have any need of Iceland, from
    which country there is a very great trade in the fish they call
    stockfish. But Messer Zoanne has set his mind on higher things, and
    thinks of sailing from the place he has occupied, keeping along the
    coast farther to the east, until he arrives opposite to an island
    called Cipango [i.e., Japan], lying in the equinoctial region, where
    he thinks that all the spices of the world, as well as jewels, are to
    be found." Then follows the reference to his visit to Mecca, already
    cited (p. 296). The letter continues: "And what is more, this Majesty,
    who is prudent and not prodigal, has such confidence in him on account
    of what he has accomplished, that he gives him a very good subsidy, as
    Messer Zoanne himself tells me. And it is said that his Majesty will
    shortly fit out some ships for him, and will give him all the
    criminals to go out to this land and form a colony, so that they hope
    to establish in London an even greater emporium of spices than that at
    Alexandria. The principals in this enterprise belong to Bristol; they
    are great sailors, and now that they know where to go, they say that
    the voyage thither will not take more than fifteen days, if they have
    a favourable wind on leaving Ireland. I have also spoken with a
    Burgundian of Messer Zoanne's company, who confirms all this, and who
    wishes to return thither, because the Admiral (for this is the title
    they give Messer Zoanne) has given him an island; and he has given
    another to his barber [surgeon ?] from Castione,[296] a Genoese, and
    both consider themselves counts, nor do they reckon Monsignor the
    Admiral for less than a prince. I believe some poor Italian monks who
    have been promised bishoprics will also go on this voyage. And if I
    had made friends with the Admiral when he was about to sail, I should
    at least have got an archbishopric; but I thought the benefits that
    Your Excellency has reserved for me were more certain..." [cf.
    Harrisse, 1882, pp. 324, ff.].

As confirming and to some extent supplementing what is said in these
letters, we have various statements in the letters of the two Spanish
Ambassadors about the voyage in the following year (see later); they both
say that the newly discovered country lay not more than four hundred
Spanish leagues distant.

[Sidenote: Toby's chronicle]

In Maurice Toby's Bristol chronicle of 1565, we read of the year 1497:

    "This year, on St. John the Baptist's day, the land of America was
    found by the merchants of Bristowe in a shippe of Bristowe called the
    'Mathew,' the which said shippe departed from the port of Bristowe the
    second day of May, and came home again the 6th of August next

Of course this chronicle was written long after the voyage took place; but
it is extremely probable that it was taken from older sources; for it
agrees in every way (both as to the length of the voyage and the time of
the return) with the contemporary statements of the Italian Ministers,
with whose letters the author of the chronicle cannot possibly have been
acquainted. I can, therefore, see no reason why this statement should not
be correct. But the most important authorities are the letters referred

[Sidenote: Cabot's western course in 1497]

If we compare all this we shall get a fairly complete idea of the voyage
of 1497. After sailing round the south of Ireland, probably in the middle
of May according to our calendar, Cabot would at first have held a
somewhat northerly course. If this is correct, he may have done so for
several reasons: unfavourable winds, which in May are prevalent from the
south-west; the idea that great-circle sailing would prove the shortest
way;[298] fear of encroaching on the waters of the Spaniards and
Portuguese to the south; finally, perhaps, an idea that the course to Asia
was shorter in northern latitudes (?). But we cannot tell what reasons
decided him, nor whether he steered very far to the north at all; for it
must be remembered that in speaking to a foreign Minister he may have had
good reason for making his course appear somewhat northerly, lest it might
be said that the lands he had arrived at were those discovered by the
Spaniards. In any case, it was not long before he made for the west as
rapidly as possible towards his goal, and we cannot, therefore, suppose
that he went very far north. And it is expressly stated in Soncino's first
letter that the lands lay to the west of England, and in the letters of
the Spanish Ambassadors in the following year we read that, after having
seen the direction taken by Cabot, they thought that the land he had found
was that belonging to Spain, or was "at the end of that land." This again
does not point to any northerly course.

Many writers have thought that from Soncino's statements about the courses
a conclusion might be drawn as to where on the American coast Cabot made
the land; but this is impossible. In the first place Soncino's words are
anything but definite; besides which, of course, Cabot could not steer in
a straight line across the Atlantic, but with the frequent contrary winds
of May and June was obliged to shape many courses, and often had to beat;
in fact, we are told as much in Soncino's words, "havendo assai errato."
Every one who has had experience of the navigation of sailing ships knows
how difficult it is under such conditions to make way in the precise
direction one wishes, however good one's reckoning may be; currents and
lee-way set one far out of the reckoned course, and on a voyage so long as
across the Atlantic the lee-way may be considerable. Whether Cabot was
able to correct his reckoning by the aid of astronomical observations
(with a Jacob's staff or an astrolabe) we do not know, but we hear nothing
of latitudes, so that it is not very probable (cf. also Columbus's gross
error in latitude). Especially during the first part of the voyage
currents and prevailing winds may have set Cabot to the north-east; but he
may also have encountered, particularly during the latter part of the
voyage in June, heavy north-westerly gales which set him still farther to
the south, and he may thus have had a southerly lee-way. In addition, as
Dawson has so strongly insisted, the error of the compass must have set
him to the south. Whether Cabot was aware of the error, and remarked its
variation during the westward voyage, we do not know; it is possible,
since we know that Columbus remarked this variation during his first
voyage; but in any case, Cabot doubtless paid as little attention to it as
Columbus in his navigation. Unfortunately we do not know the amount of the
error at that time, but by examining the relation between the true
direction of the coast-lines and those we find on the most trustworthy
compass-charts (especially the Cantino chart) of a little later than 1500
(which are drawn in ignorance of the error), I have attempted to
reconstruct the distribution of the error in the Atlantic Ocean at that
time (cf. chart below); of course, this is purely hypothetical. According
to this, during Cabot's voyage westwards the error would have varied from
about 6° east at Bristol to about 30° west off the coast of America. If we
suppose that he was able to follow a magnetic western course the whole way
from the south coast of Ireland, then he must have passed quite to the
south of Cape Race in Newfoundland. But we are told that he first held
somewhat to the north, though we do not know how much, and, on the other
hand, his lee-way may have set him at least as far to the south. The
assertion that the course mentioned by Soncino must have brought Cabot to
land in Labrador or Newfoundland is thus untenable. Nor does it agree with
Soncino's allusion to the country as excellent and temperate, and one
where dye-wood and silk might be expected to grow. If this be explained
away as due to the usual propensity of discoverers at that time to exhibit
the newly found countries in the most favourable light, which is very
possible, it is not so easy to explain why we do not hear a word about
their having encountered ice on the voyage. If on his western voyage Cabot
came to Labrador or the north-east coast of Newfoundland some time in
June, it is improbable that he should not have seen icebergs, and it is
equally unlikely that the Italian Ministers should not have mentioned
this, which to them would be a great curiosity, if they had heard of it;
we see, too, that later, in descriptions of Sebastian Cabot's alleged
voyage, the ice is mentioned above all else. Even if John Cabot might
have kept quiet about the ice, lest it should cool the hopes raised by
his narrative, it is not likely that his crew would have done so, if they
had met with it. But although other statements of the crew are reported,
we do not hear a single word about ice, nor even of icebergs, which are
common enough on the Newfoundland Banks at that time of the year, and
would be an entirely new experience even to Bristol sailors who were
accustomed to the voyage to Iceland. From this we must suppose that in the
course of his beating to the west Cabot was set so far to the south of the
Newfoundland Banks that he did not encounter icebergs, and that he first
made land somewhere farther west.[299]

[Illustration: Hypothetical chart of the variation of the compass in the
Atlantic, circa 1500]

[Sidenote: Cabot sighted America June 24, 1497]

According to the Bristol chronicle already quoted (Toby, 1565), and
according to a legend on the map of 1544, which is ascribed to the
collaboration of Sebastian Cabot, it was on St. John's Day (July 3, N.S.)
that the first land was discovered. In spite of Harrisse's objections[300]
it does not appear to me unlikely that this may be correct. If he sailed
on May 2 (11), he was fifty-three days at sea. Supposing that he landed at
Cape Breton, the distance in a straight line on the course indicated is
about 2200 nautical miles. Consequently he would have made an average of
forty-two miles a day in the desired direction. This is doubtless not very
fast sailing, but agrees with just what we should expect, since he often
had to beat, and "wandered a good deal," in the words of Soncino.

[Sidenote: La Cosa's map represents Cabot's discoveries in 1497]

For determining the question, what part of North America it was that Cabot
discovered, it appears to me there is no trustworthy document but La
Cosa's map of the world of 1500.[301] The Basque cartographer, Juan de la
Cosa, who owned and navigated Columbus's ship in 1492, and who was
afterwards entrusted with many public undertakings, enjoyed a reputation
in Spain as a map-maker and sailor. He was commissioned by the Spanish
Crown to produce a map of the world, and we must suppose that for this
work he was provided with all the maps and geographical information that
were available in Spain. From a letter of July 25, 1498, to Ferdinand and
Isabella of Spain, from Ayala, the Spanish Minister in London, we know
that the latter had obtained a copy of "the chart or mapa mundi" that John
Cabot had made in order to set forth his discoveries of 1497; and there
can be no doubt that a copy of this was also sent to Spain, as Ayala says
he believes their Majesties already had the map. It may, therefore, be
regarded as a matter of course that La Cosa was in possession of this map
when, less than two years later, he was about to make his own, and that it
is from this source and no other that he derived his information about the
English discoveries. We do not know of any other map being sent from
England to Spain during these two years, and there is no ground whatever
for assuming that La Cosa's information may be derived from Cabot's voyage
of 1498, which in any case must have been a failure.

[Illustration: North-western portion of Juan de la Cosa's map of 1500.
Only a few of the names are given; the network of compass-lines is

For the understanding of La Cosa's map it must be remarked first of all
that it is a compass-chart, and that it takes no notice of the magnetic
variation on the American coast. This explains the fact that, for
instance, lines of coast which in reality run from west to south-west, are
made to appear on the chart as running from west to east. Furthermore, the
latitude of the coast of North America is made too northerly, through
coasts which, for instance, lie magnetic west of Ireland, being placed on
the chart true west of it. In this way Cape Breton (or Cape Race in
Newfoundland ?) can be brought to about the same latitude as the south of
Ireland, whereas in reality it lies nearly 5° farther south.

The coast marked with five English flags is, of course, the land
discovered by Cabot. That La Cosa had a map of this district is further
shown by the details, which distinguish it from his delineation of the
remainder of the North American coast, but which give it a resemblance to
that part of South America which is marked with Spanish flags and of which
he had a map. Curiously enough only part of the English district has
names; we must suppose that this is the coast that Cabot is said to have
sailed along. La Cosa's representation of the rest of the North American
coast is doubtless guesswork, although it has features which bear a
remarkable resemblance to reality; but it is not altogether impossible
that he may have had oral or written reports of later voyages (?), which
are unknown to us.

La Cosa's map is in complete agreement with the statements in the letters
of Pasqualigo, Soncino, and the two Spanish Ambassadors. Soncino says that
the country lies four hundred Italian leagues to the west of England,
while both Puebla and Ayala say that they believe the distance to be no
more than four hundred Spanish leagues. On the other hand, according to
Pasqualigo, Cabot said that at a distance of seven hundred Italian leagues
he had discovered the mainland of the kingdom of the Great Khan, and that
he had sailed [i.e., after having sailed ?] three hundred leagues along
the coast. It has been thought that there is here a disagreement between
the four hundred leagues of the three first-named and the seven hundred of
Pasqualigo, but if we interpret it, in what must be the most reasonable
way, as meaning that the distance of seven hundred leagues does not refer
to the nearest land, but to the most distant, where Cabot thought that he
had at last come within the boundaries of the kingdom of the Great Khan
(China) and did not venture to go farther, then we have complete
agreement, since the three hundred leagues he must first have sailed along
the coast must be deducted in order to get the distance from England to
the nearest land. The length of a Venetian "lega," or a Spanish "legua,"
cannot be precisely determined. If we assume [cf. Kretschmer, 1909, pp.
63, ff.] that between 20 and 17-1/2 went to a degree of latitude, each
league would correspond to between 3 and 3.43 geographical miles
(minutes), or between 5.6 and 6.3 kilometres. According to the former
estimate (three miles), four hundred leagues will be about equal to 1200
miles, and seven hundred leagues to about 2100 miles.[302] The first
distance is, at any rate, a good deal too small, while the second is too
great. This may easily be explained by Cabot, or his crew, having
naturally wished to make the voyage to the newly discovered country appear
as little deterrent as possible, and, therefore, having underestimated the
distance, while, desiring to make the country itself as large as possible,
they greatly over-estimated the length of their sail along the coast. That
the voyagers really supposed the distance to the newly discovered land to
be four hundred leagues from Ireland agrees also with Soncino's statement
that the Bristol sailors thought the voyage would not occupy more than
fifteen days from Ireland.

La Cosa's map is drawn as an equidistant compass-chart, and we can
therefore make ourselves a scale of miles by using the distance between
the Equator and the Tropic. In this way we find that the easternmost
headland, "Cauo de Ynglaterra" (Cape England), on the coast discovered by
Cabot lies four hundred leagues from Ireland, while the distance from it
to the most western headland with a name, "Cauo descubierto" (the
discovered cape), is about three hundred leagues.[303] Furthermore this
coast lies on the map due west of Bristol and southern England, as it
should according to Soncino's first letter.

[Sidenote: Cabot's discovery, according to La Cosa's map, is probably Nova

There is thus full agreement between this map and all the contemporary
information we have of the voyage, and there is no room for doubt that its
names represent John Cabot's discoveries of 1497, which thus extended from
Cauo de Ynglaterra on the east (with two islands, Y. verde and S. Grigor,
to the east of it) to Cauo descubierto on the west. But it seems to me
that this tract must be either the south coast of Newfoundland or the
south-east coast of Nova Scotia, and Cauo de Ynglaterra must be either
Cape Race or Cape Breton; the latter is more probable;[304] this also
agrees best with all the documents we possess and involves fewest
difficulties. It might then seem probable that Cabot first arrived off the
land at Cauo de Ynglaterra or Cape Breton,[305] and that he sailed
westward (magnetic) from there to explore the newly discovered country.
The main direction of the coast of Nova Scotia is about W.S.W., and if we
suppose that the compass error at Cape Breton was then about 28° W., which
I have found in another way[306] (cf. above, p. 308; it is now 25° W.),
this will mean that the coast extended a little to the north of west by
compass, which exactly agrees with La Cosa's map. On account of contrary
winds, and of the care necessary in sailing along an unknown coast, the
voyage may have proceeded slowly, and Cabot greatly over-estimated his
distances, which is not an uncommon thing with explorers in unknown
waters, ever since the days of Pytheas. Finally, about three hundred miles
on, Cabot came to the south-western point of Nova Scotia, which at first
he must have taken for the end of the land. But as he certainly would be
bent upon deciding this, he may have continued to sail across the mouth of
the Bay of Fundy until he again sighted land, the fertile coast of smiling
Maine, stretching westward as far as the eye could reach, and he would
then have thought that he had surely arrived at the coast of the mainland
of the vast kingdom of the Great Khan. Here it must have been that he
landed, as related by Pasqualigo and Soncino,[307] and saw signs of
inhabitants, but met with none. He may, of course, have landed earlier at
Cape Breton or in Nova Scotia without finding trace of inhabitants, and
said nothing about it; for he was not looking for an uninhabited country,
but the wealthy Eastern Asia. It may also very well be the spot where he
first found signs of men that is called Cauo descubierto; for it is
striking that on La Cosa's map this name is not placed on any projecting
headland of the coast, but in front of a comparatively deep gulf, which in
that case might be the mouth of the Bay of Fundy. And it is in the sea to
the west of this bay, across which Cabot sailed, that La Cosa has placed
his "mar descubierta por jnglese" (sea discovered by the English). La
Cosa's "mar" will then be probably the whole gulf between Cape Sable and
Cape Cod.[308]

[Sidenote: Cabot's homeward voyage, 1497]

Cabot now thought he had found what he so eagerly sought. He was not
provisioned for any long stay, and with his small crew he could not expose
himself to possible attacks of the inhabitants of the country.
Consequently he had good reason for turning back. To provide himself with
the necessary water, and perhaps wood, for the homeward voyage would not
take long. Food was a greater difficulty, and we are told that he was so
short of it that on the way back he would not stop at new islands; it is
true that we hear of abundance of fish, but this cannot have been
sufficient. He then returned to Cauo de Ynglaterra, and thence homewards
as quickly as possible.[309] The distance from Cape Breton past the
southern point of Nova Scotia to the coast of Maine is 420 geographical
miles. There and back, with a cruise in the open sea towards Cape Cod, it
might be 1200 miles. If we suppose Cabot to have taken twenty days to do
it, including the time occupied in going ashore, this will be sixty miles
a day, which may seem a good deal; but if on the way back he had a
favourable wind and was able to sail a somewhat straight course, it is
possible; and, in that case, he may have been back at Cape Breton or Cauo
de Ynglaterra about July 14 (23), and then have laid his course for home
east by compass out to sea. This course took him off Newfoundland, and he
had the island of Grand Miquelon, with Burin Peninsula to the east of it
["S. Grigor" on La Cosa's map ?], in sight on his starboard bow, or on his
right hand, as Pasqualigo says. As he was afraid of more land in that
direction, which would be awkward to come near, especially when sailing at
night, he bore off to the south-east, where he knew from the outward
voyage that there was open water. After a time, thinking himself safe, he
again set his course east by compass, but then had fresh land, Avalon
Peninsula, ahead or on his starboard bow, and again had to bear off. He
took this for another large island ["Y. verde"], but would not land, both
on account of shortness of provisions, and because he wanted to be home as
soon as possible with the news of his discovery, and to prepare a larger
expedition to take possession of the new country.[310] To be quite sure of
encountering no more land, Cabot may then have borne off well to the
south-east, thus reaching the Newfoundland Banks on the south, and keeping
quite clear of the icebergs which are found farther north. For his eastern
voyage he was well served by the wind, since nearly all the winds in this
part of the Atlantic are between south and west or north-west in July and
the beginning of August. He was further helped by the current to some
extent, and may, therefore, very easily have made the homeward voyage in
twenty-three days, and sailed back into the port of Bristol about the 6th
(15th) of August, 1497. That Cabot cannot have taken much more than twenty
days on the return voyage also appears from the statement already quoted
of the Bristol sailors, that they could make the voyage in fifteen

[Sidenote: Legend on the map of 1544]

The view of John Cabot's voyage of 1497 set forth above agrees also with
the map of the world of 1544, which is attributed to the collaboration of
Sebastian Cabot, but which the latter in any case cannot have seen or
corrected after it was engraved, probably in the Netherlands, and by an
engraver who did not understand Spanish, the language of the map [cf.
Harrisse, 1892, 1896; Dawson, 1894]. Its delineation of the northern east
coast of North America is for the most part borrowed from the
representation on French maps of Cartier's discoveries in the Gulf of St.
Lawrence (cf. Deslien's map of 1541). Cape Breton is called "Prima tierra
vista," and in the inscription referring to the northern part of the
American coast,[312] the import of which must apparently be derived from
Sebastian Cabot, we read:

    "This land was discovered by Joan Caboto Veneciano and Sebastian
    Caboto his son in the year 1494 [sic] after the birth of our saviour
    Jesus Christ, the 24th of June in the morning; to which they gave the
    name 'Prima Tierra Vista,' and to a large island which is near the
    said land they gave the name of St. John, because it was discovered
    the same day" [i.e., St. John's Day].[313]

The remainder of this legend--that the natives wear the skins of animals,
that the country is unfertile, that there are many white bears, vast
quantities of fish, mostly called bacallaos, etc. etc.--cannot refer, as
Harrisse appears to think, to this land (Cape Breton) which was first
discovered, but to the northern regions of the new continent as a whole.
It is characteristic of this map, as of the earlier French ones, that
Newfoundland is cut up into a number of small islands. If the view is
correct that Y. Verde and S. Grigor on La Cosa's map are also parts of
Newfoundland, it may explain the fact of Sebastian Cabot having no
difficulty in bringing this map, or his father's, into agreement with the
French ones, since he must have thought that a number of "islands,"
discovered later, had been added.

[Illustration: Northern portion of the map of the world of 1544,
attributed to Sebastian Cabot]

[Sidenote: The island of St. John]

No island of St. John is to be found on La Cosa's map, but there is a Cauo
S. Johan not far from Cauo de Ynglaterra and close to the island that is
called Illa de la trinidat. That the name is attached to a cape instead of
to an island may be due to a transposition in the course of repeated
copyings. On the Portuguese map of Pedro Reinel, of the beginning of the
sixteenth century (that is, only a few years after 1497), Cape Breton is
marked without a name, but an island lies off it, called "Sam Johã" [St.
John]; on Maggiolo's map of 1527 there is "C. de bertonz," with an island,
"Ja de S. Ioan," in the same place; and on Michael Lok's map, in Hakluyt's
"Divers Voyages," 1582, we have "C. Breton" with the island of "S. Johan,"
lying off it, and on Cape Breton Island (or Nova Scotia), called
Norombega, is written "J. Cabot, 1497" (see p. 323). There seems thus to
have been a definite tradition that it was here that John Cabot made the
land, and St. John may then be the little Scatari Island which lies on the
outside of Cape Breton Island [cf. Dawson, 1897, pp. 210, ff.]. That the
"I. de S. Juan" on the map of 1544 lies on the inside of "Prima tierra
vista" and answers to the Magdalen Islands is of minor importance; we do
not even know whether Sebastian Cabot can be made responsible for it, as
it may be due to a confusion on the part of the draughtsman. More
importance must be attached on this point to the agreement between the
earlier maps of 1500, 1527, and that of Reinel (compared with Lok's map in
Hakluyt), than to the map of 1544.[314]

[Illustration: Portion of Pedro Reinel's map, beginning of the sixteenth

[Sidenote: Cabot's return]

John Cabot returned to Bristol at the beginning of August, probably about
the 6th (15th, N.S.). He naturally hastened to London to tell the King of
his discovery, and we know that he must have been there on the 10th (20th)
August, for there is an entry in the accounts of the King's privy purse:

    "10 August, 1497. To hym that found the new isle, £10."

This cannot be called an exaggerated regal payment for discovering a new
continent, even though £10 in the money of that time corresponds to about
£120 now. Later in the same autumn Cabot was granted a pension from the
King of £20 a year.

Meanwhile, as the letters already quoted show, his discovery attracted
much attention in England, and gave rise to great expectations.

[Illustration: Portion of Michael Lok's map, London, 1582]

What Cabot accomplished by his voyage of 1497 was in the first place to
prove the existence of a great country beyond the ocean to the west of
Ireland, which country he himself assumed to belong to Asia and to be part
of China. Besides this he discovered great quantities of fish off the
newly discovered coast; a discovery which was soon to create a great
fishery, carried on by several nations, off Newfoundland, and one which
surpassed the Iceland fishery, hitherto the most important. But John Cabot
evidently had little idea of the importance of this last discovery. He
had, as Soncino says, "set his mind on higher things," for he thought that
by following the coast of the mainland farther to the west he would be
able to reach the wealthy Cipango (Japan) and the Spice Islands in the
equatorial regions.

[Sidenote: Cabot's voyage of 1498]

Here we have in brief the plan of his next voyage. Cabot himself had
great expectations and saw a brilliant future before him, when he would
rule as a prince over newly conquered kingdoms which he would make subject
to the English Crown. And, as we have seen, he was liberal in distributing
islands to his barber, to a Burgundian, etc.

At the beginning of 1498 Cabot obtained new letters patent, dated February
3, in the thirteenth year of Henry VII.'s reign.[315] These letters are in
John Cabot's name alone (his sons are not mentioned this time).

    They give him the right of taking at his pleasure six English ships in
    any English port, of 200 tons or under, with their necessary
    equipment, "and theym convey and lede to the Londe and Iles of late
    founde by the seid John in oure name and by oure commaundemente, payng
    for theym and every of theym as and if we should in or for our owen
    cause paye and noon otherwise." And the said John might further "take
    and receyve into the seid shippes and every of theym all suche
    maisters maryners pages and our subjects, as of their owen free wille
    woll goo and passe with hym in the same shippes to the seid Londe or
    Iles," etc. etc.

It thus seems as if this not very prodigal king had on second thoughts
considerably reduced his first plan of sending a fleet of ten, fifteen or
twenty ships with all the prisoners of the realm.

[Sidenote: Authorities for the voyage of 1498]

The most important documents on this voyage are:

(1) Two contemporary letters, written before the return of the expedition,
by the older Spanish Ambassador in London, Ruy Gonzales de Puebla, and the
younger contemporary Spanish Minister in London, Pedro de Ayala, to
Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. The latter's is dated July 23 (August 3,
N.S.), 1498; the former's is undated, but of about the same time.

(2) A narrative in the so-called "Cottonian Chronicle"[316] (the contents
of which are the same as in Robert Fabyan's Chronicle) undoubtedly refers
to this voyage of 1498 and not, as many have assumed, to the voyage of
1497. It appears to be a contemporary notice of 1498, written before the
return of the expedition.

These documents contain all that we know with certainty about John Cabot's
voyage of 1498.

[Sidenote: Puebla's letter of July 1498]

The Spanish Ambassador, Ruy Gonzales de Puebla, writes in 1498 to
Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain (probably in July):

    "The King of England sent five armed ships with another Genoese like
    Columbus to search for the island of Brasil and others near it,[317]
    and they were provisioned for a year. It is said that they will return
    in September. Seeing the route they take to reach it, it is what Your
    Highnesses possess. The King has spoken to me at various times about
    it, he hopes to derive great advantage from it. I believe that it is
    not more than 400 leagues distant from here" [cf. Harrisse, 1882, p.

[Sidenote: Ayala's letter of July 25, 1498]

Pedro de Ayala writes, July 25, 1498:

    "I believe Your Highnesses have heard how the King of England has
    fitted out a fleet to discover certain islands and mainland that
    certain persons, who sailed out of Bristol last year, have assured him
    they have found. I have seen the chart that the discoverer has drawn,
    who is another Genoese like Columbus, who has been in Seville and
    Lisbon to try to find some one to help him in this enterprise. The
    people of Bristol have sent out yearly for the last seven years a
    fleet of two, three or four caravels to search for the island of
    Brasil and the Seven Cities, following the fancy of this Genoese. The
    King has determined to send out an expedition because he is certain
    that they found land last year. One of the ships, on which a certain
    Fray Buil sailed, recently came into port in Ireland with great
    difficulty, the ship being wrecked.

    "The Genoese continued his voyage. After having seen the course he has
    taken and the length of the route, I find that the land they have
    found or are looking for is that which Your Highnesses possess,
    because it is at the end of that which belongs to Your Highnesses
    according to the convention with Portugal. It is hoped that they will
    return in September. I will let Your Highnesses know of it. The King
    of England has spoken to me at various times about it; he hopes[318]
    to derive great advantage from it. I believe the distance is not more
    than 400 leagues. I told him I believed the lands that had been found
    belonged to Your Highnesses, and I have given him a reason for it, but
    he would not hear of it. As I believe Your Highnesses are now
    acquainted with everything, as well as with the chart or mapa mundi
    that he [i.e., this Genoese] has drawn, I do not send it yet, though
    I have it here, and it seems to me very false to give out that it is
    not the islands in question."

[Sidenote: Cottonian Chronicle]

According to the Cottonian Chronicle, the King

    "at the besy request and supplicacion of a Straunger venisian [i.e.,
    John Cabot], ... caused to manne a ship ... for to seche an Iland
    wheryn the said Straunger surmysed to be grete commodities,"[319] and
    it was accompanied by three or four other ships of Bristol, "the said
    Straunger" [i.e., Cabot] being leader of this "Flete, wheryn dyuers
    merchauntes as well of London as Bristowe aventured goodes and sleight
    merchaundises, which departed from the West Cuntrey in the begynnyng
    of Somer, but to this present moneth came nevir Knowlege of their

[Sidenote: Fabyan's account]

Hakluyt, in "Divers Voyages" (1582) [cf. Hakluyt, 1850, p. 23], has a
rather fuller version of this account, quoted from Robert Fabyan, where we
read that the ships from Bristol were

    "fraught with sleight and grosse merchandizes as course cloth, Caps,
    laces, points, and other trifles, and so departed from Bristowe in the
    beginning of May: of whom in this Maior's time returned no

"This Mayor" would be William Purchas, who was Lord Mayor of London until
October 28 (November 6, N.S.), 1498. Thus, if this is correct, the
expedition had not yet returned in the late autumn.

[Sidenote: John Cabot probably never returned from the voyage of 1498]

The information contained in Ayala's letter, that one of Cabot's ships had
put in to Ireland, is the last certain intelligence we have of this
expedition, which was looked forward to with such great hopes. John Cabot
now disappears completely and unaccountably from history, and his
discovery, which the year before had attracted so much attention, seems to
have been more or less forgotten in the succeeding years, and is never
referred to in the later letters of the Spanish Ambassadors in London. It
may, therefore, seem reasonable to suppose that the expedition disappeared
without leaving a trace. The probability of this is confirmed by the fact
that two years and a half later, in March 1501, Henry VII. again granted
letters patent, for the discovery of lands, to three merchants of Bristol
and three Portuguese, without mentioning Cabot; it is merely stated that
all former privileges of a similar kind were cancelled. But according to
some old account books from Bristol, found at Westminster Abbey, John
Cabot's royal pension of £20 a year was paid as late as the administrative
year beginning September 29, 1498. This, as Harrisse and others think,
shows that Cabot returned from the voyage and was still alive in that
year. But this seems to be uncertain evidence. The money need not have
been paid to him personally; it may have been paid to his wife or his sons
or other representatives during his absence on the voyage, and we cannot
conclude anything certain from it. As the pension is not entered in the
following years, it seems rather to show that Cabot was really lost, and
the money was only paid during the first year of his absence.

It has been supposed that the following is another proof of the
participators in the voyage of 1498 having returned: the accounts of Henry
VII.'s privy purse for 1498 show that on March 22 and April 1 the King
advanced money (sums of £20, £3, and 40s. 5d., in all about £650 in the
money of the present day) to Launcelot Thirkill (who seems to have had a
ship of his own), Thomas Bradley and John Carter, who were all going to
"the new Isle." Probably these men may have fitted out their own ships to
accompany Cabot's expedition; but we do not know whether they sailed. This
is probably the same Launcelot Thirkill who, according to an old
document, was in London on June 6, 1501, when he and three others whose
names are given (perhaps his sureties) were "bounden in ij obligations to
pay" £20 to the King before next Whitsuntide. Possibly it was this loan
received from the King for the voyage, which he then had to repay. If he
really started, it may be supposed that his ship was the one that put back
to Ireland; and this document is therefore no certain proof of any of the
other four ships having ever returned. For that matter they may all have
been lost in the same gale. But in the year 1501 the ship that returned
from Gaspar Corte-Real's expedition is reported to have brought back to
Lisbon a broken gilt sword of Italian workmanship from the east coast of
North America; and it is also stated that two Venetian silver rings had
been seen on a native boy from that country. It has been assumed that
these objects may have belonged to some of the participators in John
Cabot's expedition of 1498, which in that case must have reached America,
and there met with some disaster.

It is difficult to say more of this voyage. That John Cabot should have
returned after having reached America, and after having sailed a greater
or less distance along the coast without finding the riches he was in
search of, appears to me unlikely. Such an assumption would provide no
explanation of the complete silence about him. As the foreign Ministers
had followed this expedition with so much attention, we might surely
expect them to say something about its having disappointed the great
expectations that were formed of it; and in any case it was unlikely that
the whole should be buried in complete silence, which, on the other hand,
is easily comprehensible if nothing more was heard of the expedition,
since it may all have been forgotten for other things which claimed
attention. Thus the story of Giovanni Caboto, the discoverer of the North
American continent, ends, as it began, in obscurity. He was too early with
his discovery. England had not yet developed her trade and navigation
sufficiently to be able to follow it up and avail herself of it; this was
not to come until about eighty years later.

[Sidenote: Sebastian Cabot's voyages doubtful]

But John Cabot's discovery was not altogether unheeded in the years that
followed; it was considered of sufficient importance for his son,
Sebastian Cabot, by appropriating the honour of it, to acquire much fame
and reputation in his day as a great discoverer and geographer. But
whether he ever made discoveries on the east coast of North America is
very doubtful; indeed, it is not even certain that he ever undertook a
voyage to these regions. There can be no doubt that he himself asserted he
had done so repeatedly and to different men, though his various
utterances, so far as we know them, agree imperfectly. We see, too, that
as early as 1512 he had the reputation of being acquainted with
north-western waters, since he obtained an appointment in the service of
King Ferdinand of Aragon on account of the remarkable knowledge he claimed
to possess of "la navigacion á los Bacallaos" (the voyage to Newfoundland)
[cf. Harrisse, 1892, p. 20]. But Sebastian Cabot seems, on the whole, to
have been one of those men who are more efficient in words than deeds. It
was the habit of the time to be not too scrupulous about the truth, if one
had any advantage to gain from the contrary, and Sebastian was evidently
no better than his age. If his utterances are correctly reported, he
endeavoured, when his father had long been dead and forgotten, to claim
for himself the honour of his voyages, in which he succeeded so well that
for many centuries he, and not his father, was regarded as the discoverer
of the continent of America. In the legend on the map of the world of
1544, it is true, he was modest enough to share the honour with his
father, and this legend is at the same time the only evidence which might
point to Sebastian as having been present on that occasion; but, as we
have already seen, no great importance can be attached to it, and it is
not confirmed by contemporary statements about the voyage. His assertion
that he had been in north-western waters is in direct conflict with
statements in the protest made on March 11, 1521, by the Wardens of the
Drapers' Company of London against King Henry VIII.'s attempt to obtain
contributions towards an expedition to "the newe found Iland" (the coast
of North America) in 1521 under the command of Sebastian Cabot. The
protest says:

    "... And we thynk it were to sore aventʳ to joperd V shipps wᵗ men and
    goods vnto the said Iland vppon the singuler trust of one man callyd
    as we vnderstond Sebastyan, whiche Sebastyan as we here say was neuʳ
    in that land hym self, all if he maks reports of many things as he
    hath hard his Father and other men speke in tymes past," etc.

This statement is clear enough, and, coming as it does from men who were
acquainted with his father's services, it cannot be disregarded. It is
also confirmed by a remarkable statement in Peter Martyr's narrative (in
1515) of an alleged voyage of Sebastian Cabot (see later), which

    "Some of the Spaniards deny that Cabot [i.e., Sebastian] was the first
    discoverer of the land of Bacallaos, and assert that he had not sailed
    so far to the west."

This might point to his really having made a voyage, but, in the opinion
of the Spaniards, never having reached the coast of North America.

[Sidenote: Beginning of the Newfoundland fishery]

The immediate consequence of John Cabot's discovery of the continent of
North America was probably that the practical merchants of Bristol, who
were accustomed to fishing ventures in Iceland, at once sent out vessels
to take advantage of the great abundance of fish that John Cabot had found
in 1497 and that had evidently made so deep an impression on his crew that
they told every one about it. But the English fishermen were soon
followed, and, indeed, outstripped, by Portuguese, Basque and French
(chiefly Breton) fishermen, and thus arose the famous Newfoundland
fisheries. The cause of the fishermen of Portugal and other countries
having followed so soon was doubtless the discovery of Newfoundland by the
Portuguese Corte-Real on his voyages of 1500 and 1501 (see next chapter).

But of the development of this fishery we hear little or nothing in
literature; just as in the Icelandic literature of earlier times these
fishing expeditions of ordinary seamen are passed over; in the first
place, they were not "notable" travellers, and in the second, men of that
class in all ages have preferred to avoid advertising their discoveries
for fear of competition.

[Sidenote: Expeditions from Bristol in 1501 and following years]

From various documents and statements we may conclude that fresh
expeditions were sent out from Bristol in 1501 and the following years;
but these were Anglo-Portuguese undertakings and may have been occasioned,
at any rate in part, by the discoveries of the Portuguese, although, of
course, the knowledge of Cabot's voyage may have had some

On March 19 (28), 1501, Henry VII. issued letters patent to Richard Warde,
Thomas Ashehurst and John Thomas, merchants of Bristol, who were in
partnership in the enterprise with three Portuguese from the Azores, John
and Francis Fernandus [i.e., João and Francisco Fernandez] and John
Gunsolus [João Gonzales ?].[323] They were given the right for ten years
"to explore all Islands, Countries, Regions, and Provinces whatever, in
the Eastern, Western, Southern, and Northern Seas, heretofore unknown to
Christians," and all former privileges of this kind, granted to "any
foreigner or foreigners," were expressly cancelled. This last provision
must refer to the letters patent granted to Cabot in 1496 and 1498.

[Sidenote: Expedition in 1502]

That this new expedition from Bristol really took place and returned
before January 1502, seems to result from the accounts of Henry VII.'s
privy purse, where on January 7, 1502, there is an entry: "To men of
Bristoll that found Thisle £5."[324] In 1502 there was possibly a new
expedition, as in the same accounts there is an entry of September [24],
1502: "To the merchants of Bristoll that have bene in the Newfounde Lande,
£20."[324] According to a document of December 6, 1503, Henry VII. further
granted on September 26, 1502, to the two Portuguese, ffranceys ffernandus
[Francisco Fernandez] and John Guidisalvus [Gonzales ?] a yearly pension
of ten pounds each, for the service they had done to the King's "singler
pleasur as capitaignes unto the new founde lande."

Hakluyt states (1582) in "Divers Voyages" [1850, p. 23], after Robert
Fabyan's Chronicle, that in the seventeenth year of the reign of Henry
VII. [i.e., August 22, 1501, to August 21, 1502][325]

    "were brought unto the king three men, taken in the new founde Iland,
    that before I [i.e., Fabyan ?] spake of in William Purchas time, being
    Maior.[326] These were clothed in beastes skinnes, and ate rawe
    fleshe, and spake such speech that no man coulde understand them, and
    in their demeanour like to bruite beastes, whom the king kept a time
    after. Of the which vpon two yeeres past after I [i.e., Fabyan] saw
    two apparelled after the maner of Englishmen, in Westminster pallace,
    which at that time I coulde not discerne from Englishemen, till I was
    learned what they were. But as for speech, I heard none of them vtter
    one worde."[327]

These natives must have been brought back from the expedition of 1501 or
from that of 1502 (if the latter returned before August 21 ?). They were
most likely Eskimo, since Indians with their darker skin could scarcely
have looked like Englishmen. It might even be supposed that they came from
Greenland, and were descendants of the Norsemen there, in which case their
resemblance to Englishmen is most naturally explained.

[Illustration: North-western portion of Robert Thorne's map, of 1527 (copy
of a Spanish map of the world)]

[Sidenote: English voyage in 1503]

On December 9 (18), 1502, Henry VII. again granted letters patent to
Thomas Ashehurst, Joam Gonzales, Francisco Fernandes and Hugh Elliott for
a voyage of discovery to parts not hitherto found by English subjects.
That this projected expedition took place in 1503 is possibly shown by an
entry in the accounts of the King's privy purse: "1503, Nov. 17. To one
that brought hawkes from the Newfounded Island. 1.L." [cf. Harrisse, 1882,
p. 270].

It seems that it must be the same voyage to the north-west that is
mentioned by Robert Thorne of Bristol in his letter of 1527 to Henry
VIII.'s Ambassador in Spain. Thorne was then living in Seville, and was
interested in Indian enterprises. He tries to induce Henry VIII. to send
an expedition to the Indies by way of the Polar Sea, and sends with his
project a rough copy he has had made of a Spanish mappamundi. He says that
he has inherited the "inclination or desire of this discoverie" from his

    "father, which with another marchant of Bristow named Hugh Eliot, were
    the discoverers of the New found lands, of the which there is no
    doubt, (as nowe plainely appeareth) if the mariners would then have
    bene ruled, and followed their Pilots minde, the lands of the West
    Indies (from whence all the gold commeth) had bene ours. For all is
    one coast, as by the Carde appeareth, and is aforesayd."

On the map the northern east coast of America extends uninterruptedly to
the north (see the reproduction), and upon it is written: "the new land
called laboratorum," and along the coast there is: "the land that was
first discovered by the English." It might appear as though it was really
the present Labrador that was then discovered; but this is hardly the
case; what we see on the map is probably Greenland,[328] which is here
moved over to America as on other Spanish maps, and the east coast of
which is given a northerly direction as on Ruysch's map of 1508.

It is possible that another expedition set out in 1504; for in the
accounts of the King's privy purse we find an entry on April 8, 1504, of
£2 "to a preste that goeth to the new Islande." We see thus that there is
a probability of many expeditions having left England for the west and
north-west at this time, and that thus Greenland, Newfoundland, and
doubtless also Labrador had been reached by the English; and this would
explain their being recorded on Spanish maps as discoverers of the
northern part of the east coast of America. But we have no further
information about these voyages.

Just as we have seen that the note on Robert Thorne's map of 1527 (that
the English had discovered the northern part of the east coast of America)
must probably refer to the expedition of 1501 or to one in the following
year, so it is doubtless discoveries of the same voyages that are alluded
to on Maggiolo's compass-chart of 1511 (see reproduction, p. 359), where a
peninsula to the north of Labrador is marked as "Terra de los Ingres" [the
land of the English]. On later maps, such as Verrazano's of 1529, Ribero's
of 1529 (see reproduction, p. 357), the Wolfenbüttel map of 1530, and
others, Labrador is marked as having been discovered by the English,
sometimes, indeed, with the addition that they came from Bristol. As
already mentioned, no hint is to be found in trustworthy documents of
Sebastian Cabot's having taken part in these expeditions or having been in
any way connected with them, and there is therefore no ground for assuming
this. And the remarkable thing is that even his father's name is not
mentioned in connection with them, though it was so few years since he had
sailed from the same port.

[Sidenote: Accounts of a voyage of Sebastian Cabot in 1508-1509]

We find, however, in various works of the sixteenth century records of
voyages to northern or north-western waters, supposed to have been made by
Sebastian Cabot; which may be due, directly or indirectly, to himself.
Formerly there was a tendency to connect these statements with John
Cabot's voyages of 1497 and 1498 [cf. Harrisse], but this assumption seems
to have little probability. G. P. Winship [1899, pp. 204, ff.], on the
other hand, has pointed out with good reason that according to Sebastian
Cabot's own words the voyage was undertaken by himself in the years
1508-9; but even this appears to me uncertain; in any case I doubt that he
reached America.

We hear of a voyage to the north-west said to have been undertaken by
Sebastian Cabot from Peter Martyr (in his Decades, 1516), from the
Venetian Minister to Spain, Contarini, especially in a report to the
Venetian Senate in 1536, from Ramusio (1550-1554 and 1556), from Gomara
(1553), and from Antonio Galvano (1563).[329]

We may expect the most trustworthy of these authorities to be Peter
Martyr, who was the oldest, and who knew Sebastian Cabot personally; but
certain main features of the voyage are to some extent common to all the
accounts. If we compare these, the voyage is said to have taken place
somewhat in the following manner: the expedition, consisting of two ships
with three hundred men,[330] was according to Peter Martyr fitted out at
Sebastian's own cost, but according to Ramusio it was sent out by the
King. They sailed so far to the north (according to Gomara, even in the
direction of Iceland) that in the month of July they found enormous masses
of ice floating on the sea; daylight was almost continuous, and the land
was in places free of ice which had melted away. According to the various
accounts Cabot is said to have reached 55°, 56°, 58°, or 60°.[331]

    According to Galvano they first "sighted land in 45° N. lat. and then
    sailed straight to the north until they came to 60° N. lat., where the
    day is eighteen hours long [sic], and the night is very clear and
    light. There they found the air cold and great islands of ice
    [icebergs ?] but no bottom with soundings of seventy, eighty, or one
    hundred fathoms,[332] but they found much ice which terrified them."

When, according to Peter Martyr, their hopes of making their way to the
west in these northern latitudes were thus annihilated by the ice, they
sailed back to the south and south-west along the North American coast, as
far as the latitude of Gibraltar, 36° (according to Peter Martyr), or to
38° (according to Gomara and Galvano), while according to Ramusio's
anonymous informant they sailed as far as Florida.[333] From thence the
expedition returned to England.

With regard to the date of this voyage, we are told in the continuation of
Peter Martyr's Decades [Dec. vii], written in 1524 (published 1530), that
"Bacchalaos [i.e., Newfoundland, or the northern east coast of America]
was discovered from England by Cabot sixteen years ago." According to
this the voyage took place in 1508. In Contarini's report of 1536 [cf.
Winship, 1900, p. 36] it is said of Sebastian Cabot's voyage that on his
return he "found the King dead, and his son cared little for such an
enterprise." As Henry VII. died on April 21, 1509, it would be during the
autumn of that year that Cabot returned; but then he must have sailed
before April, which is unlikely, at any rate if it is a question of a
voyage up into the ice to the north or north-west, such as is described.
That he should have sailed in the previous year and not returned until
after the King's death is still more improbable.

These accounts contain so many improbabilities, and to some extent
impossibilities, that it is on the whole extremely doubtful whether
Sebastian Cabot ever made such a voyage to the north-west. That he did so
is contradicted in the first place by the already quoted protest against
Sebastian of the Wardens of the Drapers' Company, which was issued in the
name of the various Livery Companies of London, and which is of great
significance, as it was written so soon after the events are supposed to
have taken place that they must have been in the memory of most people;
and it must have been easy for the King to inquire into the justification
of the protest (cf. above, p. 330).

The map of 1544, which is attributed to the collaboration of Sebastian
Cabot, may also point to his having never sailed along the northern part
of the coast of America, since, according to the custom of that time, the
coast of Labrador is made to run to the east and north-east. This agrees
with the statement of Ramusio's anonymous informant, that Sebastian had to
turn back because in 56° N. lat. he found the land turning eastward
(Galvano says the same). This is evidently derived from the study of maps.
As such a delineation of the coast had not yet occurred on maps of Peter
Martyr's time, it is natural that this reason for turning back is also
absent from his account.

In addition to all this, there are in the various accounts several
statements which we must suppose to be really derived from Sebastian
Cabot, but which are evidently untruthful. Thus Ramusio's anonymous guest
attributes to Sebastian the words that his father was dead when the news
of the discovery of Columbus reached England, and that it was then
Sebastian conceived the plan of his voyage which he submitted to the King.
That, as stated by Peter Martyr, he should have fitted out two ships with
crews of three hundred men at his own expense, is extremely improbable. He
is also reported to have told Peter Martyr that he

    "called these countries Baccallaos, because in the seas about there he
    found such great quantities of certain large fish--which might be
    compared to tunny [in size], and were thus called by the
    inhabitants--that sometimes they stopped his ships."

These are nothing but impossibilities. In the first place, _he_ never gave
the name of Bacallaos; in the second, the inhabitants cannot have called
the fish so, if by inhabitants is meant the native savages. These
statements are, therefore, of the same kind as that of the masses of fish
stopping the ships. Peter Martyr further relates that he said of these
regions that

    "he also found people in these parts, clad in skins of animals, yet
    not without the use of reason." He says also that "there are a great
    number of bears in these parts, which are in the habit of eating fish;
    for, plunging into the water where they see quantities of these fish,
    they fasten their claws into their scales, and thus draw them to land
    and eat them, so that (as he says) the bears are not troublesome to
    men, when they have eaten their fill of fish. He declares also that in
    many places of these regions he saw great quantities of copper among
    the inhabitants."

The statement about the bears may come from older literary sources, and
resembles a similar statement in the Geographia Universalis (see above, p.
191). That the inhabitants have copper and are clad in skins may be
derived from reports of the various voyages.

From what we have been able to conclude as to Sebastian Cabot's character,
it seems reasonable to suppose that, in consequence of his position as
Pilot Major in Spain, he was acquainted with the various maps and
accounts of voyages in western and north-western waters, and that from
this knowledge he constructed the whole story of his alleged voyage; he
was then incautious enough to magnify his exploits to such an extent that
he made the whole story improbable; for his claim was nothing less than
that he had first discovered land as far north as between 55° and 60°,
that is to say, to about Hudson Strait, and then sailed along and
discovered the whole coast of North America to about 36° N. lat., that is,
to Cape Hatteras or Florida; in other words, a voyage of discovery to
which we have no parallel in history, and it is truly remarkable that we
should have had no certain information about it, while we have so much
about other expeditions which step by step discovered the various parts of
this same extent of coast.

[Sidenote: Another doubtful voyage of Sebastian Cabot in 1516 or 1517 ?]

Sebastian Cabot seems to have laid claim to having made yet another voyage
in north-western waters, unless, indeed, it is the same one again with
variations. In the third volume of his "Navigationi et Viaggi," etc.,
published at Venice 1556, Ramusio says (writing in Venice, June 1553) that

    "Sebastian Gabotto, our Venetian, a man of great experience, etc.,
    wrote to me many years ago." Sebastian is said to have sailed "along
    and beyond the land of New France, at the charges of Henry VII., King
    of England. He told me that after having sailed a long time west by
    north [ponente e quarta di Maestro] beyond these islands, lying along
    the said land, as far as to sixty-seven and a half degrees under our
    pole [i.e., the North Pole], and on June 11th [20th] finding the sea
    still open and without any kind of impediment, he thought surely by
    that way to be able to sail at once to Cataio Orientale [China], if
    the mutiny [malignità] of the master and mariners had not compelled
    him to return."[334]

As will be seen, this statement is altogether different from those
previously mentioned; but such assertions as that Cabot had got so far to
the north-west by June 11, and found the sea free of ice in 67-1/2° N.
lat., are not of a kind to strengthen our confidence. It might seem to be
the same voyage that is referred to in a statement of Richard Eden, which
he may have had from Sebastian Cabot himself. In the dedication (written
in June 1553) of Eden's translation of the fifth part of Sebastian
Munster's "Cosmographia" we read that

    "Kinge Henry the viij. about the same yere [i.e., the eighth year] of
    his raygne, furnished and sent forth certen shippes vnder the
    gouernaunce of Sebastian Cabot yet liuing, and one Syr Thomas Perte,
    whose faynt heart was the cause that that viage toke none effect; yf
    (I say) such manly courage whereof we haue spoken, had not at that
    tyme bene wanting, it myghte happelye haue comen to passe, that that
    riche treasurye called Perularia, (which is now in Spayne in the citie
    of Ciuile, and so named, for that in it is kepte the infinite ryches
    brought thither from the newe found land of Peru) myght longe since
    haue bene in the town of London."[335]

As Peru is mentioned, it might doubtless appear as though a voyage to
South America were in question; but we often see that the western
countries beyond the sea were spoken of as a continuous possession (cf.
Robert Thorne's letter, above, p. 334), and it may therefore refer to the
same alleged expedition as is spoken of by Ramusio; for both Ramusio and
Eden have evidently the same statements from Sebastian Cabot, and the
latter can hardly have spoken of two expeditions which were both
unsuccessful merely because his companions failed him.

If this is correct, the voyage took place in the eighth year of Henry
VIII.'s reign, i.e., April 16, 1516, to April 15, 1517[336]; but, as
Harrisse contends, it is very doubtful whether the voyage was made at all.
It is true that a poem of Henry VIII.'s time also speaks of an English
expedition which may have taken place at this time, and which failed on
account of the cowardice of the crew. Robert Thorne, too, as we have seen
(p. 335), tells of a voyage made by his father and Hugh Eliot, on which
the sailors would not "follow their pilot's mind." It may, indeed, have
occurred on several voyages that the crews refused to proceed farther, and
for that matter these statements need not refer to the same voyage; but at
the same time it is by no means incredible that Sebastian Cabot may have
heard of such an expedition, and, when it was more appropriate than the
ice, used it as an explanation of his not having discovered the north-west
passage to China. We know that Sebastian Cabot was in the service of Spain
(and appointed "Pilot Major") in 1515, and that he was occupied with plans
of a voyage to the north-west for the King of Spain; for Peter Martyr
writes of him in that year that he was impatiently looking forward to
March 1516, when he had been promised a fleet with which to complete his
discoveries [cf. Winship, 1900, p. 71]. As Ferdinand of Aragon died on
January 23, 1516, nothing came of this voyage, and as we hear nothing of
Sebastian Cabot before February 5, 1518, when he was appointed Pilot Major
by Charles V., it is not impossible that in the meantime he may have been
in England, and have taken part in an English expedition; but no record of
his having come to England is extant, and it would hardly agree with the
protest against him of the Drapers' Company a few years later.

[Sidenote: Henry VIII.'s attempted expedition in 1521]

There may yet be mentioned the attempts made by Henry VIII. in 1521 to
prepare an expedition to north-western waters under the command of
Sebastian Cabot, chiefly at the expense of the merchants of London, which,
however, evoked a powerful protest against Sebastian on the part of these
merchants (see above, p. 330). It is true that, upon pressure from the
King, they afterwards declared themselves willing to give a smaller sum,
but the expedition never came to anything. Sebastian Cabot was at that
time, as he had been since 1512, in the service of Spain, and he remained
so until in 1547 he again took up his abode in England and entered the
service of the English King. In December 1522 Sebastian Cabot informed the
Venetian Minister in Spain, Contarini, that he had been in England three
years before [i.e., in 1519], and that the Cardinal there [i.e., Wolsey,
who was trying on behalf of Henry VIII. to get together the expedition of
1521] had endeavoured to persuade him to undertake the command of a fleet
which was almost ready [sic!], for the discovery of new lands; but he had
replied that, as he was in the service of Spain, he must first obtain the
permission of the Emperor; and that he had then written to the Emperor,
requesting him not to grant such permission, but to recall him. This
Sebastian asserted that he had done on account of his desire of serving
his own city of Venice; for in 1522 and later he was carrying on
treacherous intrigues with Contarini to enter the Venetian service,
presumably with the hope of a high salary. Thus, wherever we are able to
check Sebastian Cabot's utterances, they prove to be extremely

[Sidenote: Cabot's discovery before its time]

Even, if, therefore, there was no lack of attempts after 1500 to follow up
John Cabot's great and important discoveries in the west, it is
nevertheless surprising how little persistence seems to have been shown.
The love of discovery and adventure which had been so prominent a feature
of the Northern Viking nature had not yet awakened in earnest among the
English people. England's mercantile marine was at that time still
comparatively unimportant, it had not the strength for such great
enterprises or for colonisation. The earliest voyages were mainly the work
of a foreigner, an Italian, and the later ones were in part undertaken by
Portuguese; they did not grow naturally from the English people
themselves. Cabot's plan was like an exotic flower springing up in
immature soil, and more than half a century before its time. Another
factor was doubtless the disappointment of the King and of the merchants;
they had ventured their money in fitting out ships in the hope of
immediate profit. What they were looking for was the way to the rich East
of Asia, where mountains of spices lay ready to hand, and gold and
precious stones in heaps, only waiting to be picked up. What they found
was nothing but new, unknown countries on the ocean, inhabited by
wandering tribes of hunters, countries the opening up of which demanded
much time and labour. All this had scarcely more than a geographical
interest for the time being, and for that they cared little.





[Sidenote: Early attempts of the Portuguese to find new lands]

The Portuguese, who in the fifteenth century were the most enterprising of
seafaring peoples as regards discoveries, had, as already stated, made
various attempts to find new countries out in the ocean to the west of the
Azores, from which islands the majority of the expeditions proceeded. It
was therefore to be expected that the important discoveries of Columbus
should encourage them to fresh attempts of this kind; it was also natural
that such enterprises should originate especially in the Azores. From what
has been stated above (p. 128), it appears that the King of Portugal
(Alfonso V.) induced Christiern I. to send out expeditions (Pining and
Pothorst) to search for new islands and lands in the North. It seems
probable that the King of Portugal was informed of the results of these
expeditions, and that in this way the Portuguese may have known of the
existence of Greenland or of countries in the north-west. In the same way,
as we have seen (p. 132, note 2), the fact that the earliest literary
allusions to Scolvus seem to be derived from Portugal may be explained.

[Sidenote: Boundary between the Portuguese and Spanish spheres]

Possible Portuguese enterprises in the western regions were barred by the
claim of the Spanish Crown to the dominion over all lands to the west of a
certain boundary, and in the final treaty of Tordecillas, June 7, 1404,
between Portugal and Spain, this boundary was fixed by the Pope at 370
leagues (about 1200 geographical miles) to the west of the Cape Verde
Islands, and it was to follow the meridian from pole to pole. All that lay
to the west of this meridian was to belong to Spain, while Portugal had
the right to take advantage of all lands to the east. Thereby the
Portuguese were debarred from the search for India and China to the west.
These enterprising seafarers must therefore have had every reason to find
out whether there were any countries on their side of the boundary-line,
and it may be supposed that their attention would naturally be drawn in
the direction of the north-western lands (Greenland) of which they had
already heard.

And, in fact, such voyages were undertaken from Portugal (and the Azores
?) about 1500; but the accounts of them are meagre and casual, and have
been interpreted in very different ways.

In order to enable one to form as unbiased a view as possible of these
voyages, it will be necessary to begin by reviewing the most important
contemporary documents which may contain statements of value; and
afterwards to summarise what may be concluded from these documents.

[Sidenote: Letters patent to João Fernandez, 1499]

On October 28, 1499, King Manuel of Portugal issued at Lisbon to João
Fernandez letters patent (preserved in the Portuguese State archives,
Torre do Tombo) for discoveries, evidently in the north-west, in which it
is said:

    "We [the King] make known to all who may see this our letter, that
    Joham Fernamdez [now written João Fernandez] domiciled in our island
    of Terceira [Azores] has told us that he, in God's and our service,
    will work and travel and try to discover certain islands of [for ?]
    our conquest at his own cost, and we, seeing his good will and
    purpose, promise him and hereby give him de facto--in addition to
    taking him into our service--the mark of our favour and the privilege
    of Governor over every island or islands, both inhabited and
    uninhabited, that he may discover and find for the first time, and
    this with such revenues [taxes], dignities, profits and interests as
    we have given to the Governors of the islands of Madeira and others,
    and for this observance and our remembrance we command that this
    letter be given him, signed by us and sealed with our attached

[Sidenote: Letters patent to Gaspar Corte-Real, 1500]

On May 12, 1500, King Manuel granted to Gaspar Corte-Real letters patent,
as follows:

    "We [i.e., the King] make known to all who may see this deed of gift,
    that forasmuch as Caspar Cortereall, a nobleman of our household, has
    in times past made great endeavours at his own charges for ships and
    men, employing his own fortune and at his personal danger, to search
    for and discover and find certain islands and mainland, and in future
    will still continue to carry this into effect, and in this way will do
    all that he can to find the said islands and lands, and bearing in
    mind how much he deserves honour and favour and promotion in our
    service, to our honour, and to the extension of our realms and
    dominions through such islands and lands being discovered and found by
    our natives [i.e., Portuguese], and through the said Gaspar
    Corte-Reall thus performing so much labour, and exposing himself to so
    great danger; we are therefore pleased to decree that, if he discovers
    and finds any island, or islands, or mainland, he be granted by our
    own consent and royal and absolute power, the concession and gift,
    with the privilege of Governor and its attendant rights, etc. ... over
    whatsoever islands or mainland he may thus find and discover, etc. ...
    and we decree that he and his heirs in our name and in the name of our
    successors shall hold and govern those lands or islands, which are
    thus found, freely and without any restriction, as has been said....
    The said Caspar Cortereall and his heirs shall have one quarter free
    of all that they can thus obtain [i.e., realise] in the said islands
    and lands at what time soever..." [Cf. Harrisse, 1883, pp. 196, f.].

An order is preserved dated April 15, 1501, from King Manuel to the master
of the bake-house at the city gate of La Cruz to deliver biscuits to
Gaspar Corte-Real, and further, a receipt of April 21, 1501, for the
biscuits, signed by Gaspar Corte-Real himself, proving that the latter was
in Portugal on that date.[338]

[Sidenote: Pasqualigo's letter to the Council at Venice, Oct. 1501]

Pietro Pasqualigo, the Venetian Minister at Lisbon, wrote as follows to
the Council at Venice on October 18, 1501:

    "On the 9th of this month there arrived here one of the two caravels
    which the said King's majesty sent last year to discover lands in the
    direction of the northern regions (verso le parte de tramontana), and
    they have brought seven men, women, and children from the country
    discovered, which is in the north-west and west, 1800 miglia distant
    from here. These men resemble gypsies in appearance, build, and
    stature. They have their faces marked in different places, some with
    more, others with fewer figures. They are clad in the skins of various
    animals, but chiefly of otter; their speech is entirely different from
    any other that has ever been heard in this kingdom, and no one
    understands it. Their limbs are very shapely, and they have very
    gentle faces, but their manners and gestures are bestial, and like
    those of savage men. The crew of the caravel believe that the land
    alluded to is mainland, and that it is joined to the other land which
    was discovered last year in the north by the other caravels belonging
    to this majesty, but they were unable to reach it, for the sea was
    frozen over with the great masses of snow, so that it rose up like
    land. They also thought that it was connected with the Andilii
    [Antilles], which were discovered by the sovereign of Spain, and with
    the land of Papaga [Brazil], newly found by a ship belonging to this
    king, on her way to Calcutta. The grounds for this belief are, in the
    first place, that after having sailed along the coast of the said land
    for a distance of six hundred miglia and more, they found no end to
    it; and further because they say they found many very great rivers
    which there fell into the sea. The second caravel, that of the
    commander (caravella capitania), is expected from day to day, and from
    it the nature and condition of the aforesaid land will be clearly
    understood, since it went farther along the coast in order to discover
    as much of it as possible. This royal majesty has been much rejoiced
    by this news, for he thinks that this land will be very profitable for
    his affairs in many respects, but especially because it is so near to
    this kingdom that it will be easy to obtain in a short time a very
    great quantity of timber for making ships' masts and yards of, and to
    get a sufficient supply of male slaves for all kinds of labour, for
    they say that that country has many inhabitants, and is full of
    pine-trees and other excellent wood. The news in question has rejoiced
    his majesty so much that he has given orders that the ships are to
    sail to the said place, and for the increase of his Indian fleet, in
    order to conquer it more quickly, as soon as it is discovered; for it
    seems that God is with his majesty in his undertakings, and brings all
    his plans to accomplishment." [Cf. Harrisse, 1883, pp. 209, ff.].

[Sidenote: Pasqualigo's letter to his brothers, Oct. 1501]

On October 19, 1501, Pietro Pasqualigo writes to his brothers at Venice:

    "On the 8th of this month there arrived here one of the two caravels
    which this most serene majesty sent last year to discover lands in the
    north under Captain Gaspar Corterat [sic]; and they state that they
    found land two thousand miglia from here between north-west and west,
    which before was not known to any one; along the coast of this land
    they sailed perhaps six hundred or seven hundred miglia without
    finding an end to it; therefore they believe that it is a continent
    which is continuous with another land that was discovered last year in
    the north [by some other caravels], which caravels could not reach the
    end of it, because the sea was frozen and there was an infinite
    quantity of snow. They believed it also on account of the great number
    of rivers that they found there, and that certainly would not be so
    numerous or so large on an island. They say that this land has many
    inhabitants, and that their houses are made of great wooden poles,
    which are covered on the outside with skins of fish [i.e., seals ?].
    They have brought seven men, women, and children from thence and fifty
    more are coming in another caravel, which is hourly expected. These
    are of similar colour, build, stature, and appearance to gypsies, clad
    in skins of various animals, but mostly otter; in the summer they turn
    the skin in, in winter the reverse. And these skins are not sewed
    together in any way, and not prepared, but they are thrown over the
    shoulders and arms just as they are taken off the animals. The loins
    are fastened together with strings made of very strong fish sinews.
    Although they seem to be savages, they are modest and gentle, but
    their arms, legs, and shoulders are indescribably well shaped; they
    have the face marked [tattooed] in the Indian fashion, some with six,
    some with eight, and some with no figures [lines ?]. They speak, but
    are understood by no one; I believe they have been addressed in every
    possible language. In their country they have no iron, but make knives
    of certain stones, and spearheads in the same way. They have brought
    from thence a fragment of a broken gilt sword, which was certainly
    made in Italy. A boy among them wore in his ears two silver rings,
    which seem without doubt to have been made in Venice. This induced me
    to believe that it is a continent, for it is not a place to which
    ships can ever have gone without anything having been heard of
    them.[339] They have a very great quantity of salmon, herring, cod,
    and similar fish. They have also great abundance of trees, and above
    all of pine-trees for making ships' masts and yards of. For this
    reason it is that this most serene King thinks he will derive the
    greatest profit from the said land, not only on account of the trees
    for shipbuilding, of which there is much need, but also on account of
    the men, who are excellent labourers, and the best slaves that have
    hitherto been obtained; this seems to me to be a thing worth giving
    information about, and if I hear anything more when the commander's
    caravel (caravella capitania) arrives, I will also communicate it."
    [Cf. Harrisse, 1883, pp. 211, f.].

[Sidenote: Cantino's letter, Oct. 1501]

Alberto Cantino, Minister at Lisbon of Duke Ercule d'Este of Ferrara,
wrote to the Duke as follows, on October 17, 1501:

    "It is already nine months since this most serene King sent two
    well-equipped ships to the northern regions (alle parte de tramontana)
    with the object of finding out whether it was possible to discover
    lands and islands in those parts; and now on the 11th of this month
    one of these ships has safely returned with a cargo, and brought
    people and news, which I have thought it my duty to communicate to
    Your Excellency, and thus I write here below accurately and clearly
    all that the captain [of the ship] reported to the King in my
    presence. First he stated that after leaving the port of Lisbon they
    sailed for four months at a stretch always with the same wind, and
    towards the same pole, and in all that time they never saw anything.
    When they had entered the fifth month and still wished to proceed,
    they say that they encountered immense masses of snow frozen together,
    floating on the sea and moving under the influence of the waves. On
    the top of these [ice-masses] clear fresh water was formed by the
    power of the sun, and ran down through little channels hollowed out by
    itself, wearing away the foot [of the ice] where it fell. As the ships
    were already in want of water they approached in boats, and took as
    much as they required; and for fear of staying in that place on
    account of the danger, they were about to turn back, but impelled by
    hope they consulted as to what they could best do, and determined to
    proceed for a few days yet, and they resumed their voyage. On the
    second day they found the sea frozen, and being obliged to abandon
    their purpose, they began to steer to the north-west and west, and
    they continued on this course for three months, always with fair
    weather. And on the first day of the fourth month they sighted between
    these two points of the compass a very great land, which they
    approached with the greatest joy; and many great rivers of fresh water
    ran through this region into the sea, and on one of them they
    travelled for a legha [== about three geographical miles] inland; and
    when they went ashore they found a quantity of beautiful and varied
    fruits, and trees, and pines of remarkable height and size, that
    would be too large for the masts of the largest ship that sails the
    sea. Here is no corn of any kind, but the people of the country live,
    they say, on nothing but fishing and hunting animals, of which the
    country has abundance. There are very large stags [i.e., caribou,
    Canadian reindeer] with long hair, whose skin they use for clothes and
    for making houses and boats; there are also wolves, foxes, tigers
    [lynxes ?], and sables. They declare, what seems strange to me, that
    there are as many pelerine falcons as there are sparrows in our
    country; and I have seen them, and they are very handsome. Of the men
    and women of that place they took about fifty by force, and have
    brought them to the King; I have seen, touched, and examined them. To
    begin with their size, I may say that they are a little bigger than
    our countrymen, with well-proportioned and shapely limbs, while their
    hair is long according to our custom, and hangs in curly ringlets, and
    they have their faces marked with large figures like those of the
    Indians. Their eyes have a shade of green, and, when they look at you,
    give the whole face a very wild aspect. Their speech is not to be
    understood, but it is without harshness, rather is it human. Their
    conduct and manners are very gentle, they laugh a good deal, and show
    much cheerfulness; and this is enough about the men. The women have
    small breasts and a very beautiful figure, and have a very attractive
    face; their colour may more nearly be described as white than
    anything else, but that of the males is a good deal darker.
    Altogether, if it were not for the wild look of the men, it seems to
    me that they are quite like us in everything else. All parts of the
    body are naked, with the exception of the loins, which are kept
    covered with the skin of the aforesaid stag. They have no weapons, nor
    iron, but all the work they produce is done with a very hard and sharp
    stone, and there is nothing so hard that they cannot cut it with this.
    This ship came thence in one month, and they say that it is 2800
    miglia [miles] distant; the other consort has decided to sail along
    this coast far enough to determine whether it is an island or
    mainland, and thus the King is awaiting the arrival of this [the
    consort] and the others [i.e., his companions] with much impatience,
    and when they have come, if they communicate anything worthy of Your
    Excellency's attention, I shall immediately inform you of it..." [cf.
    Harrisse, 1883, pp. 204, ff.].

[Illustration: Portion of the "Cantino" map of 1502, preserved at Modena.
The network of compass-lines omitted]

[Sidenote: The Cantino map, 1502]

At the request of the Duke of Ferrara Cantino had a map made at Lisbon,
chiefly for the purpose of representing the Portuguese discoveries, and
sent it to the Duke in 1502. In a letter to the Duke, dated November 19,
1502, he mentions having already sent it. This map, commonly called the
Cantino map, and now preserved at Modena, gives a remarkably good
representation of southern Greenland, which is called "A ponta de [asia]"
[i.e., a point of Asia]. On its east coast are two Portuguese flags to
show that it is a Portuguese discovery, one flag somewhat to the north of
the Arctic Circle, the other a little to the west of the southern point,
and this coast bears the following legend:

    "This country, which was discovered by the command of the most highly
    renowned prince Dom Manuel, King of Portugal, is a point of Asia (esta
    a ponta d'asia). Those who made the discovery did not land but saw the
    land, and could see nothing but precipitous mountains. Therefore it is
    assumed, according to the opinion of the cosmographers, to be a point
    of Asia."

To the west of Greenland on the same map a country is marked, called
"Terra del Rey de portuguall" (the Land of the King of Portugal); it
answers approximately to Newfoundland, possibly with the southern part of
Labrador (?). The north and south ends are marked with two Portuguese
flags, and the country bears the following legend:

    "This land was discovered by command of the most exalted and most
    renowned royal prince Dom Manuel, King of Portugal; Gaspar de
    Corte-Real, a nobleman of the said King's household, discovered it,
    and when he had discovered it, he sent [to Portugal] a ship with men
    and women taken in the said land, and he stayed behind with the other
    ship, and never returned, and it is believed that he perished, and
    there are many masts [i.e., trees for masts]."

[Sidenote: Letters patent to Miguel Corte-Real, 1502 or 1503 (?)]

On January 15, 1502,[340] King Manuel gave Gaspar's brother, Miguel
Corte-Real, fresh letters patent as follows:

    "We make known to all who may see this letter that Miguell Cortereall,
    a nobleman of our household and our head doorkeeper [chamberlain ?],
    now tells us that, seeing how Gaspar Cortereall, his brother, long ago
    sailed from this city with three ships to discover new land, of which
    he had already found a part, and seeing that after a lapse of time two
    of the said ships returned to the said city [Lisbon], and five months
    have elapsed without his coming,[341] he wishes to go in search of
    him, and that he, the said miguell corte-reall, had many outlays and
    expenses of his own in the said voyage of discovery, as well as in the
    said ships, which his said brother fitted out the first time for that
    purpose [i.e., for the first voyage], when he found the said land, and
    likewise for the second [i.e., the second voyage], wherefore the said
    gaspar cortereall in consideration of this promised to share with him
    the said land which he thus discovered and ... which we had granted
    and given to him by our deed of gift, for which the said gaspar
    cortereall asked us before his departure, etc." Therefore Miguel
    claimed his share of the lands discovered by his brother, which he
    obtained from the King by these letters patent, as well as the right
    to all new islands and lands he might discover that year (1502),
    besides that which his brother had found.[342]

[Sidenote: Portuguese chart of about 1520]

Two legends on the anonymous Portuguese chart of about 1520 are also of
interest.[343] On the land "Do Lavrador" [i.e., Greenland] is written:

    "This land the Portuguese saw, but did not enter."

On Newfoundland, called "Bacalnaos," is written:

    "To this land came first Gaspar Corte Regalis, a Portuguese, and he
    carried away from thence wild men and white bears. There is great
    abundance of animals, birds, and fish. In the following year he
    suffered shipwreck there, and did not return, and his brother,
    Micaele, met with the same fate in the next year."

[Illustration: Portion of an anonymous Portuguese chart of about 1520,
preserved at Munich. The network of compass-lines omitted]

In addition to this may also be mentioned the various maps of Portuguese
origin of 1502 or soon after, especially the Italian mappamundi, the
so-called King map of about 1502 (p. 373), which must be a copy of a
Portuguese map, where Newfoundland is called Terra Corte Real.

[Sidenote: Later notices]

Besides these documents contemporary with the voyages, or of the years
immediately succeeding, there are also several much later notices of them
in Gomara (1552), Ramusio (1556), Antonio Galvano (1563) and Damiam de
Goes (1566), but as these were written so long after, we will leave them
on one side for the present.

[Sidenote: Gaspar Corte-Real not the discoverer of Greenland (Labrador)]

When we endeavour to form an opinion as to the Portuguese voyages of
these years on the basis of the oldest documents, the first thing that
must strike us is that there are indications of several voyages, and of
the discovery of two wholly different countries, which must undoubtedly be
Greenland and Newfoundland. As it is expressly stated on the Cantino map,
on the Portuguese chart of about 1520, and in many other places, that
Newfoundland was discovered by Gaspar Corte-Real, while his name is not
mentioned in a single place in these documents in connection with
Greenland (or Labrador), and as Pasqualigo's letter to the Council of
Venice expressly says that that land was seen the previous year (1500) by
"the other caravels [l'altre caravelle] belonging to this majesty,"[344]
the logical conclusion must be that it was not Gaspar Corte-Real who saw
Greenland in the year 1500, but some other Portuguese. It may be in
agreement with this that on the King map (of about 1502) Newfoundland is
called Terra Cortereal (see p. 373), while the island which clearly
answers to Greenland is called Terra Laboratoris. One might be tempted to
suppose that both lands were named after their discoverers, one, that is,
after Corte-Real, the other after a man who is described as "laborator."
The generally accepted view that it was Gaspar Corte-Real who saw
Greenland on his voyage of 1500 is thus unsupported by the above-mentioned

[Sidenote: João Fernandez sighted Greenland, 1500 ?]

On the other hand, we seem to be able to conclude from the royal letters
patent to Miguel Corte-Real that Gaspar made two voyages, one in 1500, and
another in 1501, and that it was the same country (i.e., Newfoundland)
that he visited on both occasions. This is also confirmed by the legend on
the Portuguese chart of about 1520. If it was not he who on the first
voyage, in 1500, saw Greenland without being able to approach it, we must
conclude that yet another expedition, on which Greenland was sighted, left
Portugal in the year 1500. One is then inclined to suppose that this was
commanded by the same João Fernandez, to whom the King gave letters patent
as early as October 1499. This supposition becomes still more probable
when we take it in conjunction with what has already been said as to the
possible origin of the name of Labrador (see p. 331). We must suppose that
this is the same man from the Azores who, under the name of John
Fernandus, took part in the Bristol enterprise of 1501, and who is further
mentioned in documents of as early as 1492, together with another man from
the Azores, Pero de Barcellos, and is described as a "llavorador." These
men would already at that time have been engaged in making discoveries at

If we compare the legend attached to Labrador (Greenland) on Diego
Ribero's Spanish map of 1529 with the corresponding legend on the
anonymous Portuguese chart of about 1520 this will also confirm our
supposition. While on the latter we read that "the Portuguese saw the
land, but did not enter it," Ribero's map has: "this land was discovered
by the English, but there is nothing in it that is worth having." As this
part of Ribero's map is evidently a copy of the Portuguese maps, we may
conclude Ribero's alteration of the legend to mean that doubtless the land
was first sighted by the Portuguese, but that it was the English who first
succeeded in landing there, and in this way were its real discoverers. If
we add to this the statement on the sixteenth-century Portuguese chart
preserved at Wolfenbüttel, that the land was discovered by Englishmen from
Bristol, and that the man who first gave news of it was a "labrador" from
the Azores, then everything seems to be in agreement.

We may hence suppose the connection to be somewhat as follows: having
obtained his letters patent in October 1499, João Fernandez fitted out
his expedition, and sailed in the spring of 1500; he arrived off the east
coast of Greenland and sailed along it, but the ice prevented him from
landing. We have no information at all as to where else he may have been
on this voyage. But having returned to Portugal, perhaps after a
comparatively unsuccessful expedition, and finding furthermore that the
King had issued letters patent to Gaspar Corte-Real, whose voyage had been
more successful, Fernandez may have despaired of finding support for fresh
enterprises in Portugal, and have turned at once to Bristol, where he took
part in getting together an Anglo-Portuguese undertaking, and was thus the
"llavorador" who first brought news of Greenland.

[Illustration: Portion of Diego Ribero's map of 1529. (Nordenskiöld,

It must, of course, be admitted that the hypothesis here put forward of
the voyage and discovery of João Fernandez is no more than a guess; but it
seems more consistent than any of the explanations hitherto offered, and,
as far as I can see, it does not conflict on any point with what
contemporary documents have to tell us. It may be supposed that here, as
so frequently has happened, the name of the discoverer, João Fernandez,
has been more or less forgotten. His memory has perhaps only been
preserved in the name Labrador itself--originally applied to Greenland,
but afterwards transferred to the American continent[345]--whilst all the
Portuguese discoveries in the north have been associated in later history
with the other seafarer, Gaspar Corte-Real, who was of noble family and
belonged to the King's household, and who came from the same island of the
Azores, Terceira.

[Illustration: Portion of Maggiolo's map of 1527 (Harrisse, 1892).
Compass-lines omitted]

[Sidenote: Gaspar Corte-Real]

Gaspar Corte-Real belonged to a noble Portuguese family from Algarve and
was born about 1450. He was the third and youngest son of João Vaz
Corte-Real, who for twenty-two years, since 1474, had had a "capitanerie"
as Governor of the Azores--first at Angra in the island of Terceira, later
in São Jorge--and died in 1496.[346] Gaspar probably spent a part of his
youth in the Azores, which were altogether "a hot-house of all kinds of
ideas of maritime discovery"; he certainly became familiar at an early age
with narratives of the numerous earlier attempts, and with the many plans
of new ocean voyages which were discussed by the adventurous sailors of
those islands. As already mentioned, the German, Martin Behaim, was also
living in the Azores (cf. p. 287).

[Illustration: The newly discovered north-western lands made continuous
with Asia, on Maggiolo's map of 1511. (Harrisse, 1900)]

[Sidenote: Corte-Real's voyage of 1500]

From the letters patent of May 1500, we see that Gaspar Corte-Real had at
his own expense been trying even before that time to discover countries in
the ocean, but as no more is said about it, the attempt was doubtless
unsuccessful. It was pointed out above that from the King's letters
patent to his brother Miguel it looks as though Gaspar had made two
voyages to the land he had discovered, which is also confirmed by the
legend referred to on the anonymous Portuguese chart of about 1520. On the
other hand, nothing is said about this voyage in the letters of the two
Italian Ministers, nor on the Cantino map. It may seem natural to conclude
that Gaspar, after having obtained his letters patent in May 1500, set out
on an expedition, the expenses of which were defrayed by himself and his
brother Miguel in partnership (cf. the letters patent to the latter).

On his first voyage of 1500 Gaspar had already discovered a part of
Newfoundland; but we know nothing of what else he may have accomplished on
this expedition. He must have returned to Lisbon by the same autumn.

[Sidenote: Corte-Real's voyage of 1501]

Encouraged by his success he then set out again with a larger expedition
in 1501, after April 21, at which date he was still in Lisbon. This time
the expenses were again borne by himself and his brother Miguel in
partnership. According to the King's letters patent of January 1502, he
had three ships on this voyage, of which two returned. This does not agree
with the letters of the two Italian Ministers, which distinctly say that
he left with two ships. But these letters, it is true, do not mutually
agree in their statements as to the ship that had returned: Pasqualigo
says that the ship arrived at Lisbon on October 9 in one of his letters,
on the 8th in the other, and that it brought seven natives; while Cantino
says that the ship arrived on October 11 and brought fifty natives to the
King. As Pasqualigo says that the other ship was expected daily with fifty
natives, it has been thought (cf. Harrisse) that this was the ship
referred to by Cantino; but in that case it is puzzling that two Ministers
in the same city should have heard of two different ships, and that they
should both be ignorant of more than one ship having arrived, although
there was an interval of no more than two or three days between each
ship's arrival, and they are both writing a week after that time. Besides,
both mention that the second ship, and only one, is expected, and
Pasqualigo calls it the commander's caravel (caravella capitania). We may
readily suppose that it is the arrival of the same ship that is alluded to
by the two Ministers (no importance need be attached to the discrepancy of
dates, since we see that Pasqualigo alters the date of his ship's arrival
from one letter to the other). They may both have heard of fifty natives
having been captured, of which they had seen some (seven, for instance);
but while Cantino understood that the whole fifty had arrived, Pasqualigo
thought that only the seven he had seen had come, while the other fifty
were expected on the next ship. Considerable weight must be attached to
the fact that in the legend on the Cantino map, which must evidently have
been drawn from Portuguese documents, only one ship is mentioned as having
returned. The chief difficulty is that this is in direct conflict with the
King's later letters patent to Miguel. We should then have to suppose that
the statement in this document as to three ships having sailed and two
returned is due to a clerical error or a lapse of memory, which may seem
surprising. But the question is, after all, of minor importance. The main
point is that Gaspar Corte-Real's ship never returned.

In estimating the degree of trustworthiness or accuracy to be attributed
to Pasqualigo's and Cantino's statements about the voyage, it must be
remembered that they are both only repeating what they have heard said on
the subject in a language not their own, and that when the letters were
written they had probably seen no chart of the voyage or of the new
discoveries. Cantino says that he was present when the captain of the ship
gave his account to the King, and that he is writing down everything that
was then said; so that perhaps he had only heard the narrative once, and
without a chart, which easily explains his obvious errors; it is no
difficult matter to fall into gross errors and misunderstandings in
reproducing the account of a voyage which one hears in this way told even
in one's own language. Pasqualigo does not tell us how he had heard about
the voyage, but it may have been on the same occasion. The letters of the
two Italians reproducing the Portuguese narrative cannot therefore be
treated as exact historical documents, every detail of which is correct.

Cantino says in his letter (of October 1501) that Gaspar Corte-Real had
sailed nine months before, that is, in January 1501. Pasqualigo says that
he left in the previous year, which agrees with Cantino, since the civil
year at that time began on March 25. But the existing receipt of April 21,
1501, from Gaspar Corte-Real proves with certainty that the two Italians
were mistaken on this point. It may be supposed that they regarded the
expeditions of the two consecutive years as a connected voyage (?), but
even this will not agree with Cantino's nine months. According to
Cantino's letter, Corte-Real on leaving Portugal held a northerly course
("towards the pole" are the words), and Pasqualigo says something of the
same kind; but this is scarcely to be taken literally, for otherwise we
should have to suppose that from Portugal he sailed northward towards
Iceland; besides which, Pasqualigo says in both his letters that the land
discovered was between north-west and west. Cantino's statement about the
ice might give us firm ground for determining Corte-Real's route; if it
were not unfortunately the case that there are here two possibilities, and
that Cantino's words do not agree well with either of them. The
description of the ice points most probably to Corte-Real's having first
met with icebergs; he may have come upon these in the sea off the southern
end of Greenland, and as in continuing his course he found the "sea
frozen," he may have reached the edge of the ice-floes. As nothing is said
about land, we must suppose that he did not sight Greenland. It is a more
difficult matter when, by changing his course to the north-west and west,
he finally in this direction sighted land, which according to the
description, and the Cantino map, must have been Newfoundland. To arrive
there from the Greenland ice he would have had to steer about
west-south-west by compass, and in fact Newfoundland (Terra del Rey de
portuguall) lies approximately in this direction in relation to the
southern point of Greenland on the Cantino map. But it may be, of course,
that Cantino's statement of the direction is due to a
misunderstanding;[347] he may have heard that the newly found land lay to
the north-west and west from Lisbon, as Pasqualigo says.

Another possibility is that it was on the Newfoundland Banks that
Corte-Real met with icebergs; but in that case he must have held a very
westerly course, almost west-north-west, all the way from Lisbon, and
there would then be little meaning in the statement that he altered his
course to north-west and west to avoid the ice, even if we take into
account the possibility of the variation of the compass having been 20°
greater on the Newfoundland Banks than at Lisbon. Another difficulty is
that on the Newfoundland Banks he would hardly have found "the sea
frozen," if by this ice-floes are meant; for that he would have had to be
(in June ?) farther to the north-west in the Labrador Current. In neither
case would he have been very far from land, so that the times mentioned,
three months with a favourable wind from the ice to land, and four months
from Lisbon, are out of proportion.[348]

Thus Cantino's words cannot be brought into agreement with facts; but at
the same time many things point to its having been the Greenland ice that
Corte-Real first met with in 1501. Doubtless it might be objected that he
is said in the previous year to have already found part of Newfoundland,
and in that case he would be likely to make straight for it again; but
Pasqualigo's letter gives one the impression that Gaspar Corte-Real may
have been interested in finding out whether the land he had found was
mainland and continuous with the country (Greenland) which in the previous
year (1500) had been seen by the other caravels (João Fernandez ?), and
thus it may have been natural that he should first steer in that
direction, but he was then forced by the ice westward towards the land he
himself had discovered.


  Modern      Cantino      Reinel's      King
   map          map          map          map

The eastern coast-line of Newfoundland, with possibly the southern part of

That it was really Newfoundland, and not the coast of Labrador farther
north, that Corte-Real arrived at, appears plainly enough from the maps
(the Cantino map, the King map, etc.), and may also be concluded from the
descriptions in the letters of Pasqualigo and Cantino. We read, amongst
other things, that many great rivers ran through that country into the
sea. The east coast of Labrador has no rivers of importance, with the
exception of Hamilton River; but the entrance to this is by a long
estuary, Hamilton Inlet and Lake Melville, up which they would hardly have
sailed. On the other hand, there are in Newfoundland several considerable
rivers falling into the sea on the east coast, up the mouths of which
Gaspar Corte-Real might have sailed. The allusion to the country as
fertile, with trees and forests of pines of remarkable height and size,
and to there being abundance of timber for masts, etc., also agrees best
with Newfoundland. In addition, the coast-line of the country, both on the
Cantino map and on later Portuguese maps, agrees remarkably well with the
coast-line along the east and north-east sides of Newfoundland.

The statement in Pasqualigo's letter of October 18, that they sailed
"along the coast of the said land for a distance of six hundred miglia and
more," which agrees with the extent of the coast on the Cantino map, must
be an exaggeration. It is a common error to exaggerate the distance during
a voyage along a coast so indented as that of Newfoundland, where
Corte-Real may perhaps have sailed in and out of bays and inlets.

[Sidenote: Late authorities of the sixteenth century]

[Sidenote: Galvano on G. Corte-Real]

As already stated, Gaspar Corte-Real's voyages are mentioned in several
works of the sixteenth century, but as these were written so long after
the events took place, no particular importance can be attached to them in
cases where they conflict with the earlier documents. The allusions to
Gaspar Corte-Real in the Spanish author Gomara and the Italian Ramusio
seem for the most part to be derived from Pietro Pasqualigo's letter of
October 19, 1501, to his brothers at Venice, which was published for the
first time as early as 1507. The Portuguese Antonio Galvano says in his
"Tratado" (1563) that Gaspar Corte-Real sailed in 1500

    "from the island of Terceira with two ships, fitted out at his own
    expense, and travelled to the region that is in the fiftieth degree of
    latitude, a land which is now called by his name. He returned safely
    to Lisbon; but when he again set out, his ship was lost, and the other
    ship returned to Portugal."

This, it will be seen, agrees remarkably well with the conclusions we
arrived at above; but as Galvano spent the greater part of his life in the
East Indies, and only came home to end his days in a hospital at Lisbon,
no great importance can be attached to his statements [cf. Harrisse, 1900,
p. 35], except in so far as they reproduce a Portuguese tradition.

[Sidenote: De Goes on G. Corte-Real]

Damiam de Goes, in his "Chronica do Felicissimo Rei dom Emanuel" (Lisbon,
1566), has a more detailed account of Gaspar Corte-Real's voyage of 1500,
and of the land he visited. He says:

    "He sailed from the port of Lisbon at the beginning of summer, 1500.
    On this voyage he discovered in a northerly direction a land which was
    very cold, and with great forests, as all those [countries] are that
    lie in that quarter. He gave it the name of Terra verde [i.e., green
    land]. The people are very barbaric and wild, almost like those of
    Sancta Cruz [i.e., Brazil], except that they are at first white, but
    become so weather-beaten from the cold that they lose their whiteness
    with age and become almost dark brown. They are of middle height, very
    active, and great archers, using sticks hardened in the fire for
    throwing-spears, with which they make as good casts as though they had
    points of good steel. They clothe themselves in the skins of beasts,
    of which there is abundance in that country. They live in caves, and
    in huts, and they have no laws. They have great belief in omens; they
    have marriage, and are very jealous of their wives, in which they
    resemble the Lapps, who also live in the north from 70° to 85°....
    After he [Gaspar Corte-Real] had discovered this land, and sailed
    along a great part of its coast, he returned to this kingdom. As he
    greatly desired to discover more of this province, and to become
    better acquainted with its advantages, he set out again immediately in
    the year 1501 on May 15 from Lisbon; but it is not known what happened
    to him on this voyage, for he was never seen again, nor did there come
    any news of him" [Cf. Harrisse, 1883, p. 233].

The last statement, that Corte-Real disappeared without any more being
heard of him, shows that De Goes was not well informed, in spite of his
being chief custodian (Guarda m'or) of the Torre do Tombo, where the State
archives were kept at Lisbon. His whole account may therefore be of
doubtful value as a historical document. His description of the newly
discovered land and of the inhabitants may be derived from other
statements, or from literary sources, and is of the same kind as we often
meet with in accounts of natives in the authorities of that time. It
appears that the cold country, Terra verde, with great forests and wild,
barbaric people, must be the Greenland (Gronolondes) that is referred to
in the anonymous letter of about 1450 to Pope Nicholas V.[349] Most of
what is said about these natives would apparently suit the Eskimo quite as
well as the Indians, but as we do not know from whence the whole is
derived, it is not easy to form an opinion as to which people is really
referred to in the description. The remarkable statement that the natives
are at first white, but turn brown through the cold, will hardly suit the
Indians, but might apply to the Eskimo, who at an early age have a very
fair skin, perhaps quite as light as the Portuguese.

[Sidenote: Mention of the natives in Pasqualigo and Cantino]

What is said of the natives in the letters of Pasqualigo and Cantino seems
on the whole to suit the Eskimo better than the Indians; typical Eskimo
features are: that they had boats covered with hides (it is true that
Cantino says stags' hides, i.e., reindeer hides, but this must be a
misunderstanding);[350] also houses (i.e., tents) of long poles covered
with fish skin (i.e., sealskin); that the colour of their skin was rather
white than anything else, that they laughed a good deal and showed much
cheerfulness. It may seem somewhat surprising that the Eskimo should be "a
little bigger than our countrymen" (i.e., the Italians), but, in the first
place, it may have been particularly good specimens of the race that were
exhibited, and in the next place the Eskimo are a race of medium stature,
and, perhaps, on an average, quite as tall as Italians and Portuguese.
That they were naked with the exception of a piece of skin round the loins
answers to the indoor custom of the Eskimo. Pasqualigo's description: that
they were clothed in the skins of various animals, mostly otter, and that
the skins were unprepared and not sewed together, but thrown over the
shoulders and arms as they were taken from the animals, conflicts with the
words of Cantino, and is, no doubt, due to a misunderstanding; it does not
sound probable. If it is correct, Pasqualigo and Cantino must have seen
different natives.

It is probable that there were Eskimo in the north-east of Newfoundland at
that time, and that the natives may have been brought from thence or from
southern Labrador.

[Sidenote: Evidence of the Cantino map as to the Portuguese discoveries]

Of all known maps the Cantino map undoubtedly gives the most complete and
trustworthy representation of the Portuguese discoveries of 1500 and 1501
in the north-west; we know, too, that it was executed with an eye to
these, at Lisbon, and immediately after the return thither of those who
had taken part in the later voyage. We may consequently suppose that the
cartographer availed himself of the sources then at his disposal. He may
either himself have had access to log-books, with courses and distances,
and to the original sketch-charts of the voyages, or he may have used
charts that were drawn from these sources. But he used in addition maps
and authorities of a more learned kind, as appears, for instance, in the
legend attached to Greenland, where he speaks of the opinion of
cosmographers, and says that this country is a point of Asia. It is clear,
as pointed out by Björnbo [1910, p. 167], that Greenland was connected on
the map with Scandinavia, which is called "Parte de assia," but the upper
edge of the map has been cut off, so that this land connection is
lost,[351] as is the last part (asia) of the inscription on Greenland. The
basis of this idea of a land connection must have been a map of Clavus's
later type; while the delineation of Greenland itself is evidently new. In
fact, it is here placed for the first time very nearly at a correct
distance from Europe, and with Iceland in a relatively correct position;
and in addition to this it has been given a remarkably good form. If we
assume that the variation of the compass was unknown, and that the coasts
were laid down according to the courses sailed by compass as though they
were true, then the southern point of Greenland comes just where it
should, if the variation during the voyage from Lisbon averaged 11° west.
The Portuguese flags on the coast indicate that the Portuguese sailed
along the east coast of Greenland from north of the Arctic Circle of the
map to past Cape Farewell (without landing, according to what the legend
says), and its direction on the map is explained by a variation of about
14° west. The remarkably good representation of Greenland with the
characteristic form of the west coast cannot possibly be derived from the
Clavus maps, where Greenland is a narrow tongue of land with its east and
west coasts running very nearly parallel. The west coast has been given a
form approximately as though it were laid down from courses sailed with a
variation increasing towards the north-west from 20° to nearly 30° (cf. p.
371). It is also characteristic that while the east coast is without
islands, a belt of skerries is shown on the north along the west coast. It
may seem a bold assumption to attribute this to pure chance and the
caprice of the draughtsman, even though it may be pointed out that he has
given the west coast of Norway a similar curved form with a belt of
skerries outside (as on the Oliveriana map, p. 375). If the cartographer
was acquainted with the representation of Greenland on the Clavus maps,
the probability becomes still greater that he had definite authority for
his west coast, since it differs from that of the Clavus maps. It is true
that the Portuguese flags on the map and the statement in the legend that
the Portuguese did not land on the coast do not seem to point to their
having sailed any considerable distance to the north along the west coast,
for otherwise there would doubtless be mention of this; but there may have
been lost authorities for the Cantino map, which were based upon voyages
unknown to us, as well as to the cartographer.[352]

If we may suppose that the lighter tone of the sea off the east coast of
Greenland and over to Norway (on the original map) represents ice-floes,
then this again gives evidence of a knowledge of these northern waters
which we cannot assume to have been derived merely from Portuguese voyages
on which the east coast of Greenland was sighted; it must have had other
sources, unknown to us.

[Sidenote: Construction of the Cantino map.]

There can be no doubt that the "Terra del Rey de portuguall" of the
Cantino map is the east coast of Newfoundland, which, through the
variation of the compass being disregarded, is given a northerly
direction. If we draw the east coast of Newfoundland from Cape Race to
Cape Bauld on approximately the same scale as that of the Cantino map, and
turn the meridian to the west as far as the variation may have been at
that time (about 20° at Cape Race, and 4° or 5° more at Belle Isle
Strait), we shall have a map (see p. 364) the coast-line of which bears so
great a resemblance to that of the Cantino map that it is almost too good
to believe it not to be in part accidental (the Newfoundland coast on
Reinel's map is also very nearly the same as that of the Cantino map). The
resemblance is so thorough that we might even think it possible to
recognise the various bays and headlands; but perhaps a part of the
southern coast of Labrador has been included in the Cantino map. According
to the scale attached to the map, in which each division represents fifty
miglia, the distance between the south-eastern point of the country and
the northern Portuguese flag is seven hundred miglia, which thus
corresponds to the six hundred or seven hundred miglia that Pasqualigo
says the Portuguese sailed along the coast. If we divide the map into
degrees according to the distance between the tropic and the Arctic
Circle, the extent of the country will be about eleven degrees of
latitude. On Reinel's map the length of Newfoundland from north to south
is between ten and eleven degrees of latitude. The distance from Cape Race
to Belle Isle Strait corresponds in reality to about 5-1/2°, that is,
fairly near the half.

[Illustration: Reconstruction of an equidistant chart on which the coasts
are laid down from magnetic courses without regard to the variation]

Both Greenland and Newfoundland lie too far north on the Cantino map. The
southern point of Greenland lies in about 62° 20' N. lat., instead of 59°
46', while Cape Race, the south-eastern point of Newfoundland, lies in
about 50° N. lat., instead of 46° 40'. It is unnecessary to assume that
the too northerly latitude of Greenland is derived from the Clavus map,
where its southern point lies in 62° 40' N. lat., since a natural
explanation of the position both of this point and of Cape Race is
provided by the way in which the Cantino map is drawn. It is, in fact, an
equidistant compass-chart, which takes no account of the surface of the
earth being spherical and not a plane, and on which the courses sailed
have been laid down according to the points of the compass, presumably in
ignorance of the variation of the needle. If we try to draw a map of the
same coasts in the same fashion, using the correct distances, and taking
the courses as starting from Lisbon, and the variation to be distributed
approximately as given on p. 308,[353] we shall then get a map in its
main outlines as here represented. The southern point of Greenland comes
in about 62° 20', or the same as on the Cantino map, and Cape Race comes
still farther to the north than on it. The distance from Lisbon to
Greenland is almost exactly the same on both maps, and this seems to point
to remarkable capabilities of sailing by log and compass, while, on the
other hand, astronomical observations were probably not used. The distance
between Lisbon and Newfoundland (Terra del Rey de portuguall) is on the
Cantino map a little longer than reality,[354] and the southern end of the
latter is brought so far to the south that it would correspond to an
average variation of about 4° west, instead of 10°, during the voyage from
Lisbon. Newfoundland accordingly comes farther west in relation to
Greenland, and its southern end farther south than it should do on a map
constructed like this one. But we do not know whether the course from
which the position of Newfoundland is laid down was taken as going
directly to that country from Lisbon; perhaps, for instance, it went first
up into the ice off Greenland, and in that case a greater error is
natural. If we lay down the West Indian islands (and Florida) on our
sketch-map according to the same method, we shall get them in a similar
position to that of the Cantino map, except that there they have a far too
northerly latitude, and the distance from Lisbon is much too great; but
this is due to the Spanish maps which served as authorities; for we know
that even Columbus was guilty of gross errors in his determination of
latitude,[355] and on La Cosa's map they lie for the most part to the
north of the tropic.

[Sidenote: Variation in the Portuguese representation of Greenland]

The representation of the Portuguese discoveries in the north-west
evidently varied a good deal even on early maps, and sometimes diverged
considerably from the Cantino map; Greenland especially was given various
forms, while Newfoundland was more uniform in the different types of map.
This, again, strengthens the supposition that these countries were
discovered on various voyages, and not by the same man.

[Illustration: North-western portion of the "King" map, an anonymous
Italian mappamundi of about 1502. Scandinavia, with Greenland
("Evglovelant") to the north of it, is of the type of Nicolaus Germanus's
maps; Newfoundland and the Greenland ("Terra Laboratoris") discovered by
the Portuguese and shown as an island, are taken from a Portuguese source.
Compass-lines omitted]

[Sidenote: The King map, circa 1502]

Thus, on the so-called King map--an Italian mappamundi of about 1502,
which was probably taken from Portuguese sources--Newfoundland, called
Terra Cortereal, lies in about the same place and has the same form as on
the Cantino map (its southern point is called capo raso), while Greenland,
called Terra Laboratoris, lies farther south than on the Cantino map and
has become a long island, the south-east coast of which should doubtless
correspond to the east coast of Greenland on the Cantino map, but has a
very different direction and form, and has in addition many islands to the
south of it. A similar, but still more varied, representation is found on
another Italian mappamundi, the so-called "Kunstmann, No. 2." If Greenland
and Newfoundland were both discovered by Gaspar Corte-Real and on the same
voyage, and if these discoveries formed the basis both of the Cantino map
and of the prototype of the King map, then it would be incomprehensible
how the representation of one of these countries should vary so much, and
not that of the other.[356]

[Sidenote: The Oliveriana map, after 1503]

The so-called Oliveriana map, an anonymous Italian compass-chart of a
little later than 1503, shows more resemblance to the representation of
Greenland on the Cantino map; but here that of Newfoundland is very
different from what we find on the other maps, as its east coast is
remarkably short and the south coast extends a long way to the west, in
the same direction as the coast discovered by the English on La Cosa's map
of 1500;[357] but the names have no resemblance to those of that map,
unless the island "Groga Y" should be La Cosa's "S. Grigor" (?), which
however lies farther east, while the island corresponding to "Groga" is
called by La Cosa "I. de la trinidat." "Cauo del marco" might also remind
us of the Venetian Cabot. Dr. Björnbo thinks, as mentioned above (p. 369),
that the prototype of the Greenland on the Oliveriana map was Gaspar
Corte-Real's own admiral's chart of his voyage of 1500. It seems to me
possible that Björnbo may be right, in so far as the representation may be
derived from the Portuguese expedition which sighted Greenland in 1500;
but, from what has been advanced above, this was not commanded by
Corte-Real, but more probably by João Fernandez. As the Newfoundland of
the map has so little resemblance to reality and to the usual Portuguese
representations [cf. also Björnbo, 1910, p. 315], it is improbable that
the prototype of the map was due to Gaspar Corte-Real. Moreover one cannot
imagine that mythical islands such as "Insula de labrador," "Insula
stille," etc., were drawn by him; in such a case they would have to be
explained as later additions from another source.

[Illustration: Northern portion of an anonymous Italian chart, a little
later than 1503. In the Oliveriana Library at Pesaro. Compass-lines

We saw from the letters of the two Italian Ministers that King Manuel was
very well satisfied with the discoveries of Gaspar Corte-Real, and
expected great advantages therefrom, both on account of the trees for
masts and of the slaves, etc.; he therefore awaited his return with
impatience. But he waited in vain. Gaspar Corte-Real never returned.
Whether he fell fighting with the natives on an unknown coast, or whether
he plunged into the mists and ice of the unknown north, there to find a
cold grave, or was lost in a storm on the homeward voyage across the
Atlantic, will never be revealed.

[Sidenote: Miguel Corte-Real's voyage, 1503]

As he did not return, his brother, Miguel Corte-Real, fitted out a new
expedition in the hope, on the one hand of going to help his brother, and
on the other of making fresh discoveries. On January (?) 15, 1502 (or 1503
?), he obtained letters patent from King Manuel (see p. 353). On May 10,
according to Damiam de Goes, he sailed from Lisbon with two ships, and
nothing more was heard of him. Antonio Galvano, on the other hand, says
that he had three ships, and that these arrived in Newfoundland (Terra de
Corte-Real), but there separated and went into different inlets

    "with the arrangement that they should all meet again on August 20th.
    The two other ships did so, and when they saw that Miguel Corte-Real's
    ship did not come at the appointed time, nor for some time after that,
    they returned to Portugal, and never since was any more news heard of
    him, nor did any other memory of him remain; but the country is called
    to this day the Land of the Corte-Reals."[358]

[Sidenote: The King despatches ships]

    "The King felt deeply the loss of the two brothers, and, moved by his
    royal and compassionate feeling, he caused in the year 1503[359] two
    ships to be fitted out to go and search for them. But it could never
    be discovered how either the one or the other (of the brothers) was

If this account of Galvano's is correct, then the last relief expedition
returned without having accomplished its purpose. As to what discoveries
it may have made, we hear nothing, nor do we see any trace of them on the
maps, unless, indeed, the hint of an extension of Newfoundland to the
north on the so-called Pilestrina map of about 1511 (see p. 377) may be
due to this expedition or to the ship that returned from Miguel
Corte-Real's voyage of 1502. On Pedro Reinel's map (p. 321) there is
marked a land answering to Cape Breton, with a coast extending westward
from it. It is possible that this may be derived from these expeditions,
and in the same way all the Portuguese names along Newfoundland, the
coast-line of which must be taken from the same source as the Cantino map.
It is, however, more probable that the names are due to Portuguese
fishermen; though there is also a possibility that Reinel's additions may
be referred to the Anglo-Portuguese expeditions from Bristol in 1501 and
the following years. His island, Sam Joha [St. John], points, as has been
said (p. 321), to a possible connection with John Cabot's discoveries.

[Illustration: Northern portion of an Italian map, possibly drawn by
Pilestrina, 1511. Only a few of the names are given. (Björnbo and
Petersen, 1908)]

[Sidenote: Vasqueanes Corte-Real refused leave to sail]

When neither of the brothers returned, the eldest brother, Vasqueanes
Corte-Real--who held very high positions both at the King's Court and as
Governor of the islands of São Jorge and Terceira in the Azores--wished
"to fit out ships at his own expense in order to go out and search for
them. But when he asked the King to excuse his absence, his Majesty could
not consent to his going further in the matter, and insisted that it was
useless, and that all had been done that could be done" (De Goes). Thus
the spirit of the capable and enterprising Portuguese for further
exploration in these difficult northern waters seems to have become
cooled, and we do not hear much more of official expeditions despatched
from Portugal to find other new countries in that quarter. Meanwhile
Newfoundland (Terra de Corte-Real) continued through the whole of the
sixteenth century to be regarded as a province under the Portuguese Crown,
and the post of its Governor, with special privileges, was hereditary in
the family of Corte-Real, until Manuel Corte-Real II., the last of the
male line, fell fighting by the side of King Sebastian, in the fatal
battle of Kas-rel-Kebir in 1578.[360]

The Portuguese seem for a long time to have kept up the connection with
Newfoundland, more especially in order to avail themselves of the rich
fisheries that had been discovered there. But of this it is only by the
merest accident that history has anything to relate. It appears as though
this fishery became active immediately after Corte-Real's discovery; for
we see that as early as 1506 King Manuel gave orders that the fishermen on
their return from Newfoundland to Portugal were to pay one-tenth of the
proceeds in duties [cf. Kunstmann, 1859, p. 69].



If we would discover how a watercourse is formed, from the very first
bog-streams up in the mountain, we must follow a multitude of tiny rills,
receiving one fresh stream after another from every side, running together
into burns, which grow and grow and form little rivers, till we come to
the end of the wooded hillside and are suddenly face to face with the
great river in the valley below.

A similar task confronts him who endeavours to explore the first trickling
rivulets of human knowledge; he must trace all the minute, uncertain,
often elusive beginnings, follow the diversity of tributaries from all
parts of the earth, and show how the mass of knowledge increases
constantly from age to age, sometimes reposing in long stretches of dead
water, half choked with peat and rushes, at other times plunging onward in
foaming rapids. And then he too is rewarded; the stream grows broader and
broader, until he stands beside the navigable river.

But a simile never covers the whole case. The latter task is rendered not
only wider, but incomparably more difficult, by the fact that the brooks
and rivers whose course is to be followed are even more intricate and
scarcely ever flow in an open stream. True knowledge is so seldom
undiluted; as a rule it is suffused with myths and dogmatic conceptions,
often to such a degree that it becomes entirely lost, and something new
seems to have arisen in its place.

For one thing, man's power of grasping reality varies greatly; in
primitive man it is clouded to a degree which we modern human beings can
hardly understand. He is as yet incapable of distinguishing between idea
and reality, between belief and knowledge, between what he has seen and
experienced and the explanation he has provided for his experience.

But even with those who have long outgrown the primitive point of view
imagination steps in, supplying detail and explanation wherever our
information fails us and our knowledge falls short; it spreads its haze
over the first uncertain outlines of perception, and the distant contours
are sometimes wholly lost in the mists of legend.

This is a universal experience in the history of intellectual life. In the
domain to which this work is devoted, it makes itself felt with perhaps
more than its usual force.

The inquiry embraces long periods. In all times and countries we have seen
the known world lose itself in the fogs of cloudland--never uniformly, it
is true, but in constantly changing proportions. Here and there we have a
glimpse, now and again a vision over wider regions; and then the driving
mists once more shut out our view. Therefore all that human courage and
desire of knowledge have wrested in the course of long ages from this
cloudland remains vague, uncertain, full of riddles. But for this very
reason it is all the more alluring.

We saw that to the eyes of the oldest civilisation in history and down
through the whole of antiquity, the North lay for the most part concealed
in the twilight of legend and myth; here and there genuine information
finds its way into literature, but is again effaced. At the beginning of
the Middle Ages the dark curtain thickens.

Again there is a glimmer of light, first from the intermingling of nations
at the time of the migrations, then from new trading voyages and
intercourse, until the great change is brought about by the Norsemen, who
with their remarkable power of expansion overran western and southern
Europe and penetrated the vast unknown solitudes in the North, found
their way to the White Sea, discovered the wide Polar Sea and its shores,
colonised the Faroes, Iceland and Greenland, and were the first
discoverers of the Atlantic Ocean and of North America.

As early as in the writings of King Alfred and Adam of Bremen the
Norsemen's initiatory knowledge of this new northern world made its way
into European literature.

No doubt the mists closed again, much of the knowledge gained was
forgotten even by the Norsemen themselves, and in the latter part of the
Middle Ages it is mostly mythical echoes of this knowledge that are to be
traced in the literature of Europe and that have left their mark on its
maps. None the less were the discoveries of the Norsemen the great
dividing line. For the first time explorers had set out with conscious
purpose from the known world, over the surrounding seas, and had found
lands on the other side. By their voyages they taught the sailors of
Europe the possibility of traversing the ocean. When this first step had
been taken the further development came about of itself.

It was in the Norsemen's school that the sailors of England had their
earliest training, especially through the traffic with Iceland; and even
the distant Portuguese, the great discoverers of the age of transition,
received impulses from them.

Through all that is uncertain, and often apparently fortuitous and
chequered, we can discern a line, leading towards the new age, that of the
great discoveries, when we emerge from the dusk of the Middle Ages into
fuller daylight. Of the new voyages we have, as a rule, accounts at first
hand, less and less shrouded in mediævalism and mist. From this time the
real history of polar exploration begins.

Cabot had then rediscovered the mainland of North America, Corte-Real had
reached Newfoundland, the Portuguese and the English were pushing
northward to Greenland and the ice. And this brings in the great
transformation of ideas about the Northern World.

It is true that as yet we have not passed the northern limits of our
forefathers' voyages; and that views of the arctic regions are still
obscure and vague. While some imagine a continent at the pole, others are
for a wreath of islands around it with dangerous currents between them,
and others again reckon upon an open polar sea. There is obscurity enough.
But new problems are beginning to shape themselves.

When it became apparent to the seamen of Europe that the new countries of
the West were not Asia, but part of a new continent, the idea suggested
itself of seeking a way round the north--as also round the south--of this
continent, in order to reach the coveted sources of wealth, India and
China: the problem of the North-West Passage was presented--a continuation
on a grand scale of the routes opened up by the Norsemen towards the

But equally present was the thought that perhaps there was another and
shorter way round the north of the old world; and the problem of the
North-East Passage arose. The working out of this problem was simply a
continuation of the north-eastern voyages of the Norwegians to the White

In this way were born the two great illusions, which for centuries held
the minds of explorers spellbound. They could never be of value as
trade-routes, these difficult passages through the ice. They were to be no
more than visions, but visions of greater worth than real knowledge; they
lured discoverers farther and farther into the unknown world of ice; foot
by foot, step by step, it was explored; man's comprehension of the earth
became extended and corrected; and the sea-power and imperial dominion of
England drew its vigour from these dreams.

What a vast amount of labour lies sunk in man's knowledge of the earth,
especially in those remote ages when development proceeded at such an
immeasurably slower pace, and when man's resources were so infinitely
poorer. By the most manifold and various ways the will and intelligence of
man achieve their object. The attraction of long voyages must often
enough have been the hope of finding riches and favoured lands, but deeper
still lay the imperious desire of getting to know our own earth. To riches
men have seldom attained, to the Fortunate Isles never; but through all we
have won knowledge.

The great Alexander, the conquering king, held sway over the greater part
of the world of his day; the bright young lord of the world remained the
ideal for a thousand years, the hero above all others. But human thought,
restless and knowing no bounds, found even his limits too narrow. He grew
and grew to superhuman dimensions, became the son of a god, the child of
fortune, who in popular belief held sway from the Pillars of Hercules, the
earth's western boundary, to the trees of the sun and moon at the world's
end in the east; to whom nothing seemed impossible; who descended to the
bottom of the sea in a glass bell to explore the secrets of the ocean;
who, borne by tamed eagles, tried to reach heaven, and who was fabled by
Mohammedans and Christians to have even attempted to scale the walls of
Paradise itself--there to be checked for the first time: "Thus far and no
farther." No man that is born of woman may attain to the land of heart's

The myth of Alexander is an image of the human spirit itself, seeking
without intermission, never confined by any bounds, eternally striving
towards height after height, deep after deep, ever onward, onward,

The world of the spirit knows neither space nor time.



1876 ADAM of Bremen: Adami Gesta Hamburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum ex
recensione Lappenbergii. Editio altera. "Scriptores Rerum Germanicarum."
Hannoverae, 1876.

1862 ADAM of Bremen: Om Menigheden i Norden o. s. v. Overs. af P. W.
Christensen. Copenhagen, 1862.

1893 ADAMS von Bremen Hamburgische Kirchengeschichte. Übers. von J. C. W.
Laurent. 2. Aufl. Leipzig, 1893.

1839 AELIANUS (Claudius): Varia. "Vermischte Nachrichten," Werke, Bd. I,
übers. von Ephorus Dr. Wunderlich. "Griech. Prosaiker in neuen Uebers.,"
hgb. v. Tafel, Osiander, und Schwab, Bd. 182. Stuttgart, 1839.

1894 AHLENIUS (Karl): Pytheas' Thuleresa, "Språkvetenskapliga Sällsk. i
Upsala Förhandl.," I, 1882-94, pp. 101-124, in "Upsala Universitets
Årsskrift," 1894.

1900 AHLENIUS (K.): Die älteste geographische Kenntnis von Skandinavien.
"Eranos," III, 1898-1899. Upsala, 1900.

1859 ALFRED, King: Anglo-Saxon Version of Orosius. Ed. by JOSEPH BOSWORTH,
London, 1859. As to Ottar, see also HENRY SWEET: An Anglo-Saxon Reader,
Oxford, 1884; R. RASK in "Skandinaviske Litteraturselskabs Skrifter," XI,
Copenhagen, 1815, with Danish transl. and notes; G. PORTHAN: "Kgl.
Vitterh. Hist. o. Antique Acad. Handl." VI, Stockholm, 1800, with Swedish
transl. and notes.

1845 d'AVEZAC (M. P.): Les Iles fantastiques de l'océan occidental au
moyen-âge. Paris, 1845.

1887 AVIENUS (Rufus Festus): Rufi Festi Avieni Carmina. Ed. Alfred Holder,
Innsbruck, 1887.

BATÛTA (Ibn): Voyages d'Ibn Batoutah, Texte arabe et traduction par

1902 BAUMGARTNER (A.): Island und die Färöer. 3 Aufl. Freiburg, 1902.

1876 BAUMSTARK (Anton), See TACITUS.

1880 BAUMSTARK (A.): Ausführliche Erläuterung des besondern
völkerschaftlichen Theiles der Germania des Tacitus. Leipzig, 1880.

1904 1905 BEAUVOIS (Eug.): "Journal de la Société des Américanistes de
Paris," 1904, No. 2; 1905, No. 2.

1897 1906 BEAZLEY (C. Raymond): The Dawn of Modern Geography, I, 1897; II,
1901; III, 1906, London.

1898 BEAZLEY (C. R.): John and Sebastian Cabot. London, 1898.

1902 BÉRARD (Victor): Les Phéniciens et l'Odyssée. I, 1902; II, 1903.

1880 BERGER (Hugo): Die geographischen Fragmente des Eratosthenes.
Leipzig, 1880.

1887-93 BERGER (H.): Geschichte der wissenschaftlichen Erdkunde der
Griechen. I, 1887; II, 1889; III, 1891; IV, 1893. Leipzig.

1904 BERGER (H.): Mythische Kosmographie der Griechen. Appendix to
Roscher's "Mythol. Lexikon." Leipzig, 1904.


1909 BJÖRNBO (Axel Anthon): Adam af Bremens Nordensopfattelse. "Aarb. f.
nord. Oldk o. Hist." Copenhagen, 1909.

1910 BJÖRNBO (A. A.) Cartographia Groenlandica. Indledning og Perioden til
Aar 1576. Medd. om Grönland, XLVIII, 1. Copenhagen, 1911.

1910a BJÖRNBO (A. A.): Die echte Corte-Real-Karte. "Peterm. Geogr. Mitt."
1910, II.

1904 BJÖRNBO (A. A.) and PETERSEN (Carl S.): Fyenboen Claudius Claussön
Swart o.s.v. "Kgl. Danske. Vid. Selsk. Skr." 6. R., hist. filos. Afd. VI.
2. Copenhagen, 1904.

1908 BJÖRNBO (A. A.) and PETERSEN (C. S.): Anecdota Cartographica
Septentrionalia. Havnia, 1908.

1909 BJÖRNBO (A. A.) and PETERSEN (C. S.): Der Däne Claudius Claussön
Swart. Innsbruck, 1909.

1867 BLOM (O.): Om Kongespeilets Affattelsestid. "Aarb. f. nord. Oldk. o.
Hist." Copenhagen, 1867.

1901 BOAS (Franz): Eskimo of Baffin Land and Hudson Bay. "Bull. Amer. Mus.
Nat. Hist." XV, 1901.

1909 BOBÉ (Louis): Aktstykker til Oplysning om Grönlands Besejling.
"Danske Magazin," 5. R., VI. Copenhagen, 1909.

1859 BOSWORTH (J.), see King ALFRED.

1910 BREDA (O. J.): Rundt Kensington-stenen. "Symra," VI. Decorah 1910.

1877 BRENNER (Oskar): Nord- und Mitteleuropa in den Schriften der Alten.
Zuang. Diss. München, 1877.

1909 BRÖGGER (A. W.): Den Arktiske Stenalder i Norge. "Vid. Selsk. Skr."
II Hist. filos. Kl., 1909. No. 1. Christiania.

1896 BRUUN (Daniel): Arkæologiske Undersögelser i Julianehaabs Distrikt,
1895. "Medd. om Grönland," XVI. Copenhagen, 1896.

1902 BRUUN (D.): Det höie Nord. Copenhagen, 1902.

1899 BUGGE (Alexander): Vore forfædres opdagelsesreiser i Polaregnene.
"Kringsjå," XI. Christiania, 1899.

1900 BUGGE (A.): Contributions to the History of the Norsemen in Ireland,
III. "Vid.-Selsk Skr.," II Hist. filos. Kl. 1900. Christiania, 1901.

1904-06 BUGGE (A.): Vikingerne. Billeder fra vore forfædres liv. I, 1904;
II, 1906. Christiania.

1905 BUGGE (A.): Vesterlandenes Indflydelse på Nordboernes og særlig
Nordmændenes ydre Kultur o. s. v. i Vikingetiden. "Vid.-Selsk. Skr." II
Hist. filos. Kl. 1904, No. 1. Christiania, 1905.

1908 BUGGE (A.): Nordlands skiftende Skjæbne. "Hist. Tidsskrift." 4. R.,
V. Christiania, 1908.

1890 BUGGE (Sophus): Bidrag til Nordiske Navnes Historie. "Arkiv för
Nordisk Filologi," VI. Lund, 1890.

1896 BUGGE (S.): Germanische Etymologien, Beiträge 3. "Gesch. d. Deutschen
Sprache in Literatur," XXI. Halle, 1896.

1902 BUGGE (S.): Norges Indskrifter med de yngre Runer. Hönen-Runerne fra
Ringerike. Christiania, 1902.

1904 BUGGE (S.): Foranskudts, især i Navne. "Arkiv. för Nordisk Filologi,"
XXI. Lund, 1904.

1907 BUGGE (S.): Om nordiske folkenavne hos Jordanes. "Fornvännen."
Stockholm, 1907.

1910 BUGGE (S.): Der Runenstein von Rök in Ostergötland, Schweden. Hgb.
durch Magnus Olsen. Stockholm, 1910.

1883 BUNBURY (E. H.): A History of Ancient Geography. London, 1883.

1904 CALLEGARI (G. V.): Pitea di Massilia. "Rivista di Storia Antica,"
VII, 4; VIII, 2; IX, 2. Padova, 1904.

1866 CHRIST (Wilhelm): Avien und die ältesten Nachrichten über Iberien und
die Westküste Europa's. "Abhandl. d. Philos.-Philol. Classe d. K.
Bayerischen Akad. d. Wiss.," XI. München, 1866.

1867 COLLINSON (Richard): The three Voyages of Martin Frobisher, 1576-8.
London, 1867.

1880 COSTA (B. F. de): Arctic Exploration. "Journ. of the American Geogr.
Soc. of New York," XII. 1880.

1828 CROKER (T. Crofton): Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of
Ireland. London, 1828.

1890 CRUSIUS (O.): Hyperboreer in "Roscher's Mythol. Lexikon," I, 2.
Leipzig, 1890.

1871 CUNO (J. G.): Forschungen im Gebiete der Alten Völkerkunde. Berlin,

1882 DAAE (Ludvig): Didrik Pining. "Hist. Tidsskrift" 2. R. III.
Christiania, 1882.

1888 DAAE (L.): Italieneren Francesco Negris Reise i Norge 1664-1665.
"Hist. Tidsskrift" 2. R. VI. Christiania, 1888.

1894 DAWSON (Samuel Edward): The Voyages of the Cabots in 1497 and 1498;
with an attempt to determine their landfall and to identify their island
of St. John. "Proc. and Trans. of the R. Soc. of Canada 1894," XII.
Ottawa, 1895.

1896 DAWSON (S. E.): The Voyages of the Cabots in 1497 and 1498. A sequel
etc. "Proc. and Trans. of the R. Soc. of Canada." 2 Ser. II, 1896.

1897 DAWSON (S. E.): The Voyages of the Cabots. Latest Phases of the
Controversy. "Proc. and Trans. of the R. Soc. of Canada." 2 Ser. III,

1673 DEBES (Lucas Jacobsön): Færoe et Færoa Reserata. Det er: Færöernis oc
Færöeske Indbyggeris Beskrivelse o. s. v. Copenhagen, 1673.

1849 DELISLE (L.): Des Revenus Publics en Normandie au Douzième Siècle.
"Bibliothèque de l'École des Chartes." IIIe Série, I. Paris, 1849.

1881 DESIMONI (Cornelio): Intorno a Giovanni Caboto Genovese etc. "Atti
della Società Ligure di Storia Patria." Genova, 1881.

1897 DETLEFSEN (D.): Zur Kenntniss der Alten von der Nordsee. "Hermes,"
XXXII. Berlin, 1897.

1904 DETLEFSEN (D.): Die Entdeckung des germanischen Nordens im Altertum.
"Quellen u. Forsch. z. alten Gesch. u. Geographie." Hgb. v. W. Sieglin. H.
8. Berlin, 1904.


1870 DICUIL: De mensura orbis terræ, ed. Parthey. Berlin, 1870.

1890 DIODORUS SICULUS: Bibliotheca Historica. Ed. F. VOGEL. Leipzig, 1890.

1881 DOZY (R.): Recherches sur l'Histoire et Littérature de l'Espagne. 3.
éd. Paris, Leyde, 1881.

1836 EDRISI: Géographie d'Edrisi. Trad. par P. A. JAUBERT. "Recueil de
Voyages et de Mémories publ. p. l. Soc. de Géographie." V. Paris, 1836.

1866 EDRISI: Description de l'Afrique et de l'Espagne par Edrisi. Publ.
avec trad. par R. Dozy et M. J. de Goeje. Leyden, 1866.

1741 EGEDE (Hans): De gamle Grönlands nye Perlustration eller
Naturel-Historie. Kiöbenhafn, 1741.

1794 EGGERS (H. P.): Om Grönlands Österbygds sande Beliggenhed. "Det kgl.
danske Landhusholdnings Selskabs Skrifter." IV. Copenhagen, 1794.

1845 EINHARDI: Vita Caroli magni, ed. B. H. PERTZ. Hannover, 1845.

1891 EIRIKS Saga Rauda, og Flatöbogens Groenlendingaþáttr o. s. v. ved
Gustav Storm. "Samfund til Utg. af gammel nordisk Literatur," XXI.
Copenhagen, 1891.


1897 FABRICIUS (A.): Nordmannertogene til den Spanske Halvö. "Aarb. f.
Nord. Oldk. og Hist." 2. R. XII. Copenhagen, 1897.

1865 FAQÎH (Ibn al-): Kitâb al-buldân. Ed. M. J. de Goeje.
Lugduni-Batavorum, 1865.

1910 FERNALD (M. L.): Notes on the Plants of Wineland the Good. "Rhodora,"
Journal of the New England Botanical Club. XII. Boston, 1910.

1872 FISCHER (M. P.): Documents pour servir à l'Histoire de la Baleine des
Basques. "Ann. d. Sciences Nat. Zoologie." XV. Paris, 1872.

1886 FISCHER (Theobald): Beiträge zur Geschichte der Erdkunde und der
Kartographie in Italien im Mittelalter. Samml. Mittelalterl. Welt- und
Seekarten italienischen Ursprungs. F. Ongania. Venice, 1886.

1842-48 FORBIGER (Alb.): Handbuch der alten Geographie. I, 1842; II, 1844;
III, 1848. Leipzig.

1823 FRÄHN (C. M.): Ibn-Foszlan's und anderer Araber Berichte über die
Russen älterer Zeit. St. Petersburg, 1823.

1881 FRIIS (Peder Claussön): Samlede Skrifter, utg. av Gustav Storm.
Christiania, 1881.

1883 GEELMUYDEN (H.): De gamle Kalendere, særlig Islændernes. "Naturen,"
VII. Christiania, 1883.

1883a GEELMUYDEN (H.): Den förste Polarexpedition. "Naturen," VII.
Christiania, 1883.

1825 GEIJER (E. G.): Svea Rikes Häfder. I. Upsala, 1825.

1898 GEMINI Elementa Astronomiae. Ed. C. Manitius. Leipzig, 1898. (Greek,
with German transl.)

1895 GERLAND (G.): Zu Pytheas Nordlandsfahrt. "Beiträge zur Geophysik,"
II. Stuttgart, 1895.

1909 GJESSING (Helge): Runestenen fra Kensington. "Symra," V. Decorah,

1891 GOEJE (M. J. de): La légende de Saint Brandan. "Actes du Huitième
Congrès internat. des Orientalistes, 1889." Leiden, 1891.

1901-04 v. GRIENBERGER: Die nordischen Völker bei Jordanes. "Zeitschrift
für Deutschen Altertum." XLV, 1901, XLVII, 1904. Berlin.

1854 GRIMM (Jacob): Deutsche Rechtsalterthümer. 2. Ausg. Göttingen, 1854.

1875-78 GRIMM (J.): Deutsche Mythologie. 4. Ausg. I, 1875; II, 1876; III,
1878. Berlin.

1880 GRIMM (J): Geschichte der Deutschen Sprache. I. 4. Ausg. Leipzig,

1863 GRÖNDAL (B.): Folketro i Norden, "Ann. f. Nord. Oldk. o. Hist."
Copenhagen, 1863.

1838-45 "Grönlands Historiske Mindesmærker." Utg. af d. Kgl. Nordiske
Oldskrift-Selskab. Copenhagen, 1838-1845.

1889 GUDMUNDSSON (Valtýr): Privatboligen paa Island i Sagatiden; samt
delvis det övrige Norden. Copenhagen, 1889.

1884 GUICHOT Y SIERRA (Alejandro): Supersticiones populares, recojidas en
Andalucia y comparados con las Portuguesas. "Biblioteca de las tradiciones
populares Españolas." Madrid, 1884.

1889 GULDBERG (Gustav A.): En kort historisk Udsigt over Hvalfangsten i
ældre Tider. "Folkevennen." N. R. XIII. Christiania, 1889.

1890 GULDBERG (G. A.): Om Skandinavernes hvalfangst. "Nord. Tidsskrift."
Stockholm, 1890.

1894 GÜNTHER (S.): Adam von Bremen, der erste deutsche Geograph.
"Sitzungsberichte der Königlich böhmischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften
Phil. histor. Kl." 1894.

1850 HAKLUYT (Richard): Divers Voyages touching the Discovery of America
and its Islands Adjacent. Hakluyt Society. London, 1850.

1903 HAKLUYT (R.): The Principal Navigations, etc. Hakluyt Society.
Glasgow, 1903.

1907 HAMBERG (Axel): Om eskimaernes härkomst och Amerikas befolkande.
"Ymer," XXVII. Stockholm, 1907.

1855 HAMMERSHAIMB (V. U.): Færöiske Kvæder. 2. hefte. Copenhagen, 1855.

1891 HAMMERSHAIMB (V. U.): Færöisk Anthologi, I. Copenhagen, 1891.

1907 HANSEN (Andr. M.): Oldtidens Nordmænd Ophav og Besætning. "Gammel
Norsk Kultur i Tekst og Billeder," Norsk Folkemuseum. Christiania, 1901.

1908 HANSEN (A. M.): Om Helleristningerne. Foren. t. norske
Fortidsmindesmærkers Bevaring, Aarsbog. 1908.

1909 HANSEN (A. M.): Peder Claussön om Sjöfinnernes Sprog. "Maal og
Minne." Christiania, 1909.

1882 HARRISSE (Henry): Jean et Sebastian Cabot, leur origine et leurs
voyages, etc. "Recueil de voyages et de documents," etc. I. Paris, 1882.

1883 HARRISSE (H.): Les Corte-Real et leurs voyages au Nouveau-Monde.
"Rec. de voy. et de doc.," etc. III. Paris, 1883.

1892 HARRISSE (H.): The Discovery of North America. London, 1892.

1896 HARRISSE (H.): John Cabot the Discoverer of North America and
Sebastian his Son. London, 1896.

1900 HARRISSE (H.): Découverte et évolution cartographique de Terre-Neuve
et des Pays Circonvoisins, 1497-1501-1769. London, Paris, 1900.

1892-96 "Hauks bôk," utg. af det kgl. Nordiske Oldskrift-Selskab (ved
Finnur Jónsson). Copenhagen, 1892-96.

1904 HEFFERMEHL (A. V.): Presten Ivar Bodde o. s. v. Hist. Skrifter
tilegn. Prof. Ludvig Daae o. s. v. af Venner og Diciple. Christiania,

1878 HEIBERG (Jacob): Lappische Gräber-schädel. "Archiv for Math. og
Naturvid.," III. Christiania, 1878.

1905 HELLAND (Amund): Finmarkens Amt. "Norges Land og Folk," XX.
Christiania, 1905.

1908 HELLAND (A.): Nordlands Amt. "Norges Land og Folk," XVIII.
Christiania, 1908.

1893 HERGT (Gustav): Die Nordlandfahrt des Pytheas. Inaug.-Diss. Halle,

1901 HERRMANN (Paul): Erläuterungen zu den ersten neun Büchern der
Dänischen Geschichte des "Saxo Grammaticus," I. Leipzig, 1901.

1904 HERTZBERG (Ebbe): Nordboernes gamle Boldspil. Hist. Skrifter tilegn.
Prof. Ludwig Daae o. s. v. af Venner og Diciple. Christiania, 1904.

1880 "Historia Norwegiæ," see STORM, 1880.

1909 HOEGH (Knut): Om Kensington og Elbow Lake-stenene. "Symra," V.
Decorah, 1909.

1865 HOFMANN (Conrad): Ueber das Lebermeer. "Sitzungsber. d. königl.
bayer. Akad. d. Wissenschaften," II, 1. München, 1865.

1909 HOLAND (R. Hjalmar): Kensington-stenens sprog og runer. "Symra," V.
Decorah, 1909.

1883 HOLM (G. F.): Beskrivelse af Ruiner i Julianehaabs Distrikt, der er
undersögte i Aaret 1880. "Medd. om Grönland," VI. Copenhagen, 1883.

1894 HOLZ (Georg): Beiträge zur deutschen Altertumskunde. H. 1. Über die
Germanische Völkertafel des Ptolemaeus. Halle, 1894.

1870 HOMEYER (C. G.): Die Haus- und Hofmarken. Berlin, 1870.

1904 IRGENS (O.): Et Spörsmaal, vedkommende de gamle Nordmænds översöiske
fart. "Skrifter utg. av Bergens hist. Forening," Nr. 10. Bergen, 1904.

1888 "Islandske Annaler" indtil 1578. Udg. f. d. "Norske hist.
Kildeskriftfond" ved Gustav Storm. Christiania, 1888.

1891 JACOB (Georg): Welche Handelsartikel bezogen die Araber des
Mittelalters aus den nordisch-baltischen Ländern? 2. Ausg. Berlin, 1891.

1891a JACOB (G.): Die Waaren beim arabisch-nordischen Verkehr im
Mittelalter. Berlin, 1891.

1892 JACOB (G.): Studien in arabischen Geographen. IV. Berlin, 1892.

1896 JACOB (G.): Ein arabischer Berichterstatter aus dem 10. Jahrhundert
etc. Artikel aus Qazwînîs Athâr al-bilâd. 3. verm. u. verb. Aufl. Berlin,

1866 JACUT'S Geographisches Wörterbuch. Hgb. v. F. Wüstenfeld. Leipzig,

1898 1902 JAKOBSEN (Jakob): Færöiske Folkesagn og Æventyr. Copenhagen,

1901 JAKOBSEN (J.): Shetlandsöernes stednavne. "Aarb. f. nord. Oldk. o. s.
v." 1901.

1900 JANTZEN (Hermann): Saxo Grammaticus. Die ersten neun Bücher der
dänischen Geschichte, uebersetzt und erläutert. Berlin, 1900.

1892-96 JÓNSSON (Finnur), see "Hauks bôk."

1893 JÓNSSON (F.): En kort Udsigt over den Islandsk-Grönlandske Kolonis
Historie. "Nord. Tidsskrift." Stockholm, 1893.

1894 JÓNSSON (F.): Den oldnorske og oldislandske Litteraturs Historie. I,
1894; II 1. 1898; II 2, 1901. Copenhagen. 1901

1897 JÓNSSON (F.): Sigurdarkvida en Skamma. "Aarb. f. Nord. Oldk." o. s.
v. 2 R., XII. Copenhagen, 1897.

1899 JÓNSSON (F.): Grönlands gamle Topografi efter Kilderne. "Medd. om
Grönland," XX. Copenhagen, 1899.

1900 JÓNSSON (F.): Landnámabók. Copenhagen, 1900.

1882 JORDANIS Romana et Getica, rec. Th. Mommsen, "Monumenta Germaniae
Historica." Berolini, 1882.

1884 JORDANES Gothengeschichte. Übers. v. Wilhelm Martens. I. W.
Wattenbach: "Die Geschichtschreiber der deutschen Vorzeit. 6. Jahr." I.
Leipzig, 1884.

1879 JOYCE (P. W.): Old Celtic Romances. London, 1879.

1903 KÄHLER (Friedrich): Forschungen zu Pytheas' Nordlandsreisen.
Stadtgymnasium zu Halle a. S. Festschrift z. Begrüss. d. 47 Vers.
Deutscher Philologen u. Schulmänner im Halle. 1903.

1839 1868 KEYSER (R.): Om Nordmændenes Herkomst og Folkeslægtskab,
"Samlinger til det norske Folks Sprog og Historie," VI, 1839. Reprinted in
"Samlede Afhandlinger." Christiania, 1868.

1865 KHORDÂDHBEH (Ibn): Le Livre des Routes et des Provinces. Trad. par C.

1889 KHORDÂDHBEH (Ibn): Kitâb al-Masâlik wa'l-mamâlik, auctore Abn'l-Kâsim
... Ibn Khordâdhbeh, etc. "Bibliotheca Geographorum Arabicorum," ed. M. J.
de Goeje, VI. Lugduni-Batavorum, 1889.

1883 KOCH (John): Die Siebenschläferlegende, ihr Ursprung und ihre
Verbreitung. Leipzig, 1883.

1869 KOHL (J. G.): Die erste Deutsche Entdeckungsfahrt zum Nordpol.
"Peterm. geogr. Mitt.," 1869.

1880 KOHL (J. G.): Documentary History of the Discovery of the State of
Maine. "Maine Historical Soc. Collections." Portland, 1880.

1908 KOHLMANN (Phipp Wilhelm): Adam von Bremen. "Leipzigs Historische
Abhandlungen." X. Leipzig, 1908.

1908 KOHT (Halvdan): Om Haalogaland og Haalöyg-Ætten. "Hist. Tidsskrift,"
4. R. VI. Christiania, 1908.

1909 KOHT (H.): Sagnet om Hvítramannaland. "Hist. Tidsskrift," 4. R. VI.
Christiania, 1909.

1909 KRABBO (Hermann): Nordeuropa in der Vorstellung Adams von Bremen.
"Hansische Geschichtsblätter." Heft. 1. Leipzig, 1909.

1891 KRETSCHMER (Konrad): Marino Sanudo der Ältere und die Karten des
Petrus Vesconte. "Zeitschr. d. Gesellsch. f. Erdkunde z. Berlin." XXVI.

1891a KRETSCHMER (K.): Eine neue mittelalterliche Weltkarte der
vatikanischen Bibliothek. "Zeitschr. d. Gesellsc. f. Erdkunde z. Berlin,"
XXVI. 1891.

1892 KRETSCHMER (K.): Die Entdeckung Amerika's in ihre Bedeutung für die
Geschichte des Weltbildes. "Festschr. d. Gesellsch. f. Erdkunde z.
Berlin." 1892.

1897 KRETSCHMER (K.): Die Katalanische Weltkarte der Biblioteca Estense zu
Modena. "Zeitschr. d. Gesellsch. f. Erdkunde z. Berlin," XXXII. 1897.

1909 KRETSCHMER (K.): Die italienischen Portolane des Mittelalters.
Veröff. d. Instituts f. Meereskunde u. d. geogr. Instituts a. d.
Universität Berlin, XIII. 1909.

1859 KUNSTMANN (Fr.): Die Entdeckung Amerikas nach den ältesten Quellen
geschichtlich dargestellt. "Monum. saec. Kgl. Bayerischen Akad. d.
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1894 LAFFLER (L. Fr.): Om de Östskandinaviska Folknamnen hos Jordanes.
"Bidrag till Kännedom om de Svenska Landsmålen ock Svensk Folklif," XIII,
No. 9. Stockholm, 1894.

1907 LÄFFLER (L. Fr.): Anmärkningar till professor Sophus Bugges uppsats
"Om nordiske Folkenavne hos Jordanes." "Fornvännen," 1907. Stockholm.

1870 "LAGENIENSIS": Irish Folk Lore. Glasgow, 1870.

1881 LAMPROS (S. P.): Cananos Lascaris and Basileios Batatzes, two Greek
travellers of the 14th and 15th centuries. "Parnassos," V. Athens, 1881.
(In Greek.)

1888 LANCARBANENSI (Caradoco): Vita Gildae, in "Monumenta Germaniae
Historica," 4to. "Auctores antiguissimi," XIII, III: Chronica Minora, Sæc.
IV, V, VI, VII, ed. Th. Mommsen. Berolini, 1888.

1900 "Landnámabók" utg. av det kgl. nordiske Oldskrift-Selskab, ved Finnur
Jónsson. Copenhagen, 1900.

1838 LAPPENBERG (I. M.): Von den Quellen, Handschriften und Bearbeitungen
des Adam von Bremen. "Archiv. der Gesellsch. f. ältere deutsche
Geschichtskunde." VI. Hannover, 1838.

1876 LAPPENBERG, see Adam of Bremen.

1767 LEEM (Knud): Beskrivelse over Finmarkens Lapper. Copenhagen, 1767.

1852 LELEWEL (Joachim): Géographie du Moyen Âge. Breslau, 1852. Atlas,

1814 LETRONNE (A.): Recherches Géographiques et Critiques sur le livre de
Mensura Orbis Terræ, etc. par Dicuil. Paris, 1814.

1872 LIEBRECHT (Felix): Sanct Brandan. Ein lateinischer und drei deutsche
Texte. Herausg. von Schröder. "The Academy," III, 1872.

1689 LILLIENSKIOLD (Hans Hansen): Speculum boreale, 1689. MS. (No.
948-949) in the Thott Collection in the Royal Library at Copenhagen. Copy
in the collections of the Norwegian Historical MSS. Commission.

1897 LÖNBORG (Sven Erik): Adam af Bremen och hans skildring af Nordeuropas
Länder och Folk. Akad. Afh. Upsala, 1897.

1861 MAÇOUDI: Les Prairies d'or. Par C. Barbier de Meynard et Pavet de
Courteille. "Coll d'ouvr. orient. Soc. Asiatique." Paris, 1861.

1896 MAÇOUDI: Le livre de l'avertissement et de la revision. Par Carra de
Vaux. "Coll. d'ouvr. orient. Soc. Asiatique." Paris, 1896.

1883 MANDEVILLE (John): The Voiage and Travaile of Sir John Maundevile.
Ed. by J. O. Halliwell. London, 1883.

1893 MARKHAM (Clements R.): Pytheas, the Discoverer of Britain. "Geogr.
Journal," I. London, 1893.

1893 MARKHAM (C. R.): The Journal of Christopher Columbus and Documents
relating to the Voyages of John Cabot and Gaspar Corte Real. The Hakluyt
Society, LXXXVI. London, 1893.

1897 MARKHAM (C. R.): Fourth Centenary of the Voyage of John Cabot 1497.
"Geogr. Journal," IX. London, 1897.

1895 MARX (Friedrich): Aviens ora Maritima. "Rheinisches Museum für
Philologie," N. F. L. Frankfurt, 1895.

1901 1902 MATTHIAS (Franz): Über Pytheas von Massilia und die ältesten
Nachrichten von den Germanen. Wissensch. Beilage z. "Jahresbericht des
Königl. Luisengymnasiums zu Berlin." Programm No. 62, 1901: Programm No.
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1855 MAURER (Konrad): Die Bekehrung des Norwegischen Stammes zum
Christenthume. München, 1855.

1874 MAURER (K.): I. Grönland im Mittelalter. II. Grönlands
Wiederentdeckung. "Die zweite Deutsche Nordpolarfahrt," 1869-1870. I.
Leipzig, 1874.

1874a MAURER (K.): Island von seiner ersten Entdeckung etc. München, 1874.

1857 MEHREN (A. F.): Fremstilling af de Islamitiske Folks almindelige
geographiske Kundskaber, o. s. v. "Ann. f. nord. Oldk. o. Hist."
Copenhagen, 1857.

1874 MEHREN (A. F.): Manuel de la Cosmographie du Moyen Âge. Copenhague,

1902 MEISSNER (R.): Die Strengleikar. Halle a. S., 1902.

1822 MELA (Pomponius): Jordbeskrivelse. Ovs. a. J. H. Bredsdorff.
Copenhagen, 1822.

1895 METELKA (J.): O neznámêm dosud vydáni mapy Islandu Olaa Magna zr.
1548. "Sitzungsber. d. kgl. böhmischen Gesellsch. d. Wissensch., Cl. f.
Philos., Gesch. u. Philol." Jahrg. 1895. Prag, 1896.

1895-97 MEYER (Kuno) and NUTT (Alfred): The Voyage of Bran son of Febal to
the Land of the Living. I, 1895; II, 1897. London.

1853 MICHELSEN (A. L. J.): Die Hausmarke. Jena, 1853.

1895-98 MILLER (Konrad): Mappe mundi. Die ältesten Weltkarten, I-III,
1895; IV-V, 1896; VI, 1898. Stuttgart.

1892 MOGK (E.): Die Entdeckung Amerikas durch die Nordgermanen. "Mitt. d.
Vereins f. Erdkunde z. Leipzig." 1892.

1882 MOMMSEN (Th.), see JORDANES

1895 MOMMSEN (Th.), see SOLINUS.

1893 MUCH (Rudolf): Goten und Ingvaeonen. "Beitr. z. Gesch. d. Deutschen
Spr. u Lit." XVII. Halle, 1893.

1895 MUCH (R.): Germanische Völkernamen. "Zeitsch. f. Deutsches Altertum,"
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1895a MUCH (R.): "Alokiai Beitr. z. Gesch. d. Deutschen Spr. u. Lit.," XX.
Halle, 1895.

1905 MUCH (R.): Deutsche Stammeskunde. "Sammlung Göschen." Leipzig, 1905.

1870-1900 MÜLLENHOFF (Karl): Deutsche Altertumskunde. I, 1870; II, 1887;
III, 1892; IV, 1900. Berlin.

1889 MÜLLENHOFF (K.): Beovulf. Berlin, 1889.

1892 MÜLLENHOFF (K.): and SCHERER (W.): Denkmäler Deutscher Poesie und
Prosa. 3. Ausg. Berlin, 1892.

1909 MÜLLER (Sophus): De forhistoriske Tider i Europa. "Verdens Kulturen"
ved Aage Friis, II. Copenhagen, 1909.

1851 MUNCH (P. A.): Det norske Folks Historie. Christiania, 1851.

1852 MUNCH (P. A.): Geographiske Oplysninger om de i Sagaerne forekommende
skotske og irske Stedsnavne. "Ann. f. Nord. Oldk. o. Hist." Copenhagen

1860 MUNCH (P. A.): Chronica Regum Manniæ ed. Christiania, 1860.

1895 MURRAY (John): A Summary of the Scientific Results, etc. Historical
Introduction. "Challenger's Report," Summary, I. London, 1895.

1890 NANSEN (Fridtjof): På ski over Grönland, Christiania, 1890. (Engl.
transl.) "The First Crossing of Greenland," London, 1890.

1891 NANSEN (F.): Eskimoliv. Christiania, 1891. (Engl. transl., "Eskimo
Life," London, 1893.)

1905 NIELSEN (Yngvar): Nordmænd og Skrælinger i Vinland. "Hist.
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1892 NIESE (B.): Entwickelung der Homerischen Poesie. Berlin, 1882.

1837 NILSSON (Sven): Några Commentarier till Pytheas' fragmenter om Thule.
"Physiographiska Sällskapets Tidsskrift," I, 1837. Lund, 1837-1838.

1838 NILSSON (S.): Einige Bemerkungen zu Pytheas Nachrichten über Thule
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1862 1865 NILSSON (S.): Skandinaviske Nordens Ur-Invånare. Bronsålderen.
2. utg. Stockholm, 1862. Tillägg, 1865. In German translation: "Die
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1815 NOEL (S. B. J.): Histoire Generale des Pêches Anciennes et Modernes.
Paris, 1815.

1889 NORDENSKIÖLD (A. E.): Facsimile Atlas. Stockholm, 1889.

1892 NORDENSKIÖLD (A. E.): Bidrag til Nordens äldsta Kartografi. Utg. af
"Svenska Sällsk. f. Antr. o. Geogr." Stockholm, 1892.

1897 NORDENSKIÖLD (A. E.): Periplus. Stockholm, 1897.

1899 NYSTRÖM (J. F.): Geografiens och de Geografiska Upptäckternas
Historia, till Början af 1800-Talet. Stockholm, 1899.

1905 OLSEN (Magnus): Det gamle norske önavn Njarðarlog. "Forh. i Vid.
Selsk." Christiania, 1905.

1909 OLSEN (M.): Peder Claussön om Sjöfinnernes Sprog. "Maal og Minne."
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1878 PAULUS WARNEFRIDI: Historia Langobardorum. Ed. L. Bethmann et G.
Waitz. Script. Rer. Langob. et Italic. Saec. VI-IX. "Monumenta Germaniae
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1878 PESCHEL (Johannes): Das Märchen vom Schlaraffenlande. "Beitr. z.
Gesch. d. Deutschen Spr. u. Lit.," V. Halle, 1878.

1866 PLINII (C.) Secundi: Naturalis Historia. Rec. D. Detlefsen. Berolini,

1881 PLINIUS: Die Naturgeschichte des Cajus Plinius Secundus. Übs. v. G.
C. Wittstein. Leipzig, 1881.

1893 PLUTARCH: Moralia, ed. BERNARDABIS. V. Leipzig, 1893.

1753 PONTOPPIDAN (Erich): Det förste Forsög paa Norges Naturlige Historie.
Copenhagen, 1753.

1800 PORTHAN (H. G.), see King ALFRED.

1829 PROCOPIUS: Des Prokopius von Cäsarea Geschichte seiner Zeit; III og
IV, Gothische Denkwürdigkeiten. Ubers. von P. F. Kanngiesser. Greifswald,
1829 og 1831.

1905 PROCOPIUS: Procopii Caesariensis opera omnia. Recognovit Jacobus
Haury, Leipzig, 1905.

1838 PTOLEMAEUS (Claudius): Claudii Ptolemæi Geographiæ libri octo. Ed. F.
G. Wilberg. Essendiæ, 1838.

1907 PULLÈ (F. L.) and LONGHENA (M.): Illustrazione del Mappamondo
Catalano della Biblioteca Estense di Modena. "VI Congresso Geografico
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1848 QAZWÎNÎ: Zakarija b. Muhammed b. Mahmud el-Caswini's Kosmographie.
Hgb. von F. Wüstenfeld. Göttingen, 1848.

1893 QVIGSTAD (J. K.): Nordische Lehnwörter in Lappischen. "Forhandl. i
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1909 QVIGSTAD (J. K.): Peder Claussön om Sjöfinnernes Sprog. "Maal og
Minne." Christiania, 1909.

1837 RAFN (C. Chr.): Antiquitates Americanae. Copenhagen, 1837.

1900 RANISCH (Wilhelm): Die Gautreksaga. "Palaestra," XI. Berlin, 1900.

1815 RASK (R.), see King ALFRED.

1860 RAVENNA GEOGRAPHER: Ravennatis Anonymi Cosmographia et Guidonis
Geographican. Ed. M. Pinder et G. Parthey. Berolini, 1860.

1908 RAVENSTEIN (E. G.): Martin Behaim, his Life and his Globe. London,

1895 REEVES (Arthur Middleton): The Finding of Wineland the Good. London,

1892 REINACH (Salomon): L'étain celtique. "L'Anthropologie," III. Paris,

1852-57 RINK (H.): Grönland, geografisk og statistisk beskrevet.
Copenhagen, 1852-57.

1866 RINK (H.): Eskimoiske Eventyr og Sagn. Copenhagen, 1866.

1871 RINK (H.): Om Eskimoernes Herkomst. "Aarb. f. nord. Oldk. o. Hist."
Copenhagen, 1871.

1885 RINK (H.): Om de eskimoiske Dialekter som Bidrag til Bedömmelsen af
Spörgamaalet om Eskimoernes Herkomst og Vandringer. "Aarb. f. nord. Oldk.
o. Hist." Copenhagen, 1885.

RINK (H.): The Eskimo Dialects as serving to determine the Relationship
between the Eskimo Tribes. Anthrop. Inst. of Great Britain and Ireland,

1887 1891 RINK (H.): The Eskimo Tribes. "Medd. om Grönland," XI.
Copenhagen, 1887; and "Supplement" to XI. 1891.

1900 ROHDE (Erwin): Der Griechische Roman und seine Vorläufer. 2. Aufl.
Leipzig, 1900.

1892 RUGE (Sophus): Die Entdeckungs-Geschichte der Neuen Welt.
"Festschrift der Hamburgischen Amerika-Feier," I. Hamburg, 1892.

1892 RUGE (S.): Die Entwickelung der Kartographie von Amerika bis 1570.
"Peterm. geogr. Mitt." Erg. heft No. 106. Gotha, 1892.

1886 1790 RYDBERG (Viktor): Undersökningar i Germanisk Mythologi.
Stockholm, 1886. "Rymbegla" sive rudimentum compasti ecclesiatici veterum
islandorum. Ed. Stephanus Biörnonis. Havniæ, 1780.

1853 SAN-MARTHE: Die Sagen von Merlin. Halle, 1853.

1877 SARS (J. Ernst): Udsigt over den norske Historie. Christiania, I-IV,
1877 (2. utg.)--1891.


1873 SCHIERN (Frederik): Om Oprindelsen til Sagnet om de guldgravende
Myrer. Ovs. over det Kgl. Danske Vid.-Selsk. Forh. Copenhagen, 1873.

1888 SCHIRMER (Gustav): Zur Brendanus-Legende. Habilitationsschrift.
Leipzig, 1888.

1881 SCHLIEMANN (H.): Ilion. Leipzig, 1881.

1851 SCHOOLCRAFT (Henry R.): Historical and Statistical Information
respecting the History, Condition and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of
the United States. Philadelphia, 1851.

1901 SCHRADER (O.): Reallexikon der Indogermanischen Altertumskunde.
Strassburg, 1901.

1871 SCHRÖDER (Carl): Sanct Brandan. Erlangen, 1871.

1890 SCHUCHHARDT: Schliemanns Ausgrabungen im Lichte der heutigen
Wissenschaft. Leipzig, 1890.

1904 SCHULTZ-LORENTZEN: Eskimoernes Indvandring i Grönland. "Medd. om
Grönland," XXVI. Copenhagen, 1904.

1898 SCHWEIGER-LERCHENFELD (A. v.): Der Bernstein als Handelsartikel bei
den Alten. "Oesterr. Monatschrift für den Orient." Wien, 1898, No. 12,

1884 SCHWERIN (H. H. von): Herodots framställning af Europas Geografi.
Lund, 1884.

1905 SCHWERIN (H. H. von): De Geografiska Upptäckternas Historia.
Forntiden och Medeltiden. Stockholm, 1905.

1908 SCISCO (L. D.): The Tradition of Hvittramanna-land. "American
Historical Magazine," III. 1908.

1896 SEIPPEL (Alexander): Rerum Normannicarum fontes Arabici. Fasc. I.
Christiania, 1896. (In Arabic.)

1886 SERBILLOT (Paul): Légendes, croyances et superstitions de la Mer.
Paris, 1886.

1908-09 SIRET (Louis): Les Cassitérides et l'empire Colonial des
Phéniciens. "L'Anthropologie," XIX, 1908; XX, no. 2-4. Paris, 1909.

1899 SNORRE STURLASON: Kongesagaer oversat av G. Storm. Christiania, 1899.

1909 1910 SOLBERG (O.): Die Wohnplätze auf der Kjelminsel in Süd-Waranger.
"Vid. Selsk. Skr.," II, 1909, No. 7. Christiania, 1910.

1907 SOLBERG (O.): Beiträge zur Vorgeschichte der Ost-Eskimo. "Vid. Selsk.
Skr.," II, No. 2. Christiania, 1907.

1895 SOLINI (C. Julii): Collectanea rerum memorabilium, ed. Th. Mommsen.
Berolini, 1895.

1905 STEENSBY (H. P.): Om Eskimokulturens Oprindelse. Copenhagen, 1905.

1889 STEENSTRUP (Japetus): Nogle Bemerkninger om Ottar's Beretning til
Kong Alfred om Hvalros- og Hvalfangst i Nordhavet på hans Tid. "Hist.
Tidsskr.," 6. R. II. Copenhagen, 1889.

1876 STEENSTRUP (Johannes C. H. R.): Normannerne, I. Copenhagen, 1876.

1899 STEENSTRUP (K. I. V.): Om Österbygden. "Medd. om Grönland," IX.
Copenhagen, 1899.

1880 STORM (Gustav): "Monumenta Historica Norvegiæ." Latinske
Kildeskrifter til Norges Historie i Middelalderen, udgivne ved G. Storm.
Christiania, 1880.

1881 STORM (G.): see Peder Claussön FRIIS.

1886 STORM (G.): Om Betydningen av "Eyktarstadr" i Flatöbogens Beretning
om Vinlandsreiserne. "Arkiv. f. Nord. Filologi," III. Christiania, 1886.

1887 STORM (G.): Studier over Vinlandsreiserne, Vinlands Geografi og
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Copenhagen, 1888.

1888 1889 STORM (G.): Studies on the Vineland Voyages. Extracts from "Mém.
d. l. Soc. Royale d. Antiquaires du Nord," 1888. Copenhagen, 1889.

1888 STORM (G.): see "Islandske Annaler."

1888 STORM (G.): Om Kilderne til Lyschanders "Gröndlandske Cronica."
"Aarb. for Nord. Oldk. o. Hist." Copenhagen, 1888.

1888a STORM (G.): Om det i 1285 fra Island fundne "Nye Land." "Hist.
Tidsskr." 2. R. VI. Christiania, 1888.

1889 1891 STORM (G.): Den danske Geograf Claudius Clavus eller Nicolaus
Niger. "Ymer." Stockholm, 1889, 1891.

1890 STORM (G.): Ginnungagap. "Arkiv f. Nord. Filologi," VI. (N. F. II).
Lund, 1890.

1890a STORM (G.): Om Biskop Gisle Oddsöns Annaler. "Arkiv f. Nord.
Filologi," VI. (N. F. II). Lund. 1890.

1891 STORM (G.): see Eiriks Saga Rauða.

1892 STORM (G.): Nye Efterretninger om det gamle Gröland. "Hist.
Tidsskr.," 3. R. II. Christiania, 1892.

1893 STORM (G.): Columbus på Island og vore Forfædres Opdagelser i det
nordvestlige Atlanterhav. "Norske geogr. Selsk. Aarbog," IV. Christiania,

1894 STORM (G.): Om opdagelsen av "Nordkap" og veien til "det Hvite Hav."
"Norske geogr. Selsk. Aarbog." V. Christiania, 1893-94.

1895 STORM (G.): Utg. av Historisk-topografiske Skrifter om Norges og
norske Landsdele forfattede i Norge i det 16de Aarhundrede. Christiania,

1899 STORM (G.): Et brev til pave Nicolaus den 5te om Norges beliggenhet
og undre. "Norske geogr. Selsk. Aarbog," X. Christiania, 1899.

1899a STORM (G.): Erik den Rödes Saga eller Sagaen om Vinland, oversat.
Christiania, 1899.


1856 STRABO'S Erdbeschreibung, übs. v. A. Forbiger. Stuttgart, 1856-58.

1877 STRABONIS Geographica. Recogn. Aug. Meineke. Leipzig, 1877.

1776 STRÖM (G.): Beskrivelse over Söndmör. Soröe, 1776.

1910 SYDOW (C. W. von): Tors Färd till Utgård. "Danske Studier," 1910.

1870 TACITI (C. Cornelii): Agricola. Ovs. a. H. W. Ottesen. Christiania,

1881 TACITI (Cornelii): Germania. Erb. v. A. Baumstark. Leipzig, 1881.

1873 TACITUS (Cornelius): Germania Antiqva, etc. Ed. Karolus
Muellenhoffivs. Berolini, 1873.

1873 TACITUS (C.): Die Germania des Tacitus. Übs. v. Anton Baumstark.
Freiburg in Br., 1876.

1892 TARDUCCI (Francesco): Di Giovanni e Sebastiano Caboto. "R.
Deputazione Veneta di Storia Patria." Venezia, 1892.

1894 TARDUCCI (F.): H. Harrisse e la Fama di Sebastiano Caboto. "Revista
Storica Italiana," XI. fasc. IV. Torino, 1894.

1904 THALBITZER (William): A phonetical study of the Eskimo Language.
"Medd. om Grönland," XXXI. Copenhagen, 1904.

1905 THALBITZER (W.): Skrælingerne i Markland og Grönland, deres Sprog og
Nationalitet. "Overs. over Kgl. Danske Vid. Selsk. Forh.," No. 2.
Copenhagen, 1905.

1908-10 THALBITZER (W.): Bidrag til Eskimoernes Fortidshistorie. "Geogr.
Tidsskrift," XIX, 1908; XX, 1909-1910. Copenhagen.

1822 THEOPHRASTUS: Historia Plantarum. German transl. Naturgeschichte der
Gewächse, ed. R. Sprengel. Altona, 1822.

1882 THOMSEN (Vilhelm): Ryska Rikets Grundläggning genom Skandinaverna.
Ofvers. ved Sven Söderberg. "Ur Vår Tids Forskning," XXX. Stockholm, 1882.

1897 THORODDSEN (Th.): Geschichte der Isländischen Geographie, I, 1897;
II, 1898. Leipzig.

1889 TOMASCHEK (Wilhelm): Kritik der ältesten Nachrichten über den
skythischen Norden. "Sitzungsber. d. Philos.-Hist. Cl. d. R. Akad. d.
Wiss." Wien, CLXX, 1889.

1843 THUE (H. J.): Om Pytheas fra Marseille og hans Reiser til det
nordlige Europa. "Nor," II. Christiania, 1843.

1908 VANGENSTEN (Ove C. L.): Michel Beheims Reise til Danmark og Norge i
1450. "Vid.-Selsk. Skr.," 1908, II, No. 2. Christiania.

1910 VANGENSTEN (Ove C. L.): Middelalderens Norges-Karter. "Norske Geogr.
Selsk. Aarb.," 1910. Christiania.

1898 VAUX (Carra de): L'Abrégé des Merveilles, traduit de l'Arabe. Paris,

1856 VIGFÚSSON (Gudbrand): Safn til sǫgn Islands og Islenzkra Bókmenta að
fornu og nýju. Copenhagen, 1856.

1878 VIGFÚSSON (G.): Sturlunga saga. Oxford, 1878.

1844 WACKERNAGEL (Wilh.): Geographie des Mittelalters. "Zeitschr. f.
Deutsches Alterthum," IV. Leipzig, 1844.

1902 WALKENDORF (Erik): Finmarkens Beskrivelse. Utg. av K. H. Karlsson og
Gustav Storm. "Norske Geogr. Selsk. Aarb.," XII, 1900-1901. Christiania,

1833 WELCHER (F.G.): Die Homerischen Phäaken und die Inseln der Seligen.
"Rhenisches Museum für Philologie," I. Bonn, 1833.

1789 WIELAND (C. M.): Lucians von Samosata Sämtliche Werke, IV, Wahre
Geschichte. Leipzig, 1789.

1895 WIKLUND (K. B.): Om kvänerna och deras nationalitet. "Arkiv f. nord.
Filologi," XII. Lund, 1895.

1854 WUTTKE (H.): Cosmographia Aethici Istrici. Leipzig, 1854.

1837 ZEUSS (Kaspar): Die Deutschen und die Nachbarstämme. München, 1837.

1889 ZIMMER (Heinrich): Keltische Beiträge. "Zeitschr. f. Deutsches
Alterthum," XXXIII. Berlin, 1889.

1891 ZIMMER (H.): Über die frühesten Berührung der Iren mit den
Nordgermanen. "Sitzüngsber. der Berliner Akademie," 1891.

1893 ZIMMER (H.): Nennius Vindicatus. Über Entstehung, Geschichte und
Quellen der Historia Brittonum. Berlin, 1893.

1909 ZIMMER (H.): Über direkte Handelsverbindungen Westgalliens mit Irland
im Altertum und frühen Mittelalter. "Sitzüngsber. d. Kgl. Preussischen
Akad. d. Wissenschaften." Berlin, 1909.


  Aasen, I., i. 352; ii. 9

  Abalus, Island of, i. 70, 71, 72, 73, 118, 365

  Ablabius, i. 129, 142, 144, 155

  Abû Hâmid, ii. 145, 146

  Abyss, at the edge of the world, i. 12, 84, 157-9, 195, 199; ii. 150,
        154, 240

  Adam of Bremen, i. 21, 59, 84, 112, 135, 159, 179, 182, 183, 184-202,
        204, 206, 229, 252, 258, 303, 312, 353, 362, 363, 365, 367, 382-4;
        ii. 2, 11, 26, 29, 31, 32, 58, 63, 64, 65, 101, 143, 147-54, 165,
        168, 177, 192, 214, 224, 237, 238, 240, 243, 278, 284

  "Adogit," Northern people, i. 131-3, 143, 194

  Ææa, Isle of, i. 13

  Ælian, i. 12, 16, 17

  Æningia, i. 101, 104

  Æstii (_see_ Esthonians)

  Æthicus Istricus, i. 154-5, 187, 188

  "Ætternis stapi" (the tribal cliff), i. 18-9

  Africa, Supposed connection with Wineland, i. 326; ii. 1-2, 29, 61, 240,
        248, 280

  Agathemerus, i. 44

  Agricola, i. 107-8, 117

  Agrippa, i. 97, 106

  Ahlenius, K., i. 43, 93, 104, 112, 131

  Aithanarit, i. 144, 153, 154

  Alani, i. 188, 383

  Albertus Magnus, ii. 158, 163, 178, 234

  Albi, mappamundi at, ii. 183

  Albion (_see_ Britain), i. 38, 39, 117

  Aleutians, ii. 69, 71

  Alexander the Great, i. 19, 182, 363; ii. 57, 206, 207, 213

  Alexander VI., Pope, Letter from, on Greenland (1492-3), ii. 106, 121-2

  Alexander, Sir William, ii. 3

  Alfred, King, i. 104, 160, 169-81, 204, 252; ii. 156, 243

  Al-Gazâl, voyage to the land of the Magǵûs, ii. 200-2

  Algonkin tradition, ii. 7-8, 93;
    lacrosse among, ii. 40

  Alociæ, i. 118, 119, 132

  Amalcium (northern sea), i. 98-9, 105

  Amazons, i. 20, 87, 88, 112, 114, 150, 154, 159, 160, 186, 187, 189,
        198, 356, 383; ii. 64, 188, 197, 206, 209, 214

  Amber, i. 14, 19, 22, 23, 27, 31-4, 70, 71, 72, 96, 101, 106, 109-10;
        ii. 207

  Amdrup, Captain, i. 290

  America, discovered by the Norsemen, i. 234, 248, 312; ii. 22, 61, 63

  Ammianus Marcellinus, i. 44, 123

  Anaxagoras, i. 12

  Anaximander of Miletus, i. 11

  Anaximenes, i. 11, 128

  Angles, i. 180

  Anglo-Portuguese expeditions of 1501, ii. 331-2, 357;
    of 1502, ii. 332-4;
    of 1503, ii. 334-5;
    of 1504, ii. 335

  Angmagsalik, Greenland, i. 261, 263, 282, 290, 291; ii. 73

  "Anostos," The gulf, i. 17, 158; ii. 150, 240

  Ants, fabulous, i. 154, 336; ii. 197

  Apollo, worshipped among the Hyperboreans, i. 16, 18, 19

  Apollonius of Rhodes, i. 19, 44

  Appulus, Guillelmus, ii. 162

  Arabs, i. 362, 366; ii. 57;
    their trade with North Russia, ii. 143-7, 194;
    their culture, ii. 194-5;
    possible exchange of ideas with the Irish, ii. 207;
    Arab geographers, ii. 194-214

  Arab myths, i. 382; ii. 10, 51, 197, 206-8, 213-4;
    affinity to Irish, ii. 207

  Arctic, origin of the word, i. 8;
    Arctic Circle, i. 53, 55-7, 62, 76, 117

  Arctic Ocean, Voyages in, i. 287; ii. 177 (_see also_ Polar Sea)

  Are Frode (_Islendingabók_), i. 165-6, 201, 253-4, 257, 258-60, 312,
        313, 331, 332, 353, 354, 366, 367, 368; ii. 11, 16, 26, 58, 60,
        77-8, 82, 86, 91

  Are Mársson, voyage to Hvítramannaland, i. 331-2, 353-4, 377; ii. 42,
        43, 46, 50

  Argippæans, i. 23, 88, 114, 155

  Arimaspians, i. 16, 19, 98

  Arimphæi, i. 88; ii. 188

  Aristarchus of Samos, i. 47, 77

  Aristeas of Proconnesus, i. 19

  Aristotle, i. 28, 40, 41, 44, 76, 182; ii. 48, 194

  Arnbjörn Austman, lost in Greenland, i. 283

  Arngrim Jónsson, i. 263; ii. 79

  "Arochi" (or "Arothi"; _see_ Harudes), i. 136, 148

  Asbjörnsen, i. 381

  Askeladden, Tale of, i. 341

  Assaf Hebræus, ii. 200

  Assyria, supposed communication with the North, i. 35, 36

  "Astingi," or "Hazdingi" (Haddingjar, Hallinger), i. 104

  Athenæus, i. 46, 351

  _Atlamál en grœnlenzku_, i. 273

  Atlantic Ocean, i. 10, 39, 40, 77, 78, 252, 315, 316, 346; ii. 154, 293,
        307, 308

  Atlantis, i. 376; ii. 293

  Aubert, Karl, ii. 253

  "Augandzi," i. 136

  Austlid, Andreas, i. 340

  Avallon, Isle of, i. 72, 365-6, 379; ii. 20

  d'Avezac, M. P., i. 362; ii. 216, 290

  Avienus, Rufus Festus, i. 37-42, 68, 83, 123, 128, 130

  Aviones, i. 95, 118

  Ayala, Pedro de, adjunct to the Spanish Ambassador in London, ii. 295,
        297, 298, 299, 301, 310, 311, 324, 325-6

  Azores, discovered, ii. 292;
    expeditions from, ii. 293, 345, 346, 347

  "Bacallaos," name for Newfoundland, ii. 329, 337, 339

  Bacon, Roger, ii. 215, 249

  Baffin Land, i. 322, 323; ii. 41

  Baffin's Bay, i. 248, 250, 304, 305, 308, 309; ii. 41, 72

  Bahlûl, Ibn al-, ii. 197

  Balcia, Island of, i. 71, 72, 99, 100, 101, 185

  Balder, i. 372

  Baltic, amber from, i. 14, 22, 32, 34, 35, 96;
    ancient names for, and ideas of, i. 93, 99, 100, 105, 109, 121, 131,
        167, 169, 185; ii. 210, 211, 219;
    representation of in mediæval cartography, ii. 219, 224, 227, 257,
        269, 284, 286;
    overland communication with the Black Sea, i. 244; ii. 199

  Basilia, island, i. 70, 71, 99

  Basques, as whalers, ii. 159-62

  Bastarni (Bastarnæ), i. 111, 112, 113, 114

  Batûta, Ibn, ii. 144, 145

  Baumgartner, A., i. 193

  Baumstark, A., i. 113

  Baunonia, Island of, i. 70, 98

  Bavarian geographer, The, i. 167

  Bayeux tapestry, i. 239, 248, 249; ii. 237, 239

  Bears, Polar, i. 191, 192, 323; ii. 72, 112, 177, 191

  Beatus map, i. 198, 199; ii. 184, 185-6

  Beauvois, E., ii. 40, 90

  Beazley, C. R., ii. 215, 295

  Bede, i. 151, 184, 193, 194, 199; ii. 20, 156

  Behaim, Martin, ii. 86, 287-9, 359, 372

  Beheim, Michel, i. 226; ii. 85, 86, 111, 117, 144, 270

  Belcæ, or "Belgæ," i. 89, 92

  Benedikson, E., i. 59

  Beormas, i. 171, 173-5, 214, 218, 219, 222; ii. 135 (_see also_ Bjarmas)

  _Beowulf_, i. 234, 372

  Bérard, V., i. 348, 371, 379

  Bergen, ii. 80, 120, 122, 125, 157, 169, 178, 210, 220, 221, 222, 260,
        261, 264, 265, 266, 281, 286

  Berger, H., i. 11, 12, 43, 75

  "Bergos," island, i. 106, 107

  Bering Strait, i. 212, 223; ii. 68, 69, 84

  Berneker, Prof., ii. 175-6

  "Berricen" (or "Nerigon"), i. 53, 57-8, 106, 107

  Bethmann and Waitz, i. 139

  Bexell, ii. 56

  Bianco, Andrea, map of Europe (1436), ii. 267, 282

  Bible, The, i. 125, 126, 153, 184, 338, 358, 363; ii. 45, 46, 184, 185

  Birds, used to find position at sea, i. 250-1, 257, 318

  Bîrûnî, ii. 199, 200

  Bishops of Greenland, i. 273, 283; ii. 29, 30-1, 98-9, 106, 108, 113-4,
        121, 122, 134

  _Biskupa Sögur_, i. 284; ii. 8

  Bjarmas (_see also_ Beormas), ii. 135-40, 167

  Bjarmeland (Northern Russia), i. 173-5, 288; ii. 135-42, 154, 164, 165,
        166, 168, 172, 237, 268;
    "Farther Bjarmeland," ii. 165-6

  Bjarne Grimolfsson, Wineland voyager, i. 319, 320, 326, 329, 330; ii. 20

  Bjarne Herjulfsson, traditional discoverer of Wineland, i. 314, 317,
        334; ii. 21

  Bjarneyjar (Bear-islands), Greenland, i. 301, 302, 304, 321, 322, 323,
        335, 336

  Björn Breidvikingekjæmpe, i. 360; ii. 49-50, 53, 54, 56

  Björn Einarsson Jorsalafarer, ii. 82, 106, 112, 113

  Björn Jónsson of Skardsá (Annals of Greenland), i. 263, 282-3, 288, 292,
        295, 299, 301, 308, 309, 321, 377; ii. 35, 37, 82, 83, 239

  Björn Thorleifsson, shipwrecked in Greenland, ii. 82

  Björnbo, Dr. A. A., i. 200, 201, 202, 297; ii. 2, 31, 32, 116, 123, 127,
        132, 147, 154, 193, 220, 221, 223, 224, 225, 226, 233, 234, 240,
        249, 250, 253, 261, 262, 264, 273, 277, 278, 281, 283, 284, 287,
        289, 332, 353, 368, 369, 370, 374, 375

  Björnbo and Petersen, i. 226; ii. 85, 123, 124, 127, 219, 231, 234, 249,
        250, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 258, 262, 263, 267, 273, 275, 277,

  Bláserkr (Greenland), i. 267, 291-6

  Blom, O., ii. 8

  Boas, F., ii. 69, 70

  Boats of hides (coracles, &c.), in the Œstrymnides, i. 38, 39;
    Scythians, Saxons, &c., i. 154, 242;
    Greenlanders', i. 305;
    Irish, ii. 92;
    Skrælings', in Wineland, i. 327; ii. 10, 19;
    in Trondhjem cathedral, ii. 85, 89, 117, 269, 270;
    in Irish tales, i. 336; ii. 20;
    in Newfoundland (?), ii. 367;
    Eskimo, _see_ Kayaks _and_ Women's Boats

  Bobé, Louis, ii. 126

  Borderie, A. de la, i. 234

  Borgia mappamundi, ii. 284-5

  Bornholm, i. 169, 180; ii. 204, 265

  Bothnia, Gulf of, i. 169, 187; ii. 269;
    in mediæval cartography, ii. 219

  "Boti," i. 87

  Bran, Voyage of, i. 198, 354, 356, 365, 370; ii. 56

  Brandan, Legend of, i. 281-2, 334, 337, 344, 345, 358-364, 366, 376; ii.
        9, 10, 13, 18, 19, 43-5, 50, 51, 61, 64, 75, 151, 206, 214, 228-9,

  Brattalid, in Greenland, i. 268, 270, 271, 275, 317, 319, 320, 331

  Brauns, D., i. 377; ii. 56

  "Brazil," Isle of (Hy Breasail, O'Brazil, &c.), i. 3, 357, 379; ii. 30,
        228-30, 279, 294-5, 318;
    expeditions to find, ii. 294-5, 301, 325

  Breda, O. J., ii. 31

  Brenner, O., i. 58

  Brinck (_Descriptio Loufodiæ_), i. 378

  Bristol, trade with Iceland, ii. 119, 279, 293;
    Norwegians living at, ii. 119, 180;
    expeditions sent out from, ii. 294-5, 298, 301, 304, 325, 326, 327,
        330, 331

  Britain, i. 193, 234, 240, 241;
    visited by Pytheas, i. 49, 50-3;
    Cæsar on, i. 79-80;
    Mela on, i. 97;
    Pliny on, ii. 106;
    Ptolemy on, i. 117;
    in mediæval cartography, ii. 220, 227

  Brittany, cromlechs in, i. 22;
    tin in, i. 23, 26, 27, 29-31, 38-42

  Broch, Prof. Olaf, ii. 142, 175, 176

  Brögger, A. W., i. 14

  Brönlund, Jörgen, i. 2-3

  Bruun, D., i. 164, 270, 271, 274, 275

  Bugge, Prof. A., i. 136, 137, 138, 146, 163, 164, 166, 170, 173, 234,
        245, 246, 258, 297, 304; ii. 7, 55, 80, 168, 201

  Bugge, Sophus, i. 93, 94, 103, 132, 134, 135, 136, 138, 146, 148, 207,
        273; ii. 27, 28, 175

  Bulgarians of the Volga, ii. 142-5, 195, 200, 210

  Bunbury, E. H., i. 30, 107

  "Burgundians" (== Bornholmers ?), i. 169, 180

  Burrough, Stephen, ii. 173

  Cabot, John, i. 3, 115, 312; ii. 130, 295-330, 333, 343, 374, 377;
    settles at Bristol, ii. 297;
    voyage of 1496, ii. 299-301;
    voyage of 1497, ii. 301-23;
    voyage of 1498, ii. 311, 324-8, 349;
    his discovery premature, ii. 343

  Cabot, Sebastian, ii. 129, 130, 295-6, 299, 301-2, 308, 319, 326, 329,
        330, 332, 333, 336-43;
    reported voyage of 1508-9, ii. 336-40;
    doubtful voyage of 1516 or 1517, ii. 340-2;
    his credibility, ii. 296, 298, 303, 329, 338-40;
    map of 1544, attributed to, ii. 303, 309, 310, 314-5, 319-20

  Cæsar, C. Julius, i. 39, 40, 79-80, 92, 242

  Callegari, G. V., i. 43, 58, 59

  Callimachus, i. 375

  Callisthenes (Pseudo-), ii. 213, 234

  Calypso, i. 347, 355, 370; ii. 43

  "Cananei," i. 154-5

  Canary Isles, i. 117, 348-50, 362, 376; ii. 2

  Canerio map (1502-07), ii. 368

  Cannibalism, among the Irish, Scythians, Celts, Iberians, i. 81;
    Issedonians, i. 81;
    Massagetæ, i. 81, 148;
    in Scandinavia, i. 149

  Cantino, Alberto, his map of 1502, ii. 316, 350-1, 355, 361, 362, 364,
        365, 368-74;
    his letter of Oct. 1501, ii. 349-52, 360, 361, 362, 363, 367, 372

  Canto, Ernesto do, ii. 331

  Cape Breton, i. 324, 329, 335; ii. 309, 312, 314, 315, 316, 317, 319,
        321, 322;
    John Cabot's probable landfall in 1497, ii. 314-15

  Capella, Marcianus, i. 123, 126, 184, 188, 195, 197, 334

  Carignano, Giovanni da, compass-chart by, ii. 220-2, 227, 235

  "Carte Pisane," ii. 220

  Carthage, Sea-power of, i. 45, 75

  Caspian Sea, i. 10, 74, 76, 122; ii. 142, 183, 195, 197, 213

  Cassiodorus, i. 120, 128-30, 132, 137, 138, 142, 154, 155, 203

  Cassiterides, i. 23, 24, 25, 27-9, 89; ii. 47, 48

  Catalan Atlas, mappamundi of 1375, ii. 233, 266, 292

  Catalan compass-chart at Florence, ii. 231, 232-3, 235

  Catalan compass-chart (15th century) at Milan, ii. 279, 280

  Catalan sailors and cartographers (_see_ Compass-charts), ii. 217

  Catapult, used by the Skrælings, i. 327; ii. 6-8, 92

  Cattegat, The, i. 93, 100, 101, 102, 105, 169, 180

  "Cauo de Ynglaterra" on La Cosa's map, ii. 314-5, 317, 321-2;
    probably Cape Breton, ii. 314;
    or Cape Race (?), ii. 321-2

  Celts, i. 19, 41, 42, 68, 81, 208;
    early Celtic settlement of the Faroes, i. 162-4;
    of Iceland, i. 167, 258;
    possible Celtic population in Scandinavia, i. 210;
    mythology of the, i. 379

  Chaldeans, i. 8, 47

  Chancellor, Richard, ii. 135

  Chinese myths of fortunate isles, i. 377; ii. 213

  Christ, The White, ii. 44, 45, 46

  Christ, Wilhelm, i. 14, 37

  Christianity introduced in Iceland, i. 260, 332;
    introduced in Greenland, i. 270, 272, 357, 332, 380;
    decline of, in Greenland, ii. 38, 100-2, 106, 113, 121

  Christian IV. of Denmark, ii. 124, 178

  Christiern I. of Denmark, ii. 119, 125, 127, 128, 132, 133, 134, 345

  Chukches, i. 212

  Church, ii. 301

  Cimbri, i. 14, 21, 82, 85, 91, 94, 99, 100, 101, 118, 145

  Cimmerians, i. 13, 14, 21, 79, 145

  Circumnavigation, Idea of, i. 77, 79; ii. 271, 291-3, 296-7

  Clavering, ii. 73

  Clavus, Claudius, i. 226, 303; ii. 11, 17, 85, 86, 89, 117, 248-76, 284;
    his Nancy map and text, ii. 249, 250, 253, 255-69;
    his later map and Vienna text, ii. 250, 251, 252-3, 254, 265-76;
    his methods, ii. 252-3, 259-61;
    his influence on cartography, ii. 276-9, 335, 368, 369, 370, 371

  Cleomedes, i. 44, 52, 53, 55, 57, 134

  Codanovia, island, i. 91, 93-4, 103

  Codanus, bay, i. 90-5, 101, 102, 103, 105, 118

  Collett, Prof. R., i. 345; ii. 91

  Collinson, R., ii. 129

  Columbus, i. 3, 77, 79, 115, 116, 312, 376; ii. 291, 292, 293, 294, 295,
        296, 297, 300, 307, 310, 325

  Compass, Introduction of, i. 248; ii. 169, 214, 215-6;
    variation of, ii. 217, 307-8, 370-1

  Compass-charts, ii. 215-36, 265, 279, 280, 282, 308, 313;
    development of, ii. 215-8;
    limits of, ii. 218

  Congealed or curdled sea, beyond Thule, i. 65-9, 70, 100, 106, 121, 165,
        181, 195, 363, 376; ii. 149, 200, 231

  Connla the Fair, Tale of, i. 371

  Contarini, G., ii. 303, 336, 337, 338, 342, 343

  Converse, Harriet Maxwell, i. 377

  Cornwall, Tin in, i. 23, 29, 31

  Corte-Real, Gaspar, ii. 130, 328, 330, 331, 332, 347-53, 354, 357,
        358-66, 373;
    letters patent to (1500), ii. 347;
    voyage of 1500, ii. 360;
    voyage of 1501, ii. 347-53, 360-75;
    his fate, ii. 353, 375;
    his discoveries, ii. 354-5, 362, 364

  Corte-Real, João Vaz, unhistorical expedition attributed to, ii. 359

  Corte-Real, Miguel, ii. 353, 360, 361;
    letters patent to, ii. 353, 355, 376;
    voyage of 1502 or 1503, ii. 353, 376;
    probably reached Newfoundland, ii. 376;
    his fate, ii. 376

  Corte-Real, Vasqueanes, refused leave to search for his brothers, ii. 377

  Corte-Real, Vasqueanes IV., reported expedition of, in 1574, ii. 378

  Cosa, Juan de la, map by, ii. 302, 309-18, 321, 374;
    represents Cabot's discoveries of 1497, ii. 311-2

  Cosmas Indicopleustes, i. 126, 127, 128; ii. 183

  Costa, B. T. de, ii. 129, 214

  "Cottoniana" mappamundi, i. 180, 182, 183; ii. 192-3, 208, 220, 284

  Cottonian Chronicle, ii. 303, 324, 326

  Crassus, Publius, visits the Cassiterides, i. 27

  Crates of Mallus, i. 44, 78-9

  Croker, T. Crofton, i. 379

  Cromlechs, Distribution of, i. 22, 239

  Cronium, Mare, i. 65, 100, 106, 121, 182, 363, 376

  Crops, in Thule, i. 63;
    in Britain, i. 63;
    in Greenland, i. 277

  Cuno, J. G., i. 59

  Cwên-sæ̂, i. 169

  Cyclopes, i. 189, 196; ii. 10, 147, 148, 238

  Cylipenus, i. 101, 104, 105

  Cynocephali, i. 154-5, 159, 187, 189, 198, 383

  _Cystophora cristata_ (bladder-nose seal), i. 276, 286

  Daae, L., i. 226; ii. 125, 129

  Dalorto (or Dulcert), Angellino, ii. 226-30;
    his map of 1325, ii. 177, 219, 226, 229, 235, 236;
    his map of 1339 (Dulcert), ii. 229, 230, 235, 265, 266

  Damastes of Sigeum, i. 16

  Danes, i. 94, 121, 136, 139, 142, 143, 145, 146, 153, 167, 169, 180,
        188, 245; ii. 115, 161

  Darkness, Sea of, i. 40-1, 192, 195, 199, 363, 382; ii. 149, 204, 206,

  Dauciones, i. 120, 121

  Davis Strait, i. 269

  Dawson, S. E., ii. 295, 307, 319, 321

  Debes, Lucas, i. 375

  Delisle, L., ii. 161

  Delos, i. 375

  Delphi, i. 18, 19

  Democritus, i. 127

  Denmark, i. 82, 94, 180, 185, 234; ii. 179, 201, 204, 205, 208, 237;
    called "Dacia" on mediæval maps, ii. 188, 190, 222, 225;
    representation of, in mediæval cartography, ii. 219, 225, 235, 250, 286

  Denys, Nicolas, ii. 3

  Desimoni, C., ii. 325

  Deslien's map of 1541, ii. 322

  Detlefsen, D., i. 43, 70, 71, 72, 83, 84, 85, 93, 97, 99, 102, 119

  Dicæarchus, i. 44, 73

  Dicuil, i. 58, 160, 162-7, 252, 362; ii. 43, 51, 229

  Dihya, Ibn, ii. 200-1, 209

  Dimashqî, ii. 212-3

  Diodorus Siculus, i. 23, 29-30, 44, 50, 51, 52, 58, 63, 71, 80, 87, 90,
        346; ii. 48

  Dionysius Periegetes, i. 114-5, 123, 356; ii. 47, 48, 192

  Dipylon vases, i. 236-7

  Disappearing (fairy) islands, i. 370, 378-9; ii. 213

  Disc, Doctrine of the earth as a, i. 8, 12, 126, 127, 153, 198; ii. 182

  Disco Bay, Greenland, i. 298, 300, 301, 302, 306, 307; ii. 72

  "Dœgr" (== half a 24 hours' day), used as a measure of distance, i. 287,
        310, 322, 335; ii. 166, 169, 170, 171

  Dogs as draught-animals, ii. 69, 72, 145, 146

  Down Islands (Duneyiar), i. 285, 286

  Dozy, R., ii. 55, 200, 201

  Dozy and de Goeje, ii. 51, 204

  Drapers' Company, Protest of, against Sebastian Cabot, ii. 302, 330,
        338, 342

  _Draumkvæde_, i. 367, 381

  Driftwood, in Greenland, i. 299, 305, 307, 308; ii. 37, 96

  Drusus (The elder Germanicus), i. 83

  "Dumna," island, i. 106, 117; ii. 257

  Dumont d'Urville, i. 376

  Dvina, river, i. 173, 174, 222; ii. 135, 136, 137, 142, 146, 164, 176

  Eastern Settlement of Greenland, i. 263, 265, 267, 271, 272, 274, 275,
        276, 296, 301, 302, 307, 310, 311, 321; ii. 71, 82, 90, 107, 108,
        112, 116;
    decline of, ii. 95-100, 102

  Ebstorf map, i. 102, 191; ii. 187

  Edda, The older (poetic), i. 273

  Edda, the younger (_Snorra-Edda_), i. 273, 298, 304, 342, 364

  Eden, Richard, ii. 341

  Edrisi, i. 182, 382; ii. 51-53, 202-8, 209, 210, 216;
    his map, ii. 192, 203, 208, 220, 284

  Egede, Hans, ii. 40, 41, 74, 101, 104, 105, 106

  Egil Skallagrimsson's Saga, i. 175, 218

  Egyptian myths, i. 347

  Einar Sokkason, i. 283, 294

  Einar Thorgeirsson, lost in Greenland, i. 284

  Einhard, i. 167, 179, 180, 185

  Elk (_achlis_), i. 105, 191

  _Elymus arenarius_ (lyme-grass), ii. 5

  Elysian Fields, i. 347, 349, 351

  Empedocles, i. 12, 127

  England (_see_ Britain), Arab geographers on, ii. 204, 211;
    maritime enterprise of, ii. 180, 294-5, 343;
    in mediæval cartography, ii. 218

  English State document (1575) on North-West Passage, ii. 129-30, 132

  "Engronelant," ii. 277, 279, 373

  d'Enjoy, Paul, i. 377

  Eratosthenes of Cyrene, i. 20, 29, 44, 47, 52, 55, 61, 73, 75-7, 78, 82,
        115; ii. 292

  Eric Blood-Axe, ii. 136

  Eric of Pomerania, ii. 118, 119

  Eric the Red, i. 252, 256, 259, 262, 280, 288, 293, 318-21, 324, 330,
        337, 344, 368; ii. 22, 77, 88;
    discovers Greenland, i. 260, 263, 266-70

  Eric the Red, Saga of, i. 260, 266, 273, 291, 292, 293, 296, 310, 313,
        314, 318, 322, 331, 332-5, 337, 338, 342, 343, 367, 382; ii. 4, 6,
        8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 22, 23, 24, 42, 43, 50, 59, 61, 89, 91, 206;
    its value as a historical document, ii. 62

  Eric's fjord (Greenland), i. 267, 268, 271, 275, 317, 318, 319, 321; ii.

  Eric Upsi, bishop of Greenland, ii. 29-31

  Eridanus, river, i. 31, 32, 34, 42

  Eruli, i. 21, 94, 136, 137-8, 139-49, 153, 235, 245

  Erythea, i. 9

  Erythræan Sea, i. 10

  Eskimo, i. 19, 51, 150, 212, 215, 216, 223, 231-2, 260, 298, 306, 307,
        308, 309, 310, 368; ii. 10, 12, 16, 17, 19, 66-94, 102-6, 107,
        111-2, 113-6, 333, 366-7;
    fairy-tales and legends of, ii. 8, 105, 115;
    ball-game among, ii. 40-1;
    distribution of, ii. 66-74;
    racial characteristics of, ii. 67-8;
    their culture, ii. 68-9, 91-2;
    Norse settlers absorbed by, ii. 100, 102-105, 106, 107-11, 117;
    unwarlike nature of, ii. 114, 115-6

  Esthonians (Æstii, Osti), Esthonia, i. 69, 72, 104, 109, 131, 167, 169,
        170, 181, 186; ii. 205

  "Estotiland," fictitious northern country, ii. 131

  Eudoxus, i. 46

  _Eyrbyggja-saga_, i. 313, 376; ii. 42, 46, 48, 50

  Fabricius, A., ii. 55

  Fabyan, Robert, Chronicle (quoted by Hakluyt), ii. 303, 324, 326, 333

  Fadhlân, Ibn, ii. 143

  Fairies, Names for, i. 372-3

  Fairylands, Irish, i. 357, 370-1, 379; ii. 60;
    Norwegian, i. 369-70, 378; ii. 60, 213;
    laudatory names for, i. 374;
    characteristics of, i. 375-9; ii. 213-4

  Faqîh, Ibn al-, ii. 197

  Farewell, Cape, i. 261, 267, 280, 282, 284, 288, 291, 295, 307, 316; ii.

  Faroes, The, i. 254, 255, 257, 316, 324, 362; ii. 51, 229, 262;
    discovered by the Irish, i. 162-4, 233;
    Irish monks expelled from, i. 252, 253;
    early Celtic population in, i. 164, 253

  Felix, The monk, in mediæval legend, i. 381

  Fenni (Finns), i. 109, 112, 113, 114, 120, 149, 203

  Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, letter from, ii. 300

  Fernald, M. L., ii. 3, 5-6

  Fernandez, João (called "Lavorador"), ii. 331-2, 356;
    letters patent to (1499), ii. 346, 356;
    probably sighted Greenland (1500), ii. 356, 357, 375;
    took part in Bristol expedition (1501), ii. 331, 356, 357;
    Greenland (Labrador) named after him, ii. 358

  Filastre, Cardinal, ii. 249-50, 278

  Finland (_see_ Kvænland), i. 206, 209, 210, 214;
    the name confused with Vinland, i. 198, 382; ii. 31, 191;
    and with Finmark, i. 382; ii. 191, 205;
    in mediæval cartography, ii. 224

  Finmark, i. 61, 173, 175, 177, 191, 198, 204, 210, 213, 220, 222, 225;
        ii. 86, 141, 163, 164, 172, 178, 179, 205, 211, 237;
    the name confused with Finland, i. 382; ii. 32, 191, 205;
    in mediæval cartography, ii. 221

  "Finn," The name, i. 198, 205-7, 210

  "Finnaithæ" (Finnédi, Finvedi) (_see_ Finns), i. 135, 137, 189, 198,
        203, 204, 206, 382

  Finn mac Cumhaill, i. 363; ii. 45

  Finns, i. 109, 112, 113, 114, 120, 135, 136, 137, 149, 171, 173-8, 189,
        198, 203-32, 382; ii. 68, 143;
    Horned Finns, ii. 167

  "Finns," in southern Scandinavia, i. 103, 203, 205, 206-11; ii. 159

  Finn's booths (_Finnsbuðir_), in Greenland, i. 283, 296, 305

  "Finnur hinn Friði," Faroese lay of, ii. 33-4

  Fisher, J., ii. 33, 121, 229, 249, 276, 277, 278, 279, 281

  Fischer, M. P., ii. 161

  Fischer, Theobald, ii. 216, 220, 230, 234

  Fishing Lapps, i. 204, 205, 207, 218, 221, 223-32

  _Flateyjarbók_, i. 254, 283, 313, 304, 317, 318, 324, 329, 331, 334,
        338, 340, 343, 344, 359, 360; ii. 4, 14, 15, 18, 21, 22, 23, 25,
        59, 61

  Fletcher, Giles, i. 226

  _Floamanna-Saga_, i. 280, 281; ii. 46, 81

  Floating islands, Legends of, i. 375-7; ii. 213-4

  Floki Vilgerdarson, sails to Iceland, i. 255, 257, 269

  Florus, L. Annæus, i. 350

  Forbiger, A., i. 58, 102

  Forster, i. 179

  Fortunate Isles (_Insulæ Fortunatæ_), i. 117, 198, 334, 345-53, 367,
        370, 372, 373, 382-4; ii. 1-6, 24, 31, 42, 55, 59-61, 64, 191,
        228, 280, 304

  Fortunate Lake, Irish myth of, ii. 229-30

  _Foster-Brothers' Saga_, i. 276, 320; ii. 9, 18

  Frähn, C. M., ii. 143, 145

  Franks Casket, The, i. 176

  Freydis, daughter of Eric the Red, i. 320, 328, 332, 333; ii. 11, 51

  Friesland, Frisians, i. 95, 153, 205

  Friis, J. A., i. 372

  Friis, Peder Claussön, i. 224, 227-9, 232, 369; ii. 153, 158, 178, 268

  Frisian noblemen's polar expedition, i. 195-6, 200, 383; ii. 147-8

  Frisius, Gemma, ii. 129, 132

  Frisland, fabulous island south of Iceland, i. 377; ii. 131

  Fritzner, ii. 9

  Furðustrandir, i. 273, 312, 313, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326, 334, 336, 337,
        339, 357; ii. 24, 36

  Fyldeholm (island of drinking), i. 352

  Gadir (Gadeira, Gades, Cadiz), i. 24, 27, 28, 30, 36, 37, 66, 79

  Galvano, Antonio, ii. 336, 337, 338, 354, 364, 376

  Gandvik (the White Sea), i. 218-9, 228; ii. 136-8, 164, 223, 237, 239

  Gardar, discoverer of Iceland, i. 255-7, 263

  Garðar, Greenland, i. 272, 273, 275, 311; ii. 106, 107, 108, 121, 122

  "Gautigoth" (_see_ Goths), i. 135

  _Gautrek's Saga_, i. 18-9

  Geelmuyden, Prof. H., i. 52, 54, 311; ii. 23

  Geijer, E. G., i. 60, 102, 111, 131, 205, 207

  Gellir Thorkelsson, i. 366

  Genoese mappamundi (1447 or 1457), ii. 278, 286, 287

  Geminus of Rhodes, i. 43, 44, 53, 54, 57, 63, 64

  _Geographia Universalis_, i. 382; ii. 32, 177, 188-91, 220, 227, 339

  Gepidæ, i. 139, 142, 153

  Gerfalcons, Island or land of, ii. 208, 227, 266, 289

  Germania, i. 69, 71, 73, 87, 90, 95, 101, 108-14, 154, 169;
    Roman campaigns in, i. 81, 83, 85, 97

  Germanicus, The younger, i. 83

  Germanus, Nicolaus, ii. 251, 276-9, 288, 290, 373

  Germany, coast of, in mediæval cartography, ii. 219, 257

  _Gesta Francorum_, i. 234

  Gilbert, Sir Humphrey, ii. 340

  Gildas, i. 234, 364

  Ginnungagap, i. 12, 84, 158; ii. 35, 150, 154, 239-41

  Giraldus Cambrensis, i. 379; ii. 151, 220, 245

  Gisle Oddsson's Annals, ii. 82, 100-2, 109

  Gissur Einarsson, Bishop, i. 285

  Gjessing, H., ii. 31

  Glæsaria, island, i. 101, 106

  Glastonbury, Legend of sow at, i. 378-9

  "Gli," mythical island, i. 364

  Globes, used by the Greeks, i. 78;
    introduced by Toscanelli, ii. 287;
    Behaim's, ii. 287-9;
    Laon globe, ii. 290;
    used by Columbus, ii. 287;
    and Cabot, ii. 304, 306

  Gnomon, The, i. 11, 45-6

  Godthaab, Greenland, i. 271, 304, 307, 321; ii. 73, 74

  Goe, month of, i. 264, 265

  Goeje, M. de, i. 344, 362; ii. 51, 194, 197, 198

  Goes, Damiam de, ii. 354, 366, 376, 377

  Gokstad ship, i. 246

  Gomara, Francesco Lopez de, ii. 129, 130, 131, 336, 337, 354, 364

  _Gongu-Rólv's kvæði_, i. 356

  Göta river, i. 131; ii. 190, 205

  Göter (Gauter), i. 120, 135, 141, 144, 147; ii. 190

  Goths (Gytoni, Gythones, Getæ), i. 14, 21, 71, 120, 129, 130, 135, 137,
        139, 145, 147, 153; ii. 143, 190

  Gotland, i. 121, 180, 378; ii. 125, 237;
    in mediæval cartography, ii. 219, 221, 224, 233, 265

  Gourmont, Hieronymus, map of Iceland, ii. 122-3, 127

  Graah, Captain, i. 297; ii. 104

  Grail, Legends of the, i. 382

  Grampus, i. 50-1

  Granii, i. 136

  Grape Island (_Insula Uvarum_), i. 358, 361, 363, 365, 366

  Greenland, i. 184, 192, 194, 197, 199, 200, 201, 215, 223, 252, 315-21,
        322; ii. 1, 5, 12, 25, 36, 38, 40-2, 66-94, 95-134, 167, 169, 177,
        244, 345, 366;
    Eskimo of, ii. 71-5;
    discovered and settled by Norwegians, i. 258-78;
    estimated population of settlements, i. 272;
    conditions of life in i. 274-8, 319; ii. 96-7;
    voyages along the coasts of, i. 279-311;
    glaciers (inland ice) of, i. 288-95, 301, 308; ii. 246-7;
    decline of Norse settlements in, ii. 90, 95-100;
    last voyage to (from Norway), ii. 117;
    last ship from, ii. 118;
    geographical ideas of, ii. 237-40, 246-8, 254-5, 259-62, 270-6, 278,
        279, 280;
    east coast of, i. 271-2, 279-96, 308; ii. 168, 170, 171, 238;
    uninhabited parts (_ubygder_) of, i. 279-311, 320, 321; ii. 28, 166,
    sixteenth-century discovery of, ii. 315, 332, 335, 352, 363, 364, 375;
    called Labrador, ii. 129, 132, 133, 315, 335, 353;
    in sixteenth-century maps, ii. 368-75

  Gregory of Tours i. 234

  "Greipar," in Greenland, i. 298, 299, 300-1, 304

  _Grettis-saga_, i. 313, 367

  Griffins, i. 19, 254; ii. 263

  Grim Kamban, i. 253

  Grimm, J., i. 18, 94, 95, 355, 372; ii. 45, 56

  Grimm, W., i. 373

  Grip, Carsten, letter to Christiern III., ii. 126-8

  _Gripla_, i. 288; ii. 35-6, 237, 239, 241

  Gröndal, B., i. 371, 375

  _Grönlands historiske Mindesmærker_, i. 262, 263, 271, 281, 282, 283,
        284, 285, 288, 292, 294, 295, 296, 297, 298, 299, 300, 301, 302,
        304, 305, 311, 333, 359, 377; ii. 1, 9, 14, 17, 22, 25, 31, 35,
        46, 79, 82, 86, 100, 102, 106, 108, 112, 113, 117, 119, 120, 125,
        127, 172, 237, 278

  _Grönlendinga-þáttr_ (_see_ Flateyjarbók)

  Groth, Th., ii. 103

  _Grottasongr_, i. 159

  Gudleif' Gudlaugsson, story of his voyage, ii. 49-50, 53-4;
    compared with Leif Ericson, ii. 50-1

  Gudmund Arason's Saga, i. 284

  Gudmundsson, Jón, map by, ii. 34, 241

  Gudmundsson, V., ii. 25

  Gudrid, wife of Karlsevne, i. 318, 319, 320, 321, 329, 330, 333; ii.
        14-5, 51

  Guichot y Sierra, A., i. 376

  Gulathings Law, ii. 140

  Gulf Stream, i. 251; ii. 54

  Gunnbjörnskerries, i. 256, 261-4, 267, 280; ii. 276

  Gunnbjörn Ulfsson, i. 256, 261-4, 267, 280, 296

  Gustafson, Prof. G., i. 237, 240

  Gutæ, i. 120

  _Guta-saga_, i. 378

  Gutones (_see_ Goths), i. 70, 71, 72, 72, 93

  Gytoni (_see_ Goths), i. 71

  Hægstad, Prof. M., ii. 242

  Hægstad and Torp (_Gamal-norsk Ordbog_), ii. 9

  Hæmodæ ("Acmodæ," "Hæcmodæ"), i. 90, 106

  "Hafsbotn" (the Polar Sea), i. 283, 303; ii. 137, 151, 165, 166, 167,
        168, 171, 172, 237, 240

  Hakluyt. R., i. 226; ii. 129, 132, 152, 261, 319, 321, 326, 333

  Håkon Håkonsson's Saga, i. 299; ii. 139, 141

  _Halichoerus grypus_ (grey seal), i. 217; ii. 91, 155

  Halli Geit, Tale of, ii. 239

  Hallinger, i. 104, 247

  Hallstatt, i. 24, 36

  Hâlogaland (Hålogaland, Hâlogi, Halgoland, Halagland, Halogia,
        Helgeland), i. 61, 62, 64, 132, 135, 138, 175, 179, 194, 197, 200,
        231, 247, 264, 381, 383; ii. 64, 137, 139, 140, 142, 165, 168,
    in mediæval cartography, ii. 227, 236

  Halsingia, or Alsingia, i. 104

  Hamberg, Axel, ii. 69

  Hammershaimb, V. U., i. 356, 375; ii. 33

  Hamy, ii. 220, 223, 229, 230, 234

  Hanno, i. 37, 88, 350; ii. 45

  Hans (John), king of Denmark, ii. 125, 128

  Hanseatic League, ii. 99, 119, 125, 179, 218

  Hansen, Dr. A. M., i. 149, 192, 206, 207, 208, 218, 221, 222, 228, 229,
        230, 236-7, 239

  Harold Fairhair, i. 253-4, 255, 258

  Harold Gråfeld, ii. 136, 153, 154

  Harold Hardråde, i. 185, 195, 201, 283, 383; ii. 147, 199;
    his voyage in the Polar Sea, i. 195; ii. 148-54

  Harpoons, i. 214-7, 277; ii. 145-6, 156-63

  Harrisse, Henry, ii. 132, 230, 293, 294, 295, 296, 297, 300, 302, 303,
        304, 305, 309, 314, 315, 319, 320, 326, 327, 329, 331, 332, 333,
        334, 336, 341, 347, 348, 349, 353, 358, 359, 360, 365, 374

  Harudes (Charydes, Charudes, Horder), i. 85, 118, 136, 143, 148, 246

  _Hauksbók_, i. 188, 251, 256, 257, 261, 262, 264, 268, 286, 291, 293,
        308, 309, 322, 327, 331, 333, 353, 367, 369; ii. 10, 11, 166, 169,
        172, 216, 261

  Hebrides (Ebudes, Hebudes), i. 57, 90, 106, 117, 123, 158, 159, 160,
        161, 234, 273, 316; ii. 151, 200

  Hecatæus of Abdera, i. 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 98

  Heffermehl, A. V., ii. 242

  Heiberg, Prof. J., i. 219, 220

  _Heimskringla_, i. 270, 313, 331; ii. 59, 137, 171, 239

  Heiner, i. 138

  Heinrich of Mainz, map by, ii. 185, 187

  Helge Bograngsson, killed in Bjarmeland, ii. 139-40

  Heligoland, i. 197

  Helland, A., i. 226, 231, 369, 372, 373, 378, 381; ii. 46, 152, 177, 228

  Helluland, i. 312, 313, 322, 323, 334, 336, 357; ii. 1, 23, 35-6, 61, 237

  Helm, O., i. 14

  Helsingland, Helsingers, i. 189; ii. 237

  Henry V. of England, ii. 119

  Henry VI. of England, ii. 119

  Henry VII. of England, ii. 130, 298, 299, 302, 303, 322, 324, 326, 327,
        331, 332, 333, 334, 337, 338, 340

  Henry VIII. of England, ii. 319, 330, 334, 338, 341, 342, 343

  Heraclitus, i. 12

  "Herbrestr" (war-crash), ii. 8-9

  Hereford map, i. 91, 92, 102, 154, 157, 190; ii. 186, 187

  Hergt, G., i. 43, 51, 60, 65, 66, 67, 71, 72

  Herla, mythical king of Britain, ii. 76

  Hermiones, i. 91, 104

  Hermits, in Irish legends, ii. 19, 43-6, 50

  Herodotus, i. 9, 12, 20, 23, 24, 27, 31-2, 46, 76, 78, 81, 88, 114, 148,
        155, 156, 161, 187

  Hertzberg, Ebbe, ii. 38, 39, 40, 61, 93

  Hesiod, i. 9, 11, 18, 42, 84, 348

  Hesperides, i. 9, 161, 334, 345, 376; ii. 2, 61

  Heyman, i. 342; ii. 8

  Hielmqvist, Th., i. 381

  Hieronymus, i. 151, 154

  Higden, Ranulph (_Polychronicon_), i. 346, 382; ii. 31-2, 288-92, 220;
    his mappamundi, ii. 188, 189, 192

  Hilleviones, i. 101, 104, 121

  Himilco's voyage, i. 29, 36-41, 68, 83

  Himinrað (Hunenrioth, &c.), mountain in Greenland, i. 302-4; ii. 108

  Hipparchus, i. 44, 47, 52, 56, 57, 73, 77-8, 87, 116; ii. 197

  Hippocrates, i. 13, 88

  Hippopods, i. 91

  Hirri, i. 101

  _Historia Norwegiæ_, i. 204, 229, 252, 255, 256, 257, 298; ii. 1, 2, 17,
        29, 61, 79, 87, 88, 135, 151, 167, 168, 172, 222, 227, 235, 239,
        240, 280

  Hjorleif, settles in Iceland with Ingolf, i. 166, 252, 254, 255

  Hoegh, K., ii. 31

  Hoffmann, W. J., ii. 39, 40

  Hofmann, C., i. 59

  Holand, H. R., ii. 31

  Holberg, Ludvig, ii. 118

  Holm, G. F., i. 271, 274

  Holz, G., i. 85, 102

  Homer, i. 8, 10-11, 13, 14, 25, 33, 77, 78, 196, 347, 348, 371; ii. 53,
        54, 160

  Homeyer, C. G., i. 214

  Hönen, Ringerike, Runic stone from, ii. 27-9, 58

  Honorius Augustodunensis, i. 375

  Honorius, Julius, i. 123; ii. 183

  Horace, i. 349, 350-1

  Horaisan, Japanese fortunate isle, ii. 56-7, 213

  Horder (_see_ Harudes), i. 85, 118, 136, 138, 143, 147, 209, 246

  Horn, Georg, (_Ulysses peregrinans_), ii. 132, 133

  Horses, Swedish, i. 135;
    in Greenland, i. 276

  Hrabanus Maurus, i. 159, 167, 184

  "Huldrefolk" (Norwegian fairies), i. 355, 356, 370-3, 381; ii. 12, 60

  "Huldrelands" (_see_ Fairylands)

  Humboldt, i. 363

  Huns, i. 188

  Hvarf point, in Greenland, i. 263, 267, 269, 279, 288, 290, 292, 294,
        295, 303, 310, 315; ii. 169, 171, 261

  Hvergelmer, i. 158, 159

  Hvítramanna-land (the White Men's Land), i. 312, 313, 330, 353, 366,
        368, 376; ii. 2, 19, 42-56, 60, 61, 92;
    called Great Ireland, i. 330, 353, 366; ii. 42, 48;
    Are Mársson's voyage to, i. 331-2, 353-4; ii. 42, 46, 50

  Hvitserk glacier, in Greenland, i. 283, 286, 288, 291, 292, 294-5, 303;
        ii. 122, 123, 124, 127, 128

  Hyperboreans, i. 13, 15-21, 79, 81, 88, 89, 98, 128, 187, 188, 348; ii.

  Iberians, in British Isles, i. 26;
    in Brittany, i. 30;
    cannibalism among, i. 81

  Ibrâhîm ibn Ja'qûb, i. 187

  Iceland, i. 181-4, 192, 193-4, 197, 201, 248, 251, 262, 263, 267, 278,
        285, 286, 289, 295, 305, 308, 324, 337, 353, 362, 374; ii. 43, 49,
        102, 112, 169, 170, 191, 211, 242, 244, 245, 281;
    discovered by Irish monks, i. 59, 164-7, 233, 258;
    identified with Thule, i. 59-60, 164, 193;
    fables of ice in, i. 181, 183-4, 193; ii. 191;
    Norwegian settlement of, i. 252-8;
    called "Gardarsholm," i. 255;
    called "Snowland," i. 255;
    in mediæval cartography, ii. 225, 230, 231, 250, 262, 275, 279, 284,

  Icelandic Annals (_Islandske Annaler_), i. 282, 284, 285, 305; ii. 25,
        29, 36, 37, 82, 88, 99, 111, 112, 117, 118, 166, 172

  Ictis, i. 29

  "Illa verde," on fifteenth and sixteenth century maps, ii. 279-81, 294,

  Indian myths, i. 19, 92, 351, 356, 363; ii. 57, 213, 214

  Indiana, North American, i. 327, 377; ii. 7, 12, 16, 23, 25, 68, 69, 90,
        92, 93, 334, 367;
    lacrosse among, ii. 39-41, 93

  Ingævones, i. 101

  Ingimund Thorgeirsson, lost in Greenland, i. 284

  Ingolf Arnarson, first Norse settler in Iceland, i. 252, 253, 254, 255,
        257, 267

  Ingolf's Fjeld, Greenland, i. 291, 293, 294, 296

  Ingram, Dr., i. 179

  Ireland (Hierne, Hibernia, Juverna, Ivernia, Ibernia), i. 38, 57, 80,
        81, 90, 117, 179, 192, 234, 253, 326; ii. 201, 211, 244, 245;
    connection with Iceland, i. 167, 258, 353;
    whaling in, ii. 156

  Irgens, O., i. 248, 250

  Irish monks, i, 162-7, 362; ii. 43;
    ("Papar") in Iceland, i. 254, 258; ii. 77, 78

  Irish myths, i. 281-2, 334, 336-9, 353-64, 370, 371; ii. 18, 19, 20,
        43-5, 50, 53-4, 56, 60-1, 206, 207, 228-9, 234

  Iroquois myth of floating island, i. 377

  Isachsen, G., i. 300, 304, 306; ii. 168, 171

  Isidorus Hispalensis, i. 44, 102, 151, 159, 160, 167, 184, 187, 345,
        346, 347, 352, 353, 367, 382-4; ii. 2, 3-4, 58, 59, 64, 75, 183,
        184, 185, 189, 247

  Isles of the Blest, The, i. 9, 84, 348, 349, 351, 363, 370; ii. 59

  Issedonians, i. 16, 19, 81

  Italian sailors and cartographers (_see_ Compass-charts), ii. 217

  _Itinéraire Brugeois_, ii. 250, 256, 262, 263, 272

  Itineraries, Roman, i. 116, 123, 153

  Ivar Bárdsson's description of Greenland, i. 262-3, 290, 292, 295, 302,
        304; ii. 82, 87, 88, 102, 106, 107-11, 126, 166, 171, 241, 256,
        261, 276

  Ivar Bodde, probable author of the _King's Mirror_, ii. 242

  Jacob, G., i. 187, 284; ii. 145, 157, 202

  Jakobsen, Dr. J., i. 163, 293, 374

  Jan Mayen, i. 287; ii. 168, 169, 171

  Japanese myth, ii. 56-8, 213

  Jaqût, ii. 143, 144

  Jaubert, P. A., ii. 204

  Jenkinson, Anthony, ii. 152

  Jensen, A. S., ii. 104

  Jomard, ii. 220, 229

  Jones Sound, i. 304, 306

  _Jónsbók_, Icelandic MS., i. 316, 320, 329; ii. 24

  Jónsson, Finnur, i. 166, 198, 256, 258, 260, 262, 265, 266, 273, 301,
        305, 314, 331, 367; ii. 79, 107, 108, 167, 237

  Jordanes, i. 104, 120, 129-38, 142, 143, 144, 145, 147, 148, 149, 153,
        154, 155, 194, 203, 206; ii. 211

  Jörgensen, N. P., i. 272, 274-5

  Jotunheim, i. 303; ii. 147, 172, 238

  Jovius, Paulus, ii. 111

  Joyce, P. W., i. 360, 379

  Julianehaab, Greenland, i. 267, 271, 274

  Jutland, i. 69, 71, 72, 82, 85, 93, 94, 101, 102, 105, 117, 139, 144,
        143, 147, 169, 180, 185, 246; ii. 192;
    in mediæval cartography, ii. 219, 224, 225, 235, 257, 265

  Kähler, F., i. 43, 68

  Kandalaks, river and gulf, i. 174, 218-9, 222

  Kara Sea, i. 212

  Karelians (Kirjals), Karelia, i. 175, 218, 219, 220, 222, 223; ii. 85,
        137, 140, 146, 167, 173, 174;
    "Kareli infideles," ii. 85, 117, 224, 225, 255, 262, 270, 271, 272

  Karlsevne, Thorfinn, i. 260, 313, 318, 319, 331, 333, 336, 346, 354; ii.
        14, 15, 18, 23, 25, 65;
    voyage to Wineland, i. 320-30, 334-45;
    battle with the Skrælings, i. 328; ii. 6-11

  "Kassiteros," Derivation of, i. 25-6

  Kayaks, Eskimo, ii. 10, 68, 70, 72, 74, 85, 91, 92, 127, 270

  Kemble, John M., i. 364

  Kensington stone, Minnesota, ii. 31

  Keyser, R., i. 58, 59, 60, 65, 93, 99, 104, 105, 107

  Khordâḏbah, Ibn, ii. 195, 196-7

  Kiær, A., ii. 63

  Kingigtorsuak, Runic stone from, i. 297; ii. 84

  King map (_circa_ 1502), ii. 331, 354, 355, 358, 364, 373, 374

  _Kings Mirror_, The, (_Konungs-Skuggsjá_), i. 3, 272-3, 277, 279-80,
        300, 352; ii. 1, 2, 29, 87, 88, 95, 96, 98, 155, 157, 172, 193,
        234, 242-8;
    authorship of, ii. 242

  Kjær, A., i. 324

  Kjalarnes, i. 322, 323, 324, 325, 326, 329; ii. 23

  Kjelmö, archæological find from, i. 212-9, 224

  Kjölen range, i. 102, 224; ii. 222

  Kleiven, Ivar, i. 340

  "Knarren," Royal trading ship to Greenland, ii. 38, 98-9, 106, 122

  Knattleikr, Norse ball-game, ii. 38-9, 61, 93;
    similar to lacrosse, ii. 39

  "Kobandoi" (Cobandi), i. 93-4, 118

  Koch, J., i. 156

  Kohl, J. G., ii. 148, 340, 353

  Kohlmann, P. W., i. 194

  Koht, H., i. 247; ii. 43

  Kola peninsula, i. 173, 174, 217, 223; ii. 135, 142, 165, 176

  Koren-Wiberg, Christian, ii. 80

  Krabbo, Hermann, i. 202

  Krag, H. P. S., i. 340

  Kraken, sea monster, i. 375; ii. 234, 244

  Kretschmer, K., i. 10, 12, 14, 74, 78; ii. 215, 222, 223, 226, 228, 229,
        230, 282, 284, 294, 313, 353

  Kristensen, W. Brede, i. 347

  _Kristni-saga_, i. 313, 331, 367; ii. 59

  Kröksfjarðarheiðr (Greenland), i. 267, 299, 300-1, 304, 306, 308, 309,
        310; ii. 72, 83, 88

  Kulhwch and Olwen, Tale of, i. 342; ii. 8

  Kunstmann, F., ii. 229, 378

  "Kunstmann, No. 2," Italian mappamundi, ii. 374

  Kvænland (Cvenland, Cwênland; Finland), i. 155, 170, 175, 178, 198;
    the name mistaken for "Land of Women," i. 112, 186-7, 383; ii. 64,
        214, 237

  Kvæns (_see_ Finns), Cwênas, i. 178, 191, 206, 207, 220, 223; ii. 137,
        141, 167;
    their name confused with "cyon" (dog), i. 155, 188

  Labrador, i. 322, 323, 334, 335; ii. 5, 23, 41, 68, 105, 106, 131, 133,
        308, 314, 335, 338, 352, 358, 364, 370;
    == Greenland, ii. 129, 132, 133, 315, 331, 335;
    the name of, ii. 331-2, 357-8

  Lacrosse, ii. 38-41;
    perhaps derived from Norsemen, ii. 40

  Lactantius, i. 127

  Læstrygons, i. 13, 78

  Läffler, Prof. L. F., i. 132, 134, 136, 297; ii. 63

  "Lageniensis," i. 357, 379; ii. 228

  Lagnus, bay, i. 101, 105

  Lambert map, ii. 188, 259

  Lampros, S. P., ii. 281

  Landa-Rolf, i. 285-6

  Landegode (_Landit Góða_), island off Bodō, Norway, i. 369-70, 372, 373,
        374; ii. 60

  _Landnámabók_, i. 166, 251, 255, 256, 258, 260, 261, 266, 273, 288, 291,
        293, 313, 324, 330, 332, 353, 366, 367, 368, 369, 377; ii. 21, 42,
        58, 60, 62, 166, 168, 169, 170, 172

  Langebek, i. 179

  Langobards, i. 138, 139, 155, 156, 159

  Laon globe, ii. 290

  Lappenberg, I. M., i. 193, 195, 303

  Lapps, i. 61, 113, 150, 171, 173, 177, 190, 191, 203-8, 218, 220,
        224-32, 372; ii. 76, 135, 164, 168, 175, 178;
    their magic, i. 191, 204, 219, 227, 229; ii. 32, 77, 136, 137;
    their archery, i. 227-30;
    their languages, i. 228-9

  Lascaris, Cananos, travels in the North, ii. 281

  Las Casas, ii. 214

  Latitude, calculation of, i. 46-8, 64, 76, 78, 116-7; ii. 22, 260, 307;
    scale of, on Ptolemy's and other maps, ii. 259, 260-1, 264, 274-5

  Latris, island, i. 101, 105

  Laurentius Kálfsson's saga, ii. 8

  Leardus, Johannes, mappamundi by, ii. 282

  L'Ecuy globe (or Rouen globe), ii. 129, 131-2

  Leem, K., ii. 178, 191

  Leif Ericson, i. 270, 313, 314, 315-8, 321, 331, 332, 338, 339, 343,
        346, 359, 380, 384; ii. 4, 21, 22, 25, 50, 51, 59, 65;
    called "the Lucky," i. 270, 313, 317, 331;
    meaning of the name, i. 380-2;
    discovers Wineland the Good, i. 313, 317, 332;
    rescues the shipwrecked crew, i. 317;
    introduces Christianity, i. 317, 332, 380

  Lelewel, J., ii. 131, 203, 278, 282, 284, 286

  Leucippus, i. 12, 127

  Liebrecht, F., ii. 228

  Ligurians, i. 41, 42, 114

  Lik-Lodin, i. 282-3

  Lillienskiold, Hans Hansen, i. 177

  Lind, E. H., i. 332

  "Liver Sea" (_Lebermeer_), i. 69, 181, 363; ii. 20, 51, 231

  Lok, Michael, Map of 1582, ii. 130, 321, 323

  Lönborg, S. E., i. 102, 112, 131, 135, 156, 174, 180, 193, 197; ii. 150

  Longest day, calculation of, ii. 52, 54

  Lot, F., i. 357, 379

  Loth, J., i. 342

  Lucian, i. 352, 355, 356, 360, 361, 363, 366, 376; ii. 54, 150

  Lugii (Vandal tribe), i. 247

  "Lycko-Pār" ("Lykke-Per"), i. 381

  "Lykk-Anders," Tale of, i. 381

  Lyschander (_Grönlands Chronica_), ii. 101, 102, 111

  Lytton, Lord, i. 350

  Machutus, St., Voyage of, i. 334, 354, 363

  Macrobius, i. 123, 126, 184; ii. 182, 193, 247

  Maelduin, Voyage of, i. 336-7, 338, 355, 356, 358, 360, 361, 362, 363,
        364, 366; ii. 9, 18, 45, 150

  Maelstrom, Legends of the, i. 157-9; ii. 138, 150-3, 241

  Mæotides, i. 88

  Mæotis Palus (Sea of Azov), i. 89; ii. 199, 211, 283, 284

  Maggiolo, map by (1527), ii. 321, 335, 358, 359

  "Mag Mell" (the happy plain), i. 355, 357, 365, 370

  Magnaghi, A., ii. 227, 230

  Magnus Barfot's Saga, i. 197

  Magnussen, Finn, ii. 102

  Maǵûs, Arab name for Northern Vikings, ii. 55, 196, 200, 201, 209, 210

  Maine, coast of, ii. 316, 317

  Mair, G., i. 35, 36, 37, 43, 47, 59

  Manannán mac Lir, i. 363, 370; ii. 45

  Mandeville, Sir John, ii. 271, 292

  Manna, i. 338

  Mannhardt, W., i. 365

  Manuel, King of Portugal, ii. 346, 347, 352, 353, 375, 376, 377, 378

  Mapes, Walter, ii. 75-6

  Maps (_see also_ Compass-charts), earliest Greek, i. 11, 76, 77, 78; ii.
    Ptolemy's, i. 116-22;
    wheel-maps, i. 151; ii. 183-8, 193, 218, 222;
    T- and OT-maps, i. 151; ii. 183-4, 193;
    Arab maps, ii. 203;
    15th century mappemundi, ii. 281-7

  Marcianus of Heraclea, i. 123

  Margaret, Queen of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, ii. 118, 132

  Marinus of Tyre, i. 115, 116, 121, 122; ii. 194, 249

  Markham, Sir C. R., i. 43, 58, 64; ii. 295, 336, 373

  Markland, i. 299, 305, 307, 312, 313, 322, 323, 324, 329, 334, 335, 336,
        338; ii. 1, 19, 22, 23, 36, 37, 42, 61, 92-93, 96, 229, 279;
    ship from M. reaches Iceland, ii. 22, 25, 36-8, 61, 229

  Martellus, Henricus, ii. 276, 279

  Martyr, Peter, ii. 303, 330, 336, 337, 338, 339, 342

  Marx, F., i. 37

  Massagetæ, i. 81, 148; ii. 188

  Massalia, i. 31, 42, 43, 45, 46, 47, 48, 67, 70

  Mas'ûdî, ii. 198-9, 207

  Matthew Paris, ii. 281

  Matthias, Franz, i. 36, 43

  Maurenbrecher, B., i. 349

  Maurer, K., i. 265; ii. 9

  Mauro, Fra, map by, ii. 177, 278, 285, 286

  Medici Atlas (1351), i. 362; ii. 229, 234-6, 236, 240, 255, 256, 257,
        258, 259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 272-6

  Mehren, A. F., ii. 143, 145, 212

  Meissner, R., i. 255

  Mela, Pomponius, i. 15, 19, 28, 38, 44, 55, 63, 72, 75, 85-96, 97, 101,
        103, 114, 118, 131, 144, 155; ii. 32, 192, 208

  Melville Bay, i. 305, 310

  Mercator, Gerard, ii. 261;
    his map of 1569, ii. 130

  _Meregarto_, i. 69, 181-4, 193, 252; ii. 51

  Mevenklint (Kolbeins-ey), i. 264, 286, 287; ii. 166, 169, 170, 172

  Meyer, Kuno, i. 198, 354

  Michelsen, A. L. J., i. 214

  Midgards-worm, i. 364; ii. 234

  Mid-glacier (_Miðjǫkull_), Greenland, i. 267, 288, 290, 293, 294, 295

  Midnight sun (long summer day and winter night in the North), i. 14, 45,
        53-4, 62, 79, 92, 98, 106, 131, 133-4, 140, 157, 165, 193, 194,
        309-11; ii. 144, 190, 212, 281

  Mikhow, Andrei, ii. 163, 173, 174

  Mikkola, Prof., ii. 175

  Miller, K., i. 77, 87, 90, 109, 115, 123, 150, 152, 180, 182; ii. 185,
        186, 187, 192, 193, 223, 226, 282, 284

  Modena compass-chart, ii. 230-1, 235, 266, 282

  Moe, Prof. Moltke, i. 69, 247, 304, 332, 341, 342, 352, 358, 364, 366,
        370, 372, 373, 374, 378, 379, 381; ii. 8, 11, 15, 16, 20, 33, 44,
        45, 46, 51, 56, 75, 147, 213, 228, 242, 245

  Mommsen, T., i. 57, 123, 129, 136, 137, 193; ii. 143

  Monopoly of trade with Greenland, ii. 98, 118-9, 179-80;
    with Finmark, ii. 179

  Montelius, O., i. 239, 241

  "Moorbrücken," i. 36

  Mordvins, ii. 142, 143, 199

  Morimarusa, i. 99, 100, 105; ii. 58

  Moskenström (Lofoten), i. 158; ii. 152-3, 154, 241

  "Mǫsurr" (masur), wood from Wineland, i. 317; ii. 5, 25

  Much, R., i. 93, 94, 95, 99, 110, 112, 119, 120, 246, 247

  Müllenhoff, K., i. 37, 38, 41, 42, 43, 56, 57, 59, 60, 61, 65, 83, 85,
        92, 93, 102, 103, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 120, 128, 132, 134,
        136, 137, 145, 206, 207, 234, 235, 246, 247

  Müllenhoff and Scherer, i. 181

  Müller, I., i. 83

  Müller, S., i. 22

  Munch, P.A., i. 50, 132, 134, 136, 146, 179, 180, 205, 246, 247, 258,
        331; ii. 154

  Muratori, ii. 162

  Murman coast, i. 212; ii. 173, 176, 269

  Mylius-Erichsen, i. 2, 3

  Naddodd Viking, i. 255-7

  Nansen, F., _First Crossing of Greenland_, i. 281, 293

  Nansen, F., _Eskimo Life_, ii. 72, 73, 105

  Narwhale, i. 300, 303

  Natives of North America, brought to England in 1501 or 1502, ii. 333;
    probably Eskimo, ii. 334;
    brought to Lisbon by Corte-Real's expedition, ii. 348, 349, 351-2,
    perhaps Eskimo, ii. 367

  Negri, Francesco, i. 226

  Nepos, Cornelius, i. 87

  Nestor's Russian Chronicle, ii. 143

  Newfoundland, i. 248, 322, 323, 324, 334, 335; ii. 23, 91, 308, 309,
        312, 313, 314, 315, 317, 318, 321, 322, 329, 335, 337, 355, 362,
        363, 364, 376;
    discovery of, by Corte-Real, ii. 330, 354, 355, 362;
    on 16th century maps, ii. 370-5;
    fisheries of, ii. 330-1, 378;
    called Terra de Corte-Real, ii. 354, 355, 376, 378

  Newfoundland Banks, ii. 154, 309, 318, 363

  New Land (_Nyaland_), i. 285-6

  Nicholas V., Pope, Letter to, on Greenland, ii. 17, 86, 112, 116, 256,
        270, 288, 366;
    Letter from, on Greenland (1448), ii. 113-5, 278

  Nicholas of Lynn, ii. 86, 151, 153, 214, 249, 256, 261, 270, 289

  Nicolayssen, O., i. 375

  Nielsen, Prof. Konrad, i. 219, 223; ii. 175

  Nielsen, Prof. Yngvar, i. 369; ii. 29, 39, 90, 92, 154

  Niese, B., i. 14

  Nikulás Bergsson, Abbot, of Thverâ, (Icelandic geographical work), i.
        198, 313; ii. 1, 2, 237, 256

  Nilsson, Sven, i. 35, 60, 205

  "Nisse," Scandinavian fairy, i. 373, 381; ii. 15

  Njál's Saga, i. 372

  Noel, S. B. J., ii. 160, 173

  "Nordbotn," (Norderbondt, Nordhindh Bondh, Nordenbodhn), the Polar Sea,
        i. 303, 304; ii. 171, 256, 259, 267, 268, 269

  Nordenskiöld, A. E., i. 226; ii. 32, 220, 223, 229, 230, 234, 249, 250,
        266, 282, 285, 357

  Norðrsetur (Greenland), i. 267, 296, 298-307, 308, 309, 300; ii. 83, 88

  _Norðrsetudrápa_, i. 273, 298

  Normans, i. 145, 146, 153, 188, 234; ii. 159-62, 200-2

  North Cape, i. 171, 172, 174; ii. 124

  North Pole, whirlpool at, i. 159;
    land at, ii. 239, 263, 272

  North Sea, amber from, i. 14, 32, 34, 35

  North-West Passage, i. 115; ii. 129, 130, 378

  Norway, i. 58, 60-5, 147, 253, 292, 316, 324, 353; ii. 98-100, 169, 170,
        204, 237;
    the name of, i. 107, 179;
    Jordanes on, i. 136-8;
    Solinus MSS. on, i. 161;
    Ottar on, i. 170-1, 175-80;
    Adam of Bremen on, i. 188, 190-2, 194, 200;
    anthropological characteristics in, i. 209-10;
    fairylands in, i. 369-70;
    whaling in, ii. 155-9;
    Edrisi on, ii. 205;
    Shîrazî on, ii. 211;
    in mediæval cartography, ii. 219, 221, 225, 227, 230, 235-6, 257,
        258-61, 265-9, 286

  Norwegian seafaring, i. 62, 221, 223, 224, 233-5, 246-52, 287; ii. 135,
    decline of, ii. 179-81

  Nova Scotia, i. 329, 335, 345; ii. 3, 5, 90, 91, 309, 314-6, 321;
    probably discovered by John Cabot, ii. 314-6

  Novaya Zemlya, i. 212, 248; ii. 165, 166, 173, 238

  Novilara, Carvings on grave-stone at, i. 238, 239

  Novgorod, ii. 140, 142

  Nydam, Boat from, i. 110, 238, 241, 244, 246

  Oceanus, i. 8, 9, 10, 11, 16, 79, 192, 198, 199, 200, 201; ii. 1, 154,
        182, 198, 200, 204, 239, 248

  Ochon, King of the Eruli, i. 141, 148

  Odysseus, i. 13, 78; ii. 53, 54

  "Œcumene" (the habitable world), i. 8, 10, 12, 45, 55, 76, 78, 79, 81,
        82, 115, 121, 198; ii. 182, 217

  Œneæ, or Œonæ (egg-eaters), i. 91, 92, 95, 131, 155

  Œstrymnides, i. 28, 37-41;
    == Cassiterides, i. 39

  Ogygia, i. 182, 347, 355, 363; ii. 43

  Olaf the Saint, i. 331; ii. 49, 50, 171

  Olaf Tryggvason, i. 270, 316, 321, 339; ii. 50

  Olaus Magnus, i. 205, 211, 228; ii. 17, 89, 111, 123, 124, 125, 127,
        128, 129, 131, 139, 141, 152, 163, 173, 178

  Oliveriana map (_circa_ 1503), ii. 358, 369, 370, 374-5

  Olrik, Axel, ii. 252, 253

  Olsen, Gunnar, i. 377

  Olsen, Prof. Magnus, i. 228, 219, 246, 297

  Omar al 'Udhri, i. 284; ii. 156

  Ongania (reproductions of maps), ii. 221, 234, 278, 282, 287

  Oppert, J., i. 35

  Orcades, i. 57, 90, 106, 107, 117, 123, 130, 160, 161, 192, 199, 200;
        ii. 186, 192, 200

  Ordericus Vitalis, i. 382; ii. 31

  "Orkan" (or "Orkas"), i. 50-3, 58, 90

  Orkneys, i. 52-3, 90, 107, 113, 117, 192, 195, 258; ii. 55, 148;
    in mediæval cartography, ii. 219, 228

  Orosius, Paulus, i. 38, 44, 123, 151, 169, 184; ii. 183, 192, 193

  Oseberg ship, i. 246, 247

  Ostiæi, i. 69, 72

  Ostiimans (Ostimnians), i. 38, 69, 72

  Ost-sæ̂, i. 169

  Ostyaks, i. 207; ii. 147

  Ottar (Ohthere), i. 170-80, 204, 211, 213, 214, 218, 220, 225, 230, 231,
        247; ii. 135-6, 142, 156, 159, 164, 173, 243

  Panoti (long-eared), i. 92

  Paris, Gaston, i. 359

  Parmenides of Elea, i. 12, 123; ii. 182

  Pasqualigo, Lorenzo, ii. 301, 302, 303, 312, 314, 316, 317

  Pasqualigo, Pietro, Venetian Minister at Lisbon, ii. 347-9, 355, 360,
        361, 362, 363, 365, 367, 372

  Paulus Warnefridi, i. 136, 139, 155-60, 184, 187, 196, 203, 284; ii.
        147, 148, 150, 153

  Pechora, river, ii. 144, 146, 147, 173

  Pedo, Albinovanus, i. 82-4; ii. 148

  "Perdita" (the Lost Isle), i. 376; ii. 213

  Permians, i. 174

  Peschel, Johannes, i. 352; ii. 147

  Peucini, i. 111, 112, 113, 114

  Peyrere (_Relation du Groënland_), ii. 120

  Phæacians, i. 347, 371, 378; ii. 53, 54

  Philemon, i. 99, 100

  _Phoca fœtida_, i. 177

  _Phoca grœnlandica_ (saddleback seal), i. 217, 276

  _Phoca vitulina_, i. 217

  Phœnicians, i. 24, 25, 27, 30, 33, 34-6, 40, 41, 99, 233, 249, 346, 349,
        362, 376

  Pilestrina, map of 1511, attributed to, ii. 374, 376, 377

  Pindar, i. 18, 348

  Pining, Didrik, ii. 123-9, 133, 345

  Pistorius, ii. 173

  Pizigano map (1367), ii. 229, 230, 236

  Plato, ii. 46, 293

  Pliny, i. 15, 19, 20, 26, 28, 30, 33, 37, 38, 44, 52, 53, 55, 57, 58,
        65, 70, 71, 72, 75, 84, 85, 87, 93, 96-107, 118, 121, 123, 126,
        134, 155, 162, 185, 334, 348, 349, 362, 376; ii. 48, 55, 59, 214

  Plutarch, i. 156, 182, 187, 349, 363, 376; ii. 43

  Polar Sea, i. 169, 172, 195-6, 213, 283, 303; ii. 145, 164, 165, 166,
        171, 173, 174, 176, 177, 238

  Polo, Marco, ii. 288, 289

  Polus (equinoctial dial), i. 46, 48

  Polybius, i. 43, 44, 45, 52, 56, 66, 67, 73, 74, 78, 80; ii. 160

  Pontoppidan, Erich, i. 375

  Porthan, H. G., i. 179

  _Portolani_, ii. 216

  Portuguese adventurers, Arab tale of, ii. 51-5

  Portuguese chart of about 1520, at Munich, ii. 353, 354, 355, 356

  Portuguese, maritime enterprise of, ii. 292-3, 345, 377

  Posidonius, i. 14, 23, 27, 52, 79, 115; ii. 292, 297

  Pothorst, associate of Pining, ii. 123-9, 133, 345

  Priscianus Cæsariensis, i. 123

  Procopius, i. 60, 94, 132, 134, 138, 139-50, 154, 194, 203, 372

  Promised Land (_see_ Tír Tairngiri _and_ Terra Repromissionis)

  Provisioning of Viking ships, i. 268-9

  Psalter map, ii. 187, 188

  Ptolemy, i. 26, 38, 44, 72, 75, 76, 79, 93, 99, 102, 111, 112, 115-22,
        128, 130, 131, 132, 142, 143, 144, 246, 349; ii. 182, 194, 195,
        197, 206, 208, 210, 211, 212, 220, 236, 249, 250, 254, 255, 256,
        257, 258, 259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266, 267, 275, 277,
        278, 279, 280, 292

  Puebla, Ruy Gonzales de, Spanish Ambassador to Henry VII., ii. 300, 324,

  Pullè and Longhena, ii. 230

  _Purchas his Pilgrimes_, ii. 126

  Pygmies, ii. 17, 75, 76, 85, 86, 111, 117, 206, 255, 263, 269, 270

  Pythagoras, i. 11, 12

  Pytheas, i. 2, 29, 38, 41, 43-73, 74, 75, 77, 78, 80, 81, 82, 90, 92,
        97, 100, 106, 116, 165, 172, 193, 234, 246;
    date of his voyage, i. 44;
    his astronomical measurements, i. 45;
    his ship, i. 48;
    in Britain, i. 50;
    in Thule, i. 53;
    on the sea beyond Thule, i. 65;
    voyage along the coast of Germania, i. 69

  Qazwînî, i. 187, 284; ii. 57, 144, 156, 202, 209-11, 234

  Qodâma, ii. 198

  Querini's travels in Norway (1432), ii. 177, 286

  Qvigstad, J. K., i. 173, 220, 221, 226, 228, 229, 372; ii. 210

  Rafn, C., i. 304, 340; ii. 31, 33, 193

  Ragnaricii (_see_ Ranrike), i. 136

  Râkâ, island in Arab myth, ii. 207-8

  Ramusio, G. B., ii. 298, 303, 337, 338, 339, 340, 341, 354, 364

  Ranii, i. 136, 137

  Ranisch, W., i. 18

  Ranrike, i. 136

  Rask, R., i. 179

  Raumarici (_see_ Romerike), i. 136

  Ravenna geographer, The, i. 144, 152-4, 203

  Ravenstein, E. G., ii. 287, 289

  Ravn Hlymreks-farer, i. 354, 366

  Reeves, A. M., i. 267, 322; ii. 30

  Reinach, S., i. 26, 27

  Reindeer, i. 175, 176, 191, 204, 212, 217, 226, 227, 230, 276, 277

  Reindeer-Lapps, i. 61, 190, 204, 205, 207, 218, 220-32; ii. 269

  Reinel, Pedro, map by, ii. 321, 322, 358, 364, 370, 371, 374, 376, 377

  Rheims mappamundi in MS. of Mela, ii. 282-3

  Rhipæan, or Riphæan, Mountains, i. 13, 16, 79, 81, 88, 89, 98, 101, 128,
        189, 190, 191, 194, 200; ii. 223

  Riant, Paul, ii. 55

  Ribero, Diego, map of 1529, ii. 315, 335, 356, 357, 359

  Rietz, i. 373

  Rimbertus, i. 167

  Rink, H., ii. 8, 69, 70, 71, 106

  Rock-carvings, Scandinavian, i. 236-41, 245

  Rodulf, Norwegian king, i. 129, 132, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 143, 147

  Roger II., Norman king of Sicily, ii. 202, 203

  Rohde, E., ii. 57, 58, 234

  Rök-stone, The, i. 138, 148

  Rolf of Raudesand, i. 264, 315

  Romerike, i. 136

  Romsdal, i. 136, 137, 147

  Rördan, Holger (_Monumenta Historiæ Danicæ_), ii. 129

  Ross, H., i. 341, 352; ii. 13, 171

  _Rudimentum Novitiorum_, Map in, ii. 32;
    geography in, ii. 189

  Rûm (Eastern and Central Europe), ii. 197, 209, 211

  Rûs (Scandinavians in Russia), ii. 196, 197, 198, 199

  Rusbeas, or Rubeas, promontory, i. 99-100, 102

  Russia (_see also_ Bjarmeland), i. 185, 187, 188, 191, 214, 383; ii.
        141, 143, 164, 174, 195, 196, 197, 206

  Ruste, Ibn, ii. 146, 198

  Ruysch's map (1508), i. 262; ii, 289

  Rydberg, Viktor, i. 156, 158

  Ryger (Ruger, Rugii), i. 136, 138, 147, 179, 209, 246

  Rygh, K., i. 173, 304, 323, 324, 369

  Rygh, O., i. 304, 324, 374; ii. 211

  _Rymbegla_, i. 188, 249, 287, 322, 335; ii. 11, 167, 170, 239, 240, 256,
        260, 263, 264, 271, 272

  Sabalingii, i. 72, 118

  Sævo, Mons, (_or_ Suevus), i. 85, 101, 102

  Sa'id, Ibn, ii. 177, 208-9

  Sailing-directions, Icelandic, i. 262, 285, 288, 290; ii. 166, 168-71,

  St. John, Island of, on sixteenth-century maps, ii. 320-1, 377

  St. John, Valley of, New Brunswick, i. 335; ii. 3, 5

  St. Lawrence, Gulf of, ii. 68

  Sallust, i. 349; ii. 183, 186;
    "Sallust map" at Geneva, ii. 282, 283

  Samoyeds, i. 212, 223; ii. 143, 146, 175

  Samson Fagre's Saga, ii. 172

  Sanali (long-eared), i. 91, 92

  San-Marte, i. 365

  Santa Cruz, Alonso de, ii. 332

  Sanudo, Marino, ii. 222-5, 227, 262, 272, 282

  Sargasso Sea, i. 40

  Sarmatia, Sarmatians (Slavs), i. 87, 91, 95, 97, 101, 109, 113, 120, 170

  Sars, J. E., i. 234, 258

  Säve, P. A., i. 374

  Savolotchie (the country on the Dvina), ii. 141-2

  Saxo Grammaticus, i. 193, 206, 355, 364; ii. 101, 147, 165-6, 221,
        222-3, 224, 227, 238, 242, 258, 259, 263

  Saxons, i. 145, 153, 154, 180, 235, 242, 245

  "Scadinavia," or "Scatinavia," i. 93, 101, 102-4, 105, 155, 156

  "Scandia" ("Scandza"), i. 102-4, 106, 107, 119, 120, 130-1, 136, 142-4,
        153, 155; ii. 254, 257

  Scandinavia, regarded as a peninsula, i. 185; ii. 222;
    as an island, ii. 186, 188, 225;
    representation of, in mediæval cartography, ii. 221-5, 227, 234-6,
        250, 258-69, 285, 286;
    geography of, in Northern writers, ii. 237-9

  Schafarik, i. 185

  Schanz, M., i. 83

  Schiern, F., i. 191

  Schirmer, G., ii. 44

  Schlaraffenland, i. 352

  Schliemann, H., i. 24

  Schönnerböl, ii. 152, 153

  Schoolcraft, H. R., ii. 7

  Schrader, O., i. 24, 34, 36

  Schröder, C., i. 360; ii. 9, 19, 43, 44, 50

  Schübeler, Prof., ii. 5

  Schuchhardt, C., i. 14

  Schultz-Lorentzen, ii. 73

  Sciringesheal (Skiringssal), i. 179, 247

  Scirri (Skirer), i. 101, 179, 247

  Scisco, Dr. L. D., ii. 43

  Scolvus, Johannes, ii. 129-33

  Scotland, i. 161; ii. 204;
    Pytheas in, i. 53-6;
    in mediæval cartography, ii. 221, 257

  Scottish runners, Karlsevne's, i. 321, 324-5, 337, 339-43; ii. 65

  Scythia, Scythians, i. 13, 16, 19, 20, 23, 69, 70, 71, 81, 85, 87, 88,
        89, 95, 97, 98, 99, 101, 114, 153, 154, 185, 187

  Sealand, i. 93, 94, 103, 105, 138;
    in mediæval cartography, ii. 219, 254, 255, 257, 265

  Seals, Sealing, i. 177, 216-9, 224, 276-8, 286-7, 299, 300; ii. 72, 91,
        97, 155, 156, 165, 173, 243

  "Sea-lung," i. 66-7

  Sébillot, P., i. 377

  Seippel, Prof. Alexander, ii. 143, 196, 197, 198, 199, 200, 202, 203,
        204, 205, 208, 210, 211

  Seleucus, i. 77

  Semnones, i. 85

  Sena, island off Brittany, i. 29, 356; ii. 32, 47

  Seneca, i. 82, 84

  Seres, Serica (China), ii. 262, 271

  "Sermende" (== Sarmatians ?), i. 170

  Sertorius, i. 349-50

  Setälä, Prof. E., i. 219; ii. 175

  Seven Cities, Isle of the, ii. 293, 295, 304, 325

  Seven Sleepers, Legend of the, i. 20, 156, 284

  Severianus, i. 127

  Shetland Isles, i. 52-3, 57, 58, 67, 90, 106, 107, 117, 161, 163, 179,
        192, 234, 257, 292, 374; ii. 207;
    in mediæval cartography, ii. 219, 228, 266

  Ship-burials, i. 239, 241

  Ships, Egyptian, i. 7, 23, 235, 237, 242, 243;
    Greek, i. 48-9, 235, 237, 242, 243, 245;
    Phœnician, i. 35, 237, 243, 245;
    early Scandinavian, i. 110, 236-44;
    Viking, i. 236, 238, 241, 242, 243, 246-7;
    in Greenland, i. 305

  Shîrazî, ii. 211-2

  "Síd" (Irish fairies), i. 356, 371; ii. 16, 20, 45-6, 60

  Sigurd Stefansson's map of the North, ii. 7

  Simonssön, Jón, i. 227

  Sinclair, Legends of, in Norway, i. 339-41

  Sindbad, i. 159; ii. 57, 234

  Siret, L., i. 22, 24, 29

  Sitones, i. 111-2

  Skaði, Norse goddess, i. 103, 207

  _Skáld-Helga Rimur_, i. 298-9, 300

  Skåne, i. 72, 103, 104, 180;
    in mediæval cartography, ii. 221, 222, 235, 257, 258, 267, 285

  Skaw, The, i. 85, 100, 105, 186; ii. 204

  Ski-running, i. 149, 157, 158, 203, 223; ii. 139

  Skolte-Lapps, i. 214, 220, 231

  Skrælings, in Greenland, i. 260, 298, 308, 312, 327; ii. 17, 77-90, 101,
        108, 111, 117;
    in Wineland, i. 260, 312, 313, 327-30, 368; ii. 6-11, 26, 60, 90-3,
        206, 208;
    in Markland, i. 329; ii. 15, 19, 20, 92-3;
    in Helluland, ii. 35;
    originally mythical beings, ii. 11-20, 26, 60, 75-6;
    meaning of the word, ii. 13;
    called Pygmæi, ii. 12, 17, 75, 270

  Skridfinns (Screrefennæ, Scrithifini, Rerefeni, Scritobini,
        Scride-Finnas, Scritefini), i. 131-2, 140, 143, 144, 149-50,
        153-4, 156-7, 170, 189, 191, 194, 198, 203-8, 210, 221, 222,
        223, 382; ii. 139, 192

  Skull-measurements, of Scandinavians, i. 209, 211;
    of Lapps, i. 219-20;
    of Eskimo, ii. 67

  Slavs (_see also_ Sarmatians), i. 167, 188, 208, 209, 210; ii. 142, 143,
        197, 198

  Sleswick, i. 70, 72, 101, 119, 179, 180; ii. 202, 204

  Sluggish sea, outside the Pillars of Hercules, and in the North, i. 38,
        40-1, 68, 83, 100, 108, 112-3, 130, 165

  Smith Sound, i. 304, 306; ii. 71, 72, 73, 74

  "Smörland" as a name for fairyland, i. 374

  Snæbjörn, Galti, i. 264, 280

  Snæfell (Greenland), i. 267, 308, 310

  Snæfellsnes (Iceland), i. 257, 262, 267, 288, 290, 293, 294, 295

  Snedgus and Mac Riagail, Voyage of, ii. 53-4

  Snorre Sturlason, i. 270, 273; ii. 18, 64, 137, 239

  Snorre Thorbrandsson, Wineland voyager, i. 313, 319, 320, 326, 327, 333

  Söderberg, Prof. Sven, on Wineland, ii. 63-5

  Solberg, Dr. O., i. 213, 214, 217, 219, 230, 306; ii. 72, 73, 103

  Soleri map (1385), ii. 229

  Solinus, C. Julius, i. 52, 55, 57, 64, 66, 99, 123, 126, 151, 160, 184,
        189, 193, 348

  Soncino, Raimondo di, Milanese Minister in London, ii. 296-7, 298, 301,
        302, 303-5, 306, 307, 308, 309, 312, 314, 316, 323

  Sörensen, S. A., i. 179

  Spain, tin in, i. 23, 31;
    suggested origin of the name of, i. 380;
    Viking raids in, ii. 199, 200

  Spherical form of the earth, Doctrine of, i. 11, 97, 126, 127, 151, 194,
        199; ii. 185, 247

  Spies, in land of Canaan, i. 339

  Spitzbergen, i. 248; ii. 165, 168, 170, 172, 173, 179, 238

  Steensby, H. P., ii. 69, 70

  Steenstrup, Japetus, i. 172

  Steenstrup, Johannes, ii. 161, 162

  Stenkyrka (Gotland), Stone from, i. 239, 243

  _Stjórn_ (Norwegian version of Old Testament), i. 338; ii. 4

  Stokes, Whitley, i. 357

  Storm, Gustav, i. 132, 174, 196, 218, 228, 254, 255, 260, 284, 285, 292,
        301, 305, 313, 314, 317, 321, 322, 324, 329, 333, 369; ii. 1, 2,
        3, 7, 11, 14, 17, 19, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 30, 35, 36, 43, 47, 48,
        75, 79, 82, 86, 90, 93, 99, 100, 101, 107, 111, 112, 114, 117,
        118, 121, 122, 124, 129, 131, 136, 137, 141, 147, 150, 153, 158,
        167, 168, 229, 235, 237, 240, 242, 249, 250, 256, 257, 258, 262,
        267, 268, 270, 272, 279, 289, 294

  Stow, John, Chronicle, ii. 333

  Strabo, i. 14, 15, 20, 23, 24, 27, 28, 38, 42, 43, 44, 45, 50, 52, 53,
        55, 56, 57, 61, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 69, 70, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76,
        77, 80-2, 87, 111, 112, 161, 187, 349; ii. 47, 75, 160, 201

  Straumsfjord (Wineland), i. 325, 326, 329, 330, 337, 343, 345

  Ström, Han (_Description of Söndmör_), i. 370, 375

  Strong Men, Island of, ii. 43, 46, 50, 61

  _Sturlubók_, i. 255, 256, 257, 261, 262, 293, 331, 354, 367, 368; ii.
        169, 261

  Styx, i. 359, 372

  "Suehans" (_see_ Svear), i. 135, 137

  Sueones (_see_ Svear), i. 188-9

  "Suetidi," i. 136, 137

  Suevi (Suebi), i. 87, 108-9

  Suhm (_Historie af Danmark_), ii. 154

  Suiones (_see_ Svear), i. 110-2, 236, 238, 244, 245

  Sun-dial, i. 46-7

  Sun's altitude, measurement of, i. 249, 250, 309-11; ii. 307

  Svalbard (Spitzbergen ?), ii. 165, 166-73, 238

  Svear (Swedes, Suiones, Suehans, Sveones, Sueones), i. 110-2, 135, 137,
        167, 170, 188-9; ii. 190

  Svein Estridsson, King of Denmark, i. 184, 188, 189, 195, 201, 383; ii.

  Sverdrup, Otto, i. 306; ii. 70, 71

  Sviatoi Nos, promontory, i. 171, 174; ii. 136, 138, 140, 155

  Svinöi, name of island off Sunnmör, i. 369-70, 378;
    island off Nordland, i. 378;
    island in the Faroes, i. 375, 378;
    probable origin of the name, i. 378

  Sweden, i. 71, 101, 112, 134-5, 178, 187, 188-9, 210, 381, 383; ii. 190,
        205, 237;
    in mediæval cartography, ii. 219, 221, 222, 223

  Swedes (_see_ Svear _and_ Göter)

  Swedish legends and fairy-tales, ii. 55-6

  Sydow, C. W. von, i. 342, 364

  Tacitus, i. 69, 71, 83, 95, 104, 107-14, 131, 144, 149, 150, 203, 236,
        238, 244, 245; ii. 47

  Tanais (the Don), i. 66, 70, 78, 88, 151; ii. 186

  Tarducci, F., ii. 295, 304, 319

  Tarsis (Tarshish, Tartessos), i. 24, 28, 31, 38

  Tartarus, i. 11, 68, 158; ii. 150, 240

  Tartûshi, at-, i. 187; ii. 202

  Tastris, promontory, i. 101, 105

  Terfinnas, i. 171, 173-5, 204, 213, 218; ii. 146

  "Terra del Rey de portuguall" on Cantino map, ii. 352, 363, 372;
    == Newfoundland, ii. 363, 370

  "Terra Repromissionis Sanctorum," i. 357, 358, 359, 363, 364; ii. 19, 228

  Teutones, i. 70, 72, 91, 93, 94

  Thalbitzer, W., ii. 19, 67, 70, 73, 88, 90, 93

  Thales of Miletus, i. 12, 33, 34, 47

  Theodoric, King of the Goths, i. 128, 129, 136, 137, 138, 147

  Theopompus, i. 12, 16, 17, 355

  Thietmar of Merseburg, i. 229

  Thomsen, V., ii. 175, 198, 199

  Thor, i. 325, 333, 341, 343, 364;
    "Thor-" names, i. 332-3; ii. 51

  Thorbjörn Vivilsson, i. 318, 319, 320, 332

  Thorbrand Snorrason, killed in Wineland, i. 313, 328, 333; ii. 10

  Thore Hund's expedition to Bjarmeland, ii. 137-8

  Thorfinn, Earl of Orkney, i. 354; ii. 50

  Thorgils Orrabeinsfostre, sails to Greenland, i. 280-2; ii. 81, 89

  Thorgunna, Leif's mistress, i. 316, 333

  Thorhall Gamlason, Wineland voyager, i. 313, 319, 320, 333, 367

  Thorhall the Hunter, i. 296, 320, 321, 325-6, 329, 333, 338, 343-4; ii.

  Thorkel Gellisson, i. 253, 258, 260, 313, 354, 366, 367, 368; ii. 42

  Thormod Kolbrunarskald, i. 276; ii. 18

  Thorne, Robert, ii. 324, 341;
    map by, 334, 335

  Thoroddssen, Th., i. 262; ii. 225

  Thorolf Kveldulfsson, i. 175, 231

  Thorolf Smör, i. 257, 374

  _Thorsdrápa_, i. 219

  Thorstein Ericson, i. 249, 317-9, 320, 321, 331, 333;
    attempts to find Wineland, i. 318

  Thorvald Ericson, i. 318, 320, 329, 332; ii. 4, 13, 17-8

  Thorvard, Wineland voyager, i. 320, 332

  Three Brethren, Strait of the, ii. 130, 133

  Thue, H. J., i. 60

  Thule (Tyle, Thyle, Ultima Tile, &c.), i. 123, 134, 147; ii. 75, 149,
        188, 192, 197, 198, 200;
    visited by Pytheas, i. 53-64;
    derivation of, i. 58-9;
    == Norway, i. 60;
    Mela on, i. 92;
    Pliny on, i. 106;
    Tacitus, i. 108;
    Ptolemy, i. 117, 120, 121;
    Jordanes, i. 130;
    Procopius, i. 140-4;
    Solinus MSS., i. 160-1;
    Adam of Bremen, i. 193-4;
    Dicuil on (== Iceland), i. 164-7;
    Tjodrik Monk (== Iceland), i. 254;
    Historia Norwegiæ (== Iceland), i. 255;
    in mediæval cartography, ii. 219, 228, 257, 266, 268, 269

  Thyssagetæ, i. 88

  Tides, on W. coast of France, i. 40;
    observed by Pytheas, i. 50;
    on coast of N. America, ii. 316

  Timæus, i. 44, 51, 70, 71

  Tin in ancient times, i. 23-31;
    derivation of Greek, Celtic and Latin words for, i. 25-7;
    tin-trade in southern Britain, i. 68

  "Tír fo-Thuin" (Land under Wave), i. 358, 370, 373

  "Tír Mor" (The Great Land), i. 357, 367; ii. 48

  "Tír na Fer Finn" (the White Men's Land), ii. 44

  "Tír na m-Ban" (Land of Women), i. 354, 355

  "Tír na m-Beo" (Land of the Living), i. 357, 371

  "Tír na n-Ingen" (Land of Virgins), i. 355, 356, 363; ii. 45

  "Tír na n-Og" (Land of Youth), i. 357

  "Tír Tairngiri" (Promised Land), i. 357; ii. 228

  Tjodhild, wife of Eric the Red, i. 267, 270, 318, 331

  Tjodrik Monk, i. 166, 254, 255, 256, 257

  Toby, Maurice, Bristol chronicle, ii. 302, 305-6

  Torfæus, Tormodus, ii. 7, 32, 34, 154, 241

  Torlacius (Gudbrand Torlaksson), ii. 241

  Torp, Prof. Alf, i. 25, 26, 27, 58, 59, 94, 107, 148, 181, 183, 210,
        304, 361, 371; ii. 13, 14, 228

  Toscanelli, ii. 287, 292, 296, 372

  Trade-routes to the North in ancient times, i. 14, 21-2, 28, 31, 36, 75,

  "Trág Mór" (the Great Strand), i. 339, 357, 371; ii. 48

  Triads, in legend, i. 337-8; ii. 6

  Triquetrum (regula Ptolemaica), i. 47

  Trolls, attributes of, i. 327, 344; ii. 10, 14-6, 19, 76

  Trondhjem, i. 192; ii. 85, 117, 177, 205, 227, 235, 264, 265, 266, 267,
        268, 269, 270

  Troy, Bronze in, i. 24, 25

  Turcæ, i. 88

  Tylor, E. B., i. 380

  Tyrker (in Wineland story), i. 341, 343-4, 360; ii. 4

  Ua Corra, Navigation of the Sons of, i. 338-9, 355, 361; ii. 20

  Unger, C. R., i. 331, 338, 360

  Unipeds (Einfötingar, Ymantopodes), i. 189, 329; ii. 11, 13, 17, 263

  _Urus_ (aurochs), i. 191

  "Uttara Kuru," i. 19, 351

  Vandals, i. 247

  Vangensten, O., i. 226; ii. 85, 111, 233, 268, 286

  Van Linschoten, i. 376

  Varanger Fjord, i. 213, 214, 217, 219, 220; ii. 178, 210-11

  Varangians' Sea (_see_ Warank), ii. 210, 211, 212, 213

  Vardöhus fortress, ii. 126, 127, 141

  Varzuga, river, i. 174; ii. 135

  Vaux, C. de, ii. 213

  Velleius, i. 85

  Venedi (Wends), i. 101, 113

  Vener, Lake, i. 131; ii. 266

  Veneti, i. 39, 40, 242

  Venusberg myth, i. 355, 371

  Verrazano's map of 1529, ii. 335

  Vesconte, Perrinus, map of 1327, ii. 229;
    atlas of 1321, ii. 230

  Vesconte, Pietro, ii. 222-5, 230, 255, 257, 258, 259, 276, 282, 283,
        284, 285

  Vigfússon, Gudbrand, i. 258, 314

  Viking expeditions, the earliest, i. 234-5;
    in Spain, ii. 200

  Vikings, origin of the name, i. 244, 245

  Viladeste, Mecia de, compass-chart of 1413, ii. 234

  "Villuland" (Norse land of glamour), i. 377; ii. 206

  Vincent of Beauvais, ii. 158

  Vine, Wild, (_Vitus vulpina_), in N. America, i. 317; ii. 3-4

  "Vinili," i. 136

  "Vinoviloth," i. 136, 203

  Virgil, i. 130, 157, 159, 363

  Vistula, i. 71, 75, 95, 96, 101, 104, 119, 120, 121, 130, 131, 181

  Vogel, i. 235

  Volga, ii. 142, 143, 144, 146, 197

  Voyage of 1267, to the north of Baffin's Bay, i. 250, 307-11; ii. 82,
        83, 88

  Wackernagel, W., ii. 32, 189

  Walkendorf, Archbishop Eric, ii. 86, 112, 117, 163, 174

  Walrus, ii. 112, 155, 163, 165, 243;
    hunting, i. 172, 176-8, 212, 216, 221, 276-8, 287, 300; ii. 72,
        163-4, 173-8;
    tusks, i. 172, 176, 192, 212, 217, 277, 300, 303; ii. 163, 174;
    hide for ropes, i. 172, 176, 212, 277, 303; ii. 164, 178

  Walsperger, Andreas, mappamundi by, ii. 283, 284, 286

  Warank, Varyag, Varangi (Arab, Russian and Greek name for
        Scandinavians), ii. 196, 199, 200, 210-1

  Wattenzone, Die, i. 68

  Welcher, F. G., i. 371

  Wends, i. 101, 113, 169, 180

  Western Settlement of Greenland, i. 266, 271, 272, 300, 301, 302, 307,
        311, 321, 322, 334; ii. 71, 90;
    decline of, ii. 95-100, 102, 106, 107-111;
    visit of Ivar Bárdsson to, ii. 108

  West-sæ̂, i. 169, 170

  Whales, Whaling, i. 251; ii. 145, 173;
    in Bay of Biscay, i. 39; ii. 159, 161;
    in Normandy, ii. 159, 161;
    Norwegian, i. 172; ii. 155-9, 178, 243;
    in Greenland, i. 276, 277; ii. 72;
    in Ireland, ii. 156;
    in the Mediterranean, ii. 162;
    in legend, i. 325-6, 344, 363, 364; ii. 213, 234

  Whirlpools (_see_ Maelstrom)

  White Men's Land, The (_see_ Hvítra-manna-land, _and_ Tír na Fer Finn)

  White Sea, i. 169, 171, 172, 174, 175, 218-9, 222; ii. 135-42, 164, 173,
        179, 237

  Wichmann, Prof., i. 219

  _Wîdsîð_, i. 234

  Wieland, C. M., i. 352, 362; ii. 54, 150

  Wieser, von, ii. 249

  Wiklund, K. B., i. 112; ii. 175

  "Wildlappenland," i. 226; ii. 256, 263, 268;
    "Wildlappmanni," ii. 269, 270

  Wilhelmi, ii. 366

  Wille, Prof. N., ii. 3

  William of Malmesbury, i. 378

  Wilse, J. N., i. 352

  Wineland (Vínland, Vinland, Vindland, Winland, Wyntlandia, etc.), i.
        184, 195, 196-8, 201, 249, 260, 273, 312-84; ii. 1-65, 90-3, 110,
        154, 188, 190-1, 228, 239, 240, 293, 294, 304;
    called "the Good," i. 313, 353, 369, 373; ii. 60;
    vines and wheat in, i. 195, 197-8, 317, 325, 326-7, 345-53, 382-3; ii.
        3-6, 59;
    == the Fortunate Isles, i. 345-53, 382-4; ii. 1-2, 61;
    authorities for the Wineland voyages, i. 312-3;
    discovered by Leif Ericson, i. 317;
    Karlsevne's voyage, i. 320-30;
    Irish origin of ideas of, i. 167, 258, 353-69; ii. 60;
    the name of, i. 353, 367; ii. 61;
    summary of conclusions on, ii. 58-62

  Winge, Herluf, i. 275

  Winship, G. P., ii. 295, 305, 319, 320, 324, 326, 333, 336, 340, 341,

  "Wîsu" (or "Isû"), Arabic name for a people in North Russia, ii. 143-6,
        200, 270

  Wizzi, i. 188, 383; ii. 64, 143

  Wolf, Jens Lauritzön, i. 364

  Wolfenbüttel, Portuguese 16th century map at, ii. 331, 332, 335, 356

  Women, Land of (_Terra Feminarum_), on the Baltic, i. 186-7, 383; ii.

  Women's boats (umiaks), Eskimo, ii. 19, 70, 72, 74, 85, 92, 269, 270

  _Wonders, Book of_ (Arabic), ii. 207, 213-4

  Worcester, Willemus de, ii. 294

  Wulfstan, i. 104, 180

  Wuttke, H., i. 154

  Wytfliet, Cornelius, ii. 131

  Xamati, i. 88

  Xenophon of Lampsacus, i. 71, 99, 100

  Yâǵûǵ and Mâǵûǵ, ii. 144, 212, 213

  _Ynglinga Saga_, i. 135

  York, Cape, i. 306; ii. 71

  Yugrians, ii. 173, 174, 200

  Zarncke, ii. 242

  Zeno map, ii. 131, 132

  Zeuss, K., i. 112, 120, 145, 234, 235

  Ziegler, Jacob, i. 294; ii. 17, 86, 106, 111, 127, 128

  Zimmer, H., i. 234, 281, 334, 336, 339, 354, 355, 356, 357, 358, 360,
        361, 363, 364, 371; ii. 9, 10, 20, 44, 45, 53, 54, 150, 151

  _Zizania aquatica_ (wild rice), in N. America, ii. 5

  Zones, Doctrine of, i. 12, 76, 86, 123; ii. 182, 193, 247



[1] Cf. Grönl. hist. Mind., iii. pp. 216, 220; G. Storm, 1888, p. 12. The
latter part (in parenthesis) does not occur in the oldest MS.

[2] Storm thinks that Sir William Alexander's "red wineberries" from the
south-east coast of Nova Scotia (in 1624) would be grapes, but this is

[3] "Vínber" (grapes) are mentioned in the whole of Old Norse literature
only in the translation of the Bible called "Stjórn," in the
"Grönlendinga-þáttr," and in a letter (Dipl. Norv.) where they are
mentioned as raisins or dried grapes. In addition, "vínberjakǫngull" (a
bunch of grapes) occurs in the Saga of Eric the Red.

[4] Schübeler, Christiania Videnskabs-Selskabs Forhandlinger for 1858, pp.
21, ff.; Viridarium Norvegium, i. pp. 253, f.

[5] It should be mentioned that the American botanist, M. L. Fernald, has
recently [1910] made an attempt to locate the Icelanders' Wineland the
Good in southern Labrador, explaining the "vínber" of the Icelandic sagas
as a sort of currant or as whortleberry, the self-sown wheat as the
Icelanders' lyme-grass (Elymus arenarius), and the "másurr" as "valbirch."
By assuming "vinber" to be whortleberries he even thinks he can explain
how it was that Leif in the "Grönlendinga-Þáttr" was able to fill the ship
with "grapes" in the spring (and what of the vine-trees that he cut down
to load his ship, were they whortleberry-bushes?). Apart from the
surprising circumstance of the Icelanders having called a country Wineland
the Good because whortleberries grew there, the explanation is
inadmissible on the ground that whortleberries were never called "vinber"
(wineberries) in Old Norse or Icelandic. Currants have in more recent
times been called "vinbær" in Norway and Iceland, but were not known there
before the close of the Middle Ages. In ancient times the Norse people did
not know how to make wine from any berry but the black crowberry; but
there are plenty of these in Greenland, and it was not necessary to travel
to Labrador to collect them. Fernald does not seem to have remarked that
the sagas most frequently use the expression "vínviðr," or else "vínviðr"
and "vínber" together, and this can only mean vines and grapes. His
explanation of the self-sown wheat-fields does not seem any happier. That
the Icelanders should have reported these as something so remarkable in
Wineland is not likely, if it was nothing but the lyme-grass with which
they were familiar in Iceland. On the other hand, it is possible that the
"másurr" of the sagas only meant valbirch. But apart from this, how can
the sagas' description of Wineland--where no snow fell, where there was
hardly any frost, the grass scarcely withered, and the cattle were out the
whole winter--be applied to Labrador? Or where are Markland or Helluland
to be looked for, or Furðustrandir and Kjalarnes? Nor do we gain any more
connection in the voyage as a whole. It will therefore be seen that, even
if Professor Fernald had been right in his interpretation of the three
words above mentioned, this would not help us much; and when we find that
these very features of the vine and the wheat are derived from classical
myths, such attempts at explanation become of minor interest.

[6] Professor Alexander Bugge has pointed out to me that Schoolcraft
[1851, i. p. 85, pl. 15] mentions a tradition among the Algonkin Indians
that they had used as a weapon of war in ancient times a great round
stone, which was sewed into a piece of raw hide and fastened thereby to
the end of a long wooden shaft. The resemblance between such a weapon with
a shaft for throwing and the Skrælings' black ball is distant; but it is
not impossible that ancient reports of something of the sort may have
formed the nucleus upon which the "modernised" description of the saga has
crystallised; although the whole thing is uncertain. This Algonkin
tradition has a certain similarity with some Greenland Eskimo fairy-tales
[cf. Rink, 1866, p. 139].

[7] As arquebuses or guns had not yet been invented at that time, this
strange name may, as proposed by Moltke Moe, come from "fusillus" or
"fugillus" (an implement for striking fire) and mean "he who makes fire,"
"the fire-striker."

[8] Evidently saltpetre has been forgotten here, and so we have gunpowder,
which thus must have been already employed in war at that time, and
perhaps long before.

[9] Moltke Moe has found a curious resemblance to the description of the
"herbrestr" given above in the Welsh tale of Kulhwch and Olwen [Heyman:
Mabinogion, p. 78], where there is a description of a war-cry so loud that
"all women who are with child fall into sickness, and the others are
smitten with disease, so that the milk dries up in their breasts." But
this "herbrestr" may also be compared with the "vábrestr" spoken of in the
Fosterbrothers' Saga [Grönl. hist. Mind., ii. pp. 334, 412], which M.
Hægstad and A. Torp [Gamalnorsk Ordbog] translate by "crash announcing
disaster or great news" [cf. I. Aasen, "vederbrest"]. Fritzner translates
it by "sudden crash causing surprise and terror," and K. Maurer by
"Schadenknall." It would therefore seem to be something supernatural that
causes fear [cf. Grönl. hist. Mind., ii. p. 198]. The "Grönlandske
historiske Mindesmærker" mention in the same connection "isbrestr" or
"jökulbrestr" in Iceland. I have myself had good opportunities of studying
that kind of report in glaciers, and my opinion is that it comes from a
starting of the glacier, or through the latter skrinking from changes of
temperature; similar reports, but less loud, are heard in the ice on lakes
and fjords. Burgomaster H. Berner tells me that the small boys of
Krödsherred make what they call "kolabrest," by heating charcoal on a flat
stone and throwing water upon it while simultaneously striking the embers
with the back of an axe, which produces a sharp report.

[10] Scorium (slag) is also used in mediæval Latin for "corium," animal's
skin, hide.

[11] The poles that are swung the way of the sun or against it seem
incomprehensible, and something of the meaning must have been lost in the
transference of this incident from the tale from which it was borrowed. It
may be derived from the kayak paddles of the Greenland Eskimo, which at a
distance look like poles being swung, with or against the sun according to
the side they are seen from. It may be mentioned that in the oldest MS. of
Eric the Red's Saga, in the Hauksbók, the reading is not "trjánum" as in
the later MS., but "triom" and "trionum." Now "triónum" or "trjónum" might
mean either poles or snouts, and one would then be led to think of the
Indians' animal masks, or again, of the trolls' long snouts or animal
trunks, which we find again in fossil forms in the fairy-tales, and even
in games that are still preserved in Gudbrandsdal, under the name of
"trono" (the regular Gudbrandsdal phonetic development of Old Norse
"trjóna"), where people cover their heads with an animal's skin and put on
a long troll's snout with two wooden jaws. But that snouts were waved with
or against the sun does not give any better meaning; there may be some
confusion here.

[12] It is worth remarking that Gustav Storm, although he did not doubt
that the Skrælings of Wineland were really the natives, seems nevertheless
to have been on the track of the same idea as is here put forward, when he
says in his valuable work on the Wineland voyages [1887, p. 57, note 1]:
"It should be remarked, however, that this inquiry [into 'the nationality
of the American Skrælings'] is rendered difficult by the fact that in the
old narratives the Skrælings are everywhere enveloped, wholly or in part,
by a mythical tinge; thus even here [in the Saga of Eric the Red] they are
on the way to becoming trolls, which they really become in the later
sagas. No doubt it is learned myths of the outskirts of the inhabited
world that have here been at work." In a later work [1890a, p. 357] he
says that it is "certain enough that in the Middle Ages the Scandinavians
knew no other people in Greenland and the American countries lying to the
south of it than 'Skrælings,' who were not accounted real human beings and
whose name was always translated into Latin as 'Pygmæi.'" If Storm had
remarked the connection between the classical and Irish legends and the
ideas about Wineland, the further step of regarding the Skrælings as
originally mythical beings would have been natural.

[13] This is the same word as the Old Norse "skratti" or "skrati" for
troll (poet.) or wizard. "Skræa," "sickly shrunken and bony person," in
modern Norwegian, from north-west Telemarken [H. Ross], is evidently the
same word as Skræling; cf. also "skræaleg" and "skræleg"; further,
"Skreda" (Skreeaa), "sickly, feeble person, poor wretch," from outer
Nordmör [H. Ross].

[14] It is, perhaps, of importance, as Professor Torp has mentioned to me,
that the word "blá" is more often used than "svart" (black), when speaking
of trolls and magic, as an uncanny colour. This may have been a common
Germanic trait; cf. Rolf Blue-beard.

[15] Grönl. hist. Mind., i. p. 242; G. Storm, 1891, p. 68.

[16] W. Thalbitzer's attempt [1905, pp. 190, ff.] to explain the words,
not as originally names, but as accidental, misunderstood Eskimo
sentences, which are supposed to have survived orally for over 250 years,
does not appear probable (see next chapter).

[17] Moltke Moe has called my attention to the possibility of a connection
between "Avalldamon" and the Welsh myth of the isle of "Avallon" (the isle
of apple-trees; cf. vol. i. pp. 365, 379), to which Morgan le Fay carried
King Arthur. It is also possible that it may be connected with "dæmon" and
"vald" (== power, might). The possibility suggested above seems, however,
to be nearer the mark.

The Skrælings of Markland having kings agrees, of course, neither with
Indians nor Eskimo, who no more had kings than the Greenlanders and
Icelanders themselves. On the other hand, it exactly fits elves and
gnomes. The Ekeberg king and other mountain kings are well known in
Norway. The elves of Iceland had a king who was subject to the superior
elf-king in Norway. The síd-people in Ireland, the pygmies and gnomes in
other lands (such as Wales) also have kings. This feature again points,
therefore, in the direction of the fairy-nature of the Skrælings, like the
name "Vætthildr."

[18] It might be objected that when it is so distinctly stated that "it
was there more equinoctial [i.e., the day and night were more nearly equal
in length] than in Greenland or Iceland, the sun there had 'eykt' position
and 'dagmål' position [i.e., was visible between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.] on the
shortest day" [cf. Gr. h. Mind., i. p. 218; G. Storm, 1891, p. 58; 1887,
pp. 1, ff.], this shows that the Greenlanders were actually there and made
this observation. In support of this view it might also be urged that it
was not so very long (about forty years) before the Flateyjarbók was
written that the ship from Markland (see later) arrived at Iceland in
1347, and through the men on board her the Icelanders might have got such
information as to the length of days. This can hardly be altogether
denied; but it would have been about Markland rather than Wineland that
they would have heard, and Markland is only once mentioned in passing in
the "Grönlendinga-þáttr." Moreover, it was common in ancient times to
denote the latitude by the length of the longest or shortest day (cf. vol.
i. pp. 52, 64), and the latter in particular must have been natural to
Northerners (cf. vol. i. p. 133). The passage quoted above would thus be a
general indication that Wineland lay in a latitude so much to the south of
Greenland as its shortest day was longer; they had no other means of
expressing this in a saga, nor had they perhaps any other means of
describing the length of the day than that here used. It appears from the
Saga of Eric the Red that Kjalarnes was reckoned to be in the same
latitude as Ireland (see vol. i. p. 326); as a consequence of this we
might expect that Wineland would lie in a more southern latitude than the
south of Ireland, the latitude of which (i.e., the length of the shortest
day) was certainly well known in Iceland. If, therefore, in a tale of the
fourteenth century, the position of Wineland is to be described, it is
natural that its shortest day should be given a length which according to
Professor H. Geelmuyden [see G. Storm, 1886, p. 128; 1887, p. 6] would
correspond to 49° 55' N. lat. or south of it; in other words, the latitude
of France, and that was precisely the land that the Icelanders knew as the
home of wine, and that they would therefore naturally use in the
indication of a Wineland.

[19] Cf. Grönl. hist. Mind., iii. p. 220; Storm, 1887, p. 12.
"Húsa-snotra" is explained as a vane or similar decoration on the gable of
a house or a ship's stern [cf. V. Guðmundsson, 1889, pp. 158, ff.]. The
statement given above shows that a "húsa-snotra" was something to which
great importance was attached, otherwise attention would not have been
called to it in this way. And in the "Grönlendinga-Þáttr" [Gr. hist.
Mind., i. p. 254] we read that Karlsevne, when he was in Norway, would not
sell his "húsa-snotra" (made of "mausurr" from Wineland) to the German
from Bremen, until the latter offered him half a mark of gold for it. One
might suppose that this ornament (vane-staff) on the prow of a ship or the
gable of a house was connected with religious or superstitious ideas of
some kind, like the posts of the high seat within the house, or the
totem-poles of the North American Indians, which stood before the house.

[20] On the initiative of Professors Sophus Bugge and Gustav Storm, a
thorough examination of the spot was made in 1901, the first-named being
himself present; but the stone was not to be found.

[21] I cannot accept the conjectures that Professor Yngvar Nielsen thinks
may be based upon this inscription [1905].

[22] It is true that only a portion of this work has been preserved, and
that Wineland may have been mentioned in the part that has not come down
to us (if indeed the work was ever finished); but this is not likely.

[23] Cf. Storm's edition, 1888, pp. 19, 59, 112, 252, 320, 473.

[24] "Upsi" (or "ufsi") would mean "big coalfish" or "coalfish."

[25] It has been generally considered that it was not until 1124, when
Bishop Arnaldr was consecrated at Lund. In any case this is the first
ordination of which we have any information.

[26] Cf. G. Storm, 1887, p. 26; Reeves, 1895, p. 82.

[27] Cf. Ordericus Vitalis, Hist. Eccles., iii. 1, x. c. 5; Grönl. hist.
Mind., iii. p. 428; Rafn, 1837, pp. 337, 460, ff.; A. A. Björnbo, 1909, p.

[28] In a similar fashion Torfæus [1705] confused Vinland and Vindland.

[29] Cf. Polychronicon Ranulphi Higden, etc. Rerum Britanicarum Medii Ævi
Scriptores, London, 1865, i. p. 322; Eulogium Historiarum, etc. Rer. Brit.
Script., 1860, ii. pp. 78, f.; W. Wackernagel, 1844, pp. 494, f.

[30] Cf. Nordenskiöld, 1889, p. 3; A. A. Björnbo, 1909, pp. 197, 205, 240.

[31] Cf. Hammershaimb, 1855, pp. 105, ff.; Rafn, Antiqu. Americ., pp. 330,

[32] This image of blood upon snow is taken from Irish mediæval texts, as
Moltke Moe informs me.

[33] Cf. Grönl. hist. Mind., iii. pp. 516, ff.; Storm, 1887, pp. 37, ff.

[34] G. Storm [1890, P. 347] thinks that something is omitted in Gripla
and that it should read: "suðr frá er Helluland, þá er Markland, þat er
kallat Skrælingaland" (to the South is Helluland, then there is Markland,
which is called Skrælingaland). But this seems doubtful; it would not in
any case explain why Furðustrandir is placed to the north of Helluland.
When Storm alleges as a reason that Helluland is never mentioned as a
place of human habitation, but only for trolls (in the later legendary
sagas), he forgets that the Skrælings were trolls, or, as he himself puts
it elsewhere [1890a, p. 357], that the Skrælings were not accounted "true
human beings."

[35] The Menomini Indians, Fourteenth Ann. Rep. of the Bureau of
Ethnology, 1892-1893. Washington, 1896, vol. i. pp. 127, ff.; cf. also
"American Anthropologist," vol. iii. pp. 134, f., Washington, 1890.

[36] "Journal de la Société des Américanistes de Paris," 1905, No. 2, p.

[37] Storm's explanation [1887, pp. 68, ff.]: that it was Dicuil's account
of the discovery of Iceland by Irish monks (see vol. i. p. 164) which
formed the basis of the myth of Hvítramanna-land, may appear very
attractive and simple; but Storm does not seem to have noticed the
connection that exists between the Irish mythical islands in the west and
those of classical literature. When he points out the similarity between
the six days' voyage west of Ireland and Dicuil's statement of six days'
voyage to Iceland (Thule) northward from Britain, it must be remembered
that in Dicuil this is merely a quotation from Pliny, and, further, that
the six days' voyage has Britain and not Ireland for its starting-point.
In the Saga of Eric the Red Wineland lies six "dœgr's" sail from
Greenland. Cf. that in Plutarch ["De facie in orbe Lunæ," 941] Ogygia lies
five days' voyage west of Britain, and to the north-west of it are three
islands, to which the voyage might thus be one of six days. Let us
suppose, merely as an experiment, that Ogygia, the fertile vine-growing
island of the "hulder" Calypso, was Wineland, then the other three islands
to the north-west might be Hvítramanna-land, Markland and Helluland, which
would fit in. The northernmost would then have to be the island on which
the sleeping Cronos is imprisoned, with "many spirits about him as his
companions and servants" (cf. vol. i. pp. 156, 182). Dr. Scisco [1908, pp.
379, ff., 515, ff.] and Professor H. Koht [1909, pp. 133, ff.] think that
Are Mársson may have been baptized in Ireland and have been chief of a
Christian tribe on its west coast, where Hvítramanna-land may have been a
district inhabited by fair Norsemen.

[38] Since the above was printed in the Norwegian edition of this book,
Professor Moltke Moe has found a "Tír na Fer Finn," or the White Men's
Land, mentioned in Irish sagas of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.
The white men (fer finn) are evidently the same as the "Albati" (i.e., the
baptized dressed in white). Tír na Fer Finn and Hvítramanna-land are
consequently direct renderings of the "Terra Albatorum" (i.e., the land of
the baptized dressed in white), which is mentioned in earlier Irish
literature. The origin of the Icelandic legend about Hvítramanna-land
seems thus to be quite clear.

[39] Hermits like this, covered with white hair, also occur outside
Ireland. Three monks from Mesopotamia wished to journey to the place where
heaven and earth meet, and after many adventures, which often resemble
those of the Brandan legend, they came to a cave, where dwelt a holy man,
Macarius, who was completely covered with snow-white hair, but the skin of
his face was like that of a tortoise [cf. Schirmer, 1888, p. 42]. The last
feature might recall an ape.

[40] The resemblance to the hairy women (great apes ?) that Hanno found on
an island to the west of Africa and whose skin he brought to Carthage (cf.
vol. i. p. 88) is doubtless only accidental. The hair-covered hermits may
be connected with stories of hermits and the hairy wild man, "wilder
Mann," "Silvanus," who, in the opinion of Moltke Moe, is the same that
reappears in the Norwegian tale of "Villemand og Magnhild" (== der wilde
Mann and Magdelin).

[41] White and snow-white women and maidens are, moreover, of common
occurrence also in Germanic legends [cf. J. Grimm, 1876, ii. pp. 803,
ff.]. Expressions like white or snow-white to depict the dazzling beauty
of the female body also occur in Icelandic literature, just as the
lily-white arms are already found in Homer. Cf. further such names as
Snjófriðr, Snelaug, Schneewitchen (Snow-white), etc. [Cf. Moltke Moe's
communications in A. Helland, 1905, ii. pp. 641, f.]

[42] Before the convent on this island Brandan and his companions were met
by the monks "with cross, and cloaks [white clothes ?], and hymns"; cf.
the men in white clothes who cried aloud and carried poles in Eric the
Red's Saga. On the "Strong Men's Island" they also sang psalms, and one
generation wore white clothes.

[43] Cf. Dozy and de Goeje, 1866, p. 223, ff.; de Goeje, 1891, pp. 56, 59.
Moltke Moe has called my attention to this resemblance.

[44] The stench may be connected with ideas like those in the "Meregarto,"
the sailors stuck fast and rotted in the Liver-sea, see vol. i. p. 181.

[45] As Portugal was at that time under the Moors, Arabic must be regarded
as these men's mother-tongue.

[46] They first drifted to the north-west in the outer ocean, and after
three days suffered intolerable thirst; but Christ took pity on them and
brought them to a current which tasted like tepid milk. Zimmer's
explanation [1889, p. 216] of this current as the Gulf Stream to the west
of the Hebrides is due to modern maps, and is an example of how even the
most acute of book-learned inquirers may be led astray by formal
representations. That the Irish should have possessed such comprehensive
oceanographical knowledge as to regard this ocean-drift as a definitely
limited current is not likely, and still less that they should have
regarded it as so much warmer than the water inshore as to be compared to
tepid milk. The difference in temperature on the surface is in summer
(August) approximately nil, and in spring and autumn perhaps three or four
degrees; and of course the Irish had no thermometers. Last summer I
investigated this very part of the ocean without finding any conspicuous
difference. The feature may be derived from Lucian's Vera Historia, where
the travellers come to a sea of milk [Wieland, 1789, iv. p. 188].

[47] It is doubtless due to this communication that an unknown Arabic
author (of the twelfth century) relates that the "Fortunate Isles" lie to
the north of Cadiz, and that thence come the northern Vikings ("Maǵûs"),
who are Christians. "The first of these islands is Britain, which lies in
the midst of the ocean, at a great distance to the north of Spain. Neither
mountains nor rivers are found there; its inhabitants are compelled to
resort to rain-water both for drinking and for watering the ground"
[Fabricius, 1897, p. 157]. It is clear that there is here a confusion of
rumours of islands in the north--of which Britain was the best known,
whence the Vikings were supposed to come--with Pliny's Fortunate Isles:
"Planaria" (without mountains) and "Pluvialia" (where the inhabitants had
only rain-water). That the Orkneys in particular should have been
intended, as suggested by R. Dozy [Recherches sur l'Espagne, ii. pp. 317,
ff.] and Paul Riant [Expéditions et Pèlerinages des Scandinaves en Terre
Sainte, Paris, 1865, p. 236] is not very probable. We might equally well
suppose it to be Ireland, which through Norse sailors ("Ostmen") and
merchants had communication with the Spaniards from the ninth till as late
as the fourteenth century [cf. A. Bugge, 1900, pp. 1, f.]. The Arabic name
"Maǵûs" for the Norman Vikings comes from the Greek μάγος; (Magian,
fire-worshipper), and originally meant heathens in general.

[48] In one of his lays Björn Breidvikinge-kjæmpe also, as it happens,
speaks of Thurid as the snow-white ("fannhvít") woman.

[49] See D. Brauns: Japanische Märchen und Sagan. Leipzig, 1885, p. 146,

[50] Cf. the resemblance to the second voyage of Sindbad, to the tales in
Abû Hâmid, Qaswînî, Pseudo-Callisthenes' romance of Alexander, Indian
tales, etc. [cf. E. Rohde, 1900, p. 192].

[51] The Ringerike runic stone is not given here, as its mention of
Wineland is uncertain.

[52] It should be remarked that the beginning of this saga, dealing with
the discovery of Greenland by Eric the Red, is taken straight out of the
Landnámabók, and is thus much older.

[53] It would be otherwise on the west coast of Greenland, with its
excellent belt of skerries; but as the Eskimo could not reach this coast
without having developed, at least in part, their peculiar maritime
culture, it is, of course, out of the question that this can have been
their cradle.

[54] Cf. on this subject H. Rink [1871, 1887, 1891]; F. Boas [1901]; cf.
also H. P. Steensby [1905], Axel Hamberg [1907] and others. These authors
hold various views as to the origin of the Eskimo, which, however, are all
different from that set forth here. While Rink thought the Eskimo came
from Alaska and first developed their sea-fishing on the rivers of Alaska,
Boas thinks they come from the west coast of Hudson Bay, and Steensby that
they developed on the central north coasts of Canada. Since the above was
written W. Thalbitzer has also dealt with the question [1908-1910].

[55] This has been definitely and finally proved by the researches of Dr.
O. Solberg [1907], referred to in vol. i. (p. 306). It results from these
that the oldest stone implements of the Eskimo from the districts round
Disco Bay must be of very great age--far older, indeed, than I was
formerly [1891, pp. 6, f.; Engl. ed., pp. 8, ff.] inclined to suppose. It
results also from Solberg's researches that, while the Eskimo occupied the
districts from Umanak-fjord southward to Egedesminde and Holstensborg
(from 71° to 68° N. lat.) during long prehistoric periods, they do not
appear to have settled in the more southern part of Greenland until much
later. As will be pointed out later (p. 83), it was especially in the
districts around Kroksfjarðarheidr that according to the historical
authorities the Skrælings were to be found. Since we may assume, as shown
in vol. i. p. 301, that this was Disco Bay, the conclusion from historical
sources agrees remarkably well with the archæological finds.

[56] Solberg, however, in the researches referred to, has been able to
show some development in Eskimo sealing appliances in the course of the
period since their first arrival in Greenland, but perhaps chiefly after
they had come in contact with the Norsemen and learnt the use of iron.

[57] As will be seen (cf. p. 72), this agrees surprisingly well with the
conclusions which Dr. Solberg has reached in another way in the work
already mentioned [1907], which was published since the above was written.

[58] Cf. also William Thalbitzer's valuable work on the Eskimo language

[59] Cf. Gualteri Mapes, De nugis curialium. Ed. by Thomas Wright, 1850,
pp. 14, ff.

[60] If it was the tradition of Karlsevne's encounter with the Skrælings
that was referred to, then of course neither he nor the greater part of
his men were Greenlanders, but Icelanders, so that it might equally well
have been said that the Icelanders called them Skrælings.

[61] Cf. Christian Koren-Wiberg: "Bidrag til Bergens Kulturhistorie,"
Bergen, 1908, pp. 151, f. I owe it to Professor A. Bugge that my attention
was drawn to this interesting find.

[62] Jón Egilsson's continuation of Húngurvaka, Grönl. hist. Mind., iii.
p. 469.

[63] It is striking how accurately this agrees with what we have arrived
at in an entirely different way with regard to the places inhabited by the
Eskimo in ancient times (see p. 73).

[64] From this it cannot, of course, be concluded that they were not
living there too at that time; it only shows that the voyagers did not
meet with them in the most northerly regions, although they saw empty
sites. As the Eskimo leave their winter houses in the spring and lead a
wandering life in tents, this need not surprise us.

[65] Cf. Björnbo and Petersen, 1904, pp. 179, 236.

[66] Jacob Ziegler (circa 1532), who probably made use of statements from
Walkendorf, confuses the Norsemen and Eskimo in Greenland together into
one people, who breed cattle, have two episcopal churches, etc.; but "on
account of the distance and the difficulty of the voyage the people have
almost reverted to heathendom, and are ... especially addicted to the arts
of magic, like the Lapps...." They use light boats of hides, with which
they attack other ships [cf. Grönl. hist. Mind., iii. p. 499].

[67] In the account attributed to Ivar Bárdsson, first written down in
Norway, the Skrælings also receive a good deal of attention.

[68] William Thalbitzer, the authority on the Eskimo, has lately [1909, p.
14] adduced the silence of the "King's Mirror" and of the Icelandic Annals
on the subject of the Skrælings of Greenland as evidence that the Norsemen
had not met with them on their northern expeditions to Nordrsetur; but
what has been brought forward above shows that nothing of the kind can be
concluded from the silence of the "King's Mirror" (which, moreover, says
nothing about the Nordrsetur expeditions); and why in particular the
Icelandic Annals should allude to the Skrælings in Greenland seems
difficult to understand. This is no evidence, especially as we see that
the Skrælings are mentioned in other contemporary authorities, such as the
Historia Norwegiæ, Ivar Bárdsson's description, the account of the voyages
in 1266 and 1267, etc. Besides, in the last authority it is expressly
stated that there were Skrælings in Nordrsetur (Kroksfjardarheidr, cf. p.

[69] E. Beauvois, 1904, 1905; Y. Nielsen, 1904, 1905; W. Thalbitzer, 1904,

[70] As so much weight has been attached to single words in order to prove
the similarity of culture between the Skrælings in Wineland and Markland
and those in Greenland, it is strange that no notice has been taken of
points of difference such as this, that the Skrælings in Markland are said
to dwell in caves, while the Greenlanders must have known, at any rate
from the dwelling-sites they had found, that the Skrælings in Greenland
lived in houses and tents.

[71] If we might suppose (which is not probable) that the missile
mentioned on p. 7, note, from a myth of the Algonkin Indians has any
connection with the Skrælings' black ball which frightened Karlsevne's
people, this would be another feature pointing to knowledge of the
Indians. Hertzberg's demonstration that the Indian game of lacrosse is
probably the Norse "knattleikr" (pp. 38, ff.) may point in the same
direction; for it seems less probable that the transmission, if it
occurred, should have been brought about by the Eskimo.

[72] That it was due to changes in the climate, as some have thought, is
not the case. The ancient descriptions of the voyage thither and of the
drift-ice (cf. for instance, the "King's Mirror," vol. i. p. 279) show
exactly the same conditions as now.

[73] The driftwood that was washed ashore along the coasts could not
possibly suffice for shipbuilding; but they doubtless obtained timber also
from Markland (cf. pp. 25, 37).

[74] Existing royal documents show that the prohibition of trade with
these tributary countries was again strictly enforced by Magnus Smek in
1348, and by Eric of Pomerania in 1425.

[75] Cf. Islandske Annaler, ed. by Storm, 1888, p. 228.

[76] It is shown by Solberg's [1907] researches that they did so.

[77] As stated on p. 86, Jacob Ziegler (circa 1532) also says that the
people of Greenland "have almost lapsed to heathendom," etc. Although
mythical, this shows a similar tradition.

[78] Cf. Grönl. hist. Mind., iii. p. 258; F. Jónsson, 1899, p. 328.

[79] This seems very doubtful, as it is not known that a bishop ever
resided in the Western Settlement.

[80] It is true that this is not stated in the narrative; it is only said
that the Skrælings possessed the whole Western Settlement, and that Ivar
and his companions found no people there, either Christian or heathen, but
only wild cattle; and it may, of course, be doubtful whether the meaning
was that the whole settlement had been destroyed by a predatory incursion.

[81] This explanation offers, of course, the difficulty that it would not
be applicable to dairy cattle; but in this way of life the settlers may
have had to give up milking.

[82] These last ideas may well be supposed to have originated in a
confusion with the tales about Wineland.

[83] We find conceptions of the Skrælings as dangerous opponents or
assailants in Michel Beheim in 1450 [Vangensten, 1908, p. 18], Paulus
Jovius in 1534, Jacob Ziegler in 1532, Olaus Magnus in 1555, and others.
But it is evident that these conceptions are to a great extent due to myth
and superstition.

[84] Cf. Islandske Annaler, ed. by Storm [1888], pp. 365, f., 414, f.
Grönl. hist. Mind., iii. pp. 135, ff., 436, ff.

[85] According to my experience the bear avoids the walrus, and I have
never seen a sign of their fighting on land or on the ice.

[86] A complaint previously sent to the Pope, which, however, was false,
as will be shown later.

[87] Mention should be made of two other factors, which Dr. Björnbo has
suggested to me. It is possible that while the majority of the Norsemen
were compelled more and more to adopt the Eskimo mode of life in order to
support themselves, some more strong-minded individuals among them, and a
few zealous priests, may have resisted stubbornly, and this may have led
to fighting such as is spoken of in the legends. Nor must it be forgotten
that the relentlessness of the Eskimo is usually accentuated when dealing
with individuals who are only a burden to the community without benefiting
it; and no doubt some among the Norsemen may have been reduced to such a
position after the cessation of imports from abroad, since they were
inferior to the Eskimo in skill as fishermen and sealers.

[88] It is true that Clavus mentions the warrior hosts of the infidel
Karelians in Greenland; but this is evidently myth or invention (cf.
chapter xiii.).

[89] According to another authority it was not till 1413. In any case it
looks as if travelling took a good time in those days.

[90] As evidence of the state of things it may be mentioned that we read
in the Icelandic Annals [Storm, 1888, p. 290] under 1412: "No tidings came
from Norway to Iceland. The queen, Lady Margaret, died...." When
communication even with Iceland had fallen off to this extent, we can
understand its having ceased altogether with Greenland.

[91] Grönl. hist. Mind., iii. pp. 160, ff.

[92] See G. Storm, 1892, pp. 399-401. The letter was discovered some years
ago in the papal archives by a priest from Dalmatia, Dr. Jelič. Cf. also
Jos. Fischer, 1902, p. 49.

[93] Published by J. Metelka [1895].

[94] A. A. Björnbo, Berlingske Tidende, 1909; Björnbo and Petersen, 1909,
p. 249.

[95] Cf. L. Daae, 1882. Besides the authorities mentioned by Daae, See
"Scriptores rerum Danicarum," ii. 563, where "Puthorse" is mentioned as
"pirata Danicus" together with "Pynning." Cf. also Grönl. hist. Mind.,
iii. pp. 473, ff.

[96] This was the usual representation at that time; cf. Ziegler's map of

[97] A. A. Björnbo, Berlingske Tidende, Copenhagen, July 17, 1909; Björnbo
and Petersen, 1909, p. 249.

[98] Monumenta Historiæ Danicæ, ed. Holger Rördam, i. Copenhagen, 1873, p.
28; L. Daae, 1882.

[99] Cf. G. Storm [1886]. B. T. de Costa [1880, p. 170] points out that
Hakluyt says that the voyage of this navigator is mentioned by Gemma
Frisius and Girava. Gemma Frisius published amongst other works a revised
edition of Petrus Apianus's "Cosmographicus Liber" in 1529. Girava
published in 1553 "Dos Libros de Cosmographia," Milan, 1556. I have not
had an opportunity of referring to these authorities; the former, if this
be correct, may have given information about Scolvus earlier than Gomara.
De Costa also says that on the Rouen globe [i.e., the L'Ecuy globe, see p.
131] in Paris, of about 1540, there is an inscription near the north-west
coast of Greenland stating that Skolnus [Scolvus] reached that point in

[100] Cf. R. Collinson, 1867, pp. 3, f.

[101] Lelewel's conjecture [1852, iv. p. 106, note 50, 52] that Scolvus's
name was Scolnus and that he came from a little Polish inland town near
the frontier of East Prussia, is, as shown by Storm [1886, p. 400],

[102] Storm [1886, p. 399] thought that Wytfliet might have borrowed from
Gomara, and himself invented and added the date 1476, in order to
disparage the Spaniards and Portuguese as discoverers; but Storm was not
aware that this date, as we have seen, is mentioned in an earlier English

[103] Cf. Harrisse, 1892, pp. 286, ff., 658. The inscription reads: "Quii
populi ad quos Johannes Scovvus danus pervenit. Ann. 1476."

[104] Just as the above is at press, I have received a sheet of Dr.
Björnbo's new work [1910, pp. 256, ff.], from which it appears that the
inscription mentioned above is already found on Gemma Frisius's globe
engraved by Gerard Mercator, probably 1536-1537 (found at Zerbst, and
reproduced for the first time in Björnbo's work). The inscription is
placed on the polar continent, to the north-west of Greenland, and reads:
"Quij populi ad quos Jōēs Scoluss danus peruenit circa annum 1476."
Björnbo translates it: "Quij, the people to whom the Dane Johannes
Scolvuss (Scolwssen ?) penetrated about the year 1476." (The
interpretation of the word "Quij" as the name of a people may be probable,
especially as the same word occurs, as pointed out by Björnbo, as the name
of a people on Vopell's map of the world of 1445.) This is therefore the
oldest notice of Scolvus's voyage at present known, and it may seem
possible, though not very probable, that he reached a land to the west of
Greenland. The L'Ecuy or Rouen globe (of copper) is evidently a copy of
the Frisius-Mercator globe, and has the same inscriptions. It may be to
the same source (or to a contemporary work of Gemma Frisius) that Hakluyt
referred (cf. above, p. 129, note 2), and several statements in the
English document of about 1575 (p. 129) seem also to be derived from it.
As Gomara calls Joan Scolvo "piloto," which is not on the globe (but on
the other hand is found in the English document!), and as, further, he has
not the dates, he may possibly have had a somewhat different authority. It
is interesting to note, as shown by Björnbo, that the Frisius-Mercator
globe seems to betray Portuguese associations, and thus its information
about Scolvus may also have come from Portugal.

[105] G. Storm [Mon. hist. Norw., 1880, p. 78] thought that "Vegistafr"
might be "Sviatoi Nos" at the entrance to Gandvik (the White Sea).

[106] This was the market-place on the bank of the Dvina, presumably the
same that the Russians afterwards called Kholmogori, and that lay a little
higher up the river than Archangel (founded in 1572).

[107] This is Karelian for heaven or the sky-god; the Kvæns (Finlanders)
called their god "Jumala," and the Finns (Lapps) theirs "Ibmel," which is
the same word. [Cf. G. Storm's translation of Heimskringla, 1899, p. 322.]

[108] From the account it would look as though Thore Hund was already well
acquainted with the country. Even if the tale as a whole is not
historical, a feature like this may point to the Norwegians having been in
the habit of visiting Bjarmeland, and therefore looking upon it as natural
that a man like Thore knew the country.

[109] Håkon Håkonsson's Saga in Fornmanna-sögur, ix. p. 319.

[110] The Russian chronicles in translation, "Suomi" for 1848.

[111] Professor Alexander Seippel has given me valuable help in the
translation of the Arabic authors.

[112] The Volga was often called Itil after the town of that name, but was
later named after Bulgar (Bolgar == Volga).

[113] Cf. Frähn, 1823, p. 218.

[114] Chronica Nestoris, ed. Fr. Miklosisch, Vindobonæ, 1860, pp. 9, f.;
Nestors russiske Krönike, overs, og forkl. af C. W. Smith, Copenhagen,
1869, p. 29.

[115] Cf. T. Mommsen, 1882, pp. 88, 166.

[116] Jaqut, 1866, i. p. 113; cf. also Mehren, 1857, p. 171.

[117] Ibn Fadhlân's mission as ambassador from the Caliph al-Muktadir
billâh of Bagdad to Bulgar took place, according to his own statements,
reproduced by Jaqût (ob. 1229), in the years 921 and 922 A.D. Ibn Fadhlân,
like Jaqût, was a Greek by birth.

[118] Jaqut, 1866, iv. p. 944; i. p. 113.

[119] This agrees with reality. Along the Volga one can reach the land of
the Vesses on Lake Byelo-ozero.

[120] Al-Qazwînî, 1848, ii. p. 416.

[121] Ibn Batûta, Voyages, etc., par Defrémery et Sanguinetti, ii. pp.
399, ff.

[122] This is doubtless an expression for a conveyance of some kind, which
must here have been a sledge.

[123] Cf. Frähn, 1823, pp. 230, ff.

[124] Cf. Peschel, 2nd ed., 1877, p. 107. There has also been found a
metal mirror with an Arabic inscription of the tenth or eleventh century
at Samarovo in the land of the Ostyaks, where the Irtysh and the Ob join.

[125] Cf. on this subject G. Storm, 1890, pp. 340, ff.; A. A. Björnbo,
1909, pp. 234, ff.

[126] Saxo also has conceptions of half-awake or half-dead ("semineces")
giants in the underworld in the north as guardians of treasures (cf.
Gorm's and Thorkel's voyage). Moltke Moe thinks they may be derived from
ancient notions of the giants as the evil dead, who guard treasures.

[127] Kohl [1869, pp. 11, ff.] supposes that they may have carried on
piracy, and invented their story to explain to the bishop how they had
come by the booty they brought home and how they had lost their
companions, who may have been killed in fighting.

[128] Giraldus Cambrensis also mentions the dangerous whirlpool north of
the Hebrides.

[129] Cf. Amund Helland, Lofoten og Vesteraalen. Norges geologiske
Undersögelse. No. 23. Christiania, 1897, p. 106.

[130] Hakluyt: Principal Navigations, Glasgow, 1903, ii. p. 415.

[131] Cf. Storm, 1895, pp. 190, f.

[132] It is not impossible that it was of this Norwegian king Harold's
voyage that Adam heard from the Danes; in that case he may readily be
supposed to have made a mistake and connected it with the King Harold who
was then living, to whom he also attributes a voyage in the Baltic; it is
a common experience that many similar incidents in which different persons
were engaged collect about one of them. The circumstance that Harold is
here mentioned without any term of abuse, with which Adam is elsewhere in
the habit of accompanying any mention of him, is perhaps, as already said
(vol. i. p. 195, note), of no particular significance. Harold Gråfeld was
much in Denmark, and reports of his expedition to Bjarmeland may well have
lived there, as in Iceland. If it is this to which Adam's words refer,
this would also explain the curious silence of the Icelandic authorities
about Harold Hardråde's alleged voyage in the Arctic Ocean.

[133] Professor Yngvar Nielsen [1904, 1905] thinks that Adam's description
cannot be explained otherwise than as referring to a voyage to the west,
and probably a Wineland voyage. The Icelandic historian Tormodus Torfæus
regarded it in the same way two hundred years ago. Professor Nielsen even
thinks he can point to the Newfoundland Banks with their "surf caused by
the current" (?) as a probable place where King Harold turned back to
avoid the gulf of the abyss. I will not here dwell on the improbability of
so daring a man as Harold, whom we are to suppose to have sailed across
the Atlantic in search of Wineland, being frightened by a tide-race (of
which he knew worse at home) on the Newfoundland Banks, so as to believe
that he was near the abyss ("Ginnungagap"), and therefore making the long
voyage home again without having accomplished his purpose, without having
reached land, and without having renewed his supplies--of fresh water, for
instance. I can only see that all this is pure guesswork without any solid
foundation and far beyond the limits of all reasonable possibility. But in
addition, as Dr. A. A. Björnbo [1909, pp. 121, 234, ff.] has clearly
shown, the whole of this view becomes untenable if we pay attention to the
universal cartographical representation of that time, by which Adam of
Bremen was obviously also bound, and in particular it is impossible to
conclude from his words that Harold's voyage should have been made to the

[134] Suhm (Historie af Danmark, 1790) was the first to think that the
gulf of the abyss was the maelstrom by Mosken.

[135] A peculiarity of the account in the "King's Mirror" is that whales,
seals and walruses are mentioned only in the seas of Iceland and
Greenland, and not off Norway, although the Norwegian author most
undoubtedly have heard of most of them in his native land. In the same way
the northern lights are only spoken of as something peculiar to Greenland.
Of the six species of seal that are mentioned, one ("örknselr") must be
the grey seal or "erkn" (Halichoerus grypus), which is common on the coast
of the northern half of Norway, but is not found in Greenland.

[136] One might receive a different impression from Bede's Statement that
in Britain "seals are frequently taken ('capiuntur'), and dolphins, as
also whales ('balenæ')" [Eccles. hist. gent. Angl. i. c. 1]. But it is
uncertain whether this refers to regular hunting of great whales with
harpoons in the open sea, or whether it does not rather refer to stranded
whales, which must have been of frequent occurrence in those days, to
judge from the Norman and later English regulations regarding them.

[137] He belonged to the South Arabian tribe 'Udhra, "die da sterben, wann
sie lieben."

[138] This is exactly what is still done with the whale on the west coast
of Norway.

[139] Cf. G. Jacob, 1896, pp. 23, ff.

[140] Louis the Gentle confirms a division of the property of the abbey of
St. Dionysius, which the abbot Hilduien had made in 832 [cf. Bouquet,
Historiens de France, vi. p. 580]. He says in this document that "we give
them this property ... on the other side of Sequana the chapel of St.
Audoenus for repairing and clearing fishing nets ... in Campiniago two
houses for fish ... the water and fish in Tellis ... and Gabaregium in
Bagasinum with all the manorial rights and lands attached, of which part
lies in the parish of Constantinus [Coutances] for taking large fish
('crassus piscis')." It is probable that "crassus piscis" means Biscayan
whale (Balœna Biscayensis or glacialis), which at that time was common on
these shores. In that case the people of Côtantin would have carried on
whaling as early as the beginning of the ninth century, but of their
methods we can form no conclusions.

[141] It is possible that the peoples on the shores of the Indian Ocean
(and Red Sea) even in early antiquity caught whales and ate whales' flesh
[cf. Noel, 1815, p. 23]. Strabo [xv. 725, f.; xvi. 767, 773] tells of the
great numbers of whales, 23 fathoms long, that Nearchus is said to have
seen in this ocean, and says that the Ichthyophagi (fish-eaters) used
whales' bones for beams and rafters in their huts. Strabo thinks [i. 24]
that the mention of the monster Scylla (who catches dolphins, seals, etc.)
in the Odyssey [xii. 95, ff.] would point to large marine animals having
been taken in ancient times; but all this may be very doubtful.

[142] Cf. M. P. Fischer, 1872, pp. 3, ff. In 1202 the merchants of Bayonne
bound themselves to pay King John Lackland ten pounds sterling a year for
permission to catch whales between St. Michael's Mount (in Normandy) and a
place called Dortemue [cf. Delisle, 1849, p. 131]. This may point to a
connection in the whale-fishery between the south of France and Normandy.

[143] Cf. Johannes Steenstrup, 1876, vol. i. p. 188. Professor Steenstrup
puts forward the view that it was the Danes who developed this whaling in
Normandy. This is scarcely possible. There cannot be much doubt that it
was the comparatively valuable Biscay whale or nord-caper that was the
chief object of the active whaling on the coast of Normandy, and that was
specially called "crassus piscis"; for it was precisely this species of
whale which then at certain times of the year appeared in great numbers
along the whole French coast, and which the Basques also pursued so
actively along the shores of the Bay of Biscay, Brittany and Normandy. The
name "crassus piscis" (i.e., the thick or fat fish) would also exactly
describe this species, which is remarkable beyond all other whales that
occur on the coasts of France for its striking breadth and bulk in
proportion to its length, which is about fifty feet. This whale was more
valuable than the other great whales that occurred along these coasts, and
was in addition much easier to catch. But this species certainly never
regularly frequented the shallow Danish waters, any more than other great
whales that might be an object of hunting. There is, therefore, scarcely a
possibility that Danish Vikings should have brought with them from their
native land any experience in hunting great whales. If we may assume that
the Normans were already acquainted with the hunting of great whales
before they came to Normandy, then it may have been Norwegians who
possessed this experience, which, in fact, agrees with the statement of
Qazwînî (see above).

[144] Muratori: Script. rer. Ital., v. p. 265. Cf. also Joh. Steenstrup,
1876, i. p. 188.

[145] The text has "culmi" (literally, straw), which gives no sense. We
must suppose that something has been omitted in the MS. of Albertus that
was used in the printed edition; or else he has taken the description from
an older source, which had it correctly, and from which later authors have
taken the same expression; for otherwise it is difficult to understand
their using it in a reasonable way. Erik Walkendorf (circa 1520) says of
the walrus in Finmark: "They have a stiff and bristly beard as long as the
palm of a hand, as thick as a straw ('crassitudine magni culmi'), they
have rough bristly ('hirsuta') skin, two fingers thick, which has an
incredible strength and firmness"; but he says nothing about the method of
catching them [Walkendorf, 1902, p. 12]. Olaus Magnus [I, xxi. c. 25] says
that walruses ("morsi" or "rosmari") appear on the northern coast of
Norway. "They have a head like an ox, have rough (bristly, 'hirsutam')
skin, and hair as thick as straw ('culmos') or the stalks of corn
('calamos frumenti') which stands in all directions. They heave themselves
up by their tusks to the tops of rocks as with ladders, in order to eat
the grass bedewed with fresh water, and roll themselves back into the sea,
unless in the meantime they are overcome by very deep sleep and remain
hanging." Then follows the same story of catching them as in Albertus
Magnus. This is done, he says, chiefly for the sake of the tusks, "which
were highly prized by the Scythians, Rutens and Tartars," etc. "This is
witnessed also by Miechouita." This description of Olaus is evidently put
together from older statements which we find in Albertus Magnus, in
Walkendorf, and in Russian sources, of which he himself quotes Mikhow (who
is also mentioned in Pistorius; see below).

[146] This was very valuable on account of its strength, and was much used
for ships' cables, mooring-hawsers, and many other purposes.

[147] Saxo, viii. 287, f.; ed. by H. Jantzen, 1900, pp. 447, ff.; ed. by
P. Herrmann, 1901, pp. 385, ff.

[148] In the description of Greenland attributed to Ivar Bárdsson we read:
"Item from Langanes, which lies uppermost (or northernmost) in Iceland by
the aforesaid Hornns it is two days' and two nights' sail to Sualberde in
haffsbaane (or haffsbotnen)." [F. Jónsson, 1899, p. 323.]

[149] Monumenta hist. Norv., ed. G. Storm, 1880, pp. 74. f., 79.

[150] In the "Rymbegla" [1780, p. 350] is mentioned, together with other
fabulous beings in this part of the world, "the people called
'Hornfinnar,' they have in their foreheads a horn bent downwards, and they
are cannibals."

[151] Cf. also A. Bugge, 1898, p. 499; G. Isachsen, 1907.

[152] True north of Langanes there is no land: Jan Mayen lies nearest,
N.N.E., and Greenland W.N.W. As the "leidar-stein" (compass) was known in
Iceland when Hauk's Landnámabók was written (cf. vol. i. p. 248), magnetic
directions might be meant here, and the variation of the compass may at
that time have been great enough to make Greenland lie north (magnetic) of
Langanes. In that case it is perhaps strange that Langanes should be
mentioned as the starting-point, and not some place that lay nearer; but
it might be supposed that this was because one had first to sail far to
the east to avoid the ice, when making for the northern east coast of
Greenland. A large eastern variation would also agree with Jolldulaup in
Ireland lying south of Reykjanes, the uninhabited parts of Greenland lying
north of Kolbeins-ey (Mevenklint, see vol. i. p. 286), and the statement
in the Sturlubók that from Snæfellsnes it was "four 'dœgr's' sea west to
Greenland" [i.e., Hvarf]. But it does not agree with this that from Bergen
(or Hennö) the course was "due west" to Hvarf in Greenland; and still less
does it agree with its being, according to the Sturlubók, "seven 'dœgr's'
sail west from Stad in Norway to Horn in East Iceland." If these are
courses by compass, we must then suppose a large _eastern_ variation
between Norway and Iceland, which indeed is not impossible, but which will
not accord with a large _western_ variation between Reykjanes and Ireland.
The probability is, therefore, that magnetic courses are not intended.

[153] As already mentioned, a "dœgr" was half a day of twenty-four hours,
and a "dœgr's" sail is thus the distance sailed in a day or in a night.
One might, perhaps, be tempted to think that here, where it is a question
of sailing over the open sea, and where it would therefore be impossible
to anchor for the night, as on the coast, a "dœgr's" sail might mean the
distance covered in the whole twenty-four hours [cf. G. Isachsen, 1907];
but it appears from a passage in St. Olaf's Saga (in "Heimskringla"),
amongst others, that this was not the usual way of reckoning; for we read
there (cap. 125) that Thorarinn Nevjolfsson sailed in eight "dœgr" from
Möre in Norway to Eyrar in south-western Iceland. Thorarinn went straight
to the Althing and there said that "he had parted from King Olaf four
nights before...." The eight "dœgr" mean, therefore, four days' and four
nights' sailing. Precisely the same thing appears from the sailing
directions given above (p. 166) from Ivor Bárdsson's description, where
four "dœgr's" sea is taken as two days' and two nights' sail.

[154] Sometimes also called Nordbotn (cf. vol. i, pp. 262, 303), perhaps
mostly in fairy-tales. This form of the name is still extant in a
fairy-tale from Fyresdal and Eidsborg about "Riketor Kræmar" [H. Ross in
"Dölen," 1869, vii. No. 23].

[155] Pistorius, Polonicæ historiæ corpus, 1582, i. 150. I have not had an
opportunity of consulting this work. We saw above (p. 163, note) that
Olaus Magnus also quotes Mikhow.

[156] Cf. Noël, 1815, p. 215.

[157] The idea may have arisen through a misunderstanding of stories that
the walruses often lie in great herds, close together, on the tops of
skerries and small islands, and are there speared in great numbers by the

[158] He calls my attention to two papers by Professor Sophus Bugge [in
"Romania," iii. 1874, p. 157, and iv. 1875, p. 363], in which the
etymology of the French word "morse" is discussed. Bugge first seeks to
explain the word (precisely as above) as a metathesis for "rosme," from
the Danish "rosmer" == Old Norwegian "rosmáll," "rosmhvalr." In the second
paper he withdraws this explanation, and says that V. Thomsen has pointed
out to him the identity of "morse" with the Russian "morsh," Polish
"mors," Czeckish "mrž," Finnish "mursu," Lappish "morš." The word would
"according to V. Thomsen be rather of Slavic (cf. 'more,' sea ?) than of
Finnish origin." After what has been advanced above, this last conclusion
may be somewhat improbable. Professor Nielsen also refers to Matzenauer,
Cizi slova, p. 257, which I have not had an opportunity of consulting.

[159] Professor Olaf Broch has described to me the peculiar river-boat
that is used far and wide in North Russia, and that is evidently a very
old type of boat. Broch saw it on the Súkhona, a tributary of the Dvina.
The bottom of the boat is a dug-out tree-trunk of considerable size, which
can only be found farther up the country. By heating the wood the sides
are given the desired shape, and to the dug-out foundation is fastened a
board on each side; Broch did not remember whether it was sewed or nailed
on. The boat is thus a transitional form between the dug-out canoe and the
clinker-built boat. This type of boat may also have reached the shore of
the Polar Sea; but there cannot have been timber for building it there.

[160] Cf. A. Helland, Nordlands Amt, 1908, ii. p. 888.

[161] Cf. K. Leem, 1767, p. 216.

[162] The Florentine MS. of it dates from the ninth century.

[163] For this reason they were also called OT-maps, which corresponded to
the initial letters of "orbis terrarum."

[164] The work is preserved in the British Museum in a MS. of the
fourteenth century, which unfortunately has not been published. The
geographical descriptions in the Eulogium Historiarum of about 1360 (vol.
ii. Rerum Britann. Medii Ævi Script., London, 1860, cf. the introduction
by F. S. Hayden) may be taken from this work. It is evidently a MS. of the
same "Geographia" that W. Wackernagel found in the library at Berne, and
of which he published extracts relating to the North [1844]. It is
probably the same "Geographia Universalis," again, that is published in
Bartholomæus Anglicus: De proprietatibus rerum, and in Rudimenta
Novitiorum, Lübeck, circa 1475.

[165] The name of "Dacia" for Denmark, which frequently occurs on maps of
the Middle Ages, arose through a confusion of the name of the Roman
province on the Danube with "Dania."

[166] "Nero," which appears before this word on the map (see vol. i. p.
183), is crossed out, and was evidently an error.

[167] Cf. Rafn, Antiquités Russes, ii. pp. 390, ff., Pl. IV.; K. Miller,
iii., 1895, p. 125.

[168] Cf. M. de Goeje in the "Livre des Merveilles de l'Inde," ed. by v.
d. Lith and Devic, Leiden, 1883-86, p. 295.

[169] Bulgar was the capital of the country of the Mohammedan Bulgarians.
These were a Finnish people. From Bulgar or Bolgar comes the name Volga.

[170] For the origin of the name, see p. 55, note.

[171] Cf. Ibn Khordâdhbeh, 1889, pp. xx., 67, 88, 115; 1865, pp. 214, 235,

[172] "Rûs" was the name of the Scandinavians (mostly Swedes) in Russia
who founded the Russian empire ("Gardarike" or "Sviþjoð hit mikla").

[173] Among the four wonders of the world Ibn Khordâḏbah mentions "a
bronze horseman in Spain [cf. the Pillars of Hercules], who with
outstretched arm seems to say: Behind me there is no longer any beaten
track, he who ventures farther is swallowed up by ants." So De Goeje
translates it. It might seem to be connected with the swarms of ants that
came down to the shore and wanted to eat the men and their boat on the
first larger island out in the ocean that Maelduin arrived at in the Irish
legend (cf. vol. i. p. 336); but Professor Seippel thinks it possible that
the original reading was "is swallowed up in sand" (and not by ants).

[174] This comes very near to Hippocrates' words about the Amazons, that
the mothers burn away the right breast of their girl children, "thereby
the breast ceases to grow and all the strength and fullness goes over to
the right shoulder and arm" (cf. also vol. i. p. 87).

[175] Cf. V. Thomsen, 1882, p. 34.

[176] As to the trade in furs, etc., see above, pp. 144, f.

[177] Seippel, 1896; cf. Maçoudi, 1861, p. 275; 1896, pp. 92, f.; 1861, p.

[178] Maçoudi, 1861, pp. 364, f.

[179] Seippel, 1896, pp. 42, 43.

[180] In the Russian chronicles the word is "Varyag" (plur. "Varyazi"),
and the Baltic is called "Varyaž'skoye More" (the Varægian Sea). It is the
same word as Varæger, Varanger, or Væringer (in Greek Varangoi) for the
originally Scandinavian life-guards in Constantinople. The Greek princess
Anna Comnena (circa 1100), celebrated for her learning, speaks of the
"Varangians from Thule" as the "axe-bearing barbarians." In a Greek work
of the eleventh century, by an unknown author, it is said of Harold
Hardråde that "he was the son of the king of 'Varangia' (Βαραγγία)." The
word is evidently from a Scandinavian root; but its etymology can hardly
be regarded as certain. It was probably used originally by the Russians in
Gardarike of their kindred Scandinavians, especially the Swedes on the
Baltic [cf. Vilhelm Thomsen, 1882, pp. 93, ff.].

[181] The Persian version and as-Shîrâzî add "tall, warlike."

[182] The Christian Jew Assaf Hebræus's cosmography, of the eleventh
century, was probably written in Arabic, but is only known in a Latin and
a Hebrew translation [cf. Ad. Neubauer, in "Orient und Occident," ed. Th.
Benfey, ii., Göttingen, 1864, pp. 657, ff.]. He mentions beyond "Scochia"
[Scotland] the land of "Norbe" [Norway] with an archbishopric and ten
bishoprics. In these northern lands, and particularly in Ireland, there
are no snakes. Many other countries and islands are beyond Britain and the
land of "Norve" [Norway], but the island of "Tille" [Thule] is the most
distant, far away in the northern seas, and has the longest day, etc.
There is the stiffened, viscous sea. Next the Hebrides ("Budis") are
mentioned, where the inhabitants have no corn, but live on fish and milk
(cf. vol. i. p. 160), and the Orcades, where there dwell naked people
("gens nuda," instead of "vacant homines," see vol. i. p. 161).

[183] Cf. R. Dozy, 1881, pp. 267, ff.

[184] This island may have been Noirmoutier, in the country of the Normans
of the Loire (according to A. Bugge).

[185] It is the name "Maǵûs," from the Greek Μάγος (Magian,
fire-worshipper, cf. p. 55), that led the author into this error. Maǵûs
was used collectively of heathens in general, but especially of the Norse
Vikings [cf. Dozy, 1881, ii. p. 271].

[186] Her name may be read "Bud" (Bodhild ?), or--according to Seippel's
showing--with a trifling correction, "Aud."

[187] Probably this was made from Edrisi's design and corresponded to the
map of the world in his work. Khalîl aṣ-Ṣafadî (born circa 1296) also
relates that Roger and Edrisi sent out trustworthy men with draughtsmen to
the east, west, south and north, to draw from nature and describe
everything remarkable; and their information was then included in Edrisi's
work. If this is true (which is probably doubtful), these would be real
geographical expeditions that were sent out.

[188] Cf. Jaubert's translation [Edrisi, 1836], where, however, the
geographical names must be used with caution. See also Dozy and De Goeje
[Edrisi, 1866].

[189] The Arabs have the same word for island and peninsula.

[190] Professor Seippel considers this the probable interpretation of the
name, and not "the island of the Danes," as in Jaubert.

[191] Edrisi reckoned a degree at the equator as 100 Arabic miles,
according to which his mile would be fully a kilometre. According to other
Arab geographers the degree at the equator has been reckoned as 66-2/3
Arabic miles, in which case the mile would be about 1.7 km., or nearly a
statute mile.

[192] This name is doubtless a confusion of Finmark and Finland.

[193] Of the names of these towns given on the map there can, according to
Seippel's interpretation, be read with certainty "Oslô" and probably
"Trônâ" [Trondheim]. The third name is difficult to determine.

[194] This may be the same idea that we meet with again in the description
of the Skrælings in Eric the Red's Saga, where we are told that they were
"breiðir i kinnum."

[195] As, amongst others, the name "Norveci" is misplaced (in Jutland) in
the Cottoniana map (cf. p. 192), one might almost be tempted to suppose
that the cartographer had made use of Edrisi's map without understanding
the Arabic names; but this would assume so late a date for the Cottoniana
map that it is scarcely probable.

[196] Cf. Seippel, 1896, pp. 138, ff.

[197] Al-Qazwînî, 1848, ii. pp. 356, 334, 412.

[198] Jacob, 1896, pp. 11, f.

[199] Seippel, 1896, p. 44.

[200] It might seem tempting to suppose that the some "Varanger" is
connected with "Warank"; but this can hardly be the case. Mr. J. Qvigstad
informs me that in his view the name of the fjord must be Norwegian, "and
was originally '*Verjangr' (from '*Varianger'); thence arose '*Verangr,'
and by progressive assimilation 'Varangr,' cf. the fjord-names Salangen
(from Selangr), Gratangen (from Grytangr), Lavangen (from Lovangr) in the
district of Tromsö. In old Danish assessment rolls of the period before
the Kalmar war we find 'Waranger.'" The first syllable must then be the
Old Norse "ver" (gen. pl. "verja") for "vær," fishing-station, and the
name would mean "the fjord of fishing-stations" ("angr" == fjord). In
Lappish the Varanger fjord is called "Varjagvuödna" ("vuödna" == fjord),
which "presupposes a Norwegian form '*Varjang' ('*Verjang'). The Lappish
forms 'Varje-' and 'Varja-' are abbreviated from 'Varjag.' The district of
Varanger is called in Lappish 'Varja' (gen. 'Varjag,' root 'Varjag').
Norwegian fjord-names in '-angr' are transferred to Lappish with the
termination '-ag'; only in more recent loan-words do we find the
termination '-aηgga' or '-aηggo,' as in 'Pors-aηgga.'" O. Rygh thought
that the first syllable in "Varanger" might be the same as in "Vardö," Old
Norse "Vargey"; but this may be more doubtful.

[201] Cf. also Jordanes' description of the great cold in the Baltic (vol.
i. p. 131).

[202] Seippel, 1896, pp. 142, 45.

[203] In another passage [c. i. 3] he says that "the habitable part
extends ... towards the north as far as 63° or 66-1/6°, where at the
summer solstice the day attains a length of twenty hours" [cf. Ptolemy,
vol. i. p. 117]. But he nevertheless thinks (like the Greeks) that at the
north pole the day was six months and the night equally long.

[204] An expression from the Koran, which is used of barbarous peoples
(Gog and Magog) who do not understand the speech of civilised men.

[205] Cf. A. F. Mehren, 1874, pp. 19, 158, f., 21, 193.

[206] C. de Vaux, 1898, pp. 69, f.

[207] Cf. Moltke Moe, "Maal og Minne," Christiania, 1909, pp. 9, ff.

[208] The same ideas also occur in European fairy-tales and generally in
the world of mediæval conceptions.

[209] Cf. K. Kretschmer, 1909, pp. 67, ff.; Beazley, iii. 1906, p. 511. It
has been asserted that the compass was discovered at Amalfi. This is not
very probable, but it seems that an important improvement of the compass
may have been made there about the year 1300.

[210] Cf. D'Avezac: Coup d'œil historique sur la projection des cartes
géographiques. Paris, 1863, p. 37; Th. Fischer, 1886, pp. 78, f.

[211] How early the error of the compass became known is uncertain. Even
if it was known, it seems that at any rate no attention was paid to it at
first; and thus the coast-lines were laid down on the charts according to
the magnetic courses and not the true ones. Later on a constant error was
assumed and the compass was corrected in agreement therewith; but the
correction differed somewhat in the various towns where compasses were

[212] Björnbo and Petersen [1908, tab. 1, pp. 14, ff.] give a comparison
of these names from the most important compass-charts.

[213] Reproduced by Jomard, 1879; Nordenskiöld, 1897, p. 25.

[214] Reproduced by Th. Fischer-Ongania, 1887, Pl. III. [cf. pp. 117,
ff.]; Nordenskiöld, 1897, Pl. V. Cf. Björnbo, 1909, pp. 212, f.; Hamy,
1889, pp. 350, f.

[215] That, on the other hand, it should be directly connected with
Ptolemy's representation, as alleged by Hamy [1889, p. 350], is difficult
to understand [cf. Björnbo, 1909, p. 213]; but an indirect influence,
e.g., through Edrisi's map, is possible.

[216] Cf. K. Kretschmer, 1891, pp. 352, ff. Vesconte was a Genoese, but
resided for a long time at Venice.

[217] Cf. Saxo, ed. H. Jnsen, 1900, pp. 13, ff.; ed. P. Hermann, 1901, p.

[218] On Marino Sanudo and Pietro Vesconte's maps cf. Hamy, 1889, pp. 349,
f., and Pl. VII.; Nordenskiöld, 1889, p. 51; 1897, pp. 17, 56, ff.;
Kretschmer, 1909, pp. 113, ff.; Björnbo, 1909, pp. 210, f.; Björnbo, 1910,
pp. 120, 122, f.; K. Miller, iii. 1895, pp. 132, ff.

[219] K. Miller [iii., 1895, p. 134] reads "alcuorum" instead of
"aletiorum," which would make it "the greatest abundance of flying
creatures" [i.e., birds, which would also be appropriate to the North].
But Miller's reading is evidently wrong, from what Björnbo has seen on the

[220] Cf. A. Magnaghi, 1898. The date is somewhat indistinct on the map,
and it is uncertain whether it is MCCCXXV. or MCCCXXX.

[221] The dark shading along the coast and across the country represents
mountain chains.

[222] As late as in Jeffery's atlas, 1776, it is pointed out that this
island is very doubtful, but, according to Kretschmer [1892, p. 221], a
rock 6 degrees west of the southern point of Ireland still bears the name
Brazil Rock on the charts of the British Admiralty (?).

[223] Cf. "Lageniensis," 1870, pp. 114, ff.; Liebrecht, 1872, p. 201;
Moltke Moe in A. Helland, 1908, ii. p. 516.

[224] Kunstmann [1859, pp. 7, ff.] thought that the names of the more
southerly islands might be derived from that of the red dye-wood "brasile"
or "bresil," which afterwards gave its name to Brazil. He [1859, pp. 35,
f., 41], and after him G. Storm [1887], were therefore misled into the
belief that the island to the west of Ireland had also got its name from
the same dye-wood; neither of them can have known of the Irish myth about
this island. Both connect the appearance of the island on the Pizigano map
(1367) with the arrival of the Greenland sailors from Markland in Norway
in 1348, not being aware that the island is found on earlier maps. Storm
went so far as to suppose that the word "brazil" might have become a term
for a wooded island in general, and might thus be an echo of the Norse
name Markland (wood-land). J. Fischer [1902, p. 110] has again fallen into
the same error, but has remarked that the name was already found on
Dalorto's map of 1339. Kretschmer [1892, pp. 214, ff.] has devoted a
chapter to the island of "Brazil," but abandons the attempt to find the
origin of the name and of the island, regarding the derivation from the
name of the dye-wood as improbable. Hamy [1889, p. 361], however, noticed
the connection of the island with the Irish myth of "O'Brazil."

[225] Buache read the inscription on the northernmost isle of Brazil on
the Pizigano map as "ysola de Mayotas seu de Bracir," while Jomard makes
it "n̊ cotus sur de Bracir." Kretschmer [1892, p. 219] has examined the
map, but can read neither one nor the other, as the text is indistinct. On
the other hand, he points out that on Graciosus Benincasa's map of 1482
the same island has a clearly legible "montorio" (on a map of 1574 "mons
orius" is found), which he is equally unable to explain. It may be added
that on an anonymous compass-chart of 1384 [Nordenskiöld, 1897, Pl. XV.] a
corresponding island is marked "monte orius," on Benincasa's map of 1457
"montorius," and on Calapoda's map of 1552 "montoriu" [Nordenskiöld, 1897,
Pl. XXXIII., XXVI.]. This is evidently our "montonis" on Dalorto's map of
1325 appearing again.

[226] The number with the preceding words is also evidently given in the
line below.

[227] Cf. Th. Fischer, 1886, pp. 42; Hamy, 1889, p. 366; Magnaghi, 1899,
p. 2. I have not been able to find this legend on Dalorto's map of 1339
(in the reproduction in Nordenskiöld's Periplus, Pl. VIII.), where
Magnaghi asserts that it is to be found.

[228] Cf. Hamy, 1888, 1903; Nordenskiöld, 1897, Pl. VIII.; Kretschmer,
1909, p. 188.

[229] This is the same form as on the later maps, pp. 231, 232, 233.

[230] For a description and reproduction of the Modena chart, see
Kretschmer, 1897; Pullè and Longhena, 1907.

[231] In the reproduction, pp. 232-233, "gronlandia" is given in the
inscription in the Baltic, taken from the reading of Björnbo and Petersen
[1908, p. 16]. Mr. O. Vangensten has examined the original at Florence and
found that this is a misreading, the correct one being "gotlandia."

[232] On this chart there is a picture in the Northern Ocean to the west
of Norway of a ship with her anchor out by the side of a whale, with the
following explanation [cf. Björnbo, 1910, p. 121]: "This sea is called
'mar bocceano,' and therein are found great fish, which sailors take to be
small islands and take up their quarters on these fish, and the sailors
land on these islands and make fires, and cause such heat that the fish
feels it and sets itself in motion, and they have no time to get on board
and are lost; and those who know this, land on the said fish, and there
make thongs of its back and make fast the head of the ship's anchor, and
in this way they flay the skin off it, whereof they make saraianes [ropes
?] for their ships, and of this skin are made good coverings for

We have here a combination of two mythical features. One is the great fish
of the Navigatio Brandani, on which they land and make a fire to cook
lamb's flesh, when the fish begins to move, and the brethren rush to the
ship, into which they are taken by Brandan, while the island disappears
and they can still see the fire they have made two leagues away. Brandan
told them that this was the largest of all the fish in the sea; it always
tries to reach its tail with its head [like the Midgards-worm, cf. vol. i.
p. 364] and its name is Iasconicus. The same myth is referred to in an
Anglo-Saxon poem [Codex Exoniensis, ed. Benj. Thorpe, London, 1842, pp.
360, ff.] on the great whale Fastitocalon, where ships cast anchor and the
sailors go ashore and make fires, upon which the whale dives down with
ship and crew. The idea of such a fish resembling an island is also found
in the northern myth of the havguva (cf. the "King's Mirror"), or krake,
and is doubtless derived from the East. Tales of landing on an apparent
island which suddenly turns out to be a fish are found in Sindbad's first
voyage, in Qazwînî (where the fish is an enormous turtle), and even in
Pseudo-Callisthenes in the second century [iii. 17, cf. E. Rohde, 1900, p.

The second feature of flaying the skin is evidently the same as already
found in Albertus Magnus (ob. 1280), and must be referred to fabulous
ideas about the hunting of walrus, which was also called whale (see above,
p. 163). That walrus-hide was used for ships' ropes is, of course, well
known, but that it should be also used for coverings of haystacks is not
likely, as it was certainly far too valuable for that.

[233] Cf. also the anonymous Catalan chart in the Biblioteca Nazionale at
Naples, reproduced in Björnbo and Petersen, 1908, Pl. I.

[234] Cf. Nordenskiöld, 1897, pp. 21, 58, Pl. X.; Hamy, 1889, pp. 414, f.;
Fischer-Ongania, Pl. V.

[235] Cf. Mon. Hist. Norv., ed. Storm, 1880, p. 77. The circumstance that
on one of the Sanudo maps (p. 224) Norway is divided into four peninsulas
may be connected with a similar conception.

[236] Cf. Finnur Jónsson [1901, ii. p. 948], who thinks that the part
dealing with the northern regions is not due to Nikulás. The hypothesis
put forward by Storm, in Grönl. hist. Mind., iii. 219, that it was Abbot
Nikolas of Thingeyre, appears less probable.

[237] If the old fishermen of the Polar Sea landed on any of these
countries (Novaya Zemlya, Spitzbergen), they would there have found
reindeer, which would again have strengthened their belief in the
connection by land.

[238] The reason for this might be supposed to be the very name of
Wineland, formed in a similar way to Greenland and Iceland, instead of
Vin-ey (Wine island). A "land," if one knew no better, would be more
likely to be connected with the continent; whereas, if it had been called
"ey," it would have continued to be an island, as indeed it is in the
Historia Norwegiæ (cf. p. 1).

[239] Storm [1890; 1892, pp. 78, ff.] and Björnbo [1909, pp. 229, ff.;
1910, pp. 82, ff.] have put forward views about these ideas of the
Scandinavians which differ somewhat from those here given (cf. above, p.
2), but in the main we are in agreement. I do not think Dr. Björnbo can be
altogether right in supposing that the Icelanders and Norwegians connected
Greenland with Bjarmeland, and Wineland with Africa, because the learned
views of the Middle Ages made this necessary; for this view of the world
also acknowledged islands in the ocean (cf. Adam of Bremen), perhaps
indeed more readily than it acknowledged peninsulas (cf. the wheel-maps).
But perhaps, after Greenland and Wineland had been connected with the
continents on other grounds, the prevailing learned view of the world
demanded that the Outer Ocean should be placed outside these countries, so
that they became peninsulas. But we have seen that side by side with this,
other views were also held (cf., for instance, the Rymbegla and the
Medicean mappamundi, pp. 236, 239).

[240] The name of the work ("Konungs-Skuggsjá" or "Speculum Regale") had
its prototype in the names of those books which were written in India for
the education of princes, and which were called Princes' Mirrors. In
imitation of these, "mirror" (speculum) was used as the title of works of
various kinds in mediæval Europe.

[241] Various guesses have been made as to who the author may have been
and when the work was written. It appears to me that there is much to be
said for the opinion put forward by A. V. Heffermehl [1904], that the
author may have been the priest Ivor Bodde, Håkon Håkonsson's
foster-father. In that case the work must have been written somewhat
earlier than commonly supposed [Storm put it between 1250 and 1260], and
it appears that Heffermehl has given good reasons for assuming that it may
have been written several years before 1250. Considerable weight as
regards the determination of its date must be attached to the circumstance
that, in the opinion of Professor Marius Hægstad, a vellum sheet preserved
at Copenhagen (new royal collection, No. 235g) has linguistic forms which
must place it certainly before 1250, and the vellum must have belonged to
a copy of an older MS. On the other hand, Professor Moltke Moe has pointed
out in his lectures that the quotations in the "King's Mirror" from the
book of the Marvels of India, from Prester John's letter, are derived from
a version of the latter which, as shown by Zarncke, is not known before
about 1300. Moltke Moe therefore supposes that the "King's Mirror," in the
form we know it, may be a later and incomplete adaptation of the original
work. The latter may have been written by Ivar Bodde in his old age
between 1230 and 1240.

[242] If Professor Moltke Moe's view is correct, that the "King's Mirror,"
in the form which we know, is a later adaptation (cf. p. 242, note 2), it
may be supposed that the section on Ireland was inserted by the adapter.
Presumably a thorough examination of the linguistic forms would determine
whether this is probable.

[243] The famous Roger Bacon is said to have already made an attempt,
before Ptolemy's Geography was known, to draw a map according to
mathematical determinations of locality; but the map is lost [Roger Bacon,
Opus majus, fol. 186-189]. The title of Nicholas of Lynn's book is said to
have been: "Inventio fortunate qui liber incipet a gradu 54, usque ad
polum" (i.e., which book begins [in its description] at 54° [and goes] as
far as the pole) [cf. Hakluyt, Princ. Nav., 1903, p. 303]. This may show
that degrees were already in use at that time (1360) for geographical

[244] On Claudius Clavus see in particular Storm's work of fundamental
importance [1880-1891], and the valuable monograph by Björnbo and Petersen
[1904, 1909], also A. A. Björnbo [1910]. Cf. further Nordenskiöld [1897,
pp. 86, ff.], v. Wieser [Peterm. Mitteilungen, xlv. 1899, pp. 119, ff.],
Jos. Fischer [1902, cap. 5], and others.

[245] Cf. Axel Olrik, "Danske Studier," 1904, p. 215.

[246] This "secundum" in the MS. must doubtless have been inserted by a
copyist. Björnbo and Petersen think the original had "ij," which the
copyist took for a Roman numeral and replaced by "secundum." As it might
seem strange that the man lived "'in' a river of Greenland," Axel Olrik
thought that the word might have been "wit" (by, or near); but then it
becomes more difficult to understand how and why the word should have been
replaced by "secundum," unless the copyist had some knowledge of Danish.

[247] "Danske Studier," 1907, p. 228.

[248] Many vain searches were afterwards made (in 1451 and 1461) in the
monastery of Sorö for this MS. of Livy, and there may therefore be grounds
for doubting the statement to be true [cf. Björnbo and Petersen, 1909, pp.
197, f.].

[249] Cf. the maps on pp. 223, 224. As we certainly do not know nearly all
the maps that were in use at that time, I regard it as probable that
Claudius or his draughtsman had older maps, now lost, of this or a similar
type, which resemble the Nancy map even more closely than these two known
maps. But of course it is wiser to confine ourselves as far as possible to
those we know.

[250] Storm [1891, p. 16] was the first to hold that Clavus made use of
Italian compass-charts as his model for the delineation of the south coast
of Scandinavia, and that he also took names from them. Björnbo and
Petersen have rejected this view, as the names in Clavus's text are
principally taken from other sources, and the Baltic has been given quite
a different shape. But the necessity of this change seems to have escaped
them, as it was caused by Clavus retaining Ptolemy's outline for the South
coast of the Baltic.

[251] If we assume that the names "Wildhlappelandi," "Pigmei," etc., on
the Nancy map are due to Clavus himself, he may have had some authority
like that of the anonymous letter to Pope Nicholas V. (of about 1450),
which Michel Beheim may also have used (see later). From this source he
may have obtained the information about the land connection between the
land to the north-east of Norway and Greenland. As will be mentioned later
(p. 270), it is possible that this source was Nicholas of Lynn.

[252] Storm [1891, p. 15] also maintains that on the Nancy map Thule has
been incorporated with Norway, but Björnbo and Petersen [1904, p. 194;
1909, p. 158] think that this must be regarded as "one of the unfortunate
results of his desire to reduce all Clavus's contributions to a single
one"; why, we are not told. According to my view there can be no doubt
that Storm is right. Clavus has made the south coast of Thule into the
southernmost coast of Norway, with its south-eastern point due north of
the island of Ocitis, and its south-western point north of the west side
of Orcadia, exactly as on Ptolemy's map. In addition, this coast has the
same latitude and longitude as the South coast of Ptolemy's Thule.

[253] Of course there is always the possibility that Clavus may have had
maps of the Medici type which resembled the Nancy map even more closely
than that with which we are acquainted.

[254] On this map the tongue of land in question is nameless, while on the
map of Europe in the Medicean Atlas it is given the name of "alogia,"
which shows it to have been regarded as a part of Norway (see the
reproduction, p. 260).

[255] As there is considerable difference between the coast-lines of
Europe on Ptolemy's maps and those on the Medici maps, one's scale of
latitude will vary according to the points one may choose for determining
it. The points here given were the first I tried, and as the resulting
scale seems to agree remarkably well with Clavus's later map I have kept
to it, although of course Clavus may have proceeded in a somewhat
different way in determining the scale on his map; in particular he seems
on the older map to have arranged it so that the parallel for 63° passed
through the southernmost part of Norway, corresponding to Ptolemy's Thule.
In order better to agree with this (cf. the left-hand scale of latitude of
the Nancy map) the degrees of latitude on the map above ought therefore to
be increased half a degree, and on the map, p. 236, nearly a degree.

[256] On the Nancy map the southern point of Greenland lies in 63° 30';
but as we do not know how accurately this copy reproduces Clavus's
original map, it is safer to confine ourselves to Clavus's text.

[257] Gerard Mercator writes that according to a tradition an English monk
and mathematician from Oxford [i.e., Nicholas of Lynn] had been in Norway
and in the islands of the north, and had described all these places and
determined their latitude by the astrolabe [cf. Hakluyt, Principal
Navigations, 1903, p. 301]. It is therefore possible that Clavus may have
obtained the latitudes of some places, such as Stavanger and Bergen, from
his work; but in any case he cannot have got the latitude of the southern
point of Greenland from it. Moreover, if he had had such accurate
information to depend on, it would be difficult to understand why he
retained the incorrect latitudes which he obtained by introducing those of
Ptolemy on the Medici map; in his later map, indeed, he has used nothing

[258] Cf. Sturlubók and Ivan Bárdsson's description of Greenland. In
Hauk's Landnáma we read that it was from Hernum (that is, north of Bergen)
that they sailed west to Hvarf. According to this, then, the southern
point of Greenland would be brought even farther north than Bergen.

[259] Although Dr. Björnbo now admits that the Medici map must have been
used for Clavus's later map, he is still in doubt as to this being the
case with the older one (the original of the Nancy map); he is inclined to
think that this map may have been constructed from Northern sources,
sailing directions, etc. But there appear to me to be too many striking
agreements between the Medici map and the Nancy map for such an assumption
to be probable; and the following may be given as instances: the number of
bays between Skåne and the south coast of Norway, with the deepest bay on
the west; the resemblance between the south coast of Norway with its three
bays on the Nancy map and the south coast of the corresponding peninsula
to the north of Scotland on the Medici map; the high latitude of this
south coast on both maps; the agreement in latitude between the southern
point of Greenland and that of "alogia" in the Medici map; the remarkable
similarity in the relation between the longitudes of these two southern
points and the west coast of Ireland on both maps; the mutual relation in
latitude between the southern point of Greenland and the south coast of
Norway (with Stavanger); the far too northerly latitude of all these
places; the east coast of Greenland having the same main direction as the
east coast of the corresponding peninsula on the Medici map, etc. To these
may be added the similarity in the way the coast-lines are drawn, with
round bays. Each of these points of agreement may no doubt be explained,
as Björnbo suggests, as a coincidence and as having arisen in another way;
but when there are so many of them it must be admitted that a connection
is more natural.

[260] "Serica" on Ptolemy's map of the world lies in the extreme
north-east of Asia, and is most likely China.

[261] It seems possible, as Mr. O. Vangensten has suggested to me, that
this name may here be due to a confusion of Vermeland with Bjarmeland.
Peder Claussön Friis [Storm, 1881, p. 219] says that Greenland extends
round the north of the "Norwegian Sea" "eastward to Biarmeland or

[262] Cf. Mandeville, 1883, pp. 180, 182, 183, f. Mandeville also says
that in the opinion of the old wise astronomers the circumference of the
world was 20,425 English miles; but he himself maintains that it is 31,500

[263] That the delineation of this coast is not based upon personal
examination, either by Clavus himself or by any possible informant, is
also shown by the fact that the coast has not a single real name. Even if
we suppose that Clavus, or his possible informant, during the voyage along
this coast, had been so unfortunate as not to meet with a single one of
the Norse inhabitants who might have communicated names, we cannot very
well assume that the crew of the ship on which the voyage was made were
totally unacquainted with Greenland; they must certainly have had plenty
of names and sea-marks.

[264] It must be remembered that Clavus's latitudes are throughout too
high; his south point of Greenland lies about three degrees too far north,
in 62° 40' instead of 59° 46'. If we carry this reduction to the most
northerly point he describes on the east coast, this will lie in about 62°
30' instead of 65° 35', and thus the coincidence with Cape Dan disappears.
His description of the east coast of Greenland in the Nancy map is quite

[265] Such an inscription as this is quite in the style of Clavus's great
prototype, Ptolemy, in whom we often find: "this is the end of the coast
of the known land."

[266] It is worth remarking that Clavus puts his last point visible no
less than 1° 50' (that is, 110 nautical miles) to the north of the limit
of the known land. If a statement like this was calculated to be taken as
derived from local knowledge, it would not in any case disclose much
nautical experience.

[267] On the influence of these men on the cartographical representation
of the North, see in particular J. Fischer, 1902.

[268] As shown by Björnbo and Petersen, this is evidently Clavus's name
"Eyn Gronelandz aa" for a river on the east coast of Greenland, which was
misunderstood on Clavus's map and made the name of the country, assisted
perhaps by the resemblance in sound with the name Engromelandi (for
Ångermanland), which Clavus has on the north side of Scandinavia (p. 248).
This resemblance of sound may also have had something to do with the
removal of Greenland to the north of Norway.

[269] Cf. Grönl. hist. Mind., iii. p. 168. Björnbo [1910, p. 79] by a slip
quotes the letter to Pope Nicholas V. of about the same date, instead of
that given above.

[270] According to Lelewel [Epilogue, Pl. 6] this peninsula bears the name
of "Grinland," but this cannot be seen on the somewhat indistinct original
[cf. Björnbo, 1910, p. 80; Ongania, Pl. X.].

[271] Storm [1893], and following him J. Fischer [1902, pp. 99, ff.],
erroneously regard this island of Brazil as Markland (see above, p. 229).

[272] See J. Fischer, 1902, p. 99. Cf. also Björnbo, 1910, pp. 125, ff.,
who gives a drawing of the map.

[273] Two editions are reproduced in Nordenskiöld [1897, p. 61] and
Ongania [Pl. XIV.].

[274] Reproduced by Nordenskiöld [1897, p. 5] and Lelewel [1851, Pl.
XXXIII.]; Miller, 1895, iii. p. 138.

[275] Björnbo, by the way, only speaks of two islands, whereas in
Lelewel's reproduction there are four islands, which is no doubt correct.
It seems, too, as though all four could be faintly distinguished in
Björnbo's photographic reproduction [1910, p. 74].

[276] As to Behaim, see in particular Ravenstein, 1908.

[277] Cf. Storm, 1899, p. 5.

[278] Cf. Harrisse, 1892, pp. 655, ff.

[279] As is well known, the possibility has been suggested that during his
visit to Iceland in 1477 Columbus may have heard of the Norsemen's voyages
to Greenland, Markland and Wineland, and that this may have given him the
idea of his plan. Storm has pointed out, convincingly it seems to me, the
untenability of the latter supposition. But it appears to me that he has
overlooked the possibility of Columbus having heard tales of these voyages
in Bristol, or, still more probably, on a Bristol vessel. As, of course,
he must have been able to make himself understood among the other sailors
on board, it would be unlikely that he should not have heard such tales,
if they were known to his ship-mates.

[280] Willelmus Botoner, alias de Worcester (1415-1484). MS. in Corpus
Christi College, Cambridge, No. 210; printed in "Itineraria Symonis
Simeonis et Willelmi de Worcestre," ed. J. Nasmyth, Cambridge, 1778, pp.
223, 267. Cf. H. Harrisse, 1892, p. 659; Kretschmer, 1892, p. 219.

[281] The Island of the Seven Cities was a fabulous island out in the
Atlantic which is frequently alluded to in the latter part of the Middle

[282] As to John Cabot and his voyages, see in particular Henry Harrisse
[1882, 1892, 1896, 1900], F. Tarducci [1892, 1894], Sir Clements R.
Markham [1893, 1897], Samuel Edward Dawson [1894, 1896, 1897], C. R.
Beazley [1898], G. Parker Winship [1899, 1900]. Harrisse amongst recent
authors has the special merit of having collected and arranged all the
authorities on John and Sebastian Cabot. Unfortunately I am unable to
follow him in his conclusions from these authorities as to the voyages of
John and Sebastian. It seems to me that, like most other writers, he pays
too much attention to later statements, derived directly or indirectly
from Sebastian Cabot, while he places too little reliance on what, in my
opinion, may be concluded with tolerable certainty from contemporary
sources. Sebastian Cabot's statements on various occasions, so far as we
know them, prove to be mutually conflicting, and it looks as if this wily
man seldom expressed himself without some arrière-pensée or other, which
was more to his own advantage than to that of the truth. My views of John
Cabot's voyage of 1497 on several points agree more nearly with those of
S. E. Dawson, and for later voyages with those of G. Parker Winship.

[283] Cf. Harrisse, 1896, pp. 1, ff.

[284] Cf. Harrisse, 1882, p. 325.

[285] The Minister Raimondo di Soncino says in his letter of December 18,
1497, to the Duke of Milan, that Cabot, "after having seen that the Kings
of Spain and Portugal had acquired unknown islands, had proposed to obtain
a similar acquisition for the King of England." It cannot be concluded
from this that it was not till then that Cabot formed his plans, though
probably it was at that time that he first entered into negotiations with
the King of England. It is in the same letter that Soncino tells of
Cabot's speculations on seeing caravans arriving at Mecca from the far
east with spices, etc. His son, Sebastian Cabot, who evidently on several
occasions made it appear as though he himself and not his father had
discovered the American continent, is reported (according to the statement
of the anonymous guest in Ramusio, see below) to have said that he [i.e.,
Sebastian] got the idea of his expedition after having heard of the
discovery of Columbus, which was a common subject of conversation at the
court of Henry VII. But even if Sebastian's words are correctly reported,
which is doubtful, he must demonstrably have been lying, and therefore no
weight can be attached to his statement; if he could sacrifice his father
to his personal advantage, then no doubt, if he profited by it, he could
also sacrifice his birthright in the plan to the advantage of Spain, in
the service of which country he then was. Furthermore, Ayala's letter,
quoted above, points to John Cabot having got expeditions sent out from
Bristol as early as 1491 to look for land in the west, and besides this we
know of such an expedition in 1480.

[286] They are dated March 5, in the eleventh year of the reign of Henry
VII. The eleventh year of Henry VII. was from August 22, 1495, to August
21, 1496.

[287] Cf. Harrisse, 1882, p. 315.

[288] It has been suggested that Cabot set out in 1496 and did not return
till August 1497 [cf. Church, 1897], but this cannot be reconciled with
the statements in the letters of Soncino and Pasqualigo that the
expedition had only lasted a few months.

[289] According to Soncino's letter of December 18, 1497, Cabot was a poor
man. In addition to this he was a foreigner, and as such was scarcely
looked upon with favour; but on the other hand, the reputation of Italian
sailors was great at that time, and he may therefore have been respected
for his knowledge of seamanship and cartography, which was not possessed
by the sailors of Bristol.

[290] The only ones of these named in the authorities (Soncino's letter,
December 18, 1497) are Cabot's Italian barber (surgeon ?) from Castione,
and a man from Burgundy.

[291] Between 1493 and 1500 at least thirty expeditions went in search of
the coast of America. These were all certainly provided with charts, and
some of them also produced maps of their discoveries, but not one of these
has been preserved. [Cf. Harrisse, 1900, p. 14.]

[292] No importance can be attached in this connection to any of the
statements derived at second or third hand from Sebastian Cabot and
communicated by Contarini, Peter Martyr, Ramusio, and others. So far as
they are worthy of credence, they must refer to one or more later voyages.
The statement in the Cottonian Chronicle and in the Fabyan Chronicle
refers to the voyage of 1498.

[293] Harrisse's reproduction of the letter [1882, p. 322] reads: "Vene in
nave per dubito ..."; while Tarducci [1892, p. 350] gives: "Vene in mare
per dubito ...", where "mare" is perhaps a misprint for "nave" (?) In any
case the meaning must be that Cabot turned back and would not go farther
into the country for fear of being attacked by the inhabitants, which
might easily have been dangerous for him with his small crew.

[294] That is, the mystical "Island of the Seven Cities" out in the

[295] It is interesting that here we find attributed to the newly
discovered country the two features, dye-wood and silk, which were the
most costly treasures characteristic of the land that was sought, exactly
in the same way as the Norsemen attributed to their Wineland the Good the
two features, wine and cornfields (wheat), which were characteristic of
the Fortunate Isles. Thus history repeats itself.

[296] Probably Castiglione, near Chivari, by Genoa.

[297] Cf. Encyclopædia Britannica, 9th ed., Edinburgh, 1875, iv. p. 350;
and G. P. Winship, 1900, p. 99.

[298] It is by no means improbable that Cabot, who was an expert
navigator, knew that great-circle sailing gave the shorter course. For
instance, he might easily have seen this from a globe, and we are told
that he himself made a globe to illustrate his voyage (cf. p. 304).

[299] It must also be remembered that on the Newfoundland Banks and off
the coast of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia fogs are extremely prevalent (in
places over 50 per cent. of the days) at the time of year here in
question, so that their first sight of land might be accidental.

[300] Harrisse [1896, pp. 63, ff.] does not seem to have remarked that
Cabot must necessarily have been longer on the westward voyage, when he
had the prevailing winds against him, than on the homeward voyage, when
the wind conditions were favourable.

[301] No particular weight, it is true, can be attached to the map of 1544
which is attributed to Sebastian Cabot, or which was at any rate
influenced by him, as the statements of this man can never be depended
upon. At the same time, the information given on this map to the effect
that Cabot first reached land at Cape Breton agrees in a remarkable way
with La Cosa's map, as we shall see directly.

[302] The distance from Ireland to Newfoundland is fully 1600 geographical
miles, and to Cape Breton about 1900; but reckoned from Bristol it will be
about 280 miles more.

[303] To be perfectly accurate, the distance on La Cosa's map between
Ireland and Cauo de Ynglaterra is 1290 geographical miles; between Bristol
and the same cape 1620 miles; while the distance between Cauo de
Ynglaterra and the name of Cauo descubierto is 1080 miles. If we reckon
17-1/2 leagues to a degree, these distances correspond respectively to
376, 472 and 315 leagues; while 20 leagues to a degree give 430, 540 and
360 leagues. As the name of Cauo descubierto stands out in the sea to the
west of the cape it belongs to, the distance will be less, very nearly 300
leagues. Along the upper margin of the map a scale is provided, each
division of which, according to the usual practice, corresponds to 50
miglia. This gives us the distance from Ireland to Cauo de Ynglaterra as
1425 miglia, and from the latter to the name of Cauo descubierto 1200.
Reckoning 4 miglia to a legua, these distances will be 356 and 300

[304] I here disregard altogether the common assertions that Cabot arrived
on the east coast of Newfoundland (at Cape Bonavista, or to the north of
it), or even on the coast of Labrador. This cannot possibly be reconciled
with La Cosa's map, nor does it agree with the accounts of Pasqualigo and
Soncino, nor, again, with the information on the map of 1544 (by Sebastian
Cabot ?), if we are to attach any weight to this. Other trustworthy
documents are unknown. No importance can be attributed to the evidence of
Cabot's having arrived in Labrador in 1497 which Harrisse (1896, pp. 78,
ff.) thinks may be seen in the circumstance that the English discoveries
are placed in the northernmost part of the east coast of North America
(between 56° and 60°) on the official Spanish maps of the first half of
the sixteenth century; this does not by any means counterbalance La Cosa's
map, which speaks plainly enough. Even if Sebastian Cabot had the
superintendence of these later maps, this proves little or nothing. If it
was to his interest not to offend the Spaniards by emphasising his
father's discoveries, he would scarcely have hesitated to omit them, or
allow them to be moved to the north. For on these very maps (e.g.,
Ribero's of 1529) it is claimed that the whole coast to the south-west of
Newfoundland ("Tiera nova de Cortereal") was discovered by Spaniards
(Gomez and Ayllon). But in addition to this, in so far as any importance
can be attributed to the inscriptions attached to "Labrador" on the
Spanish maps, they evidently, like others of the statements attributed to
Sebastian Cabot, do not refer to Cabot's discoveries of 1497, which are
found on La Cosa's map, but to discoveries made on later English voyages
from Bristol, on which ice was met with. If the map of 1544 can be
attributed to the collaboration of Sebastian Cabot, it further shows
clearly enough that he had no knowledge of the northern part of the east
coast of America, since he makes it extend to the east and north-east,
which is due to Greenland (Labrador) being included in it. The map is a
plagiarism of an earlier French one. Harrisse's view results in complete
embarrassment in the interpretation of La Cosa's map [cf. 1900, p. 21],
and he is obliged to abandon the attempt to make anything of it, since, of
course, it contradicts all he thinks may be concluded from the much later
Spanish maps. Moreover, since Harrisse insists so strongly on the
importance of the northerly latitudes of the English discoveries on these
maps (and on La Cosa's) as a proof of their being on the coast of
Labrador, it should be pointed out that the latitudes of Newfoundland, for
instance, and Greenland, to say nothing of the West Indian islands, vary
on the maps; this shows that no weight can be attached to evidence of this

[305] It has been maintained that "Cauo descubierto" must denote the land
he first sighted; but the name only means "discovered cape," and says
nothing as to its being discovered first or last. There may indeed have
been more about it on Cabot's original map, and it happens that on La
Cosa's map there is a hole in the parchment just after this name. That it
should be the same cape that on "Sebastian Cabot's" map of 1544 is called
"Prima tierra vista" is not likely, as this lies at the extreme east of
the promontory of Cape Breton.

[306] For determining this I have to some extent relied on later maps,
chiefly the Cantino map, where the direction of the north-eastern coast of
Newfoundland gives a magnetic error of between 31° and 38°, and the
direction between Cape Farewell and Cape Race gives an error of 28°, which
is certainly somewhat too high.

[307] To this it might be objected that he says "the tides are sluggish,
and do not run" as in England ("le aque e stanche e non han corso come
qui"). The tide is considerable inside the Bay of Fundy, but on the coast
of Maine and in the outer waters of Nova Scotia it is slight in comparison
with the tide Cabot was acquainted with in the Bristol Channel.

[308] It must always be remembered that La Cosa did not have Cabot's
original chart, on which the coast and the Bay of Fundy may have been
represented more in accordance with reality.

[309] La Cosa's map may point to his having made a cruise in the open sea
westward from Cauo descubierto before turning, and having seen the coast
extending on, until in the far west it turned southward towards a
headland, perhaps Cape Cod, where La Cosa put his westernmost flag. But
this seems doubtful, and is only guessing.

[310] That the distance between these islands and Cauo de Ynglaterra is
less than half what it ought to be on La Cosa's map cannot be considered
of decisive importance, since, as we have seen, the distances on this map
are in general not to be relied on. The name "S. Grigor" must certainly be
due to the Englishmen, while "Y. verde" may be due to Cabot or to La Cosa,
and may be the same name as is found on compass-charts of the fifteenth
century (cf. above, p. 279). La Cosa or Cabot may have taken these two
islands to be the same as "Illa verde" and "Illa brazil" on these older
charts, and while one of the islands has been given a new name perhaps
because there were other islands with the name of Brazil (?), or because
this island was nameless on some of the compass-charts; see above, p. 281,
the other has been allowed to retain the old name, which was originally a
translation of Greenland. This old land of the Norsemen is here brought
far to the south, and reduced to a very modest size, being confused with
peninsulas of Newfoundland.

[311] As evidence that a homeward voyage of twenty-three days would not be
unusually fast sailing for that time, it may be mentioned for comparison
that Cartier, in June and July 1536, took nineteen days from Cape Race to
St. Malo. Champlain made the same voyage in 1603 in eighteen days, and in
1607 he took twenty-seven days from Canso, near Cape Breton, to St. Malo.

[312] Cf. Dawson, 1897, pp. 209, ff.

[313] Hakluyt [Principal Navigations, London, 1589] gives a corresponding
inscription from the copy of this map which at that time was in the
queen's private gallery at Westminster; it was engraved in London in 1549
by the well-known Clement Adams. As in 1549 Sebastian Cabot held a high
position with the King of England as adviser on all maritime matters, and
especially as cartographer, we must suppose that he was consulted in the
publication of so important a map, especially as it was attributed to
himself. We may therefore assume that the inscription was revised by
Sebastian Cabot. Hakluyt mentions this legend on Clement Adams's map for
the first time in 1584 [cf. Winship, 1900, p. 56] and then says, as in the
first edition of Principal Navigations, that the date of the discovery was
1494; but in the 1600 edition of Principal Navigations he corrected it to
1497, for what reason is uncertain [cf. Taducci, 1892, p. 47; Harrisse,
1892, 1896; Winship, 1900, pp. 20, f.]. How the certainly erroneous date
1494 got on to the map of 1544 is unknown; it may be supposed that
MCCCCXCIIII is an error of reading or writing for MCCCCXCVII, the two
strokes of V being taken to be divided: II [cf. Harrisse, 1896, p. 61].

[314] Another possible explanation is that Cauo de Ynglaterra, Cabot's
most eastern point of the country, was Cape Race in Newfoundland, in spite
of Sebastian Cabot's having placed it at Cape Breton. As has been said, it
is very doubtful whether Sebastian Cabot was with his father in 1497,
though on the other hand he probably knew his father's map, and in 1544
had a copy of it, or at any rate of La Cosa's. Then he saw the French maps
representing Cartier's discoveries, e.g., Deslien's map of 1541; and it
was a question of identifying his father's discoveries with this map. It
would then be perfectly natural to assume that C. de Ynglaterra answered
to Cape Breton, which looked like the easternmost point of the mainland in
that region, while farther east there was a group of islands which might
well answer to S. Grigor and Y. Verde on La Cosa's map. Perhaps he also
had a note to the effect that it was on St. John's day that the first land
was sighted. On his father's map he found an island of St. John off this
promontory, or he knew it from the tradition of Reinel's and later maps,
and so placed his "Prima tierra vista" at Cape Breton. If the view that C.
de Ynglaterra is Cape Race be regarded as correct, it might be assumed
that Cauo descubierto was really the place where Cabot first made the
land, perhaps in the neighbourhood of Cape Breton, and that from thence he
sailed eastward, the supposed 300 leagues, along the south coast of
Newfoundland. The two islands he discovered to starboard might then be
Grand Miquelon and St. Pierre, though this is not very probable, and he
would then have sailed between them and the land. But in that case we have
a difficulty with the two islands, S. Grigor and Y. Verde, which must then
lie east of Cape Race, where no islands exist. That they were icebergs
taken for islands is not very likely. It is more probable that, as already
suggested, they are the ghosts of the "Illa Verde" and "Illa de Brasil" of
earlier compass-charts (of the fifteenth century; see above, pp. 279,
318). But the whole of this explanation seems rather artificial, and the
even coast of La Cosa's map is difficult to reconcile with the extremely
uneven coast-line we should get between Cape Breton Island and Cape Race.
There is the further difficulty, if La Cosa's coast was the south coast of
Newfoundland, that we should have to assume that John Cabot was aware of
the variation of the compass, and allowed for it on his chart.

[315] This would be, according to the reckoning of that time, February 3,
1497, since the civil year began on March 25; in New Style it will
therefore be February 12, 1498.

[316] The MS. is preserved in the British Museum. Cf. G. P. Winship, 1900,
p. 47.

[317] The text has "vicinidades," but Desimoni [1881, Pref. p. 15]
supposes it to be a misreading for "septe citades," i.e., "the Seven

[318] "Spero" is obviously a slip of the pen for "spera."

[319] Harrisse's contention [1896, pp. 129, ff.], that this expression,
"surmysed to be grete commodities," points to the chronicler here having
introduced statements about the first voyage, in 1497, is hardly well
founded. For Cabot discovered, according to the statements, no commodities
(except fish) in 1497; on the other hand, he supposed that by penetrating
farther to the west along the coast he would reach these treasures.

[320] Cf. G. P. Winship, 1900, p. 47. In the Cottonian Chronicle this
account is given under the thirteenth year of Henry VII.'s reign, which
lasted from August 22, 1497, to August 21, 1498. This has led some to
think it referred to the voyage of 1497, but that is impossible, as, of
course, Cabot had returned before the thirteenth year of Henry's reign

[321] In the note preceding this statement taken from Fabyan, Hakluyt has
made Sebastian Cabot leader of the expedition; but there is nothing to
this effect in the text.

[322] It was suggested above that the Burgundian who took part in Cabot's
voyage in 1497 may have been from the Azores. It might be supposed that he
also accompanied João Fernandez or Corte-Real in 1500, and now took part
with Fernandez in the English undertaking, and in this way we should get a
connection; but all this is mere guessing.

[323] Possibly the first-named Portuguese was the origin of the name of
"Labrador." On a Portuguese map of the sixteenth century, preserved at
Wolfenbüttel, it is stated that the country of Labrador was "discovered by
Englishmen from the town of Bristol, and as he who first gave the
information was a 'labrador' [i.e., labourer] from the Azores, they gave
it that name" [cf. Harrisse, 1892, p. 580; 1900, p. 40]. Ernesto do Canto
[Archivo dos Açores, xii. 1894] points out that in documents of as early
as 1492 there is mention of a João Fernandez who is described as
"llavorador," and who was engaged with another (Pero de Barcellos) in
making discoveries at sea. "Llavorador" did not mean merely a common
labourer, but one who tilled the ground, an agriculturist, landowner. We
are then tempted to suppose that, as Do Canto assumes, this João Fernandez
llavorador is John Fernandus, who is mentioned in the letters patent of
1501. The name of Labrador first appears on Portuguese maps (cf. the King
map of about 1502), and is there used of Greenland. It may there be due to
this João Fernandez (llavorador), who, perhaps, returned to Portugal in
1502, as he is no longer mentioned in the letters patent of December 1502
[cf. Harrisse, 1900, p. 40, ff.; Björnbo, 1910, p. 174]. Possibly he may
have accompanied Corte-Real in 1500, or himself made a voyage in that year
(see next chapter), before he came to Bristol; of that we know nothing,
but in that case the name refers to some such Portuguese voyage, on which
we know that Greenland was sighted in 1500, though the voyagers were
unable to reach the coast (see next chapter). It may then be supposed that
the English expedition from Bristol in 1501, in which João Fernandez took
part, did reach the coast of Greenland, and therefore on later maps the
discovery was attributed to the English, who not only saw the coast, but
also landed on it. The Spanish cosmographer Alonso de Santa Cruz (born
1506) says: "It was called the land of Labrador because it was mentioned
and indicated by a 'labrador' from the Azores to the King of England, when
he sent on a voyage of discovery Antonio [sic] Gabot, the English pilot
and father of Sebastian Gabot, who is now Pilot Major (piloto mayor) to
Your Majesty" [cf. Harrisse, 1896, p. 80]. As this was written so long
after, and in Spain, it is not surprising that Cabot's voyage of 1497 has
been confused with the voyage of 1501, especially as it was not to the
interest of Sebastian, who was still in Spain at that time, to correct
this. The statement agrees, moreover, with the legend on the Portuguese
map at Wolfenbüttel.

[324] Cf. Harrisse, 1896, p. 147.

[325] In the repetition of the same statement (from Fabyan) in Stow's
Chronicle the eighteenth year is given as the date, i.e., August 22, 1502,
to August 21, 1503; but it is doubtful which is correct; it appears to me
that the text itself must be more original in Hakluyt; but the date occurs
in the heading added by himself.

[326] The most natural explanation of this seems to me to be that Fabyan,
whom Hakluyt quotes, thought that these savages were taken on the same
island [i.e., North America] that John Cabot had discovered [in 1497]; of
whose expedition in 1498 he had said that it had not returned during the
mayoralty of William Purchas, see above, p. 326. That Hakluyt also
interpreted Fabyan's words thus seems to result from the fact that in his
later repetition of this, in "Principal Navigations," in 1589 and
1599-1600, he has altered the heading, making it the fourteenth (instead
of the seventeenth) year of Henry VII. [i.e., August 22, 1498-August 21,
1499] when the three savages were brought to him. Hakluyt must then have
misunderstood it to mean that they were taken on the voyage of 1498.

[327] In Hakluyt's heading to this statement we are told that it was
Sebastian Cabot who brought these savages; but his name is not mentioned
in the text itself, which appears to be more genuine than the heading, and
there is no ground for supposing that Sebastian took part in either of
these expeditions of 1501 or 1502; in any case he was not the leader. In
Stow's version [Winship, 1900, p. 95] Sebastian Gabato is introduced into
the text as he who had taken the three men; but, as suggested above,
Stow's text seems less original than Hakluyt's. It is probable that both
Stow and Hakluyt may have started from the assumption that it was
Sebastian Cabot who made the voyage, and, therefore, that they
thoughtlessly introduced his name [cf. Harrisse, 1896, pp. 142, ff.]; on
the other hand it appears to me doubtful that his name should already have
occurred in Fabyan in this connection.

[328] Greenland is represented on the map conformably to the type that was
introduced on some mappemundi after Clavus's map (cf. p. 278).

[329] As to the works of these authors, see Winship [1900]. Markham [1893]
reproduces them (except Contarini's report of 1536) in translations,
which, however, must be used with some caution.

[330] These two ships and the three hundred men occur in Peter Martyr and
Contarini, as well as in Gomara and Galvano; while Ramusio only has two
ships and says nothing about the crews.

[331] In Peter Martyr's original account no latitude is given.

[332] The meaning must be that these islands of ice were aground, but that
nevertheless a line of one hundred fathoms did not reach the bottom. The
ice must consequently have been over one hundred fathoms thick, which, of
course, was a remarkable discovery at that time.

[333] This was the name at that time (1550) for the whole south-eastern
part of the present United States.

[334] Cf. Winship, 1900, p. 89. Sir Humphrey Gilbert in 1576 repeats the
same statement almost word for word, saying that he has taken it from
maps, on which Sebastian Cabot had described "from personal experience"
the north-west passage to China [cf. Winship, 1900, pp. 17, 52; Kohl,
1869, p. 217].

[335] Cf. Harrisse, 1896, pp. 159, ff.; Winship, 1900, p. 44.

[336] We must then suppose that "Henry VII." in Ramusio is an error for
"Henry VIII."

[337] Cf. Harrisse, 1883, p. 44.

[338] Cf. Harrisse, 1883, Supplement post scriptum, pp. 6, ff.

[339] As remarked above (p. 328), it is possible that these objects
belonged to John Cabot's unfortunate expedition of 1498.

[340] The document, as reproduced, has 1502. As the civil year at that
time began on March 25, the date given would correspond to January 24,
1503, according to our calendar. But, according to the tradition given in
later accounts, Miguel Corte-Real sailed in 1502, the year after his
brother (cf. the legend on the Portuguese chart of about 1520, p. 354).
Either we must suppose that the year or month in the document is an error,
or the tradition is incorrect.

[341] These five months are a little difficult to understand. Either they
must be reckoned from his departure--if we put that in May 1501, five
months will take us to October 1501, but then the other ship had returned
(see pp. 347, ff.)--or they must be reckoned from the return of the "two
ships" (in October), but that takes us to March 1502. Thus neither gives
good sense. Most likely, as in the case of the three ships instead of two,
it is an error in the document.

[342] Cf. Harrisse, 1883, p. 214.

[343] Cf. Kohl, 1869, p. 179, Pl. X.; Kretschmer, 1892, Pl. XII.; Björnbo,
1910, p. 212.

[344] It might be objected that Gaspar Corte-Real's name is not mentioned
in the whole letter, and that he might thus have also been in command of
these "other caravels"; but in Pasqualigo's letter to his brothers
Gaspar's name is mentioned, and there too the meaning does not seem to be
that he was connected with the discovery in the previous year of the
country which could not be approached because of ice; but nothing definite
can be concluded on this point from the two letters.

[345] The connection with the latter is evidently brought about by the
south coast of the insular Greenland (Terra Laboratoris)--which we meet
with first on the King map (p. 373), and which was given a broad form like
that of the Greenland coast on the Oliveriana map (p. 375), but even
broader--being transferred westward towards America, to the north of the
coast of Corte-Real or Newfoundland, as we find it on the anonymous
Portuguese chart of about 1520 (p. 354) and on Reinel's map (p. 321).
Maggiolo's map (see above) forms a transitional type between these maps
and the Oliveriana. Greenland (Labrador) was later made continuous with
Newfoundland (cf. Ribero's map of 1529, p. 357), and remained so on maps
for a long time (see the map of 1544, p. 320).

[346] The expedition attributed to João Vaz Corte-Real, on which he is
said to have discovered Newfoundland as early as 1464 or 1474, is
unhistorical, and is a comparatively late invention which is first found
in the Portuguese author, Dr. Gaspar Fructuoso, in his "Saudades da Terra"
[vi. c. 9], written about 1590 [cf. Harrisse, 1883, pp. 26, ff.]. Father
Antonio Cordeyro (Historia Insulana, Lisbon, 1717) says that the discovery
was made in company with Alvaro Martins Homen.

[347] It may also be supposed that from the ice off the south-west of
Greenland Corte-Real steered north-west and west, and met with the ice in
the Labrador Current, and was then obliged to turn southwards along the
edge of the ice until he sighted land.

[348] These times given by Cantino for the voyage are, of course,
improbable; if we might suppose that he meant weeks instead of months, it
would agree with the time naturally occupied on such a voyage. If we add
his one month for the homeward voyage to the seven months given above, and
if another month be reckoned for the stay in the country, we shall have
his nine months for the whole voyage.

[349] That the Eskimo lived in caves in the mountains or underground was a
not uncommon idea even in later times; see, for instance, Wilhelmi:
Island, Hvitramannaland, Grönland und Finland, 1842, p. 172.

[350] We do not know that the Indians of Newfoundland had hide-boats; but
it is not impossible.

[351] This land connection is found on the Canerio map of 1502-1507, which
is of the same type as the Cantino map and is an Italian copy, either of
the Cantino map itself or of a similar Portuguese map of 1501 or 1502 [cf.
Björnbo, 1910, p. 167].

[352] Since I contended, in a preliminary sketch of this chapter, which
Dr. A. A. Björnbo read, that the representation of Greenland on the
Cantino map was most probably based on a voyage along the west coast as
well as the east, Dr. Björnbo [1910a, pp. 313, ff.; 1910, pp. 176, ff.]
has examined the delineation of Greenland on the Oliveriana map, and found
that it represents discoveries made during a cruise, not only along the
east coast, but also along a part of the south-west coast, and he sees in
this a partial confirmation of my contention. He thinks it was during
Corte-Real's voyage of 1500 that this cruise was made, and even supposes
that the prototype of the Oliveriana map was Corte-Real's admiral's chart
itself; but this I regard as very doubtful, as will appear from what I
have said above regarding the discoveries of 1500. Björnbo thinks that an
original map like the Oliveriana map is sufficient to explain the form of
the west coast of Greenland on the Cantino map, while the more northern
portion has been given a direction in accordance with the Clavus maps. I
have admitted to Björnbo the possibility of such an explanation. But the
more I look at it, the more doubtful it seems; for the form of the west
coast on the Cantino map has, in fact, not the least resemblance to that
of the Clavus maps; indeed, the very direction is different, more
northerly and more like the real direction, when allowance is made for the
probable variation. It appears to me, therefore, that we cannot assume
offhand that the Clavus maps could lead to a representation like that of
the Cantino map.

[353] Owing to the compass error varying in the course of the voyage, the
courses sailed will be more nearly parts of a great circle.

[354] According to the scale of the Cantino map this distance is about
2250 miglia, but according to Pasqualigo's letters it should be 1800 or
2000, and according to Cantino's letter 2800 miglia.

[355] This is not the place to discuss what is represented by the coast of
the mainland to the west of Cuba on the Cantino map, whether the east
coast of Asia, taken from Toscanelli's mappamundi (or a source like
Behaim's globe), or real discoveries on the coast of North America made by
unknown expeditions (?). In any case this coast has nothing to do with
Gaspar Corte-Real, and Sir Clements Markham [1893, pp. xlix, ff.] is
evidently wrong in thinking that this discoverer on his last voyage (in
1501) may have sailed along this coast.

[356] Yet a third type of representation of Greenland may be said to be
found on the so-called Pilestrina map (p. 377), perhaps of 1511 [cf.
Björnbo, 1910, p. 210], where Greenland forms a peninsula (from a mass of
land on the north) as on the Cantino map, but much broader still. On the
south-eastern promontory of Greenland is here written: "C[auo] de mirame
et lexame" (i.e., Cape "look at me but don't touch me"), which may be
connected with the Portuguese voyage of 1500, when the explorers saw the
coast but could not approach it on account of ice. Finally, I may mention
the type of the Reinel map (see p. 321), where Greenland in the form of a
broad land has been transferred to the coast of America. On all these maps
with their changing representation of Greenland, Newfoundland has
approximately the same form and position.

[357] Cf. Harrisse, 1900, pp. 54, f.

[358] That Miguel Corte-Real really reached Newfoundland seems also to
result from the legend quoted above from the chart of about 1520, since he
would hardly be named on this coast unless there were grounds for
supposing that he arrived there; but this again must point to some of the
expedition having returned.

[359] If Miguel Corte-Real set out in 1503, and not in 1502 (cf. p. 353,
note 1), it must have been in 1504 that the King despatched these fresh

[360] It is reported that in 1574 Vasqueanes Corte-Real IV., father of
this Manuel, undertook an expedition to Labrador to find the North-West

Transcriber's Notes:

Passages in italics are indicated by _italics_.

Footnote 18 appears on page 22 of the text, but there is no corresponding
marker on the page.

Footnote 182 appears on page 200 of the text, but there is no
corresponding marker on the page.

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