Bjarni Herjolfsson

Bjarni Herjólfsson was an Icelandic trader who is the first known European to discover the mainland of North America in the year 986 AD. Bjarni was born in Iceland to Herjólfr, who was the son of Bárdi Herjólfsson (Old Norse: Bárði) and Thorgerdr (Old Norse: Þorgerðr). When Bjarni grew to manhood, he became a merchant captain based in Norway. Although he was away most of the year, he made sure he visited his father every summer in Iceland. Bjarni is believed to have been the first European to see North America. The Greenlanders Saga tells about one year when…

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Leif Erikson

Leif Erikson (970 – 1020 AD) was an Icelandic explorer and the first known European to have discovered North America (excluding Greenland), before Christopher Columbus. According to the Sagas of Icelanders, Leif Erikson established a Norse settlement at location he called Vinland. This location is identified as possibly being located at L’Anse aux Meadows on the northern tip of Newfoundland in modern-day Canada. However, this location is not firm as later archaeological evidence suggests that Vinland may have been the areas around the Gulf of St. Lawrence and that the L’Anse aux Meadows site was a ship…

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