Thorstein Eríksson


Thorstein Eríksson

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unreferenced = October 2007
wikify = October 2007
Thorstein Eríksson was the youngest son of Erik the Red.

Leif Eriksson's voyage is discussed extensively in Brattahlid and Thorvald, Leif's brother, thinks that Vinland was not explored enough. Leif offers him his ship for a new voyage there and he accepts. Setting sail with a crew of 30, Thorvald arrives in Vinland where Leif had previously made camp. They stay there for the winter and live on fishing.

In the spring Thorvald goes exploring and sails to the west. They find no signs of human habitation except for one corn-shed. They return to their camp for the winter.

The next summer Thorvald explores to the east and north of their camp. At one point the explorers disembark in a pleasant forested area.

[Thorvald] then said: "Here it is beautiful, and here would I like to raise my dwelling." Then went they to the ship, and saw upon the sands within the promontory three elevations, and went thither, and saw there three skin boats (canoes), and three men under each. Then divided they their people, and caught them all, except one, who got away with his boat. They killed the other eight, and then went back to the cape, and looked round them, and saw some heights inside of the firth, and supposed that these were dwellings. — Reeves' translation

The natives, called Skraelings (ON: Skrælingar) by the Norsemen, return with a larger force and attack Thorvald and his men. The Skraelings fire missiles at them for a while and then retreat. Thorvald receives a fatal wound and is buried in Vinland. His crew returns to Greenland.

Thorstein Eriksson resolves to go to Vinland for the body of his brother. The same ship is prepared yet again and Thorstein sets sail with a crew of 25 and his wife Gudrid (ON: Guðríðr).

The expedition never reaches Vinland and after driving about the whole summer the ship ends up back at the coast of Greenland. During the winter, Thorstein falls ill and dies but speaks out of his dead body and tells the fortune of his wife Gudrid, predicting a long and prosperous life for her.


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