The Vikings and Leif Eriksson

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					The Vikings and Leif
   Pgs. 119-120, Wb. 15
     Who were the Vikings?
• A culture originating in Norway, Denmark
  and Sweden.
• The Vikings were fierce conquerors,
  brave explorers, and skilled
  craftspeople; they invaded and settled
  countries throughout Western Europe.
• They were the first Europeans to discover
  America (in about AD 1000), almost 500
  years before Columbus.
Stories of an Unknown Land
• For a very long time, people had told
  stories about an unknown land
  between Europe and Asia.
• No one knew for sure if stories of a
  New World could be true.
• These stories began a new era called
  the Age of Exploration.
    Leif Eriksson – 975-1020
• Leif Eriksson was the son of Eric the
  Red, who started the first European
  settlement of Greenland in 985.
• He was born in Iceland around 975.
• Leif was a leader of Viking expeditions
  and may have been the first European to
  reach North America.
Two Versions of the Same Story
• In the year 1000, Leif sailed to Norway,
  which is where his family had originally
  come from.
• While he was there, he became a Christian
  and planned to return to Greenland to teach
  the Vikings about Christianity.
• As Leif sailed back to Greenland, he was
  blown off course and ended up in North
  America instead of Greenland.
Two Versions of the Same Story
• A second story says that another Viking
  had already been to North America.
• Leif wanted to retrace the route. So he
  sailed to North America, but not by
• He landed in a place he called Vinland.
  This was probably part of Canada now
  called Newfoundland.
         A Viking Long Ship
• Viking long ships could travel rough, open seas.
  A long ship could be as long as 75 feet and
  could carry up to 35 people.