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The Norse Atlantic Saga: Being the Norse Voyages of Discovery and Settlement to Iceland, Greenland, and North America Paperback – July 31, 1986
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Yes, we do have reports of some violent incidents between Norse and groups of "skraelings" (the Inuit or so-called Eskimo) who had not appeared as far south as the Norse areas until well into the 1300s after more than three centuries of sole Norse settlement there. But there are also reports and evidence of both trade and other friendly and even sheltering contacts. The contacts were limited and infrequent with little or no territorial conflict involved, the Norse living mostly along the inner fjords where there was pasture for their flocks, and the Inuit on the outer coasts where sea hunting was much better. On this, Carl Sauer made a telling comment: "That the unwarlike Eskimos should have driven the Greenlanders back and finally eliminated them by force is quite out of character for both groups." Also the Norwegian Arctic explorer and scientist Fridtjof Nansen, well acquainted with Eskimo culture firsthand, had earlier objected to such claims. (In a recent best-seller Jared Diamond has revived the claim but adduces no new evidence.) There is some evidence of piratic attacks and kidnappings from outside, with English and Basque freebooters and some others suspected, but which without further information remains a dark suspicion unproven to scholars' satisfaction. At any rate it is certain that regular contact with Europe ultimately dried up, and Greenland's "rediscovery" was to wait until the end of the sixteenth century with the Frobisher and Davis expeditions, which found Eskimos but no Norsemen.
As for Vinland, Jones gives a good and very interesting account of what is known of those ventures and withdrawal. While rather noncommital as to where the settlement Leif established was located, he inclines toward Helge Ingstad's view that the site he and his wife uncovered at Newfoundland's northern tip is it. (See my other reviews for different opinions on this.)
The second half of the book is devoted to the sources, and a fascinating collection it is. Starting with translated text of the old Icelandic manuscripts "The Book of the Icelanders" (Islendingabok) and "The Book of the Settlements" (Landnamabok), Jones then gives a full translation of both sagas relating the Vinland ventures, plus the short saga of Einar Sokkason, the latter centered on a pair of dramatic events in Greenland which came to a head about 1132. Additional material is found in the appendixes, including an Inuit folk tale of a bloody incident and reprisals between a group of Eskimos and Norse (recounted grippingly in Jane Smiley's novel "The Greenlanders"); also an explanation of finds uncovered at a Norse farmsite in Greenland's former Western (really northern) Settlement; and an interpretation of Newfoundland's L'Anse aux Meadows site by Birgitta Linderoth Wallace who, after the Ingstads had finished their work became Director of the Parks Canada Project there and has since been its on-site authority.
Altogether, "The Norse Atlantic Saga" is a rich source of information on those activities, very readable and well presented. This Second Edition (1986) has been rewritten and contains much significant revision from the First (1964); the general outlines of this story have changed little in the years since. But Erik Wahlgren's "The Vikings and America" (also 1986) should be read as a counterweight to some of Jones' assumptions about the North American phase, as should Carl O. Sauer's "Northern Mists" (1968, also reviewed), which was ahead of its time and his perceptions still very much worth considering although studiously ignored by most scholars today if they've even heard of them.