There is one aspect of Scandinavian expansion that stands out (very) above that referred to attacks and violent looting.
The Vikings, as we have already told you on occasion, were a people who were very well structured socially, who extolled the arts and who had a special attachment to storytelling, many of which today are preserved and can be consulted, and which serve as the plot of films or television series.
Rosalind Kerven trained as an anthropologist but ended up writing children's stories, among other styles.
In her work Vikings Myths & Sagas: Retold From Ancient Norse Text, the famed author explores various Viking tales and reveals how this culture was particularly attached to heroic legends and folktales.
Despite the proven illiteracy of this people, the ability to tell fantastic stories with a complex narrative style is especially significant, although they were recorded only at an oral level and with little written constancy.
Even with this type of intergenerational transmission, some manuscripts confirm Viking feats that could question what we think about historical events such as the discovery of America.
Erik's sagas, for example, note that some Icelandic travelers explored North American lands long before Christopher Columbus did.
It is said that in the 11th century, these daring travellers, forced by maritime storms, arrived on the shores of an unknown land in the far north of Canada that they called "rich and fertile land". This territory had an abundance of wood to build boats, and sufficient resources (hunting) to keep the population fed.
The presence of wild grapes was especially noteworthy, something that attracted the attention of new visitors, which is why they baptized the recent discovery as Vinland.
In the sagas it is also related that they were fascinated and that they even considered settling down definitively, settling down in some first constructions. It also appears that one of the travelers gave birth there to what was probably the first European child born on American soil.
The American dream seemed to fade abruptly for these travelers as it did not receive the hospital support of the local natives. Numerous and continuous altercations due to the fact that the territories belonged led to the surrender of the new conquerors and ruined the attempt at colonization, leaving the expeditionary journey as a mere anecdote.
For centuries it was thought that these stories were not historically sustained, giving as valid only those stories that categorically affirmed that the discovery of America was in the hands of a Spanish expedition sponsored by the Catholic Monarchs.
However, a team of Norwegian archaeologists were interested in the history of alleged finds by Icelandic travellers, and their inquiries led to surprising findings.
One of them referred to the discovery, just in the area where the Icelanders (north of Newfoundland, Canada) arrived, of some houses of clearly Viking architectural style, in addition to a forge and some craft workshops, vestiges of what seemed to be the attempts to settle in a new territory that they considered propitious for their purposes of expansion.
These are, without a doubt, fascinating facts that continue to feed more and more the high concept that many of us have of this Nordic people. We thought we should share them with you and hope you found them as interesting as we did.
Happy day and health!