Vinland in “Chapter 39”

Chapter 39

62

He also told me that many in this part of the Ocean have discovered an island called Vinland because there are grapevines growing wild which produces the best of wines. From trustworthy Danes rather than from fantastic tales, I also have heard that there is an abundance of cereal which is self-sown. Beyond this island, he [King Sven of Denmark] says, are no more inhabitable islands in the Ocean. Everything farther out is covered by immense masses of ice and perennial fog. Martianus tells of this:’ One day of sailing beyond Thule the sea is solid.’ This the widely travelled King Harold of Norway found to be true. With his ships he recently investigated the extent of the northern Ocean but finally had to turn back when the extreme limit of the world disappeared in fog before his eyes. He barely escaped the gaping ravine of the abyss.

Source: Adam of Bremen, "[Vinland in] Chapter 39" in Beskrivelse af °erne i Nordern [Description of the Islands in the North], (Copenhagen: Wormianum, 1978), 62. Notes: Original Latin text and Danish translation, with commentaries by Allan A. Lund English translation by B. Wallace Original tile: Descriptio insularum Aquilonis. Written c. 1075

Return to parent page