Activities in Various Regions in “The Saga of the Greenlanders”

[Leif at Leif’s Camp]

Chapter 2

- 639-640 -

[...] When they had finished building their houses, Leif spoke to his companions: 'I want to divide our company into two groups, as I wish to explore the land. One half is to remain at home by the longhouses while the other half explores the land. They are never to go any farther than will enable them to return that same evening and no one is to separate from the group.' This they did for some time. Leif accompanied them sometimes, and at other times remained at home by the houses.

[Thorvald at Leif’s Camp]

Chapters 3-4

- 642 -

Thorvald felt they had not explored enough of the land. Leif then said to Thorvald, 'You go to Vinland, brother, and take my ship if you wish, but before you do so I want the ship to make a trip to the skerry to fetch the wood that Thorir had there.' And so this was done.[...] They made their ship ready and put to sea, and nothing is told of their journey until they came to Vinland, to Leif's camp, where they laid up their ship and settled in for the winter, fishing for their food. [...]

That spring Thorvald said they should make their ship ready and several men were to take the ship's boat and go to the west of the land and explore there during the summer. [...] returning to Leif’s camp in the autumn. […]

The second summer Thorvald explored the country to the east on the large ship, going north around the land. They ran into stormy weather around one headland, and they were driven ashore, smashing the keel of the ship. They stayed there a long time, repairing their ship. Thorvald then said to his companions, 'I want us to raise the broken keel up on this point and call it Kjalarnes (Keel point).' This they did.

They then left to sail to the east of the country and entered the mouths of the next fjords until they reached a cape stretching out seawards. [...] Thorvald and all his companions went ashore.

He then spoke: 'This is an attractive spot, and here I would like to build my farm.' [...]

Thorvald then died, and they did everything as he had advised, then left to meet up with their companions. Each group told its news to the other and they spent the winter there loading the ships with grapes and grapevines.

In the spring they made ready for the voyage back to Greenland. […]

[Karlsefni and Gudrid at Leif’s Camp]

Chapter 6

- 646-648 -

[…] They then put out to sea in their ship and arrived without mishap at Leif's booths, where they unloaded their sleeping-sacks.

[...] The natives then set down their packs and opened them, offering their goods, preferably in exchange for weapons, but Karlsefni forbade the men to trade weapons.[...]

[...]Karlsefni and his companions spent the entire winter there, but in the spring he declared that he wished to remain no longer and wanted to return to Greenland. They made ready for their journey, taking with them plenty of the land's products — grapevines, berries and skins. [...]

[Freydis and Thorvard at Leif’s Camp]

Chapter 7

- 648-650 -

Discussion soon began again of a Vinland voyage, since the trip seemed to bring men both wealth and renown.[...]

When winter came the brothers suggested that they hold games and arrange entertainment. This went on for a while, until disagreements arose. The ill-feelings split the party so that the games ceased and each group kept to its own houses. This continued for much of the winter.[...]

[...] Early in the spring they loaded the ship, which the brothers had owned, with all the produce they could gather and the ship would hold. They then set sail and had a good voyage, sailing their ship into Eiriksfjord in early summer. Karlsefni was there already, with his ship all set to sail and only waiting for a favourable wind. It was said that no ship sailing from Greenland had been loaded with a more valuable cargo than the one he commanded. [...]

Source: Keneva Kunz, trans., "[The Activities in the Various Regions] The Saga of the Greenlanders " in The Sagas of Icelanders: A Selection, preface by Jane Smiley, introduction by Robert Kellogg, (New York, London, Victoria (Australia), Toronto, Auckland: The Penguin Group, 2000), 636-652. Notes: Translations first published in "The Complete Sagas of Icelanders," volumes I-V (forty-nine tales), Leifur Eiriksson Publishing, Ltd., Iceland, 1997.

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