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Wrong reading

Reading the old manuscripts in it´s original form is a work for experts.  The spelling somtimes from men hardly litterate themselfs.  Many pages of the manuscripts where rotten and the old ink all over the page.  All this was pieced to gether for me and you to read and understand.  This material was then translated from Icelandic over to Danish in the work,: Grönlands Historiske Mindesmærker.  Volume 1 to 3.  1839 to 1845.  The best Icelandic work in later time is the one from Mr. Ólafur Halldórsson,:  Grænland í Midaldarritum.  Greenland in old middel age litterature.  Sögufélag 1978.   For the first time I saw someone say," I have not investigated the stories."  So, I did, more as a navigator on ships and aircrafts, reading the material as presented to me, with all shorts of explanations available on the litterature.

The whole story on old Greenland starts of wrong on the first crew sailing over to the New World.  The story presents Eirik the Red and Herjólf Bárdarson as equals but they where not.  One was an outlaw and excil and the other one was a highly regarded family man of a famous clan in Iceland.  The story have me belive that the two went of on a one ship mission to find the land to the west of Iceland in the middle of the summer.  We then have the son to Herjólf going out west looking for his father, missing the land to the west and hitting on new lands west of that land.  A rather good description is then given over the troubles of finding the right directions from east to west and then when lost, from west to east, finding his father at that land. 

  Fortunately for the story we are told the name of the pilot finding the right directions for Bjarni Herjólfsson and what seem to be ship number two.  This ship is then sold to Leif Eiriksson, son to the famous Eirik the Red, with crew and all.  The pilot is now mentioned as one Snorri Þorbrandsson, given the fjord Álftafjord in Eiriksey by Eirk the Red.  But where was Bjarni Herjólfsson, was he marooned somewhere.?  That is a mistery until we see Þorfinn Karlsefni arrive into the story.  In the meantime all the famous discoveries take place out of Eiriksey in the middle of the fjord, Eiriksfjorden, over a four winter periode starting in the year 985/986, 986/987, 987/988, 988/989, all together four summers and winters.

Playing a major role in the discoveries from year one was Eirik the Red in year one, the second year the ship of Bjarni Herjólfsson arrives to Brattahlid at Eiriksey from Herjólfsnes, piloted by Snorri Þorbrandsson, with Bjarni Herjólfsson onboard telling his story of discovery the year before.  It is now decided in year two, to have the two ships continue the discoveries west and north, the east they knew from the year before.

The three manuscripts, The Eirik the Red Saga,  The Saga of the Greenlanders and the Þorfinn Karlsefnis Saga are telling the same story in a mixed way but the ships involved are four.  The one used by Eirik the Red.  The one used by Bjarni Herjólfsson, the same ship over to Leif Eiriksson in Vinland voyage number one.  This same ship is used in Vinland voyage number four with Þorfinn Karlsefni.  The one used by Freydís Eiriksdóttir in Vinland voyage number five, piloted by Helgi and Finnbogi and the fourth ship involved in the discovery of the New World used by Herjólfur Bárdarson piloted by Bjarni Grímólfsson and Þórhallur Gamlason escorting the outlaw Eirik the Red out of Iceland on behalf of the local parlament, Þórsnesþing.  Three of the ships above are involved in the five Vinland voyages, except that of Eirik the Red one.  Herjólfur Bárdarson named with Eirik the Red in the beginning of the voyage disapears out of the story all together then at Herjólfsnes in year number one.  The ship he used owned by Bjarni Grímólfsson and piloted by Þórhall Gamlason sinks in bad weather out of the coast of Ireland on the way to Iceland as indicated in the manuscript.   



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