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Vikings: The First Norman King Of England

1036 words - 4 pages

In 1004 AD, Leif's brother Thorvald Eiriksson sailed to explore Newfoundland with a crew of 30 men and spent the winter at Leifsbúðir (Leif's camp). In the Springtime, Thorvald attacked nine of the local indigenous people, whom the Norsemen called “Skrælingar”(Skræling), that were sleeping under three skin-covered canoes. One of the victims survived the attack, escaping and came back to the Norse camp with a force. The indigenous people retaliated by attacking the Norse explorers and Thorvald was killed by an arrow that had passed through their defensive barricade. Brief hostilities continued as the remaining Norse explorers stayed through the winter until they left the following Spring.
Thorvald and Leif's brother, Thorstein Ericson along with his wife Guthrith (Gudrida), sailed to the New World to retrieve his dead brother's body. Unfortunately, his expedition got lost and never reached Vinland. Turning back, they returned to Greenland and by the end of the first week of winter they landed at Lysufiord, Norway where Thorstein fell ill and died. The following Spring, his wife Gudrida returned to settlement Greenland of Brattahlíð, called Ericsfiord at the time.
In 1009 AD, Thorfinn Karlsefni (Thorfinn the Valiant), with three ships that contained livestock and 160 (some sources say 250) men and women, sailed south and landed at Straumfjord in Newfoundland. However, they later relocated to Straumsöy, Newfoundland. The Norse settlers began with peaceful relations between the indigenous people(Skræling) as they bartered with furs and gray squirrel skins for milk and red cloth. The Norsemen claimed the natives tied the red cloth around their heads, wearing them as a sort of headdress.
A bull that belonged to Thorfinn Karlsefni came storming out of the wood, so frightening the natives that they ran to their skin-covered canoes and fled away. The natives returned in force three days later and attacked the Norsemen. It is said that the natives used a form of catapults where they hoisted a large dark blue sphere on a pole and fired it. When fired, the sphere projectile flew over the heads of the men and made an ugly assortment of noises. The Norsemen retreated from the native’s attack, however Leif Ericson's half-sister Freydís Eiríksdóttir whom was was pregnant and unable to keep up with the retreating Norsemen. She called out to her kinsmen to stop fleeing from "such pitiful wretches," claiming that if she had weapons she would do better. At one point, Freydís picked up a sword that belonged to a man that had been killed by the natives. She pulled one of her breasts from out of her bodice and struck it with the sword she had picked up. This frightened the natives and made them flee.
Meanwhile on the Island of Ireland disputes over the lands of Ireland rose as King Brian Boru, the King of Munster began making moves to be High King of all of Ireland. Political maneuvers and...

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