What happens when a few 19th century scholars, a baking powder magnate, a transcendental poet, and a pair of Norwegian archaeologist explorers start looking for the real site of Vinland? John and Andy spoke at Bridgewater State University and the Scandinavian Cultural Center in West Newton, MA to answer that question. In this live episode, we review the Vinland sagas and then explore the efforts of prominent 19th century gentlemen to locate Vinland in the Boston area. If you’ve never visited Norumbega Tower, Dighton Rock, or “Krossanes beach” in Duxbury, you’ll want to after this.
Our thanks to Bridgewater State University’s English department for helping Andy travel from Oxford, Mississippi. And to the Scandinavian Cultural Center in West Newton, MA for hosting this live event.
The presentation we used and some photos we took follow:
John surveys the land with Leif Eiriksson at L’Anse aux Meadow
The Saga of the Greenlanders might be the shortest saga John and Andy have tackled, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a lot to say about it. In this episode, your stalwart hosts run through the usual categories and discuss the motivations behind Freydis’ attack on Helgi and Finnbogi, debate the quality of Thorfinn Karlsefni’s character, review some competing theories on Norse settlements in the North America, and share some recent scholarship that challenges our understanding of the conditions the Vikings dealt with in Greenland. There’s a fair amount of nonsense as well. Join us as we conclude our trip through the Vinland sagas.