The Epic of the Vikings and Their Presence in America

The Epic of the Vikings and Their Presence in America
Three Viking ships and their crew.

Viking shipsPhoto: Getty Images / Halton Archive

The Vikings were the first Europeans to set foot on American soil 500 years ago, along with the terrifying warriors and fierce navigators, Christopher Columbus and Jack Cartier, who sailed the North Seas in the wake of deadly attacks. However, this expansion lasted only a short time. Interpretations by historian Maxim Durand, who oversaw the game Discovery Tour: Viking Age, By Ubisoft.

The Vikings did not represent a people; Instead they live in present-day Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland from 9e Up to 11e Century. Westerners, victims of their attacks, portray them in bad light and describe them as bloodthirsty savages wearing horned helmets.

They have a deep culture. They have a ronic script that allows them to convey numerous mythological and religious messages.

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Maxim Durand, historian

Achievement Sailors

Viking ships were adorned with square sails, which allowed sailors to sail longer distances. They sailed in sight and thanks to their excellent naval knowledge. The Vikings of Sweden headed east, especially to Russia, west of Norway, i.e. to Iceland, Greenland and Newfoundland.

Rooster of the Viking Longship at an exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum.

The Vikings used long ships to sail on small and large rivers.

Radio-Canada / Sylvie-Ann Jensen

Leaf Erickson, son of Eric the Red, who lives in Greenland, was looking for a vinland that could be Newfoundland. In 1000, he arrived with his army at L’Anse au Meadow in Newfoundland. The Vikings were in contact with the natives of the area.

The existence of the Vikings in North America is undeniable.

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Maxim Durand, historian

In closing, Maxim Durand explains why the Vikings’ stay in Newfoundland lasted so long and why they returned to Europe.

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