Eric the Red

Eric the Red

Death 1003 (aged 52–53)
Burial Body lost or destroyed
Memorial ID 8183677 · View Source
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Viking Exlorer. Born Eric Thorvaldson, but was called Eric the Red because of his red hair and beard. When he was approximately 10 years old, his father was banished from Norway for manslaughter. Both then moved to Iceland. After his father's death, Eric also became involved in several quarrels and ended up killing two men. He, in turn, was exiled from Iceland for three years. During his exile, he explored the waters west of Iceland, searching for a land that Gunnbjorn Ulfsson, a Norwegian, had supposedly sighted 50 years earlier. He reached the eastern coast of present-day Greenland and continued around the southern tip to the west coast. He spent the rest of his exile there and returned to Iceland. Despite its harsh climate, Eric saw an oportunity and named the new land Greenland to attract people to it. Around 985, he sailed for Greenland with 25 ships filled with colonists, but only 14 of the vessels completed the voyage. Two settlements, with a total of about 450 people, were established. He lived in the Eastern Settlement at Brattahlid, near what is now Julianehab. He was recognized as the principal leader of both communities. The settlers farmed the land; raised cattle, hogs, and sheep; and hunted bears, caribou and other animals. He had planned to lead an expedition west from Greenland in search of more land. However, he refused to make the journey after falling from his horse on the way to his ship. He feared that it was a sign of trouble ahead. His son, Leif Ericson, would later go on without him. Eric the Red has opposed the introduction of Christianity by his son, sometime around 1000. After doing well for a long while, the settlements experienced unusually cold weather. Some of the settlers returned to Iceland (the last recorded voyage between Iceland and Greenland was in 1410), but the rest of the settlers disappeared. It is thought that either they were attacked by Inuit or that they died from epidemics and starvation.

Bio by: Mongoose

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Mongoose
  • Added: 14 Dec 2003
  • Find a Grave Memorial 8183677
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Eric the Red (950–1003), Find a Grave Memorial no. 8183677, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Body lost or destroyed.