Revered as the foundation of Icelandic culture, The Sagas of Icelanders/Íslendingasögur are unique in medieval literature and are collectively one of Iceland’s greatest contributions to the world’s cultural heritage. Two of these sagas – Erik the Red’s Saga/Eirík saga rauða and The Saga of the Greenlanders/Grænlendinga saga – are the main literary sources of information for the Norse exploration of North America and recount the extraordinary navigational achievements of Leifur Eiríksson and the first European attempts to establish a settlement in the vast new continent of America.

In a fascinating story of historical sleuthing, Icelandic author and meteorologist Bergþórsson plays detective, combining detailed scrutiny of the Icelandic sagas with a variety of other evidence, e.g. archaeology, geography, meteorology, navigation, anthropology, botany, and zoology, and his own explorations, to locate Eiríksson’s Wineland (otherwise known as Vinland).

About Páll Bergþórsson

Páll Bergþórsson (b. 1923) is an Icelandic meteorologist and author of The Wineland Millennium: Saga and Evidence/Vínlandsgátan (Mál og menning, 1997/2000 in English), which was nominated for the Icelandic Literature Prize in 1997.

From 1989 – 1993 Bergþórsson served as director of the Icelandic Meteorological Office, during which time he wrote many books and papers on meteorology. After his retirement from the Icelandic Meteorological Office in 1993, Bergþórsson embarked on four expeditions between 1996 and 2002 to examine local conditions in relationship to the Icelandic explorers in America.



Photo by the American-Scandinavian Foundation

TUE – 8-12-2015 – 6:30 PM