Erik the Red: Bold, Hot Tempered, and Cunning

Posted by Ms Elly on

Erik the Red: Bold, Hot-Tempered, and Cunning

If you happen to know Leif Erikson the first Viking seafarer who set foot on America 500 years before Columbus, then Erik the Red was the father of Leif Erikson. Erik the Red was famous for his discovery of Greenland. However, in his time, many people from his clan were tired of his bold and brutal actions. 

Thorvald Asvaldsson and Åsvald Åsvaldson were the names of Erik's parents. He was born somewhere in 950 AD. He was born in Norway yet was forced to abandon his home because his father was pushed into exile for murdering. They travelled to Iceland and that's where Erik grew up. 

Erik the Red

Erik the Red was nicknamed "the Red" because of his red hair and beard

When he grew up, he married Thjodhild Jörundsdóttir, a wealthy Viking woman. Erik seemed to enjoy his marriage life a lot as he was offered many slaves from his wife's family. Erik and his wife led an abundant and quite easy life in the first phase of their marriage. 

But their luck quickly disappeared when all of his slaves were slain. It was Erik's neighbor Valthjof who carried out this killing as he assumed Erik's slaves caused landslide to his farmland. Wasting no time for the Viking Althing, Erik created his own rule to execute Valthjof and some of his relatives. This finally made his clan to push him and his family into exile. This time, he moved to an island. 

On his new home, a neighbor caused him trouble. Life on this new home didn't get very well with Erik and his wife. A neighbor of his came and borrowed his wooden beams which held religious importance to the Vikings. But this guy failed to give back the beams which led to his own death. And this time, Erik the Red wasted no minute for the Althing to settle the dispute. Erik came at the door wielding his axe and ending the life of the guy who didn't give back the wooden beams for Erik. And this time, he was pushed into exile once more time. 

Erik the Red

Erik the Red found and named it Greenland

Although he was made to leave his newly-settled home for three years, he decided to sail west. And in case you miss it, the place that Erik found out was Greenland and this place was named Greenland by Erik. Because there was so much ice and mist in this place, he had to call it "Greenland" which could help attract more Vikings to come and settle there with him. 

In the surviving texts, Erik called for groups of ships to come. Many followed him but not many could make it to Greenland because of the harsh weather. 

And Erik once lived like a king in Greenland. In his great house, he raised up his children all of whom later became famous. The most famous child of Erik must be Leif Erikson who was considered to be the first Viking warrior who set his foot on North America 500 years before Columbus. 

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