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I.—how the Northmen discovered north America.

[about the year 860, a Danish sailor named Gardar was driven upon the shores of Iceland, after which that island was settled by a colony from Norway. About a hundred years later, Greenland was settled from Iceland; Eirek the red being the first to make the voyage. With him went one Heriulf, whose son Biarni had been in the habit of passing every other winter with his father, and then sailing on distant voyages. Then happened what follows.]

That same summer (985 or 986) came Biarni with his ship to Eyrar (Iceland), in the spring of which his father had sailed from the island. These tidings seemed to Biarni weighty, and he would not unload his ship. Then asked his sailors1 what he meant to do. He answered, that he meant to hold to his wont,2 and winter with his father; ‘and I will bear for Greenland, if you will follow me thither.’ All said they would do as he wished. Then said Biarni, ‘Imprudent they will think our voyage, since none of us has been in the Greenland Sea.’

1 i.e., his sailors asked.

2 Custom.

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