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Erik the Red

AKA Erik Thorvaldsson

Born: c. 950 AD
Birthplace: Rogaland, Norway
Died: c. 1005 AD
Location of death: Qassiarsuk, Greenland
Cause of death: Illness

Gender: Male
Religion: Pagan
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Explorer

Nationality: Norway
Executive summary: Viking, explored Greenland

Erik the Red (so called for his hair) left Norway at an early age, accompanying his father who had been exiled for a flurry of murders. He grew up in Iceland, becoming a chieftain there, until about 981, when he killed two neighbors in a quarrel and was banished as his father had been. Accompanied by his family, Erik sailed the Atlantic in search of plunder and became the first European to reach Greenland, a huge icebound island named misleadingly by Erik in hopes of luring new settlers. Returning to Iceland, he convinced hundreds of Norsemen to follow him to Greenland in more than two dozen ships. About half these ships were wrecked on the way, and the remaining settlers established an eastern settlement in what is now known as Julianhaab, and a western settlement near the modern-day Nuuk (or Godthaab). His son Leif Ericsson is believed to have been the first European to reach North America, and Erik lived long enough to hear of his son's exploits. His Greenland settlements were occupied for about five hundred years, until the approximate era of Christopher Columbus.

Father: Thorvald Asvaldsson
Wife: Thorhild Jorundóttir (b. c. 975)
Daughter: Freydís Ericsdóttir (explorer)
Son: Thorvald Ericsson (explorer)
Son: Thorstein Ericsson (explorer)
Son: Leif Ericsson (explorer)


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