Greenland is an autonomous constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for more than a millennium; the majority of its residents are Inuit, whose ancestors began migrating from the Canadian mainland in the 13th century settling across the island. Greenland is the world's largest island. Three-quarters of Greenland is covered by the only permanent ice sheet outside Antarctica. With a population of about 56,480, it is the least densely populated territory in the world. About a third of the population live in the capital and largest city; the Arctic Umiaq Line ferry acts as a lifeline for western Greenland, connecting the various cities and settlements. Greenland has been inhabited at intervals over at least the last 4,500 years by Arctic peoples whose forebears migrated there from what is now Canada.
Norsemen settled the uninhabited southern part of Greenland beginning in the 10th century, having settled Iceland to escape persecution from the King of Norway and his central government. These Norsemen would set sail from Greenland and Iceland, with Leif Erikson becoming the first known European to reach North America nearly 500 years before Columbus reached the Caribbean islands. Inuit peoples arrived in the 13th century. Though under continuous influence of Norway and Norwegians, Greenland was not formally under the Norwegian crown until 1262; the Norse colonies disappeared in the late 15th century when Norway was hit by the Black Death and entered a severe decline. Soon after their demise, beginning in 1499, the Portuguese explored and claimed the island, naming it Terra do Lavrador. In the early 18th century, Danish explorers reached Greenland again. To strengthen trading and power, Denmark–Norway affirmed sovereignty over the island; because of Norway's weak status, it lost sovereignty over Greenland in 1814 when the union was dissolved.
Greenland became Danish in 1814, was integrated in the Danish state in 1953 under the Constitution of Denmark. In 1973, Greenland joined the European Economic Community with Denmark. However, in a referendum in 1982, a majority of the population voted for Greenland to withdraw from the EEC, effected in 1985. Greenland contains the world's largest and most northerly national park, Northeast Greenland National Park. Established in 1974, expanded to its present size in 1988, it protects 972,001 square kilometres of the interior and northeastern coast of Greenland and is bigger than all but twenty-nine countries in the world. Greenland is divided into five municipalities – Sermersooq, Qeqertalik and Avannaata. Greenland does not have an independent seat at the United Nations. In 1979, Denmark granted home rule to Greenland, in 2008, Greenlanders voted in favor of the Self-Government Act, which transferred more power from the Danish government to the local Greenlandic government. Under the new structure, in effect since 21 June 2009, Greenland can assume responsibility for policing, judicial system, company law and auditing.
It retains control of monetary policy, providing an initial annual subsidy of DKK 3.4 billion, planned to diminish over time. Greenland expects to grow its economy based on increased income from the extraction of natural resources; the capital, held the 2016 Arctic Winter Games. At 70%, Greenland has one of the highest shares of renewable energy in the world coming from hydropower; the early Norse settlers named the island as Greenland. In the Icelandic sagas, the Norwegian-born Icelander Erik the Red was said to be exiled from Iceland for manslaughter. Along with his extended family and his thralls, he set out in ships to explore an icy land known to lie to the northwest. After finding a habitable area and settling there, he named it Grœnland in the hope that the pleasant name would attract settlers; the Saga of Erik the Red states: "In the summer, Erik left to settle in the country he had found, which he called Greenland, as he said people would be attracted there if it had a favorable name."The name of the country in the indigenous Greenlandic language is Kalaallit Nunaat.
The Kalaallit are the indigenous Greenlandic Inuit people. In prehistoric times, Greenland was home to several successive Paleo-Eskimo cultures known today through archaeological finds; the earliest entry of the Paleo-Eskimo into Greenland is thought to have occurred about 2500 BC. From around 2500 BC to 800 BC, southern and western Greenland were inhabited by the Saqqaq culture. Most finds of Saqqaq-period archaeological remains have been around Disko Bay, including the site of Saqqaq, after which the culture is named. From 2400 BC to 1300 BC, the Independence I culture existed in northern Greenland, it was a part of the Arctic small tool tradition. Towns, including Deltaterrassern
The Norse people or Norsemen were a group of Germanic people who inhabited Scandinavia and spoke what is now called the Old Norse language between c. 800 and 1300 AD. The language belongs to the North Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages and is the predecessor of the modern Germanic languages of Scandinavia. In the late eighth century Norsemen embarked on a massive expansion in all directions; this was the start of the Viking Age. In English-language scholarship since the nineteenth century, the Viking Age Norsemen, seafaring traders and warriors have been referred to as Vikings; the Norse Scandinavians established polities and settlements in what are now England, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Russia, Greenland, Belgium, Finland, Latvia, Germany and Canada as well as Sicily. The word Norseman first appears in English in the early nineteenth century: the earliest attestation given in the third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary is from Walter Scott's 1817 Harold the Dauntless; the word was coined using the adjective norse, borrowed into English from Dutch in the 16th century with the sense'Norwegian', which by Scott's time had acquired the sense "of or relating to Scandinavia or its language, esp in ancient or medieval times".
Like the modern use of the word viking, the word norseman has no particular basis in medieval usage. The term Norseman does, echo terms meaning'Northman' applied to Norse-speakers by the peoples they encountered during the Middle Ages; the Old Frankish word Nortmann was Latinised as Normannus and was used in Latin texts. The Latin word Normannus entered Old French as Normands. From this word came the name of the Normans and of Normandy, settled by Norsemen in the tenth century; the same word entered Hispanic languages and local varieties of Latin with forms beginning not only in n-, but in l-, such as lordomanni. This form may in turn have been borrowed into Arabic: the prominent early Arabic source al-Mas‘ūdī identified the 844 raiders on Seville not only as Rūs but al-lawdh’āna. In modern scholarship, Vikings is a common term for attacking Norsemen in connection with raids and monastic plundering by Norsemen in the British Isles, but it was not used in this sense at the time. In Old Norse and Old English, the word meant'pirate'.
The Norse were known as Ascomanni, ashmen, by the Germans, Lochlanach by the Gaels and Dene by the Anglo-Saxons. The Gaelic terms Finn-Gall, Dubh-Gall and Gall Goidel were used for the people of Norse descent in Ireland and Scotland, who assimilated into the Gaelic culture. Dubliners called them Ostmen, or East-people, the name Oxmanstown comes from one of their settlements. In the 8th century the inrush of the Vikings in force began to be felt all over Pictland; these Vikings were savages of the most unrestrained and pitiless type. They were composed of Finn-Gall or Norwegians, of Dubh-Gall or Danes; the latter were a mixed breed, with a Hunnish strain in them. However, British conceptions of the Vikings' origins were not quite correct; those who plundered Britain lived in what is today Denmark, the western coast of Sweden and Norway and along the Swedish Baltic coast up to around the 60th latitude and Lake Mälaren. They came from the island of Gotland, Sweden; the border between the Norsemen and more southerly Germanic tribes, the Danevirke, today is located about 50 kilometres south of the Danish–German border.
The southernmost living Vikings lived no further north than Newcastle upon Tyne, travelled to Britain more from the east than from the north. The northern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula was unpopulated by the Norse, because this ecology was inhabited by the Sami, the native people of northern Sweden and large areas of Norway and the Kola Peninsula in today's Russia; the Slavs, the Arabs and the Byzantines knew them as the Rus' or Rhōs derived from various uses of rōþs-, i.e. "related to rowing", or from the area of Roslagen in east-central Sweden, where most of the Vikings who visited the Slavic lands originated. Archaeologists and historians of today believe that these Scandinavian settlements in the Slavic lands formed the names of the countries of Russia and Belarus; the Slavs and the Byzantines called them Varangians, the Scandinavian bodyguards of the Byzantine emperors were known as the Varangian Guard. In the Old Norse language, the term norrœnir menn, was used correspondingly to the modern English name Norsemen, referring to Swedes, Norwegians, Faroe Islanders, etc.
The modern Scandinavian languages have a common word for Norsemen: the word nordbo, is used for both ancient and modern people living in the Nordic countries and speaking one of the Scandinavian Germanic languages. The word Vikings: Vikinger in Danish and Norwegian Bokmål, Vikingar in Swedish and Norwegian Nynorsk is not used as a word for Norsemen by natives, as "Viking" is the name for a specific activity/occupation, not a demographic group; the Vikings were people partaking in the raid. On occasions Finland is mentioned as a "Scandinavian country". Th
Erik the Red
Erik Thorvaldsson, known as Erik the Red, was a Norse explorer, remembered in medieval and Icelandic saga sources as having founded the first settlement in Greenland. According to Icelandic sagas, he was born in the Jæren district of Rogaland, Norway, as the son of Thorvald Asvaldsson, he therefore appears, patronymically, as Erik Thorvaldsson. The appellation "the Red" most refers to his hair color and the color of his beard. Leif Erikson, the famous Icelandic explorer, was Erik's son. Erik the Red's father, Thorvald Asvaldsson, was banished from Norway because of some killings, he left with his son Erik to northwest Iceland, where he died before 980. According to the Greenland saga: "There was a man called Thorvald, the father of Eirik the Red, he and Eirik left their home in Jaederen, in Norway, because of some killings and went to Iceland, extensively settled by then. He settled in Hornstrandir in northwestern Iceland; the Icelanders sentenced Erik to exile for three years for killing Eyiolf the Foul around the year 982.
After marrying Thjodhild, Erik moved to Haukadalr. The initial confrontation occurred when his thralls started a landslide on the neighboring farm belonging to Valthjof. Valthjof's friend, Eyiolf the Foul, killed the thralls. In retaliation, Erik killed Holmgang-Hrafn. Eyiolf's kinsmen demanded his banishment from Haukadal. Erik moved to the island of Oxney, he asked Thorgest to keep his setstokkr – inherited ornamented beams of significant mystical value, which his father had brought from Norway. When he had finished his new house, he went back to get them, but they "could not be obtained". Erik went to Breidabolstad and took them; these are to have been Thorgest's setstokkr, although the sagas are unclear at this point. Thorgest gave chase, in the ensuing fight Erik slew both Thorgest's sons and "a few other men". After this, each of them retained a considerable body of men with him at his home. Styr gave Erik his support, as did Eyiolf of Sviney, Vifil's son, the sons of Thorbrand of Alptafirth.
The dispute was resolved at the Thing, which outlawed Erik for three years. Though popular history credits Erik as the first person to discover Greenland, the Icelandic sagas suggest that earlier Norsemen discovered and tried to settle it before him. Tradition credits Gunnbjorn Ulfsson with the first sighting of the land-mass. Nearly a century before Erik, strong winds had driven Gunnbjorn towards a land he called Gunnbjorn's skerries, but the accidental nature of Gunnbjorn's discovery has led to his neglect in the history of Greenland. After Gunnbjorn, Snaebjorn Galti had visited Greenland. According to records from the time, Galti headed the first Norse attempt to colonize Greenland, which ended in disaster. Erik the Red was the first permanent European settler. In this context, about 982, Erik sailed to a somewhat little-known land, he sailed up the western coast. He reached a part of the coast that, for the most part, seemed ice-free and had conditions—similar to those of Iceland—that promised growth and future prosperity.
According to the Saga of Erik the Red, he spent his three years of exile exploring this land. The first winter he spent on the second winter he passed in Eiriksholmar. In the final summer he explored as far north into Hrafnsfjord; when Erik returned to Iceland after his exile had expired, he is said to have brought with him stories of "Greenland". Erik deliberately gave the land a more appealing name than "Iceland" in order to lure potential settlers, he explained, "people would be attracted to go there if it had a favorable name". He knew that the success of any settlement in Greenland would need the support of as many people as possible, his salesmanship proved successful, as many people became convinced that Greenland held great opportunity. After spending the winter in Iceland, Erik returned to Greenland in 985 with a large number of colonists. Out of 25 ships that left for Greenland only 14 arrived, 11 were lost at sea; the Icelanders established two colonies on the southwest coast: the Eastern Settlement or Eystribyggð, in modern-day Qaqortoq, the Western Settlement, close to present-day Nuuk.
The Eastern and Western Settlements, both established on the southwest coast, proved the only two areas suitable for farming. During the summers, when the weather favored travel more, each settlement would send an army of men to hunt in Disko Bay above the Arctic Circle for food and other valuable commodities such as seals, ivory from walrus tusks, beached whales. In the Eastern Settlement, Erik built the estate of Brattahlid, near present-day Narsarsuaq, he held the title of paramount chieftain of Greenland and became both respected and wealthy. The settlement flourished, growing to 5,000 inhabitants spread over a considerable area along Eriksfjord and neighboring fjords. Groups of immigrants escaping overcrowding in Iceland joined the original party. However, one group of immigrants which arrived in 1002 brought with it an epidemic that ravaged the colony, killing many of its leading citizens, including Erik him
Haakon the Good
Haakon Haraldsson Haakon the Good and Haakon Adalsteinfostre, was the king of Norway from 934 to 961. He was noted for his attempts to introduce Christianity into Norway. Haakon is not mentioned in any narrative sources earlier than the late 12th century. According to this late saga tradition, Haakon was the youngest son of King Harald Fairhair and Thora Mosterstang, he was born on the Håkonshella peninsula in Hordaland. King Harald determined to remove his youngest son out of harm's way and accordingly sent him to the court of King Athelstan of England. Haakon was fostered by King Athelstan, as part of an agreement made by his father, for which reason Haakon was nicknamed Adalsteinfostre. However, Haakon is not mentioned in any contemporary Anglo-Saxon sources, historians of Athelstan, such as William of Malmesbury, make no reference to Haakon. According to Norwegian royal biographies from the late 12th century, the English court introduced him to the Christian religion. On the news of his father's death, King Athelstan provided Haakon with ships and men for an expedition against his half-brother Eric Bloodaxe, proclaimed king of Norway.
At his arrival back in Norway, Haakon gained the support of the landowners by promising to give up the rights of taxation claimed by his father over inherited real property. Eric Bloodaxe soon found himself deserted on all sides, saved his own and his family's lives by fleeing from the country. Eric fled to the Orkney Islands and to the Kingdom of Jorvik meeting a violent death at Stainmore, Westmorland, in 954 along with his son, Haeric. In 953, Haakon had to fight a fierce battle at Avaldsnes against the sons of Eric Bloodaxe. Haakon won the battle. One of Haakon's most famous victories was the Battle of Rastarkalv near Frei in 955 at which Eric's son, died. By placing ten standards far apart along a low ridge, he gave the impression that his army was bigger than it was, he managed to fool Eric's sons into believing. The Danes were slaughtered by Haakon's army; the sons of Eric returned in 957, with support from King Gorm the Old, King of Denmark, but were again defeated by Haakon's effective army system.
Three of the surviving sons of Eric Bloodaxe landed undetected on the coast of Hordaland in 961 and surprised the king at his residence in Fitjar. Haakon was mortally wounded at the Battle of Fitjar after a final victory over Eric’s sons; the King’s arm was pierced by an arrow and he died from his wounds. He was buried in the burial mound in the village of Seim in Lindås municipality in the county of Hordaland. Upon his death his court poet, Eyvindr Skáldaspillir, composed a skaldic poem Hákonarmál about the fall of the King in battle and his reception into Valhalla. After Haakon's death, Harald Greycloak, the eldest surviving son of Eric Bloodaxe, ascended the throne as King Harald II, although he had little authority outside western Norway. Subsequently, the Norwegians were tormented by years of war. In 970, King Harald was tricked into coming to Denmark and killed in a plot planned by Haakon Sigurdsson, who had become an ally of King Harald Bluetooth. Haakon's Park is the location of a statue of King Haakon sculpted by Anne Grimdalen.
During 1961, the statue was erected opposite Fitjar Church for the one thousand-year commemoration of the Battle of Fitjar. Håkonarspelet is a historical play written by Johannes Heggland in 1997. Haakon is a major character in Mother of Kings by Poul Anderson. Haakon is the protagonist in God's Hammer by Eric Schumacher; this article contains information from "Haakon". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1911. Birkeli, Fridtjov Norge møter kristendommen fra vikingtiden til ca. 1050 ISBN 9788203087912 Enstad, Nils-Petter Sverd eller kors? Kristningen av Norge som politisk prosess fra Håkon den gode til Olav Kyrre ISBN 9788230003947 Krag, Claus Vikingtid og rikssamling 800–1130 ISBN 9788203220159 Sigurdsson, Jon Vidar and Synnøve Veinan Hellerud Håkon den gode ISBN 9788243005778 van Nahl, Jan Alexander. "The Medieval Mood of Contingency. Chance as a Shaping Factor in Hákonar saga góða and Haralds saga Sigurðarsonar". In: Mediaevistik, International Journal of Interdisciplinary Medieval Research 29. Pp. 81–97.
Saga Hákonar góða Hákonarmól
Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer and colonist who completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain. He led the first European expeditions to the Caribbean, Central America, South America, initiating the permanent European colonization of the Americas. Columbus discovered the viable sailing route to the Americas, a continent, not known to the Old World. While what he thought he had discovered was a route to the Far East, he is credited with the opening of the Americas for conquest and settlement by Europeans. Columbus's early life is somewhat obscure, but scholars agree that he was born in the Republic of Genoa and spoke a dialect of Ligurian as his first language, he went to sea at a young age and travelled as far north as the British Isles and as far south as what is now Ghana. He married Portuguese noblewoman Filipa Moniz Perestrelo and was based in Lisbon for several years, but took a Spanish mistress. Though self-educated, Columbus was read in geography and history.
He formulated a plan to seek a western sea passage to the East Indies, hoping to profit from the lucrative spice trade. After years of lobbying, the Catholic Monarchs of Spain agreed to sponsor a journey west, in the name of the Crown of Castile. Columbus left Spain in August 1492 with three ships, after a stopover in the Canary Islands made landfall in the Americas on 12 October, his landing place was an island in the Bahamas, known by its native inhabitants as Guanahani. Columbus subsequently visited Cuba and Hispaniola, establishing a colony in what is now Haiti—the first European settlement in the Americas since the Norse colonies 500 years earlier, he arrived back in Spain in early 1493. Word of his discoveries soon spread throughout Europe. Columbus would make three further voyages to the New World, exploring the Lesser Antilles in 1493, Trinidad and the northern coast of South America in 1498, the eastern coast of Central America in 1502. Many of the names he gave to geographical features—particularly islands—are still in use.
He continued to seek a passage to the East Indies, the extent to which he was aware that the Americas were a wholly separate landmass is uncertain. Columbus's strained relationship with the Spanish crown and its appointed colonial administrators in America led to his arrest and removal from Hispaniola in 1500, to protracted litigation over the benefits that he and his heirs claimed were owed to them by the crown. Columbus's expeditions inaugurated a period of exploration and colonization that lasted for centuries, helping create the modern Western world; the transfers between the Old World and New World that followed his first voyage are known as the Columbian exchange, the period of human habitation in the Americas prior to his arrival is known as the Pre-Columbian era. Columbus's legacy continues to be debated, he was venerated in the centuries after his death, but public perceptions have changed as recent scholars have given attention to negative aspects of his life, such as his role in the extinction of the Taíno people, his promotion of slavery, allegations of tyranny towards Spanish colonists.
Many landmarks and institutions in the Western Hemisphere bear his name, including the country of Colombia. The name Christopher Columbus is the Anglicisation of the Latin Christophorus Columbus, his name in Ligurian is Cristoffa Corombo, in Italian Cristoforo Colombo, in Spanish is Cristóbal Colón, in Portuguese is Cristóvão Colombo. He was born before 31 October 1451 in the territory of the Republic of Genoa, though the exact location remains disputed, his father was Domenico Colombo, a middle-class wool weaver who worked both in Genoa and Savona and who owned a cheese stand at which young Christopher worked as a helper. His mother was Susanna Fontanarossa. Bartolomeo, Giovanni Pellegrino, Giacomo were his brothers. Bartolomeo worked in a cartography workshop in Lisbon for at least part of his adulthood, he had a sister named Bianchinetta. Columbus never wrote in his native language, presumed to have been a Genoese variety of Ligurian: his name in the 16th-century Genoese language would have been Cristoffa Corombo.
In one of his writings, he says he went to sea at the age of 10. In 1470, the Columbus family moved to Savona. In the same year, Christopher was on a Genoese ship hired in the service of René of Anjou to support his attempt to conquer the Kingdom of Naples; some modern historians have argued that he was not from Genoa but, from the Aragon region of Spain or from Portugal. These competing hypotheses have been discounted by mainstream scholars. In 1473, Columbus began his apprenticeship as business agent for the important Centurione, Di Negro and Spinola families of Genoa, he made a trip to Chios, an Aegean island ruled by Genoa. In May 1476, he took part in an armed convoy sent by Genoa to carry valuable cargo to northern Europe, he docked in Bristol and Galway, Ireland. In 1477, he was in Iceland. In the autumn of 1477, he sailed on a Portuguese ship from Galway to Lisbon, where he found his brother Bartolomeo, they continued trading for the Centurione family. Columbus based himself in Lisbon from 1477 to 1485.
He married Filipa Moniz Perestrelo, daughter of the Porto Santo governor and Portuguese nobleman of
North America is a continent within the Northern Hemisphere and all within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea. North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers, about 16.5% of the earth's land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America is the third largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, the fourth by population after Asia and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 579 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7.5% of the world's population, if nearby islands are included. North America was reached by its first human populations during the last glacial period, via crossing the Bering land bridge 40,000 to 17,000 years ago; the so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago. The Classic stage spans the 6th to 13th centuries.
The Pre-Columbian era ended in 1492, the transatlantic migrations—the arrival of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the Early Modern period. Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect interactions between European colonists, indigenous peoples, African slaves and their descendants. Owing to the European colonization of the Americas, most North Americans speak English, Spanish or French, their culture reflects Western traditions; the Americas are accepted as having been named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci by the German cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann. Vespucci, who explored South America between 1497 and 1502, was the first European to suggest that the Americas were not the East Indies, but a different landmass unknown by Europeans. In 1507, Waldseemüller produced a world map, in which he placed the word "America" on the continent of South America, in the middle of what is today Brazil, he explained the rationale for the name in the accompanying book Cosmographiae Introductio:... ab Americo inventore... quasi Americi terram sive Americam.
For Waldseemüller, no one should object to the naming of the land after its discoverer. He used the Latinized version of Vespucci's name, but in its feminine form "America", following the examples of "Europa", "Asia" and "Africa". Other mapmakers extended the name America to the northern continent, In 1538, Gerard Mercator used America on his map of the world for all the Western Hemisphere; some argue that because the convention is to use the surname for naming discoveries, the derivation from "Amerigo Vespucci" could be put in question. In 1874, Thomas Belt proposed a derivation from the Amerrique mountains of Central America. Marcou corresponded with Augustus Le Plongeon, who wrote: "The name AMERICA or AMERRIQUE in the Mayan language means, a country of perpetually strong wind, or the Land of the Wind, and... the can mean... a spirit that breathes, life itself." The United Nations formally recognizes "North America" as comprising three areas: Northern America, Central America, The Caribbean.
This has been formally defined by the UN Statistics Division. The term North America maintains various definitions in accordance with context. In Canadian English, North America refers to the land mass as a whole consisting of Mexico, the United States, Canada, although it is ambiguous which other countries are included, is defined by context. In the United States of America, usage of the term may refer only to Canada and the US, sometimes includes Greenland and Mexico, as well as offshore islands. In France, Portugal, Romania and the countries of Latin America, the cognates of North America designate a subcontinent of the Americas comprising Canada, the United States, Mexico, Greenland, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Bermuda. North America has been referred to by other names. Spanish North America was referred to as Northern America, this was the first official name given to Mexico. Geographically the North American continent has many subregions; these include cultural and geographic regions. Economic regions included those formed by trade blocs, such as the North American Trade Agreement bloc and Central American Trade Agreement.
Linguistically and culturally, the continent could be divided into Latin America. Anglo-America includes most of Northern America and Caribbean islands with English-speaking populations; the southern North American continent is composed of two regions. These are the Caribbean; the north of the continent maintains recognized regions as well. In contrast to the common definition of "North America", which encompasses the whole continent, the term "North America" is sometimes used to refer only to Mexico, the United States, Greenland; the term Northern America refers to the northern-most countries and territories of North America: the United States, Bermuda, St. Pierre and Miquelon and Greenland. Although the term does not refer to a unifie
Harald Fairhair is portrayed by medieval Icelandic historians as the first King of Norway. According to traditions current in Norway and Iceland in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, he reigned from c. 872 to 930. Two of his sons, Eric Bloodaxe and Haakon the Good, succeeded Harald to become kings after his death. Most of Harald's biography remains uncertain, since the extant accounts of his life in the sagas were set down in writing around three centuries after his lifetime. Indeed, although it is possible to write a detailed account of Harald as a character in medieval Icelandic sagas, his life is described in several of the Kings' sagas, none of them older than the twelfth century. Their accounts of Harald and his life differ on many points, but it is clear that in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries Harald was regarded as having unified Norway into one kingdom. Old Norse hár translates straightforwardly into English as'hair', but fagr, the adjective of which fagri is a form, is trickier to render, since it means'fair, beautiful'.
Although it is convenient and conventional to render hárfagri in English as'fair-hair', in English'fair-haired' means'blond', whereas the Old Norse clearly means'beautiful-haired'. Accordingly, some translators prefer to render hárfagri as'the fine-haired' or'fine-hair' or even'handsome-hair'. Through the nineteenth and most of the twentieth centuries, historians broadly accepted the account of Harald Fairhair given by Icelandic sagas. However, Peter Sawyer began to cast doubt on this in 1976, the decades around 2000 saw a wave of revisionist research that suggested that Harald Fairhair did not exist, or at least not in a way resembling his appearance in sagas; the key arguments for this are as follows: There is no contemporary support for the claims of sagas about Harald Fairhair. The first king of Norway recorded in near-contemporary sources is Haraldr Gormsson, claimed to be the king not only of Denmark but Norway on the Jelling stones; the late ninth-century account of Norway provided by Ohthere to the court of Alfred the Great and the history by Adam of Bremen written in 1075 record no King of Norway for the relevant period.
Although sagas have Erik Bloodaxe, who does seem to correspond to a historical figure, as the son of Harald Fairhair, no independent evidence supports this genealogical connection. The twelfth-century William of Malmesbury does have a Norwegian king called Haraldus visit King Æthelstan of England, which chimes with saga-traditions in which Harald Fairhair fostered a son, Hákon Aðalsteinsfóstri, on Æthelstan, but William is a late source and Harald a far from uncommon name for a Scandinavian character, William does not give this Harald the epithet fairhair, whereas he does give that epithet to the Norwegian king Haraldr Sigurðarsson. Although Harald Fairhair appears in diverse Icelandic sagas, few if any of these are independent sources, it is plausible that all these were participating in a shared textual tradition begun by the earliest Icelandic prose account of Harald, Ari Þorgilsson's Íslendingabók. Dating from the early twelfth century, this was written over 250 years after Harald's supposed death.
The saga evidence is pre-dated by two skaldic poems, Haraldskvæði and Glymdrápa, which have been attributed to Þorbjörn hornklofi or alternatively to Þjóðólfr of Hvinir, are according to the sagas about Harald Fairhair. Although only preserved in thirteenth-century Kings' sagas, they might have been transmitted orally from the tenth century; the first describes life at the court of a king called Harald, mentions that he took a Danish wife, that he won a battle at Hafrsfjord. The second poem relates a series of battles won by a king called Harald. However, the information supplied in these poems is inconsistent with the tales in the sagas in which they are transmitted, the sagas themselves disagree on the details of his background and biography. Meanwhile, the most reliable manuscripts of Haraldskvæði call the poem's honorand Haraldr Hálfdanarson rather than Haraldr hárfagri, Glymdrápa offers no epithet at all. All the poems show is that there was once a king called Haraldr. Sources from the British Isles which are independent of the Icelandic saga-tradition, are earlier than the sagas, do attest to a king whose name corresponds to the Old Norse name Haraldr inn hárfagri—but they use this name of the well attested Haraldr Sigurðarson.
These sources include manuscript D of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the related histories by Orderic Vitalis, John of Worcester, William of Malmesbury. Thus the Icelandic saga-tradition of Harald Fair-Hair can be seen as part of an origin myth created to explain the settlement of Iceland in which a cognomen of Haraldr Sigurðarson was transferred to a fictitious early king of all Norway. Sverrir Jakobsson has suggested that the idea of Iceland being set