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Re: [nafex] Re: Grapes in Vineland
There are two main theories. 1) The word "vin" and the story about grapes
may have been substited for the word "vi'n" meaning grassy pasture which had
become obsolete when the sagas were written down in the 13th century. 2) The
settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows was not Vinland. Vinland proper lay further
south on the south shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence somewhere around the
Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border. This idea is supported by various
botanical remains (haxelnuts, etc.) found at L'Anse aux Meadows which had to
have been imported from the southern shore of the Gulf since they have never
grown in Newfoundland.
I do not of any compelling reason to toss out either theory.
Theory No. 3 is that the venal Europeans--source of all evil in world
history--coined the word "Vinland" to gull would-be immigrants into the
buying building lots in Vinland. Allegedly, this was a common and deceptive
practice of Europeans.
Obviously a silly and racist theory. Greenland is sometimes trotted out as
an example. It was named by Eric the Red who landed at a place remote from
the inland icecap and found the green meadows a compelling reason to call
his discovery Greenland.. Living conditions in Greenland were pretty good
for the first couple of centuries of European settlement, but deteriorated
sharply with the onset of the Little Ice Age. Everyone forgets about
Iceland--a more attractive place to settle than Greenland--with a far less
attractive name. Iceland drew more settlers than Greenland, also suffered in
the Little Ice Age, and has been continuously settled sicne the original
At 04:18 AM 1/17/01 -0000, you wrote:
>As I recall from a documentary I recently saw on the Vikings
>in "Vineland" or Newfoundland, there was general agreement among the
>anthropologists that there were not grapes growing there. There were
>several theories to explain why the Vikings seemed to say there were.
>These theories I don't recall.