Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 27.djvu/56

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44
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ing Helluland, Markland, and Vinland, which proved to agree almost with the maps of the Northern Atlantic by the Icelander Sigurd Stepha- nius (1570), and by Gudbrandius Torlacius (1606), except that I made Genunga Gap run between Markland and Vinland, in accordance with one of the authorities quoted by him.

It is clear that what is now called Greenland was assumed to be an extension of the north of Europe, and that " Greenland " embraced all the country north of the Strait of Belleisle. Davis Strait was looked upon as an inlet running into Greenland, but not as a strait sepai'ating Greenland from the land to the westward. The land north of Hudson Strait was called Furderstrands, and was so cold as not to be habitable. All the country south of Hudson Strait was called Helluland, as well as Skraellingsland (our Labrador), and it was divided into Great Hellu- land to the north, and Little Helluland or Markland to the south. In one account, however, Little Helluland is omitted and Labrador divided into Helluland and Markland, the latter being to the south. The Westbygda of Greenland, so often referred to, was on the east side of Davis Strait, and was the site of the cathedral. Assuming such to be the case, the accounts quoted by Rafn will at once become intelligible and consistent, though totally at variance with his theory, which identifies Great Helluland with Labrador, Little Helluland with New- foundland, and Markland with Nova Scotia.

Rafn quotes the following notice of Vinland from a fragment of the "Vellum Codex," No. 192, supposed to have been written about the end of the fourteenth century : " From Bjarmeland [in Europe] extends uninhabited land toward the north, until Greenland begins ; south of Greenland is Helluland ; next lies Markland ; thence it is not far to Vinland the Good, which some think goes out of Africa ; and if so, the sea must run between Vinland and Markland."

This, I contend, points to Newfoundland, which extends toward Africa, and is separated from Markland (Labrador) by the Strait of Belleisle. He adds, "All these countries are in that part of the world called Europe," an idea that prevailed even after the discovery of America by Columbus.

With this account agrees one of a very early date : * " Now is to be told what lies opposite Greenland, out from the bay which has been before named. The land is called Furderstrands. There are so strong frosts there that it is not habitable, so far as one knows. South from that is Helluland, which is called Skraellingsland ; from thence it is not far to Vinland the Good, which some think goes out from Africa."

Hence it is clear that the Northmen placed the land of the Eskimos between a northerly uninhabitable region and the more southern Vin- land.

The same description says, "Between Vinland and Greenland is Genunga Gap, which flows from the sea called Mare Oceanum, and

  • "Gripla. Antiq. Am.," p. 2S0.