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A Journey to the Far North in the Ninth Century

The name Ohthere does not usually rank among the great explorers of the Middle Ages, such as Leif Eriksson, Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus. However, his exploits are very impressive, for he would sail into Arctic Circle over eleven hundred years ago.

Medieval Lisbon: Jerónimos Monastery

Of the four medieval #placestosee in Lisbon, Jerónimos Monastery, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, was my favourite. The monastery is located in Belém, a suburb of Lisbon, that is famous for the 16th century monastery, as well as for its world famous pastry shop, Pastéis de Belém…

Which Explorer Are You At Heart?

Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Sir Walter Raleigh – would you be an explorer like them?

Which Famous Explorer Are You Most Like?

Leif Erikson, Marco Polo, or perhaps someone from more recent times? Find out what drives you to discover the next great frontier…

Did Marco Polo go to Alaska?

A set of documents, brought to United States by an Italian immigrant, may reveal new details about Marco Polo’s travels in Asia, including that he possibly explored and mapped Alaska.

Christopher Columbus’ flagship may have been found

An underwater archaeological search may have discovered the Santa Maria, the flagship of Christopher Columbus when he sailed across the Atlantic reaching the New World in 1492.

Did the Vikings reach Madeira?

New research about mice on Madeira suggests that the Vikings may have visited the Atlantic island 400 years before it was colonized.

Vínland and Wishful Thinking: Medieval and Modern Fantasies

Reevaluating the wishful reality of the Vinland islands requires that the stories of the Vinland journeys be squarely situated in the context of the world geographic system adopted by those who told those stories.

The Vínland sagas as propaganda for the Christian Church

Over the last two centuries, the Vínland Sagas have become some of the most discussed of Medieval Nordic documents. There are arguments about every aspect of the sagas: What the name Vínland means, if Vínland existed, where it would have been geographically, and how much of their content is historically accurate.

The Cone of Africa . . . Took Shape in Lisbon

The year that Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic and Isabel and Ferdinand expelled the Jews from Spain, an unheralded event took place. A cartographer in Lisbon, Portugal, drew an amazing map detailing the coasts of Europe, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, and western Africa.

L’Anse aux Meadows was a ‘temporary base camp’ for the Vikings in North America, study finds

A new study of the archaeological remains from the only confirmed Viking settlement in North America argues that it was never meant to be a long-term settlement. It is also very likely that it was the home to at least one Norse woman.

An island archaeological approach to the Viking colonization of the North Atlantic

The present paper is a brief exploration of the application of methods commonly used in the archaeological study of the Pacific and Mediterranean islands to the expansion of the Vikings across the North Atlantic during the ninth to eleventh centuries AD.

How Not to (Re)Write World History: Gavin Menzies and the Chinese Discovery of America

The author’s attempt to rewrite world history, however, is based on a hodgepodge of circular reasoning, bizarre speculation, distorted sources, and slapdash research.

Atlantic Navigators: The Brendan Voyage

Tim Severin and his companions set out to test whether the legendary voyage of the 6th century Irish monk, St Brendan, was based on the real life adventures of early medieval seafarers.

From Cabot to Cartier: The Early Exploration of Eastern North America, 1497–1543

The first European explorers to make contact with North America did so far to the north of the area contacted by Columbus, and their voyages would almost certainly have taken place regardless of the success or failure of Columbus

Research uncovers new details about John Cabot’s voyage to North America

Evidence that a Florentine merchant house financed the earliest English voyages to North America, has been published on-line in the academic journal Historical Research.

The Fact and Fiction of Vikings in America

Adventure stories abound about the marauders of the north seas, the Vikings. Visions of sword-wielding giants of men and great swooping ships come easily to mind, but this is not the whole picture.

Columbus and the Labyrinth of History

History has not been the same since Christopher Columbus. Neither has he been the same throughout history.

Elite Revisionists and Popular Beliefs: Christopher Columbus, Hero or Villain?

Elite Revisionists and Popular Beliefs: Christopher Columbus, Hero or Villain? By Howard Schuman, Barry Schwartz and Hannag D’Arc Public Opinion Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 1 (2005) Abstract: According to revisionist historians and American Indian activists, Christopher Columbus deserves condemnation for having brought slavery, disease, and death to America’s indigenous peoples. We ask whether the general […]

Scholar finds evidence of links between Vikings and North American natives

Old Norse sagas such as Saga of Erik the Red and the Saga of the Greenlanders have been long been considered among the most important sources of information about relations between Vikings and Native Americans. But new research suggests that accounts about a mysterious island known as Hvitramannaland are also other descriptions of the New […]

Benjamin of Tudela, Spanish explorer

Benjamin of Tudela, Spanish explorer Shalev, Zur (Department of General History, Department of Land of Israel Studies, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel) Mediterranean Historical Review, Vol. 25, No. 1, June (2010) Abstract The Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela, written in the late twelfth century, has long been recognized as a unique source for both Jewish and […]

Translating Marvels: The Spanish and Latin Versions of Columbus’ First Letter Home, 1493

Translating Marvels: The Spanish and Latin Versions of Columbus’ First Letter Home, 1493 By Mary L. Dudy Bjork Mediterranean Studies, Vol.14 (2005) Introduction: With an aplomb that has its theatrical equivalent in a carefully choreographed sweep of the arm, Columbus’ now famous 1493 letter to Luis de Santángel, royal treasurer to Isabel of Castile, and […]

John Cabot and Christopher Columbus Revisited

John Cabot and Christopher Columbus Revisited By Francesc Albardaner i Llorens The Northern Mariner, Vol.10, No. 2 (2000) Introduction: The Iberian peninsula is very rich in historical archives, and research in their holdings occasionally unearths new documents about important historical figures. While the most famous archives have been catalogued, and their most important documents studied […]

The Far East in the Early 16th Century: Giovanni da Empoli’s Travels

There have been many studies on the impact of the Portuguese discoveries on Europe, and as a result, new perspectives and approaches to the subject have opened up.

The Westford Knight: Heraldic Evidence of pre-Columbian Scottish Explorers in America

The Westford Knight: Heraldic Evidence of pre-Columbian Scottish Explorers in America By David B. Appleton Paper given at the 28th International Congress on Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences (2008) Introduction: In the little town of Westford, Massachusetts, situated some 35 miles (56 km) northwest of Boston, by the side of Depot Street, not far from the […]

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