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Eiríks saga rauða ( ) or the Saga of Erik the Red is a saga on the Norse exploration of North-America.It begins by telling of Erik's father, Thorvald Asvaldsson and the violent conflict he found himself in in Norway, how their residence was surrounded and attempt was made burn them inside but they threw water on then took to their horses and escaped. Then later killed some of them but this all led to him being outlawed and he went to Iceland with Erik who was then a boy. But so it can be clear that Erik the red was born in Norway but grew up in Iceland. The saga then tells of events that led to Erik the Red's banishment to Greenlandmarker as well as Leif Ericson's discovery of Vinland the Good, after his longship was blown off course. By geographical details, this place is thought to be present-day Newfoundlandmarker, and is likely the first European discovery of the American mainland, some five centuries before Christopher Columbus's journey.

The saga is preserved in two manuscripts in somewhat different versions; Hauksbók (14th century) and Skálholtsbók (15th century). Modern philologists believe the Skálholtsbók version to be truer to the original. The original saga is thought to have been written in the 13th century.

See also: Vinland sagas, Grœnlendinga saga.


There have been numerous translations of the saga, some of the most prominent of which are:
  • Jones, Gwyn (trans.), 'Eirik the Red's Saga', in The Norse Atlantic Saga: Being the Norse Voyages of Discovery and Settlement to Iceland, Greenland, and North America, new edn (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986), pp. 207–35. Based on Skálholtsbók, showing some variants from Hauksbók.
  • Kunz, Keneva (trans.), 'Erik the Red's Saga', in The Sagas of Icelanders: A Selection (London: Penguin, 2001), pp. 653–74. Apparently translates the Skálholtsbók text.
  • Reeves, Arthur Middleton (ed. and trans.), 'The Saga of Eric the Red, also Called the Saga of Thorfinn Karlsefni and Snorri Thorbransson', in The Finding of Wineland the Good: The History of the Icelandic Discovery of America (London: Henry Frowde, 1890), pp. 28–52, available at Based on the Hauksbók text (which Reeves refers to in the apparatus as ÞsK), though the text does draw some readings from Skálholtsbók (which Reeves refers to as EsR). Variants from both Hauksbók and Skálholtsbók are thoroughly listed. Editions and facsimiles of both manuscripts also included.
  • Sephton, J. (trans.), Eirik the Red's Saga: A Translation Read before the Literary and Philosophical Society of Liverpool, January 12, 1880 (Liverpool: Marples, 1880), available at and (the former version, made by Project Gutenberg, is the closer to the printed version). Passages in square brackets are based on Hauksbók; other passages are based on Skálholtsbók, but with some readings from Hauksbók.

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