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lation seems to have some foundation in the antiquities and ancient records of the latter island,' where we read that the settlers of Greenland, at the end of the tenth century, found, in both the western and the eastern districts, vestiges of former inhabitants, pieces of rowlocks and remnants of stone buildings.” These relics are wrongly ascribed to the Skraelings or Esquimaux, who, it is generally admitted, reached these northern latitudes only centuries after, and were at that time known to live, as troglodytes, in caves or dug-outs.” The stone-work would point to Europeans,—the Irish,-as stone-work was not the characteristic of the Skraelings, De Costa says,' and the pieces of row-locks were probably of such as were unknown to the northern aborigines, made of a material apt to outlast the more bulky wooden parts of nautical crafts, namely, of iron, and indicating civilized European owners. The pre-Scandinavian discovery and settlement of Greenland, if not of the American continent, by the Irish Papas is more directly intimated and clearly established by various other passages of the Icelandic sagas, one of which we present to the reader's notice here. “It is thought,” says Iceland's Landnámabók, “that the Christians called Papas, whom the Northmen found in Iceland, had arrived across the sea from western parts, and that, to judge from their relics, they were easily known to be a western people.” Such is the plain ancient testimony; but some modern writers have, in spite of all rules of interpretation, understood Ireland with its inhabitants to be the saga's West across the sea with its western nation. To support their interpretation they bring forth the text of the “Islendingabók,” where it is stated that the Papas appeared to be Irishmen; * but this expression simply bears out the fact that it was the Irish who had settled the western land. Wilhelmi” admits, with Wormskjöld," that the Papas of Iceland had come from the American continent. Beauvois” disbelieves the fact. De Costa" and others pretend that the Icelanders were accustomed to call Ireland by the name of Westland, because it is the westernmost part of Europe. To refute this gratuitous assertion, it might suffice to observe that the old Scandinavian seafarers were as ignorant of our modern geographical divisions as they were, from their very youth, cognizant of every star in the northern sky and of every point on the mariner's compass. The compass was their atlas, and the Icelanders actually called “Austmadhr,” Eastman, an inhabitant of Norway, or of the European continent." They gave the name of Sudhreyskr to a man of the South islands,--that is, of the Hebrides, as is attested by the name of Sudor, by which the diocese of the Hebrides is known yet; and we may well conclude that by the appellation of “Vestmenn” the saga designated people who were living to the west of Iceland. This inference could hardly be doubted when we notice how nicely the saga itself distinguishes between the “Vestan” and the “Vestmenn,” on one hand, and the “Irskar” and “Enskum,” or Irish and English, on the other." Rafn “is inclined to believe that the “Vestmenn” were people from Ireland, because the Irish are so designated by the Norwegians in one or two other sagas. Yet he confesses that the other opinion is not devoid of probability, and that if the expression “komnir til vestan um haf,” used by the authors of Olaf Tryggvason's History and of the Occupation of Iceland, should be understood word for word, it must unavoidably be admitted that the Papas of Iceland were none other than Irishmen who had formerly colonized North America and had from there come over to Iceland. After noticing that several northern antiquaries are of the opinion that the saga's “Vestmenn” had actually come from western countries, von Humboldt judiciously remarks that the Northmen would never have given them the significant name, should the country of their origin have been in the Southeast-the Faroes, the Hebrides, or any of the British isles. “They were,” he says, “Irish transplanted on American territory in early times, and from there had come to Iceland.””
* Crantz, t. i. p. 244; O'Reilly, p. 5; Letronne, p. 140.
* Heimskringla, " 6, ap. Reeves, p. 7; Torfaeus, Gronl. Ant., cap. iii. p. 16, ap. Moosmüller, S. 42. “Their fundo thar manna wister baethi austr oc vestr 4 landi oc kaeiplabrot ok steinsmithi,”—i.e., They found there human habitations, both east and west on the land, also remnants of boats and stone masonry. (Ari hinn Frode, ap. Rafn, Antiq. Amer., p. 207.)
* Saga of Thorfinn Karlsefne, kap. xi., in Groenland's Histor. Mindesm., t. i. p. 438, ap. Beauvois, La Découverte, p. 21; Rafn, Antiq. Amer., p. 182: “Toku their Karlsefni til sveinana, en hitt komst undan, ok sukku í joerdh nidhr,”—i.e., Karlsefne's companions took the children, and the others got away, and sought refuge beneath the earth.
* Precolumbian Discovery, p. 85, n. 2; cf. Moosmüller, S. 42.
* See Document XX. * La Découverte, p. 31, n. 2.
*Ibid.; Letronne, p. 143. * Precolumbian Discovery.
* Heidelberger Jahrbücher der * Torfaeus, Gronl. Ant., cap. ii. Literatur, S. 132. p. 6; cf. von Humboldt, Kosmos,
“Skandinaviske Literatur-Sels- S. 274. kabs Skrifter, 1814, pp. 298–403.
* See Document XX. Reusch, tired at the arrival of the Northvol. ii. p. 294, evidently confounds men. matters when he writes that Irish * Antiq. Amer., pp. 201, 202. priests went to Iceland to convert * Gravier, p. 142, ref. to von people that had come from Amer- Humboldt, Kosmos, Bd. ii. S. 273, ica, and that to America they re
ICELAND AND GREENLAND UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE ARCHBISHOP OF HAMBURG IN A.D. 831.
RESERVING till farther more explicit evidence from Icelandic historians in regard to the navigation of the Irish Papas between Europe and our western hemisphere, we should here set forth a few documents that prove the discovery and partial Christianization of Greenland, as well as of Iceland, long before any exiled Northmen first set foot on its shores. The Benedictine monks Witmar and Ansgar had, since half a dozen years, preached the gospel in Denmark and the Scandinavian peninsula, when, returning early in the year 831, they made, before the general diet of the New Roman Empire, convened in Aix-la-Chapelle, a report of the wonderful success of their missionary labors. The emperor, Lewis the Pious, with all the assembly, gave thanks to God, and, upon the consent of the ecclesiastical dignitaries, appointed Ansgar, as archbishop of all those northern countries, and in particular of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Funen, Greenland, Helsingoland, Iceland, and Scritifinnland. He raised the castle of Hamburg to the dignity of an archiepiscopal see, and assigned to it the revenues of the monastery of Turnhout in West Flanders. To secure these transactions he ordered to be drawn up a solemn decree, which, however, was published only on the 15th day of May, 834.
The emperor afterwards despatched the new arch
! See Document XXII.
bishop to Rome, together with his own delegates, in order to report the proceedings to Pope Gregory IV. and obtain the apostolic confirmation. His Holiness answered with the following bulls of the year 835: “Gregory, Bishop, Servant of the servants of God. We want it to be known by all the faithful, that the Most Gracious King Charles, of blessed memory, at the time of our predecessors, inspired by the divine Spirit, subjected the Saxon nation to holy worship and, conquering with the sword ferocious hearts, taught them, even to the confines of the Danes and of the Slavonians, to accept the yoke of Christ, which is sweet and light; and that he had resolved to erect into a diocese by itself the remotest part of his dominions, situate beyond the Elbe and exposed to dangers of death from the pagans; in order that it should not relapse into the superstition of the gentiles, and also because it seemed to be a locality very well adapted for the gaining of more infidel nations. But as death has prevented him from carrying his design into effect, his successor and illustrious son, the august emperor, Lewis, has effectually accomplished the pious wish of his saintly father. The report of these transactions has been laid before Us by the venerable bishops Ratold and Bernold, as also by the count Gerold and another venerable envoy, and their confirmation has been requested. “We, therefore, recognizing in the whole proceedings an act of providence pleasing to God, and informed by the words of our brother and son Ansgar, consecrated at the hands of Drogo, bishop of Metz, as the first archbishop of the Nordalbingians, have resolved to ratify, after the custom of our predecessors, the holy zeal of the great emperors, as well by the authority of these letters as by the bestowal of the pallium. In order