This page is a historical timeline of the island known as Greenland or Kalaallit Nunaat.
978: Snæbjörn galti Hólmsteinsson becomes the first Norseman to intentionally navigate to Greenland.
982: The Norwegian-Icelandic viking known as Eric the Red is banished from Iceland. He sails off and sights the island. He decides to name it Greenland to make the island appear more attractive.
986: Norse Settlement of Greenland begins.
1000: Eastern Settlement and Western Settlement established.
1000: Leif Eiriksson departs Greenland for his voyage to what is now Labrador. By now, Christianity is well established on the island.
1263: Greenland then becomes crown dependency of Norway.
1355: In 1355 union king Magnus IV of Sweden and Norway (Magnus VII of Norway; The Swedish king had been crowned king of Norway through birthright) sent a ship (or ships) to Greenland to inspect its Western and Eastern Settlements. Sailors found settlements entirely Norse and Christian. The Greenland carrier (Groenlands Knorr) made the Greenland run at intervals till 1369, when she sank and was apparently not replaced.
c.1500: The last Norse settlements have vanished leaving only the Inuit.
1721: The first Danish settlement is created near present-day Nuuk.
1776: Denmark assumes a full monopoly of trade with the island.
1800s: Greenland is explored and mapped in this period of time.
1814: Norway lost Greenland as a result of the Treaty of Kiel.
1940: Denmark is occupied by Nazi Germany and Greenland is therefore cut off. The United States assumes custody over the island.
1945: Greenland is given back to Denmark but the US and NATO use the island as a base for operations.
1953: Greenland is now integrated with Denmark and has representation in Denmark's parliament.
1968: An American B-52 bomber crashes on the island. But the bomber had four nuclear bombs and the people claim that not all weapons were found.
1979: Greenland attains home rule.
1985: Greenland has fully left the European community.
2008: Greenland gains greater autonomy.
2010: Studies conclude that the Greenland ice-sheet is shrinking faster than scientists thought.
The early details of the history of the Faroe Islands are unclear. It is possible that Brendan, an Irish monk, sailed past the islands during his North Atlantic voyage in the 6th century. He saw an 'Island of Sheep' and a 'Paradise of Birds,' which some say could be the Faroes with its dense bird population and sheep. This does suggest however that other sailors had got there before him, to bring the sheep. Norsemen settled the Faroe Islands in the 9th century or 10th century. The islands were officially converted to Christianity around the year 1000, and became a part of the Kingdom of Norway in 1035. Norwegian rule on the islands continued until 1380, when the islands became part of the dual Denmark–Norway kingdom, under king Olaf II of Denmark.
The Viking Age (793–1066 CE) was the period during the Middle Ages when Norsemen known as Vikings undertook large-scale raiding, colonizing, conquest, and trading throughout Europe and reached North America. It followed the Migration Period and the Germanic Iron Age. The Viking Age applies not only to their homeland of Scandinavia but also to any place significantly settled by Scandinavians during the period. The Scandinavians of the Viking Age are often referred to as Vikings as well as Norsemen, although few of them were Vikings in sense of being engaged in piracy.
Vinland, Vineland, or Winland was an area of coastal North America explored by Vikings. Leif Eriksson landed there around 1000 AD, nearly five centuries before the voyages of Christopher Columbus and John Cabot. The name appears in the Vinland Sagas, and describes Newfoundland and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence as far as northeastern New Brunswick. Much of the geographical content of the sagas corresponds to present-day knowledge of transatlantic travel and North America.
Vikings is the modern name given to seafaring people originally from Scandinavia, who from the late 8th to the late 11th centuries raided, pirated, traded and settled throughout parts of Europe. They also voyaged as far as the Mediterranean, North Africa, Volga Bulgaria, the Middle East, and North America. In their countries of origin, and some of the countries they raided and settled in, this period is popularly known as the Viking Age, and the term "Viking" also commonly includes the inhabitants of the Scandinavian homelands as a collective whole. The Vikings had a profound impact on the early medieval history of Scandinavia, the British Isles, France, Estonia, and Kievan Rus'.
The history of Greenland is a history of life under extreme Arctic conditions: currently, an ice sheet covers about eighty percent of the island, restricting human activity largely to the coasts.
Denmark and the former real union of Denmark–Norway had a colonial empire from the 17th through the 20th centuries, large portions of which were found in the Americas. Denmark and Norway in one form or another also maintained land claims in Greenland since the 13th century, the former up through the twenty-first century.
Erik Thorvaldsson, known as Erik the Red, was a Norse explorer, described in medieval and Icelandic saga sources as having founded the first European settlement in Greenland. He most likely earned the epithet "the Red" due to the color of his hair and beard. According to Icelandic sagas, he was born in the Jæren district of Rogaland, Norway, as the son of Thorvald Asvaldsson. One of Erik's sons was the well-known Icelandic explorer Leif Erikson.
Leif Erikson, Leiv Eiriksson, or Leif Ericson, also known as Leif the Lucky, was a Norse explorer who is thought to have been the first European to have set foot on continental North America, approximately half a millennium before Christopher Columbus. According to the sagas of Icelanders, he established a Norse settlement at Vinland, which is usually interpreted as being coastal North America. There is ongoing speculation that the settlement made by Leif and his crew corresponds to the remains of a Norse settlement found in Newfoundland, Canada, called L'Anse aux Meadows, which was occupied approximately 1,000 years ago.
The Norsemen were a North Germanic ethnolinguistic group of the Early Middle Ages, during which they spoke the Old Norse language. The language belongs to the North Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages and is the predecessor of the modern Germanic languages of Scandinavia. During the late eighth century, Scandinavians embarked on a large-scale expansion in all directions, giving rise to the Viking Age. In English-language scholarship since the 19th century, Norse seafaring traders, settlers and warriors have commonly been referred to as Vikings. Historians of Anglo-Saxon England distinguish between Norse Vikings (Norsemen) from Norway who mainly invaded and occupied the islands north and north-west of Britain, Ireland and western Britain, and Danish Vikings, who principally invaded and occupied eastern Britain.
Magnus IV was King of Sweden from 1319 to 1364, King of Norway as Magnus VII from 1319 to 1355, and ruler of Scania from 1332 to 1360. By adversaries he has been called Magnus Smek.
The Norse exploration of North America began in the late 10th century, when Norsemen explored areas of the North Atlantic colonizing Greenland and creating a short term settlement near the northern tip of Newfoundland. This is known now as L'Anse aux Meadows where the remains of buildings were found in 1960 dating to approximately 1,000 years ago. This discovery helped reignite archaeological exploration for the Norse in the North Atlantic. This single settlement, located on the island of Newfoundland and not on the North American mainland, was abruptly abandoned.
This is a timeline of Faroese history comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Iceland and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see history of the Faroe Islands.
Erik the Red's Land was the name given by Norwegians to an area on the coast of eastern Greenland occupied by Norway in the early 1930s. It was named after Erik the Red, the founder of the first Norse or Viking settlements in Greenland in the 10th century. The Permanent Court of International Justice ruled against Norway in 1933, and the country subsequently abandoned its claims.
Garðar was the seat of the bishop in the Norse settlements in Greenland. It is a Latin Catholic titular see, and was the first Catholic diocese established in the Americas.
Viking expansion was the historical movement which led Norse explorers, traders and warriors, the latter known in modern scholarship as Vikings, to sail most of the North Atlantic, reaching south as far as North Africa and east as far as Russia, and through the Mediterranean as far as Constantinople and the Middle East, acting as looters, traders, colonists and mercenaries. To the west, Vikings under Leif Erikson, the heir to Erik the Red, reached North America and set up a short-lived settlement in present-day L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, Canada. Longer lasting and more established Norse settlements were formed in Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Russia, Ukraine, Great Britain, Ireland and Normandy.
North Germanic peoples, commonly called Scandinavians, Nordic peoples and in a medieval context Norsemen, were a Germanic linguistic group originating from the Scandinavian Peninsula. They are identified by their cultural similarities, common ancestry and common use of the Proto-Norse language from around 200 AD, a language that around 800 AD became the Old Norse language, which in turn later became the North Germanic languages of today.
Greenlandic independence is a political ambition of some political parties, advocacy groups, and individuals of Greenland, an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, to become an independent sovereign state.
The term Norwegian Realm and Old Kingdom of Norway refer to the Kingdom of Norway's peak of power at the 13th century after a long period of civil war before 1240. The kingdom was a loosely unified nation including the territory of modern-day Norway, modern-day Swedish territory of Jämtland, Herjedalen, Ranrike (Bohuslän) and Idre and Särna, as well as Norway's overseas possessions which had been settled by Norwegian seafarers for centuries before being annexed or incorporated into the kingdom as 'tax territories'. To the North, Norway also bordered extensive tax territories on the mainland. Norway, whose expansionism starts from the very foundation of the Kingdom in 872, reached the peak of its power in the years between 1240 and 1319.