Erikson, Eskimos, and Columbus: Medieval European Knowledge of America [NOOK Book]

Overview

How did medieval Europeans have such specific geographic knowledge of North America, a land even their most daring adventurers had not yet discovered? In Erikson, Eskimos, and Columbus, James Robert Enterline presents new evidence that traces this knowledge to the cartographic skills of indigenous people of the high Arctic, who, he contends, provided the basis for medieval maps of large parts of North America. Drawing on an exhaustive chronological survey of pre-Columbian maps, including the controversial Yale ...

See more details below
Erikson, Eskimos, and Columbus: Medieval European Knowledge of America

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$20.99
BN.com price
(Save 30%)$30.00 List Price

Overview

How did medieval Europeans have such specific geographic knowledge of North America, a land even their most daring adventurers had not yet discovered? In Erikson, Eskimos, and Columbus, James Robert Enterline presents new evidence that traces this knowledge to the cartographic skills of indigenous people of the high Arctic, who, he contends, provided the basis for medieval maps of large parts of North America. Drawing on an exhaustive chronological survey of pre-Columbian maps, including the controversial Yale Vinland Map, this book boldly challenges conventional accounts of Europe's discovery of the New World.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Thor Heyerdahl
James Enterline convinced me when he presented his interpretation of medieval maps of the Arctic region.
Norman J. W. Thrower
A thorough investigation of the evidence of Norse information about the New World and how this was transmitted to Europe. Perhaps the most novel idea is that the Norse may have learned map making from the Inuit people; the most provocative is the author's discussion of the Vinland map, which in itself would make an important work. The book is logically and effectively organized, the scholarship is exemplary, and the writing style is readable and interesting.
Booknews
A mathematician and computer consultant who explores the history of cartography, Enterline treats the medieval maps and documents relating to the western hemisphere as artifacts, and subjects them to the inductive methods of archaeology. He sees his work as part of the new field of cognitive archaeology. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Terrae Incognitae
There are eighty-six items in Enterline's chronological survey, dating from Ptolemy's Geographia in the second century to Hans Poulson Resen's map of Vinland, 1605. These include maps, manuscripts, books, voyages and other events, all testifying to the breadth and inclusiveness of Enterline's research. Some will appear more convincing and pertinent than others but together they are marshaled to account for the eventual appearance of North America as a geographical entity separate from Asia... Erikson, Eskimos, and Columbus is a book worth the serious consideration of scholars interested in late medieval and early Renaissance geography and cartography.

— John Parker

International Journal of Maritime History
The author argues that cartographic knowledge of northern America was in fact transmitted by Eskimos to Norsemen in the Middle Ages and early Renaissance, and that the result was subsequently incorporated in maps and charts. Enterline supports his theory by convincingly showing that parts of the coastline and contours of islands in northern Europe, as shown in early maps and charts, conform almost exactly to coastlines of northern America... He has examined pre-sixteenth century cartographic and written evidence, such as maps, charts and travel reports. He analysed and compared the images and descriptions for proof of early knowledge of the existence of the New World. The author has done this thoroughly and in a professional way... Erikson, Eskimos and Columbus is the result of thorough research, and the conclusions, if perhaps controversial to some, have been carefully considered before being written down.

— Willem F. J. Moerzer Bruyns

Sixteenth Century Journal

Enterline presents a plausible scenario for the transmission of Thule Eskimo and Greenland Norse geographic knowledge into the worldview of late medieval cartographers. His hypothesis will be controversial and it will stimulate scholarly debate for many years to come. It is almost certainly too extreme in its claims but it also probably contains a significant core of truth. The Johns Hopkins University Press is to be congratulated for taking a speculative chance on a speculative book.

Map and Geography Round Table (MAGERT) Newsletter

This rather controversial book takes an unusual approach to the question of the sources of geographical information on which pre-Columbian European maps of America were based... While the book is for believers, its arguments are interesting and well-presented, making it an appropriate addition to most collections.

Western Association of Map Libraries (WAML) Information Bulletin
Enterline's extensive references are well cited and he notes areas still open to interpretation. The argument proceeds logically from one point to the next and seems, to this non-specialist, to be soundly based on credible evidence. The writing style is engaging and, despite the sometimes abstruse nature of the subject matter, keeps the reader's interest.

— Sue Haffner

International History Review
A handsomely made book, packed with numerous well-reproduced medieval and early modern maps of the world and the North Atlantic.

— John A. Agnew

Imago Mundi
One must look back almost a century to Fridtjof Nansen's In Northern Mists (1911) to find a study that probes as deeply into the question of whether representations of pre-Columbian America appeared in European-made maps... The author has provided an invaluable service to historians of discovery, geography, science, cartography, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance in bringing all of this information together.

— Gregory C. McIntosh

Northeastern Naturalist

Of interest to anyone with a love for maps and history.

The Beaver: Canada's History Magazine
The value of the book [is] as a source of information on medieval and Renaissance geography and the maps produced by the scholars and navigators of the period... Enterline's questing mind does not neglect problematic information, and provides reasoned and balanced interpretations of potentially valuable documents that are ignored by most surveys. For the reader who wishes a comprehensive introduction to a fascinating subject, guided by an author [with] stimulating ideas... this book is vigorously recommended.

— Robert McGhee

Sixteenth-Century Journal
Enterline presents a plausible scenario for the transmission of Thule Eskimo and Greenland Norse geographic knowledge into the worldview of late medieval cartographers. His hypothesis will be controversial and it will stimulate scholarly debate for many years to come. It is almost certainly too extreme in its claims but it also probably contains a significant core of truth. The Johns Hopkins University Press is to be congratulated for taking a speculative chance on a speculative book.
Terrae Incognitae - John Parker

There are eighty-six items in Enterline's chronological survey, dating from Ptolemy's Geographia in the second century to Hans Poulson Resen's map of Vinland, 1605. These include maps, manuscripts, books, voyages and other events, all testifying to the breadth and inclusiveness of Enterline's research. Some will appear more convincing and pertinent than others but together they are marshaled to account for the eventual appearance of North America as a geographical entity separate from Asia... Erikson, Eskimos, and Columbus is a book worth the serious consideration of scholars interested in late medieval and early Renaissance geography and cartography.

The Beaver: Canada's History Magazine - Robert McGhee

The value of the book [is] as a source of information on medieval and Renaissance geography and the maps produced by the scholars and navigators of the period... Enterline's questing mind does not neglect problematic information, and provides reasoned and balanced interpretations of potentially valuable documents that are ignored by most surveys. For the reader who wishes a comprehensive introduction to a fascinating subject, guided by an author [with] stimulating ideas... this book is vigorously recommended.

International Journal of Maritime History - Willem F. J. Moerzer Bruyns

The author argues that cartographic knowledge of northern America was in fact transmitted by Eskimos to Norsemen in the Middle Ages and early Renaissance, and that the result was subsequently incorporated in maps and charts. Enterline supports his theory by convincingly showing that parts of the coastline and contours of islands in northern Europe, as shown in early maps and charts, conform almost exactly to coastlines of northern America... He has examined pre-sixteenth century cartographic and written evidence, such as maps, charts and travel reports. He analysed and compared the images and descriptions for proof of early knowledge of the existence of the New World. The author has done this thoroughly and in a professional way... Erikson, Eskimos and Columbus is the result of thorough research, and the conclusions, if perhaps controversial to some, have been carefully considered before being written down.

Western Association of Map Libraries (WAML) Information Bulletin - Sue Haffner

Enterline's extensive references are well cited and he notes areas still open to interpretation. The argument proceeds logically from one point to the next and seems, to this non-specialist, to be soundly based on credible evidence. The writing style is engaging and, despite the sometimes abstruse nature of the subject matter, keeps the reader's interest.

International History Review - John A. Agnew

A handsomely made book, packed with numerous well-reproduced medieval and early modern maps of the world and the North Atlantic.

Imago Mundi - Gregory C. McIntosh

One must look back almost a century to Fridtjof Nansen's In Northern Mists (1911) to find a study that probes as deeply into the question of whether representations of pre-Columbian America appeared in European-made maps... The author has provided an invaluable service to historians of discovery, geography, science, cartography, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance in bringing all of this information together.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801875472
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2003
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 1,157,870
  • File size: 17 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

James Robert Enterline is a mathematician and computer consultant who is well known for his work in the history of cartography. He is the author of Viking America.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Directory to the Chronological Survey
Preface and Acknowledgments
Front Map 2
1 Introduction 5
I Outstanding Misunderstandings
2 Claudius Clavus 31
3 The Inventio Fortunatae and Martin Behaim 49
4 The Yale Vinland Map 61
II The Chronological Survey
5 Introduction to the Chronological Survey 73
A Classical Norse Greenland
6 Early Scandinavian Geography 83
7 Communication Links with Greenland 97
8 The Unseen Bridge 113
B Uncovering an America
9 Late Greenland-Based Exploration 135
10 Foundations of European Misunderstandings 146
11 News Penetrates the Establishment 164
12 Europe's Westward Awakening 195
13 Mastery of the Atlantic 215
C Old Images in New Maps
14 A New Continent Emerges 231
15 An Old Continent Emerges 252
16 The Misunderstandings Are Resolved 277
17 Conclusion 291
App The Vinland Map's Ink 305
Notes 311
Selected Bibliography 329
Facsimile Atlases and Reproductions 333
Index 335
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)