Maps, Myths, and Men
The Story of the Vinland Map
Kirsten A. Seaver


Table of Contents for Maps, Myths, and Men

Table of Contents for Maps, Myths, and Men

List of Illustrations


Note to the Reader

1.                  An American Place Named Vínland

America and the Medieval Norse

The Vinland Map and the Tartar Relation

The Vínland Map

Sources for the Vínland Map

Guaranteeing Authenticity

Showing the Map to a Wider World

Father Time and Daughter Truth

2.                  The Norse in and near North America

A Flawed Source of Information

Who Were the Norse?

Voyaging to New Lands

Far North Was Far Away

No Help from the Norse

Eirik the Red, Mariner and Merchant

Nororseta:  The Northern Hunting Grounds

Norse Relations with Arctic Natives

From Arctic Greenland to Arctic North America

The Vínland Voyages

L'Anse aux Meadows

Grapes and Grain

Abandoning Vínland

Continued American Connections

The Literary Aftermath

Disputed American Destinations

Sustaining Life in Norse Greenland

Everyday Life

How Cold Was It?

Did Hard Times Becoming Harder in Greenland?

Tusks, Tithes, and Other Troubles

The Many Names of a Much Loved Child

The Cod Wars Begin

Did a New Beginning Become an End?

3.                  The Black Hole of Provenance

A Child of Unknown Parentage

Early Misgivings About the "Private Collection"

The Spanish Connection

An English Sojourn

The Map's Provenance No Clearer by 1974

A Muddied Pond

A Companion to the Vínland Map Volume

Where Did the Profits Go?

4.                  Creating Matter from Wormholes

The Joy of Discovery

General Description of the Two Volumes

Scrutiny by Experts

Who Ordered the "Improvements"?

The Bindings

The Handwriting

A Widening Inquiry


The Speculum Pastedowns and the Council of Basel

Why the Council of Basel?


5.                  A Star is Born

The Vínland Map Reaches Yale

The Big Secret

The Big Names

The Big Launch

The Big Discussion

Dissidents Need Not Apply

The Cost of Public Stargazing

6.                  Portrait of the Vínland Map

A Map with No Equal

Immediate Visual Appearance

The Map Parchment and Its Flaws

The Handwriting

Delineacio prima pars…

The Wormholes on the Map

European Medieval Ink

The Vínland Map Ink Debate

Modern Anatase

7.                  The Vínland Map as a Cartographic Image

A Flat Earth—or a Globe?

Was Skelton a Reluctant Commentator?

Many Cartographical Traditions—and None

Adam of Bremen

Inventio Fortunata

The Influence of Claudius Ptolemaeus

Claudius Clavus Niger

Leading up to Circa 1440: The European View

A Subtle Composite

Northern Geographical Conventions

Snorri Sturluson's Universe

Ginnungagap and the Birth of a Cartographic Myth

Navigating by the Vínland Map

8.                  The Vínland Map as a Narrative

The Roman Church at the "End of the World"

A Haphazard Quest

Luka Jelic

The Land "Our Brothers" Saw

The 1245-47 Carpini Visit to the Mongols

Mounting Troubles

Which Way to the Caspian Sea?

Room for Prester John

"A New Land"

"Tartars, Mongols, Samoyeds, and Indians…"

Adding to the Vínland Myth

Who "Discovered" Vínland?

Missionary to the Samoyeds

Further Ambiguities

Searching for the Author

9.                  The Vínland Map as a Human Creation

Father Josef (Joseph) Fischer, S.J. (1858-1944)

Scholarly Connections

America's "Baptismal Certificate" and Its 1516 Sibling

The Norse Discovery of America

An Active Life

Public Recognition

Returning to the Norse

A Moravian Castle Library

Father Fischer's Choice

Annus horribilis—1933


Last Return to Wolfegg

A Map Without a Home