Terra Incognita: the 1339 Discovery of America

Another great informative post from, Nicholas 👍

Nicholas C. Rossis

Viking longboat | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

As The Economist reports, apaper for the academic journal Terrae Incognitae by Paolo Chiesa, a professor of Medieval Latin Literature at Milan University, reveals that an Italian monk referred to America in a book he wrote as early as the starts of the 14th century. The monk referred to the continent as Markland (Latinised to Marckalada).

We already knew that Vikings crossed the Atlantic long before Christopher Columbus. Their sagas told of expeditions to the coast of today’s Canada: to Helluland, which scholars have identified as Baffin Island or Labrador; Markland (Labrador or Newfoundland) and Vinland (Newfoundland or a territory farther south). In 1960 the remains of Norse buildings were found in Newfoundland.

However, this is the first time we can put a date to the journeys. And it’s also the first time that we have proof that anyone outside northern Europe had heard of America until Columbus’s voyage…

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