Friday, August 26, 2016

No, There Are No Fifth-Century Viking Maps Of Canada

In some cases,

who's right and who's wrong depends completely upon your point of view.

In SOME cases. In other cases, I'm right, you're wrong, and you're also wrong about it being a question of point of view, and you're a huge pain in the ass, because I've spent years carefully studying the primary sources relating to this question, while you got your information from the so-called "History Channel" and you don't even know what a primary source is, and you're telling me that everything is a matter of point of view.

Like when you tell me that there are 5th-century Viking maps of Canada. No. Shut up, sit down and listen: There is one map which may be from the fifteenth century (you left out the "teenth"), before 1492, and appears to show Greenland and parts of the west coast of Canada found by the Vikings around AD 1000. It's known as the Vinland Map.

It may be from the fifteenth century, or it may be a twentieth-century forgery of a fifteenth-century map. There are a couple of huge reasons for suspecting forgery: 1) The Vikings in 1000 didn't use maps, didn't have maps. Any maps. 2) The entire outline of Greenland is shown. The Vikings landed on the south-eastern coast of Greenland, but no one is known to have sailed all the way around the island until 1900.

It's either a fifteenth-century map, in which case it is an extraordinary artifact which leaves all sorts of unanswered questions about the geographical knowledge of some Europeans before Columbus; or it is a twentieth-century forgery, in which case it is an extraordinary forgery. After a huge amount of scrutiny, no one has yet definitively proven that it is a fake (although it probably is). If it's a fake, it must have been made by someone who was an expert in 15th century manuscripts and in spotting fakes (but who made a big mistake in including the entire outline of Greenland, because that just screams "FAKE!!!" although it doesn't quite prove it's a fake).

I'm right -- everything I've written in this post is correct -- and you're wrong, and it's not a matter of opinion. Shut UP!

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