The Vinland Sagas: The Norse Discovery of America Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which of the following most accurately describes the descendants of Karlsefni and Gudrid?

2. What do Thorvald and Eirik do because "of some killings" in Jaederen?

3. What does Bjarni do when he hears Herjolf has moved to Greenland?

4. What is different about the trip Karlsefni makes to Vinland from the previous ones?

5. Where do the brothers stay when they arrive in Vinland?

Short Essay Questions

1. Explain the entire affair of Eirik and the bench-boards.

2. Explain why Eirik chose the name Greenland.

3. Describe the woman that Gudrid sees and the discourse between them.

4. What kind of person is Freydis? Give examples.

5. Who is Thorir and what happens to him?

6. Why was Bjarni determined to reach Greenland? What did he do there when he did?

7. What happens to Thorstein and his crew when they set sail for Vinland? Where do they end up spending the winter?

8. How does Leif become aware of Freydis' behavior on Vinland and what does he do about it?

9. What does the saga of Gudrid's Ancestry tell us about Aud's faith and what she does to practice it?

10. What strategy do Leif and his men employ to explore the area around them on this new shore?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Gudrid's father, Thorbjorn Vifilsson, is the son of a slave and is a respected well admired man, but is offended with another son of a slave proposes marriage to his daughter. Research and write an essay about the practice of slavery in Viking culture.

Part 1. How was the concept of slavery for the Vikings fundamentally different than the concept for slavery was for the United States? Which other cultures shared this practice?

Part 2. Where did the Vikings get their slaves?

Part 3. What were the likely and possible futures for a slave once taken by the Vikings?

Part 4. What were the social stigmas attached to slavery or having previously been a slave?

Essay Topic 2

The historical novel "The Thrall's Tale" takes place during the sagas. Read the novel and then analyze the novel's connections to the sagas.

Part 1. Introduce and summarize the novel.

Part 2. During which saga does the action of the novel take place? What events happen in both?

Part 3. Which characters from the novel are also characters from the sagas? Are they consistent with their portrayal in the sagas? Does the fiction created surrounding the characters seem likely or plausible? Why or why not?

Part 4. According to you, how well did the author of "The Thrall's Tale" weave her fiction into the sagas? What did she do well and what could she have done better?

Essay Topic 3

Eirik the Red and his sons explored a considerable amount of new land. Write an essay about the family that may have been the first Europeans to discover America.

Part 1. What lands were Eirik the Red and his sons the first Europeans to discover and explore?

Part 2. Each of the four of the explorers had a different motivation for their exploration. What was the motivation of each and how did they differ from one another?

Part 3. There are descriptions of Eirik, Leif, Thorvald, and Thorstein in the sagas. What were they like? Is there evidence to suggest how they get along together?

(see the answer keys)

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