The Last Kings of Norse America: Runestone Keys to a Lost Empire

Robert G. Johnson

Published by Beaver's Pond Press, 2012
ISBN 10: 1592984193 / ISBN 13: 9781592984190
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Synopsis: These are the first words in a rigorous translation of the 1362 memorial poem inscribed on the Spirit Pond runestone, found on the coast of Maine in 1971. This translation climaxed a decade of histor­ical investigations by authors Johnson and Westin in which they address a 450 year-gap in North American history between the 1492 voyage of Columbus and the Vinland voyages of Leif Eriksson and Thorfinn Karlsefni shortly after 1000 ad. After the Vinland voyages the Greenlanders developed a lucrative trade in North American furs, marketed in Norway and taxed by the king. But after 1300 a cooling climate caused the Green­land merchants to migrate to North America and the trade died. To regain the trade and expand his empire, in 1356 King Magnus of Norway and Sweden sent his son, young King Haakon VI, on an expedition to North America with Commander Paul Knutson. The inscrip­tions on the Spirit Pond and Kensington runestones enable the authors to recon­struct the fascinating story of Magnus and his expedition, more than a century before Columbus left the shores of Spain.

About the Author: Robert G. Johnson received his Ph.D. from Iowa State University. After a puzzle-solving career in industrial research, he joined the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the Univer­sity of Minnesota to work on the mystery of past climate variations. The American runestone controversy was just another perplexing problem with a solution that resulted from a joint ten-year effort with co-author L.J. (Janey) Westin. Johnson has published many research papers and one book: Secrets of the Ice Ages: the Role of the Mediterranean Sea in Climate Change (Glenjay Publishing, 2002).

Initially a professional calligrapher, Janey Westin pursued paleographic studies of medieval manuscripts, stone inscriptions, the structure of letter­forms, and the tools and materials of the trade. This work expanded into stone letter carving and sculpting. She has carved letters smaller than an inch and up to two feet high in limestone, marble, granite, quartzite, bluestone, sandstone, slate, and more. Westin is a longstanding Portfolio member of The Colleagues of Calligraphy, her regional guild. She has taught calligraphy, letter carving, and sculpting at international calligraphy conferences, at stone sculpting sympo­siums in Colorado and Indiana, and at local venues in Minnesota. Westin attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and has a B.A. in Japanese from the University of Minnesota. Her studio, Paper & Stone, is located in Edina, Minnesota.

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Title: The Last Kings of Norse America: Runestone ...
Publisher: Beaver's Pond Press
Publication Date: 2012
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Good

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