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The story of it being just clever advertising is widely told and believed, but it is a myth. At the time that Greenland was discovered, the Earth was a bit warmer and southern Greenland actually had green meadows and could sustain villages of Norse settlers and their cattle, sheep, goats, horses, etc. The name was actually an accurate description of the land at the time.

Since that time the Earth had cooled down some and the ice sheets advanced, forcing the Norse settlers out again.

A similar history befell the early Norse settlers to "Vineland" (North America). When they arrived the weather was warm enough to grow grapes. Ultimately global cooling drove the Norsemen back to Greenland and then Iceland. The colony in Iceland was well established by that time and survived.
In Norse legends written in the 12th century and later, it is told that Eric the Red explored the southeast and southwest coasts of Greenland in A.D. 983-986 and gave the country its name because people would be more likely to go there if it had an attractive name. Greenland was warmer in the tenth century than it is now. There were many islands teeming with birds off its western coast; the sea was excellent for fishing; and the coast of Greenland itself had many fjords where anchorage was good. At the head of the fjords there were enormous meadows full of grass, willows, junipers, birch, and wild berries. Thus Greenland actually deserved its name. Another attraction of Greenland was that Iceland and northwestern Europe, including England, had a grievous year of famine in 976, and people were hungry for food as well as land.

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7y ago
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14y ago

Eric the Red ,in the10th century ,thought that the name would attract more settlers if he gave it an inviting name. It could have been during a period of warmer climates where the coast was indeed green and fertile.. Nice bit of Propaganda

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15y ago

When Eric the Red founded it, he named it Greenland to attract people to it. So basically, it was a real estate pitch :)

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14y ago

because a man gave an atractive name to have people follow him back there it is really full of ice.

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Q: Why the green land called Greenland?
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Related questions

Why is it called Greenland?

Because when Erik the Red (Danish: Erik den Røde) first came back from Greenland, he wanted people to follow him to the new land. And therefore called it GreenLand (A Green Land), to attract people.


Is Greenland a compound word?

Yes Greenland is a compound word. The words are green and land.


What geological features does Greenland have?

green land and lots of it


Why is Greenland called so?

Because at the time when it was first settled by Europeans the climate was milder and the land was indeed green.


Is green land really green?

By definition, "green land" is green. The island of Greenland (aka Kalaalit Nunaat) is mostly icecap or dirt, so it isn't green.


Why is Greenland a misnomer?

Greenland is a misnomer because it's a name of a land but it's very cold and not green at all.


What are some Greenland recipes?

20g of Green stuff 30g of Land


Who occupied Greenland befor explores?

he wanted to name it green land


Why is life in Greenland very difficult?

Green is a misnomer in the name. There is a lot of ice and cold in Greenland. Actually, Iceland should be called Greenland and Greenland should be called Iceland.


What country controls the island of green land?

Denmark controls the Island of Greenland.


Is Greenland a Jewish name?

Greenland is an Irish name. This is proven because Irish people are always represented by something green, such as a clover, or Saint Patricks Day. Greenland is well not green but still called green.


What does green land and brown land mean?

Greenland is land that hasn't been built on and brown land is ground that's been built on