1000 CE

Britain, so far as occupied by the Angles and Saxons, was divided into seven (or eight) little kingdoms, known as the Saxon Heptarchy.

World About A. D. 1000.—Germany, or the Eastern Franks, becomes at this time the greatest power in Europe, uniting to itself Upper Italy and Lotharingia.

France, or the Western Franks, early in this century is invaded by the Norsemen or Normans,—bold seafaring adventurers from Denmark and other northern lands, from whom the name Normandy is derived. The kingdom of France, however, began in 987.

The Saracen Empire was divided at the beginning of this century into no less than seven independent califates, of which the most distinguished was that of the Fatimites. The Saracenic civilization in Spain is now at its height. By the end of the century the power of the Saracens in the East is of but little account politically.

The Magyars, or Hungarians, before the end of the century have established a strong kingdom in the southeast of Europe; and to the north the Slavonic states of Poland and Bohemia are planted.

Denmark, Norway, and Sweden are powerful kingdoms by the close of this century and England, now one kingdom, is engaged in struggles with the Danes.

The hardy Scandinavian seamen had pushed back the clouds of ignorance over the vast region of the north Atlantic, and had reached the shores of the American continent nearly five centuries before Columbus. About the year 994 an expedition under Leif, son of Erik the Red, set sail for this new country. The regions discovered were named Helluland (Slateland), supposed to be Labrador; Markland, or Woodland, probably Southern Labrador; and Vinland, a country named from the wild vine growing there, which some identify with Newfoundland, while others transfer it to the New England coast, opposite the island of Martha's Vineyard.

ABOUT A.D. 1000