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Myths of the Rune Stone – Viking Martyrs and the Birthplace of America - Minnesota Scholarship Online
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Myths of the Rune Stone: Viking Martyrs and the Birthplace of America

David M. Krueger


Myths of the Rune Stone tells the story of how white Midwesterners created, adapted, and propagated a myth that Viking missionaries had visited their region and were “massacred” by local Indians prior to the explorations of Christopher Columbus. Popular enthusiasm for this story developed as a local expression of American exceptionalism that both affirmed and challenged status quo assumptions about the formation of the United States as a nation and what it means to be a “real American.” The narrative of a primordial, white, Christian sacrifice staked an exclusive claim to the landscape, shaped ... More

Keywords: Kensington Rune Stone, founding myths, Scandinavian Americans, martyr, American studies, Midwest history, folklore, Viking myths

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780816696918
Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: May 2016 DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816696918.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David M. Krueger, author
Temple University