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Adam of Bremen

Adam of Bremen was invited by archbishop Adalbert of Bremen to come and write the history of Hamburg and of the Northern lands. Adam came to Bremen in 1068. There are no certain dates known, but he is believed to have come from Meissen (Latin Misnia) in Saxony.

Adam's works consist of four books, three on history and one on geography. He personally visited king Svend Estridson, who had knowledge of history and geography of the Northern lands. Adam of Bremen was the first European author to record Vinland in a land centuries later called America.

Bremen was a major trading town, and ships, traders and missionaries went from there to many different locations. The earlier archbishopric seat in Hamburg had been attacked and destroyed several times, and thereafter the sees of Hamburg and Bremen were combined for protection. For three hundred years Hamburg, beginning with bishop Ansgar, then the Hamburg-Bremen archbishopric had been designated as the "Mission of the North" and had jurisdiction over all missions in Scandinavia, Northern Russia, Iceland and Greenland.

Then the archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen had a falling-out with the pope and in 1105 a separate archbishopric for the North was established in Lund.

Adam had based his works on Einhard, Cassiodorus and other earlier historians' accounts. By 1072 he had finished his work, known as the Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum.

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