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Mod One

In: Other Topics

Submitted By henderson1667
Words 814
Pages 4
Running Head: VIKING SAGA

The study of Vikings would limit one to the pursuit of knowledge about the group of Norse explorers and pirates. The study of the Viking Age would include the period of Norse history from the 790s to 1066. This is the period during which the Viking raiders expanded as far as North America. During this period of piracy and expansion many settlements were established. It is the farmers of these settlements that we will examine.
Vikings settled in Britain, Ireland, France, Iceland, and Greenland. In Iceland farms were isolated from one another and the farmer needed have the respect and support of his family and hired men in order to prosper. The farmer usually had not only his family but extended family, hired men, and slaves as well. All of these individuals lived in the longhouse. Originally the livestock lived in the longhouse also, but later outbuilding housed the more valuable animals.
Framers in Iceland needed to grow and harvest a large amount of hay in order to feed the livestock throughout the winter. Farmers usually had two areas to grow hay. Most hay was grown on uncultivated land, but some was grown near the longhouse. The field by the longhouse was heavily fertilized with manure as they did not practice crop rotation. Rocks and sod made a fence around this field to keep out animals and humans. Hay was harvested with a scythe. Before winter the amount of hay harvested was compared to the amount of livestock. If the amount of hay was not sufficient for the number of animals, the weakest animals were slaughtered. So important was the growing of hay that there were laws concerning the height on the fences that protected the hay, and about hiring enough men to ensure that all the fields were properly tended.
Icelandic farmers raised cattle primarily for dairy. Bulls were allowed to breed upon reaching maturity but they were then either slaughtered or used as a sacrifice to the Gods. Fertile cows were kept in pens during the warmer months and indoors during the brutal winters. The cows provided milk which was used to make cheese, butter, and skyr (curd) which was stored in half buried barrels to keep it fresh through the winter when the cows stopped producing.
Sheep, goats, pigs, oxen, and horses were also kept. Most livestock was driven into the mountains to graze during the warmer months. There they were watched by shepherds who were the least respected of farm workers. At the end of the grazing season the animals were driven back down the mountain into sorting pens where the animals were sorted and return their respective owners. Pigs were kept close to home and slaughtered for food. Oxen were used to plow fields. Horses were used for transportation, food, and sacrifice to pagan gods. The advent of Christianity outlawed the consumption of horseflesh. Sheep were primarily kept for their wool but their milk and meat was also consumed.
Viking settlers were far from the romanticized vision of Viking plunderers that we have today. They did backbreaking work alongside their hired men and slaves. They were family men. They were men of laws. Their very survival depended on steadfast, honorable men in the harsh lands they chose to call home.

References
History World. History of the Vikings. Retrieved February 2, 2010 from http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ab86
Hurstwic. Farms and villages. Retrieved February 2 2010 from http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/daily_living/text/Villages.htm

Grading Criteria|Unsatisfactory|Needs Improvement|Satisfactory|Points Earned|
Content: (6 points)| | |Content is comprehensive, accurate, and persuasive; definitions are clearly stated. ||
| | |Major points are stated clearly and are well supported.||
| | |Research is adequate, timely, relevant, and addresses all of the issues stated in the assignment’s criteria.||
| | | ||
| | |At least two relevant academic sources were used to write the paper.||
Comments|6/6 points|
Organization & Format: (1 points)| | |Structure of the paper is clear and easy to follow.||
| | |Introduction provides sufficient background on the topic and previews major points.||
| | |Paragraph transitions are present and logical, and maintain the flow of thought throughout the paper.||
| | |Conclusion is logical, flows from the body of the paper, and does not include new information.||
| | |Paper follows designated guidelines for APA format.||
| Your paper did not include any in-text citations. Anytime you use someone else’s words, thoughts or ideas, or state a fact not widely known you need to cite the source of that information. Failure to do so amounts to plagiarism.| |||
Comments|0/1 points|
Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling, Word Choices, Readability: (1 point)| | |Rules of grammar usage and punctuation are followed; spelling and word choices are correct.||
| | |Language is clear and precise; sentences display consistently strong, varied structure.||
| | |Paper is the appropriate length as described in the assignment’s criteria.||
Comments|1/1 points|
Total Score|7.0 total points|…...

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