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Human Resources

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the potential to increase knowledge and undertake new initiatives in the Middle Ages that led to an improved management of resources. Crucial in this connection is the practical use of writing, i.e. the financial and administrative literacy often termed pragmatic literacy, and, in particular, developments in the keeping of accounts. A point of particular interest to Danish and Nordic scholars is whether runic writing represented a kind of forerunner to medieval literacy with its dependence on the Latin alphabet. It is undeniable that the church was in the vanguard of the spread of literacy in Scandinavia. Orality and 'learning by doing' remained central to medieval man but from an early date writing gained in importance. In the High Middle Ages population growth characterized almost all parts of Europe, but clearly it was more marked in some places.

Keywords: Danish literacy; Danish resource; European population; High Middle Age; Latin alphabet; medieval church; orality; pragmatic literacy; runic writing; Scandinavia



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