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Tax And Trade

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the transfer of resources from the Danish population as a whole to the elite, i.e. the Crown, the Church, and the nobility. There are two specific focuses: first, peasant farms, which in the Late Middle Ages" made up some 85 per cent of the total and probably numbered 80,000; and secondly, royal revenues. It seems clear that during the Viking Age royal power in Denmark frequently depended on the intimidation of other peoples and the collection of tribute from them. The len is mentioned for the first time in 1337, but it was created earlier from a group of herreder around Odense and is shown as such in King Valdemar's Survey (1231). Commodity trade was an integral part of the economy on a local and regional scale, as it was between Denmark and other parts of Europe.

Keywords: commodity trade; Danish peasant; herreder; King Valdemar's Survey; Late Middle Age; royal revenue; Viking age



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