Viking Society • Viking society was made up of several classes of people. • Slaves (Thralls) and bondsmen. (If a Viking of any class could not pay debts – he became a bondsman. • Karls (freemen) were farmers, smiths, etc. • Jarls (nobles) had more money, depended on loyalty of their men. • Kings – were the richest and most powerful.
Viking Society cont’d • Thralls – still had some rights. • Could accumulate wealth (and possibly buy their freedom) • Could marry. • Could take vengeance for interference with their wives.
Laws • Democratic governing assembly known as the “Thing” was made up of freemen who voted on whether someone was guilty or not. • Most offences were punishable by fines. • More serious offences were punishable by death or being declared an outlaw.
Women • Women of all classes were in charge of duties inside the household. • This included spinning textiles, cooking, looking after children or the elderly, as well as some farming duties. • While there is little historical evidence to show them as warriors, women are depicted as shieldmaidens in sagas and mythology.
Trade • Vikings were Raiders and Invaders… but they were also Traders.
Viking Trade Website • http://www.anmm.gov.au/webdata/resources/swfs/kiosks/www_vikings/