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Ethelred the Pious

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The 1100s in Ethelred the Pious are where the writing is currently happening.

As of 1100

As the century dawns, some parts of the world seem to have settled in to a new status quo. England is a stable kingdom after forty years under the steady rule of the House of Kent. The rise of the Almoravid emirate has brought unity to the Maghreb and southern Andalusia. The Frankish kingdoms of northwestern Europe are developing a distinctive feudal culture.

But great changes are also underway. Under the Burgundian dynasty, the Western Roman Empire is aggressively centralizing. William has just returned from a successful war in Anatolia and is ready to move against some of the powerful vassal lords of northeastern Italy. A new spirit of cooperation between East and West has empowered the Byzantines, too, to start shoring up their rule in both Anatolia and the Balkans. But the growing closeness between Pope and Emperor is starting to threaten the unity of Western Christendom. Christians in the Frankish and Nordic lands are feeling much less beholden to a Pontiff who seems unconcerned with matters beyond the Empire's borders.

Meanwhile, the Nordic expansion westward continues apace. Iceland has emerged as a relatively stable tri-religious republic, and from there, more and more people are traveling to the far western settlements of Greenland and Holtland. During the Twelfth Century, interaction between the Norse and indigenous people will spur massive changes up and down the hemisphere.

Overview

Caesar and St. Peter

Investiture and Autocephaly

The Pagan Exodus

The Andalusian Renaissance

Baltic Empires

Egypt and the Turkish Lands

Ecological Effects

Disease

The population of Beothuk in Holtland steadily declined over the 1000s as they were exposed to new European diseases. But the numbers of Europeans then arriving was small enough that many diseases happened to be left behind in Europe. Increased immigration in the 1100s changed this.

Diseases such as smallpox preceded the Norse as they advanced the Bifrost and other trade routes. The Beothuk were struck repeatedly by that disease, and by 1200 the major settlements along the northern coast had been almost totally abandoned, replaced by Nordic fishing and trading villages. Hashitamaha was to have a major outbreak in 1210 that would prompt the noble priestly class to overthrow the king, who, they contended, had failed to protect the people against the scourge.

Diseases blighted entire regions of North and, later, Central and even South America. However, the Norse colonists themselves were too small in number to form strong colonies to fill in the population vacuum. That vacuum would be filled over the centuries by rebounding (and immune) native populations, by new arrivals from Europe and Africa, and by hybrid cultures that combined the two hemispheres.

Europeans brought far more diseases to America than they picked up. The notable exception was greatpox, a sexually transmitted disease that was attested in Europe by 1175.

Agriculture in America

Horse(EtP)

Add +50 years to all these dates

The eleventh-century Norse settlers in Holtland had brought horses, grain, and cattle from Europe, but these were in small numbers. The early settlements relied far more on fishing and trading for their survival. The one exception was the horse, which the Beothuk came to value for travel and hunting. The Beothuk people's willingness to trade for horses helped to ease the violence that otherwise typified contact between themselves and the Norse. By 1150 Beothuk all over the island were using horses and breeding some of their own.

Newcomers after 1150 brought many more European crops and livestock, and in much larger numbers. Horses were traded up the Bifrost and to the Great Lakes beyond, where they became highly prized for both transport and meat. The horse was the first livestock ever seen in North America, and it helped to greatly increase the population's protein intake, which previously had relied mainly on beans and deer.

Cattle spread more slowly. Holtland itself proved a poor place to raise cattle, but the Norse who settled on the mainland to the south (and were much more assimilated to local culture) brought cattle with them and traded them widely. By 1200, beef was becoming a part of the northeastern North American diet.

By 1200, European livestock were starting to reach the great urban center of Hashitamaha. Initially it was incorporated into the kingdom's existing tribute network. Outlying vassals brought in meat from horses, cattle and chickens to accompany or replace the traditional tribute of venison. Then live animals began to come to the city alongside the meat. The noble class at first tried to monopolize the keeping of livestock, just as they had always controlled meat distribution.

Agriculture in Europe

It took longer for American crops to reach the Old World. With the development of regular trade routes between Vinland and Scandinavia, agricultural products began to spread eastward.

The "Three Sisters" of American agriculture were traditionally maize, beans and squash. All three are hardy and travel well, and all had been introduced Ireland and England before 1200, though they were not yet widely grown.

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