Ethelred the Pious

Off-site discussion

All of this page is obsolete. There are no Crusades in EtP. I will eventually fill in this page with correct content. For now, most of this is not part of the TL. - Ben

Twelfth-century Europe and America were changed drastically by the Crusades and the massive displacement of people that they caused.

The British Crusade

The Investiture Controversy

Invasion of Britain

The Pagan Exodus

The Vinlandic Jarldoms

Ecological Effects


The population of Beothuk in Vinland steadily declined over the 1000s as they were exposed to new European diseases. But the numbers of Europeans then arriving in Vinland was small enough that many diseases happened to be left behind in Europe. This was not the case in the 12th-century migration, which brought thousands of Norse with a cross section of Old World ailments to America.

Diseases such as smallpox preceded the Norse as they advanced along trade routes such as the Bifrost. 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 had a major outbreak c. 1210 that prompted the noble priestly class to overthrow the king, who, they contended, had failed to protect the people against the scourge.

Diseases wiped out 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 native populations with immunity to the diseases, 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 to in Europe by 1175.

Agriculture in America

The eleventh-century Norse settlers in Vinland had brought horses, grain, and cattle from Europe, but these were in small numbers. The early Vinlandic 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's willingness to trade for horses helped to ease the violence that typified contact between themselves and the Norse. By 1100 Beothuk all over the island were using horses and breeding some of their own.

The great influx of Norse after 1120 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. Vinland 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 an important part of the northeastern North American diet.

By 1200, European livestock had reached the great urban center of Hashitamaha.

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 were being grown in Ireland and England before 1200.


The Gallic Crusade

Crusades in the Baltic

Englebrog Century Pages for Ethelred the Pious

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