How concentrated was wealth at the end of the Viking Age?
In lecture 34 of his course The Vikings, from The Great Courses Prof Kenneth Harl tries to frame up the dispersal of wealth in Scandinavia at the end of the Viking Age.
He makes the following estimates of the concentration of land ownership in the late 12th and earliest 13th century. This would reflect the increased trade and improved agriculture that occurred as Norway, Sweden, and Denmark fully embraced Christianity and had well-developed territorial monarchies.
Here are some more guesses for how much gold and silver the Vikings extracted from Frankia and England during their plundering raids. Keep in mind these are official payments and don’t include what the Vikings were able to take from monasteries or the local populace. Also doesn’t include any guess at the amount of food they took as they devoured the fields and storehouses.
I’ve read a number of guesses on how much gold and silver the Vikings looted on various excursions around England and continental Europe. A few posts will describe those estimates.
The first recap is explained by Professor Kenneth Harl in his course The Vikings, from The Great Courses. (By the way, with minimal effort you can find all their courses at huge discounts from the list price.)
In lecture 26, Prof. Harl touches briefly on the guesses for silver taken out of Europe by the Vikings.