Activities and Roles at the Castle

I'm writing an interdisciplinary book about lifestyles at Medieval strongholds in Östergötland province, Sweden. The central chapter "Activities and roles" is currently 8,900 words. Here are the section headers.

  • Agriculture at arm's length
  • Baking bread
  • Brewing
  • Animal husbandry and the eating of meat
  • Hunting and the eating of game and wildfowl
  • Fishing and the eating of fish
  • Cooking
  • Dining and drinking
  • Waste disposal
  • Relieving oneself
  • Lighting
  • Keeping warm
  • Healthcare and personal grooming
  • Fashion and jewellery
  • Ladyship
  • Chivalry and horsemanship
  • Love affairs
  • Weddings
  • Growing up
  • Religion
  • Music
  • Gambling and boardgames
  • Writing
  • Taxation, customs collection, rent collection
  • Trade and other coin use
  • Soldiering
  • Imprisonment
  • Slavery
  • Keeping pets
  • Smithwork
  • Crafts in perishable materials
  • Fur production
  • Shipbuilding

More like this

Myself, Ethan Aines and Mats G. Eriksson are proud to present our report on last year's fieldwork at Landsjö Castle, Kimstad parish, Östergötland. Lots of goodies there! Construction on the castle seems to have begun between 1250 and 1275, and the site was abandoned halfway through an extension …
This entry was first published over the cell-phone network on my old site, without pix, on Tuesday 10 April. Our Kaga site was very good to us today as well. 26 person-hours of metal detecting, six 1st Millennium brooches: four small equal-armed of the later 6th century, one disc-shaped with inlay…
The recent article about Meller's duck Anas melleri inspired me to recycle my ver 1 article about another of Madagascar's endemic ducks, the Madagascar pochard Aythya innotata [male shown below]. Meller's duck is endangered, with a global population of between 3000 and 5000, but the Madagascar…
Dear Reader, let me tell you about my on-going research. Written history begins late in Scandinavia. The 1st Millennium AD is an almost entirely prehistoric period here. Still, Scandinavian archaeologists have long had a pretty good general idea about late 1st Millennium political geography. The…

That looks like a lot of material to cover in one chapter. If it gets too long, you might want to look at splitting it into business/leisure or some similar division.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 19 May 2017 #permalink

Chapters needn't be of equal length. To me they're just a way to organise the contents thematically.

Are you working with any of the living history groups in Sweden? It seems like there are some pretty serious and competent groups there (and some which lean to the "dress-up-and-get-drunk-in-the-woods" end of the spectrum). I don't know if Sweden has any long-term experiments like Butser Ancient Farm.

I'm not, though I have many friends in the Society for Creative Anachronism. Occasionally I get questions about gear from reenactors.

The two points "waste disposal" and "relieving oneself" are probably related to why life expectancy was so short in medieval days. Plus, "malnutrition" and "medical science that made things worse".

Writing -a job for monks, and some very few of the aristocracy?

By BirgerJohansson (not verified) on 22 May 2017 #permalink

Yeah, literacy wasn't widespread and the only education you could get was through the church. There's one guy in sources from Stegeborg castle c. 1500 who is both chaplain and scribe, that is, secretary, to the fiefholder.

Slavery? Really? What do you/they mean by that?

By Stefan Rotmark (not verified) on 22 May 2017 #permalink

Ancient slavery continued in Sweden until about 1330 when it was made illegal to keep slaves who had Christian parents. By that time pagans were in short supply.

Will this be an academic book, or is it intended for the general public?
In either case, do you expect it will eventually be available in English? (I speak/read zero Swedish and doubt my relatives would be willing to translate a book.)

By JustaTech (not verified) on 23 May 2017 #permalink

It's an accessible academic book in English and I hope to distribute the PDF for free.