Viking Slaves

Thralls are Bondage Servants. ‘A person who is in bondage or serfdom’.

Slaves were normally people taken during Viking raids. Many came from the British Isles and Eastern Europe. Some were kept to work for the families of the raiders who took them and others were sold at the markets.

Vikings who had committed crimes could also become slaves. They would work for the people whom they had committed the crime against.

Slaves were the lowest class in the social order and provided all of the unskilled labour on the farm. They were given the worse jobs by their masters and could be beaten if these jobs were not completed properly.

They could also earn the respect and appreciation of their master if they were a craftsman or knew a trade.

There were many jobs a slave would do; these would include:

>Tending and Herding the Livestock
>Working in the fields
>Grinding Grain
>Preparing Food
>Childcare
>Laundry
>Milking

They would also accompany their masters on hunting and fishing trips.

A child born to a slave man would automatically become a slave. A child born to a slave woman and Viking father would be a free person if the Viking admitted he was the father.

It was possible for slaves to buy their freedom if they could raise enough money.

 

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