Vikings and Weights. Does it sound familliar?

İslam dönemi ağırlıkları, Bronz

The Vikings marked an era from c. 800 to 1100. The term Viking, today, defines a group of people mostly coming from Scandinavia. However, the term in their contemporary time was not being used. Very rarely until c. 11th century, English sources talk about a group named Wicingas (Vikings). Since the Vikings were quite active in terms of trade relationships, their economical system was influenced by other cultures.

A reliable system for weights and measures is a precondition for trade. In the 9th century, the Vikings made transactions using commodities as payment within a commodity-money system. Silver by weight was a common means of payment among the Scandinavian Vikings. As long as its mass correspondance the amount to be paid, silver in any form was being used, including Islamic coins. As a result of a long-distance trade relationship with Carolingians, the Viking weights became easily convertible into Carolingian measures. Once the trade with Carolingian regions declined in the second half of the 9th century, the Vikings started to be involved in trade with the Baltic and the Islamic world. One of the main sources of silver was Islamic coins and the standardization of weights in Scandinavia can be seen as a result of this interaction.

Discover the Islamic weights that might have an impact on the Viking weights at the exhibition hall of Anatolian Weights and Measures Collection!

İslam dönemi ağırlıkları, Bronz

Islamic Period weights, Bronze, Suna&İnan Kıraç Foundation Anatolian Weights and Measures Collection

Gri zemin üzerinde Viking Ağırlıkları, ©Trustees of the British Museum

Viking weights, ©Trustees of the British Museum

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *