From: Jeff Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri 16 May 1997 - 06:44:29 EEST
> ... So, if
> Sartar is 5400 square miles, that's roughly 3.5 million acres. 120 acres
> feed a family of 8 is 15 acres a person. Which means that Sartar could
> support something like 200,000 people (if every acre could be farmed).
> These numbers may not be correct, but I'm happy with them (for the time
> being at least). If anyone sees a flaw in my math or reasoning, please
> point it out.
The hide/yardland/'terra una familia' of ~120 acres was considered the
ideal holding for a family, not the usual holding. According to Domesday
book, most peasant families who actually supported themselves on their own
land held a virgate (30 acres). That's 30 acres of arable land, mind you,
not any 30 acres. (Poor peasants who supported themselves mostly as hired
labour for others held as little as 3 to 7 acres).
If you ever care to look up actual hidages in various medieval books, you
also have to keep one thing in mind : hides and acres weren't measures of
area in the Middle Ages. The hide was a unit of taxation; the Danegeld was
a tax on hides. The acre was usually 4 strips in the common field, often
quite a bit different in area than 1/640th of a square mile.
I spilled spot remover on my dog. Now he's gone.
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