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Money and barter in early Ireland

All Ireland
Location:Tullow, Virginia, Drogheda, Louth, Navan, Mullingar, Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford, Wicklow, All Ireland
Date posted: 2013-01-19 08:00
Value (€):500 €

Before the Vikings came to Ireland, Irish people traded their goods in a system known as “barter”.
Each animal had its own value: for example,
six hens = the cost of one sheep

A fully grown pig (two years old)
was equal in value to one sheep.
Cattle were considered more valuable than sheep or pigs.
One calf was worth two sheep.
And an adult cow giving milk
was worth eight sheep
A sheep was also worth three bushels of wheat
Can you work out how many bushels of wheat was equal to one adult cow giving milk?

Birthdays for the animals
Early Irish farmers did not keep records of the birthdays of their animals.
Instead they said that every Halloween (Samain) and every May-Day (Beltaine), the animals were reckoned to become six months older.

Viking raiders weren’t interested in friendly barter
But they were business men, too, and liked to trade.

The Vikings traded right across the known world
Silver coin piece was found in Waterford.
It came all the way from Baghdad.

The Vikings brought masses of Asian silver into Ireland and Europe
Much of it they turned into bracelets and brooches.

They also melted silver into little bars called ingots.
For payment, a chopped piece of ingot, coin or armring could be weighed on a little portable scales.

Armies, too, had to be paid and weapons had to be bought and this was often done with silver.
A huge hoard, known as the Cuerdale hoard was found in Lancashire which included enormous mounts of Irish metalwork and silver.

It is thought that the hoard originally contained 7,500 silver coins and 1,000 silver ingots as well cut fragments of ornaments and brooches.
We think it was collected together by a Viking king to pay for an army or a fleet of warriors.

Dublin kings who rule in York.
There were a sequence of kings of Dublin who migrated to northern England and became kings of York. Even though they didn’t use coins in Ireland, they did mint coins in their own names when living in England.

As a result of Viking settlers and their links abroad, Dublin became enormously rich.
It traded with
• Chester
• York
• Bristol
• London
• Western Scotland
• Scandinavia
As a result of this trade, English coins began to be widely used in Ireland, especially in the eastern half of the island.

Finally the Irish Vikings became so rich that they began to mint their own coins.
Ireland has been making coins ever since

Source www.vikingage.mic.ul.ie

1000sADS Barter / Swap category made swapping and bartering easy.

During the boom times people just threw things out and bought new ones, but they are a lot more conscious of where money is going now and are trying to be more creative.

There are so many angles and so much room to grow.

You can swap or barter books and clothes, electronics, games console or household equipment that you no longer need, for example kettle or microwave.

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