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Book: Medieval Visby and Gotland

Chapter: 3. Settlement and social order

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.26488


The chapter starts with a general overview of the unique settlement structure and social order on the island. The agrarian settlement consisted of about 2000 single farms, each with its own name. This section includes a presentation of preserved medieval farms as well as excavated and reconstructed farms. The chapter ends with an overview of the political order on Gotland. The island was divided into twenty small assembly districts (ting), apart from a division into three parts and six parts. At the top was a general assembly at Roma in the centre of the island. Each district was ruled by an alderman or judge, and the twenty aldermen ruled the island as a whole, with one alderman representing the general assembly.

Chapter Contributors

  • Anders AndrĂ©n ( - aandren) 'Stockholm University'