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Norway

When refering to trade with Norway the Orkney´s where at that time part of Norway until taken over by the Normans of Normandy, France.  The Orkney´s play a major role for old Greenland, in the development of trade and beeing the place of refuge for so many an arcadian that had to leave England for reasions of treason as did most of the Icelanders out of Norway.

From early on the Icelanders gave the king of Norway the notion that all the goods traded came from Iceland to be bartered in Norway for ships, clothes, iron tools, timber and corn.  The trade goods from Iceland where of the more expensive type like vadmál, textiles made of wool, woven in looms in long strings, the second most expensive part of a ship, the sail.  Other items of high value where live falcons, owls, and polar bears, hides of seals, rabbit, wolfes, foxes and raindeer.  Tar made of seal and whale blubber.  Dry cod and salmon prepared in the cold acrtic before the fishfly seasion of summer.  Tusks of narwhale and walruse, a kilo of whice  sold for many times it´s weights in gold.  Gold and silver and sometimes in the form of a gold sand.  Then greed took over in Norway and the king ordered a monopoly on all goods from Iceland, preeseting the price to him at his pleasure.  The Icelandic trades men responded by shifting the trade to England and Normandy up to Flanders.  That made the Hanseatics of Northern Germany very angry with the monopoly they had in London.  The Germans blamed the king of Norway for this developement and war broke out between the two.  The king of Norway blamed the Icelanders for all his bad luck in tradeing and the unthinkable happened.  The King of Norway sets a trade ban on Iceland and all the goods they had to offer from there own colony, old Greenland.  This was in the year 1348.

The old manuscripts indicate  very good years in old Greenland, with ships coming out of the Western colony, Markland, loaded with hides and other valuables starting in 1346.  Not known to the Icelandic settlers was a bacteria hiding inbetween the hides, Bacillus anthracis.   This is the start of Europes biggest trade accident ever, in all the harbours visited by the ships from old Greenland, but Iceland was bypassed this time around.  Thanks to the trade ban of Norway in 1348. 

 



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