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Russian Flax and Hemp Bale Seals from

Visby on Gotland

 

 

VISBY on the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea was an important link for Hanseatic Trade. It was famed for piracy under the leadership of the Victual Brothers. The name "Visby" comes from the Old Norse "Vis", the genitive singular of Vi the pagan place of sacrifices, and "by", meaning "village".   In the "Gutasagan" (mid 14th century) the place is referred to as just Wi meaning "holy place, place of worship", giving a tentative hint that Visby could be allied to the elusive WU trading block... Visby functioned as the leading centre in the Baltic, before the Hansa, on behalf of the Gotland, Livonia and Swedish regions. Sailing east, Visby merchants established a trading post at Novgorod called Gutagard, dealing in timber, furs, resin (or tar), flax, honey, wheat, and rye, however in 1525 Visby was in a feud with the Lübeckers, members of the Hanseatic League who burned down all Visby's churches except the cathedral. Control of trade was transferred to Riga. It has been suggested that flax seals with the designation WU could have originated in Visby.

Copyright 2022 © Ged Dodd

 aka PeaceHavens Project
Click here for the terms
of free copy & share &
supporting your Project

 

LINKS TO EVERYTHING ELSE