The Legacy of Saint Brendan: A History of the Western Hemisphere, 512 to 1400

What are the biggest cities, how is population growing in general, and is it more urbanized than say in Europe?
At this point, c1050 CE, much less urbanised! There are no 'cities'; the largest settlements would appear to be "Peace Town", clustered round Brendan's Monastery, from where King Arvid and his successors now rule, Costa Dhearg on Talbeah, and Rineen on Nuadu's Isle. There will be a few other small settlements around the fortresses of the Lords and Company leaders (the names of which we haven't been told), but in general society seems to be rural and decentralised in the traditinal Celtic manner.

We were told in 900 that population density was very low. I would hope that @Rognvald might give give us an update on population numbers; I expect that women are playing their traditional part by producing large numbes of offspring to replace those killed in the seemingly almost constant warfare (another Celtic tradition).:neutral:
 
I expect that women are playing their traditional part by producing large numbes of offspring to replace those killed in the seemingly almost constant warfare (another Celtic tradition).:neutral:
Or those killed by failed potato harvests (yes, I know potatoes are native to South America and weren't introduced to Europe until the 1500s, but dying from potato blights is another Celtic tradition). Still, colonial populations bred like rabbits, and the Irish bred like rabbits, so I expect those factors to combine.
 
I'm still really hyped for when the Drunken Irish traders land onto parts of MesoAmerica, going to be some funny interactions between them and the Aztecs.
Also can we see a map of the Irish trading routes and various Native groups they're trading with?
 
How close are the Old World and New World Irish, ethnolinguistically?
Just read the entire timeline but I have a question if Irish people came over to the new world would they be able to understand the language spoken by there distant cousins as you've said the two have separated but to the extent of a dialect or separate language?
The ethnolinguistic situation 1000-1050 CE. This is how I see it. If I am wrong I hope @Rognvald (?and @The Professor) will correct me.

At this date an Irishman would be able to understand the Irish of Talbeah, though it would sound a bit strange to him. The two forms have been diverging because of limited contact (and no contact all for aprox 50 years), but remember the first women and families were brought over in 700, so 'proper' settlement has only been going for about 300 years. Talbeahan Irish will include quite a few words from the Skin People's language, via the Measctha, relating to native flora and fauna, landscape etc. Later some new words will have come via trade with the Afonbren Confederation (not sure if they speak an Algonquian or Iroquoian language, perhaps both? Of course the process is two way; they will borrow Irish words relating to ironworking, and to Christianity.)

The British from Owain onwards form a ruling aristocracy, rather like OTL Normans in England. They will contribute words relating to administration etc eg 'gorfodi'. The Britons themselves will be bilingual by now. Some families will keep up their British speech as a matter of pride, but many will be going over to Talbeahan Irish.

I don't expect the Ostmen to have had much linguistic effect by this stage, though that will happen if their kings start to take control on the mainland. Of course if a lot of Ostmen settle in 'Setraland' their Norse language will be established there.

Then there are the Measctha. In some ways they are the most interesting feature of this timeline. In modern OTL Canada they would be described as 'Metis' - a new people of mixed origins. They have approx 150 years' start on Irish family settlement. Because of their origins they will start with a pigin Irish -> creole Irish. The fanaithe will think of their speech as 'broken Irish'. I would expect the original Skin People's language to survive among them for one generation after the plague, and then die out, while contributing many words to their speech. Gradually Meascthan Irish and Tairngire/Talbeahan Irish draw closer together, especially with the monks' influence over the Measctha. (Maybe this even gives them a couple of words from Latin??) By 1050 there's probably not too much difference, though no doubt most Measctha have a distinct and noticeable 'accent'.

There will have been some overlap i.e. intermarriage between the two groups. Even before 700 I expect a few fanaithe will have settled down permanently in The Island or Talbeah, and because men need women (those who don't will in this era go into the Church) they will have taken eligible Measctha girls as 'wives'. Depending on circumstances, their desendants will either be absorbed back into the Measctha, or absorbed into the Irish population. Perhaps long-term the Irish and the Measctha are destined to merge? Only @Rognvald knows!
 
Oh wow. There’s a lot of stuff I’m gonna respond to here- a lot of cool stuff from y’all XD

I’ll get a map up and responses this week. The semester is coming to a close, and with it graduation, so soon I’ll be able to update more frequently again.

Thank you all for reading and commenting! Y’all are great!
 
Makes sense, although Talbeahan Irish will probably evolve into a seperate language with the isolation and other influences.
I agree. If Talbeahan and Irish both survive until C20th, they will probably be as different as, say, Welsh and Breton: clearly related, but not mutually intelligible.
 
Oh wow. There’s a lot of stuff I’m gonna respond to here- a lot of cool stuff from y’all XD

I’ll get a map up and responses this week. The semester is coming to a close, and with it graduation, so soon I’ll be able to update more frequently again.

Thank you all for reading and commenting! Y’all are great!

Good luck on the end of the semester (this one has been kicking my rear end so hard, I'm gonna be feeling it for months!) and also congrats on your upcoming graduation!!!!!!!!
 
  1. Could there be a few people deciding to go on expeditions to try to find a land where they could escape the Ostman's yoke?
  2. Since they've reconnected to Europe when will some other group, like the Franks, decide that they want a piece of this new continent?
1. The Afonbren is a pretty good release valve for people trying to avoid the Ostish yoke, plus it is right there and has a history of relationships with European refugees.

2. This has already been ably answered- it’s far away, European monarchs have more immediate concerns, etc.

What are the demographics like? Ethnicity and class are tied, it seems, with Measctha at the bottom, then the Irish, the Bretons, and the Norse the top.

There are actually several ways people percieve “groups” at this point in history.

To the Ostish, there are the Ostish, then the Irish- which is their general name for all Euro descendants in the New World, irrespective of regional identification.

The the Britons, the Ostish are vague overlords, something to factor in but not like part of the real landscape. Below the Britons are the Company heads (though they share the same ranks), then the Fanaithe/Measctha mix.

To the Company heads, they view the Ostish similarly to the Britons, but they view themselves level with their Briton associates.

How close are the Old World and New World Irish, ethnolinguistically?

Already ably answered!

Is there a blending of culture, like in England after the Roman, Saxon, Norse, and, most prominently, Norman invasions. The situation in Talbeah seems to mirror that highly.

Yes, there is.


What are the biggest cities, how is population growing in general, and is it more urbanized than say in Europe?

Peace Town, Rineen, and Costa Dhearg are the main “cities”, though it is not urban by a long shot. Most people live in tiny communities of maybe twenty-forty people, scattered across the woods, under the protection of a “knight” of other feudal lord, forced to cooperate to meet the sugar-tax. The population is growning, however- Ostish immigration to the Insula Benedicta, general birth rates, etc..

How come there hasnt been some independent exploration down the Eastern Seaboard and into the Carribean, after 400 years of colonization?

I made a distinction earlier in the thread about “visited” and “discovered”. There has been light, individual contact along the Eastern Seaboard, but with the main native trading partner being a short river ride away, there has been little incentive for elites to “discover” that region.
 
One of my favorite histories on this site. Great job!

I would be interested in the ramifications of Algonquin tribes being armed with iron weapons, especially in regards to their historic conflict and rivalry with the Pequot (the name Pequot derives, in fact, from an Algonquin word meaning something along the lines of "evil swamp people"). Is the Confederation pushing southwards into Pequot territory, or is it content with raiding? Have the Pequot, in turn, started to migrate southwards or concentrate in response to the increased threat from the north? Also, I would expect the Pequot to possibly constitute a secondary market for enterprising Setralandian (Setrish? Setrian?) arms dealers, given that the low supply of iron weapons that far South would mean greater profits. Has an informal trading relationship like that been established? Are there Setralandians (Setrish? Setrians?) aware of or involved in these tribal rivalries, perhaps as mercenaries?

Sorry for bombarding you with questions like this, but this is such an interesting timeline!
 
One of my favorite histories on this site. Great job!

I would be interested in the ramifications of Algonquin tribes being armed with iron weapons, especially in regards to their historic conflict and rivalry with the Pequot (the name Pequot derives, in fact, from an Algonquin word meaning something along the lines of "evil swamp people"). Is the Confederation pushing southwards into Pequot territory, or is it content with raiding? Have the Pequot, in turn, started to migrate southwards or concentrate in response to the increased threat from the north? Also, I would expect the Pequot to possibly constitute a secondary market for enterprising Setralandian (Setrish? Setrian?) arms dealers, given that the low supply of iron weapons that far South would mean greater profits. Has an informal trading relationship like that been established? Are there Setralandians (Setrish? Setrians?) aware of or involved in these tribal rivalries, perhaps as mercenaries?

Sorry for bombarding you with questions like this, but this is such an interesting timeline!
Thank you for the kind words!

I use the alternate etymology for the Pequot, which removes the negative connotation, but in general the coastal tribes are in an interesting place. As hinted at earlier, there was devastation on the North American continent with the “Drift” thesis (where Europeans trying to make the trip, due to the rudimentary nagivation technology get lost and end up beached on the continent full of disease). There has been some recovery since then. Mostly they’re at the tail-end of the blade trade with the Confederation- tribes in the interior get the weapons and raid and push against them, causing coastal tribes to “turtle up” for the most part of kove south and get absorbed by other populations.

There has been infrequent, informal contact between Fanaithe and coastal tribes for some time, but the market hasn’t been seen as lucrative as the Afonbren, in part due to the Afonbren language being understood, there being a relatively good sized Christian population, and it being an already established route. That’s likely to change later in this period.

“Setralanders” is a pretty much exclusivly Ostish term. Britons refer to themselves as something that can be rendered close to “Teithiwr” (traveller), and the Irish of course labeling anyone of Irish descent a Fanaithe and everyone else as “eachtrannach” (foreign). But there has been some European “mercenary” presence in the tribes, mostly as Iohristani (Europeans living among the Afonbren) acting as caravan guards or security at trading outposts for the Confederation.
 
Really good timeline!

I'm curious as to what the demographics are like– how many Fanaithe, Britons, and Norse respectively are there in the new world, and have there been over time? I would be interested in historical demographics over time as well/ linguistic map. This is my current working-out:

620 AD - 200 Measchta
700 AD - 900 Measchta
750 AD - 300 Fanaithe, 1400ish? Measchta
882 AD - ??? Fanaithe+Measchta, 250 Britons

Looking at that, it seems like the Britons would end up assimilating into the greater Irish-speaking population in the end.

The only rough calculation I could do based on canonical data is that the Measchta population multiplied by 4.5 over 80 years between 620 and 700, which would, assuming that growth rate continues, extrapolate to 4000 Measchta-descentants in 780 AD, 18000 in 860 AD, 80,000 in 940 AD, and 360,000 in 1020 AD.

Those numbers are surprisingly large and, I think, indicate the very different direction the New World will be going in from now on... for starters I would expect settlements to be popping up in the New England region, even if no organized attempt at authority has been made there yet.
 
Right now what i'm most curious about is when the next plague is going to hit that section of the new world, whether or not the Christian, and proselytizing measchta will have increased resistance to the diseases, and how it will affect the spread of the christian faith among the surviving natives of the region, especially as more Europeans head upriver to replace the devastated local population.
 
1.) Looking at that, it seems like the Britons would end up assimilating into the greater Irish-speaking population in the end.

2.) The only rough calculation I could do based on canonical data is that the Measchta population multiplied by 4.5 over 80 years between 620 and 700, which would, assuming that growth rate continues, extrapolate to 4000 Measchta-descentants in 780 AD, 18000 in 860 AD, 80,000 in 940 AD, and 360,000 in 1020 AD.

Those numbers are surprisingly large and, I think, indicate the very different direction the New World will be going in from now on... for starters I would expect settlements to be popping up in the New England region, even if no organized attempt at authority has been made there yet.

1.) They would probably influence the language in some reasons and mark a point of divergence from the Irish of Ireland.

2.) With these numbers, I think they'll be an even bigger wildcard in continental North America than the Celts.
 
1.) They would probably influence the language in some reasons and mark a point of divergence from the Irish of Ireland.

2.) With these numbers, I think they'll be an even bigger wildcard in continental North America than the Celts.
1) indeed– the Irish-descended language of Talbeah (let's say Talbeahan) will likely differ from Irish Irish in that Talbeahan will have influence from Brittonic, the Skin People language, and Ostish/Norse.

2) Well it looks like the Celts and Measchta are pretty much coalescing into one group of people, of majority Celtic descent but a significant minority of Native American ancestry. The Measchta only remained more distinct on the Insula, where most of them have fled from now– in fact, it looks like most Celtic-descended people in Talbeah will be descended from the original population of just ten or twenty or so Skin People women who birthed the first Measchta!

Definitely an interesting development.

My prediction is that the island of Tairngire/Setraland becomes pretty culturally Norse, similar to OTL Icelandic, while mainland North America/Talbeah remains culturally Celtic, with a population that's generally of mixed descent and a large Measchta influence.
 
Nice work
I have just caught up on this great TL.

I suspect that maple trees will be in short supply. Maple trees do not survive fire well and Indians liked to manage the Forrest's with fire.
http://www.curtinarch.com/blog/2010...aring-by-hudson-valley-indians-1000-years-ago

I am surprised there is little mention of Brehon law, in the text so far.

Early Irish law was often, although not universally, referred to within the law texts as Fenechas, the law of the Feni or free men of Gaelic Ireland mixed with Christian influence and juristic innovation. These secular laws existed in parallel, and occasionally in conflict, with canon law throughout the early Christian period.
The laws were a civil rather than a criminal code, concerned with the payment of compensation for harm done and the regulation of property, inheritance and contracts; the concept of state-administered punishment for crime was foreign to Ireland's early jurists. They show Ireland in the early medieval period to have been a hierarchical society, taking great care to define social status, and the rights and duties that went with it, according to property, and the relationships between lords and their clients and serfs. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Irish_law

Ireland’s Brehon Laws were way ahead of their time
https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/ireland-brehon-laws

The brehon law
https://www.libraryireland.com/WestCorkHistory/BrehonLaw.php

As regards cattle it should be possible to move cattle to Newfoundland.
Kerry Cows or Dexter are small and should be possible to transport by the boats used at the time.

Kerry cattle (Irish: Bó Chiarraí or Buinín) are a rare breed of dairy cattle, native to Ireland. They are believed to be one of the oldest breeds in Europe.[1] Their coat is almost entirely black, with a little white on the udder. The horns are whitish with dark tips. Cows weigh about 350–400 kg and produce 3000–3700 kg of milk per lactation.[2]

The breed is probably descended from the Celtic Shorthorn, brought to Ireland as early as 2000 BC. They were developed as a milking breed suited to small subsistence farms of southern and western Ireland. They cause less damage to soils in high rainfall areas than larger breeds.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerry_cattle

Dexter cattle are a breed of cattle originating in Ireland.[1] The smallest of the European cattle breeds, they are about half the size of a traditional Hereford and about one third the size of a Friesian (Holstein) milking cow.
a1f36954eadd6d6a616c02ce97701181

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dexter_cattle

Cattle Breeds From Ireland
http://beef2live.com/story-cattle-breeds-ireland-0-156498
Cattle breeds originating in Ireland
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Cattle_breeds_originating_in_Ireland

What life was like in Irish Monasteries and what they eat.
https://www.libraryireland.com/WestCorkHistory/Monasteries.php

I could see the monks bring rabbits,hens,cats,sheep, geese, goats, honey bees and the Irish wolfhound too.
Fresh fish ponds were kept by monks in Ireland too.
Plants were grown for making dyes for books and textiles.
Calf skin was used to make vellum (prepared calfskin). The book of Kells was written on this.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vellum
Cattle would be need for written accounts and writing of books holy or other wise.

Cattle dung was also collected and used in protected fields to fertilise the ground when grow crops like grains.

The Irish unit of currency at the time was the cow.

Irish diet before the Potato
Which raises the question: What was Irish food like for the 1500 years between Patrick and potatoes?

The short answer is: milky. Every account of what Irish people ate, from the pre-Christian Celts up through the 16th-century anti-British freedom fighters, revolves around dairy. The island's green pastures gave rise to a culture that was fiercely proud of its cows (one of the main genres of Ancient Irish epics is entirely about violent cattle rustling), and a cuisine that revolved around banbidh, or "white foods."

There was drinking milk, and buttermilk, and fresh curds, and old curds, and something called "real curds," and whey mixed with water to make a refreshing sour drink. In 1690, one British visitor to Ireland noted that the natives ate and drank milk "above twenty several sorts of ways and what is strangest for the most part love it best when sourest." He was referring to bainne clabair, which translates as "thick milk," and was probably somewhere between just straight-up old milk and sour cream. And in the 12th century, a satirical monk (this is Ireland, after all), wrote a fake "vision" in which he traveled to the paradise of the Land of Food, where he saw a delicious drink made up of "very thick milk, of milk not too thick, of milk of long thickness, of milk of medium thickness, of yellow bubbling milk, the swallowing of which needs chewing." And many British tacticians, sending home notes on how best to suppress local rebellions, noted that the majority of the population lived all summer on their cows' milk, so the best way to starve out the enemy would just be to kill all the cows.

But above all, beloved by Hibernians from Belfast to Bantry, was butter. In a scholarly article from 1960, A.T. Lucas wrote that "recent international statistics show that the consumption of butter per head of the population is higher in Ireland than almost anywhere else in the world and the writer believes that the history of butter in the country can be summed by saying that, were comparable figures available, the position would be found to be the same in any year from at least as early as the beginning of the historic period down to 1700."

And the Irish didn't like their butter just one way: from the 12th century on, there are records of butter flavored with onion and garlic, and local traditions of burying butter in bogs. Originally, it's thought that bog butter began as a good storage system, but after a time, buried bog butter came to be valued for its uniquely boggy flavor.

Grains, either as bread or porridge, were the other mainstay of the pre-potato Irish diet, and the most common was the humble oat, usually made into oatcakes and griddled (ovens hadn't really taken off yet). And as was often the case in the more northern parts of Europe, the climate made growing wheat relatively difficult, so it was reserved for the fancier parts of society, and consequently thought of as a real treat. One of the many early Irish saints—Molua—had the superpower of sowing non-wheat grains and having wheat spring up, a sign of his holiness. As with milk, the Irish managed to squeeze a cornucopia of different products out of one main ingredient, and according to the Encyclopedia of Food and Culture, a "refreshing drink called sowens" was made from slightly fermented wheat husks, and a "jelly called flummery" was made by boiling the sowens. As traditional as it seems, the Irish Soda Bread that you might be trundling out this weekend wasn't invented until 19th century, since baking soda wasn't invented until the 1850s.

Besides the focus on oats and dairy (and more dairy), the Irish diet wasn't too different from how we think of it today. They did eat meat, of course, though the reliance on milk meant that beef was a rarity, and most people probably just fried up some bacon during good times, or ate fish they caught themselves. For veggies, the Irish relied on cabbages, onions, garlic, and parsnips, with some wild herbs and greens spicing up the plate, and on the fruit front, everyone loved wild berries, like blackberries and rowanberries, but only apples were actually grown on purpose. And, if you lived near the coast, edible seaweed like dulse and sloke made for tasty salads and side dishes.
https://www.bonappetit.com/trends/article/what-the-irish-ate-before-potatoes

It might be interesting to see turkeys arriving in Ireland.

I suspect the Irish hobby horse could have a big impact in the new world.

This quick and agile horse was also popular for skirmishing, and was often ridden by light cavalry known as Hobelars. Hobbies were used successfully by both sides during the Wars of Scottish Independence, with Edward I of England trying to gain advantage by preventing Irish exports of the horses to Scotland. Robert Bruce employed the hobby for his guerrilla warfare and mounted raids, covering 60 to 70 miles (97 to 113 km) a day.[4]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Hobby

more background info on history of ireland
https://www.libraryireland.com/WestCorkHistory/Contents.php
 
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1) indeed– the Irish-descended language of Talbeah (let's say Talbeahan) will likely differ from Irish Irish in that Talbeahan will have influence from Brittonic, the Skin People language, and Ostish/Norse.

2) Well it looks like the Celts and Measchta are pretty much coalescing into one group of people, of majority Celtic descent but a significant minority of Native American ancestry. The Measchta only remained more distinct on the Insula, where most of them have fled from now– in fact, it looks like most Celtic-descended people in Talbeah will be descended from the original population of just ten or twenty or so Skin People women who birthed the first Measchta!

Definitely an interesting development.

My prediction is that the island of Tairngire/Setraland becomes pretty culturally Norse, similar to OTL Icelandic, while mainland North America/Talbeah remains culturally Celtic, with a population that's generally of mixed descent and a large Measchta influence.

I suspect you're right and the eventual coalescece of the Fanaithe and the Measctha is highly likely. A further factor encouraging this may be if the Fanaithe still, like nearly all colonial, settler societies, have a gender imbalance, with a lot more males than females. The almost constant, if low-level, warfare will dispose of many surplus males, but the imbalace will still be there. And there was that period of fifty years with no contact with Ireland at all. The only available source of wives, particularly at the lower levels of society will be girls from the Measctha, whom I assume don't have an imbalance.

Similarly at the other end the Britons, who form the aristoratic elite, are also likely to have excess males compared to females. They are going to intermarry with the families of the Heads of the Companies (those who ally with them), who by now are more like clan chiefs.

BTW I think your figures are too high; there's no reason to assume that populations continued to increase by a factor of 4.5. War, disease, and the ability of the land to support them will all play a role. Like you, I hope @Rognvald will let us have his figures sometime.
 
BTW I think your figures are too high; there's no reason to assume that populations continued to increase by a factor of 4.5. War, disease, and the ability of the land to support them will all play a role. Like you, I hope @Rognvald will let us have his figures sometime.

That's a good point.

The ability of the land to support them is, well, they can expand an unlimited amount south down the coast, so likely not too much of a problem... but yes, I could see war hampering population growth.

this map from 900 shows settlement in Nova Scotia and coastal New Brunswick; would seem likely that by 1050 much of New England and the Atlantic coast, etc, will be starting to be settled. Especially given the better climate there for agriculture.

Also seems likely that some tribes will pick up some technology from wandering Fanaithe/Measchta who discover themselves on the "edge of civilization", even before settlement becomes widespread there.

...I appear to have drifted off topic. Oh well.
 
That's a good point.

The ability of the land to support them is, well, they can expand an unlimited amount south down the coast, so likely not too much of a problem... but yes, I could see war hampering population growth.

this map from 900 shows settlement in Nova Scotia and coastal New Brunswick; would seem likely that by 1050 much of New England and the Atlantic coast, etc, will be starting to be settled. Especially given the better climate there for agriculture.

Also seems likely that some tribes will pick up some technology from wandering Fanaithe/Measchta who discover themselves on the "edge of civilization", even before settlement becomes widespread there.

...I appear to have drifted off topic. Oh well.

I take your point. Not sure about 'much of', but I can certainly see a slow expansion southwards into OTL Maine and beyond, as people look for new places to settle. To begin with they will find empty lands, with native peoples having died off as @Rognvald has explained. And of course there are plenty of sugar maple trees there. Hm, maple tappers as pioneers...? The other incentive to migrate this way will be to get away from the Ostmen. That factor will also send people down the great river towards the Afonbren Confederation.
 
Thank you, @BELFAST, for lots of interesting and useful information.

As regards cattle it should be possible to move cattle to Newfoundland.
Kerry Cows or Dexter are small and should be possible to transport by the boats used at the time.

I'm sure you're right. No doubt during the 700's when families were first brought over they brought some cattle as well. Your quote stresses the importance of cattle to the Irish; we should never forget that the great prose epic in Irish about the hero Cu Chulainn is the 'Tain Bo Cualnge', or Cattle Raid of Cooley! And we certainly know horses were brought over.
 
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