A landscape of small villages and
In the Middle Ages, most of the population worked in
farming activities. From the 9th century onwards, peasants gathered in
villages, where houses surrounded a castle or a parish church.
Peasants lived in small houses, with usually only one room
and a shed to shelter the animals.
Farming lands surrounded the villages. These lands
were organised in concentric rings. In the first ring, close to the houses,
there were small family orchards. In the second ring, the vines, olives and
cereals. Beyond these lands, the forest spread, and here the population
obtained their supply of fruit, wood and animals.
How did agriculture reform cause a demographic growth?
The spreading of agriculture
From the 11th century onwards, agriculture grew
significantly in Europe.
On the one hand, the technical innovations
improved agricultural production. Among other innovations, it is worth
mentioning the plough mouldboard, which worked the lands more deeply,
and the triennial rotation of crops, which allowed the peasants to
grow cereals in the same piece of land in winter and spring and to reduce
the time of fallow to one in three years. In the Mediterranean regions,
irrigated lands spread together with the introduction of new crops. The
spreading of the hydraulic mill was also important.
The triennial rotation of crops
As a consequence, nourishment improved and the
The rebirth of cities