Ninety percent of the population lived in small villages and made their living by farming.
The fields were divided up so that everybody got a share of the good land. There were common fields where all the villagers had the right to let their animals eat the grass.
Many people kept a cow and made butter and cheese to sell in the market.
Planting crops was hard work. Farmers ploughed their field strips with oxen and then pulled a harrow over the ground to break up the lumps.
When the harvest failed it was tempting for poor people to steal food. When people did break the law, they risked public flogging or being hanged.