Money Matters: A Brief History Of Currency

Nicholas C. Rossis

E.L. Skip Knox recently published a great post on one of my favorite resources, Mythic Scribes, titled, History for Fantasy Writers: Money. Knox is the creator of the fantasy world called Altearth, a place where magic is real, monsters roam the land, and the Roman Empire never fell. He is also a retired medieval historian who is now engaged in deconstructing the Middle Ages into a fantasy setting, so he’s the perfect person to offer a brief description of currency through the ages.

Medieval money can be divided into two distinctly different types: the kind that existed and the kind that didn’t. Real money was currency, specifically coins of various qualities and weights. The other kind was called “money of account.” This was purely an accounting unit, used for large-scale transactions and never turned into a physical object. I’m sharing here Knox’s information on the former; you can read his post…

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