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It’s easy to forget commerce in early medieval times. Yet that sign of civilization existed despite wars, disease, and famine.

In an age when only a few could write, most sales went unrecorded, but those that were used monetary units to say what the trade was worth. A parcel of land was described as being worth 6 deniers or that value in goods such as food and animals.

Despite a lack of formal schooling, early medieval people knew how to bargain, although they often bartered for what they wanted. See my post at English Historical Fiction Authors for a sampling what goods were prized in the Dark Ages. (Hint: Fur was a status symbols in those days, too.)


Daily Life in the World of Charlemagne by Pierre Riche

Medieval Marketplace

An early 15th century illustration of a marketplace (public domain via Wikimedia Commons)