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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: October 2019

8 - Markets and Marketing

from Part III - Reputation and Witness

Summary

The peasant economy depended on some purchases of essentials like querns and whetstones yet the numismatic record does not support the idea of a widely available currency of a low denomination low enough to have been used in every transaction. Cash circulated through waged work and small-scale marketing but Anglo-Saxon coins were of too high a denomination to have been used for petty sales and purchases. Thinking only in terms of an officially sanctioned currency may be a barrier to understanding early medieval attitudes to money. Real life practice may have been more flexible. All that trading partners need is a trusted medium of exchange and in the countryside marketing may have been much less regulated than the laws prescribe. Other units of value, reckoned in monetary terms, could do the work that coinage did.