Money and barter in the Middle Ages
Nowadays only a small percentage of the total volume of money exists as actual minted coins or banknotes. Payment is increasingly made without cash, and «big money» nowadays refers merely to a lot of numbers in a lot of bank accounts.
If one is trying to describe today’s economy, one soon wishes oneself back in the Middle Ages, when the payment for one’s very real sack of grain was a very real knife or a new pair of shoes. Or perhaps a few silver coins, or even gold ones, whose face value fortunately corresponded to their real value. But were things really as simple as that – and were they simple throughout the Middle Ages?