[LMB] Penric: Money, trade, & cheese

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Sun Jan 24 15:59:37 GMT 2016

> From: Howard Brazee howard at brazee.net

> I enjoyed seeing a town making its living on cheese.   I question the many medieval (and later) types of fantasies (and historical books) that have easier access to money than I read about in history.

> Admittedly, Penric is from a small town, where wealth of a cheese producer can dominate - but his gift of cheese was well appreciated as a cash substitute.    I tend to wonder how economies work (looking at how obviously the Lord of the Rings movies show a city with no farmland around it, and wondering how Sauron?s economy works).

In the early days of the colony in Australia they simply didn't
have enough coins to run the economy (they mostly had whatever
coin the soldiers had in their pockets). They bought some Spanish
coins, punched out the centres, and had 'holey dollars' and 'dumps'
for a while. Later the officers of the NSW Corps (the special troop
formed to guard the colony) imported rum. They used rum as
currency - you were paid in rum. Cut out the middleman.  The 
soldiers became known as the Rum Corps. (And when Bligh tried
to stop them and they sent him back to England it was the Rum
Rebellion.) I think it was the only place that used alcohol as currency.

Gwynne (Totally useless trivia - they also use alcohol to measure
distance up north. The distance between two towns might be given
as 'A sixpack' etc.)

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