Smoked Eels Were Used as Currency in Medieval Europe
Guest: John Wyatt Greenlee, Medievalist, Cartographic Historian
Eels were once used as currency in medieval Europe, useful since they were plentiful in local rivers and they dried well. In fact, the Dutch filled their ships' holds with water so they could always have a fresh stock to bring to market. Today, they're threatened by modern technology, and they represent an estimated $3 billion on the black market.
Money: A Shared (but Valuable) Fiction
Guest: Jacob Goldstein, author of “Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing”
Forms of money change as the needs of people change, as civilizations change, as power changes. But Europeans thought Marco Polo was lying when he told them the Chinese used paper money. How the world has come to embrace the necessary fiction of money.