View Single Post
Old 05-10-2016, 05:23 AM
Kobal2 Kobal2 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 16,505
Originally Posted by robert_columbia View Post
If you were a member of the nobility, you presumably had social connections with nobility in relatively far-off places who could vouch for you, or at least put you up for the night. In other words, any noble eager for good brownie points would do a favor for a fellow in need. If you were just some rich nobody who found a stash of treasure, or had slowly gained your fortune trading, you were much more of a social nobody. That's why wealthy people sought connections - it was a mutual protection network.
That's how money worked for the longest time, even for commoners - reputation was everything. Barring actual letters of credit and suchlike (which were popularized around the time of the First Crusade because pilgrims getting robbed for their Jerusalem money got very old), you would ask a known money-having person to send letters ahead of you saying "I, Mr. Moneybags, can vouch that this guy is good for X ducats, so you can give him as much and I'll repay you later 'cause he'll repay me later". Then such I.O.Us could, in turn, be traded between folks - you do a favour for me, I pay Mr. Moneybags on your behalf. Or I pay somebody Mr. Moneybags owes moolah to and he'll hear about it. With any number of such intermediaries as necessary or practical.

Needless to say it must have been quite complicated to keep track of who owed what to whom in practice. Credit cards are much simpler .

Originally Posted by GiantRat
The Templars amassed such a vast fortune in currency and land that practically all of the potentates in Europe (including the Vatican) were in their debt, so they were same Church that created them excommunicated them and allowed Phillip the Fair of France to launch an inquisition against them.

An interesting source by a vetted historian is "Born in Blood."
Other way around. Phillip IV needed a spot of cash on short notice and figured he could mess with the Templars on trumped up charges. He happened to have the Pope in his pocket (the new Pope was the first French pope and unabashedly pro-French) so getting permission was a formality. In fact, he didn't even ask the Pope - he just arrested them en masse as soon as Clement V was elected, and the latter was kinda forced to follow suit or be seen as a non-entity... and not profit from the trials, either

Originally Posted by msmith537
But how do they validate your identity? I can't imagine that they would know every lord and baron by sight.
Well if you're anybody worth anything, you'll have respectable contacts in Paris who can say you are who you say you are. That or you'll bear insignias proving your identity (seals, official papers and so on).

And if you don't have either ID or backers, well, you, sir... are a Vagabond, a lout of the basest sort and I'll have my manservants give you a good thrashing at once ! And be thankful you are not hanged for your idleness, miscreant !

(but note that, again, it wasn't solely a nobles, burghers and aristocrat thing. Every layer of society had its own criteria for "respectable" or "trustworthy". A penniless Huguenot refugee who knew a respected rat-catcher or was the second cousin of a reliable fishmonger could expect some credit at the local fleabitten inn for example.)