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Old 05-20-2016, 11:49 AM
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Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota US
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Originally Posted by XT View Post
International banking systems actually stemmed from rich guys trying to solve this very problem. IIRC, the Knights Templar made their mark by developing just such a system. Basically, if you were going to the holy land you'd swing by one of the Knights 'banks' and, in exchange for your gold they would give you part of a coded receipt for the amount of gold you were wanting to take with you (less some service fees. Not interest though ). Then you could basically head out to the holy land, stopping by Knight facilities along the way, where they would deduct some fees for services along the way. When you got to the holy land you could then change what was left on your coded receipt for the remainder of the money and be good to go. When you wanted to go back, same thing.

I know there were other civilizations and times that used similar systems. You COULD take a large guard force and just carry the gold, and that happened a lot, but there were alternatives at various times in history that were similar to my recollection above of roughly how the KT did it.
Of course that puts the burden of transferring gold around on the Templars, unless the traffic both ways averaged the same.

Originally Posted by md2000 View Post
Also remember that a lot of travel in the middle ages was done by ship - you bypassed the robber class, and were surrounded by several dozen able-bodied seamen with a vested interest in protecting you and them from pirates... your value as a slave or hostage, plus the value of the boat you were travelling on and its cargo, probably exceeded the value of any valuables the vessel carried.
Provided you could be reasonably sure the captain and crew of your own boat weren't pirates/slavers- which for enough money they might be tempted to do it just this once...

Last edited by Lumpy; 05-20-2016 at 11:50 AM.