Medieval historians can sometimes study quirky things. For John Wyatt Greenlee it is researching eels in the Middle Ages. This week, Danièle speaks with the ‘Surprised Eel Historian’ about the impact of this fish on the medieval world – who was eating them, how they were eating them, and why they were sometimes a great way to pay the rent.
John Wyatt Greenlee completed his PhD at Cornell University in 2020. His website Historia Cartarum: Meditations on the Historical Production of Spaces, includes his Eel-Rents Project as well as his Mapping Mandeville Project. He has been recently profiled in Time Magazine – Keeping It Eel: How One Historian Is Using Twitter and Medieval Factoids to Help Endangered Animals – and in BoingBoing – Medieval English people used to pay their rent in eels. Click here to visit John’s personal website or follow him on Twitter @greenleejw
Hey, friends. I’ve got a couple things happening over the next little bit, so I’m going to be doing more happy self-promoting than usual. And it starts now!
— Surprised Eel Historian, PhD (@greenleejw) September 25, 2020
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Podcast editing done by Noah Tetzner, who is also the host of The History of Vikings podcast
Top Image: British Library MS Harley 4751 f. 68