The Invention of Money, Money in the Mediterranean Zone

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Re: The Invention of Money, Money in the Mediterranean Zone

Post by ABuddhist »

DCHindley wrote: Mon Sep 05, 2022 3:16 pm
ABuddhist wrote: Mon Sep 05, 2022 4:41 am
DCHindley wrote: Sun Sep 04, 2022 4:36 pm I guess that the most ancient of Romans (or was that Greeks?) kept their wealth as copper rods, and might exchange a handful of these rods for goods or services. Back then weapons of war were made of brass, which is made partly from copper, so copper had value.
1. As far as I am aware, only the Spartans used rods as currency, and their rods were made from iron.

2. Weapons were made from bronze, iron, and occasionally from steel, not brass.
I was thinking of the ancient Greek obol, which consisted of six copper rods. Yes, the Spartans had their iron obol too.

Obols were used from early times. According to Plutarch they were originally spits of copper or bronze traded by weight, while six obols make a drachma or a handful, since that was as many as the hand could grasp.[2] Heraklides of Pontus in his work On Etymologies mentions the obols of Heraion and derives the origin of obolos from obelos. This is confirmed by the historian Ephorus on his work On Inventions. Excavations at Argos discovered several dozen of these early obols, dated well before 800 BC; they are now displayed at the Numismatic Museum of Athens. Archaeologists today describe the iron spits as "utensil-money" since excavated hoards indicate that during the Late Geometric period they were exchanged in handfuls (drachmae) of six spits,[3] they were not used for manufacturing artifacts as metallurgical analyses suggest, but they were most likely used as token-money.[4] Plutarch states the Spartans had an iron obol of four coppers. They retained the cumbersome and impractical bars rather than proper coins to discourage the pursuit of wealth.[5]

Sorry to have to use Wikipedia.
Many thanks for correcting me. That having been said, I was referring to the use of rods as currency while coins were in circulation, which seems to have only happened in Sparta.
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Re: The Invention of Money, Money in the Mediterranean Zone

Post by DCHindley »

Leucius Charinus wrote: Mon Sep 05, 2022 5:55 pm ETA: I invite your comments on your study of the Plato extract in the NHL
Hi again Pete,

Just wanted you to know that I have taken a look at your thread about NHL translation of a segment from Plato's Republic, but have not had time to really look at the matter closely.

Looks like you had made use of the comparative tables I had posted long ago on this, and possibly other materials/sources posted by Ben Smith and others, but my posts at the time were there to comment on the issue of interpretation in translation, hence the side by sides from several modern (well, 19th century) translations of the passage in Plato. They were all quite different from one another, making the Coptic translation in NHL not seem so bizarre, although many/most modern scholars can't help calling it inept or biased towards one of the "Gnostic" belief systems.

At that time I had simmered the driving issue to be the Coptic translator's concern over the way that a person's soul is multi-partite and great care is needed for the rational parts to govern the wilder elements. There was little or no influence that I detected from gnostic systems that interpreted the Judean God as somehow an inferior copy of the true godhead. We moderns, including most critics, want to compartmentalize this NHL stuff in a way that marginalizes them as inferior to the "correct" Christian POV we all grew up with, regardless of whether we believed the Christian POV or not. For a version of this way of marginalizing so-called gnostic texts (on steroids) see Simone Petrement's A Separate God: The Christian origins of Gnosticism (French 1984, English translation 1990).

I was also probably thinking this illustrated another issue, the post modern realization that all historical evidence is interpreted in light of the present reality, and consequently all relative (that is, opinion about what probably actually happened interpreted through the lens of our modern experiences). In other words, there is no "right" answer. Rather than be alarmed by this, I embrace it as part of the art of developing historical "explanations."

I'll respond over in your other thread, hopefully later today.

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John T
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Re: The Invention of Money, Money in the Mediterranean Zone

Post by John T »


DCHindley, the master of all ancient theology, (who I honestly and reverently respect) has spoken not once but four times on this matter. What should the disciple of Plato do asks Aristotle?

Simple, answer honestly.

The first currency was the payment for the first profession. :cheeky:
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