Although the studies are numerous and hypothesis about whom it has invented the currency, nobody has still guessed right to give an answerdefinitive. Naturally, primacía of a system of interchange so spread, that it has promoted contacts, commercial relations andcirculation of ideas between the towns, is object of debates and it lends to the creation of legend and myths. Many make overcome the first gold currencies to Creso, king of Lydia in the century I BC The wealth of Creso has become legendary, andlegend, as it often happens, really contains a bottom: It fights, a region of present Asian Turkey, is in a positionprivileged because it acts as hinge between East and the West. In addition, she is very rich in gold mines, as Herodoto remembers, greathistorian of century V BC: As far as wonders worthy to be remembered, Lydian he does not have many in comparison with other countries, exceptthe gold strings that come from the Tmoio ” (mountains of Anatolia). Another important aspect in support of this thesis is that Lydian it has littlecultivateable land: their inhabitants dedicated themselves in a moment to the commerce, first in form of exchange, and soon according to the diverse modalities ofinterchange that, as we see, constitutes the génesis of the currency. Others maintain that the cradle of the currency is in the coasts of AsiaMinor, where the first Greek colonies bloomed, so important in the mediation between the cultures Greek and Eastern, Also thesecolonies, by the other border thing with Lydia, developed intense commercial traffics. Beyond academic disquisitions on the exact zone of birth of the currency, it is of manifesto, in any case, that the regionof Smaller Asia it was the most suitable scope for the creation and development of a form of interchange practical and slight, able to promotecommercial relations as as much cultural of the towns shown to the Mediterranean. The present knowledge are based on the findings ofelectron currencies (a natural gold alloy and silver) mainly in Éfeso, the coast of Smaller Asia. Today one thinks that firstemissions took place in East (century VII BC). Thence, the use of the currency spread to Greece.

Systems of interchange before the appearance of the currency

If the currency does not appear until half-full of century VII BC, how were made the interchanges previously? We can synthesizediverse phases in three points: 1) exchange; 2) natural currency, and 3) metal instrument. The currency is a relatively recent invention that has simplified very many the life of the towns, but we do not have to think, accustomedas we are to its irreplaceable use, that the civilization did not exist before outside introduced east instrument. How it is possible to take aend a commercial transaction without having or that it measured the value of other or? Again it is Herodoto that explains the modalities to us of the exchange: the possessors of certain merchandize disembarked in a port, they unloaded his goods and soon they retired to demonstrate that they went in are of peace. The natural ones of the place appeared and showed that ofwhat they arranged and that they wished to interchange, retiring as well. The first merchants disembarked again and considered the supply:if it seemed to them suitable, accepted the change; on the contrary, they in this way retired part of his goods, doing a supply in his opinionmore equitable. This type of interchange could be applied only to the international traffic and accustomed towns practiced to travel, like Phoenicians, Greekand Carthaginians. But this class of relations did not make agile nor stimulated the private commerce. Since the social structures were of subsistence and specialization in the work did not exist, the small groups could live withcertain self-sufficiency; but when the men organized their own functions and they dedicated themselves to a single activity, the problem ofinterchange was let feel like something burdens and decisive: the metallurgical one had many tools, but it needed the dresses the weaver andthe flour of the miller, which as well, to live and to work, had to procure the merchandize of the other craftsmen.

The natural currency

The division of the work, the birth of the agrarian economies and the progressive sedentarismo of the towns made urgent more and morenecessity of a system of valid and simple commerce. Thus, then, an average one looked for accepted by all, in order to divide the interchange intwo times and power to lighten the traffic. One was to choose a product of been suitable value, obtaining in this way a species of scalecomparative “. This merchandize-it shows, call natural currency, could extraordinarily be varied, but it had to fulfill two requirements, necessary stopsto develop its function of intermediate good: to unite utility and convenience, and abundant but at the same time to be appraised. The natural currencyit followed in use in recent times: until century XIX, in Iceland the cost of all merchandize settled down in dry fish, and Alaska, inbeaver skins. Between the primitive towns, still in our days we found as diverse currencies as strange: mats braided inNew Hébridas, seeds of cacao in Mexico, rice in India and the caurí or shell of molusco (the moneta Cypraea is very well-known), ofample diffusion anywhere in the world. The towns of the antiquity preferred the cattle, that presented/displayed the doubtless advantage to enjoy esteemand, at the same time, of being abundant, in addition to very useful. !>

The discovery of metals

Towards III the millenium BC, we attended the use of the metal as interchange form. The industrial use of this material formanufacture of tools made its multiple qualities evident and the doubtless advantage that would derive from its use like merchandize-type. The metals are unalterable, can be divided maintaining the same characteristics substantial, can be accumulated withoutdeteriorate, are transported of simple way and they do not require maintenance, In addition, they are easily reconocibles by all and is possibleto verify its weight without too many difficulties. By all these reasons, the use of the metal did not take in becoming very common in the interchanges. The most archaic form is the one of ring, likethey testify paintings murals of an Egyptian tomb of the time of Tutmosis III (Tebas, 1484-1450 BC) and findings in the region of the Caucasus. Also in II the millenium BC, the Hebrews used as units of weight kikkar, that is ring, circle. Soon (second half of II the millenium BC) they appeared Aegean copper ingots the cretenses, heavy blocks of rectangular form (weighedbetween 10 and 36 kg and they had a thickness of about 6 cm). These ingots, that approximately circulated until century X BC, have beenin Cyprus, in Eubea, Crete and Sardinia (where the Phoenicians made the stop), and of it we can deduce that they were adopted mainly stopsthe marine interchanges, During the excavations conducted by Schiiemann in lssariik (a hill of noroccidental Turkey where are the rest of the old oneTroy), appeared bars of silver with the mark of the recorded State to striker pin, or the efigie of a divinity: these seals served stopsto still testify the purity of the metal (but not the weight; therefore we cannot consider them currencies properly). Another exceptional finding was the made one by the English Evans, whom, between the ruins of the palace of Cnossos, it gave with silver small ballsand gold pertaining to the delayed minoico period (1600-1400 BC). These drops, were very similar to the future Asian jónicas currencies, but they lacked the seal of the governmental authority.

The phase of the metal-utensil

In century IX BC made its appearance a new system of interchange, regulated by the call metal-utensil. One was toolsthemselves used like money, or of objects that remembered, by its form, the old utensil but that in fact hadacquired a new value. These, currencies ” mainly had form of axe or double axe in central Europe, whereas in the areaMediterranean we found currencies utensil in form of rods to roast of domestic use and religious, óbolos calls óbolo is name ofa Greek currency at classic time). Another utensil used like merchandize-type for the interchanges was lebete, a kettle used for the preparation of the meals, butalso for the religious sacrifices. Homero often mentions it and it also remembers in one old inscription found in Beocia, immediately subsequent to La Paz of Antálcidas (year 386 BC), that talks about to dracmas constituted by six bronze rods to roast. Dracma was the name of the current currency in the Mediterranean river basin. As it is seen, every time we came near more, even interminology, to which it will be the birth of the currency itself.

Between religion and technology

More ahead we will talk about the Aegean copper ingot circulation cretenses of rectangular form. In fact, its aspect experimenteddiverse and still strange transformations. In the beginning they were almost perfectly rectangular, but with time they acquired an irregular form that presents/displays prolongations infour angles. This rare evolution has been explained of many ways, and all the interpretations are from interest, because they aretie to the society and the culture of the time. Some have wanted to see in that strange form two together axes, that would be related tothe cult of the double axe, Eastern origin. Given narrow of the relation between the divinity and the offered gifts it to make sure the Gods please, many specialists perceivea nexus between the currency and the religious scope. To offer to they numen a gift was equivalent to pay certain price that at the most valuable outside, as muchit could appease the God and more attract its friendship. These concepts of payment and acquisition reveal an original meaning very different from the one fromeconomic scope in which usually we consider them. Other specialists have wanted to recognize in the strange form of these ingots the estilización of the ox skin, which sendsevidently to the period in that the cattle was used like natural currency, Also this prolongation of the angles is attributed to a simple, remarkable and interesting technological advance: surely was more express andpractitioner to strain the metal fused in together ingots, and soon to divide cutting them them by the angles.


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