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Author Topic: Cribb on Indian Coin Origins  (Read 514 times)

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Offline EWC

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Re: Cribb on Indian Coin Origins
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2017, 06:01:37 PM »
Your English is excellent (& my Hindi is terrible!)

On the sealed bags - I recall a jar was found - somewhere near to Palestine I think - with the remains of 17 bags, all now stuck together but each of them seemed to have once  held about 450g of silver.

These seem much like the notional 'sealed bags' (although no seals I think found in that case).

Concerning the crucial gap in the evolution to coins - the denomination of these bags is very high - near half a kilo of silver!

My opinion - the revolutionary move to coin use was really mostly about bringing market activity down to the level of the ordinary citizen.  Commerce before that time was most times a thing only the very wealthy guys did, with big money bags.

Rob T

Offline Matteo

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Re: Cribb on Indian Coin Origins
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2017, 08:40:58 PM »
My opinion - the revolutionary move to coin use was really mostly about bringing market activity down to the level of the ordinary citizen.  Commerce before that time was most times a thing only the very wealthy guys did, with big money bags.

I've read about an interesting hoard found in Asia Minor in which there are pieces of silver bullion and more than 900 fractions from Colophone (with Apollo's head). The author of the paper (Kroll) suggests that the fractions were minted to supplement the bullion, which was easily weighed in the balance except for extremely small pieces.

Small changes needed small pieces of silver, as you say. So it was better to create and to use a little coin with a fixed weigh/value than a very small piece of silver with an uncertain value.

In India probably something similar to this happened  ???



Offline EWC

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Re: Cribb on Indian Coin Origins
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2017, 09:11:10 AM »
I've read about an interesting hoard found in Asia Minor in which there are pieces of silver bullion and more than 900 fractions from Colophone (with Apollo's head). The author of the paper (Kroll) suggests that the fractions were minted to supplement the bullion, which was easily weighed in the balance except for extremely small pieces.

Have not read that piece - but the conclusion seems wrong.  I tend to disagree with Kroll - he was heavily criticised by Kurke, who I think gets the matter right in her "Coins Bodies Games and Gold"

Most of the population needed "extremely small pieces", and weighing and assaying them was not at all easy.  Coin use opened up efficient markets to ordinary people.  The old aristocracies lost out heavily when coin  use appeared, and a lot of the opposition to coin use (from Plato to Ajay Banga), is to do with regaining elite control of the economy.

Coins are a very simple idea - it did not take mankind thousands of years to think them up.  The big change that came with coins was a social revolution about how the economy was controlled - by market traders rather than priests.

Coin use spread rapidly and violently as far as I can tell.  Perhaps a bit like the "Arab Spring" - old regimes fell like dominoes.  I mention that recent matter because it all actually started in support of a small guy selling fruit off a barrow or some such - as I recall.

Small changes needed small pieces of silver, as you say. So it was better to create and to use a little coin with a fixed weigh/value than a very small piece of silver with an uncertain value.  In India probably something similar to this happened  ???

Yes

Rob T




Offline Matteo

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Re: Cribb on Indian Coin Origins
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2017, 12:29:02 PM »
Have not read that piece - but the conclusion seems wrong.  I tend to disagree with Kroll - he was heavily criticised by Kurke, who I think gets the matter right in her "Coins Bodies Games and Gold"

I'll buy this book as first as possible. Thanks for this interesting discussion.

Matteo.