Minting Coins and Ideology: The Birth of Money in Greek Archaic Poetry Cover Image
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Bicie monet w poezji archaicznej. Uwagi o narodzinach greckiego pieniądza
Minting Coins and Ideology: The Birth of Money in Greek Archaic Poetry

Author(s): Jan Skarbek-Kazanecki
Subject(s): Economy
Published by: Stowarzyszenie Czasu Kultury
Keywords: ancient economics;elegy;symposium;Corpus Theognideum;Theognis of Megara

Summary/Abstract: The aim of this paper is to investigate the current debate on the origins of the monetization of ancient Greece, which is considered to be the birthplace of contemporary money, while setting out some of the key interpretations and controversies regarding the source functions of this medium of exchange. Next, selected explanatory models of particular importance are discussed and confronted with the aristocratic poetic tradition. As it is shown especially by the elegy, a genre which is particularly close to the aristocratic circles of archaic greek poleis, the emergence of minted coins was connected with a series of socio-economic changes, which – contrary to classical theories – did not merely result from the simplification of functioning trade relations via the introduction of a new medium of exchange: as the author argues, change was driven by democratic institutions, which used money as a means of redistributing goods that previously had belonged to a privileged social class.

  • Issue Year: XXXVII/2021
  • Issue No: 01
  • Page Range: 5-13
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: Polish