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New-age coins and mercenaries may have brought democracy

TechScienceNew-age coins and mercenaries may have brought democracy

In scene In many, money corrupts democracy. However, in Francis Albarede’s view, it was money in the form of silver coins that created democracy in the first place.

Dr Albared is a geochemist at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Lyon, France. However, his definition of “geochemistry” goes beyond the definition of many people in political and economic history. Notably, they have just finished operating the European Research Council silver (Silver Isotopes and the Rise of Money) Project. It, by studying the isotopic composition of ancient silver coins, tried to draw conclusions about the pattern of trade in which the metal was minted in a coin.

Dr. Albarede explained Hope meeting how, in his opinion, the move to convert silver into small discs of more or less constant weight and purity, certified by authority, catalysed the overthrow of the oligarchy of dozens of Greek city states, the sixth and most notably that of Athens Was. fifth century B.Cand their replacement with versions of the idea that all free men should share in governing the polity in which they live.

Both the silver and the free men, in their interpretation of the events, came from the contemporary Persian Empire’s habit of employing Greeks as mercenaries. Hoplites, the heavily armed foot soldiers who formed the core of the Greek armies of the period, were in great demand as soldiers of fortune, and many found employment in non-Greek armies—more often than not from their fellow Greeks. were fighting

Persia was a particularly large customer during its wars of expansion around the end of the 6th century, and often paid its hoplite recruits in the new medium of silver coins. These were a form of easily portable and exchangeable money invented in the kingdom of Lydia, one of the conquests of Persia, and adopted by Cyrus, the founder of the Persian Empire. However, many Greek city-states also began to adopt Lydia’s invention, meaning that coins were a familiar idea when these peoples returned home as wealthy, figuratively, as Croesus, the Lydian king whom Cyrus was overthrown, they upset the political applecart to build an ambitious middle class that is sign qualification non of all successful revolutions.

Elsewhere, although the advantages of coinage were quickly appreciated throughout the Mediterranean and Near-Eastern world, this sudden influx of money and men was not something the powers-that-be were able to adjust to. But in many Greek cities the local elites could not resist the tide of silver mercenaries, and the rule of free men (though not of women or slaves, obviously – as there were no archangels yet) took over.

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