By Michael F. Hendy

This booklet represents an try to depict the past due Roman and Byzantine financial economic system in its fullest attainable social, fiscal and administrative context, with the purpose of creating the fundamental dynamics in the back of the construction of the coinage, the most important mechanisms affecting its distribution, and the final features of its behaviour as soon as in stream. The e-book includes 4 major sections, on economic system and society, on finance, and at the movement and construction of coinage, and has made an unrivalled contribution within the box of past due classical, Byzantine and medieval fiscal historical past. The textual content is absolutely supported by means of the large citation of translated resources, and by way of maps, tables and plates.

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Extra resources for Studies in the Byzantine Monetary Economy c.300-1450

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With time and the sophistication of society, these initial forms of media of exchange evolved from some merchandise, such as cattle or salt, to metals, and later coined metals until human societies reached the stage of fiat money that we have today. Along the way, the generally accepted medium of exchange became the unit of account and also a store of value everywhere. In appendix A, the reader may find a historical “sketch” of such an account. 2 The Claim of the Chartalists The Chartalists, on the other hand, have also a very clear account about how we came to the current monetary arrangements.

The fact that the government enforces the currency is no more proof that the money is a State creature than the definition of a standard grammar by some statesponsored agency to be adopted by the schools in the country is proof that the language was created by the State, or the enforcement of corporate law is proof that corporations are creatures of the State, or that enforcing civil law in the courts is proof that marriage itself is a creation of the State. Of course it is in the interest of rulers everywhere to say that money is what they say it is because of the corollaries already mentioned, but it does not become true only because a law says so; if traders use other media of exchange rather than the government-sponsored one, they are nevertheless still using money.

They have disagreements about many philosophical questions, such as what is possible to know about money, and what is right and wrong in terms of monetary policy, but the main divide between them is whether money is an institution that has evolved naturally 1 in society or whether it was created by the state. It is to these two different assumptions about the character of money that each group’s position may be traced. But what kind of question does this discussion about the character of money purport to answer?

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