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Trade & money

60 second histories

This video covers:  Bartering and the emergence of money and coinage due to trade.

One of the problems we had in the past was bartering; you know exchanging one set of goods for another. But what happens when you don’t need to buy other goods and you just want to sell? One way of solving the problem was to have a piece of metal stamped with its weight so you could work out its value. But good old Athens came up with a better solution, they minted a coin stamped with an owl which was the symbol of Athens. This coin was called the drachma and it became the most common currency in the Aegean Sea area. But then a problem arose if you wanted to trade with Sparta or other countries that began to mint their own coins and so didn’t recognise the drachma. In that case you had to go to a money changer called a Trapezité where you exchanged all of your coins for the local ones of equal value so that you could buy their goods to sell back home. It was a difficult system but soon enough our drachma became accepted in most places making trade a lot easier.
Ancient Greece
Greek merchant
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