Monetary Innovation in the Ancient World
We think we are the only generation to be smart. In the 19th century, they did not have the internal combustion engine. In the 18th century, they did not have the railroad. In the 17th century, they did not have the piano. So, most people assume, they were dumb. They did not know about smart phones, so they would not have understood anything. Such as money.
So let’s tell the story of the ancient city of Orinthus. They were innovators in money, millennia ahead of their time…
Orinthus was inhabited by the first people to settle down with agriculture and fishing. Soon, a new class of evolved: those who crafted goods out of riverbank clay, animal hides, and even stone quarried from the local hills. With the advent of real production and trade, they soon discovered it’s terribly inefficient if the guy who made leather needed to find a fisherman who needed shoes whenever he was hungry. They realized they needed money.
Now, you may assume you know where this is going. Orinthans mined some rock, found gold, and lived happily ever after. But that is not what happened. Most of them were intelligent and innovative. So they came up with something much better, and only a few fools grubbed around in the dirt for gold.
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