Money (Heb. כֶּסֶŠ, ke'seph, silver, as often rendered, Chald. כּסִŠ, kesaph', Gr. ἀργυρίον, silver, or a piece of silver, as often rendered; also κέρμα, coin, i.q. νόμισμα, lit. a standard of valuation; χαλκός, brass, as sometimes rendered: and χρῆμα, lit. whatever is used in exchange). In the present article we shall confine our attention to the consideration of the subject in general, leaving the discussion of particular coins for the special head of NUMINSATICS SEE NUMINSATICS . The value of the coins is a relative thing, depending, with respect to the several pieces and kinds of metal, in part upon the ascertained weight (i.e., intrinsic value, for which SEE METROLOGY ), and in part upon the interchange of the mintage of various ages and countries prevalent in Palestine (i.e., current value; SEE COIN ); but, in point of fact. still more upon the depreciation of the precious metals as a standard of value in comparison with purchasable articles, arising from the fluctuating balance of supply and demand (i.e., mercantile value). In the. following discussion we give a general view of this extensive subject, referring to other articles for subsidiary points.
I. Non-metallic Currency. — Different commodities have been used as money in the primitive state of society in all countries. Those nations which subsist by the chase, such as the ancient Russians and the greater part of the North American Indians, use the skins of the animals killed in hunting as money (Storch. Traite d'Economie Politique, tome 1). In a pastoral state of society cattle are chiefly used as money.. Thus, according to Homer, the armor of Diomede cost nine oxen, and that of Glaucus one hundred (Iliad, 6:235). The etymology of the Latin word pecunia, signifying money, and of all its derivatives, affords sufficient evidence that cattle (pecus) were the first money of the Romans. They were also used as money by the Germans, whose laws fix the amount of penalties for particular offences to be paid in cattle (Storch, 1.c.). In agricultural countries corn would be used in remote ages as money, and even at the present day it is not unusual to stipulate for corn rents and wages. Various commodities have been and are still used in different countries. Smith mentions salt as the common money of Abyssinia (Wealth of Nations, 1:4). A species of cyprsea, called the cowry, gathered on the shores of the Maldive Islands, and of which 6400 constitute a rupee, is used in making small payments throughout India, and is the, only money of certain districts in Africa. Dried fish forms the money of Iceland and Newfoundland; sugar of some of the West India Islands; and among the first settlers in America corn and tobacco were used as money (Holmes's American Annals). Smith mentions that at the time of the publication of the Wealth of Nations there was a village in Scotland where it was customary for a workman to carry nails as money to the baker's shop or the alehouse (1:4).
II. Bullion as a Circulating Medium. —
1. A long period of time must have intervened between the first introduction of the precious metals into commerce and their becoming generally used as money. The peculiar qualities which so eminently fit them for this purpose would only be gradually discovered. They would probably be first introduced in their gross and unpurified state. A sheep, an ox, a certain quantity of corn, or any other article, would afterwards be bartered or exchanged for pieces of gold or silver in bars or ingots, in the same way as they would formerly have been exchanged for iron, copper, cloth, or anything else. The merchants would soon begin to estimate their proper value, and, in effecting exchanges, would first agree upon the quality of the metal to be given, and then the quantity which its possessor had become bound to pay would be ascertained by weight. This. according to Aristotle and Pliny, was the manner in which the precious metals were originally exchanged in Greece and Italy. The same practice is still observed in different countries. In many parts of China and Abyssinia the value of gold and silver is always ascertained by weight (Goguet, De l'Origine des Loix, etc.). Iron was the first money of the Lacedeomnians, and copper of the Romans. SEE METAL.
In the many excavations which have been made in Egypt, Assyria, and Babylonia, no specimen of coined money has yet been discovered. Egyptian money was composed of rings of gold and silver; and in Assyria and Babylonia only clay tablets commemorating grants of money specified by weight have been found in considerable numbers; while in Phoenicia no pieces of an antiquity earlier than the Persian rule have 'yet come to light (Rawlinson, Herod. 1:684). Nor, indeed, is coined money found in the time of Homer, but traffic was pursued either by simple barter (Iliad, 7:472; 23:702; Odyss. 1:430); or by means of masses of unwrought metal, like lumps of iron (Iliad, 23:826; Odyss. 1:184); or by quantities of gold and silver, especially of gold (Iliad, 9:122, 279; 19:247; 23:269; Odyss. 4:129; 8:393; 9:202, etc.), which latter metal, called by Homer τάλαντον χρυσοῦ, seems to be the only one measured by weight. Before the introduction of coined money into Greece by Pheidon, king of Argos, there was a currency of ὀβελίσκοι, "spits" or "skewers," six of which were considered a handful (δραχμή). Colonel Leake thinks that they were small pyramidal pieces of silver (Num. Chronicles 17:203; Num. Hellen. page 1, appendix), but' it seems more probable that they were nails of iron or copper, capable of being used as spits in the Homeric fashion. This is likely, from the fact that six of them made a handful, and that they were therefore of a considerable size (Rawlinson, Herod. App. 1:688). SEE WEIGHTS.
It is well known that ancient nations which were without a coinage weighed the precious metals, a practice represented on the Egyptian monuments, on which gold and silver are shown to have been kept in the form of rings (see cut under the art. BALANCES SEE BALANCES ). The gold rings found in the Celtic countries have been held to have had the same use. It has indeed been argued that this could not have been the case with the latter since they show no monetary system; yet it is evident from their weights that they all contain complete multiples or parts of a unit, so that we may fairly suppose that the Celts, before they used coins, had, like the ancient Egyptians, the practice of keeping money in rings, which they weighed when it was necessary to pay a fixed amount. We have no certain record of the use of ring-money or other uncoined money in antiquity excepting among the Egyptians. With them the practice mounts up to a remote age, and was probably as constant, and perhaps as regulated with respect to the weight of the rings, as a coinage. It can scarcely be doubted that the highly civilized rivals of the Egyptians — the Assyrians and Babylonians — adopted, if they did not originate, this custom, clay tablets having been found specifying grants of money by weight (Rawlinson, Herod. 1:684); and there is therefore every probability that obtained also in Palestine, although seemingly unknown in Greece in the time before coinage was there introduced. There is no trace in Egypt, however, of any different size in the rings represented, so that there is no reason for supposing that this further step was taken towards the invention of coinage.
2. The first notice in the Bible, after the flood, of uncoined money as a representative of property and medium of exchange, is when Abraham came up out of Egypt "very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold" (Ge 13:2; Ge 24:35). In the further history of Abraham we read that Abimelech gave the patriarch "a thousand [pieces] of silver," apparently to purchase veils for Sarah and her attendants; but the passage is extremely difficult (Ge 20:16). The Sept. understood shekels to be intended (χίλια δίδραχμα, 1.c. also verse 14), and there can be no doubt that they were right, though the rendering is accidentally an unfortunate one, their equivalent being the name of a coin. We next find "money" used in commerce. In the purchase of the cave of Machpelah it is said, "And Abraham weighed (וִוַּשׁקֹל) to Ephron the silver which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver current with the merchant" (עֹבֵר לִסֹּחֵר; Sept. δοκίμου ἐμπόροις, Ge 23:16). Here a currency is clearly indicated like that which the monuments of Egypt show to have been there used in a very remote age; for the weighing proves that this currency, like the Egyptian, .did not bear the stamp of authority, and was therefore weighed when employed in commerce. A similar purchase is recorded of Jacob, who bought a parcel of a field at Shalem for a hundred kesitahs (Ge 23:18-19). The occurrence of a name different from shekel, and, unlike it, not distinctly applied in any other passage to a weight, favors the idea of coined money. But what is the kesitab (קשַׂיטָה)? The old interpreters supposed it to mean a lamb, and it has been imagined to have been a coin bearing the figure of a lamb. There is no known etymological ground for this meaning, the lost root, if we compare the Arabic kasat, "he or it divided equally," being perhaps connected with the idea of division. Yet the sanction of the Sept., and the use of weights having the forms of lions, bulls, and geese, by the Egyptians, Assyrians, and probably Persians, must make us hesitate before we abandon a rendering so singularly confirmed by the relation of the Latin pecunia and pecus. Throughout the history of Joseph we find evidence of the constant use of money in preference to barter. This is clearly shown in the case of the famine, when it is related that all the money of Egypt and Canaan was paid for corn, and that then the Egyptians had recourse to barter (Ge 47:13-26). It would thence appear that money was not very plentiful. In the narrative of the visits of Joseph's brethren to Egypt, we find that they purchased corn with money, which was, as in Abraham's time, weighed silver, for it is spoken of by them as having been restored to their sacks in "its [full] weight" (Ge 43:21). At the time of the exodus money seems to have been still weighed, for the ransom ordered in the law is stated to be half a shekel for each man — "half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary, [of] twenty gerahs the shekel" (Ex 30:13). Here the shekel is evidently a weight, and of a special system of which the standard examples were probably kept by the priests. Throughout the law money is spoken of as in ordinary use; but only silver money, gold being mentioned as valuable, but not clearly as used in the same manner. This distinction appears at the time of the conquest of Canaan. When Jericho was taken, Achan embezzled from the spoils 200 shekels of silver, and a wedge (Heb. tongue) of gold (γλῶσσαν μίαν χρυσῆν) of 50 shekels' weight (Jos 7:21). Throughout the period before the return from Babylon this distinction seems to obtain: whenever anything of the character of money is mentioned the usual metal is silver, and gold generally occurs as the material of ornaments and costly works. Thus silver, as a medium of commerce, may be met with among the nations of the Philistines (Ge 20:16; Jg 16:5,18; Jg 17:2 sq.), the, Midianites (Ge 37:28), and the Syrians (2Ki 5:5,23). By the laws of Moses, the value of laborers and cattle (Le 27:3 sq.;
Nu 3:45 sq.), houses and fields (Le 27:14 sq.), provisions (De 2:6,28; De 14:26), and all fines for offences (Ex 21; Ex 22), were determined by an estimate in money. The contributions to the Temple (Ex 30:13; Ex 38:26), the sacrifice of animals (Le 5:15), the redemption of the first-born (Nu 3:45 sq.; 18:15 sq.), the payment to the seer (1Sa 9:7 sq.) — in all these cases the payment is always represented as silver. It seems probable from many passages in the Bible that a system of jewel currency or ring- money was also adopted as a medium of exchange. The case of Rebekah, to whom the servant of Abraham gave "a golden ear-ring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels' weight of gold" (Ge 24:22), proves that the ancients made their jewels of a specific weight, so as to know the value of the ornaments in employing them as money. That the Egyptians kept their bullion in jewels seems evident from the plate given by Sir Gardner Wilkinson, copied from the catacombs, where they are represented as weighing rings of silver and gold; and is further corroborated by the fact of the Israelites having, at their exodus from Egypt, borrowed "jewels of silver and jewels of gold," and "spoiled the Egyptians" (Ex 12:35-36). According to the ancient drawings, the Egyptian ring-money was composed of perfect rings. So, too, it would appear that the money used by the children of Jacob, when they went to purchase corn in Egypt, was also an annular currency (Ge 42:35). Their money is described as "bundles of money" (Sept. δέσμοι), and when returned to them, was found to be "of [full] weight" (Ge 43:21). The account of the sale of Joseph by his brethren affords another instance of the employment of jewel ornaments as a medium of exchange (Ge 37:28); and that the Midianites carried the whole of their bullion wealth in the form of rings and jewels seems more than probable from the account in Numbers of the spoiling of the Midianites — "We have therefore brought an oblation for the Lord what every man hath gotten (Heb. found), of jewels of gold, chains, and bracelets, rings, ear-rings, and tablets, to make an atonement for our souls before the Lord. And Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold of them, even all wrought jewels" (Ge 31:50-51). The friends of Job, when visiting him at the end of the time of his trial, each gave him a piece of money (קשַׂיטָה) and an ear- ring of gold (נֶזֶם זָהָב; Sept. τετράδραχμον χρυσοῦ καὶ ἀσήμου), thus suggesting the employment of a ring-currency. (For this question, see W. B. Dickinson in the Num. Chron. volumes 6 to 16 pasaim). A passage in Isaiah has indeed been supposed to show the use of gold coins in that prophet's time: speaking of the makers of idols, he says, "They lavish gold out of the' bag, and weigh silver in the balance" (Ge 46:6). The mention of a bag is, however, a very insufficient reason for the supposition that the gold was coined money. Rings of gold may have been used for money in Palestine as early as this time, since they had long previously been so used in Egypt; but the passage probably refers to the people of Babylon, who may have had uncoined money in both metals like the Egyptians. Supposing that the above-quoted passages relative to a gold medium of exchange be not admitted, there is a passage recording a purchase made in gold in the time of David. The threshing-floor of Ornan was bought by David for 600 shekels of gold by weight (1Ch 21:25). Yet even this is rendered doubtful by the parallel passage mentioning the price paid as 50 shekels of silver (2Sa 24:24).
It seems then apparent, from the several authorities given above, that from the earliest time silver was used by the Hebrews as a medium of commerce, and that a fixed weight was assigned to single pieces, so as to make them suitable for the various articles presented in trade. Unless we suppose this to be the case, many of the above-quoted passages (especially Ge 23:16; comp. 2Ki 12:4 sq.) would be difficult to understand rightly. In this latter passage it is said that the priest Jehoiada "took a chest and bored a hole in the lid of it, and set it beside the altar," and "the priests that kept the door put in all the money that was brought into the house of the Lord." These passages not only presuppose pieces of metal of a definite weight, but also that they had been recognised as such, either in an unwrought form or from certain characters inscribed upon them. The system of weighing (though the Bible makes mention of a balance and weight of money in many places-Ge 23:16; Ex 22:17; 2Sa 18:12; 1Ki 20:39; Jer 32:9-10) is not likely to have been applied to every individual piece. In the large total of 603,550 half-shekels (Ex 38:26), accumulated by the contribution of each Israelite, each individual half-shekel could hardly have been weighed out, nor is it probable that the scales were continually employed for all the small silver pieces which men carried about with them. For instance, that there were divisions of the standard of calculation is evident from the passage in Ex 30:13, where the half-shekel is to be paid as the atonement money, and "the rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less" (verse 15). The fourth part of the shekel must also have been an actual piece, for it was all the silver that the servant of Saul had at hand to pay the seer (1Sa 9:8-9). If a quantity of pieces of various weights were carried about by men in a purse or bag, as was the custom (2Ki 5:23; 2Ki 12:10; Ge 42:35), without having their weight marked in some manner upon them, what endless trouble there must have been in buying or selling, in paying or receiving. From these facts we may safely assume that the Israelites had already, before the exile, known silver pieces of a definite weight, and used them in trade. By this is not meant coins, for these are pieces of metal struck under an authority. A curious passage is that in Ezekiel (Eze 16:36), which has been supposed to speak of brass money. The Hebrew text has יִעִן הַשָּׁפֵך נחֻשׁתֵּך, which has been rendered by the Vulg. " quia effusum est aes tuum," and by the A.V. "because thy filthiness was poured out." As brass was the latest metal introduced for money into Greece, it seems very unlikely that we should have brass money current at this period in Palestine: it has, however, been supposed that there was an independent copper. coinage in farther Asia before the introduction of silver money by the Seleucidae and the Greek kings of Bactriana. The terms רִצֵי כֶסֶŠ (Ps 68:30) and כֶּסֶŠ אֲגוֹרִת (1Sa 2:36) are merely expressive of any small denomination of money. SEE SILVER.
III. Coined Money. —
1. The Antiquity of Coinage. There are two generally received opinions as to who were the inventors of the coining of money. One is that Phidon, king of Argos, coined both gold and silver. money at Egina at the same time that he introduced a system of weights and measures (Ephor. ap. Strabo,. 8:376; Pollux, 9:83; AElian, Var. Hist. 12:10; Marm. Par.). The date of Phidon, according to the Parian marble, is B.C. 895, but Grote places him between 770 and 730, while Clinton, Bockh, and Miller place him between 783 and 744 (Grote, Hist. of Greece, 4:419, note). The other statement is that the Lydians "were the first nation to introduce the use of gold and silver coin" (Herod. 1:94). This latter assertion was also made, according to Pollux (9:6, 83), by Xenophalies of Colophon, and is repeated by Eustathius (ap. Dionys. Perieg. 5:840). The early coins of Egina and Lydia have a device on one side only, the reverse being an incuse square (quadratum incusunm). On the obverse of the AEginetan coins is a tortoise, and on those of the Lydian the head of a lion. The reverse, however, of the AEginetan coins soon shows the incuse square divided into four parts by raised lines, the fourth quarter being again divided by a diagonal bar, thus forming four compartments. Apart, however, from the history relative to these respective coinages, which decidedly is in favor of a Lydian origin (Rawlinson, Herod. 1:683; Grotefend, Num. Chronicles 1:235) against the opinion of the late colonel Leake (Num. Hell. App.), the Lydian coins seem to be ruder than those of AEgina, and it is probable that while the idea of impress may be assigned to Lydia, the perfecting of the silver and adding a reverse type, thereby completing the art of coinage, may be given to AEgina (W.B. Dickinson, Num. Chronicles 2:128). It may be remarked that Herodotus does not speak of the coins of Lydia when a kingdom, which coins have for their type the heads of a lion and bull facing, and which in all probability belong to Craesus, but of the electrum staters of Asia Minor. If we conclude that coinage commenced in European and Asiatic Greece about the same time, the next question is whether we can approximately determine the date. This is extremely difficult, since there are no coins of a known period before the time of the expedition of Xerxes. The pieces of that age are of so archaic a style that it is hard, at first sight, to believe that there was any length of time between them and the rudest, and therefore earliest, of the coins of AEgina or the Asiatic coast. It must, however, be recollected that in some conditions the growth or change of art is extremely slow, and that this was the case in the early period of Greek art seems evident from the results of the excavations on what we may believe to be the oldest sites in Greece. The lower limit obtained from the evidence of the coins of known date may perhaps be conjectured to be two, or at most three, centuries before their time; the- higher limit is as vaguely determined by the negative evidence of the Homeric writings, of which we cannot guess the age, excepting as being before the first Olympiad. On the whole, it seems reasonable to carry up Greek coinage to the 8th century B.C. Purely Asiatic coinage cannot be taken up to so early a date. The more archaic Persian coins seem to be of the time of Darius Hystaspis, or possibly of Cyrus, and certainly not much older. and there is no Asiatic money, unless of Greek cities, that can be reasonably assigned to an earlier period. Croesus and Cyrus probably originated this branch of the coinage, or else Darius Hystaspis followed the example of the Lydian king. Coined money may therefore have been known in Palestine as early as the fall of Samaria, but only through commerce with the Greeks, and we cannot suppose that it was then current there. The earliest coined money current in Palestine is supposed to be the Daric (see below).
2. The principal Monetary Systems of Antiquity. — This subject has already been ably treated by Mr. R. S. Poole (Encyclopcedia Britannica, s.v. Numismatics), and in the present article it will be sufficient for our purpose to mention briefly the different talents (q.v.).
(1.) The Attic talent was that employed in most Greek cities before the time of Alexander, who adopted it, and from that time it became almost universal in Greek coinage. Its drachm weighed about 67.5 grains Troy, and its tetradrachm 270 grains. In practice it rarely reached this standard in coins after the Punic War; at Alexander's time its tetradrachm weighed about 264 grains.
(2.) The AEginetan talent, which was used at as early a period as the Attic, was employed in Greece and in the islands. Its drachm had an average maximum weight of about 96 grains, and its didrachm about 192 grains. When abolished under Alexander, this weight had fallen to about 180 grains for the didrachm.
(3.) The Alexandrian or Ptolemaic talent, which may also be called the Earlier Phoenician, and also Macedonian, as it was used in the earlier coinage of the cities of Macedon, and by the Macedonian kings before Alexander the Great, was restored during the sway of the Ptolemies into the talent of Egypt. In the former case its drachm weighed about 112 grains, and its so-called tetradrachm about 224, but they gradually fell to much lower weights. In the latter case the. drachm weighs about 50 grains, and the tetradrachm about 220.
(4.) The later Phoenician or Carthaginian talent was in use among the Persians and Phoenicians. It was also employed in Africa by the Carthaginians. Its drachm (or hemidrachm) weighed, according to Mr. Burgon (Thomas, Sale Cat. Page 57), about 59 grains, and its tetradrachm (or didrachm) about 236.
(5.) The Euboic talent in Greek money had a didrachm of 129 grains; but its system of division, though coming very near the Attic, was evidently different. The weight of its didrachm was identical with that of the Daric, showing the Persian origin of the system. The order of origin may be thus tabulated:
Macedonian, 224 didrachms. AEginetan, 196 Attic-Solonian, 135 Enboic, 129. Later Phoenician, 236.
Respecting the Roman coinage, we may here state that the origin of the weights of its gold and silver money was undoubtedly Greek, and that the denarius, the chief coin of the latter metal, was under the early emperors equivalent to the Attic drachm, then greatly depreciated. The first Roman coinage took place, according to Pliny (Hist. Nat. 33:3), in the reign of Servius Tullius, about 550 years before Christ; but it was not until Alexander of Macedon had subdued the Persian monarchy, and Julius Caesar had consolidated the Roman empire, that the image of a living ruler was permitted to be stamped upon the coins. Previous to that period heroes and deities alone gave currency to the money of imperial Rome. In the British Museum there is a specimen of the original Roman as, the surface of which is nearly the size of a brick, with the figure of a bull impressed upon it.
3. Coined Money mentioned in the Bible. — The earliest mention of coined money in the Bible refers to the Persian coinage. In Ezra (Ezr 2:69) and Nehemiah (Ne 8:18) the word דִּרכּמוֹניַם occurs, and in Ezra (Ezr 8:27) and 1 Chronicles (1Ch 29:7) the word אֲדִרכּוֹנַים, both rendered in the Sept. by χρυσοῦς, and in the Vulg. by solidus and drachma. Many opinions have been put forward concerning the derivation of the words adarkon and darkemon; but a new suggestion has recently been made, which, though ingenious, will not, we think, meet with much support. Dr. Levy (Jild. Miinzen, page 19, note) thinks that the root-word is דָּרִך, "to stretch," "tread," "step forward," from the forward pacing of one foot, which a man does in bending the bow. and that from this word was formed a noun, דרכון, or with the Aleph prefixed אדרכון, "archer," which is the type upon these coins, especially as the ancients called the old Persian coins τοξόται. That the more extended form דרכמון could have been formed from the simple דרכון is very possible, as the Mem could easily have been inserted. All, however, agree that by these terms the Persian coin Daric is meant. This coin was a gold piece current in Palestine under Cyrus and Artaxerxes Longimanus. The ordinary Daric is not of uncommon occurrence; but Levy (l.c.) has given a representation of a double piece, thereby making the ordinarily received Daric a half-Daric. Of the double piece, he says, only three are known. In this he is mistaken, as Mr. Borrell, the coin-dealer, has a record of not less than eight specimens (F.W. Madden, Hist. of Jewish Coinage, etc., page 272, note 4). Besides these gold pieces, a silver coin also circulated in the Persian kingdom, named the siglos. SEE DARIC. Mention is probably made of this coin in the Bible in those passages which treat of the Persian times (Ne 5:15; comp. 10:32). Of these pieces twenty went to one gold Daric (Mommsen, Geschichte des Romi. Aiiunzwesens, pages 13 and 855), which would give a ratio of gold to silver of one to thirteen (Herod. 3:95). These coins also have an archer on the obverse. As long, then, as the Jews lived under Persian domination, they made use of Persian coins. and had no struck coins of their own. In these coins also were probably paid the tributes (Herod. 3:89).
On the overthrow of the Persian monarchy in B.C. 333, by Alexander the Great, Palestine came under the dominion of the Greeks. During the lifetime of Alexander the country was governed by a vice-regent, and the high-priest was permitted to remain in power. Jaddua was at this time high- priest, and in high favor with Alexander (Josephus, Ant. 11:8, 5). At this period only Greek coins were struck in many cities of Palestine. The coinage consisted of gold, silver, and copper. The usual gold coins were staters, called by Pollux Αλεξάνδρειοι. The silver coins mostly in circulation were tetradrachms and drachms. There are two specimens of the tetradrachms struck at Scythopolis (the ancient Bethshan), preserved in the Gotha and Paris collections. There are also tetradrachms with the initials IOII struck at Joppa, which, being a town of considerable importance, no doubt supplied Jerusalem with money. Some of the coins bear the monograms of two cities sometimes at a great distance from each other, showing evidently some commercial intercourse between them. For instance, Sycamina (Hepha) and Scythopolis (Bethshan), Ascalon and Philadelphia (Rabbath Ammon) (Muller, Numnismatiue d'Alexandre le Grand, 1464, pl. 20x).
Shortly after the death of Alexander the Great, in B.C. 324, Palestine fell into the hands of Ptolemy I Soter, the son of Lagus, from whom Antigonus wrested it for a short time, until, in B.C. 301, after the battle of Ipsus, it came again into his hands, and afterwards was under the government of the Ptolemies for nearly one hundred years.
The same system of coinage was continued under the Seleueidae and Lagide, and we find the same and other mints in Palestine. The history, from that time to B.C. 139, will be found under ANTIOCHUS SEE ANTIOCHUS , SEE MACCABEES, and other names, and would be out of place in an article which more especially treats only of money.
The next distinct allusion to coined money is in the Apocrypha, where it is narrated in the first book of Maccabees that Antiochus VII granted to Simon the Maccabee permission to coin money with his own stamp, as well as other privileges (Καὶ ἐπέτρεψά σοι ποιῆσαι κόμμα ἴδιον νόμισμα τῇ χώρᾷ σου. 15:6). This was in the fourth year of Simon's pontificate, B.C. 140. It must be noted that Demetrius II had in the first year of Simon, B.C. 143, made a most important decree granting freedom to the Jewish people, which gave occasion to the dating of their contracts and covenants — "In the first year of Simon, the great high-priest, the leader, and chief of the Jews" (13:34-42), a form which Josephus gives differently — "In the first year of Simon, benefactor of the Jews, and ethnarch" (Ant. 13:6). This passage has raised many opinions concerning the Jewish coinage, and among the most conspicuous is that of M. de Saulcy, whose classification of Jewish coins has been generally received and adopted. It has been fully treated upon by Mr. J. Evans in the Numismatic Chronicle (20:8 sq.). SEE NUMISMATICS. The Jews, being the worshippers of the one only true God, idolatry was strictly forbidden in their law; and therefore their shekel never bore a head, but was impressed simply with the almond rod and the pot of manna. Later shekels of copper bore likewise other devices. SEE SHEKEL.
4. Money in the New Testament. — The coins mentioned by the evangelists, and first those of silver, are the following: the stater is spoken of in the account of the miracle of the tribute money. The receivers of
didrachmns demanded the tribute, but Peter found in the fish a stater, which he paid for our Lord and himself (Mt 17:24-27). This stater was therefore a tetradrachm, and it is very noteworthy that at this period almost the only Greek imperial silver coin in the East was a tetradrachm, the didrachm being probably unknown, or very little coined.
The didrachnm is mentioned as a money of account in the passage above cited, as the equivalent of the Hebrew shekel.
The denarius, or Roman penny, as well as the Greek drachm, then of about the same weight, is spoken of as a current coin. There can be little doubt that the latter is merely employed as another name for the former. In the famous passages respecting the tribute to Caesar, the Roman denarius of the time is correctly described (Mt 22:15-21; .Lu 20:19-25). It bears the head of Tiberius, who has the title Caesar in the accompanying inscription, most later emperors having, after their accession, the title Augustus: here again therefore we have an evidence of the date of the Gospels. SEE DENARIUS; SEE DRACHM. copper coins the farthing and its half, the mite, are spoken of, and these probably formed the chief native currency. SEE FARTHING; SEE MITE.
From the time of Julius Caesar, who first struck a living portrait on his coins, the Roman coins run in a continued succession of so-called Caesars, their queens and crown-princes, from about B.C. 48 down to Romulus Augustulus, emperor of the West, who was dethroned by Odoacer about A.D. 475 (Quarterly Review, 72:358). SEE COIN.