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I think, with the greatest number of authors, that they had in the heroic ages stamped money among the Greeks. I presume, that this invention had been brought to them by the different colonies from Asia and Egypt, who came successively to establish themselves in Greece. I think I have fufficiently shewn in the first part of this work, the antiquity of money in Phoenicia, Allyria, and Egypto, I fall add, that the first money of the Greeks bore the impression of an ox. The testimony of the writers of antiquity is precise and unanimous in it p. The motives of this choice are easily perceived. Before the Greeks had introduced metals into their commerce, they made use of oxen as the most precious merchandise to value all other sorts of goods 9. The Romans did the same in early times. When the Greeks afterwards learned the art of impressing on a certain portion of metal, a mark which could ascertain its price and value, they naturally chose at first the impression of the object which had served them originally to value all other merchandise. It seems to me then, that Homer meant these ancient pieces in the passages where he values the price of any goods by a certain quantity of oxen. I further think, that it had been with the first Greek money as with that of all the ancient people. I would say, that it was very gross and shapeless. We must look upon Pheidon of Argos as the first who is said to have thewn the Greeks the art of giving to their coins a regular and agreeable form. It is in this sense, as I presume, that we should give to this prince the title of the inventor of money in Greece.
It is not so easy to explain what Homer understood by the word talent. I do not think, that they ever had a piece of money which bore that name. We must presume, that the talent was then fictitious money. We know in effect, that, besides real forts of gold, silver, and copper, the ancients used fiAtitious money in calculation, otherwise called money
o Book 4. C. I.
p See supra, p. 309. & 310. 9 See Pauf. I. 3. c. 12. p. 235.
* See Plin. 1. 18. fect, 3. p. 99. 1. 33. fect. 13. p.610.; Columel. in præfat. 1.7.
of account, which was only, as at this time, a manner of computing. For example, with the French, the sum of fifty livres is reputed to contain fifty pieces called livres. Yet these pieces are not real ; that sum must be paid in different species, as in lewis d'ors, in crowns, or other current money. It may have been the same with the Greeks of the talent, which having served originally to weigh gold and silver, was afterwards applied to mean a certain quantity of these metals reduced into money ; a quantity which, according to all appearances, was inconsiderable enough in the first times. In effect, Homer gives the sum of two talents of gold, as one of the least objects of all those which composed the prizes of the games celebrated by Achilles to honour the funeral of Patroclus'. Let us observe further, that the same poet never speaks of drachmas, nor obolus's, &c. It may be inferred from this, that these little coins, fo proper to facilitate trade by retail, and above all, in the sale of provisions, were still unknown in Greece at the time of the war of Troy.
I shall not stop to inquire into the means which the Greeks used originally to execute their interior commerce. We are ignorant in what time these people had learned to make use of beasts of burden to carry goods. We only know, that they used carts very anciently. The Greeks were indebted for that knowledge to Erichthonius fourth King of Athens“, which epoch falls about 1513 years
before Christ. With respect to boats, it is not possible to fix the time in which the use of them was introduced into Greece.
Whatever way the Greeks carried on their interior commerce, it must have been a long time weak and languishing. Anciently they had no strong cities in Greece, and much less flourishing states. They did not cultivate the earth, and the arts were very little known there ». Independent of their want of industry, the dangers to which travellers were exposed in the heroic times, formed an obstacle to the circulation and progress of commerce. The roads were every where infested with robbers, and they could not travel without being well armed x. Theseus made himself immortal by his courage and activity in clearing his country of the thieves who infefled it. These exploits established the public security, and the roads from that time were freey. This hero had proposed the example of Hercules, who had employed the best part of his life in running over Greece to exterminate thieves and robbers *.
s Iliad. 1. 23. V. 269.
? Ælian. var. histor. 1. 3. C. 38.; Tertull. de fpect. c. 9.; Eufeb. chron. 1. 2. p. 79.
u See Thucyd. 1. 1. p. 2. 6.9.; Herod, 1. 8. 1. 137. See also fupra, book 2. feét. 2. C. I.
If the Greeks, in the heroic times, had little opportunity for exercising their commerce by land, they found yet greater difficulties to surmount with respect to the sea. One may judge of this by the facts which the history of navigation among these people presents; an history which must necessarily precede that of their maritime commerce.
The Greeks, whose lot it seems to have been to borrow from other nations the first elements of the most useful sciences, owed to foreigners the first notions of the art of navigation, an art in which they afterwards excelled. The first principles were brought to them by the colonies, which, about the time of Abraham, made the conquest of Greece under the conduct of the Titan princes 2. The anarchy which followed the sudden extinction of that family“, did not allow the Greeks to profit by that discovery. The fea- . coast became even dreadful to those who inhabited it. They were soon attacked by a number of pirates. Being unable to oppose their violences, they had no choice but to retire into the inland countries. The conductors of the last colonies which came from Egypt and Asia into Greece, shew
* Thucyd. I. 1. p. 2.; Appollod. 1. 3. p. 206.; Plut. in Thes. p. 3. y Apollod. Plut. loco cit.; Paus. 1. 2. C. I. p. 112.
* Such was the state of France at the beginning of the third race, AN communication of one country with another was then intercepted.
2 See Æschyl. in Prometh. vincto, v.
Thucyd. 1. 1. p. 6,
ed these people how to defend themselves against the in cursions of pirates. For this purpose they persuaded them to unite, to build cities, and to fortify theins, The Greeks were then enabled to inhabit the sea-coasts, and to apply to navigation,
The inhabitants of Attica, appear to have been the first who enjoyed this advantage. They owed it to Cecrops, wbo, at the head of an Egyptian colony, came and settled in that country. 1582 years before Christ. There is room to believe, that this prince was either accompanied by a fmall fleet, or that he caused some thips to be built on a model of his making. We see, in effect, that Cecrops used to send to Sicily for the corn his colony wanted It must also be thought, that the Athenians had some naval forces at that time. History: says, that Erisichthon, son of Cecrops, seized on the isle of Delos , 1558 years before Christ. Such an expedition could only succeed by means of a certain number of ships. Yet it does not appear that these first enterprises had any consequences. Every thing, on the contrary, leads us to think, that the Athenians, after the death of Cecrops, neglected naval affairs, and, loft fight of that important object. We fee, that, in the time of Theseus, they were obliged to have recourse to the failors and pilots of Salamin to conduct the ship that carried this hero into Cretes. We will remark farther, that for many ages the Athenians had only one port, which was that of Phaleris, which, to speak properly, was nothing but a bad harbour.
Other people of Greece addicted themselves, about the same ages, to navigation, and distinguished themselves greatly. Such were the inhabitants of the isle of Ægina, to whom ancient memoirs attribute the invention of that arti. Such allo. were the inhabitants of Salamin, who
c Philocor. apud Strab. 1.9. p. 6o9. ; Thucyd. 1. 2.
108. . Seejupra, book 1. chap. 4. art. 1. p. 16. 'c 'Tzetzes ex Philocor, ad Hefiod. op. v. 3:. p. 13. elit. in 4to. 1603.
i Panfil. 1.c. 31.; Eufcb. chrop. I. 2. 19.90. p. 75.; Athen. 1.9. p. 392. according to the correction of Cufaubon, animadv. p. 673. ;-Syncell. p. 153. & Plut, in Ilies. p. 7.
Paui. l. I. C. 1. p. 3 i Ficiod. fragın. p. 343.
appear to have excelled, in the heroic times, by their skill cand experience in navigation k. We may
We may also put the Argives in the number ; and that not without good reason. The vessel in which Danaus came into Greece, has been celebrated by all the writers of antiquity'. We are not ignorant, that this prince seized on the throne of Argos 1510 years before J. C. m ; but we may fay, that none of ahese people could be compared with the Cretans.
Minos has been always looked upon by the ancients as the first Greek prince who had the empire of the sea, I speak of Minos the Second, who took so bloody a vengeance of the Athenians for the murder of his son Androgeos. This prince was able to equip a fleet strong enough to clear the sea of the pirates who infected it p. This empire of the sea, of which antiquity gives the honour to Minos, muft only be understood of the superiority he had in the, Cretan fea and the adjacent illes : that is to say, that this prince haying a great number of Thips in thele parts, was there the most powerful. With regard to the maritime commerce of the Cretans, I do not find any thing of all that remains of antiquity, that can give us the least indications of it.
We see fome traces of maritime expeditions in what the ancient mythology has preserved for us of the voyages of Bellerophon, of Perseus, and of Hercules 4. But I doubt if these enterprises have been so extenfive as certain modern critics would persuade us". The Greeks were then too ignorant in navigation. Although their writers have boasted greatly of the naval forces of Minos, yet we ought not to form a great idea of the fleet of this prince. The ships which composed it, scarce deserved that name.
36 See infra, p. 321.
Apollod. 1. 2. p. 63; Plin. 1. 7. fect. 57. p. 417. m See supra, p. 34.
Thucyd. !. 1. p. 4.; Herod, 1. 3. n. 122. ; Arist. de repub. 1. a. C. 10.; Diod. l. 4. p. 304; Strabo k. Jo. p. 730. . Plato de leg. l. 4. p. 825.
p Thucyd. 1. 1. p. 4.