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lage the coasts. This at least is the idea that ancient authors give use. We see in effect, that under the reign of Cecrops the Carians came to make descents, and to ravage the coast of Attica". They infested by their piracies the Ægean sea before the time of Minos s. They were even settled in the Cyclades. If we believe Thucydides, Minos came there to drive them out, I say, if we believe Thucydides, for Herodotus does not agree with that author about the manner in which Minos treated the Carians. He pretends, that the King of Crete did not drive them from the Cyclades; they were permitted to stay there, on condition, that they joined a number of their vessels to the fleets which that
equip i. Though it be thus in these two narrations, it always Hesults, that the Carians were addicted to navigation in very early antiquity ; but it is not seen that they applied equally to commerce.
prince should think properti bering
F the reader will call to mind what I have said in the
preceding books of the ancient state of Greece, he will cafly perceive, that commerce muit have been unknown there for many ages. The first inhabitants of that part of Europe had no connection nor communication, and by confequence no traffic nor trade. Their best historians agree in this'. Nearly about the time of Abraham, some colonies going out of Egypt passed into Greece. These new migra. tions civilized the inhabitants a little, and communicated to them fome tinctures of the arts and sciences; but there first feeds were soon choakedm. LaAly, they saw fucceffively,
e See Thucyd. 1. 1. p. 6. f Pliilocor. apud Strab. 1.9. p. 603. 8 Thucyd. 1. 1. p. 4. h ibid. i L. I. n. 171. * See part 1. book 1. art. 5.; part 2. book 1. c. 4. & book 2. sect. 2. C. I. i See Thucyd. 1. I. p. 2. m See supra, b. 2. p. 173.
and at last, in the space of one age, Cecrops, Cadmus, Danaus, &c. come and form new establishments in Greece. These last colonies succeeded more happily than the first in polishing that country. Their chiefs succeeded in persuading the Greeks to addict themselves to agriculture". From thence commerce was seen to spring up among these people. These faets are perfectly conformable to all that remains of ancient traditions. They teach us, that the custom of trafficking was not introduced into Greece till some years after the arrival of Cadmus. It is to Bacchus, grandson of this prince, that antiquity attributes the inttirution of all the rules relative to this object o,
I said in the first part of this work, that originally trade was only carried on by exchange, and that it was by estimation they then regulated the price of the effects with which they would trade. We have there also seen, that the people were not long of perceiving the inconveniencies of that way of trading, and had sought for means to remedy it, and that successively they had invented measures, then weights and scales. I remarked, that they had afterwards introduced metals into commerce, as common signs and representations of merchandise; and that in the tirit times it was the weight which regulated the price; and that, lastly, they had found out the art of making money properly lo cailed 2. The history of commerce among the Greeks, gives is a faithful image of these different gradations; but it is difficult to mark the epoch, and assign the time of the greatest part of these customs.
It is certain, that the primitive manner of buying and sel. ling by exchange originally had place in Greece. This manner of trafficking was still used at the time of the war of Troy. In the Odyssey, Minerva disguised in the figure of a stranger, says, that the traded on the sea, and that the was going to Temele to look for tin to exchange against irona. Exchange not only had place in trading by wholefale, but likewile in trading by retail. In the Iliad, many
n See ibid. p. 174. 9 L. I. V. 182. &c.
ships loaded with wine arrived from Lemnos at the Grecian camp ; immediately the troops try to procure it, some for tin, others for iron, these for skins, and those for oxen. They even gave flaves r.
In these passages Homer does not say, that they measured or weighed the goods with which they trafficked; but it must be understood. We see in effect by other places of this poet, that measures and balances were then known. We must not therefore depend upon those authors, who would make Pheidon of Argos pass for the inventor of weights and measures in Greece u. That prince did not appear till some time after Homer x. I shall entirely agree, that Pheidon found the art of perfecting weights and measures : that is the sentiment of many writers of antiquity y.
Although the manner of trafficking by exchange was still used at the time of the war of Troy, yet from that time metals were introduced into commerce. Homer often speaks of talents of gold z. It appears plain enough, that in early times it was the weight that determined the value of metals among the Greeks, as well as among the ancient people. We might even say, that we find a proof of it in the etymology of the word talent, which was the same with the Greeks as the French ideal livre, or livre of account. That term signified originally in Greek balances, weights.
With respect to money, it is almost impossible to be able to determine with precision, the time the use of it was introduced into Greece. The ancients are divided as well about the epoch as about the author of that invention. Some give the honour to Erichthonius fourth King of Athens 2.
L.7. V. 492. &c. [ Iliad. 1.7. V.471. &c. i lbid. 1. 8. v. 69. &c.
1 Plin. 1. 7. sect. 57. p. 414.; Euseb. chron. 1. 2. p. 112.; Schol. Pindar. ad Olymp. od. 13.
* See Marsh. p. 420. y Syncell. p. 198.; Ifidor. orig. 1. 16. c. 24.
This is what should be concluded from the manner they express themselves about Pheidon. Herod, 1. 6. n. 127.; Strab. 1. 8. p. 549.
2 See Feith. antiq. Hom. 1. 2. C. 10. p. 201.
a See Hygin, fab. 274. p. 327.; Plin. l. 7. lect. 57. p. 414.; Pollux, 1. 9. c. 6. p. 1063
This prince lived about 1513 years before Christ. Others refer the art of coining money to Pheidon King of Argos 6. This epoch falls about 890 years before Christ. There are lastly some who attribute that invention to Æginetes, but without fixing the time.
If we consult Homer to clear up this question, we shall find nothing that is absolutely decisive. This poet, as I have just said, Ipeaks often enough of talents. We see farther, that, on many occasions, to distinguish the value or the price of a thing, he makes use of this expression : It is worth an hundred oxen; it is worth nine d. This manner of expresfion, as well as the use of the talent in Homer, has given room for great disputes among the critics.
Some think, that this manner of designing the price of a thing by a certain number of oxen, should not be taken literally. It should be understood, say they, of certain pieces of money which they called oxen, because they bore the impreflion of that animal. The coins of that fabric were of gold f. They were current principally among the Athenians, and in the isle of Delos 8. According to Plutarch, Theseus was the first who used this money. He marked it with an ox, says that historian, either in memory of the bull of Marathon, or with a view to exhort the Athenians to tilJage h. I do not think, that Plutarch has hit upon the true motives of this custom. I shall give the reason of it immediately. Though it be so, we cannot doubt, that these pieces of gold marked with the impression of anox, were formerly pretty much dispersed in Greece: they have even given rise to that famous and ancient proverb, He carries an ox upon his tongue i, which they applied to those who had fold their yote and were filent for money.k. : Other critics maintain, that Homer meant it all naturally of oxen, and that this was the manner of estimating and denoting the price of all goods at the time of the war of Troy'. Thus, when they laid, that such a thing was worth ten oxen, an hundred oxen, &c. they really meant, that they should give ten oxen, an hundred oxen in exchange for that merchandise.
Indeed Pliny and Hyginus do not expressly say, that Erichthonius first used money. Yet it may be conjectured, as on one side Pliny says, that Erichthonius invented silver, and on the other, Hyginus says, that this prince was the first who made that metal known to the Athenians. This conjecture is strengthened by the testimony of Pollux, who places Erichthonius in the number of those who passed for having introduced money into Athens.
b Strabo, 1. 8. p. 577.; Pollux, loco cit. p. 1062.
e Pollux, 1. 9. c. 6. $ 60. p. 1029.; Schol. Homeri ad Iliad. 1. 2. V. 449. & ad 1. 21. v. 79. f Schol, Hom. ad Iliad, loco cit. 8 Pollux, loco cit. p. 1029. & 1030. In Thef.p.11.
There are, lastly, fome who take a middle way between these two opinions, and pretend, that in these passages of Homer there is no question neither of pieces of money, which bore the impression of an ox, nor of real oxen. Their opinion is, that this sort of money consisted in pieces of gold or silver, which they cut proportionate to what they valued an ox m.
With respect to the talent, it is still more difficult to give an exact notion, or to conjecture what idea they annexed to that word in the heroic ages. Certain commentators advance, that they had then pieces of money called talent Others, and these much the greater number, believe that weight alone regulated the price of that sort of money ; that is to say, that they called talent a certain quantity of metal weighing a certain weight: it is for this reason, fay they, that there are spoken of in antiquity great and little talents relative to their weight. Farther, they maintain, that they never had pieces of money known and denoted by the name of talent : it was, add they, a fimple way of counting and valuing large sums. Among such disputes and difficulties, here is the sentiment which to me appears most probable.
i Æschyl. in Agamen. v, 36.
Pollux, loco cit. p. 1030.; Suidas, t. 1. p. 449.; Hesychius voce Tánarsov; Euftath. ad liad. I. 1. V. 449.
1 Pollux, 1. 9. c. 6. segm. 73. & 74.; Kuster, ad Suid. Alparsi not. (1-1) t. 1. p. 128. Ottho Sperling. de numm, c. 22. p. 144. Feithius, 1.2. c. 10. p. 205