David Astle
The Babylonian Woe

THE TEMPLE AND THE COUNTING HOUSE

 

Out of those vague shadows of war and power and peace and settlement of ancient strife that drifted out of the faded memory of man’s former abiding on the Anatolian plateaus and throughout the Near East as it is so described by us, emerged that force known as Classical Greece;  a force which may be said to principally derive from the union of the essential forward thrust of the re-vitalized energies of the god-ruled city, and the political structure by which the cattle raising men of the Indo-European warrior nations had been governed.

Much of the revitalization of such energies derived from increasing availability of silver as a result of the expansion of the mining industry due to the increasing use of tools of hardened iron, and the consequent expansion of the volume of money in circulation amongst the peoples, abstract, or as now obtained, of actual pieces of silver of known weight and fineness carrying the identifying mark of the emitter.

This flood of the precious metals to which the new methods of mining gave rise, with the consequent strengthening of the shift of money creative, or total power center, from the god and the temple, to what some might describe as the devil and the counting house, enabled those conspiratorial groups who undoubtedly controlled precious metal bullion supplies, perhaps at this stage alliance between the priesthood of certain cities whose god was not getting fair acknowledgment, and those mysterious people, the Apiru, who, concerned with the carrying trade between the cities as is clear,(1) seemingly belonged to no city, yet were to be found in them all, to set up a supra-national god as the fount of their secret power.  He would be a god who should be contemptuous of all other gods; living in no idols, he would be in all, and over all;  unseen, but all pervading.

If the god of such secret society or confederacy controlled movements of silver bullion internationally, he well might be contemptuous of all city gods other than himself, for when money values were based on the exchange value of his silver in such international exchanges, then he and his acolytes, whoever they were, knew that all prosperity in the kingdoms of those most ancient times depended on him, and whether he ordained through his servants that silver should be plentiful or otherwise;  whether indeed there should be no money and hardship, or plenty of money and prosperity.

Also it may be assumed in the latter days of the declining temple power, prosperity or otherwise would also depend on whether rulers of such kingdoms and cities turned a blind eye, as it were, to that privately created ledger credit page entry money whose use the international money changers were undoubtedly promoting as a facilitation to exchanges between select and secret groups of persons. It would be completely external to the money creative power of the temple even if clandestinely linked thereto, and so would strengthen themselves and their one-God, all-powerful, all omnipotent.

The ruthless and stern edicts of such princes as Hammurabai of Babylon, previously quoted, while perhaps effective in Babylon, would not avail in all those cities or states to which the money changers undoubtedly carried their arts, especially if they were not subject to the rule of Babylon.  Who knows to what extent the seizure of Ur by Hammurabai was the result of his determination to totally extirpate the source of this attack on kingly power, undoubtedly sanctioned, if not connived at by a cynical priesthood who were largely the rulers, in this most ancient city.  That close to the throne and therefore the god himself, were those who secretly held in contempt the god-king, and to whom the utter devotion of the people, even unto death, was of no meaning, is clear from the following excerpt from Sir Charles L. Woolley in respect to his discovery of the tombs of the kings of the IIIrd dynasty at Ur :

“When we dug away the filling we found that in the upper part of the blocking of the door of each of the tomb chambers, there had been made a small breach just large enough for a man to get through;  the dislodged bricks were lying in front of the door covered by the clean earth imported for the filling.  The tomb had been robbed, and obviously just as the earth was about to be put in; nobody would have dared to rob them when the pit was still in use, nor, if such sacrilege had been done, would the bricks have been left scattered on the floor and the breach unfilled;  the robbers must have chosen their moment when the inviolable earth would at once hide all traces of their crime and they could afford to be careless.”(2)

According to the description of the burial scene by Charles L. Woolley on page 72 of Excavations at Ur, on the ramp leading down to the king’s tomb, would have lain the bodies of those who had elected to accompany their Lord into the regions beyond, in the order in which they had lain down to die;  for death was obviously their wish and intention. It would have been almost impossible for such carefully timed robbery to have taken place over the bodies of those who would be amongst the first ladies of the court and certain officials, military and otherwise, without there having been a well planned conspiracy;  for it was clear, dressed as they were in their finest clothing of crimson and gold, they had gladly and voluntarily offered themselves as company and comfort to their god-king at the commencement of that eternal journey which was his heavenly home.  Testimony of their willingness existed in the lethal cup still clutched in their long decayed hands(3) as they lay before his tomb in their last poisoned sleep...

As, when the robbery was effected, it is clear they were already dead, there had to be the connivance of certain persons in high places to whom this great devotion was without meaning... Additionally, such gold and silver would have been a useless and dangerous possession(4) except to those whose lives so far as ordinary men were concerned were secret from first to last;  such as to whom it meant money and power internationally, and by whom it could be melted and rapidly transferred abroad...

Speculating on the functions of the famous temple of Solomon, similar to the temples of Egypt and the Sumerian city states, although according to professor Paul Einzig little information exists as to how the evolution of the monetary system of the Jews, prior to the adoption of coinage, affected the Hebrew economic system or its price levels, it seems that this temple in the earlier days was not only used as a treasury, but, as in Babylonia, as a bank.  Thus it received money on deposit (for safe keeping).  Professor Einzig informs us that the gold lavishly adorning the temple for decorative purposes, existed at the same time, as a monetary reserve.  When Hezekiah had paid a tribute of three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold to the king of Assyria (around 700 B.C.), he "cut the gold from the doors of the Temple of the Lord and from the Pillars;" (II Kings; 18, 16).(5)

The arts of banking were, however, in no way as developed as they were in Babylonia and Assyria.  Amongst the ‘Apiru’, undoubtedly confederates of the Israelites in later times, were clearly many refugees(6) from the cruel debt slavery existing in Babylonia and its outposts during the 2nd Millennium B.C., and later.  Apart from the firm laws in respect to the taking of interest, the Jubilee of the 50th year (Leviticus 25.II), if fully enforced, would render any effort to create monopoly ineffective.

Thus it can be seen that the God in his holy shrine ruled in the same way in that ancient Hebrew kingdom, so much better known to most than perhaps the temple cities of ancient Sumeria;  many of which, until relatively recently, were not even names, and were no more than faintly discernible mounds on the desert.

The Greek sanctuary owed existence to similar forces that had given rise to the temples of Mesopotamia and to the temple of Solomon above mentioned.  Functioning in like manner, in modified form, clearly it originated from those distant days when the shrine of the mother goddess of the cities of the Anatolian plateau and the Persian highlands such as Catal Huyuk,(7) Hacilar, Dorak, Susa, etc., was the point from which the people drew spiritual guidance, and the nucleus around which these human accretions gathered in ancient times...  These shrines gave force to those mysteries whose existence and purpose towards the continuity and good in life, drew the devotion of all...  The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Temple of Aphrodite at Corinth, the Temple of Athene at Athens, all obviously owed their origin to the ancient worship of the Mother Goddess who, through the wonder and urge in her body, consumed the whole life force of man...  The controllers of the healthy continuance of life in these cities were a priesthood who considered themselves as the direct representatives of the goddess on earth, the shepherds appointed to the flock.

The temple states that existed to a relatively late date such as those of Cappadocia, were indeed the direct projection forward into time of this tradition of government of the city by the goddess in her holy shrine, as much as were those of the city states of early Sumeria.  In Greece too, in earlier times, such rule existed beyond much doubt, and during that period when Cretan civilization extended to the mainland, and when power stemmed from the halls of Cnossus, and the mystic place of mythology where once upon a time lived the Minotaur, it would be an absolute certainty. It would not bear much difference to those systems of god control by which all those rulers of the Ancient Orient(8) had governed, and which had guided the calm and blessed procession of the peoples through time and under the sun.

The temple of each small city state in Greece during the earlier days of Greek industry may have functioned to some extent as did the great temples or ziggurat of the powerful city states of Sumeria of much earlier days, and money, that is the law controlling exchanges as to a common denominator of values, may have come into existence as entry in the temple ledger, although how represented in the circulation does not seem to be clearly known...  The notion of exchanges being conducted in terms of cattle, one animal representing the unit, even if having existed in large scale business in ancient times of the wandering Indo-European cattle raising tribes of the Scythian plains, cannot be accepted as that which created an exchange amongst the common people of the city civilizations...  True, the word for cattle may have continued in some areas to have been used to indicate money, but, as previously pointed out, certainly bearing no more reference to cattle than does the French word Argent, or the Spanish word Plata bear reference to silver in a context where money is definitely referred to.

It is clear that local tribes, such as the Bushmen of South Africa,(9) the natives of Melanesia and Micronesia,(10) whose way of life obviously derives, with little change, from the way of life of the races that once occupied South China, Annam,(11) India, and Ceylon, in the very ancient times of the tertiary ages previous to the ice ages, long since have been conversant, with the basic principle of money.  In their case money was an abstract unit circulating amongst the people with tangibility evinced by pieces of certain shell, cut according as tradition demanded;  and of value deriving from custom, which, in such societies, is law.

Therefore it may reasonably be expected that the intelligent Indo-Europeans from whom stemmed the Greeks, were equally conversant with such principles;  even if later they came to forget them.  According to the Cambridge Ancient History :

“Ivory beads in country now devoid of elephants suggest either wide range of movement or some form of exchange.”(12)

When the Cambridge Ancient History speculated as above that the ivory beads of the Solutrean deposits of Northern France represented some form of exchange medium, the graves of Sungir which reveal similar mammoth ivory beads, proven to be 23,000 years old or more, had not been opened(13)...  During the Old Kingdom in Egypt and during the earliest years of the cities of Babylonia, when "numberings" of all accepted as wealth and possession, were taken every two years, and therefore books kept,(14) a most refined system of distribution of surpluses and therefore creation of exchanges, must have existed...  The connection between such system and the scarabs(15) in the case of Egypt, and the seals in the case of Mesopotamia, seems to have been generally dismissed.  The fact that the scarabs have been found in their hundreds in places far removed from Egypt, from Palestine, to Crete, to Etruria, indicates significance far removed from their use as ornaments.

The agents of the Babylonian Money Power as it existed previous to the extensive growth of coined money as a base for that circulation, seen or abstract, which drove the trade and industry of the Greek industrial revolution, would themselves have promoted and encouraged the establishment of the temple nucleus to the city state.  It was the form of government they understood best and whose essential powers they knew, from experience now grown ancient, how to control and subvert if necessary.  Just as the similar secret money creative force heads directly for the seat of government itself in this day and age, and once it becomes fully lodged and acknowledged, in the same way as with the establishment of the Bank of England in 1694 and the establishment of the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States in 1913, two instances with which we are most familiar, it penetrates right into the heart of the treasury,(16) so it was in that day...  In the little cities of early Greek industrial revolution, perhaps no less sly amongst this sturdy people, but clearly discernible it was.

As amongst the original aristocracy of Greece owing its origin to those heroic days of the Homeric Sagas, would be little enough sympathy for the smooth subtleties of those newcomers originating from the counting houses of the Phoenician, Aramean, or Babylonian Cities, it would not be to the natural political leaders that these newcomers would address themselves in the first place, but to the priesthood, those who controlled shrine and temple, the advisors and guides to such rulers.  Just as in today such priesthood is too often composed of men of little understanding of the realities of financial life, and who will lend themselves almost eagerly to any power that may approach them with sufficient front to convince them that they are being offered more than the god they represent is already possessed of, so it was in that day.  This village priesthood, conducting the simple rites such as may have been during the period known as the dark ages, and before the advent of the city states of historical record, when was breathed into their ears the possibilities of magnificent temples such as were to be found in Egypt, and the extent of the control they would exercise through the oracles, whose wisdom would be spread by fame across the whole world, would easily be gained.

Thus the cities that rose out of the industrial awakening of Greece had all the appurtenances of the sacred city state of more ancient days.  However, just as sacred kingship existing as the projection of the guiding will of the Almighty on to this earth, too often during the last three hundred years has become little more than a front giving legality to such money as circulates bearing as it does, the profile of the ruler who so often has been unwitting co-conspirator, if only as essential instrument, with that money power, totally international in character, which has nowadays largely replaced kingly power as the true ruler, so it was that the temple that should owe fealty to the gods alone, became a front for the international money creative force of that day and age; connected closely with the trade in precious metals and slaves as it must have been.

The temple of the Sumerian city state had been palace, temple, warehouse, government offices and central bank in one, and its servants(17) had administered it in these capacities certainly until the end of what is known as the Dynastic period (in the case of the city of Ur), and with declining strength for long afterwards;  and the king of the city state had been sufficiently as god on earth, that, as previously has been described, there were those of his wives and concubines and officials who gladly went down to the grave with him.(18)

Thus, as the distant heir, in some degree, to this temple of ancient days, the temple of the Greek city state in the 1st Millennium B.C. was still a place looked up to as the abode of the gods, and wherein the sacred rites were conducted;  even if that economic power, by which, as the expression of the benevolent will of the god, it had controlled the total existence of men, and their comings and goings, was now exercised by an external and indifferent force, alien to Greece in thought and character, and with whom it connived against its own adherents.

In the same way the priesthood or laymen that promote, wittingly or unwittingly, the elements of decay penetrating the church of today, connive blindly or otherwise with those whose stated and clear plan has never been other than the disintegration of this selfsame church, and who have always had in mind no more than its ultimate destruction.

In a latter period it is true, but still within the first millennium B.C., the situation at the Temple of Apollo at Delos, and of which some proof exists, clearly illustrates this condition of the temple:  still as controller of the mysteries, and the recipient of the bounty of devoted souls, but no longer the centre and control point of the god owned state.  It had become merely a front for the economic purposes of a secret fraternity whose concern was money changing, silver bullion, the grain trade, and the slave trade.  These persons had conducted their business in the shade of the temple courtyards from ancient days as, and if they could, in order that the power or mystery as locally was held in awe, might give sanctity to their activities which so often were exercised against the well being of the people who sheltered them.  Such activities were frequently concerned with movements of bullion, the factor most of all giving rise to instability of prices, and movements of labour which then was slaves, hardly less a factor in such instability of prices, and therefore so necessary to the full exploitation of a given people.

The island of Delos, although virtually infertile and without special advantages such as natural harbours of any particular excellence, due to the contributions and gifts of the pilgrims visiting the Temple of Apollo, and the deposits of the cities, trapezitae and leading citizens, in precious metals and money, for such were esteemed to be safe in the Temple of the God, became very rich;  a centre of trade and banking, and above all, a centre for the area slave trade from which almost none were safe.(19)

Of the commercial activities of the great sanctuaries, Oskar Seffert, the German antiquarian of the last century had to say, (A Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, p. 91.):

..." We hear in isolated cases of State Banks, but this business was carried on in the vast majority of cases, by the Great Sanctuaries, such as those of Delphi, Delos, Ephesus, and Samos, which were much used as banks for loans and deposits both by individuals and governments "...

In other words, therefore, the great sanctuary functioned very much the same way, from the economic standpoint, as the central bank in this day.  The agents of International Money Power, as used by the priesthood of the Temple of Apollo to take care of the fiscal or financial dealings of the temple, and to whom undoubtedly was farmed out the credit of the temple, must have fully understood that the priesthood had betrayed their high calling, and thereby had betrayed those devoted souls who continued to believe the sole concern of the temple was, as formerly, for their spiritual guidance and that they should live good, virtuous and pious lives.

These agents would have lurked as only faintly discernible shadows behind the temple facade, although they instigated much of what came to pass in those days, if themselves so little seen.  Of first concern to them would have been the reputation of their masters, the priesthood, for piety, probity, and godliness, in so far as appearance went.  For by maintaining the position of the priesthood, they maintained themselves and their secret power;  yet for whatever they brought about, especially if of evil, it may safely be assumed, a nevertheless inviolate priesthood would be held responsible...

Hence the people never questioned the existence of the temple but as the place where the will of the god was exercised through his servants...  That it had come to function more as instrument in the capacity of sanctifying front for an international power concerned largely with money creation and the control of the slave trade, itself mainly of criminal antecedents, was something they never came to fully understand;  nor that this whole thing of prayer, worship, and devotion was dangerously near to becoming a cruel hoax manipulated by a handful of aliens, who looked at them and their fervour and belief with dead eyes...  No more in this day do those who toil on through the few years of their lives realize that the governments that they so naively believe are theirs, are but a wavering shadow...  The absolute reality of sovereign power only obtainable through total control over monetary creation and emission and cancellation, is not theirs.  They but function as standards by which international money creative forces create the worlds money in a given area;  places wherein exponents of the "Law" and talkative and by no means wise or learned men foregather to discuss road minding etc. and too often little things that occupy them, but matter not too much;  never looking too closely at the direction from which they came, nor toward that direction in which they go;  nor, above all, towards the place of the hand that feeds them...

Therefore this economic power apparently centering in the Temple of Apollo would not only derive from those loans in precious metals that it was able to grant, but also from the fact that those very secret fraternities understanding fully the principles of Ledger Credit Page Entry Money, operated under its patronage.  There can be no doubt that the principles of monetary inflation, or, better put, abstract money creation, were well understood to the trapezitae or professional bankers to whom the Temple at Delos apparently delegated these functions;(20) and equally well known was how easily merchants could be trained to make payments by cheque drawn on account consisting of supposed deposits with a recognized banker either by signed and witnessed document, by signed document, even by no more than verbal instructions.  Thus, provided the payee also had account at Delos or agency thereof, no transfer of actual silver need have been involved, and what is now euphemistically described as the fractional reserve system, (a swindle indurated in a system!) was operated.  The enormous volume of exchanges a business that could be carried on without the movement of one drachma of silver, and consequently the monopolization of trade and industry and subsequent control over the whole world and its affairs that could be brought about at literally no real cost, provided those dealing in money changing and financial matters maintained close solidarity, was known to the bankers.

The tremendous entre-pôt trade of Delos, especially in slaves,(21) could not derive from anything else other than the acceptance of the "Credit" of the Temple from the hands of these aliens...  These men would be skilled money changers bred and trained in the ancient financial sophistication of the cities of Babylonia, Aram, a Phoenicia, etc.  They would be fully conversant with the possibilities inherent in such ledger credit page entry money, and whose successful functioning as an abstract inflation of the number of units of silver they claimed to control, depended on secrecy, and solidarity amongst themselves, and above all, on the patronage of the corrupted temples.

Professor Rostovtsev relates at length the commercial dealings of Apollonius, manager of the economic affairs of the Ptolemic Pharaoh, Philadelphus.(22) ... If the true name of Apollonius or others of that necessarily interlocked money power was known, and substituted for that of Antigonus and Demetrius and Soter and, indeed of Philadelphus and all those rulers that succeeded Alexander, then the glass through which this tale is read, showing but dark and inscrutable figures incomprehensibly moving on the screen of time, becomes clear and meaningful.  For instance it is unthinkable that those soldiers who were the successors to Alexander, probably by no means as instructed as their commander, should have understood the undercurrents that still supported enthroned kings, and upheld them before the gaze of those that yearned towards them as to the Lord’s anointed.

When Antigonus Gonatus took over the patronage formerly extended by the Ptolemies to Delos, he made it an entre-pôt centre for the Northern Aegean trade in those materials so necessary in the building of ships;  and more significantly again for silver;  no doubt from the mines of Thrace and beyond.

This flow of silver to Delos from the North is of equal interest to the rest of the entre-pôt trade.  It would have contributed to the augmentation of the temple reserves of silver that would have enabled Delos to partially replace Athens during the 3rd Century B.C. as the new centre from which international money power came to control the finances of the Eastern Mediterranean as formerly, in the days of the Athenian Empire; and therefore above all, that grain trade so essential to Athens(23) and mainland Greece.  A document mentioned by Professor M. Rostovtsev refers to a purchase of grain in Delos by a Sitones of Histicaea, a subject city of Macedonia in which he observes that the purchase was made out of money advanced by a Rhodian banker.  This particular case might suggest that the banking of Rhodes was interlocked with that of Delos and that those silver reserves of the Temple of Apollo functioned also as reserve to Rhodian banking.  Delos, because of its sanctity would constitute a much safer store house for precious metal hoards than ever Rhodes might be.

Previous references to banking in the Grecian centres and sanctuaries as being conducted by aliens,(24) are also verified by Professor M. Rostovtsev.(25)  The question therefore arises "What aliens?"  Would they be members of the same fraternity as the Aramean, Apollonius above mentioned, manager for the economic affairs for Ptolemy Philadelphus; men who were standing almost above and beyond mankind in their manipulation of powers that not so long previously had been reserved solely to the gods and which had been exercised only by that dedicated priesthood surrounding the king, son of god, on earth?  Such power being lost to kings forever when in the first place they permitted the institution of accounting to a silver standard in ancient times in the Lands of Sumer and Akkad.

The latter days of Delos and the Temple of Apollo when 10,000 slaves were shipped abroad in one day alone,(26) would certainly suggest the existence at Delos as controllers of its economic affairs, a class of persons internationally minded, and utterly callous to the sufferings of the mixture of broken races that passed before it the way to the slave stockades.  Although slavery previous to the 4th century B.C. had been more in the nature of a benign custom similar to the custom of the bonded servant or apprentice of the 18th and 19th Centuries in Northern Europe, after the Macedonian conquests it became a custom in no way so benign,(27) and herding all kinds of persons formerly free, day in and day out, on to the ships of the day, could not have been accomplished but with whip and chain and families being torn apart without compunction or compassion, and little children defenseless against the abuse of monsters...

While the facts of the Temple of Apollo at Delos are relatively clear, supposition of the existence of the Temple of Athene, at Athens as being under the secret control of the bankers, while not being so clear, is logical.

The reserve of 6000 talents of coined silver supposed to have been stored in the Acropolis at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War(28) would certainly seem to indicate that the Temple loaned itself to that major activity of so-called bankers, the creation of abstract money, and shielded them in their very carefully guarded secret that most money circulating as between Athenian merchants and those with whom they did business within, or without the Athenian Empire, was that which was created as by ledger credit page entry.  The silver reserve would have been the banker’s window dressing and would have served to take care of smaller day to day expenses and payments to foreign states where no other form of payment was possible or acceptable.

The Peloponnesian War ended no more than a little over a hundred years before the time of Alexander...  According to A. Andreades in his essay on the war finances of Alexander the Great, total expenditures per annum of Alexander at the time of the crossing of the Hellespont were 5000 - 7000 talents(29) ... This was the expenses of an army far from home, and to which, until the Battle of Issus and the certainty of Macedonian total victory, little enough credit would have been available, and most of the disbursements of which army would have been in solid metal.  Of such metal, fortunately for the Macedonian Royal House, the mines of Phillipi had certainly made substantial contribution.

It is therefore out of the question to consider whether 6000 talents of silver were adequate for the total finances of the Peloponnesian War over ten years, so far as Athens was concerned.  If all disbursements to traders etc. had been in silver, it is doubtful if such so-called reserve could have lasted six months...

This silver was merely the foundation of that illusion which was no doubt spread across the Athenian Empire, that those baked clay facsimiles of Greek coinages which circulated so well between merchants and governments, were redeemable in silver coin;  just as for the last three hundred years in the British Empire all the Queen’s loyal subjects have believed that every bank note in circulation was redeemable in gold!

On the subject of such fiduciary currencies in ancient times, particularly the Athenian, François Lenormant, eminent 19th Century Numismatist wrote:(30)

"Cedrenus claims that the Romans had wooden money in very ancient times.  But this tradition can probably be relegated to the domain of fables with the Roman money of clay of which Suidas writes.  However it could be that this last information is connected with several types of assignat briefly used at the time and which could not have been emitted by public authority.  Clay moulds of silver and gold currencies of various countries, principally belonging to the period extending from the middle of the 5th Century B.C., and among others, of the staters of Cyzique, are frequently found at Athens.

The learned Sicilian Numismatist M. Antonio Salinas during his stay in Greece, collected a large number of these monuments, either as originals or moulds, or drawings.  The purpose of this special class of objects that are of course connected with numismatics, is very obscure.  But it can be conjectured that such pseudo-currencies of baked clay moulded from existing types (of money) had a fiduciary circulation of quite a private character, however, similar to that of the credit notes whose emission is authorized in certain countries by particular institutions."

In other words the clay facsimiles functioned in much the same manner as did bank notes over the last three hundred years in the Anglo-Saxon world;  they were money, privately created and emitted.

François Lenormant, however lived at a time when relatively little was realized by numismatists of the functions of "Ledger Credit Page Entry Money", or often enough of money itself as being so many numbers injected into a circulation amongst the people, either as pure abstraction and functioning as by transfer of such ledger credit page entry, or as tangible record on clay, paper, copper, silver, or gold, and functioning as by transfer from hand to hand of those defined commodities, intrinsically valueless or otherwise, on which its numbers were so imprinted.  The value of such numbers in goods and services for sale being the most amount of such numbers as the people offered in competitive buying or the least as they accepted in competitive selling.

 

 

1. According to professor W.F. Albright (The Amarna Letters from Palestine. Cambridge Ancient History Vol. 11; pp. 14-17.): "There was also a large and apparently increasing class of stateless and reputedly lawless people in Palestine and Syria to whom the appellation Apiru was given, it has now become certain that they were a class of heterogenous ethnic origin, and that they spoke different languages, often alien to the people in whose documents they appear."

Further on in the same work, after pointing out the distinct differences between the desert tribes (Bedawin), the grooms, and the SA.GAZ troops ('Apiru’), using an old text relative to the Hittite armed forces as the source of his information (about 1500 B.C.), professor Albright further points out that the word Apiru must mean dusty ones in N. West Semitic, and that it still appears in Syriac conveying the same meaning... "Characteristic of all these terms is the common fact that the bearer of the designation trudges in the dust behind donkeys, mules or chariots. In 1961 I collected the then available archaeological and documentary material bearing on the caravan trade of the twentieth to nineteenth centuries B.C., and the organization of donkey caravans; I found far-reaching correlations with early patriarchal tradition in Genesis..." (P. 17).

The complex problem of the significance of the ‘Apiru’ (or Habiru) is not rendered less so by the fact that it recurs in cuneiform texts from different parts of Mesopotamia, Syria, Egypt, and Asia Minor; all of which date from between the dynasty of Agade, and the 11th century B.C.

Thus it would appear that the restless ‘Apiru’ of later times, mercenary soldier, bandit, or smuggler, was the descendant of the donkey caravaneers who maintained the trade between the cities of the known world previous to the collapse of the main cities in Babylonia before the arms of the Gutim, the Hittites, and the Elamites at different times, and which resulted in the extinction of a great deal of the donkey caravan trade by the 18th century B.C., and left the followers of that trade uncertain of where to settle or what occupation to follow.

In the Tel Amarna Tablets, Vol II, Samuel A.B. Mercer refers to the use of the name Habiru at Babylon in the time of Hammurabai, (P.840); he further records that a list of Hittite gods, headed List of the Gods of the Habiru, was found at Bog-Haz Koi by Winckler, (P. 841). The secret societies of a group known as the Haburah seem to have existed beyond the time of the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus. According to Jost (I. History of the Jews; P. 210) Vespasian appointed a Rabbi John Ben Zakkai, chief of the Haburah as ruler of Jamnia. As Haburah derives from habor: to join, there may not be significant connection between Habiru or 'Apiru’ and the more modern Haburah.

2. Sir Charles Woolley: Excavations at Ur, P. 158.

3. Ibid., P. 72.

4. "Mes-Kalan-Dug, 'the good Hero of the Land,’ Prince of Ur, buried probably as early as 3500 B.C., took with him to the next world a wealth of golden vessels and weapons such as no commoner would have ventured to posses.": Charles Seltsman, in Creek Coins (P. 2.).

5. Paul Einzig: Primitive Money, P. 214. Oxford; 1949.

6. In the Amarna Letters from Palestine, (P. 16), Professor W.F. Albright records that one of the letters from the Tel Amarna archives reports that Zemredda of Lachish had been killed by slaves who had become 'Apiru’... Further Professor Albright records that "in thirteen century documents from Ugarit, we hear of men of Ugarit, including slaves, who had escaped to the 'Apiru’ in Hittite territory."

7. James Mellaart: Catal Huyuk; London; 1967.

8. These words "the Ancient Orient" so aptly supplying loose definition to that world that lived under the political system that governed most of the cities of the Ancient Near East, derive from professor Heichelheim’s Ancient Economic History.

9. Kingston-Higgins: Survey of Primitive Money, P. 189. London; 1949.

10. Paul Einzig: Primitive Money, P. 29-81. Also Kingston-Higgins.

11. Kingston-Higgins also refers to shell money in the Neolithic caves of Annam (P. 139). Also at Mohenjo-Daro. (P. 1). For shell money at Mohenjo-Daro see E.J.C. McKay; P. 582. Further Excavations at Mohenjo-Daro.

12. Cambridge Ancient History. P. 51; Vol. I.

13. London Illustrated News. P. 24, March 7th, 1970; The Boys of Sungir; Dr. Otto Bader.

14. James Henry Breasted: A History of Egypt, P. 44.

15. According to Flinders-Petrie, scarabs first appear in Egypt during the fourth Dynasty and continue right through to the end (of Pharaonic rule) with no important break. History of Egypt. P. 52; Vol. I; London, 1897.

16. A Andreades: History of The Bank of England, P. 389-401. See also The Federal Reserve System, a pamphlet originally published by the Board of governors of the Federal Reserve System, 1939, and republished by Omni Publications of Hawthorne, California.

17. According to N.K. Sandars in the introduction to his translation of the Epic of Gilgamish (P. 14.): "The temples were served by a perpetual priesthood in whose hands, at one time, was almost the whole wealth of the state; and amongst whom were the archivists and teachers, the scholars and mathematicians. In very early times the whole temporal power was theirs, as servants of the god whose estates they managed."

18. Sir Charles L. Woolley: Further Excavations at Ur, P. 158.

19. Plato was reputed to have been sold as a slave by Dionysus, ruler of Syracuse, for 20 minae. Diodorus: xv.7; Plutarch: Dionysos, 5.

20. Rostovtsev: A Social and Economic History of the Hellenistic World, Vol. I, P. 233.

21. William L. Westerman: The Slave Systems of Greek and Roman Antiquity, p. 65.

22. Mikhail Ivanovitch Rostovtsev: A Social and Economic History of the Hellenistic World; Vol. I; P. 227.

23. Mikhail Ivanovitch Rostovtsev: A Social and Economic History of the Hellenistic World; pp. 218, Vol. I.

24. Oskar Seffert: A Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, P. 91.

25. Mikhail I. Rostovtsev: A Social and Economic History of the Hellenistic World, Vol. I. P.227.

26. Strabo: XIV, v. 570, (Napoleon III: Julius Caesar Vol. I, P. 241; London; 1865).

27. William L. Westerman: The Slave Systems of Greek and Roman Antiquity; American Philosophical Society; Philadelphia.

28. The siege of Potidaea, a relatively minor engagement of a long war, cost the Athenians 2000 of these talents. (Thucydides: The Peloponnesian War, Book II, Ch. 7.).

29. Andreades: Annales d’Histoire Economique et Sociale, p. 350, Paris, 1929.

30. According to François Lenormant in his book La Monnaie dans l’Antiquité, pp. 215-216, Book II, Tome I:  "Cedrenus prétend que les Romaines a une époque très ancienne auraient en des monnaies de bois; mais cette tradition doit très probablement être relegnée dans la domaine des fables avec la monnaie Romains de terre cuite dont parle Suidas. Pourtant ils se pourrait que cette dernier indication se rapportait a quelques espèce d’assignat momentamente en usage et qui n’aurait ermané des autorités publiques. On trouve fréquemment a Athènes des moulages en terre cuites de monnaies d argent ou d’or de diverses contrées, appartenant principalement a la période, qui s’étend du milieu de V siècle avant J.C. entres outres de statères de Cyzique. Le savant Numismatist Sicilien, M. Antonio Salinas pendant son séjour en Grèce, a recueilli un grand nombres de ces monuments, soit en originaux, soit en moulage, et soit en dessins. La destination de cette classe spéciale d’objets qui se rattachent forcement a la numismatique, est très obscure. Mais on peut conjecturer que de telles pseudo-monnaies de terre cuites, moulées sur des espèces existantes, ont du avoir une circulation fiduciaire, mais d’une caractère tout prive comme celles des billets de crédit. dont la loi autorise dans certains pays l’émission par des institutions particulière"...