David Astle
The Babylonian Woe

MONEY CREATORS AND THE POLITICAL CONTROL

 

In their inception, so-called political parties were other expression of the principle of rule of tyrant or dictator .  Though apparently instituted in opposition to each other, such societies, or groups, or even persons, representing such seemingly conflicting political interests, were the very natural outcome of complete usurpation of the essence of sovereign power, the god-force from on high that gave life to a people or state, through conspiracy in respect to interference with the issue of the unit of exchange .  Such front organizations are the natural result of the existence in any such state or people, of semi-secret societies in one form or the other, religious or racial, alien by origin or otherwise, arrogating to themselves that privilege which formerly belonged to the god alone, of the creation of exchange units, abstract or otherwise .  The only limit to the amount of such private issue, especially if abstract, i.e., as by transferable ledger credit page entry (indicated by the use of assignments or cheques) would be the limit dictated by caution against over-saturation of that money market, national or international being interfered with. Naturally it was usually born in mind that the (silly)goose that laid the golden eggs, must not be altogether destroyed, and care was taken that the real meaning of these activities(1) was deeply concealed for fear that ruler and people might come to realize the true nature of the forces at work in their midst.. .  Each of these groups of persons in the case of so called political parties, or each of these persons in the case of tyrants or dictators, could not but be instrument for private money creative power .

Such establishment of conflicting groups, each claiming to have the answer towards perfect government, and, in the case of a constitutional monarchy, each swearing allegiance to the monarch, now but paid servant of money power, or in the case of a republic, each swearing allegiance to a president, in reality an elective king raised up from the “People”, was a very efficient device of such private money creative power towards the maintenance of its own hegemony . . .  Herein was venality and corruption enthroned.. .  Such “Politicians” as turned to look a little too closely at the hand that fed them, promptly found their “Perks”,(2) or “Political Rewards”, cut off .

Should any government begin to be restless, and unwilling to accept the axiom that it should have no real say in that most serious matter of all, monetary emission, the line of communication from the god in heaven to the people, then it would be but a short time before private money creative power transferred its favours to the so-called opposition .  Funds would be made available sufficient to guarantee under normal circumstances their winning the “Election” and their consequent assumption of the government .  At the same time funds would be withdrawn from the “Political Party” previously in control of the “government” ;  which would very likely mean that, in the following confusion, men more “suitable” and “pliable” would force their way to the top ;  so that even if that particular government was reelected, private money creative power would have no further fears .  The price was always continuance of those policies most needed by such private money creative power necessary for its own real purposes, and therefore the continuance of its hegemony. . .

The greater part of the units of exchange as emitted by private money creative power are of no intrinsic value other, perhaps, than those denoted by precious metal symbols, and with which the confidence of peoples and rulers was gained .  Therefore the cost of instituting that total control of any state so “captured” by private money creative power, i.e., the bankers, was virtually nil, since clearly such state financed its own lamentable condition !

It is clear that each unit issued into circulation, of fraudulent origin or otherwise, reduced by an exact valuation, the worth of previous units as worked in the exchanges ;  transferring such loss of worth to the holder of the new unit .  If later, with growth of industry deriving from the creation of such unit, all circulating units increased in worth, such increase in worth rarely caught up with the original decline in worth, or purchasing power of those previously existing units .

The steady decline in worth or purchasing power, of the unit of exchange at any place and in any period of history, will be sufficient proof in itself of the existence of secret creation and manipulation of abstract units of exchange by a relatively invisible force .  Only under most unusual circumstances would even a sharp rise in the number of precious metal units circulating, cause distinct and disturbing inflation of values, without an accompanying fraudulent, and secret expansion of the total number of working units, through issuance of false receipts against non-existing valuables or non-existing warehoused goods, or by creation of transferable ledger credit page entry money against assignment of “collateral” .  Precious metal units in themselves soon wear out, disappear for purposes of speculation abroad, or are hoarded .

Thus the creation and issuance of money constitutes free gift to the issuer when such issuer be private person .  It automatically and immediately despoils he who thinks himself to have money or to be a person of worth .  It is an indirect and hidden form of taxation no less than any other such indirect or hidden tax.(3)

If, continuing to speak of ancient times, such units of money, fraudulent or otherwise, were accepted by the simple folk as money, and seemed to serve equally well as had served that lawful money of earlier times yet again, which had been an order on the treasury or warehouses of the god of the city, then indeed, such units were money to all intents and purposes of the immediate needs of exchange .  The fact of their legal issuance as a loan at interest against goods and services as collateral pledges, placed in the hands of their creator and issuer the power of total discrimination, formerly recognized as being the sole and absolute prerogative of the god, through his servants the priest-kings of ancient times ;  those who were the carriers of the breath of Life Eternal from God to Man.. .  As time went on, the fact of their creation, issue, acceptance, and effectiveness in the exchanges, once the people had resigned themselves to slow inflation of values, placed in the hand of this private creator of these originally fraudulent exchange units, All-Power !

Whatever the material on which the units of exchange or their divisibles or multiples were recorded, the customer still thought in terms of silver, as even today most still think in terms of gold though none to speak of has circulated for thirty five years or so .  So long as the ruler concurred in the first place in the conspiracy to denominate these exchange units as being as acceptable as those previously issued by the god and his people, and between whom the king had been the connecting link, then the power of preferment or rejection was soon in the hands of the banker as agent for what corresponded in that day to the international bankers of today totally in opposition to that natural order of life in which the unit of exchange represents the will of the benevolent god .

Needless to say, this person would not extend his preferment to those who instinct told him might be able to come to understand the real truth of the emptiness of those shadowed vaults from which his hand reached forth .  It might safely be assumed that discrimination would be exercised against those whose obliteration was included in the overall plans of those mystic, if not satanic figures that lurked in the inner sanctuaries of temple, mint, or counting house ;  in which secret places were formulated those policies that decided the promotion or otherwise of kings, tyrants, dictators, or political parties . . .

The extraordinary wealth and power according to the standards of the day of this secretive, and apparently humble money power, is shown clearly by the following extract from Babelon :(4)


“We know that the Greek bankers were money changers ;  all the more important financial transactions were negotiated through their agency .  Their counters were the meeting place of businessman and the stock market .  They controlled at the same time the sea-borne trade, and the affairs of the caravans, above all, in Asia Minor .  The exploitation of mines was often in their hands .  These guardians of treasure received the precious metal deposits belonging to private persons or traders, keeping open account for their clients, thus accumulating enormous amounts ;  they hoarded, they loaned to Princes as well as private individuals .  Listen then to the story of Nicholas of Damascus more eloquent than any commentary :

'Wishing to carry the war into Caria, Alyatte, King of Lydia (610-561 B.C.) gave the order to his commanders to bring him their contingents at Sardis, by a certain day .  Amongst the generals chosen was Croesus, the oldest son of the King, at that time Governor of Adramyttium and of the plain of Thebes .  Negligent and prodigal, ill regarded by his father on account of his dissipations, very desirous of being received back into his father’s good graces, and of confounding his calumniators, but not having the wherewithal to raise and hire mercenaries, the young Prince, in order to overcome his embarrassment, resolved to contract a loan .  With this purpose in mind he sought out Sadyattes, the richest merchant of Lydia .  This person, occupied with his ablutions, firstly let Croesus wait impatiently at his door .  Then he agreed to receive him, but this was only to refuse him money ;  'If I must lend to all the sons of Alyattes’, he cried, 'there will not be enough !’

Rebuffed, Croesus proceeded to Ephesus .  There, an Ionian friend, Pamphaes, learning the reason of his visit, obtained a sum of a thousand gold staters from his father, Theocharides, who was possessed of considerable fortune, and which he hastened to bring to the necessitous prince .  Thanks to these subsidies, Croesus, furnished with troops, was the first of all at the rendez-vous, and regained the favour of his father who took him in as partner in this expedition.’

Croesus later on revenged himself on Sadyattes who had turned him away, confiscating his treasure to the endowment of the temple of Artemis at Ephesus .  The plunder taken from the unhappy banker was large enough to make two pillars of gold and the golden calves, with which the temple of the Goddess was adorned .

Later we see a banker of Caelenae, Pythias, of Lydian extraction, make a gift to King Darius of a plane tree in gold and a vine in gold. Some while afterwards, doubtless in fear that his immense fortune might only come to excite the covetousness of the prince, Pythias made up his mind to ward off the danger by making a concession. Spontaneously he offered Xerxes subsidies for the war .  As the Great King was questioning him in kindly curiosity as to the extent of his wealth, the banker confessed, not without misgivings that he possessed in his coffers two thousand talents of silver, and that he was short of four million darics, by only seven thousand darics .

Sadyattes, Theocharides, Pamphaes, Pythias, wealthy guardians of treasure, possessing the confidence of the public who as well as princes, envied their riches, struck monetary ingots in the doorway of their counting houses...”


The above excerpt from Babelon and Nicholas of Damascus illustrates a clear cut case in ancient days of effort by money power to control political succession ;  for the real reason of the refusal by Sadyattes of the loan to Croesus, although not recorded by Babelon, was that Sadyattes had already pledged himself to the support of Panteleon, Croesus’ half-brother(5) and probably was also the source of the rumours in regard to the “unsuitability” of Croesus for succession to the throne, and the unsatisfactory reports to Alyattes .  Panteleon was clearly more “suitable”, and more “pliable” than the strong minded Croesus, who, Sadyattes probably knew via his spies, would be his enemy ;  although his offensive conduct towards a royal son would suggest he considered his position inviolable .  The surly arrogance of this Sadyattes in causing the young Croesus to wait at the door, and then refusing him his request in no pleasant manner, so typical of this class of person today, as much as in Croesus’ day, undoubtedly caused Croesus to enquire a little more deeply into this precious metal money “Racket” when he finally did become king, a “racket” which allowed low and unsavoury persons to make a mockery of kingship .  The results of his enquiries undoubtedly showed him that above all, for his kingship to be meaningful, monetary emission had to be removed from the control of private persons. . .  Further evidence of history would suggest, in Lydia at least, Croesus destroyed the arrogance and power to subversion of this class of persons, not the most noble amongst his subjects, by the institution of the issue of equal weights of precious metal or coin, as state prerogative ;  thus, he thought, returning to himself as representative of the god on earth, that essential power so necessary towards the maintenance of true order in life, the total control of monetary emission. . .  That the reputed fate of Croesus after conquest by Cyrus, the new Persian Monarch, founder of the Achaemenid Dynasty somewhat later on, was influenced by the longing for revenge of those leaders of finance in Babylon City, in one way or another the main force behind Cyrus and his conquests and for whom Sadyattes would very likely have been important agent or co-conspirator, as previously pointed out, seems reasonable supposition .

Hence the real source of the so rapid decay of all relatively recent civilizations and so called empires of the last 6000 years, whose establishment was so often due to the behind the scenes activities of bankers as agents for what was necessarily an internationally spread network of bullion interests, was the complete dearth in the later days of such civilizations or empires, of dean and noble men in places of control and power. . .

Such natural and truly dedicated leadership had been destroyed, either by the planned discriminatory activities of the bankers, or by the never dying fires of war that maintained these so-called “Empires” . . .  Their places had been taken by the progeny of their slaves, or, as in Sparta, by their women .

Clearly in that day almost all money in circulation arrived there created and issued by private persons of a class stranger to the whole world, and whose only guide was never more than their indifference to the miseries of mankind .  Today, despite the continuance of the naïve belief of those who toil from day to day, that this money is created and injected into the circulation by the presumably benevolent will of the state, it is the same as in the days of the corruption and crumbling of the god-given distribution systems of the Ancient Orient, in the face of the attack on their integrity, by the privately issued commodity currencies of silver. . .  This attack later having been intensified when, as a result of the stripping of the ornamentation from tomb and temple, both in Egypt, and right across the ancient oriental world, that silver apex to the inverted pyramid of abstract money by which the great banking houses were manipulating the exchanges, became further augmented by gold, the magic metal so long dedicated to ornament for the god-kings, in life as in death, or to holy ritual...  That burning metal, almost a god in itself, now falling into the greasy hands of the money-changers, exchanged with silver in the ratio, so far as the middle East was concerned, of about 13:1.(6)

So far as ancient Persian and Greek history is concerned, it will be quite safe to say that the apparent beneficiaries of such system were front men for a wider and more international system extending from China to Britain, of which evidence in China may have been that strange Hebrew community whose decaying fragments were found south of Pekin by the Jesuits who entered China in the 17th Century ;  a community that knew nothing of the Talmud, or of Jesus Christ, and who consequently thought in terms of Christians as in terms of a sect of themselves, and who undoubtedly were the descendants of the agents of a most ancient trading community.(7)  The evidence of this world wide financial system in Britain exists in the gold staters of the Iceni, Cassivellauni, Brigantes etc. still existing,(8) and which circulated there long before Julius Caesar .  Although gold was obtained in Wales and in Ireland, its use as money could only have been inspired and organized from that central point where the original staters were minted, the Near East and the cities wherein dwelt the controllers of international trade and mining. . .

Amongst other principles of political control by money power, certainly one of the most important of all, used in ancient times, just as much as today, was that which is known as liberalism. . .  Liberalism in simplified language meaning that he who hath shall give to him who hath not ;  not so much out of proper charity, but so that he who hath not may come to put his foot on the neck of him who (formerly) had, and who now foolishly gives him his own strength .  Thus money power, by injecting liberalism along the very arteries of society through those underground channels under its control, made sure that what might be described in the language of today as “Permanent Revolution”, would prevent any power group from having control long enough to see the true source of that which is the power of the ruler, if he is to truly be in the saddle, namely, monetary emission. . .  Money Power, then as today, fully understood the necessity towards the continuance of its hegemony, of the promotion amongst the leading families of the states of corrupt persons who took pleasure in destroying their own ;  persons basically corrupt who had deeply drunk of the poison of liberalism, persons possessed of the wealth of kings because so pleasing to the central designing force, though at the same time having the natural outlook of the slave... truly strange combination!

One such family identified in ancient times with the promotion of liberalism and its attendant sister, welfarism, both equally beneficial to money power, was that Athenian family known as the Alkmeonidae, who, although suspected at the time of the Battle of Marathon (490 B.C.) as being the source of the heliograph that sent information across the bay of Marathon to the Persian commanders,(9) strangely enough continued to maintain power and place at Athens .  Equally strange had been the awarding of the contract for the rebuilding of the Temple at Delphi after it had been burned down (548 B.C.), to this same family in exile from Athens .

As previously surmised, International Money Power above all must have sought control of the great temples and oracles .  Delphi was such, and the oracle at Delphi was highly regarded over the ancient world .  The building of a major temple was a gift which must have been arranged by those interests who were best of all served by the family policies of the Alkmeonidae .  It might safely be said that if this same family had been rejected by Athens, the gift came from that financial force whose favour they had clearly enjoyed from generation to generation :  namely the money power that guided the policies of the Achaemenid Rulers of Persia and Babylonia. . .

Pericles, scion of this notorious family, while being the front man for those forces driving Athens into war with Sparta, was the instigator of the Donatives and later, of theorica,(10) outstandingly undermining factor to Athenian self-esteem and national morale .  Theorica allowed two oboli per person to the lessee of the Oratorium(11) and thus two corrupt purposes were served:

1 .  It made sure all or at least a great part of the citizenry attended the plays, thus keeping their minds off more serious matters as do cinema and television particularly in this day ;  more especially keeping their minds off that most serious matter of all which is true understanding of politics ;  in other words, understanding of the meaning of the essential forces that guided their existence .

2 .  It assured the lessee of the Oratorium (and that politician who most promoted his interests), a certain profit .

A third purpose would also have been served, although there is absolutely no record that says so :  the maintenance of an unbalanced budget and consequent stimulation of government indebtedness to private money creative power, i.e. the bankers .  If the sophistication of Sales Tax was known to Periclean Athens,(12) it may safely be assumed were also known the sophisticated practices in relation to government indebtedness as practised particularly in Anglo-Saxon countries today.(13) Officially theorica was drawn from the fund for war preparedness .  The only conclusion that can be drawn as to the true meaning therefore of the establishment of theorica,(14) so far as the bankers were concerned, was to further increase necessity of government borrowing in time of war, and so strengthen the hold of that so called National Debt almost certainly held by themselves.(15)

Thus the principles of the total hegemony of private money creative power were as clearly understood by its masters yesterday, as much as they are today .  The limiting factors to the complete destruction with which we are now threatened as a result of the flare-up in this all consuming cancer which began about some three hundred years ago, and now rages on virtually uncontrollable, were, at that time, that kings and councils still ruled, and kings still thought of themselves as the sons of God, the saviours of their peoples .  If in any way they had understood the malignance of this growth that had penetrated the sub-structure of life it would have been short shrift for its controllers .  Hence the necessity for an absolute secrecy most restrictive in its effects .  Clay, the material on which records were kept throughout Babylonia at least, did not have any of the potential of paper so far as went the keeping of records .  Parchment and papyrus while not standing up to constant use, were becoming increasingly rare and expensive, and vellum, relatively rare, was not known until the time of Pergamum where the first books written on this material appeared in 198 B.C.(16)

Neither did those states escape a certain international control of their money such as did not adopt the relatively new idea of coined precious metal money, but continued to use copper, bronze orichalcum, or iron, and whose value depended on the scarcity or otherwise of its circulating symbols relative to the need for them; designated a fiduciary money. . .

For instance, in the case of Greece, the silver bullion brokers who were clearly based at Athens, obviously would be able to control the exchange rates of such cities as used their own fiduciary or national currencies,(17) if, as usually would be the case, such cities sought the good graces of Athens towards obtaining food and raw materials and towards marketing their manufactures .  Thus, through the exchange rates, the bankers and bullion traders would also be able to exercise some control over the political life of such cities .  The City of Athens itself, its monetary system based directly on their internationally required products, silver and gold, was clearly under their immediate control .  If the state owned the mints, of which there seems to be no knowledge, it would make no difference .  The states own the mints today for what it means ;  which is little or nothing so far as goes control of Monetary Emission...(18)

With the end of the bronze age in warfare, from one end of the world to the other, enormous amounts of copper and bronze must have come on to the markets of the world as scrap ;  much of which would have been obtained at little more than the cost of its removal from national arsenals by the money changers or their agents .

Where copper and bronze fiduciaries, as at Rome, circulated at values many times more than their value by weight of metal on the international bullion markets, relative to their value in silver or gold bullion, clearly such copper and bronze bullion such as came on to the markets as military scrap, would have been more useful towards the counterfeiting of such currencies, than sold at its bullion value .  For instance, if the value of one libra of copper as offered on the bullion market (if such could exist) at Rome was one Aes, the value of a minted Aes of one libra weight in an overvaluation of the minted coin relative to copper bullion prices internationally, would be as the demand for them rose and fell, according to supply and demand .

It appears that at Rome during the middle Commonwealth, the overvaluation of the Aes relative to the same weight of bullion was 400-500% ;  in the countryside and more distant colonies often being far more .  If in latter times (during the 18th Century A.D.), the copper rouble of czarist Russia, issued at an overvaluation of up to 800% according to the value of copper bullion relative to the price internationally of silver bullion,(19) brought into Russia a very inundation of counterfeits minted in Western Europe,(20) clearly the of Aes at substantial overvaluation, made the creation and of counterfeit coin an equally profitable affair in ancient Rome .

Thus international money power would have succeeded in diminishing the beneficial effects of such national currency, continuing to use Rome as the example, by mass counterfeiting, which would have seen rapid increase once gold and silver commenced to circulate alongside the Aes after the Second Punic War .  Clearly the main purpose of the counterfeiters, then, as agents in some degree of the international silver bullion traders, would be to inject their copper or bronze counterfeits into circulation at the best overvaluation possible, which would be through money-lending in the provinces, at the same time requiring repayment, if possible, in silver and gold .  Hence the steady disappearance of the precious metals from the circulation, was either due to the activities of the smaller moneylenders dealing in counterfeit, or due to the activities of the Argentarii or Numularii making loans in exactly the same manner as the bankers today, loans which never saw light as money, being always cheques in transit, but which, in the final repayment were as often as not, gold, silver, or Aes;  the later being immediately convertible into gold or silver, which seems largely to have then moved Eastward .

This disappearance of the precious metals from the circulation(21) Eastward seems to have been a factor inspiring the vehemence of Cicero in his Oration :  Pro Flaccus .  The indignation of Cicero as recorded in this Oration may be traced to the indifference of certain persons who lived close to the Aurelian steps, to the good of the Roman State wherein they lived and whose solidarity enabled them to arrange to have mobs intimidate the proceedings of the court which heard a person, probably a member of the banking family known as the Lollii,(22) attempt to smear the reputation of Lucius Flaccus, who, as Praetor of Syria, had issued edict forbidding this movement of precious metals Eastward for deposit at the Temple in Jerusalem.(23)

Of Roman banking the great 19th century scholars, Mommsen and Marquardt, wrote:(24)


“The conduct of banking was done for the most part through the intermediary of the argentarii and of nummularii :  these last were known under the name of collectarii mensularii. . .  In countries of Greek origin there was a kind of state bank as at Tenos, at Ilium, and at Temnos in Aeolide ;  they were also in Egypt :  in every Nome was found a beneath the direction of a royal employee, and through him as intermediary it was customary to make certain contracts and payments .  Among the Romans, on the contrary, it was only in the most extraordinary circumstances that public banks were organized under the direction of state functionaries (mensa publica); thus amongst others, in 402-352 (B.C.) under the direction of quinqui viri mensarii, in order to facilitate the liquidation of debts, by advances made against guarantees, with state funds, and during the period 538 to 543-216 to 211 B.C. for different reasons, and finally to carry out the collection of funds loaned free to the state . . .

. . . it was about that time that the tabernae argentariae were established of which the first indications are in 443-399 B.C.;  often occurring later on .

It is through the intermediary of the argentarii that most payments were made, as also they were entrusted with the collection of moneys due, the placing of capitals at interest, the sale of merchandise, and particularly the liquidation of estates by way of auction sales and finally investments of all kinds ;  exchange transactions, notably the changing of foreign moneys and the sale of Roman money appear originally to have been reserved to the nummularii .

Under this heading we must first of all take a look at the dealers in exchange, who had to check the qualifications of new money ;  as such they seem to have had a mensa from which they put new money into circulation, taking in the course of their business old money as well as foreign money, and it was their custom to set the rates of exchange ;  outside of Rome the publicae mensae nummulariorum appeared to have existed .  In second place this description applied to private persons whose business was dealing in the precious metals .  Concurrently with the argentarii, they conducted all the activities that go with banking business ;  they accepted capitals for deposit, they made payments for the account of other people, they placed capitals at interest and for exchange transactions they levied a charge or bonus... these bankers, the argentarii, the same as the nummularii, were placed under the surveillance of state functionaries, praefectus urbi, at Rome during the empire, and in the provinces under the surveillance of the governor .  They were probably the subject of the granting of a franchise, or investiture, that was only accorded to a very limited number of people ;  in the case of dispute they were obliged to produce their books (rationes edere), which were evidence of payments made and transactions entered into .  For their franchise they were subjected to legal regimentation .

These books were of three kinds :  in the first place was a cash book, codex accepti et expensi in which in order of date were recorded the deposits and withdrawals of the argentarius with mention of the nature of the business and the names of the persons interested .  In second place, a running account (rationes, liber rationum) in which the banking operations of the argentarius with every person involved were kept by debit and credit ;  thanks to which, it could be known at a moments notice how much the merchant was owed by every one of his clients, and how much he had to pay out to him .

In third place a book was kept, adversaria, in which was preserved record of the transactions under way, and even having their designation in code .  Amongst these books, that which is peculiar to the argentarii, is the running account book, rendered necessary by the great number of transactions ;  the cash book, on the contrary, in which were entered by order of date the deposits and withdrawals, expensum ferre, acceptum referre, was kept by every head of a family until the IIIrd century A.D., in which period this custom fell into disuse .

mensae scripturae :  The mensae scripturae served in that which touched the activities of banking, as much to establish contract, as to furnish proof, and the greater part of payments were effected by transcriptions and endorsements recorded in the account books of the argentarii ;  direct payment (domo ex arca sua) was rarely made, but it was very often made through the intermediary of bankers (de mensa scriptura),whether moneys had been deposited with them for which they were obliged to give account (rationem reddere), or whether it had been possible to open a credit with them out of which they made payment following an assignment.”


The above excerpt from the works of two scholars of vast learning, is revealing .  No doubt will be left with the reader who understands modern day banking practices, that just as in today 95% of all money in circulation, is cheques and assignments in transit, often written against credits granted by bankers where no actual funds previously existed, but however without which the drive and turmoil of this civilization could not have come to be, so it was in Rome and in Greece .  Indeed, for all those movements of vast armies, and for all those movements of peoples through the consequent sale and transfer of slaves, and for the erection of all those great works in stone, many of which still stand, from the pillars of Hercules to Parthia and Arabia, the instigative factor was the same as the instigative factor behind all the mighty works and mysteries of today .  It was none other than the driving force of that abstract money that none can see, but that functions just the same as that which can be seen, the mysterious “Credit” of the banker ;  force that once had been the will of a benevolent god, but now was an instrument towards the wilful redesign and enslavement of mankind.. .  In the late Roman Commonwealth and the early Empire, the assignments and cheques in transit may not have equalled 95% of all money in circulation, and it is by no means impossible that they were even more, taking into account the fact that today’s high speed printing presses and coining machines, the fount of the 5% of the circulation that can be seen, can create these visible units on which the inverted pyramid of the invisible units is erected, at a hundred thousand or more times the speed of slaves striking and finishing metal units of money by hand.(25)

In Harpers Dictionary of Classical Literature and Antiquities, Roman banking is dealt with as follows, in close agreement with Mommsen and Marquardt :  . . . “ The Argentarius thus did almost the same sort of business as a modern banker .  Many persons entrusted all their capital to them (Cicero :  Pro. Caec. 6.16) and instances in which the argentarii made payments in the name of those whose money they had in hand, are mentioned very frequently .  A payment made through a banker was called per mensam, de mensa or per mensae scripturam, while a payment made by the debtor in person was a payment ex arca or de domo .  An argentarius never paid away any person’s money without receiving a cheque (perscriptio), and the payment was then made either in cash, or, if the person who was to receive it kept an account with the same banker, he had it added in the banker’s book, to his deposit .  This was likewise called perscribere or simply scribere. . . we also find that argentarii made payments for persons who had not deposited any money with them :  this was equivalent to lending money ;  which in fact they often did for a certain percentage of interest . . . ”(26)

Thus banking was carried on in almost the same manner in the Roman world as in our world of today, and to those who understand the significance of the practices of modern day banking, nothing could be clearer .  Even the ostentatious display of a metal safety deposit vault is recorded by the antiquarian, Lanciana,(27) of the time of Hadrian ;  doubtless to encourage people to leave their valuables with the bank and so strengthen their “confidence”. . .

In the earlier days when the senate was truly government in the saddle, that is until the end of the integrity of the numerical currency, with the resumption of the striking of silver money and therefore reentry into the orbit of the silver bullion brokers, mining of the precious metals had been forbidden in Italy,(28) and copper mining had been state monopoly, clearly indicating the futility of any discussion of whether the striking of coinage had been free or otherwise. . .  Where the policy of the state had been to maintain an overvaluation of its bronze coinage relative to bullion prices,(29) it is quite clear that it could in no way permit private individuals the privilege of the mints, free or otherwise .  To do so would be to concede them the right and the power to manipulate price levels, and so, confounding the economy, dismay the rulers .  Thus it was not until the time of Cicero that evidence appears of private persons bringing bullion to the mints,(30) significantly coincidental with the general collapse of the ancient manners, and the essential forces that had guided Rome, as is described by Sallust.(31)

Such matters of state finance seem to have been well understood during the middle commonwealth .  However, as a result of the second Punic war and Trasimeno and Cannae(32) and the desperate need to rearm quickly that followed these unfortunate battles, Rome clearly had been obliged to allow the whole currency system to become based on the international valuation of silver as common denominator of values .  She also had been obliged to permit the reduction of the value of the aes coinage to the value of its weight as bronze bullion relative to the arbitrary value internationally of silver bullion .

It follows that it was only after Rome had thus surrendered much of her sovereign prerogative in money matters to the international silver bullion brokers, reluctantly, as was shown by subsequent events, that growth of liberalism, and consequent undermining of the morale of the people and their government, finally gave rise to the warlords known as the Triumvirate and the beginning of rule which might best be described as complete negation of that which had been government by decree of the senate .

With the reckless abuse of the powers of their Imperium through those bankers who supported them, particularly in relation to their right to strike money in the field, the warlords derived virtual independence from the auctoritas of an already corrupted senate and when, in 23 B.C., the aes coinage which had been the backbone of the Republic, was returned to the senate with S.C. Senatus Consulto (by decree of the senate)(33) stamped thereon, it was more in the nature of a concession to a dignity and authority that once had been the reality guiding Roman political life, but now had become a meaningless front, a shadow .

Thus with the rise of the warlords, who were in effect, would-be tyrants under arms, each with his own Money Power, was the triumph of the empire concept.. .  In the case of Caesar, his supporting bankers appear to have been the L. Cornelius Balba for whom the A. Hirtius of Caesar’s aes coinage as issued in the country of the Treveri in Gaul, seems to have been agent with H. Clovius, emittor in Cisalpine Gaul of Caesar’s orichalcum (brass) issues .  Also C. Vibius Pansa and Q. Sulpicius Rufus, all of whom are described by Michael Grant as “eminent financiers”.(34) Of this period An Encyclopaedia of World History says :  “If the crossing of the Rubicon marked the final fall of the Republic, the battle of Actium signalized the final triumph of the Empire .  The last century of the republic was characterised by the collapse of popular government, because of the wide extension of the citizenship, the considerable adulteration of the citizen body at Rome by the introduction of un-Romanized orientals, chiefly through the manumission of slaves, the growth in Rome of an unemployed proletariat, the rise of demagogues, and the complexity of the problems of government .  The increasingly corrupt senate had lost control of the assemblies, the armies and the generals .  The financiers as well as the governors, saw in the provinces only a field for exploitation.”(35)

Clearly moneyers and bankers reigned supreme as far as it was possible behind some powerful military figure such as had been Caesar or Anthony or Octavian, or in some measure of direct authority as seems to have been the case with Sosius, moneyer and financial organizer to Anthony, who also came from a banking family .  The same Sosius when quaestor and governor of Syria and Cilicia, dethroned Antigonus, the last of the Hasmonean kings of Jerusalem in 37 B.C .  after six months siege, replacing him with Herod, later known as “The Great”, first of the Idumean line in that city.(36)

Considering how extensive a part the coinage of Sosius had played in the fortune (or lack of fortune) of Anthony, Sosius was lucky to have been spared by Octavian.(37) The absence of Herod from the deciding battle of the civil wars, the battle of Actium (31 B.C.) under the excuse that he was detained more urgently in Arabia fighting the King of Arabia on Anthony’s behalf,(38) may be the answer here .  No doubt Sosius, in the same way as any good banker in ancient or in modern times, knew how to keep a foot in each camp ;  equally wise was also his friend Herod.. .  Q. Oppius who emitted the orichalcum coinage inaugurated by Anthony, also appears to have belonged to a well known family of bankers.(39)

The name of the bankers behind Augustus does not appear to be known, but the extent of their massive operations is revealed by the widespread circulation of their heavy weight aes coinage from their mint at Nemausen, right across the Empire ;  from Britain, to Portugal, to Pannonia...(40)  It may safely be concluded that their coinage circulated without discount and at par value with all other aes coinage previous or present, state issued, or otherwise, or by imperium or auctoritas. . .

The question would be :  was this excellent and adequate coinage which so well met the needs of great military and civil day to day expenditures, and which undoubtedly was the origin of the sure accession to power of Augustus, emitted by an organization of similar character to the Bank of England of recent world power, or more recently again, the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States of America... ?  Both of which, though apparently state departments, in reality were private international organizations set up by the international circle of bullion traders, or, as they are now generally known, the International Bankers. . .

That which seems to be clear out of the fragments of information existing, is that there was no such thing as a permanent interest bearing state indebtedness until the period which may mark the beginning of the decline of imperial Rome ;  the significance of which is that no Roman Government ever entirely lost control of that power so essential to the maintenance of its sovereignty, the power to directly inject the unit of exchange into circulation as according to its own needs. . .

Of this period until the 3rd Century A.D. the most learned Professor Heichelheim wrote :  “...There were regular lending associations while usury constituted quite an important item in the legal provisions of the Corpus Iuris and the Talmud .  Only State Usury was rare, for the Roman State was still in a supreme position.(41)  At the most, autonomous areas were the only exceptions here .  Large interest free loans advanced to the state by individual citizens or chance patrons for reward in the form of honours or other more indirect advantage, were quite frequent up to the 3rd Century A.D...”(42)

However, it may reasonably be assumed that even during the period of the Commonwealth and the true greatness of the Roman people, though Roman Government had endeavoured to monopolize all sources of the material of its tangible currency, and had prevented as much as possible the circulation of precious metal, which clearly would undermine the integrity of the state issued unit of exchange, the grandiose aes, it still could not prevent counterfeits from entering the circulation .  It could not prevent the corrupt practices of oriental banking after the extensive reentry of silver into the circulation as a result, clearly, of concessions made to the international bullion traders during the 2nd Punic war, nor thereafter the functioning of Gresham’s so-called law which such entailed. . .  “Bad money drives out the good”;  which, of course, depends on what is bad and what is good !  Nor, therefore, could it control the extent in absolute, right across the Roman Empire, of the activities of that underground that garnered the precious metal from the circulation for more profitable use elsewhere .

As a consequence of the rejection by growing and powerful states such as Rome of the early and middle commonwealth of the claim of silver bullion interests that all tangible money should be founded on their product as base and common denominator of values, and the creation and paying into circulation of their own tangible money, with value deriving from its scarcity or otherwise, using largely copper or bronze as the material on which its numbers were recorded, as previously pointed out, much copper or bronze that came the way of the international bullion brokers would, undoubtedly have been used in what must have been an extensive industry devoted to counterfeiting of these fiduciary currencies .  The product of this industry which would have been carried on abroad no doubt, while yielding handsome profit, through disturbance of that mass of abstract money based on the tangible currencies into which such products would have been injected, would also create instability of price in the states concerned .

Thus would be created conditions in which foreign money lenders would be better able to flourish, and secure the establishment of their own peculiar systems of private money emission based usually on the fiction of valuables on deposit for safe-keeping .  Under such systems, when fully under way, the next step would be political control through so called political parties that such money power would bring into being, each necessarily dedicated to some “cause” through a so-called “Leader”, also chosen through the agency of such money power and by those forces it controlled .  Such leaders would be “suitable” men, and would be chosen because pliable and, too often, naturally corrupt .  Raised as likely as not from the lower ranks of society, and therefore dazed by the dizzy heights to which fortune had lifted them, such men would be most likely to carry out without question the policies required for the fulfilment of their master’s purposes and dreams ;  principally that of World Government ;  which should raise such masters, strange thought though it might be, to the position of world rulers, and therefore heirs of the god-kings of ancient days, in their own eyes ;  although to the eye of any clear-seeing man they might better have been called the anti-god, or in the language of the naïve Christians of a somewhat later time to the god-kings, demons . . .

 

 

1. Further support is given to the opinions of the present author in respect to money creation and issuance by the remarks of Dr. Paul B. Trescott in his work :  Money, Banking, & Economic Welfare (Page 55), in which the process of deposit creation in modern times (which would be known as money creation if more direct language were used), is briefly, but aptly summarized .

According to Dr. Trescott, in order to make a loan of $1000.00 to a customer, “a bank needs only to credit his account with $1000.00 in its books by a stroke of the pen.” The following words of Dr. Trescott certainly convey the impression that, despite the fact that nothing has been given by the bank in question that will cause any decrease in its assets, the customer will give the bank something of real value “ in exchange for the deposit credit,” his IOU, “ or an interest bearing security.”  According to Dr. Trescott, this process by which deposits are created, consequently causes increase in the total money supply .  Dr. Trescott further remarks :  “ The process of creating deposits is obviously a simple and painless one for the banks...”

2. In days gone by it was customary for most who did business with ships, to make a gift, usually money, to both Master and First Mate .  These gifts were known as “Perks” .  The “Perks” of the Master were unknown to the First Mate ;  in some degree they took the place of commissions that shipmasters had formerly received on cargo bookings in the days before the advent of telegraphs etc., when they truly were kings of the sea in many senses of the word.

3. Hence the existing situation in what is left of Anglo-Saxon governments :  As their (unnecessary) expenditure beyond tax income is financed by the creation of debt directly to private persons, which indeed are the Banks (that everyone so unquestioningly accepts these days as an established feature in living) under incredible conditions,* units of exchange in circulation automatically suffer increase, and consequently there is a steady fall in their purchasing power .

Such fall in purchasing power immediately and arbitrarily constitutes a hidden tax on all who hold monetary units in one way or another .  Levied in an unseen manner by those private persons who supposedly make the so-called loan to the government, its effects are not understood by the people, nor its origin .

Further than this hidden tax imposed with dubious legality, there is the absurdity of an interest rate, which, parallel to that of previous so called loans, creates a yearly interest bill which in itself necessitates further such borrowing, without ever thinking of paying off the principal ;  such system necessarily compels a government that has been trained to unquestioned acceptance of its financial liabilities to be servant in some considerable degree, of those private persons, its supposed benefactors .

*For a clear statement of the workings of this unbelievable system in Canada, see Brief submitted to the Royal Commission on Banking and Finance by Mel Rowatt, Ottawa, 1964 .

For the opinions of orthodox Political Economy see :  James M. Buchanan :  The Public Finances ;  pp. 359-69 .  Homewood ;  Illinois ;  1965 .  Reuben A. Kessel and Armen A. Alchian :  Effects of Inflation, Journal of Political Economy, Vol. LXX, pp. 521-37, December, 1962.

4. “ On sait que les Banquiers Grecs étaient en même temps des changeurs ;  toutes les grosses affaires d’argent se traitaient par leur intermédiaire (I) .  Leur comptoir étaient le rendezvous des gens d’affaires, la bourse ;  ils tenaient a la fois le commerce maritimes et le commerce des caravanes, surtout en Asie Mineure .  L’exploitation des mines étaient souvent entre leurs mains. Ces manieurs d’or recevaient des dépôts de métal précieux appartenant au rentiers ou au négociants, tenaient caisse ouverte pour leur clients, emmagasinaient d’énormes sommes ;  as thésaurisaient ;  ils prêtaient aux princes aussi bien qu’aux particuliers .  Ecoutez plutôt ce récit de Nicolas de Damas, plus éloquent que tous commentaires :  " Voulant porter la guerre en Carie, le roi Lydie, Alyatte (610 a 561 av. J.C.) donna l’ordre a ses lieutenants de lui amener à jour fixé, leurs contingents a Sardes .  Aux nombres des généraux figurait le fils aine du roi, Crésus, alors gouverneur d’Adramyttium et de la plaine de Thébé .  Négligent et prodigue, mal vu de son père, a cause de ses dissipations, très désireux de rentier en grâce auprès de lui et de confondre ses calomniateurs, mais n’ayant pas de quoi lever et soudoyer des mercenaires, le jeune prince, pour se tirer d’embarras, résolut de contracter un emprunt .  A cet effet, il alla trouver Sadyatte, le plus riches négociant de la Lydie .  Celui-ci occupé a ses ablutions, laissa d’abord Crésus se morfondre sa porte .  Ensuite il consentit à le recevoir, mais ce fut pour lui refuser de l’argent :  “ S’il me fallait prêter tous les fils d’Alyattes, s’écria-t-il je n’y pourrais suffire.” Rebuté Crésus se rendit a Ephése .  Là un Ionien de ses amis, Pamphaés, apprenant le motif de sa visite, obtint de son père Théocharides, dont la fortune étaient considérable, une somme de milles statères d’or, qu’il s’empressa de céder aux prince nécessiteux .  Grâce ces subsides, Crésus équipa des troupes, fut le premier de tous au rendez-vous et reconquit le faveur de son père qui se l’associa dans cette expédition.”

Crésus, plus tard, s vengea de Sadyattes qui l’avait éconduit, en confisquant ses trésors au profit de Temple d’Artemis d’Ephése :  les de pouilles du malheureux banquier furent assez considérables pour qu’on en pût fabriquer des colonnes d’or et de génisse d’or qui ornèrent le Temple de la Déesse .

Plus tard nous voyons un banquier de Caelenae, Pythés, d’origine Lydienne, faire cadeau au roi Darius d’un platane d’or et d’une vigne d’or .  Quelques temps après dans la crainte sans doute, que son immense fortune ne vint exciter la convoitise du prince, Pythes prit le parti de faire la part du feu :  il offrit spontanément a Xerxés des subsides pour la guerre ;  Comme le Grand roi s’enquérait, en curieux bienveillant, de l’étendue de ses richesse, le banquier confessa, non sans inquiétude, qu’il possédait dans ses coffres deux milles talents d’argent et qu’il ne lui manquait que sept milles pièces d’or pour qu’il eut quatre millions de Dariques .

Sadyatte, Théocharides, Pamphaés, Pytbés, voila les opulent manieurs d’or, en possession de la confiance de la public, qui aussi bien que les princes, envieux de leurs richesses, estampillent les lingots monétaire au sortir de leurs caisses .  (Ernest Babelon :  Les Origines de la Monnaie, P. 106.)

5. Herodotus ;  The Histories ;  Book I.

6. A. del Mar :  A History of Monetary Systems in Various States, P. 29, and pp. 35-53.

7. William C. White :  Jews in Kaifeng ;  Toronto ;  1966.

8. R.A.G. Carson :  Coins, Ancient Medieval, and Modern, p. 70. London ;  1962.

9. A.R. Burns :  Pericles and Athens, P. 11 ;  London ;  1948.

10. According to Augustus Boeckh in The Public Economy of Athens (Vol. II ;  P. 289) :  “ The Public donations or distributions amongst the peoples were of frequent occurrence .  To these belong the distributions of corn which have been mentioned before, the cleruchiae and the revenues from the mines, which, before the time of Themistocles (471 B.C.) were divided amongst the citizens ;  and lastly the money of the Theorica for the introduction of which, Pericles is chargeable.”

11. Ibid. P. 290.

12. Display in the Royal Ontario Museum, 1972.

13. Bray Hammond and the staff of the Federal Reserve System (1939) :  The Federal Reserve System ;  Omni, Hawthorne, Calif. 1958.

14. Augustus Boeckh :  The Public Economy of Athens, P. 289, Vol. II.

15. Ibid. P. 277. Vol. II .  Analysis of the remarks of Demosthenes as quoted hereunder leave little doubt in respect to this matter:

...“In ancient days ” says Demosthenes “ everything that belonged to the state was costly and splendid, and no individual distinguished himself from the multitude ;  and the proof of it is, that if any of you know the houses of Themistocles and Miltiades, and the famous men of that time, he will see that they are not more magnificent than those of other people ;  but the buildings and construction of the State were of such size and number, that it is not in the power of succeeding generations to surpass them--the Propylaea, the Docks, the Porticoes, the Piraeus, and other works with which you see the city adorned !  But now all who are concerned in the management of public affairs have a superfluity of riches, that some have built private houses more magnificent than many public edifices and some of them have purchased more land than all of you who are sitting in the court are together possessed of ;  but your public buildings and works, it is disgraceful to tell how scanty and contemptible they are .  What indeed can be said of your works ?  What of the parapets we throw up ?  of the roads we construct and the fountains and trifles at which we labour? ...Thus speaks the ardent enthusiast for the happiness and fame of his country ;  his speeches of admonition might with a few alterations be adapted to the present age, in which such vast sums have been squandered away without producing anything useful or durable.”

16. A. del Mar :  History of the Precious Metals, P. 105 ;  New York ;  1968.

17. Augustus Boeckh :  Public Economy of Athens, P. 43, Vol. I .  London ;  1828 .  Also Michael Grant, P. 3.

18. The Royal Commission on Banking and Finance .  Ottawa ;  1964 .  Brief submitted by Mel Rowatt, and page 138 on “ Swap ” deposits etc.

19. During the brief reign of Peter III (1762-1763 A.D.) the pood of copper was coined into 32 roubles, copper bullion itself being approximately 5 roubles per pood.

20. According to the memoirs of Count Munnich, to his knowledge 6,000,000 counterfeit roubles entered Russia from Western Europe being exchanged as against the silver rouble at a profit of 566% .  This amount was known .  The unknown amount must have been much greater .  A. del Mar :  Money and Civilization, P. 303 ;  London 1886.

21. Naturalis Historia, xii, c. 18 .  Pliny .  Minimaque computatione millies contena millia sesertium annis omnibus India et Seres peninsulaque illa imperio nostro adimunt .  Tanto nobis deliciae et feminae constant .  (History of Monetary Systems, P. 126. A. del Mar.)

22. Michael Grant, (From Imperium to Auctoritas. P. 57.), makes mention of a banking family known as the Lollii .  Cicero speaks of a Laelius ;  (Orationes :  Pro Flaccus, Book XVII.) .  They are more likely members of the same family.

23. Cicero :  Orationes :  Pro Flaccus, Book XVII .  Clearly transfer of the precious metals in the time of Cicero meant transfer of prosperity in the same way as it did in the European controlled world until recently.

24. “ Les opérations de banque se faisaient pour la plupart par l’intermédiaire des argentarii et des nummularii ;  ces derniers étaient aussi connus sous le nom collectarii, mensularii.. .  Dans les pays d’origine Grecque il avait des espèces de banques d’Etat, comme Tenos, Ilium, a Temnos en Aeolide :  il y en avait aussi en Egypte :  dans chaque Nome se trouvait une sous la direction d’un employé royal, et par l’intermédiaire duquel se faisaient certains contrats et les paiements .  Chez les Romaines au contraire, ce n’est que dans des circonstances extraordinaire que l’on a organisé des banques publiques sous la direction de fonctionnaires de l’Etat (mensa publica); ainsi notamment, en 402-352 B.C, sous direction des quinqui viri mensarii, pour faciliter l’extinction des dettes par les avances faites sur garanties, avec les fonds de l’Etat ;  en 538 a 543-216 a 211, pour des motifs différents et enfin pour opérer l’encaissement de sommes librement prestées l’Etat...; c’étaient là ou clams son voisinage qu’étaient établies les tabernae argentariae, dont l’existence est indiqué pour la première fois en 445-399 et plus tard très souvent .  C’est par l’intermédiaire des argentarii que se faisaient la plupart des paiements, comme aussi ils se chargeaient de l’encaissement des sommes dues, du placement a intérêt des capitaux, de la vente de marchandises, et particulièrement de la liquidation des hérédités par la voie de la vente aux enchères, et enfin des placements de toute nature ;  les opérations de change, notamment l’échange des monnaies étrangères et la vente des monnaies Romaines, paraissent avoir été réservés l’origine aux nummularii.

Sous ce nom, il faut en premier lieu voir des employés de la monnaie, qui devaient vérifier le titre des monnaies nouvelles ;  comme tels ils paraissent avoir une mensa ou ils mettaient en circulation les monnaies nouvelles, prenant, suivant leurs cours, les monnaies anciennes comme les monnaies étrangères, et vérifiaient, dans les paiements le titre des monnaies, en dehors de Rome, des publicae mensae nummulariorum paraissent avoir existé .  En second lieu, ce nom s’applique a des perçons privées, qui se livraient au des métaux précieux .  Ils faisaient concurremment avec les argentarii toutes les opérations qui rentraient dans le commerce des banques, acceptaient des capitaux en dépôt, faisaient des paiements pour le compte d’autrui, plaçaient des capitaux intérêt, et, pour les opérations de change prélevaient un bénéfice, ou agio .  Ces banquiers, les argentarii, comme les nummularii, étaient placés sous la surveillance de fonctionnaires de l’Etat, pendant la durée de l’Empire, Rome, du praefectus urbi, et en province, du Gouverneur .  Ils étaient vraisemblablement l’objet d’une investiture, qui n’étaient accordée qu’a un nombre très limité de personnes ;  ils étaient obligés, en cas de contestation, de produire leur livres (rationes edere), qui, pour les paiements effectués et pour les opérations engagées, faisaient preuve ;  ils avaient été soumis pour leur tenue une réglementation légale .

Ces livres étaient de trois sortes :  en premier lieu, un livre de caisse, codex accepti et expensi, sur lequel, par ordre de date, I’on faisait figurer les entrées et les sorties de l’argentarius, avec mention de la nature de l’opération et le nom des personnes intéressés .

En second leu, un livre de compte courant (rationes, liber rationum) dans lequel les opérations de banque de l’argentarius, avec chaque person déterminée, étaient portées par doit et avoir ;  grâce auquel, on savait immédiatement combien le négociant avait a réclamer a chacun de ces correspondants et combien il avait a lui payer .

En troisième lieu, un livre journal, adversaria sur lequel étaient notées les opérations encours, et avant même leur inscription au codex .  Parmi ces livres, celui qui est particulier aux argentarii c’est le livre de compte courant, rendue nécessaire par le grande nombres des opérations; le livre de caisse au contraire .  sur lequel on inscrit par ordre de date, les entrées et les sorties, expensum ferre, acceptum referre, fut tenue par chaque p re de famille, jusqu’au IIIieme siècle après Jésus-Christ, époque vers laquelle cet usage tomba en désuétude .  Les mensae scripturae servaient, en ce qui touche les opérations de banque, tant pour constituer le contrat que pour fournir une preuve, et plupart des paiement étaient effectués au moyen de transcriptions et de mentions écrites sur les registres des argentarii ;  rarement on effectuait un paiement d’une manière direct (domo ex arca sua), mais très souvent par l’intermédiaire de banquiers(de mensa scriptura), soit que l’on eut déposé chez eux les sommes dont ils devaient rendre compte (rationem reddere) soit que l’on se fut fait ouvrir par eux un crédit, sur lequel ils payaient la suite d une délégation.”

Manuel des Antiquités Romaines, pp .  78-85 ;  Tome Dixième ;  De l’Organisation Financière chez les Romaines .  Théodore Mommsen, and Joachim Marquardt .  Paris .  1888.

25. According to A. del Mar in A History of the Precious Metals, (P. 88) .  “At that period when the coining press was unknown, the work of coinage was done altogether by the hammer, shears, and file .  A workman could scarcely finish more than twenty coins a day...”

26. Harpers Dictionary of Classical Literature and Antiquities, P. 1598, Harry T. Peck, Coopers Square Publishers, New York, 1965.

27. Alexander del Mar :  A History of the Precious Metals, P. 105 ;  New York ;  1968.

28. Ibid. P. 55 .  (Pliny, Books iii, xxxiv, 5. and xxiii, 21.)

29. According to Harold Mattingly (Roman Coins, P. 19) :  “ In the second period c.280-268 B.C., the aes and its parts were issued as before, but a coinage of silver was added for the purposes of the war in S. Italy .  The chief coin was the Didrachme... the bronze coins of the series are struck at very variable weights and certainly represent values above their metal...”

30. Harold Mattingly :  Roman Coins ;  P. 91 ;  London ;  1923.

31. Footnote P. 183, present work.

32. 216 B.C. ;  in this terrible battle, 86,000 Romans and Italians were virtually annihilated and all their equipment lost to Hannibal.

33. R.A.G. Carson :  Coins, Ancient, Medieval, and Modern ;  P. 127 ;  London ;  1962.

34. Michael Grant :  From Imperium to Auctoritas, P. 19 ;  Cambridge, 1969.

35. An Encyclopedia of World History, P. 100, Boston, 1948.

36. William Smith, LLD :  The History of the Bible ;  P. 550 ;  London, Ontario; 1885.

37. Michael Grant :  From Imperium to Auctoritas ;  P. 41 ;  Cambridge ;  1969.

38. Britannica, 9th Edn.

39. Michael Grant :  P. 61-69.

40. Ibid pp. 71-72 .  C.H.V. Sutherland (Coinage in Imperial Roman Policy) also makes frequent reference to Nemausen.

41. Italics by present author.

42. Fritz Heichelhiem :  Ancient Economic History ;  P. 243, Volume III, Leyden ;  1958-1970 .