The Invention of Coinage and the Monetization of Ancient Greece

Subjects: Archaeology, Greek, Classical Studies, Greek, Economics, History
Paperback : 9780472036400, 312 pages, 13 B&W photographs, 6 x 9, September 2015
Hardcover : 9780472113330, 312 pages, 13 B&W photographs, 6 x 9, December 2003
Ebook : 9780472025336, 312 pages, 13 B&W photographs, March 2010
See expanded detail +
Or shop at these retailers: Amazon - Kindle

Reveals how the concept of money did not materialize until the invention of Greek coinage

Look Inside

Copyright © 2004, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.


Coinage appeared at a moment when it fulfilled an essential need in Greek society and brought with it rationalization and social leveling in some respects, while simultaneously producing new illusions, paradoxes, and new elites. In a book that will encourage scholarly discussion for some time, David M. Schaps addresses a range of important coinage topics, among them money, exchange, and economic organization in the Near East and in Greece before the introduction of coinage; the invention of coinage and the reasons for its adoption; and the developing use of money to make more money.

David M. Schaps is Professor of Classics at Bar-Ilan University in Israel.

"This book is a magisterial and pioneering treatment of a subject of seminal importance. Schaps's erudition is impressive—but leavened by a pleasant style and tone. In my opinion, the volume will generate interest among a wide audience, and should stimulate (and expedite) further research among specialists."
—Edward Cohen, University of Pennsylvania

- Edward Cohen, University of Pennsylvania

"Schaps provides intriguing food for thought for both ancient historians and modern economists. He argues that money existed before coinage, but that the invention of coinage reduced the costs of transactions enough to revolutionize life in ancient times, making monetization in ancient Greek society a crucial turning point in world history."
—Peter Temin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

- Peter Temin, MIT

"In this absorbing book David Schaps demonstrates that the Greeks were the first people in history to make widespread use of coinage, and so to have the concept of money, and that this relatively unappreciated fact is vital for understanding Greek society of the archaic and classical periods. This long overdue case is made by David Schaps with enormous intelligence and charm."
—Richard Seaford, University of Exeter

- Richard Seaford, University of Exeter

Winner: Israel Numismatic Society (INS) 2010 Arie Kindler Prize

- INS Arie Kindler Prize

"The book has a comprehensive index, a copious bibliography and...a sense of humour. It is well worth buying for a classical library."
--Classics for All

- Christopher Tanfield

More about the Arie Kindler prize and the Israel Numismatic Society, Tel-Aviv Branch at