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that article. It would appear from a passage in the Antigone (v. 1038), that in the time of Sophocles gold was rare at Athens. Indeed throughout the whole of Greece, though gold was by no means unknown, it appears to have been obtained chiefly through the Greek cities of Asia Minor, and the adjacent islands, which possessed it in abundance. The Homeric poems speak constantly of gold as being laid up in treasuries, and used in large quantities for the purposes of ornament; but this is sufficiently accounted for by the fact that Homer was an Asiatic Greek. The chief places from which the Greeks procured their gold were India, Arabia, Armenia, Colchis, and Troas. It was found mixed with the sands of the Pactolus and other rivers.
Almost the only method of purifying gold, known to the ancients, seems to have been that of grinding and then roasting it, and by this process they succeeded in getting it very pure. This, is what we are to understand by the phrase xpvcr/iov unztyOov in Thucydides (ii. 13), and by the word obrussam in Pliny (H. N. xxxiii. 3. s. 19), and elsewhere (Forcellini s. v. obrussa). Respecting the use of gold in the fine arts, especially in the chryselephantine statues, see toreutice. The art of gilding was known to the Greeks from the earliest times of which we have any information. (Horn. Od. ul 425, vi. 232 j Plin. //. N. xxxiii. 3. s. 19, 6. s. 32.)
greek gold money. — The'time when gold was first coined at Athens is very uncertain. Aristophanes speaks in the Frogs (406 b.c.) of rb Kaivkv xpuo-iov, "the new gold money " (v. 719), which he immediately afterwards calls irovypa, XaA/aa (v. 724). The Scholiast on this passage states that in the preceding year the golden statues of Victory had been coined into money, and he quotes Hellanicus and Philochorus as authorities for this statement. It would appear from the language both of Aristophanes and the Scholiast, and it is probable from the circumstances of Athens at the time (it- was the year before the battle of Aegospotami), that this was a greatly debased gold coinage, or perhaps only gilt money, struck to meet a particular exigency. This matter is distinct from the general question respecting the Athenian gold coinage, for the Attie money was proverbial for its purity, and the grammarians, who state that Athens had a gold coinage at an early period, speak of it as very pure. There are other passages in Aristophanes in which gold money is spoken of; but in them he is referring to Persian money, which is known to have been imported into Athens before the Athenians had any gold coinage of their own, and even this seems to have been a rarity. (See Aristoph. Ackarn..v. 102, 108, Equity. 470, Av. v. 574.) Demosthenes always uses apyvpiov for money, except when he is speaking of foreign gold. In the speech against Phormio, where he repeatedly uses the word %pvaiov, we are expressly told what was the money he referred to, namely, 120 staters of Cyzicus (p. 914 ; compare his speech Trpbs AaKpir. p. 935). Isocrates, who uses the word in the same way, speaks in one passage of buying gold money (xpvffwveiv) in exchange for silver (Trapezit. p. 367). In many passages of the .orators, gold money is expressly said to have been imported from Persia and Macedonia. If we look at the Athenian history, we find that the silver mines at Lauriou were regarded as one of the
greatest treasures possessed by the state; but no such mention is made of gold. Thucydides (n. 13) in enumerating the money in the Athenian treasury at the beginning of the Peloponnesian war, does not mention gold; and Xenophon speaks of the money of Athens in a manner which would lead us to suppose that it had no gold coinage m his time (Vectigal9 iv. 10). The mines of Scapte-hyle, in Thrace, were indeed worked some years before this period (Thucyd. iv. 105) ; but the gold procured from them does not appear to have been coined, but to have been laid up in the treasury in the form of counters (<£0o?5es, Bb'ckh, Inscrip. vol. i. pp. 145,146). Foreign gold coin was often brought into the treasury, as some of the allies- paid their tribute in money of Cyaicus. The gold money thus introduced may have been allowed to circulate, while silver remained the current money of the state.
The character of the Attic gold coins now in existence, and their small number (about a dozen), is a strong proof against the existence of a gold currency at Athens at an early period. There are three Attic staters in the British Museum, and one in the Hunterian Museum at Glasgow, which there is good reason to believe are genuine; their weights agree exactly with the Attic standard. In the character of the impression they bear a striking resemblance to the old Attic silver; but they differ from it by the absence of the thick bulky form, and the high relief of the impression which is seen in the old silver of Athens, and in the old gold coins of othe? states. In thickness, volume, and the depth of the die from which they were struck, they closely resemble the Macedonian coinage. Now, as upon the rise of the Macedonian empire, gold became plentiful in Greece, and was coined in large quantities by the Macedonian kings, it is not improbable that Athens, like other Grecian states, may have followed their example, and issued a gold coinage in imitation of her ancient silver. On the whole, it appears most probable that gold money was not coined at Athens in the period between Pericles and Alexander the Great, if we except the solitary issue of debased gold in the year 407.
A question similar to that just discussed arises with respect to other Greek states, which we know to have had a silver currency, but of which a few gold coins are also found. This is the case with Aegina, Thebes, Argos, Carystus in Euboea, Acarnania, and Aetolia. But of these coins all, except two, bear evident marks, in their weight or workmanship, of belonging to a period not earlier than Alexander the Great. There is great reason, therefore, to believe that no gold coinage existed in Greece Proper before the time of that monarch.
But from a very early period the Asiatic nations, and the Greek cities of Asia Minor and the adjacent islands, as well as Sicily and Cyrene, possessed a gold coinage, which was more or less current in Greece. Herodotus (i. 94) says that the Lydians were the first who coined gold, and the stater of Croesus appears to have been the earliest gold coin known to the -Greeks. The Daric was a Persian coin. Staters of Cyzicus and Phocaea had a considerable currency in Greece. There was a gold coinage in Samos as early as the time of Polycrates. (Herod, iii. 56.) The islands of Siphnos and Thasos, which possessed gold mines, appear to have had a gold coinage at an early period. In most of the coins of the Greek cities of Asia Minor the metal is very base. The Macedonian gold coinage