Article

Coins and Money in Jewish Law and Literature: A Basic Introduction and Selective Survey

Laurence J. Rabinovich

in The Oxford Handbook of Judaism and Economics

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780195398625
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195398625.013.0029

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Coins and Money in Jewish Law and Literature: A Basic Introduction and Selective Survey

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We live in a world in which coins are still common and useful, although, with the introduction of paper money, credit cards, and, more recently, internet shopping, it is certainly possible to conceive of a commercial system without coins. This article focuses on the position of coins and money in Jewish law and literature. For over two thousand years, though, following the development of coinage in Asia Minor the association between coinage and a sophisticated international commerce was real. There were, though, great civilizations that knew nothing of coinage. The first evidence of coins in Egypt dates from the time of the Persian invasion, and coinage was not firmly established until the arrival of Alexander the Great. The article further elaborates upon the usage of coins in the Talmud and Rabbinic literature. The Talmud displays no particular interest in Jewish coins per se. An analysis of the devaluation of the currency concludes this article.

Keywords: coins; money; Asia Minor; international commerce; Alexander the Great; Talmud; Rabbinic literature

Article.  11034 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

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