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Mediterranean Hegemon of Ancient Greece – Chapter 246: Silver Coin of Theonia and the Institute of Mathematics Bahasa Indonesia

In this era, the currencies that are circulating in the Mediterranean trade were gold and silver. The Persians mainly use gold coins, while the Greek city-states did not have so many gold mines, so they mainly use silver coins. Because each city-states had the right to cast their own silver coins, the whole Mediterranean currency market was quite chaotic, and the weight of the coins issued by different city-states and the purity were not uniform, which brought difficulties in trading, hence why currency exchange came into being.

At the mention of a currency exchange, Tritodemos complained in his heart: In Greek city-states, the bank is the one undertaking the business of currency exchange, and the more prosperous the city-state is, the more developed the banking industry be, however, although there are many banks in each city of Theonia, they all belong to one person, Cheiristoya, the wife of Davos the archon of Theonia. Naturally, this is not the result of any administrative interference by Davos, but rather the fact that the Bank of Cheiristoya, since its establishment, had an average of loan repayment far less than the 15% interest rate of the Greek city-states, which is only 5% on its main business loans.

Although the Bank of Cheiristoya had broken the tacit rules of banking in the Greek city-states, there were no major wealthy merchants in Amendolara and Thurii that would obstruct them at that time. On the contrary, because of its low interest loans, countless families and small shops were helped out of their initial difficulties, thus gaining reputations for the Bank of Cheiristoya. The trade of Theonia these days was no longer comparable to what it used to be, with some merchants taking up the idea of opening banks, but they were forced to implement the low-interest loans in the union. However, the Bank of Cheiristoya has made its brand popular among the Theonian population making the people trust and appreciate it. Therefore, there is often a long line at the entrance of the Bank of Cheiristoya while there are only a few customers at the other bank. Normal competition is not possible, and playing other means is even more impossible. Don’t forget that the one behind the Bank of Cheiristoya stands Davos, the sole archon for life of Theonia. Because banks do not earn them money, the merchants had to invest in other industries, and with the expansion of Theonia Union, there are many industries that will earn them money and even though the competition has also become fierce, there is only one bank.

Tritodemos looked at the man in front of him, who was already the most powerful man in Theonia at such a young age, and he even has a smart and beautiful wife who earns a lot of money for him, which is enviable!

Davos didn’t notice the unusual gaze of Tritodemos, as he paid all his attention on the coins. He picked up two more silver coins and looked at them carefully, they were almost identical, so he asked with concern, “What do you think of the style and design of these Theonian silver coins when compared to the Athenian silver coin?”

The “Owl” in Athens not only has high purity of silver, but also has exquisite patterns. Even though Athens was defeated and the Delian League was dissolved, and were no longer able to force the other city-states to use the Laurion silver coins, the merchants and the people of the Greek city-states still voluntarily used it, and many merchants had even went to Athens just to exchange for their coins and put them in their own homes as art collections. Hence, the silver coins of Athens are the most widely circulated and used hard currency in the Greek city-states.

“I have repeatedly compared a dozen Laurion silver coins minted in different years with some people in the Coin Minting Committee, and we all agree that our Theonian coins are as pure and well engraved as theirs! And-” Tritodemos picked up the silver coin, rubbed the rim if the coin and excitedly said, “Archon, the suggestion that you have given at the beginning of using a simple bezel instead of the traditional method of making complicated and rough serration had not only improves the efficiency but had even made it to be less prone to erosion, and everyone thinks that it is as complex as the pillars of the temple! I believe that the Theonian silver coin will be liked by the people after it is issued!” Tritodemos said excitedly.

Davos’ expression remained calm. The design that he suggested was based on the characteristics of ancient Chinese coins, so there was nothing to be proud of. Instead, he was more concerned about whether the Theonian coins could quickly circulate and become the main currency used in the city-states in the South Italia Alliance. This was not only to expand the influence of Theonia, but also to dominate the currency in Magna Graecia and control the economy and trade of the city-states in the South Italia Alliance.

Like Athens, even in the latter stages of the Peloponnesian War, when the trading shrank, the financial situation fell, and the Laurion mines produced less silver ore, they still had not reduced the purity of the “Owl”. Therefore, the Athenian was rewarded for their adherence to their monetary credit, only a few years after the end of the war, more and more merchants came to the port of Piraeus, and now, the Athenian trade was gradually returning to its former prosperity.

“Lord Tritodemos, your Coin Minting Committee has put a lot of effort into this small silver coin these past few months! I believe that once we successfully issue it and get accepted by the people of Magna Graecia, your name will be left in the Hall of Sages!” Hearing the words of praise from Davos, Tritodemos suddenly became excited. With the completion of the Temple of Hades, some special architectural structures in the temple became popular among the people. For example, there are two side halls in the temple, one is called the Hall of Valor, dedicated to the warriors who had died defending the safety of the union, and the other one is called the Hall of Sages, where the names of the citizens who made outstanding contributions to the union would be engraved in it. It was said that Davos was the one that had designed it. As citizens of the union, especially the statesmen, there is no one who does not want to leave his name in history, so it is inevitable that Tritodemos couldn’t control his emotion and was overjoyed.

At this time, a voice of discontent rang out, “Since these are all the work of the Coin Minting Committee and has nothing to do with our Institute of Mathematics, then don’t look for us again for making the ‘Order of Original Citizenship of Amendolara’…and other things!” Tritodemos looked back and saw that it was Marticoris, so he said to Davos, “It’s all thanks to Marticoris and Metoticles of the Institute of Mathematics that we could make such exquisite coins. If it wasn’t for the coin mold that they have designed and that water powered…water powered….”

“It’s a water powered press!” Marticoris added impatiently.

Tritodemos coughed awkwardly and said, “It is because they have designed these wonderful tools that we can make exquisite coins! Not to mention that it has already surpassed the coins designed by Pythagoras for Metapontum, and it is even comparable to the Athenians coins that are famous all over Greece!”

“These are all not our credit….” Being told that their skills were superior to those of their founder Pythagoras, the ever-stable Marticoris said modestly, “If it wasn’t for the waterwheel that Lord Davos have designed, which has given us inspirations, we would not have thought of using water power instead of human power, but unfortunately, the force generated by the water flow of the Cosceli river was not strong enough to make the large water powered forging hammer that you have mentioned last time that can continuously strike large pieces of cast iron to work.”

“Then use a dam.” Blurted Davos.

“Dam?!” Marticoris’ eyes brightened.

“We’ll talk about it later.” Currently, there are construction going on all over Theonia, including the resettlement of Aprustum and Krimisa, the construction of the Temple of Hades, road constructions, transforming the marsh of Krimisa, and the construction of the bathhouse in the hotspring of Thurii…so there is not enough labor to build a more demanding and complex dams. So Davos digressed and said to Tritodemos, “Marticoris and the others will not compete with you for this credit, for they are the mathematicians who are destined to become famous throughout Greece in the future, and there will certainly be statues of them on the Hall of Sages!”

Faced with such high praise, Marticoris was also slightly embarrassed, he stroked his head and laughed. While the performance of Metoticles who was beside him, although he was a little bit more stable, could hardly hide the excitement on his face.

After sending off Tritodemos, there were only two guests left in the living room, Marticoris and Metoticles. Now they are no longer the ordinary disciples of the Pythagorean School that he had first met. As early as last year, by virtue of their achievements in making waterwheels and popularizing mathematics among the people for free, Davos proposed a bill of the 《Drawing Foreign Scholars》 in the Senate meeting, which was passed(together with the previous 《Physician Act》 and 《Teacher Act》 which was approved afterwards, and later generations would call these three acts of Theonia the transformation of the quality of the citizens) making them official citizens of Theonia.

Although they had studied mathematics in Taranto, they were not citizens of Taranto. They were from the Sicilian city-state of Leontinoi, but due to their love of mathematics and admiration for Pythagoras, they had stayed in Taranto for a long time and had become homeless after their home was occupied by Syracuse. And the main reason for why the Pythagorean School let them come to Amendolara was because they were of no importance to the school. However, in the Theonia Union, their status changed dramatically, they not only have lands and houses, but were also respected by the people, and Davos had also privately funded the construction of a Institute of Mathematics for them, providing free assistants, slaves and various materials and funds, so that they can devote themselves to the theoretical research and practical applications of mathematics without outside interference.

Mathematicians of this era did not only study mathematics, they were also involved in the fields of physics and astronomy, for example, Pythagoras had his own ideas in temperament and aesthetics, and the famous “golden ratio” was first proposed by him. For this reason, Davos occasionally asked the Institute of Mathematics for some of his own requests, and Marticoris and his colleagues were willing to shelve their research for the time being and complete the tasks assigned by Davos, not because of the power of the archon, but because the various instruments and devices that Davos envisioned involved the use of some complex and even novel mathematical and physics knowledge, which is of great benefit in consolidating and studying the theories of mathematics and physics.


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