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Archaeology of Empire in Achaemenid Egypt$
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Henry Colburn

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474452366

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474452366.001.0001

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Coinage and the Egyptian Economy

Coinage and the Egyptian Economy

(p.221) 6. Coinage and the Egyptian Economy
Archaeology of Empire in Achaemenid Egypt

Henry P. Colburn

Edinburgh University Press

A major consequence of the integration of Egypt into the Achameneid Empire was its newfound need for silver in order to make tribute payments. This was achieved by selling grain and other products to the Greeks. As a result Egypt acquired large quantities of Athenian tetradrachms, which became so prominent that by the end of the fifth century it appeared as a unit of account in Demotic and Aramaic documents, and was even imitated by the Egyptians. Indeed, the tetradrachm was so prevalent that during the Second Persian Period imitations of it were even issued in the names of the satraps Sabaces and Mazaces, and of Artaxerxes III himself. In this respect Achaemenid rule played an important yet indirect role in setting Egypt on the road to monetization.

Keywords:   Coinage, Artaxerxes III, Political economy, Temples, Grain, Aryandes, Athens

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