Beautiful Africa


Darius conducted the introduction of a universal currency, the daric sometime before 500 BCE. Darius applied the coinage system as a transnational currency to regulate trade and commerce throughout his empire. The daric was also recognized beyond the borders of the empire - in places such as Celtic Central Europe and Eastern Europe. There were two types of darics, a gold and a silver. Only the king could mint gold darics, important generals and satraps minted silver darics, the latter usually to recruit Greek mercenaries in Anatolia. The daric was a major boost to international trade, trade goods such as textiles, carpets, tools and metal objects began to travel throughout Asia, Europe and Africa. To further improve trade, Darius built a royal highway, a postal system and Phoenician-based commercial shipping. The daric also improved government revenues as the introduction of the daric led to new taxes on land, livestock and marketplaces. This also led to the registration of land. It was measured and taxed accordingly. The increased government revenues helped maintain and improve existing infrastructure. The increased government revenues also helped fund irrigation projects in dry lands. This new tax system also led to the formation of state banking and the creation of banking firms. One of the most famous banking firms was Murashu and Sons, based in Nippur.[35] These banking firms provided loans and credit to clients.[36] The daric was called darayaka within the empire and was most likely named after Darius. In an effort to further improve trade, Darius built canals, underground waterways and a powerful navy. He further improved and expanded the network of roads and waystations throughout the empire, so that there was a system of travel authorization for the King, satraps and other high officials, which entitled the traveller to draw provisions at daily stopping

places. The daric was a gold coin used within the Persian Empire. It was of very high gold quality, with a purity of 95.83%.[1] Weighing around 8.4 grams, it bore the image of the Persian king or a great warrior armed with a bow and arrow, but who is depicted is not known for sure. The coin was introduced by Darius the Great of Persia some time between 522 BC and 486 BC and ended with Alexander the Great's invasion in 330 BC. Upon the invasion of Persia by Alexander they were melted down and recoined as coins of Alexander. This is believed to be the main reason for their rarity in spite of their widespread usage at the time.[2] Close to the end of the 5th century BC, the Persian satraps in Asia Minor decided to strike their own coins. Darius considered such encroachment a crime punishable by death since the right of coinage was treated as an exclusively royal prerogative. The numismatic evidence does not permit identification of the image on the darics and sigloi as anything but that of the emperor; it was adopted by Darius as a dynamic expression of his royal power expressly for his coin issues. An Achaemenid daric, 4th century BC. The coin is mentioned several times in the Old Testament, as the Israelites came into contact with it when their Babylonian conquerors were conquered by Persia. The first Book of Chronicles describes king David as asking an assembly of people to donate for the construction of the Temple. The people gave generously "for the service of the house of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze, and one hundred thousand talents of iron."[3] Since David's reign is believed to be between c. 1048 and c. 1007 BC according to Old Testament chronology, the use of the daric is either an anachronism or a conversion by the writer into contemporary units.[4][5]