New Advance




  • Bronze Working
  • Trade



  • Bazaar


Currency provides for a vast expansion of the economy of a City compared to the barter economy that existed before it. The Bazaar is an Improvement that provides a location for merchants and consumers to gather and do business on a regular basis.


Currency is merely a substitute for goods and services. Trade in all kinds of goods took place in kind, or barter, since the Stone Age and possibly before. The great Empires of the Bronze Age Middle East had very elaborate economies based on barter and rigorous record keeping. The first currency, then, was a very precise analog of the goods they represented. The first gold coins, mere weights without any markings, appeared in China around780 BC. Around 625 BC metal coins were introduced in Greece, each stamped with the image of an ear of wheat or barley, measures of which had been the previous medium of exchange. By 560 BC Croesus, the King of Lydia (in modern western Turkey), issued coins of gold, silver, and electrum (an alloy of gold and silver) with denominations, a Royal seal and likeness, and milling: ridges around the edge to stop criminals from shaving the precious metal off. Coins became the real measure of wealth from that time on, and increasingly the measure of the value of everything in society.