John Colby wrote
But is this evidence of spiritual welfare of metallurgists ......
Throughout history the coincidental mining of salt [incl. solution mining] and local
metal mining - were very closely related - mostly for the minting of coin
The tithe systems were originally concepts which evolved
as salt tax, though prior to this, the monopoly of salt, mainly used for
dehydrating/curing 'sacrificial' meat on the altars of the
Temples, resulted also in the monopolization of cured meat, tanning, etc and
was certainly a powerful economic and authoritarian tool :
Thus with the invention of mass produced money, i.e. coins as opposed
to the tally system:
..."payment to the church of tithes on metalliferous
ores" was most probably an alternative means of payment to the issue of coin
in lieu of salt, and ["hal" Greek: salt] hall-marked for its
authenticity, and requiring the more malleable metals
Thus there is an [uncertain] connection between ownership by the
Church, of both kinds of mine [ salt and/or metal]
Close association of salt with money was [also] noted by Marco Polo
journeying through China in the 11th century AD. He wrote about it
as if it were a treasure as precious as gold. In addition to the
quasi-currency role of standardized metal and salt pieces, there
developed a definite association between making salt and the actual
operation of minting money. In very early times many ancient
towns in Greece and Medieval Europe did both. So, for example
in Charlemagne's reign ' ..it was convenient to authorize the
collector of a particular tax - the farmer of a salt pan, as the steward
of royal domain .... to receive payment, at need ... presentations in
kind, foreign or ancient coins of metal by weight, and to render the
amount or the revenues of his [salt] farming, in coins minted on the
spot, and bearing a signature which served as a guarantee of their
standard and value, and a place-name which recorded their place
Schwabisch Hall in Germany is a good example of such inter
related currency and trade arrangements. The Hall Senate
owned springs and factories here, and in the Middle Ages
they also minted coins which were issued for services done
or goods delivered to the town and for the purchase and sale
of their salt. The coins were also chartered as legal currency
for duty payments and tolls on the local roads, bridges and gates.
They became known as the 'coins' of Hall or 'Heller' money ,
derived from an old German word for salt - 'Halle' .
Because of its local purchasing power, this currency was
highly rated in most German markets although its value
frequently changed according to supply and demand [of salt].
Although the historical links with the metal trade are clearly evident.
salt has not been used as money in the sense that is generally
accepted or understood today. Perhaps analyzing the historical
connection and its evolution would help us to appreciate the role
of money in modern economies.
The first edict that comes to mind is: that money has no
value until you spend it or pay tax with it !
[except of course - its intrinsic metal value]
SALT ARCHIVE http://salt.org.il
Investigating the influence of Salt
On civilization before the
From: Peter Claughton [SMTP:[log in to unmask]] <mailto:[SMTP:[log in to unmask]]>
>Incidentally, I know of no instance of tithes being levied on lead ore
>in Wales. This seems to have been confined to Derbyshire. I doubt
>whether many mining parishes became rich on them; many of the more
>valuable tithes found their way into lay hands at the Reformation.
In England and Wales the payment to the church of tithes on metalliferous
ores was accepted practice by at least the early part of the 13th century.
The earliest reference I have to the payment of tithes is a grant of the
Devon stannary at farm in 1234 which included an instruction to pay 'to the
bishop of Exeter of UKP10 in the name of tithe, which he is accustomed to
receive from the said stannary.'