ARTICLES about the




This is the index to series of recent articles on early world coinages. Click the links to get to the individual pieces.

All the articles are attempts to get at a more objective form of economic and political history, by making texts synchronise with the coins themselves, the numismatic evidence, the objects.



Shows (in an accessible way) the common intellectual environments surrounding first coin use in Europe, India and China at the dawn of history, and the relationship of this environment to Karl Popper's notion of the Open Society



an article about academic clientelism in numismatics and beyond. By 'academic clientelism' I mean the problem that academic institutions sometimes become clients of wealthy external agencies, and then tailor their conclusions to suit their pay masters, without regard to scholarly integrity. (Prof. Watson/Toronto/Yale/Prof Lopez/Prof Munro/Ford Foundation/Annales/UNESCO)




Idealised versions of Spartan & Cretan hierarchical political systems were used as templates for a proposed reactionary restructuring of society by Plato. Reactionary Roman politicians used hierarchical tribal German political systems to much the same ends. Less well publicised is the way that, via Islam, ancient Scythian hierarchical idealised social systems were implanted into conceptual framework of medieval European elites. As usual, if we 'follow the money' the picture becomes much clearer. (Unfortunately the web version lacks the pictures and the map…)



Outlines Gesell's notions of market economies without capitalism. Raises the possibility that medieval change-of-type mechanisms in Europe, Islam and Japan were launched to achieve similar ends as Gesell’s stamp money, one thousand years earlier. (The policies of the Anglo-Saxon ruler Aethelred II (978-1014) which spread to Denmark, Bohemia, Poland, and then to certain German principalities and continued to be practiced into the 13th century, and a second phase which had its roots in the policies of Persian Ilkhan Uljaitu, 1304-16. )



A New History of The Royal Mint, edited by Dr Challis, lays before us a history of the English mint from Anglo-Saxon times, in great detail, copiously annotated and backed up by scores of statistical tables. But what of the central issues, are they really addressed? In a work which even tells us who swept the floor of the 18th century Royal Mint, we cannot find an answer to the central question: Why was the mint not striking coins?

Note - neither Dr Dyer nor Dr Challis have ever offered criticism of the facts or the argument of this piece. The YNS mysteriously failed to reprint it in their journal back in 1997. Dr D & Dr C were both honorary members of the YNS at the time.




Josep Pico (Clientelism issues)

offers an excellent bibliography related to the 'post-modern' Franco-American redirection of the course of academia, of the doings of Annales, The Ford Foundation, etc etc

For parallel Anglo-American covert operations to direct the course of scholarship - see Francis Stonor Saunders 'Who paid the piper?'. The implications of the Anglo-American affair were of much less consequence, but the study gives an excellent overview of the general methodology (arising within military intelligence during WWII)


Wray/Kurke (Origins of coins/open society issues)

"As Kurke’s analysis makes clear, through their ignorance of history …….. economists have wholly misinterpreted the nature of money and the importance of government to the formation of democratizing market exchange, and would instead promote a return to the embedded economy with elite, hierarchical gift exchange and with precious metal at the apex."

It is odd that classics scholars continue to play a central role in addressing the fundamental issues of the political economy. Like Seaford, Kurke/Wray independently formed conclusions somewhat similar to my own on the origins of coins.. I am puzzled however that Kurke, Seaford & co continue to pay lip service to such anti-democratic theorists as Polanyi. Readers of 'Origins' & 'Clientalism' above should note that Polanyi was intellectually linked to Braudel, [and to Levi-Strauss (via Sahlins), and also to Moses Finlay at Oxford]. And Polanyi also got paid by the Ford Foundation…..



Hierarchy, History and Human Nature, Donald E Brown,
A really useful approach to the writing of objective history. Traces the common notions of objectivity in history (through four continents and the two and a half thousand years that coins have existed, but without using coins unfortunately) Though Brown seems shy about admitting this himself, Pinker has located him in a group of scholars associating themselves with Chomsky, who, in a tradition linking Voltaire through to Russell, continue to try to keep the enlightenment candle flickering.


'Who paid the piper?' Francis Stonor Saunders.
I have been thinking through the implications of this book for about two years now. I guess I would have to say that it helped me understand how Nazis lost the last war in material terms, but nevertheless won it intellectually. And thus, how objective scholarship is the primary province of resistance.