Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Social distancing tip

The Carthaginians also tell us that they trade with a race of men who live in a part of Libya beyond the Pillars of Hercules. On reaching this country, they unload their goods, arrange them tidily along the beach, and then, returning to their boats, raise a smoke. Seeing the smoke, the natives come down to the beach, place on the ground a certain quantity of gold in exchange for the goods, and go off again to a distance. The Carthaginians then come ashore and take a look at the gold; and if they think it represents a fair price for their wares, they collect it and go away; if, on the other hand, it seems too little, they go back aboard and wait, and the natives come and add to the gold until they are satisfied. There is perfect honesty on both sides; the Carthaginians never touch the gold until it equals in value what they have offered for sale, and the natives never touch the goods until the gold has been taken away.

The Histories


Michael Leddy said...

That’s great.

Chris said...

Michael, I let your comment through because you didn't use the words "super" or "awesome." ;-)

Tororo said...

I once read in a book about sea trade in Indian Ocean and China sea (I can't give a reference 'cause this book is now in storage with many others) that Indonesian and Chinese sea merchants from the Middle Ages used exactly the same means for trading with aborigines on the coasts of Australia. 'Cause, you see, Chineses and Indonesians knew about Australia a long time before Europeans did.

Chris said...

Yes, apparently there's good evidence of trade in trepang (bêche-de-mer) between Australia and China long before the days of Captain Cook. Fascinating!