- Melvyn -
Thanks for yours...
Yes, 'platno' meaning 'piece of cloth/fabric' perhaps being related to
'platidlo' or 'medium of exchange'. The medieval pieces were apparently used
for nothing else - and from the archaeology seem to have been high quality,
finely woven items that were presumably created especially for the function
of payment. Interestingly, metal coins were used at the time for trade with
foreign merchants - 1 silver denarius was worth a stable 10 woven 'satecky'
through the 9th and 10th centuries.
The article that I am translating talks a great deal about Ibrahim ibn
Ya'qub, who is the first written source to mention these pieces of cloth.
Anyone know of an English translation of his writings? (I know these have
survived only fragmentarily, but I assume that they have been brought
together somewhere). I ask because the translator must already have worked
around this problem, and I'd like to know
Didn't the Chinese have something similar at one time?
Ibrahim was born to a Jewish family in Tortosa in Andalusia - I have a fifty
line biography of him in this catalogue, so if anyone wants a copy
(off-list!!) let me know. (Current format Word97, convertible to anything
Archaeological witness to this interest is offered by the numerous Baltic
finds of silver coins in circulation from the mints of the Caliphates and
the Sassanids; until the beginning of the 9th century the products of
western Islamic mints dominated, and were then gradually eased out by the
Asian mints of the Abbasids. The second half of the tenth century is then
characterised by coins of the Central Asian Samanids, and the period around
the year 1000 by a flood of Buwayhid (Buyid) and Ziyarid coins.
Some names for the glossary:
Samanids = samanove
Sassanids = sasanove
Buwayhids (a.k.a. Buyids) = bujove
Ziyarids = zijarove
I'll keep digging - if I find a good translation, I'll let you know.