Sri Padmanabha Swamy’s Treasure


wealthymatters.com

Gold soothes me.Money relaxes me.So I often do the accounts when I wish to relax.Being surrounded by wealth makes me feel good .BTW I don’t have to own any of it to feel good.

The past couple of weeks I have been really stressed out.There are so many things that need to be done that it’s hard to sit down and get any one thing finished before I have to switch over to doing something else.

One of the main ways I have been relaxing,is following the news  stories covering the Supreme Court ordered inventory of the treasure of the Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram.

The principal deity of the temple is Sri Padmanabhaswamy ie Vishnu in the “Ananta-sayanam” posture ie in the eternal sleep of Yoga-nidra on the serpent Ananta.Vishnu is part of the Trinity in Hinduism.He is the Preserver.Lakshmi the Goddess of Wealth is his consort.The current temple was built by the erstwhile rulers of Travancore.

Here is a list of what the newspapers have reported as having been discovered in the cellars that have been opened up so far: Read more of this post

Currencies of Antiquity


The Reichsmark was never an international currency.So studying inflation in the Weimar Republic is not enough.This post traces the history of the Drachma,Denarius,Bezant and Dinar–the international currencies of antiquity.I think knowing this history will help us see the parallels and understand our world better.If macro-economics is not really your thing,atleast knowing about the coins should give a rough idea of which ones would be more collectable for their bullion content!

The Drachma

wealthymatters.comThe Greeks minted stunningly beautiful coins.Non-Greeks thousands of miles away treasured these coins and so they became the first “international currency”.Archeologists have found Greek coins as far away as China, India and Northern Europe. In fact, even though Rome soon rose to eclipse Greece, most Asians kept using Greek money for centuries.

The main currency of Greece was the Athenian Drachma (pic on the left). It was a silver coin, and its weight and quality stayed amazingly consistent through the centuries. From Solon, around 600 BC, to Alexander the Great, around 300 years later, it stayed exactly 67 grains of fine silver. This was the money Alexander brought to India, and from there it traded yet further East becoming the monetary standard of all Asia. And even as Greece declined and was finally absorbed into Rome, its value did not fall much. By the end of the Drachma’s life, it had only declined to 65 grains of fine silver. This is an extraordinary achievement. No other civilization has ever had an international currency that stayed the same value —or pretty much so, since a fall from 67 to 65 grains of silver is a loss of less than 3%. And this was not only during the period of its greatest influence, but even as it declined in power over a period of six centuries.Whatever the secret of the Greeks was, no international currency since then has ever been able to keep its value, even as the government issuing it started on its seemingly inevitable decline.Certainly the conquering Romans were astounded at how the Greeks had mastered money. They paid Greece the ultimate monetary compliment by fashioning their own money, the Roman Denarius, as an exact copy of the Drachma right down to the size and weight. Read more of this post

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