The basic hypothesis of this volume is that currency patterns may tell us something about the spread of wage payments in specific societies in history. As far as wages are paid in currency, in particular in coin, specific patterns of denominations produced and used in space and time may provide insights into the importance of wage labour in those societies. In this book, a number of specialists discuss the relationship between wages and currency, with reference to different countries and regions in Europe, Asia, and South America over more than 2000 years.
The main purpose of this volume is to look for new sources from the fields of monetary history and numismatics for the occurrence and importance of wage labour in general. More specifically, the contributions offer new perspectives on those periods and those parts of the world where alternative sources for labour history were hitherto lacking; or, where a fresh view on the occurrence and nature of wage labour would be worthwhile.