I am very confused, trying to understand the Sages' view on the monetary system of the Torah, and the commentaries do not present a holistic and consistent view.

I am also confused by the historical evidences that the monetary system (based on money units, not barter, i.e. טבעא, not פירא) is relatively modern (mid sec. Temple times) and was non existent in the times of Moses and the first Temple.

Do you know a good book that summaries the opinions and approaches and present a view that is also consistent with the scientific evidences?


1 Answer 1


The most modern book on Talmudic currencies is the second edition of D. Sperber's "Roman Palestine 200-400: Money and Prices." Sperber is an expert on rabbinic literature in its secular context, and this comes through in much of his erudite analyses. He describes the contemporary monetary system as described in the Talmuds and elsewhere. I don't recall him discussing rabbinic thought on hypothetical currencies from per-exillic times, however.

The monograph unfortunately does not account for much of modern numismatics and papyrology. Nonetheless, it is the most complete book on this subject to date.

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