Rory Brown, Managing Partner of Nicklaus Brown & Co., Talks About the Lydian Influence on Social Innovations
The Lydian Kingdom and the Lydian Lion both played a significant historical role. The Lydian stater was the first true coin and was the basis of nearly every monetary system that followed. But you may not be aware that several social innovations grew out of Lydia and its relationship with its coins.
Coins created a sort of freedom that hadn't existed before. Their ease of use and guaranteed value allowed a free flow of commerce that was unprecedented in the ancient world and afforded those that had coins the freedom of self-determination.
Lydian Coinage Gave Women Options
A dowry, or bride price, is the gift of property or other wealth given to a prospective husband for him to take a woman as his wife. Before the invention of real coinage, and easy, portable wealth, dowries were nearly always paid by the woman's father or another male relative. Since they paid the cost, they got to choose the husband.
Coinage made it easier for women to accumulate their own wealth, which led to an increase in the number of women capable of paying their own dowry, and thus choosing their husbands themselves.
With Money Comes Gambling
Speaking of vices, Lydian coins created gambling halls as well. The portability of coins meant it was easy to wager them in the hopes of gaining more. As a result, it's believed that dice originated in the Lydian kingdom.
The First True Retail Markets Were Born in Lydia
The increased foreign traffic within Lydia that allowed gambling halls to exist was itself a result of the Lydian stater. Coins of known weight and purity made commerce safer and more dependable. People could sell things without having first to weigh and carefully examine the precious metals offered in exchange. Thus Lydia became a hub for merchants around Asia Minor, and retail markets naturally formed to facilitate the exchange of goods.
He was a Founder and Chairman of one of the first Internet Banks, a Founder and Chairman of a $50 billion investment management platform, and the Chairman of a Registered Investment Advisor focused on high net worth individuals and families. Mr. Brown was named Financial Services Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young and has been a founder of multiple companies that have been included in the INC 500. Mr. Brown received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Charleston and is a Certified Public Accountant.
He is passionate about delving into the history of money and how our modern currency has evolved into what it is today. In his spare time, he writes about the history of the Lydians - the first civilization to use gold and silver coinage.