I’ve been reading Richard Seaford’s 2004 Money and the Early Greek Mind: Homer, Philosophy, Tragedy.
Seaford’s theme: “the monetisation of the Greek polis in the sixth and fifth centuries BC contributed to a radical transformation in thought that is, in a sense, still with us. Academics—perhaps because they are more interested in texts than in money—have emphasized rather the role of alphabetic literacy in the radical intellectual changes of this period.” (p. xi)
Both alphabetic literacy and money involve a leap of abstraction.
Written texts are abstract representations of knowledge that are portable, easily transmittable among many people, and good for long-term storage.
Money is to the economic realm what texts are to the intellectual realm: empowering tools. Cultures that develop literacy become smarter and more knowledgeable. Cultures that develop money become more productive and wealthier.
So I wonder if there is a deep, common connection in the ancient Greek culture that led to both great innovations’ developing at almost the same time.