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This entry examines the history and functions of money to illuminate its role in society. The economics of money is also reviewed, with a focus on the consequences of its presence and its manipulation. But here at the beginning, we start with a definition of money: Money is any technology, whether it be a physical item or a verifiable record of exchange, that is accepted as a payment for goods and services, or in the repayment of debt.

When the Gauls besieged Rome in 390 BCE, their approach was foiled by a noisy flock of sacred geese next to the Temple of Capitoline Jupiter. Rome’s fortune was kept in the temple, which was dedicated to the gods: Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva. The geese were dedicated ...

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