Narrator: Listen to part of a lecture from a History class.
Professor: So we've been talking about life in ancient times,
and today I want to discuss an important aspect of ancient civilizations, the economy.
As the economies of ancient civilizations developed over time and became more complex,
certain changes tended to occur.
Let's talk about a couple of the changes that happened as the economies of ancient civilizations developed.
One of the key economic changes was in the way that people paid for goods and services.
As their civilizations developed,
many began to use currency, money,
to pay for goods and services rather than trading with each other.
A monetary system made it easier to make purchases.
Because people could buy from anyone,
not just those who wanted to trade.
So, for example,
say a man who baked bread wanted a new coat.
Well, with a monetary system,
the man could buy a new coat from the coat maker with money.
This was better than trading,
because the coat maker might not want to trade a coat for the bread maker's bread.
Now another economic change was that ancient civilizations began to acquire items from far away.
In the past, people would only trade locally.
But as their civilizations developed,
they began trading with other people in distant places,
so they were able to acquire goods they wouldn't have otherwise.
For example, the ancient Romans never had silk fabric,
until they started trading with the Chinese,
who lived a great distance from them.
Once the Romans started traveling far away, to China,
they could acquire silk, which was highly prized by the Romans,
because you just couldn't get it anywhere near by.