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In one of the favorite children’s fairy tales “The Golden Key, or the Adventures of Curation” A.N. Tolstoy often mentions a coin with the name sold. In particular, for four solo’s, a small wooden man, carved out of a talking log by the organ grinder Carlo, sold the alphabet to buy a ticket to the Karakas Barabbas puppet theater. Also, for four solos, the leech seller Duramax hired a man who had to stand naked in the swamp and wait for the leeches that sucked to the body.

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However, in the prototype of Tolstoy’s fairy tale – the story of the Italian writer Carlo Colloid “The Adventures of Pinocchio. The history of the wooden doll ”(1881) – there is no mention of the sold. By the time they were written and published, the Colloid solo’s tales were already out of circulation. The last coins with this name were minted in the late 1860s. Small coins in the tale of Pinocchio are called centesimo, a real Italian change at that time. The gold coins that Pinocchio buried in the Field of Miracles in the Land of Fools at Colloid were called guilds.

In 1954, at the San Remo Festival, Catini Rainer sang the song “Canzone da due solid” (“Song for two solid”). Under the title “Two pennies” performed by Polina Aggrieve, Claudia Shulzhenko and Leonid Utes, this Italian song was very popular in the Soviet Union.

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Sold is often found in the tales of Gianni Rosary, for example, in his “Magic Drum”.

So what is this coin – sold? In all works of art, sold is the name of the smallest bargaining chip. But is it? And has it always been this way?

Let’s try to figure it out.

The first solos were minted in the 1190s in Milan under the German emperor Henry VI. They were called Grosso (penny, penny), and in everyday Italian “doppio sold” (double sold) weighing 2.0 – 2.2 g of silver. One sold weighed about 1.25 g. Then silver sold began to be minted in other Italian states. The name “sold” goes back to the name of the late Roman gold coin solidus (Latin “hard”, “durable”).

In the following centuries, sold spread as the main currency of exchange in various kingdoms, duchies and republics, which eventually merged into the Italian Kingdom in 1861.

Sold. Milan. Ruler AZ zone Visconti (1329-1339). Silver, 1.39 g. On the reverse – Saint Ambrose of Mediolanum (Milan) on the throne

And it was originally far from the smallest coin. Sold became a bargaining chip with low purchasing power only in the 18th century. Two or three centuries earlier, salaries were paid to mercenaries with silver sold, who therefore received the name – soldiers, that is, the military, who received a salary in sold.

Sold. Florentine Republic (XIII century – 1532). Silver, 1.69 g. Obverse – heraldic lily. Reverse – John the Baptist

Mercenaries flourished in Italy in the 15th and 16th centuries. The wealthy Italian republics hired warriors for both defense and aggression against neighbors, and paid them in sold. For example, a mercenary arquebusier in the 16th century received a daily salary of 14-15 sold, and a pokier unprotected with armor – 12 sold. For comparison, a hired agricultural worker was content with his wages in the amount of 8-9 sold per day.

As for the prices of food in Italy in the 16th century, a pound of bread (340 g), depending on the quality, could be bought for 1-2 sold, a flask of wine for 5 sold, a pound of meat (lamb or veal) cost 2 sold …

It was during this period that the name Sold and the word “soldier” spread widely throughout Italy and Europe as a whole. Until now, in German, the salary of the military is called “Sold”.

By the way, the word “soldier” came to Russia in the 17th century from the German language and was originally applied only to European mercenaries who served under Tsars Mikhail Fedorovich and Alexei Mikhailovich in the regiments of a foreign system.

Sold. Duchy of Milan. Francesco Sforza (1450-1466). Silver, 1.38 g

Over the course of seven centuries, the sold changed several times, depreciated, moving from a silver coin to a billon coin, until it finally became copper in the 18th century. The design details and specifications of the coin changed, but the name and popularity among the people remained the same.

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