Fiat money is a currency without intrinsic value, established as money by government regulation. Fiat money does not have use value, has value only because a government maintains its value, or because parties engaging in exchange agree on its value, it was introduced as an alternative to representative money. Commodity money is created from a good a precious metal such as gold or silver, which has uses other than as a medium of exchange. Representative money is similar to fiat money. Government issued. Since they have been used by various countries concurrently with commodity currencies. Fiat money started to dominate in the 20th century. Since the decoupling of the US dollar from gold by Richard Nixon in 1971, a system of national fiat currencies has been used globally. Fiat money has been defined variously as: Any money declared by a government to be legal tender. State-issued money, neither convertible by law to any other thing, nor fixed in value in terms of any objective standard. Intrinsically valueless money used as money because of government decree.
An intrinsically useless object that serves as a medium of exchange The term fiat derives from the Latin fiat used in the sense of an order, decree or resolution. In monetary economics, fiat money is an intrinsically valueless object or record, accepted as a means of payment. In some micro-founded models of money, fiat money is created internally in a community making feasible trades that would not otherwise be possible, either because producers and consumers may not anonymously write IOUs, or because of physical constraints. Circulating silver coins in the 1960s ceased to be produced containing the precious metal when the face value of the coin was below the cost of the elemental metal; the Coinage Act of 1965 eliminated silver from the circulating dimes and quarter dollars of the United States, most other countries did the same with their coins. The Canadian penny was copper until 1996 and was removed from circulation in the fall of 2012 due to the cost of production relative to face value.
In 2007 the Royal Canadian Mint sold five of them. In 2015, the gold in the coins was worth more than 3.5 times the face value. China has a long history with paper money, beginning in the 7th century. In the 11th century, the government established a monopoly on its issuance, around the turn of the 12th century, convertibility was suspended; the use of such money became widespread during the subsequent Ming dynasties. The Song Dynasty in China was the first to issue paper money, around the 10th century AD. Although the notes were valued at a certain exchange rate for gold, silver, or silk, conversion was never allowed in practice; the notes were to be redeemed after three years' service, to be replaced by new notes for a 3% service charge, but, as more of them were printed without notes being retired, inflation became evident. The government made several attempts to support the paper by demanding taxes in currency and making other laws, but the damage had been done, the notes fell out of favor.
The successive Yuan Dynasty was the first dynasty in China to use paper currency as the predominant circulating medium. The founder of the Yuan Dynasty, Kublai Khan, issued paper money known as Chao in his reign; the original notes during the Yuan Dynasty were restricted in area and duration as in the Song Dynasty. During the 13th century, Marco Polo described the fiat money of the Yuan Dynasty in his book The Travels of Marco Polo. All these pieces of paper are issued with as much solemnity and authority as if they were of pure gold or silver... and indeed everybody takes them for wheresoever a person may go throughout the Great Kaan's dominions he shall find these pieces of paper current, shall be able to transact all sales and purchases of goods by means of them just as well as if they were coins of pure gold. Washington Irving records an emergency use of paper money by the Spanish in a siege during the Conquest of Granada. In 1661, Johan Palmstruch issued the first regular paper money in the West, under royal charter from the Kingdom of Sweden, through a new institution, the Bank of Stockholm.
While this private paper currency was a failure, the Swedish parliament took over the issue of paper money in the country. By 1745, its paper money was inconvertible to specie; this fiat currency depreciated so that by 1776 it returned to a silver standard. Fiat money has other roots in 17th-century Europe, having been introduced by the Bank of Amsterdam in 1683. In 17th century New France, now part of Canada, the universally accepted medium of exchange was the beaver pelt; as the colony expanded, coins from France came to be used, but there was a shortage of French coins. In 1685, the colonial authorities in New France found themselves short of money. A military expedition against the Iroquois had gone badly and tax revenues were down, reducing government money reserves; when short of funds, the government would delay paying merchants for purchases, but it was not safe to delay payment to soldiers due to the risk of mutiny. Jacques de Meulles, the Intendant of Finance, came up with an ingenious ad-hoc solution – the temporary issuance of paper money to pay the soldiers, in the form of playing cards.
He confiscated all the playing cards in the colony, cut them up into pieces, wrote denominations on the piece
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Great Britain and Spain in 1763 under the Treaty of Paris. At its peak in 1712, the territory of New France sometimes known as the French North American Empire or Royal New France, consisted of five colonies, each with its own administration: Canada, the most developed colony and divided into the districts of Québec, Trois-Rivières and Montréal. In the sixteenth century, the lands were used to draw from the wealth of natural resources such as furs through trade with the various indigenous peoples. In the seventeenth century, successful settlements began in Acadia, in Quebec by the efforts of Champlain. By 1765, the population of the new Province of Quebec reached 70,000 settlers; the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht resulted in France relinquishing its claims to mainland Acadia, the Hudson Bay and Newfoundland to England.
France established the colony of Île Royale, now called Cape Breton Island, where they built the Fortress of Louisbourg. Acadia had a difficult history, with the British causing the Great Upheaval with the forced expulsion of the Acadians in the period from 1755 to 1764; this has been remembered on July 28 each year since 2003. Their descendants are dispersed in the Maritime Provinces of Canada, in Maine and Louisiana in the United States, with small populations in Chéticamp, Nova Scotia and the Magdalen Islands; some went to France. In 1763, France had ceded the rest of New France, except the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, to Great Britain and Spain at the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Seven Years' War. Britain received Canada and the parts of French Louisiana which lay east of the Mississippi River – except for the Île d'Orléans, granted to Spain, along with the territory to the west – the larger portion of Louisiana. In 1800, Spain returned its portion of Louisiana to France under the secret Treaty of San Ildefonso.
However, French leader Napoleon Bonaparte in turn sold it to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, permanently ending French colonial efforts on the North American mainland. New France became absorbed within the United States and Canada, with the only vestige remaining under French rule being the tiny islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon. In the United States, the legacy of New France includes numerous placenames as well as small pockets of French-speaking communities. In Canada, institutional bilingualism and strong Francophone identities are arguably the most enduring legacy of New France. Around 1523, the Florentine navigator Giovanni da Verrazzano convinced King Francis I to commission an expedition to find a western route to Cathay. Late that year, Verrazzano set sail in Dieppe. After exploring the coast of the present-day Carolinas early the following year, he headed north along the coast anchoring in the Narrows of New York Bay; the first European to visit the site of present-day New York, Verrazzano named it Nouvelle-Angoulême in honour of the king, the former count of Angoulême.
Verrazzano's voyage convinced the king to seek to establish a colony in the newly discovered land. Verrazzano gave the names Francesca and Nova Gallia to that land between New Spain and English Newfoundland. In 1534, Jacques Cartier planted a cross in the Gaspé Peninsula and claimed the land in the name of King Francis I, it was the first province of New France. The first settlement of 400 people, Fort Charlesbourg-Royal, was attempted in 1541 but lasted only two years. French fishing fleets continued to sail to the Atlantic coast and into the St. Lawrence River, making alliances with Canadian First Nations that became important once France began to occupy the land. French merchants soon realized the St. Lawrence region was full of valuable fur-bearing animals the beaver, which were becoming rare in Europe; the French crown decided to colonize the territory to secure and expand its influence in America. Another early French attempt at settlement in North America took place in 1564 at Fort Caroline, now Jacksonville, Florida.
Intended as a haven for Huguenots, Caroline was founded under the leadership of René Goulaine de Laudonnière and Jean Ribault. It was sacked by the Spanish led by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés who established the settlement of St. Augustine on 20 September 1565. Acadia and Canada were inhabited by indigenous nomadic Algonquian peoples and sedentary Iroquoian peoples; these lands were full of valuable natural resources, which attracted all of Europe. By the 1580s, French trading companies had been set up, ships were contracted to bring back furs. Much of what transpired between the indigenous population and their European visitors around that time is not known, for lack of historical records. Other attempts at establishing permanent settlements were failures. In 1598, a French trading post was established on Sable Island, off the coast of Acadia, but was unsuccessful. In 1600, a trading post was established at Tadoussac. In 1604, a settlement w
Maroons were Africans and their descendants in the Americas who formed settlements away from New World chattel slavery. Some had escaped from plantations, but others had always been free, like those born among them in freedom, they mixed with indigenous peoples, thus creating distinctive creole cultures. The American Spanish word cimarrón is given as the source of the English word maroon used to describe the runaway slave communities of Florida and of the Great Dismal Swamp on the border of Virginia and North Carolina, on colonial islands of the Caribbean, other parts of the New World. Lyle Campbell says the Spanish word cimarrón means "wild, unruly" or "runaway slave"; the linguist Leo Spitzer, writing in the journal Language, says, "If there is a connection between Eng. maroon, Fr. marron, Sp. cimarrón, Spain gave the word directly to England." The Cuban philologist José Juan Arrom has traced the origins of the word maroon further than the Spanish cimarrón, used first in Hispaniola to refer to feral cattle to enslaved Indians who escaped to the hills, by the early 1530s to enslaved Africans who did the same.
He proposes that the American Spanish word derives from the Arawakan root word simarabo, construed as "fugitive", in the Arawakan language spoken by the Taíno people native to the island. In the New World, as early as 1512, enslaved Africans escaped from Spanish captors and either joined indigenous peoples or eked out a living on their own. Sir Francis Drake enlisted several cimarrones during his raids on the Spanish; as early as 1655, escaped Africans had formed their own communities in inland Jamaica, by the 18th century, Nanny Town and other villages began to fight for independent recognition. When runaway Blacks and Amerindians banded together and subsisted independently they were called Maroons. On the Caribbean islands, they on some islands, armed camps. Maroon communities faced great odds against their surviving attacks by hostile colonists, obtaining food for subsistence living, as well as reproducing and increasing their numbers; as the planters took over more land for crops, the Maroons began to lose ground on the small islands.
Only on some of the larger islands were organized Maroon communities able to thrive by growing crops and hunting. Here they grew in number as more Blacks joined their bands. Seeking to separate themselves from Whites, the Maroons gained in power and amid increasing hostilities, they raided and pillaged plantations and harassed planters until the planters began to fear a massive revolt of the enslaved Blacks; the early Maroon communities were displaced. By 1700, Maroons had disappeared from the smaller islands. Survival was always difficult as the Maroons had to fight off attackers as well as attempt to grow food. One of the most influential Maroons was François Mackandal, a houngan, or voodoo priest, who led a six-year rebellion against the white plantation owners in Haiti that preceded the Haitian Revolution. In Cuba, there were maroon communities in the mountains, where African refugees who escaped the brutality of slavery and joined refugee Taínos. Before roads were built into the mountains of Puerto Rico, heavy brush kept many escaped maroons hidden in the southwestern hills where many intermarried with the natives.
Escaped Blacks sought refuge away from the coastal plantations of Ponce. Remnants of these communities remain to this day for example in Viñales and Adjuntas, Puerto Rico. Maroon communities emerged in many places in the Caribbean, but none were seen as such a great threat to the British as the Jamaican Maroons. A British governor signed a treaty in 1739 and 1740 promising them 2,500 acres in two locations, to bring an end to the warfare between the communities. In exchange they were to agree to capture other escaped Blacks, they were paid a bounty of two dollars for each African returned. Beginning in the late 17th century, Jamaican Maroons fought British colonists to a draw and signed treaties in the mid-18th century that freed them a century before the Slavery Abolition Act 1833, which came into effect in 1838. To this day, the Jamaican Maroons are to a significant extent autonomous and separate from Jamaican society; the physical isolation used to their advantage by their ancestors has today led to their communities remaining among the most inaccessible on the island.
In their largest town, Accompong, in the parish of St. Elizabeth, the Leeward Maroons still possess a vibrant community of about 600. Tours of the village are offered to foreigners and a large festival is put on every January 6 to commemorate the signing of the peace treaty with the British after the First Maroon War. In the plantation colony of Suriname, which England ceded to the Netherlands in the Treaty of Breda, escaped Blacks revolted and started to build their own villages from the end of the 17th century; as most of the plantations existed in the eastern part of the country, near the Commewijne River and Marowijne River, the Marronage took place along the river borders and sometimes across the borders of French Guiana. By 1740 the Maroons had formed clans and felt strong enough to challenge the Dutch colonists, forcing them to sign peace treaties. On October 10, 1760, the Ndyuka signed such a treaty forged by Adyáko Benti Basiton of Boston, a former enslaved African from Jamaica who had learned to read and write and knew about the Jamaican treaty.
The treaty is still important, as it defines the territorial rights of the Maroons in the gold-rich inlands of Suriname. Slaves escaped within the first generation of their arrival from Africa and preserved their African languages and much o
An ordonnateur or commissaire-ordonnateur in the French colonial era was responsible for fiscal matters in a colony, as opposed to the governor, responsible for the military. The relationship between the two heads was tense. Under modern public law, the ordonnateur is a French administrator who authorises collection of revenue and payment of expenses; this is a government minister at the national level, a departmental prefect, the head of a local government or the executive in charge of a state institution such as a university or hospital. The function is separated by law from that of the comptable. From the late 17th century power in the French colonies was divided between a governor, responsible for the military, an ordinnateur, responsible for finances; the governor was a professional soldier and the ordinnateur was from the professional class of men of the robe. They were commissioned naval commissaries, or officers of the pen; the position was based on the concept of the intendants. It was called commissaire-ordonnateur or premier conseilleur.
The ordonnateurs without the prestige of that title. The ordonnateur had the authority to order treasurers to make payments on behalf of the government of the colony, but did not handle the money, did not have authority over those who did; the ordonnateur in French Louisiana supervised royal properties, issued royal supplies, collected tarrifs and taxes and was the first judge of the Superior Council of Louisiana. Separate areas of responsibility and authority between the governor and ordinnateur were defined, but there were clashes in areas of overlap or ambiguity. For example, building fortifications would have both military and financial aspects, it might be unclear who had ultimate authority over trade or justice. Two intendents, one in New France and the other in the West Indies were responsible for civil administration between 1680 and 1718. In 1704 André Deslandes arrived in Saint-Domingue as the first ordonnateur of the colony, in 1705 he established a Superior Council at Cap Français.
Jean-Jacques Mithon de Senneville served as a commissary under Intendent Robert in Martinique from 1697, in 1708 became ordonnateur of Saint-Domingue, on 9 August 1718 was named the first intendant of the Leeward Islands. In 1725 Jean-Baptiste Dubois-Duclos was named ordonnateur of Saint-Domingue, in 1728 Gilles Hocquart was named ordonnateur of Canada, it was not until 1731. Paul Lefebvre d'Albon was commissaire-ordonnateur in Cayenne from 1712 to 1746. Charles Mesnier was commissaire-ordonnateur in Guadeloupe from 1723 to 1729. On Île-Royale Pierre-August de Soubras was commissaire-ordonnateur from 1714 to 1718, succeeded by Jacques-Sébastien Le Normant de Mézy from 1718 to 1731; the functions of the ordonnateur in the public administration are defined by decree 2012-1246 of 7 November 2012, which defines the functions of the comptable. The title applies to the heads of national and local government departments and public institutions such as hospitals, educational establishments and resource centers.
Ordonnateurs are financial decision makers, have sole authority to assess whether an expense should be incurred or a receipt is due. The role of ordonnateur is reserved for senior political authorities. At the national level the ministers are ordonnateurs, in local governments the local executive has this function, the executive head of a public institution has the function. There are two grades of ordonnateur in the public administration and secondary; the ordonnateurs principaux have a directly assigned budget, which at the national level is assigned by parliament to each ministry. The ordonnateurs secondaires are delegated credits from the ordonnateurs principaux. Prefects are ordonnateurs secondaires of the state. There are no ordonnateurs secondaires at the local level. Ordonnateurs at both levels may delegate their signing authority, but remain responsible for the acts of their delegates. Ordonnateurs authorise collection of payment of expenses, they determine rights and obligations, clear receipts, issue invoices and authorize expenses and credits where appropriate.
They transmit orders to collect to the competent comptable. Spending operations include commitment and authorization. Commitment is the act by which the public body creates or discovers an obligation that will result in a charge, which should by settled from the approved budget. Liquidation verifies that an amount is payable and the appropriate documents have been submitted. Scheduling authorises payment by the accountant; the ordonnateur sends the comptable orders for collection of payments such as rentals and other non-tax revenue. Taxes are collected by separate authorities; the comptable keeps the accounts. They are a Public Treasury official appointed by the Ministry of Budget and Finance. Between them the two officials have full control over the budget; the functions cannot be combined. The ordonnateur cannot handle public money because it would "burn their fingers." By separating the functions of authorization and payment or receipt there is greater control and less temptation to deviate from the rules.
To ensure full separation, the comptable is not subordinate to the ordonnateur, is ineligible for local election
A currency, in the most specific sense is money in any form when in use or circulation as a medium of exchange circulating banknotes and coins. A more general definition is that a currency is a system of money in common use for people in a nation. Under this definition, US dollars, pounds sterling, Australian dollars, European euros, Russian rubles and Indian Rupees are examples of currency; these various currencies are recognized as stores of value and are traded between nations in foreign exchange markets, which determine the relative values of the different currencies. Currencies in this sense are defined by governments, each type has limited boundaries of acceptance. Other definitions of the term "currency" are discussed in their respective synonymous articles banknote and money; the latter definition, pertaining to the currency systems of nations, is the topic of this article. Currencies can be classified into two monetary systems: fiat money and commodity money, depending on what guarantees the currency's value.
Some currencies are legal tender in certain political jurisdictions. Others are traded for their economic value. Digital currency has arisen with the popularity of the Internet. Money was a form of receipt, representing grain stored in temple granaries in Sumer in ancient Mesopotamia and in Ancient Egypt. In this first stage of currency, metals were used as symbols to represent value stored in the form of commodities; this formed the basis of trade in the Fertile Crescent for over 1500 years. However, the collapse of the Near Eastern trading system pointed to a flaw: in an era where there was no place, safe to store value, the value of a circulating medium could only be as sound as the forces that defended that store. A trade could only reach as far as the credibility of that military. By the late Bronze Age, however, a series of treaties had established safe passage for merchants around the Eastern Mediterranean, spreading from Minoan Crete and Mycenae in the northwest to Elam and Bahrain in the southeast.
It is not known what was used as a currency for these exchanges, but it is thought that ox-hide shaped ingots of copper, produced in Cyprus, may have functioned as a currency. It is thought that the increase in piracy and raiding associated with the Bronze Age collapse produced by the Peoples of the Sea, brought the trading system of oxhide ingots to an end, it was only the recovery of Phoenician trade in the 10th and 9th centuries BC that led to a return to prosperity, the appearance of real coinage first in Anatolia with Croesus of Lydia and subsequently with the Greeks and Persians. In Africa, many forms of value store have been used, including beads, ivory, various forms of weapons, the manilla currency, ochre and other earth oxides; the manilla rings of West Africa were one of the currencies used from the 15th century onwards to sell slaves. African currency is still notable for its variety, in many places, various forms of barter still apply; these factors led to the metal itself being the store of value: first silver both silver and gold, at one point bronze.
Now we have other non-precious metals as coins. Metals were mined and stamped into coins; this was to assure the individual accepting the coin that he was getting a certain known weight of precious metal. Coins could be counterfeited, but the existence of standard coins created a new unit of account, which helped lead to banking. Archimedes' principle provided the next link: coins could now be tested for their fine weight of metal, thus the value of a coin could be determined if it had been shaved, debased or otherwise tampered with. Most major economies using coinage had several tiers of coins of different values, made of copper and gold. Gold coins were the most valuable and were used for large purchases, payment of the military and backing of state activities. Units of account were defined as the value of a particular type of gold coin. Silver coins were used for midsized transactions, sometimes defined a unit of account, while coins of copper or silver, or some mixture of them, might be used for everyday transactions.
This system had been used in ancient India since the time of the Mahajanapadas. The exact ratios between the values of the three metals varied between different eras and places. However, the rarity of gold made it more valuable than silver, silver was worth more than copper. In premodern China, the need for credit and for a medium of exchange, less physically cumbersome than large numbers of copper coins led to the introduction of paper money, i.e. banknotes. Their introduction was a gradual process which lasted from the late Tang dynasty into the Song dynasty, it began as a means for merchants to exchange heavy coinage for receipts of deposit issued as promissory notes by wholesalers' shops. These notes were valid for temporary use in a small regional territory. In the 10th century, the Song dynasty government began to circulate these notes amongst the traders in its monopolized salt industry; the Song government granted several shops the right to issue banknotes, in the early 12th century the government took over these shops to produce state-issued currency.
Yet the banknotes issued w
Communes of France
The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain; the United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered; the communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France. Communes vary in size and area, from large sprawling cities with millions of inhabitants like Paris, to small hamlets with only a handful of inhabitants. Communes are based on pre-existing villages and facilitate local governance. All communes have names, but not all named geographic areas or groups of people residing together are communes, the difference residing in the lack of administrative powers.
Except for the municipal arrondissements of its largest cities, the communes are the lowest level of administrative division in France and are governed by elected officials with extensive autonomous powers to implement national policy. A commune is city, or other municipality. "Commune" in English has a historical bias, implies an association with socialist political movements or philosophies, collectivist lifestyles, or particular history. There is nothing intrinsically different between commune in French; the French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin communia, for a large gathering of people sharing a common life. As of January 2015, there were 36,681 communes in France, 36,552 of them in metropolitan France and 129 of them overseas; this is a higher total than that of any other European country, because French communes still reflect the division of France into villages or parishes at the time of the French Revolution. The whole territory of the French Republic is divided into communes.
This is unlike some other countries, such as the United States, where unincorporated areas directly governed by a county or a higher authority can be found. There are only a few exceptions: COM of Saint-Martin, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe région. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Martin became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. COM of Wallis and Futuna, which still is divided according to the three traditional chiefdoms. COM of Saint Barthélemy, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe region. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Barthélemy became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. Furthermore, two regions without permanent habitation have no communes: TOM of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean In metropolitan France, the average area of a commune in 2004 was 14.88 square kilometres. The median area of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was smaller, at 10.73 square kilometres. The median area is a better measure of the area of a typical French commune.
This median area is smaller than that of most European countries. In Italy, the median area of communes is 22 km2. Switzerland and the Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia in Germany were the only places in Europe where the communes had a smaller median area than in France; the communes of France's overseas départements such as Réunion and French Guiana are large by French standards. They group into the same commune several villages or towns with sizeable distances among them. In Réunion, demographic expansion and sprawling urbanization have resulted in the administrative splitting of some communes; the median population of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was 380 inhabitants. Again this is a small number, here France stands apart in Europe, with the lowest communes' median population of all the European countries; this small median population of French communes can be compared with Italy, where the median population of communes in 2001 was 2,343 inhabitants, Belgium, or Spain.
The median population given here should not hide the fact that there are pronounced differences in size between French communes. As mentioned in the introduction, a commune can be a city of 2 million inhabitants such as Paris, a town of 10,000 inhabitants, or just a hamlet of 10 inhabitants. What the median population tells us is that the vast majority of the French communes only have a few hundred inhabitants. In metropolitan France just over 50 percent of the 36,683 communes have fewer than 500 inhabitants a
A playing card is a piece of specially prepared heavy paper, thin cardboard, plastic-coated paper, cotton-paper blend, or thin plastic, marked with distinguishing motifs and used as one of a set for playing card games, performing magic tricks and flourishes, for cardistry, in card throwing. Playing cards are palm-sized for convenient handling, are sold together as a deck of cards or pack of cards. Playing cards were first invented in China during the Tang dynasty. Playing cards may have been invented during the Tang dynasty around the 9th century AD as a result of the usage of woodblock printing technology; the first possible reference to card games comes from a 9th-century text known as the Collection of Miscellanea at Duyang, written by Tang dynasty writer Su E. It describes Princess Tongchang, daughter of Emperor Yizong of Tang, playing the "leaf game" in 868 with members of the Wei clan, the family of the princess' husband; the first known book on the "leaf" game was called the Yezi Gexi and written by a Tang woman.
It received commentary by writers of subsequent dynasties. The Song dynasty scholar Ouyang Xiu asserts that the "leaf" game existed at least since the mid-Tang dynasty and associated its invention with the development of printed sheets as a writing medium. However, Ouyang claims that the "leaves" were pages of a book used in a board game played with dice, that the rules of the game were lost by 1067. Other games revolving around alcoholic drinking involved using playing cards of a sort from the Tang dynasty onward. However, these cards did not contain numbers. Instead, they were printed with forfeits for whomever drew them; the earliest dated instance of a game involving cards with suits and numerals occurred on 17 July 1294 when "Yan Sengzhu and Zheng Pig-Dog were caught playing cards and that wood blocks for printing them had been impounded, together with nine of the actual cards."William Henry Wilkinson suggests that the first cards may have been actual paper currency which doubled as both the tools of gaming and the stakes being played for, similar to trading card games.
Using paper money was inconvenient and risky so they were substituted by play money known as "money cards". One of the earliest games in which we know the rules is madiao, a trick-taking game, which dates to the Ming Dynasty. 15th-century scholar Lu Rong described it is as being played with 38 "money cards" divided into four suits: 9 in coins, 9 in strings of coins, 9 in myriads, 11 in tens of myriads. The two latter suits had Water Margin characters instead of pips on them with Chinese characters to mark their rank and suit; the suit of coins is in reverse order with 9 of coins being the lowest going up to 1 of coins as the high card. Despite the wide variety of patterns, the suits show a uniformity of structure; every suit contains twelve cards with the top two being the court cards of king and vizier and the bottom ten being pip cards. Half the suits use reverse ranking for their pip cards. There are many motifs for the suit pips but some include coins, clubs and swords which resemble Mamluk and Latin suits.
Michael Dummett speculated that Mamluk cards may have descended from an earlier deck which consisted of 48 cards divided into four suits each with ten pip cards and two court cards. By the 11th century, playing cards were spreading throughout the Asian continent and came into Egypt; the oldest surviving cards in the world are four fragments found in the Keir Collection and one in the Benaki Museum. They are dated to the 13th centuries. A near complete pack of Mamluk playing cards dating to the 15th century and of similar appearance to the fragments above was discovered by Leo Aryeh Mayer in the Topkapı Palace, Istanbul, in 1939, it is not a complete set and is composed of three different packs to replace missing cards. The Topkapı pack contained 52 cards comprising four suits: polo-sticks, coins and cups; each suit contained ten pip cards and three court cards, called malik, nā'ib malik, thānī nā'ib. The thānī nā ` ib is a non-existent title. In fact, the word "Kanjifah" appears in Arabic on the king of swords and is still used in parts of the Middle East to describe modern playing cards.
Influence from further east can explain why the Mamluks, most of whom were Central Asian Turkic Kipchaks, called their cups tuman which means myriad in Turkic and Jurchen languages. Wilkinson postulated that the cups may have been derived from inverting the Chinese and Jurchen ideogram for myriad; the Mamluk court cards showed abstract designs or calligraphy not depicting persons due to religious proscription in Sunni Islam, though they did bear the ranks on the cards. Nā'ib would be borrowed into French and Spanish, the latter word still in common usage. Panels on the pip cards in two suits show they had a reverse ranking, a feature found in madiao and old European card games like ombre and maw. A fragment of two uncut sheets of Moorish-styled cards of a similar but plainer style were found in Spain and dated to the early 15th century. Export of these cards, ceased after the fall of the Mamluks in the 16th century; the rules to play these games are lost but they are believed to be plain trick games without trumps.
Four-suited playing cards ar