Boreades wrote:Yes, it's a curious coincidence that Megalithic Trade Hubs (like Jersey and I think the Isle of Man) have that connection. I'm thinking along the lines of Free Ports and tax-free zones. Jersey was a pre-Roman Trade Hub, and clearly handled a lot of coins. Some might say another name for a coin hoard is a Bank. The IoM and CIs are still Banking and Trade Hubs, except the main type of trade now is Finance By Internet. This might be a very good subject for Applied Epistemology.
Small islands or island groups have to trade, offshore banking seems a re-invention of their raison d'etre. If you look at the port of Marseilles there's a group of four offshore islands, the Frioul islands, apparently viewed as a stockade by the GreeksThe Greeks had named these islands "Stoechades", undoubtedly because for a sailor who enters the roads they appear to form an alignment.
The fortress/prison of Chateau d'If was made famous by Dumas.
Further to the east, half-way between Marseilles and Nice, is another group of four islands, the Huyeres islands, the name is thought to be a corruption of Latin for salt marshes.
Occupied by hermits under the Romans, who later became called monks, the islands as elsewhere seem to have attracted repeated attacks by (in this case Berber) pirates. The Hyeres were also known as les iles d'Or, the Golden Islands, not because of the gold stashed on them.