“Get gold, humanely if possible, but at all hazards, get gold.”
(1511, King Ferdinand of Spain to his conquistadors)
The rise of nations and successful conquests have a history of either looting gold or hitting a gold mine. India, with the largest reserves of gold in the world, is the only exception.
Alexander’s campaign started with the gold reserves that his father had built from the mining operations at Mount Pangeus. The Macedonians were the first in the Hellenistic world to keep standing army - a luxury and big expense, in Greece at that time. (His first sexual experience was with a slave girl from these mines, Leptine from the slave camps of Mount Pangaion also written as Mount Pangaeus).
In 357 BC, Alexander’s father conquered Amphipolis in Thrace, an Athenian colony - and that gave him possession of the Mount Pangaeus gold mines. Gold from theses mines financed Phillip’s wars. (356 BC - captured Potidea in Chalcidice, Pydna on the Thermaic Gulf; 355 BC Crenides, a Thracian town (later re-named Philippi). 354 BC - Methone, advanced into Thessaly. 348 BC - Completed the annexation of Chalcidice, including Olynthus). His politics and financial muscle got him (346 BC) a seat in the Delphic council, a prestigious position in Greece.
Alexander set off on his campaign with this hoard of gold - and King Phillip’s standing army. The Persian conquest further added to his gold hoard.
The Roman empire was similarly funded by gold mining and loot. Julius Caesar’s European conquests were funded by Gaellic loot. The Punic Wars with Carthage were fought over Spanish Gold. Roman conquest and love affair with Egypt was motivated by grain and Nubian gold. One of the first actions that Romans took in Wales, Britain was to build an gold ore refining system. Gold mined in Britain went to Roman coffers.
Charlemagne of France - The First Christian Emperor
Charlemagne’s conquests were funded by the Saxony mines, the Haartz mountains, etc. His victory over Avars, (modern Hungary) gave him treasures which needed 15 carts pulled grey steppe oxen for transport.
King Tushrutta (possibly an Indo-Aryan King) wrote to the Egyptian king in the Amarna letters about gold in Egypt - which came from Nubia. The Egyptian civilisation was funded by Nubian gold.
African Gold In The Middle Ages
From 10thAD, African north east, current Tanzania was the gateway for Zimbabwe gold. Shirazi Arabs (actually Persians) controlled gold trade. A 100-room palace with a gold mint ran this trade out of Africa.
Europe’s Renaisance was funded with the loot from the (Red) Indian gold, later the (Brown) Indian gold and lastly by the discoveries in California. In the twentieth century it was the Australian and Canadian gold which funded the expansion of Europe.
China and Mongolia
Have been traditional producers and exporters of gold.
South African Gold
The 20th Century was about mineral riches of South Africa - gold, diamonds. Cecil Rhodes set up, at the end of the 19th century, an entire colonial system for exploitation of South African minerals for the benefit of the British Empire.
El dorado - South American continent was a large producer for gold and silver for 400 years. The Spanish king was clear with conquistadors - Get gold. Nearly the entire native Indian population was exterminated by massacres, slavery and (deliberate spread) of disease. After the native population was exterminated, slaves from Africa were imported to work mines and plantations.
India had minor gold deposits in Karnataka (The Kolar Gold Fields).
India’s gold reserves through history has been built up by trade, commerce, technology, inventions. Not by loot, plunder or a stroke of luck. While nations and conquerors fell by the wayside, the Indian nation has survived and progressed.