Spanish Pillar Dollar: Influence on American Currencies
A collaboration of Marty Martinez
Spanish Origin of Sign $
The beliefs of the fifteenth century included, among other things, the absolute danger of sailing past the Pillars of Hercules. Thus they were called at that time two promontories located in the Strait of Gibraltar: Mount Calpe to the north (Gibraltar) and the Rock of Abila to the south (Ceuta).
This was the obligatory passage of the mare nostrum (the Mediterranean) to the greater and unknown part of the enormous Atlantic Ocean. And according to the mythology of Antiquity, the colossal Hercules would have written in both columns the lapidary warning. Nec plus ultra “not beyond” (ie: do not trespass).