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Owls (coins)

(159 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] The first coins with an owl as motif were minted in Athens from c. 575 BC on as incusum quadratum in electrum and silver [1. table 1], later (from c. 525 BC on) as a reverse motif with an obverse image of Athena in the Attic standard of coinage [1. table 2; 2. 44ff.]. Minting in bronze with this motif, beginning in the 3rd cent. BC, replaced the silver coins from 78/7 BC onward [3. 42] and ended in the middle of the 2nd cent. AD [1. table 88]. Elektron; Incusum quadratum; Coinage, standards of Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography 1 J.N. Svoronos, B. Pick, Corpus of the a…

Artabe

(102 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (ἀρτάβη; artábē). Denotes an originally Persian  measure of capacity for dry goods, according to Hdt.1,192 consisting of 51 choínikes (= c. 55 l). From the Ptolemies onwards, the artabe is used in Egypt as the largest unit of capacity for dry goods, and depending on the region consists of 28, 29, 30 or 40 choínikes (1  choínix varies from c. 0.9-1.5 l).  Choinix;  Measure of volume Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography F. Hultsch, Griech. und röm. Metrologie, 21882 O. Viedebantt, Forsch. zur Metrologie des Alt., 1917 J. Shelton, Artabs and Choenices, in: …

Demarateion

(192 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Famous silver coin from Syracuse with a weight of 10 Attic drachmas or 50 litrai (42.3 gm). After the victory of Gelon I over the Carthaginians at Himera in 480 BC, the latter donated to his wife Demarete, who had pleaded for lenient treatment on their behalf, a gold crown worth 100 talents in gratitude (Diod. Sic. 10,26,3). Shortly after 480/479 BC the coins were minted from the proceeds and 18 copies are known to us today. The obverse shows a chariot driver on a quadriga, the horses of which …

Decussis

(167 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (Decus). The decussis stands in general for the figure 10 (symbol: X), and the term is derived from the corresponding amount or value in asses. On the basis of the libral standard weight (1 Roman pound = 1 as = 327.45 g), the decussis weighs ten times one as, and as a value represents 5/8 of a denarius of 16 asses. Numismatically speaking, the decussis is significant only as a bronze 10-as piece in the semilibral standard, cast during the years 215-212 BC (  aes grave ). The ‘Roma in Phrygian helmet/prora’ coin exists contemporaneously with the …

Exagium

(197 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (ἐξάγιον, στάγιον; exágion, stágion). Originally a Hellenistic coin weight (in Babylon with a weight of 17,00 g), the exagium is predominantly a coin weight for the solidus subsequent to Constantine's reforms (AD 312); within the Greek speaking population, it even became a synonym for the latter and was distorted to stágion. The equation was made easier by the fact that the solidus and the exagium had a weight of 1/72 of a libra (= 4.55 g), but the weight of the latter was reduced in the Byzantine era (from the 9th cent.: 4.43 g). Exagia take the shape of round or squa…

Dextans

(139 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] In the Roman system of weights and measures, dextans describes 10/12 of the whole and is derived from deesse and sextans, i.e. 1 as (12 unciae) less 1 sextans. The dextans was used in the measurement of length ( pes), the measurement of area ( iugerum), in the law of succession and in the calculation of hours. Based on the Roman pound ( libra: 327.45 g), the dextans weighs 272.88 g [1. 296]. Bronze mintings of 10 unciae in the sextantal or somewhat lighter standard were issued in Luceria as a compensatory coin for the Roman as shortly after 211 BC for a…

Denarius

(630 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Standard Roman silver coin, worth 10 asses ─ hence the ancient term ‘tenner’ ─, later 16 asses. Named δηνάριον ( dēnárion) in Greek. After the breakdown of the gold system during the Second Punic War, the denarius was introduced between 214 and 211 BC, together with the fractional pieces quinarius (1/2 denarius) and sestertius (1/4 denarius), as the new prime monetary unit (with a value marking of X or ) to replace the quadrigatus. With a weight of 4 scrupula ( c. 4.55 gm = 1/72 of a Roman pound of 327.45 gm) the denarius corresponded to 10 sextantal asses and departed from …

Evaenetus

(151 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (Εὐαίνετος; Euaínetos). The most famous and best of the Syracusan coin-engravers, who in the latter third of the 5th cent. BC initially worked in Catana and also in Camarina, and then from c. 410 BC in Syracuse. Alongside splendid dekadrachmas, E. also signed smaller silver denominations as well as gold and bronze coins, occasionally taking turns with Euclidas and Eumenus.  Dekadrachmon;  Euclidas;  Eumenus Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography R. Weil, Die Künstlerinschr. der sicilischen Münzen, in: 44. Winckelmannsprogramm der Arch. Ges.…

Cistophori

(284 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Silver coins minted with the reduced Chian-Rhodian or Ptolemaic weight standard of 12.75 g that Eumenes II issued as local currency between about 175-160 BC to substitute for Seleucid coins and the Philhetairos tetradrachmes [3. 62; 4. 10ff.; 5. 45ff.]. Borrowed from the mystery cult in Pergamum, the name refers to the obverse motif of the Dionysian cista mystica consisting of an ivy reef from which a snake appears. The reverse side shows a goryt with two snakes. Cistophori were minted at various times by the more important towns of …

Dupondius

(519 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] ( dupondium). A doubling of the  As, in the Roman system of measurement, the dupondius represented twice the ‘unit’ of length (twice the pes) and in weight two Roman pounds (one libra = 327.45 g). Dupondius also signified simply the number two, and in Roman law the doubled whole. The earliest dupondii were cast in bronze with a dose of lead as two libral asses (hence also dussis) with the denomination II between 269 and 240 BC in the Roma/wheel series ( Aes grave) [1. 23]. As a result of the debasement of the currency in the 2nd half of the 3rd cent. BC, the dupondius was issued a…

Danake

(105 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (δανάκη; danákē). In ancient written sources (Hsch. 219; Poll. 9,82 i.a.) the danake is a silver Persian coin ─ the name derives from danak ─ which weighed slightly more than an Attic obolós ( c. 0.9g). Together with the silver half- danake (ἡμιδανάκιον; hēmidanákion), the danake should probably be linked to coins from Sidon (1/16 shekel) and Aradus, as a provincial coinage, since the coins are mainly found in the Levant. The danake was occasionally used as an obolos for the dead.  Charon's fare;  Obolos;  Siqlu Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography F. Hultsch, …

Chalkos

(128 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (χαλκοῦς; chalkoûs). In Pollux (4,175; 9,65f. 81) generally described as a bronze coin, the chalkous was the smallest fraction of a coin in Greek poleis. In Athens one obolos makes 8 [1. 47], in Delphi and Epidaurus 12 [1.56ff.], in Priene 16 chalkoi [1. 61f.]. The weight of the chalkos varied; the bronze coins from Seleucia/Tigris having an Χ (= Chalkos) under Antiochus IV weigh c. 2.8-5 g [2. 271f.]; a Neronian coin with the value marking ΧΑΛΚΟΥΣ in Antiochia/Orontes weighs c. 2.5 g [3].  Obolos Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography 1 M. N. Tod, Epigraphi…

Choinix

(172 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (χοῖνιξ; choînix). Greek term for a dry measure, especially for grain. Depending on the region, a choinix amounted to 1.01 l (Attica), 1.1 l (Aegina) or 1.52 l (Boeotia, Laconia). Under the Ptolemies, a choinix was equivalent to 0.82 l. The measure was based on the idea of the daily ration for a man. As a rule four kotylai (in late Egypt three) amounted to one choinix, whilst eight choinikes made a hekteus and 48 choinikes one medimnos (= 48.48 l or a maximum 72.96 l). According to Viedebantt the choinix amounted to 0.906 l. Nissen gives the Attic choinix in the time of …

Didrachmon

(179 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (δίδραχμον; dídrachmon). A unit of weight and a silver coin worth two drachmas, the didrachmon was the largest value in circulation, mostly struck in Asia Minor, southern Italy, Rome and part of Sicily, as well as Corinth, Elis and on Aegina, seldom in Athens, and rated variously at 12.48 g in Aegina, at 8.73 g in Attica or at the south Italian standard of 7.9 g, later 6.6 g. As a unit it represented a stater, so esp. for gold coinage. Rhodian 1st-cent. bronze coins and Neronian coins from Antioch on the Orontes bear the legend ΔΙΔΡΑΧΜΟΝ; DIDRACHMON [1; 2].  Drachma;  Stater Ml…

Aroura

(130 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (ἄρουρα; ároura). Actually denoting ‘earth’ or ‘agricultural land’, aroura is the Greek term for the Egyptian Sett (arable land). As a measure of area, the aroura represents a square with sides of 100 cubits (each measuring 52.5 cm), thus 2,756 m2. The measure originates in the pharaonic period (attested since the 4th dynasty), and continues in use under the Ptolemies and the Romans in Egypt as a measure of land area. In Roman Palestine the aroura corresponds to two Roman iugeraiugum , 5,046 m2). The aroura is subdivided down to 1/4,096.  Iugerum;  …

Diobolon

(124 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (διώβολον; diṓbolon). Silver coin worth two   oboloí (= 1/3 drachma, e.g., according to the Attic coinage standard of 1.4 g. The diobolon occasionally has a value marker (ΔΙΩ, ΔΙΟ, Δ). The Attic diṓbola bear a head of Athena on the obv. and an owl with two bodies on the rev. In Athens during the classical period the diobolon was the amount that had to be paid for visiting the theatre (θεωρικόν) or was paid to a participant in the popular assembly (ἐκκλησιαστικόν).  Drachma;  Coinage, standards of;  Theorikon Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography Schrötter, 143f. M. …

Aes rude

(319 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Raw copper or raw ore which is available as whole or broken bars, plates or as regulus, but most of all as rough lumps ( raudera, aes infectum; Fest. 321/322) [1]. Sometimes bearing small grooved or punched marks, it is used as a means of exchange alongside cattle ( pecus   pecunia ) in the barter economies of central and southern Italy as well as Sicily in the early 1st millennium up to the end of the 4th cent. BC [1.280 f.; 4.15; 7.228 f.]. The amount to be paid is weighed on scales. The mancipatio, i.a., is regarded as the oldest evidence, where the libripens had to weigh the co…

Aure­us

(927 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Gold coins; infrequent in republican Rome in contrast to the Hellenistic Kingdoms; used to supplement (cf. Liv. 27,10,11f.) the minting of silver coins when necessary. The first gold coins, which are known as oath scene stater [4. 144 fig. 28/1; 145 fig. 29/1] -- the sacrifice of a piglet depicted on the reverse refers to the conclusion of a treaty -- are generally assumed to have been minted in 216 BC. Another interpretation,   Au  Gq  De  Sq   S Du  As  Se  Qu Au       1     2   25   50 100 200 400 800 1600 Gq       2     1 121/2   25   50 100 200 400   800 De     25 121/2     1   …

Deunx

(106 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] In the Roman system of measures and weights, deunx refers to11/12 of the whole (as) and the term is derived from deesse and uncia, i.e. 1 as (12 unciae) less 1 uncia. Deunx is used in the measurement of length ( pes), the measurement of area ( iugerum) and the measurement of capacity ( cyathus, sextarius) as well as in the calculation of interest ( fenus) and in the law of succession. Based on the Roman pound ( libra: 327,45 g), the deunx weighs 300.16 g. Coins of this weight were not minted.  As;  Cyathus;  Iugerum;  Libra;  Pes;  Sextarius;  Uncia Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hanno…

Eumenus

(133 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (Εὔμενος; Eúmenos). One of the earliest Syracusan stamp cutters, manufactured around 415-400 BC, initially influenced by Sosion, predominantly tetradrachmas of varying quality. E. signed alternately with Sosion, Phrygillus, Evaenetus and Euth[...]. In the older research he is occasionally referred to as Eumenes.  Evaenetus;  Phrygillus;  Sosion;  Tetradrachmon Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography R. Weil, Die Künstlerinschr. der sicilischen Münzen, in: 44. Winckelmannsprogramm der Arch. Ges. zu Berlin, 1884, esp. 5-7 L. Forrer, Biographic…
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