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Evarchidas

(55 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (Εὐαρχίδας; Euarchídas). Syracusan coin-engraver, who at the end of the 5th cent. BC signed tetradrachmas together with Phrygillos.  Tetradrachmon Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography L. Forrer, Biographical Dictionary of Medallists 2, s.v. E., 1904, 50-51 L. Tudeer, Die Tetradrachmenprägung von Syrakus in der Periode der signierenden Künstler, in: ZfN 30, 1913, 1-292, esp. 36ff., 228.

Dodekadrachmon

(86 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (only adjective δωδεκάδραχμος; dōdekádrachmos). Silver twelve drachmas coin that was minted in northern Greece in the Attic standard and in Ptolemaic Egypt and in Carthaginian Sicily with a weight of 44,3-45,5 g.  Drachma;  Coinage, standards of Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography Schrötter, 150 M. N. Tod, Epigraphical Notes on Greek Coinage, in: NC 6.20, 1960, 1-24 G. K. Jenkins, Coins of Punic Sicily, in: SNR 57, 1978, 5-68, especially 36ff. J. M. Jones, A dictionary of Ancient Greek coins, 1986, 81 O. Mørkholm, Early Hellenistic coinage, 1991, 106.

Cubitus

(85 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] denotes the elbow, i.e. the forearm up to the tip of the middle finger and, along with the usual Roman unit of measurement, the pes, was used as the ‘ell’, amounting to 1 1/2 feet (444 mm). In Greek the cubitus is translated as πῆχυς ( pêchys) .  Measures;  Pes Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography F. Hultsch, Griech. und röm. Metrologie, 21882, 76f., 98 H. Nissen, Metrologie2 = HB Altertumswiss. I2, 1892, 838, 865 A. Oxé, Die röm. Meile eine griech. Schöpfung, BJ 131, 1926, 213-244, especially 233ff.

Cochlear(e)

(173 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] [1] Spoon, smallest unit of Roman hollow measures (χήμη, chḗmē, ‘Spoon’). Smallest unit of Roman hollow measures, especially for medicines. Exceptionally, cochlear(e) is calculated differently: in the Carmen de ponderibus as 1/6 of the mystum (1.9 ml); in Isidorus (Orig. 16,25) the cochlear(e) amounts to 2.3 ml.  Acetabulum;  Amphora;  Congius;  Culleus;  Cyathus;  Hemina;  Hollow measures;  Modius;  Quadrantal;  Quartarius;  Semodius;  Sextarius;  Urna 1 cochlear   11.4 ml 4 cochlearia 1 cyathus 45.5 ml 6 cochlearia 1 acetabulum 68.2 ml 12 cochlearia 1 qua…

Assarion

(280 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (ἀσσάριον; assárion). Greek term for the Latin as [4], with 16 assaria corresponding to 1 denarius [2. 32]; attested epigraphically and from stamps. In the course of the Imperial period and until the cessation of bronze coining in c. AD 275 the bronze assarion develops alongside the chalkos and the obolos to become the most important coin of the Greek East, meeting the need for small coinage in that region. Conversion of the three bronze denominations was variously implemented; in Chios for example 1 obolos = 2 assaria = 8 chalkoi [1. 192, n. 8]. There are denominations of 1/…

Centenionalis

(183 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Roman copper coin, following the AD 356 edict of Constantius II and Julian equated with the colloquially named maiorina (Cod. Theod. 9,23,1), and decreed by a law of AD 349 to be of copper and silver (Cod. Theod. 9,21,1). Minting of what was then known exclusively as the centenionalis ceased in the West by an edict of Honorius and Arcadius of AD 395 (Cod. Theod. 9,23,2), but it continues in the East until about AD 425. The three denominations introduced in the coinage reform of AD 348, of copper with a maximum of 3.0 per cent silver, weigh c. 5.25 g, 4.25 g and 2.5 g, but the…

As

(1,075 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Originally the expression for ‘one’ or ‘unit’; in the Roman system of measurement the basic unit in measures of length (1 pes = 29.57 cm), measures of area (1 iugerum = 2,523 m2) and of weight (1 libra, ‘pound’ = 327.45 g). In inheritance and property law the entire estate is called as; the heir to the estate is thus called heres ex asse. In the system of weights the as is divided duodecimally, some part units also representing denominations of coinage ( Aes grave). However the quincunx, bes, dodrans and dextans denominations occur infrequently [1. 39]. The earliest l…

Trial minting

(115 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Trial mintings of coins and medals, as a rule made from inferior metal. Esp. TMs of Roman gold and silver coins exist in bronze and lead [2.64]. They often represent the only record of lost originals or of an issue that was never minted [1.1 ff.]. Coins with a very wide edge, probably special occasional mintings for particular events, can also be described as TM [3.32]. Coin production Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography 1 A. Alföldi, Zur Kenntnis der Zeit der römischen Soldatenkaiser III, in: ZfN 40, 1930, 1-15 2 M. R. Alföldi, Zum Lyoner Bleimedaillon, in: S…

Calibration

(652 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] In Greece, the authority over calibration as well as the control over official measures and weights lay in the hands of the agoranómoi, although from the mid 4th cent. BC at the latest there is evidence that assistant officials called metronómoi were in charge of these affairs. Fireproof moulds for weights were kept in the office of the market official or the scale master ( zygostátēs). Weights were poured from bronze or lead under official supervision and then were handed over to shops and to the authorities. The weights came in varying shapes…

Cyathus

(133 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] A jug or drinking vessel that, derived from Greek κύαθος, is especially a Roman measure of capacity for dry goods and liquids of 45.6 ml. The cyathus amounts to 1/12 of the sextarius (= 0,55 l). The number of cyathi drunk is counted as a multiple of uncia, e.g. four cyathi are called trientes (= 1/3 of the sextarius) or 11 cyathi are called deunx. According to a Roman custom popular at banquets, people had to drink as many cyathi as the number of letters in the name of the one to be honoured. Larger goblets were also used that were a multiple of the cyathus.  Deun…

Argenteus

(198 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Literally meaning ‘silver coin’ [2.7], the argenteus is a piece of silver introduced, as mentioned in the fragmentary edicts of Aphrodisias and Aezani, during the  coinage reform of Diocletian around AD 294/6. This coin was equivalent to the one in circulation with a weight of 3.0-3.3 g (1/96 of the Roman pound in silver) and thus to the Neronian denarius. The silver content amounts to 90 per cent and more [1.110]. After the price edict of AD 301, the fixed value of 50 denarii is doubled [4.94 ff.]. The argenteus is struck in six mints only (Aquileia, Carthage, Ostia…

Binio

(86 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] A double-sided aureus minted from about AD 210 with a weight of around 10-15 g; replaced by the double-sided solidus after the Constantine coin reform (AD 310).  Aureus;  Medaillon;  Coinage reforms;  Solidus Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography F. Kenner, Der röm. Medaillon, in: NZ 19, 1887, 1-173 especially 13-27 F. Gnecchi, I medaglioni romani, 1912 K. Menadier, Die Münze und das Münzwesen bei den Scriptores Historiae Augustae, in: ZfN 31, 1914, 1-144 especially 9-12 Schrötter, s.v. Binio, 75 J. M. C. Toynbee, W. E. Metcalf, Roman Medaillons, 19…

Daktylos

(162 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
(δάκτυλος; dáktylos). [German version] [1] Measure of length The daktylos, Latin digitus, as a measure, is the term for the fingers' width, with four dáktyloi constituting a palm (παλαιστή; palaistḗ, Latin palmus), 16 daktyloi a foot (πούς; poús, Latin pes) and only in Greece 12 daktyloi making a span (σπιθαμή; spithamḗ). In Rome however the daktylos can also, according to the duodecimal system, be equated with the uncia and be counted up to the as (= pes). The guide for the daktylos is the foot that measures between 29.4 and 35.4 cm. It therefore fluctuates between 1.84 and…

Dodrans

(112 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] In the Roman system of weights and measures the dodrans denotes 3/4 (9/12) of the whole unit (the whole dempto quadrante). The dodrans was used in measuring length ( pes) and surface area ( iugerum), in laws of inheritance and obligations and in calculating time. Based on the Roman pound ( libra: 327,45 gm), it weighed 245,59 gm [1. 150]. The dodrans appeared as a coin under M. Metellus in 127 BC (bust of Vulcanus/Prora), as also a year later under C. Cassius, together with the Bes, minted in bronze with the value marking S [2. 288; 290].  Bes;  Iugerum;  Libra;  Pes Mlasowsk…

Bigatus

(85 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Ancient term (Plin. HN 33,46; Fest. p. 98 and 347B; Tac. Germ. 5; Liv. 23,15,15; 34,10,4. 7) for the denarius, with a carriage depicted on the reverse carrying a deity (Diana, Hercules, Luna, Victoria i.a.). In Livy (33,23,7. 9; 34,46,12; 36,21,11), a synonym for denarius ( argentum bigatum). Current opinion has the first bigatus coins minted from 189/180, and the last around 42 BC.  Denarius Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography R. Thomsen, Early Roman Coinage. A Study of the Chronology, 1-3, 1957-61, s.v. Bigatus RRC2, 613f., 630.

Dekalitron

(94 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (δεκάλιτρον; dekálitron) Exceptionally in Sicily, the Corinthian stater is associated not with the Euboean stater, later equated with the Attic didrachmon and divided accordingly, but with the litron system specific to the island, ten silver litra being equal to one stater (= 8.73 g according to the Attic standard). The dekalitron, also minted in silver, corresponds to the value of ten pounds of copper (109.15 g weight), and to a proportion of 1:250.  Didrachmon;  Stater Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography F. Hultsch, Griech. und röm. Metrologie, …

Congius

(137 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Based on an amphora (= 8 congii), congius designates a Roman volume measure for liquids and is equal to 3.275 l, which is standardized when filled with water or wine at 80 pounds at 327.45 g each, so that a congius of 10 pounds weighs about 3.275 kg. The ‘Farnesian’ congius, which was produced in AD 75 under Vespasian and shows the abbreviation p(ondus) X (for 10 pounds) in the inscription, was just below the standard with 3.265 l (ILS 8628). Regarding the subdivision of the congius, cf.   cochlear . The chous is equated with the Roman congius.  Amphora; …

Charon's fare

(120 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Reward to the ferryman Charon for the journey across the river of the underworld (ναῦλον, πορθμήϊον; naûlon, porthmḗïon). A coin was placed under the tongue of the corpse or between its teeth [1. 349; 2; 3. 193f., 249f.]. The coin is often old, in bad condition or foreign; antique fakes or coin-like discs were also used, as in Greek graves of the 4th-2nd cents. BC [3. 250].  Charon [1];  Dead, cult of the Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography 1 J. Marquart, Das Privatleben der Römer, 21886 2 Schrötter, 100, s.v. Charonsfährgeld 3 D. C. Kurtz, J. Boardman, Th…

Antoninianus

(448 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] The modern technical term antoninianus refers to a second silver coin introduced alongside the denarius in AD 215 by Caracalla; it was named after his cognomen Antoninus [1]. The antoninianus, with a weight of about 5g, is 1 1/2 times as heavy as the denarius, but is traded as a double denarius [3.62 f.]. The external characteristic is the emperor's aureole and empress' bust on the half moon. Minting of the antoninianus stops under Macrinus in AD 217. After a brief resumption under Elagabalus in AD 218/219, it is only produced again as the main s…

Dareikos

(318 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (δαρεικός, δαρικός, δαριχός, dareikós, darikós, darichós). Greek name, deriving from Darius I, (Hdt. 4,166; 7,28f.; Thuc. 8,28) for the generally bean-shaped gold coins (στατήρ, statḗr) of the Great King of Persia. The occasionally used terms dareikoi Philippeioi and argypoi dareikoi are incorrect. The first coins, minted in c. 515 BC and the same weight as the kroiseios ( c. 8.05g), which did not replace the latter until 30 years after the fall of the Lydian Empire, show a symbolic representation of the Persian king on the obverse ─ kne…

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…

Dichalkon

(112 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (δίχαλκον; díchalkon). A Greek measure of weight and bronze coin worth twice as much as a chalkous. It corresponded to 1/4 (Athens), 1/6 (Delphi, Epidaurus) or 1/8 (Priene) of an obolos [1]. Variants of the mark of the value were e.g. B X (stamp of Antiochus IV, Seleucea on the Tigris at about 9.6 g) [2. 271f.] or ΔΙΧΑΛΚ(on) (stamp of Apollonia Pontica at 2.1 g) [3].  Chalkous;  Obolos Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography 1 M. N. Tod, Epigraphical Notes on Greek Coinage, in: NC 6.6, 1946, 47-62 2 E. T. Newell, The coinage of the Eastern Seleucid mints fr…

Amma

(97 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (ἄμμα; ámma). According to Hero of Alexandria, amma is the Greek term for a probably Egyptian measure of length which was derived from the string or the rope (ἄμμα). It is equivalent to 40 Egyptian cubits, namely c. 21 m (1 cubit = about 52.5 cm).  Hero;  Measures;  Pechys Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography F. Hultsch, Griech. und röm. Metrologie, 21882 Id., s. v. Amma, RE I 2, 1841 W. Helck, s. v. Maße und Gewichte, LÄ 3, 1199-1214 O. A. W. Dilke, Mathematik, Maße und Gewichte in der Ant., 1991 E. Roik, Das Längenmaßsystem im Alten Ägypten, 1993, 6-25.

Akaina

(101 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (Ἄκαινα; ákaina). Originally a rod for driving animals, it was also used by the Greeks as a staff for surveying fields and is equivalent to 10 feet (πούς; poús); regionally it varies between c. 27 and 35 cm. Ten akainai are equal to one   plethron . An area of 100 square feet is called an akaina in Ptolemaic Egypt.  Measures;  Plethron;  Pous Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography F. Hultsch, Griech. und röm. Metrologie, 21882 Id., s. v. A., RE I 1, 1893, 1138-1139 E. Pfeiffer, Die alten Längen- und Flächenmaße, 1986 O. A. W. Dilke, Mathematik, Maße und Gewichte …

Decempeda

(103 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] A measuring bar ten Roman feet (2.96 m) in length ( pertica), derived from Lat. decem (ten) and pes (foot), which was used in architecture and especially in land surveying. There were 12 decempeda in one actus. As a square measure, the decempeda quadrata known as scripulum iugeri formed the smallest unit to be used in surveying = 1/2888 of the iugerum (8.76 m2). Measuring bars of more than ten foot have been recorded which were not referred to as decempeda.  Actus;  Iugerum;  Measures;  Pes;  Scripulum Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography F. Hultsch, Griech. u…

Aes signatum

(435 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Modern technical term for cast, rectangular ingots of metal [2.III 186]. Aes signatum replaces the older   aes rude and becomes the precursor to the   aes grave even though, for a short time, the three currencies are in use concurrently [2.III 201; 9.96; 1]. The older form (6th to early 3rd cents. BC), with a varying weight of 500-2000 g, was primarily cast in northern Etruria and consists of an iron alloy; it is either without decoration or decorated with a simple pattern of twigs on one or both sides ( ramo secco) [2.III 202 f.]. The younger form of highly valuable bronze …

Billon

(73 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Silver alloy containing an admixture of more than 50 per cent copper and other base metals; whereas copper with very small proportions of silver is called white copper [1. 36]. Thinning out silver with copper is a common practice especially in late antiquity to balance the increased demand for currency [2. 401ff.].  Antoninianus;  Inflation;  Coinage reforms;  Coins, decline in quality of Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography 1 Göbl 2 F. de Martino, Wirtschaftsgesch. des alten Rom, 1985.

Dekanoummion

(154 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (δεκανουμμίον; dekanoummíon). According to sources from late antiquity and Byzantium, the dekanoummion is a copper coin bearing a varying relationship to the denar unit. Despite this lack of certainty, it seems to be established that the dekanoummion was introduced in the reform of Anastasius in AD 498 as a 10-nummus piece with the denomination I (or X) and a weight of c. 2.25 g. In later coinage reforms the weight increased to 6.24 g, to sink again under Constantine IV to some 4.5 g and then towards the end of the 7th cent. AD to c. 2.1 g. Shortly thereafter the denomin…

Culleus

(96 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Culleus properly designates a leather sack made of cowhide; it was used by the Romans as the largest unit for measuring fluid capacity (especially with wine). Probably originally based on the volume of the stitched cowhide, the culleus amounts to 524 l; 20 amphorae, 40 urnae or 160 congii constitute the culleus, with 1 congius corresponding to 3,275 l.  Amphora;  Congius;  Measure of volume;  Urna Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography F. Hultsch, Griech. und röm. Metrologie, 21882 F. Olck, s.v. C. (no. 2), RE 4.2, 1901, 1746-1747 O. A. W. Dilke, Mathematik…

Aes grave

(430 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] According to Plin. HN 33,43, the aes grave, influenced by Greek minting in southern Italy, refers to the oldest, cast bronze Italian coins which replaced the   aes rude . In hoard finds, aes grave occurs at the same time as the   aes signatum as well as the   didrachmon [1.98 ff.] and, shortly after 290 BC until 212 BC, it is cast in Rome and in various towns of central and southern Italy [5.9 f., 64; 2.28 ff.; 7.230 ff.]. It is divided into seven standard weights, from the as up to half an uncia, and it carrie…

Denarius

(566 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[English version] Römische Standardsilbermünze im Wert von 10 Assen - daher der ant. Rufname “Zehner” -, später 16 Assen. Im Griech. als δηνάριον ( dēnárion) bezeichnet. Nach dem Zusammenbruch des Geldsystems im Laufe des 2. punischen Krieges wird in Rom, zwischen 214-211 v.Chr., der D. zusammen mit den Teilstücken Quinarius (1/2 D.) und Sestertius (1/4 D.) als neue Leitmünze (Wertzeichen X oder ) eingeführt, die den Quadrigatus ablöst. Im Gewicht von 4 scrupula (ca. 4,55 g = 1/72 röm. Pfund zu 327,45 g) entspricht der D. 10 sextantalen Assen und bricht mit dem alten M…
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