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Coins, debasement of
(1,083 words)

[German version]

‘Debasement of of coins’ refers to the manipulation of the valid coinage standard by the minting authority, usually the reduction of the precious metal content or quality and/or overall weight (gross weight) of a coin.Thus, debasement of coins meant that, from a certain amount of precious metal, a larger number of coins was minted than was provided for by the coinage standard.

Debasement of coins is to be distinguished from  counterfeiting of coins and from short-term monetary emergency measures (cf. for example Ps.-Aristot. Oec. 2,2,16, 1348b: iron c…

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von Kaenel, Hans-Markus (Frankfurt/Main), “Coins, debasement of”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 08 May 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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