Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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The term pound (from Latin pondus, “weight”) can refer to both a unit of weight (Weights and measures) and a currency unit. As a currency unit, the pound was based originally on the weight of a specific quantity of coins. Such pounds were not actually minted as coins until the late Middle Ages; as counting units, they long served as coin of account, closely related to the counting unit of the mark, which as a rule had the value of half or two-thirds of a pound. In the course of the Middle Ages, on the European continent various mark weights became prevalent as standard monetary units. 


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Schneider, Konrad, “Pound”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 10 June 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_025495>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210107

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