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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, …

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.

Ingots

(684 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum)
[German version] I. Eastern Mediterranean, Greece, and Rome Unworked metal of various weights cast into various shapes which has served since the Bronze Age as raw material for further processing or as a pre-monetary method of payment. From earliest times gold, silver, and electrum occur in the eastern Mediterranean as crude lumps, small round ingots (perhaps crucible remnants), and round or shaped bars with division notches. Alloyed bronze, tin, and particularly copper appear as crude lumps, round ingo…

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.

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 …

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…

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…

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…

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 …

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…

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; …

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…

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…

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…

Chous

(328 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) | Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
(χοῦς, χοεύς; choûs, choeús). [German version] [1] Jug or decanter Jug or decanter (height a little over 20 cm); used on the second day of the  Anthesteria during the wine-drinking competition. Probably used as a measure of volume for the prescribed quantity of wine. On Choes Day the three-year-old children receive a small choes decanter (H 6-8 cm) as a symbol of their entry into life. [2, 50f.; 1, 96ff.]. As a measure of volume for liquids the chous is divided into 12 kotylai and 72 kyathoi and amounts to 1/12 of the metretes. Depending on the region, the chous contained 4.56 l (Laconia), 3.…

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…

Damnatio memoriae

(602 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) | Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] I. Historical Damnatio memoriae (DM) was the process of erasing from the (public) memory of a person (usually a Roman emperor) whose name and images are removed from public inscriptions and buildings. Underlying this measure was the religious assumption, widespread in the Roman-Hellenistic world, that meritorious rulers, like heroes, had come from the realm of the gods and returned there after their death (Cic. Rep., somnium Scipionis; Verg. Aen. 6,734ff.). If divine origin was not sufficiently evident in the successes, good deeds and virtues of…

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…

Axum, Axomis

(1,158 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) | Pahlitzsch, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Arabia (Aksum). City on the Abyssinian plateau. Founded around the time of the birth of Christ, during the 1st cent. AD the kings of A. already managed to extend their area of influence as far as Adulis by the Red Sea. A. was Christianized by Alexandria under King Ēzānā in the mid 4th cent. In the 6th cent., King Kālēb Ella Aṣbeḥā conquered the kingdom of the Jewish king of the Ḥimyars, Yūsuf Asar Yaṯar (Ḏū-Nuwās) with Byzantine support. A. c…
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