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Coin Collections

(2,447 words)

Author(s): Stumpf, Gerd (Munich)
Stumpf, Gerd (Munich) [German version] A. Definition (CT) Coin collections (CC), also known as coin cabinets, go back to the Renaissance and the penchant of the time for Classical Antiquity and its monuments, among which coins are certainly counted. The first famous coin collector was Petrarch (1304-1374). Most of the now state-owned CC came into being during the period of Absolutism, as part of royal art collections [19. 436]. It is in these collections that ancient coins (i.e. from the Celts, Greeks, …


(187 words)

Author(s): Stumpf, Gerd (Munich)
[German version] (λίτρα; lítra, ‘pound’). In Sicily and Lower Italy weight and coin of 109.15 g, corresponding to a third of the Roman libra , like the latter divided up into 12 unciae. Only in Lipara minted with this weight as an Æ coin (bronze coin), also divided into hemilitron, tetras , hexas and uncia with 6, 4, 2 and 1 ball(s) indicating the coin's value [1; 2. 356], otherwise only in a reduced form. More important was the minting in silver with a weight of 0.87 g, a fifth of the drachma. There were various multiple face values, in Syracuse among others 4, 5, 8 and 16 litrai [3]. In the Roman Im…

Coinage, standards of

(821 words)

Author(s): Stumpf, Gerd (Munich)
Relates to the systems of weights upon which ancient coinage was based. [German version] A. Greece In the Greek coinage system ( Money;  Minting), there were various standards; however, the designations of the nominal values and  weights were uniform and usually had the following ratios: 1  talent = 60 minai, 1  mina = 50 staters, 1  stater = 2 drachmas, 1  drachma = 6  oboloi [1. 159]. The determination of ancient standards of coinage is based on the average weight of the largest possible number of well-preser…

Coins, finds of

(340 words)

Author(s): Stumpf, Gerd (Munich)
[German version] A. Individual finds Individual finds of coins that were not intentionally buried, can be categorized as random and settlement finds. The information yielded by a single coin is minimal. Even if it is certain that the coin represents a primary find, namely that it was already lost in antiquity at the find location, one can hardly derive any historical conclusions least of all chronological conjectures. Only the evaluation of a larger number of random finds within a geographical area a…

Kaletedou type

(174 words)

Author(s): Stumpf, Gerd (Munich)
[German version] Gaulish quinarius minting from the 2nd and 1st cents. BC of about 1.90-1.94 g. with the Greek inscription ΚΑΛΕΤΕΔΟΥ on the reverse, sometimes abbreviated as ΚΑΛ or as the remainder of a pseudo inscription in conjunction with a many-spoked wheel or a circle point decoration. The significance of the Greek letters has not been explained. The model for the minting was either a Roman denarius of P. Cornelius Sulla from the year 151 BC, or of the dictator Sulla from 89 BC, with the helmeted Rome head on the obverse and a biga on the reverse, which …

Rainbow cup

(181 words)

Author(s): Stumpf, Gerd (Munich)
[German version] Folk term for a Celtic gold coin shaped like a small cup. According to folk belief RCs could be found where a rainbow touched the earth. RCs, which could often be found in ploughed fields after heavy rainfall, were thought to bring luck and had many different effects ascribed to them. On the obverse RCs have an abstract head or a smooth bump, sometimes a star, a hand, writing, an ornament, a cross or a bird's head. The reverse is concave, often with a representation of a torque (Torques) with spheres in it. It is esp. the Celtic t…


(113 words)

Author(s): Stumpf, Gerd (Munich)
[German version] Modern term for the quarter-ounce piece, in Antiquity called sicilicus (Lat.). The term was not limited to coinage, but generally denoted the fourth part of the twelfth of a whole (=1/48). The quartuncia is the smallest value in the semilibral standard, always minted in bronze, with obverse helmeted head of Roma, reverse prora ('prow'), without denomination (mint Rome, 217-215 BC, RRC 38/8), in Brundisium with obverse head of Poseidon, reverse Taras on dolphin and denomination C, in Graxa (Apulia) with obverse scallop, reverse dolphin and denomination . Stumpf, Ger…


(91 words)

Author(s): Stumpf, Gerd (Munich)
[German version] (κοδράντης; kodrántēs, originated from the Latin quadrans ). The kodrantes, a small coin, corresponds in the NT in Mt 5:26 to a lepton , in Mk 12:42 however to two lepta, and is probably the Jewish small copper coin of the Julio-Claudian period. Later metrologues equated the kodrantes as a weight of 1/4 ounce with the didrachmon that corresponds with a Hebrew shekel ( Siqlu). Aside from the NT, the kodrantes is encountered in the Didache and in the Talmud. Stumpf, Gerd (Munich) Bibliography Schrötter, s.v. Quadrans, 540.


(113 words)

Author(s): Stumpf, Gerd (Munich)
[German version] (γύη, γύης; Gýē, Gýēs) is mentioned in Homer (Il. 9,579, Od. 7,113; 18,374) as the multiple of a land measure. The exact size of the measure cannot be determined, as in later commentaries (Eust.) and Lexica (Hsch.) different information is to be found. In this way gye could be equated on the one hand with 1/2   pléthron and also 1 Roman   iugerum or 1 pléthron. In Il. 9,579 and Od. 18,374 it probably corresponds approximately to the pléthron, whilst in Od. 7,113 it is at least 12 pléthra. In lower Italy there is a gye with 50 pléthra. Stumpf, Gerd (Munich) Bibliography F. Hultsch, G…


(300 words)

Author(s): Stumpf, Gerd (Munich)
[German version] Modern technical term for antique medallions, minted or cast mainly in the Rome mint but possibly in private workshops also, with a highly beaten edge (Italian contorno) and a deep-cut groove, mostly of brass, less commonly from bronze, with an average diameter of 40 mm. The symbols on the reverse, frequently a palm branch and the monogram PE [2. Part 2, 242-306], are for the most part engraved later, sometimes inserted with silver in niello technique. C. date to the 4th and 5th cents. AD [2. Part 2, 7ff.; 4]. On the obverse of the contorniati are to be found the likene…


(369 words)

Author(s): Stumpf, Gerd (Munich)
[English version] are coin-like metal pieces in gold, silver, bronze or lead, which are not intended, however, for circulation as currency. In the early Middle Ages medal-like imitations of Roman denarii were used for decorative purposes. Medals were created during the Renaissance in the 1st half of the 15th cent.; The father of medallic art was the Italian painter Pisanello (Antonio di Puccio Pisano, ca. 1395-1455) [5; 3. vol. IV. 564-581]. Official medals were frequently issued to celebrate historical events such as access…


(202 words)

Author(s): Stumpf, Gerd (Munich)
[German version] (ὀβολός; obolós) in Greek coinage (Money; Coin minting) refers to a nominal value; derived from ὀβελός ( obelós), 'roasting spit or skewer' [1], which was used in the pre-monetary period as a method of payment. Six roasting spits or skewers could be held in one hand, hence the term drachme (δραχμή/ drachmḗ, 'as much as one hand can hold'; [2]). The obolos was therefore 1/6 of the drachma. In the inscription concerning the Eleusinian Mysteries before 460 BC, the nominal value term obolos appears (IG I2 6,88; 95; 96; 97; [3. 3]). Initially the obolos in the Greek currencies…

Quadrantal standard

(65 words)

Author(s): Stumpf, Gerd (Munich)
[German version] Weight-reduced standard, not recorded in ancient sources, of the aes grave from c. 214 BC on, after which the as weighed c. 83 g, i.e. only one quarter of the original weight of a pound (cf. Coinage, standards of B.; Libra [1]) [2]. Stumpf, Gerd (Munich) Bibliography 1 H. Chantraine, s. v. Q., RE 24, 672 f. 2 RRC p. 43, 153 f., 596.


(209 words)

Author(s): Stumpf, Gerd (Munich)
[German version] A modern term derived from Greek σκύφος/ skýphos, 'cup', for a late Byzantine dish-shaped coin. In the course of the 11th cent. AD - after initial mintings under Michael IV (1034-1041) - under Constantine IX (1042-1055) Byzantine gold coins ( histámena) increasingly took on this form and towards the end of the 11th cent. gold coins were minted exclusively as scyphates [1; 2]. This type was retained well into the Palaeologan period (from mid 13th cent.) [3]. As well as those made of gold, there were also scyphates made of elektron, silver and copper [1; 3]. Eastern Celtic t…


(309 words)

Author(s): Stumpf, Gerd (Munich)
[German version] (Pers. 5,106, Greek ὑπόχαλκος/ hypóchalkos: Poll. 3,86; SEG XXVI, 1976/7, 71 l. 10; ὑπομόλυβδος/ hypomólybdos: SEG XXVI, 1976/7, 71 l. 11). Clad or plated coins of precious metal with a non-precious core of bronze, lead or iron, recorded from the 6th cent. BC until the Roman Imperial period [1; 2; 6. 35 f.; 9; 10]. Caps, which were struck with positive blocks into the shape of a  blank made of thin gold or silver foil, were placed around an arched, lens-shaped blank made of non-precious metal;…


(183 words)

Author(s): Stumpf, Gerd (Munich)
[German version] [1] see Mining see Mining Stumpf, Gerd (Munich) [German version] [2] Small Roman bronze coin Modern technical term for small Roman bronze coins, formerly described as mine tokens [1], from the period between Trajan and Antoninus [1] Pius, bearing in the obverse the head of the emperor, Roma, or one of the metal gods Apollo (gold), Diana (silver), Mars (iron), and Venus (copper). On the reverse there are circumscriptions such as metalli Ulpiani, m(etalli) U(lpiani) Delm(atici), or Pann(onici), with only Illyrian mines being named. Depictions include a woman…


(95 words)

Author(s): Stumpf, Gerd (Munich)
[German version] (Greek/Siculan τριᾶς/ trìâs, 'third'). Corresponds to 4 unciae and hence a triens . As a bronze coin the trias was minted with a value mark of four spheres in Acragas (5th cent. BC: SNG Copenhagen 61), Himera (before c. 413 BC: HN, 146) and Segesta (before c. 409 BC: BMC, Gr, 49), with a value mark IIII in Regium (5th/4th cent. BC: BMC, Gr, 102-112). Items formerly described as triantes are tetrantes ( Tetrás ) [1]. Stumpf, Gerd (Munich) Bibliography 1 H. Chantraine, Bemerkungen zum ältesten sizilianischen und römischen Münzwesen, in: JNG 12, 1962, 51-58.

Semiuncial standard

(89 words)

Author(s): Stumpf, Gerd (Munich)
[German version] Reduction stage of bronze money introduced in 91 BC based on the lex Papiria (Plin. HN 33,46; RRC, p. 77; 596), according to which the as was reduced to 1/24 of the Roman pound (Libra [1]) = 13,64 g [1]. A part of these asses with the head of Ianus on the obverse show the letters L·P·D·A·P on the reverse above the prora (ship's bow), possibly for the words lege Papiria de assis pondere (RRC 338/1; p. 611). Stumpf, Gerd (Munich) Bibliography 1 Schrötter, s.v. Semunziaras/Semunziarfuß, 623.

Phanes stater

(251 words)

Author(s): Stumpf, Gerd (Munich)
[German version] Stater of natural elektron [3] c. 14.2 g in weight, minted after 630 BC presumably in Ephesus in Ionia, with a deer gazing rightwards on the obverse, above it a retrograde inscription in Milesian letters ΦΑΝΟΣ ΕΜΙ ΣΗΜΑ ('I am the sign/arms of Phanes') and on the reverse two textured engraved squares with a rectangular field between them. Of this stater as yet two examples are known (London, BM; Frankfurt am Main, Bundesbank; [1. 1f.]). Besides these two there are hitherto two triple st…

Coinage reforms

(873 words)

Author(s): Stumpf, Gerd (Munich)
[German version] Changes in the coinage system which relate to the nominal value, the  coinage standard or the value structure of the coins. 1. The weights, measures and coin reform by  Solon in the year 594/3 BC was recorded by Aristot. Ath. Pol. 10. Solon reorganized the weights upon which later, c. 540 BC, early Athenian coinage was based. Thus, the Solonic reform cannot be called a coinage reform (CR) in the true sense [1]. 2. After the end of the Civil Wars,  Augustus reorganized the Roman coinage system (24-21 BC): The  aureus (gold) weighed c. 7.96 g (with 41 in a Roman pound). Equ…
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