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Drachme

(592 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) | Hitzl, Konrad (Tübingen)
(δραχμή; drachmḗ). [German version] [1] Coin According to finds from the Argive Heraeum and Sparta, six small iron spits each in the value of one obol, form a ‘handful’ drachmaí (derived from δράττεσθαι), both hands encompassing 12 pieces and resulting in one didrachme. The first silver drachmai are minted in the Aeginetic standard of coinage at 6.24 g. Other standards are the so-called Phoenician at 3.63 g, the Chian-Rhodian at 3.9 g (and less), the Corinthian at 2.8 g and the Attic standard, which became dominant since th…

Mina

(393 words)

Author(s): Hitzl, Konrad (Tübingen) | Huß, Werner (Bamberg)
[German version] [1] Unit of weight and coinage The mina (μνᾶ/ mná), with its multiples and divisions, was the most common Greek unit of weight alongside the stater. It was set on the one hand by the theoretical weight of the drachma coin minted in the city concerned, and on the other hand by the number of Drachmai which equated to a mina. The view long current in research that every mina weighed 100 drachmai, has been refuted. On Aegina, the mina (coin and weight) amounted to 70 drachmai (70×6.237 g = 436.6 g); the Corinthian mina was probably commensurate to it, equating to 150 drachmai (150×2.91…

Talent

(445 words)

Author(s): Hitzl, Konrad (Tübingen)
[German version] (τάλαντον/ tálanton; Latin talentum). The talent was the biggest Greek unit of measurement for the monetary system and for commercial weights. Thus, the word tálanton was used in the Greek Bible translation as a synonym for the highest weight level of the Hebrew text (Hebrew kikkar, cf. 2 Sam 12,30; 1 Kings 9,14; 9,28 et alibi; cf. Mt 25,14-30), without any connection to its actual weight. A talent was always worth 60 minai ( mína [1]) regardless of their weight. The silver coin-talents from Aegina, Euboea, Attica and probably Corinth, too, consistently…

Weights

(2,896 words)

Author(s): Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Hitzl, Konrad (Tübingen)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient In Mesopotamia and its neighbouring regions, weights were made of stone (primarily haematite [Haematite], or else limestone and others) or metal (bronze, copper), often in the form of a barleycorn or a loaf, or figuratively as a duck (3rd to 1st millennia), and in Assyria from the 1st millennium also as a lion. Weights could be inscribed with a numerical value with or without indicating the unit, as well as with an inscription of a ruler, an institution, or an offic…

Stater

(341 words)

Author(s): Hitzl, Konrad (Tübingen) | Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
(στατήρ/ statḗr). [German version] I. Weight In contrast to other Greek units of weight, the stater lacked an exactly defined norm. Instead, the term stater referred to the most common weight pieces at hand. In Athens, inscriptions on a few exemplars show that the stater was a two mina piece adorned by an astragal (Ornaments) with a relief. The Attic stater could be doubled or subdivided into fractions - attested are thirds, sixths and twelfths, but also fourths, eighths and sixteenths. Peculiar is that the mina [1] was not understood to be half a stater but was seen as an independent u…

Dromos

(181 words)

Author(s): Hitzl, Konrad (Tübingen)
[German version] (δρόμος; drómos). The Greek word dromos means ‘course’ (also course of the stars), hence running, race (e.g. of the Greek heroes in Hom. Il 23,758), but also racetrack and running track. In archaeological terminology dromos designates a corridor leading to a room, primarily in burial complexes. The term dromos was first used for the entrance paths to the burial complexes of the  Aegean Koine, which include in particular, apart from the Cretan  tholos tombs with their short dromoi, the Mycenaean domed and chamber tombs. The open dromoi of the domed tombs had often b…