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Massa

(106 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (Lat. for ‘lump’); a formless mass especially of crude metal (such as massa auri, obryzae, argenti, ferri, etc.) in contrast to ramentum (small piece) and regula (bar). The bullion gold that went into the Imperial Roman treasury was entrusted to an authority called the scrinium aureae massae, with a primicerius sacrae massae, under the supervision of the comes sacrarum largitionum ( Comes A.; Cod. Iust. 12,23,7,7; 12,23,7,16 from 384; Not. Dign. Occ. 11,92; 11,95; Not. Dign. Or. 13,26; 13,29); and bullion silver to the scrinium ab argento. Klose, Dietrich (Munich) Bibl…

Tetras

(137 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (τετρᾶς/ tetrâs; suffix probably Siculan [1. 57]). Sicilian bronze coin, part of a lítra . According to Pollux (on the triás ; 9,80 f.) and Hesychius [1] (s. v. τετρᾶντα) the tetras was interpreted as 4 unciae = 1/3 lítra, the triâs as 3 unciae = 1/4 lítra [1. 53 f.]. Linguistically this is not tenable, the suffix -ᾶς in fact describes parts of a whole, therefore t. describes 1/4 lítra, hence 3 unciae, and corresponds to the Roman quadrans [1. 54-58]. Accordingly, the coin described in numismatics as a triâs is in fact a tetras . (and vice versa; an alteration to the e…

Pentanummium

(64 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (πεντανούμμιον; pentanoúmmion). Copper coin with a value of 5 nummi (Nummus) in a Byzantine copper issue, introduced by Anastasius [1] I in AD 498, with a value numeral of Ε (Greek) or V (Latin), minted until the time of Heraclius [7] I (610-641). Literary mention in the lexicon of Zonaras (Zonarae Lexicon); the numerical relationships are unclear. Klose, Dietrich (Munich)

Šiqlu

(269 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] Akkadian word for an ancient oriental weight from which the Hebrew term shekel and síglos (Siclus) derive, 1/60 of the manû (Mina [1]) and 1/3600 of a biltu (Talent). The šiqlu is recorded in hundreds of cuneiform accounts from the 3rd mill. BC onwards. In the Mesopotamian system of weights the manû weighed 499.98 g, the šiqlu 8.333 g [3. 510]. A shekel of 11.4 g, corresponding to the Phoenician shekel [2. 21], is recorded in Judaea and Samaria in c. 738 BC [1. 612]. The Persians adopted the Babylonian system; under Darius [1] I, the manû was increased to 504 g, and the šiqlu…

Solidus

(790 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (Latin, 'whole', of metals 'solid', e.g. aurei solidi: Apul. Met. 10,9), main coin of Roman currency of Late Antiquity. A lighter gold coin introduced by Constantine (Constantinus [1] I) to replace the aureus because of rising gold prices. It was introduced from AD 309 at Trier, from 313 in Constantine's entire half of the Empire and from 324 throughout the Empire. Greek χρύσιον νόμισμα/ chrýsion nómisma (lit. 'golden' coin; from the 7th cent. only nomisma; numerous bynames referring to its high quality or to coin images [5. 1229]). The solidus weighed 1/72 Roman pound…

Trichryson

(110 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (τρίχρυσον; tríchryson). Triple chrysoûs (gold coin, particularly gold stater) is the name given in a papyrus (P CZ 59021,13; 59022,6-16, 3rd cent. BC) to the coin known today as a pentádrachmon , an early Ptolemaic gold coin of approximately 17.8 g with a value initially of 60 Phoenician-Ptolemaic silver drachmai; this corresponds to a gold-silver proportion of 12 : 1. According to the papyrus, however,  the trichryson was traded with a premium of 6 2/3 silver drachmai, the gold-silver ratio had therefore risen to 13 1/3 : 1  [1. 70-73]. It may be that the trichryso…

Triobolon

(135 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (τριώβολον/ triṓbolon; Poll. 9,62). Coin with the value of 3 oboloi ( Obolós ) = 1/2 drachmḗ [1] = 1/4 statḗr , common in almost all Greek coinage systems. In Athens approximately 2.18 g of silver, the daily allowance for attendance at the People's Assembly and the pay for judges (Aristoph. Eccl. 293; 308; Aristoph. Equ. 51; 800), in the Peloponnesian War the daily pay for sailors (Thuc. 8,45,2; Xen. Hell. 1,5,7). Triṓbola with value marks: 3 acorns in Mantinea, Τ in Sicyon. Gold triobola are mentioned in the Eleusis temple inventories (329/8 BC; IG II2 1672 Z. 300) and we…

Maiorina

(367 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (Lat., in full pecunia maiorina or nummus maior). Ancient name for ‘larger bronze (Æ)/billon coins ( Billon) of the 4th cent. AD. Some modern scholars avoid the ancient names because of the frequent changes in the coinage system. Maiorina was probably the name of the largest Æ nominal of the coinage reform of AD 348 ( c. 5 1/4 g, 2.8 % silver), only struck for a brief period, and of the somewhat smaller coins of 349-352 [2. 64f.]. The edict Cod. Theod. 9,21,6 of 349 AD forbad the elimination of silver from the maiorina, an edict of 356 (…

Quadrans

(826 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] Quarter of a Roman  as (Varro Ling. 5,171; Volusianus Maecianus 15,24; Prisc. De figuris numerorum 11; further mentions in the literature of the Republic: [1. 657 f.]). Hence for the as of the libral weight standard (Libra [1]) a quadrans corresponded to three unciae (Uncia). Coins of this value, cast in the Roman and Italic  aes grave (from c. 280 BC on), showed three balls as an indication of value. When dividing the as  decimally, the quadrans corresponded to  3/10  of an as [1. 659]. Among some Italic peoples the quadrans was initially called a terruncius

Pentobolon

(43 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (πεντώβολον; pentṓbolon). Greek coin worth 5 obols (obolos), for example, in the silver coinage of Athens in the 4th cent. BC. It is mentioned in Aristoph. Equ. 798, on inscriptions and in the Suda s.v. πεμπώβολον. Klose, Dietrich (Munich)

Quadrussis

(145 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] Value of 4 asses (As), a term conjectured in modernity but long since rejected; ancient quattussis, quadrassis; from the 1st cent. AD on, in inscriptions as quattus, quadtus for price indications (CIL IV 1679; VIII 25902, III 19; XI 5717). Whether there was a coin of that value is questionable; it would correspond to a sestertius. At best, the sesterces of Marcus Antonius' [I 9] naval prefect could be described as quadrusses because of the value indicator Δ (=4) used in addition to HS for sesterce. Indicati…

Taurophores

(143 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (τέτραχμα καινὰ ταυροφόρα). A coin (Tetradrachmon; according to the numbering also fractions) with an image of a bull, mentioned only in the Delos treasure lists (IDélos 1429 B II; 1432 BB I and Ba II; 1449 Ba I, c. 166 BC). According to [3] the large Eretrian silver coin with an ox in a laurel wreath on the reverse (after 196 BC), to [1. 37] an early tetradrachmon of Macedonia Prima with Artemis Tauropolos on a bull on the reverse (after 167 BC), and to [2. 61-63] a Theran coin with a bull on the reverse, of which to…

Small coins, shortage of

(1,175 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] In the early period of the history of Greek money, despite the limited number in circulation, there was no shortage of small coins, since to a great extent everyday dealings were probably still conducted without coins. A shortage arises in developed money economies when the minting or supply of small coins fails. This could happen more easily in ancient economies than in the present day since minting served the needs of the state (seigniorage, payments to mercenaries) more than th…

Paduans

(189 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] Paduans were imitations of large Roman bronze coins (sestertia and medaillons), dating from the 16th cent. AD. Padua was one of the manufacturing centres, hence their name . Some are exact copies, others variations from the original and others completely made-up (e.g. sestertia of Otho). The best known paduans are those by the Paduan goldsmith and medallist Giovanni Cavino (1500-1570). Fifty four of his coin punches are preserved in the Cabinet des Médailles in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris [4.111-124]. It has been a matter of debate since Cavino’s …

Tridrachmon

(105 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (τρίδραχμον; trídrachmon). Coin of 3 drachmai (Drachme [1]), mentioned by Pollux (9,60). The trídrachma Maronitiká in Attic inscriptions are probably the tetradrachma (Tetradrachmon) of Maronea [1] in accordance with the 'Phoenician' coinage standard (Coinage, standards of), which because of their decrease in weight were later worth only 3 Attic drachmai. As minted coins tridrachma are very rare: early 'Aeginetan' tridrachma of Delphi; the coins of the Ionian symmachía of 394-387 were simultaneously Aeginetan didrachma (Didrachmon) and Rhodian tridrachma (…

Quartuncia standard

(184 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] Lowest fractional level of Roman bronze coinage, with an as of just 1/4 ounce (Uncia) = c. 6.8 g, first used in the middle of the 1st cent. BC in the bronze coins of the quaestors in Sicily, as well as in Paestum and Regium and elsewhere. However, these fractions need not always have been official. The heavy brass coinage of the fleet prefects of Marcus Antonius [I 9] can only loosely be connected to the QS [1. 86 f.; 3. 88, n. 114]. The QS can also be assumed for some local coinage in the Greek …

Quadrigatus

(271 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] Final series of Roman-Campanian didrachms (Didrachmon) on the lower Italian standard prior to the introduction of the denarius (Liv. for 216 BC: 22,52,3; 22,54,2; 22,58,4 f.), showing the head of Janus on the obverse and Jupiter in a quadriga on the reverse. The nominal weight was 6 scripula (Scripulum) of 1.137 g. The quadrigatus was introduced at the same time as the new bronze coin on the libral standard (which also had the head of Janus on the obverse) in c. 235 BC [4. 708] or 225 BC [2. 146] (or as early as 250 BC? [3]) and was initially minted in Rome …

Tritetartemorion

(43 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (τριτεταρτημόριον/ tritetart ēmórion, also tritartēmórion, tritēmórion). Silver coin with the value of 3 tetartēmória, 3/4 obolós (Poll. 9,65), with 3 crescent moons in 4th-cent.-BC Athens and 3 Ts in Thurii, Delphi, Argos, Elis, Mantinea, Cranium, and Pale. Klose, Dietrich (Munich)

Coin production

(1,331 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] Up to the 16th cent., coin production (CP) hardly changed (Bramante's minting press). Ancient coins are usually struck, less often cast. For the location of mints, their administration and organization see  minting. First of all, coin metal [18] must be made available by foundries. At least for precious metal coins, the purity of the alloy is the decisive determinant for their value. The coin metal was probably delivered already in an alloyed state (in ingots?). Serial marks of th…

Quadratum Incusum

(297 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] Modern technical term for a depression on the reverse of the early coins of Greece, Asia Minor and Persia. Originally the impression of the tip of the rod holding the blank for minting, by the end of the 7th cent. BC a QI was more carefully shaped: square (Chios), rectangular (Persian dareikos), triangular (Chalcis), composed of several similar or dissimilar bosses (Cyme, Samos, Miletus). The surface is very often patterned, with diagonals (Athens) or crosses (Himera, Teos, Ephesus), divided into boxes (Macedonian tribes, Cyzicus)…
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