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(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)…


(106 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (τριημιωβόλιον; trihēmiōbólion). Greek coins with the value of 11/2 oboloi ( Obolós ) = 1/4 drachme [1] (cf. Aristoph. fr. 48) in Athens in the 5th cent. BC. Coins of 1.08 g with two owls and an olive branch between them, or a frontal view of an owl with open wings. Trihēmiōbólia with value indicators ΤΡΙΗ in Corinth and Leucas, ΤΡΙ in Cranii, Τ in Sicyon (all 5th cent. BC), and three Εs (for 3 (h)emibolia) in Heraea and Tegea (late 5th-4th cents. BC). Gold trihemiobolia of 0.45-0.60 g were minted in Corinth around406 BC. Klose, Dietrich (Munich) Bibliography W. Schwabacher, …


(300 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] Latin form of the Greek nómos ([2. vol. 2, 247], cf. Varro, Ling. 5, 173), later translated back again as the Greek noúmmos; originally it was the general word for ‘coin’ ( n. argenteus, n. aureus, cf. Varro, Ling. 4,36; habere in nummis: ‘to have it in cash’); the abbreviation N. = nummus, a heavy bronze coin from Teate and Venusia in Apulia (3rd cent. BC). Then N. mostly = sestertius, often abbreviated to N., at first with the addition ( n. sestertius, see ILS 7313; 8302) and later without, Greek noúmmos ( nomos ). The Greek noúmmos and nummus were also the other names for the…


(655 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (Greek σίγλος/ síglos, σίκλος/ síklos, or neuter σίκλον/ síklon; Latin siclus, sicel, from Akkadian šiqlu = shekel, Hebrew לקש). Ancient oriental weight, 1/60 of a light or heavy mina [1], or 1/50 of a mina among Jews (Ez 45,12) and Greeks, where 1 mina was the equivalent of 100 drachmai. As a coin standard, siglos was the name of various silver coins. The autonomous large silver coins of the Phoenician cities were sigloi as tetradrachms (Tetradrachmon), e.g. in Sidon (units of coins from 2 down to 1/64 siglos) and Tyre (units of coins from 1 down to 1/24 siglos), which were m…


(249 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] Suitably smaller symbols (images, monograms, ciphers, alphabetical letters, abbreviations of names) to identify particular issues, dates of stamping or workshops, as an additional control measure on coinage, near the coin image and legend. Control-marks appeared in the 4th cent. BC (supplementary coin images), increasingly so in the Hellenistic period (monograms) and also in the Roman Republic. Instead of the monograms and abbreviations, names of officials came to be more or less …

Coin counterfeit

(962 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] In other words: forgery. Unauthorized production or forced weight reduction of circulating coins to the detriment of the public by a party not entitled to mint. It must be differentiated from the manufacture or modification of old coins to the detriment of collectors. Coin counterfeit (CC) is as old as minting coins. The oldest preserved forged coins are imitations of Lydian electron coins of the early 6th cent. BC [11. 35f.]. Forgeries undermined confidence in the entire coinage (Dion. Chrys. 31,24). Since the nominal value of an ancient coin corresponded to…


(692 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (Latin quinarius ‘five-piece coin’). Silver coin with a value of five asses (As) (in bronze called quincussis ), or eight asses from c. 141 BC on; always mentioned in connection with the denarius with a value of ten asses, or sixteen asses from 141 BC on (Varro, Ling. 5,173; Prisc. 6,66; Volusius Maecianus 44-47; Plin. HN 33,44 f. with incorrect dating); consequently it came into existence together with the denarius in about 214-211 BC as a coin worth half the latter's value. It was a silver coin and, being half a denarius, weighed 1/144 Roman pound (Libra [1]) = 2.27 g. …


(263 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (late Latin semissis, 'half'). In coinage half an as (= 6 unciae ). A semis occurs in almost all series of the Italian aes grave ; in the decimal sequence, it appears in the place of the quincunx , particularly in eastern Italy. In the Roman aes grave (from c. 280 BC), semisses have a value indication 'S'. Until c. 231 BC they bear various images, from c. 225 BC (introduction of the Prora series of aes grave ) a head of Saturn on the obverse and Prora on the reverse. Until the introduction of the Sextantal Standard ( c. 214-212 BC), semisses were cast, after that stamped. Semisses also …

Heracles coinage

(112 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] A joint minting by some cities (Rhodes, Cnidus, Iasus, Ephesus, Samos, Byzantium, Cyzicus and Lampsacus) with local ethnika and representations on the reverse, ΣΥΝ (for Symmachia) and the young snake-strangling Hercules on the obverse. The coins were generally seen as the expression of an alliance not documented by other sources, which is mostly dated in the time immediately after 394 BC (defeat of the Spartans off Cnidus). Klose, Dietrich (Munich) Bibliography H. A. Cahn, Knidos, 1970, 173f. G. L. Cawkwell, A Note on the Heracles Coinage Alliance of 394 B…

Ouroboros stater

(116 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] Modern technical term for a type of Celtic golden rainbow cups ( c. 100 BC) from southern Bavaria, formerly attributed to the Vindelici. On the obverse they show the so-called ouroboros, a long, dragon-like creature rolled up along the curve of the coin, on the reverse a torques with 6 spheres or three lyre-shaped ornaments surrounding the centre. The southern Bavarian treasures troves of Gaggers, Irsching, Westerhofen and Sontheim contained ouroboros staters; additional pieces were found in elsewhere in southern Bavaria. The next smaller unit is the quarter stater. K…


(58 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (τρίχαλκον; tríchalkon). Coin of 3 chalkoí (Chalkos), recorded from the time of Theophrastus (Char. 10,6; 371-287 BC) onwards. The 4th-cent. BC bronze coin of Phocis with value mark T is probably a trichalkon, and it appears as an indication of value on Imperial period bronze coins of Chios (= 1/2  as ?). Klose, Dietrich (Munich)


(155 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] Latin, 'third' of an as and hence of any twelve-part whole, 4 unciae ( triás ), used with this meaning in Roman currency from the earliest aes grave; in the Janus/ prora series with a head of Minerva on the obverse, four points as a value indicator. Trientes were first cast, then minted, most recently under Cornelius [I 90] Sulla. The triens also appears in other Italian aes grave; in the decimally divided eastern Italian series it is better to call it a quadrunx . It occurs minted in the Roman/Campanian coin series (obv. head of Juno, rev. He…

Libyon type

(178 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] Coins of Numidian and Libyan mercenaries rebelling against Carthage 241-238 BC ( ‘Mercenaries' War’, Pol. 1,65-88), mostly minted over pieces of Carthaginian type. Treasure finds (Inv. of Greek Coin Hoards 2213, Sicily; 2281-82, Tunisia) confirm the classification. Reverse legend ΛΙΒΥΩΝ, types: 1. double shekel, obverse head of Zeus, reverse butting bull; 2. shekel ( Siqlu); 3. half shekel, obverse head of Hercules with the coat of a lion, reverse pacing lion; 4. bronze Hercules a…

Sextantal standard

(186 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] Reduction stage of the Roman-Italic aes grave amounting to 1/6 of the original libral as, introduced at Rome c. 214-212 BC along with the denarius , which was worth 10 sextantal asses (As) (Fest. 468: during the 2nd Punic War). Bronze and silver were hereby set at a fixed rate to one another for the first time. A novel feature are the minor types (letters or symbols). They partly correspond to those of the silver coinage in the denarius system. This was also the time of the first minting of the large bronze nominals. Some coins (asses and fractions) were und…


(190 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (κόλλυβος; kóllybos). Greek for the corn of grain or pulse, then a weight between barleycorn and tetartemorion (Theophr. Lapides 46). From this, the name for a particularly small coin, attested in Athens from the 420s BC (Aristoph. Pax 1198; Eupolis 233; Callim. Fr. 85). Also two- and three-fold kollyboi are mentioned (Poll. 9,63.72). The tiny AE coins of the 2nd half of the 5th cent. BC are considered to be Attic kollyboi. From the notion of it being the smallest coin, the kollybos (Latin collybus) assumed additional meanings [5]: change; the money-changer's fee…


(698 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] 'Sesterce', Roman coin, abbreviated from semistertius = 'third half' = 2 1/2 asses (Varro Ling. 5,173; Volusius Maecianus 46; Prisc. De figuris numerorum 17 f.; Vitr. De arch. 3,1,42). The sestertius was introduced around 214-211 BC together with the denarius, as one quarter of the latter, which weighed 1/72 of a Roman pound and was equivalent to 10 asses in the sextantal standard, which was introduced at the same time. The sestertius was minted as a small silver coin at 1/288 of a pound = 1 scripulum . The images correspond to the denarius and …

Gresham's law

(272 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] Modern technical term for the inflation-driving phenomenon in which bad money displaces good money that is then exported, melted down or hoarded. Not until the 19th cent. was it named after Thomas Gresham (1519-1579), the founder of the London Stock Exchange and royal financial agent. The main source of knowledge of the circulation of money and the disappearance of good coins in antiquity are the treasure finds. As an example (with a weakening of Gresham's law [GL] due to the higher valuation of minted silver), the better of the pre-Neronian denarii disappeared from ci…


(467 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (Pl. of Lat. votum, 'vow to the gods'; vota suscipere, 'to make vows of performing an action pleasing to the gods, if the latter will give protection from harm'; vota solvere, 'to fulfil the vows by performing the promised action, if everything has ended well'). Besides the private vota, during the Imperial period, there were also the vota publica of the subjects for particular operations undertaken by the emperor. On coins, vota are found for the first time and with precise formulas under Augustus [1], such as: IOVI VOT(a) SVSC(epta) PRO SALVT(e) CA…
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