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(686 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] [1] Bellows (φῦσα / phŷsa, bellows). The blacksmith's tool already mentioned in Homer (Il. 18, 372; 412; 468-70) is associated in Greek art in particular with  Hephaestus (Siphnian Treasury, Delphi), but rarely appears in depictions of workshops. There were two (Hdt. I 68) or more (Hom. Il. 18,468-470) folles in a workshop. In Roman art the follis is also depicted relatively rarely; on a blacksmith's gravestone in Aquileia (Mus. inv. no. 166) the worker at the follis holds a protective shield in front of himself; a fresco in the house of the Vettii in Po…


(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…


(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…


(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…


(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…


(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 (…


(984 words)

Author(s): Hünemörder, Christian (Hamburg) | Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] [1] Animal (χελώνη/ chelṓnē, ἐμύς/ emýs: Aristot. Hist. an. 5,33, 558a 7-11, cf. Arr. Ind. 21; Latin testudo, in Plin. HN 9,71 and 166 mus marinus, literally 'sea mouse'). The following are known: 1.) the Hermann's Tortoise, χελώνη (χελών, χελύς, χελύνη) χερσαία/ chelṓnē ( chelṓn, chelýs, chelýnē) chersaía; 2.) the very similar Spur-Thighed Tortoise, χ. ὄρειος ( ch. óreios) in Ael. Nat. 14,17 and Plin. HN 9,38: chersinae; 3.) the Pond Terrapin, ἐμύς ( emýs) or χ. λιμναία ( ch. limnaía); 4.) the Loggerhead Sea-Turtle, Thalassochelys caretta, χ. θαλαττία ( ch. thalattía) …


(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


(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)


(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…


(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…


(258 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (also scrupulum, 'little stone', from scrupus; Greek γράμμα/ grámma, cf. English 'scruple'). Roman unit of weight of 1/24 uncia = 1/288 libra [1] ('pound') = 1·137 g. The scripulum is probably the unit used for a number of central-Italian and Etruscan gold and silver coins. In Rome, the quadrigatus , the gold oath-scene coins which accompanied it and the earliest denarius with the associated Mars/eagle gold issue were based on the scripulum. The quadrigatus corresponded to 6 scripula, the denarius to 4, and the sestertius to 1 scripulum. Because of the popularity o…


(324 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (Greek μιλιαρήσιον/ miliarḗsion). Late Roman silver coin of 1/72 Roman pound = 4.55 g (light miliarensis) and 1/60 Roman pound = 5.45 g (heavy miliarensis; it is uncertain whether miliarensis was the ancient name [3. 15]); minted from AD 324. The miliarensis is first mentioned in the year 384 (Cod. Theod. 6,30,7 = Cod. Iust. 12,23,7). Dardanius gives the miliarensis the value of 1,000 (bronze) oboli, which would mean a 1:125 ratio of silver to bronze [1. 125f.]. A gold to bronze proportionate value from the year 396/7 of 1 solidus = 25 pounds of bron…


(112 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (τετρώβολον). Coin of 4 obols ( Obolós ), 2/3 of a drachmḗ [1] or 1/3 of a dídrachmon , or of a statḗr . These third-staters were also called drachmai, e.g. in Corinth, Mende, where the stater was equal to three (instead of two) drachmai. The tetrobolon . occurs in the Attic, Phoenician/Rhodean and Persian coinage standards (Coinage, standards of). The Athenian t. is mentioned by Aristophanes (Pax 254); Pollux (9,63) describes the Athenian tetrobolon of the 4th cent. BC somewhat incorrectly as having a head of Zeus on the obverse (in fact of…

Coins, control of

(425 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] The checking of coins by special coin checkers (Greek argyroskópos, argyrognṓmōn, dokimastḗs, Lat.   nummularius a money-changer in general -- or spectator, probator [1. 19]) played an important role in the protection against underweight value or counterfeit money ( Coins, counterfeiting of). It is often mentioned in literature, in inscriptions and papyrus [1. 13-20, 24-28; 2. 1, 4-10; 5. 358-362], first in an inscription dated 550-525 BC from Eretria [1. 13]. Coin checkers were employees of private ba…

Pentadrachmon, Pentedrachmia

(169 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (πεντάδραχμον/ pentádrachmon, πεντεδραχμία/ pentedrachmía; Xen. Hell. 1,6,12), a Greek coin with a value of five drachmai (Drachme), often mentioned in ancient texts: 1) used as pay at Chios in 406 BC (Xen. ibid.), it cannot be clearly identified [3]. 2) 'Old' pentedrachmia as a Macedonian coin in the time of Perdiccas [3] III (365-359 BC; Polyaenus, Strat. 3,10,14), probably the older Macedonian tetradrachma (Tetradrachmon), regionally divided into 5 drachmai [1]. 3) At Cyrene (Poll. 9,60), it may be the Attic tetradrachmon, presumably divided there into five drac…


(151 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] Roman coin of 5 asses (As), modern word formed in analogy to quadrussis. As a cast coin (Aes grave) each with the value indication V: Rome c. 225 BC, weight c. 1400 g ( as on the libral standard, cf. Libra [1]), obverse head of Janus, reverse prora ('prow') (on authenticity: [1]); Rome c. 213 BC, weight 365 g ( as on the quadrantal standard); obverse Diana or Ilia, reverse prora [3. 32]; Etruria, weight 748 g and 707 g (Etruscan as of 151.6 g), obverse wheel, reverse anchor [2. 265]. Earlier numismatic literature described Roman heavy bronze ingots decorate…


(192 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (τετράδραχμον/ tetrádrachmon or τετρᾶχμον/ tetráchmon; Latin tetradrachmum, tetrachmum, Cic. Fam. 12, 13,4; Liv. 34,52,6). Coin of 4 drachmai (Drachme [1]), the usual large silver coin in the Attic and Phoenician/Rhodean coinage standards (Coinage, standards of), approximately 14-17 g in weight; the standard coin was a statḗr . Tetrádrachma minted from the late 6th cent. BC until the end of the 4th in Athens (Owls (coins)) and tetradrachma minted in accordance with the Attic coinage standard by Alexander [4] the Great (obv. bust of Heracles, r…

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…

Senatus consultum

(910 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne) | Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] [1] A formal resolution of the Roman Senate (SC; sometimes senatus sententia: ILS 18; 35a; 8208; informally also senatus decretum, e.g. Cic. Mil. 87; Cic. Sest. 32, or in archaic form senati decretum: Sall. Cat. 30,3 and passim). The formal resolution by which the Roman Senate pronounced advice or instructions at the request ( consulere) of magistrates; while not binding legally, it was in practice: in the Imperial Period, to some extent it even acquired force of law (Gai. Inst. 1,4; Pompon. Dig. 1,2,12; cf. [3. 432]). An SC that was…
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