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(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…


(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 …


(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 …


(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 …


(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. …
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