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(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) Bibliography 1 W. Enßlin, s.v. Massa (3), RE 14, 2122 2 S…


(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


(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)


(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 pecu…


(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…

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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