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(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…


(341 words)

Author(s): Hitzl, Konrad (Tübingen) | Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
(στατήρ/ statḗr). [German version] I. Weight In contrast to other Greek units of weight, the stater lacked an exactly defined norm. Instead, the term stater referred to the most common weight pieces at hand. In Athens, inscriptions on a few exemplars show that the stater was a two mina piece adorned by an astragal (Ornaments) with a relief. The Attic stater could be doubled or subdivided into fractions - attested are thirds, sixths and twelfths, but also fourths, eighths and sixteenths. Peculiar is that the mina [1] was not understood to be half a stater but was seen as an independent u…


(70 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (ὀκτάδραχμον; oktádrachmon), eight drachma coin of about 28 grams, particularly in the region of the 'Phoenician foot', in the silver issues e.g. of Abdera and Ichnae, of the Bisalti, Edoni and Orrhescii, of Alexander [2] I of Macedonia (all c. 500-460 BC), of Sidon (late 5th-4th cents. BC) and of Ptolemy I and Ptolemy V. The Ptolemaic gold oktadrachmon was called a mnaïeîon. Klose, Dietrich (Munich)


(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…

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…


(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…

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 …
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