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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 …


(190 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (from tres and as). Late Antiquity gold coin, from AD 313 (RIC VII Trier no. 38) under Constantinus [1] the Great 3/8 (9 siliquae ; standard weight 1.71 g), from 383 1/3 (8 siliquae, standard weight 1.51 g), of a solidus . Initially rarely minted, from the end of the 4th cent. until the 7th cent. tremisses were very frequently minted, the last in the 9th cent. The reverse image was Victoria, from c. 610 a cross. The tremissis became the model for the majority of gold coins of the Germanic peoples in the migration period (Franks, Vandals, Ostrogoths and Vi…

Philippus (stater)

(309 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (Φιλίππειος/ Philíppeios, sc. χρυσοῦς στατήρ/ chrysoûs statḗr; Diod. Sic. 16,8,5-6; Poll. 9,84; 9,59; Syll.2 588 Z. 7; Syll.3 285; Dareikoi Ph.: IG II 5, 845c Z. 8), Latin Philipp(e)us (Liv. 37,59; 39,5; 39,7; Hor. Epist. 2,1,234; gold coin in general circulation: Dig. 34,2,27,4), golden stater of Philip (Philippus [4]) II of Macedon. It was a didrachmon of the Attic standard, weighing approx. 8.6 g [2. 407-409]. The obverse has a head of Apollo with a laurel wreath, the reverse a carriage and pai…


(134 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] Roman coin of value 3 asses (As) (from tres and as: Varro Ling. 5,169); as a cast coin with value indication III in the libral Roma-wheel series of aes grave (mid-3rd cent. BC [2. no. 24/1]) and in the post-semilibral Janus-prora series ( c. 215-212 BC [2. no. 41/3a]); 36-35 BC as minted coins with value indication Γ in the issues of Marcus Antonius [I 9]'s naval prefect from Sicily ( Sestertius ) and, usually without value indication, as a locally minted triassarion in the eastern parts of the Empire in the Imperial period (As). Coins from Vienna, Lugdu…


(213 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] Coins minted in lower Italy (Sybaris, Croton, Caulonia, Metapontum, Tarentum, Louse, Siris-Pyxus, Posidonia, Velia, Rhegium, and others) c. 550-440 BC, where on the reverse, the image of the obverse appears as a depression. This is a conscious effort to produce a view of the rear, not merely a duplication. Its meaning is debated. On the one hand, purely technical reasons are suggested; i.e. with hammer-struck coins, one attempted to strike clean, precisely centred coins. Others assume a philosophi…


(1,068 words)

Author(s): de Libero, Loretana (Hamburg) | Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
A board of three Roman magistrates with a defined area of competence. Distinction is made between ordinary annual officials, who had ordering functions within the group of viginti(sex)viri , and the extraordinary tresviri, who are known, on occasion, to have amassed a great deal of power. [German version] [1] Tresviri capitales Created c.290 BC, their office belonged to the lowest grade on the Republican career path (Cursus honorum; Liv. Per. 11). At first they were appointed by the praetor , and after 242 BC elected in the comitia tributa (Fest. 468 L). They were responsible for t…


(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) Bibl…


(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 [1. 54-58]. Accordingly, the coin described in numismatics as a triâs is in fact a tetras . (and vice versa; an alteration to the e…


(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 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) …

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…
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