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Quadrussis

(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…

Taurophores

(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…

Siglos

(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…

Control-marks

(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…

Quinarius

(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. …

Semis

(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 …

Sestertius

(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…

Vota

(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…

Stater

(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…

Oktadrachmon

(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)

Scripulum

(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…

Miliarensis

(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…

Tetrobolon

(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…

Tressis

(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…

Incusi

(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…

Tresviri

(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…

Massa

(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…
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