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Deunx

(106 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] In the Roman system of measures and weights, deunx refers to11/12 of the whole (as) and the term is derived from deesse and uncia, i.e. 1 as (12 unciae) less 1 uncia. Deunx is used in the measurement of length ( pes), the measurement of area ( iugerum) and the measurement of capacity ( cyathus, sextarius) as well as in the calculation of interest ( fenus) and in the law of succession. Based on the Roman pound ( libra: 327,45 g), the deunx weighs 300.16 g. Coins of this weight were not minted.  As;  Cyathus;  Iugerum;  Libra;  Pes;  Sextarius;  Uncia Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hanno…

Artabe

(102 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (ἀρτάβη; artábē). Denotes an originally Persian  measure of capacity for dry goods, according to Hdt.1,192 consisting of 51 choínikes (= c. 55 l). From the Ptolemies onwards, the artabe is used in Egypt as the largest unit of capacity for dry goods, and depending on the region consists of 28, 29, 30 or 40 choínikes (1  choínix varies from c. 0.9-1.5 l).  Choinix;  Measure of volume Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography F. Hultsch, Griech. und röm. Metrologie, 21882 O. Viedebantt, Forsch. zur Metrologie des Alt., 1917 J. Shelton, Artabs and Choenices, in: …

Centenionalis

(183 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Roman copper coin, following the AD 356 edict of Constantius II and Julian equated with the colloquially named maiorina (Cod. Theod. 9,23,1), and decreed by a law of AD 349 to be of copper and silver (Cod. Theod. 9,21,1). Minting of what was then known exclusively as the centenionalis ceased in the West by an edict of Honorius and Arcadius of AD 395 (Cod. Theod. 9,23,2), but it continues in the East until about AD 425. The three denominations introduced in the coinage reform of AD 348, of copper with a maximum of 3.0 per cent silver, weigh c. 5.25 g, 4.25 g and 2.5 g, but the…

Dupondius

(519 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] ( dupondium). A doubling of the  As, in the Roman system of measurement, the dupondius represented twice the ‘unit’ of length (twice the pes) and in weight two Roman pounds (one libra = 327.45 g). Dupondius also signified simply the number two, and in Roman law the doubled whole. The earliest dupondii were cast in bronze with a dose of lead as two libral asses (hence also dussis) with the denomination II between 269 and 240 BC in the Roma/wheel series ( Aes grave) [1. 23]. As a result of the debasement of the currency in the 2nd half of the 3rd cent. BC, the dupondius was issued a…

Aes signatum

(435 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Modern technical term for cast, rectangular ingots of metal [2.III 186]. Aes signatum replaces the older   aes rude and becomes the precursor to the   aes grave even though, for a short time, the three currencies are in use concurrently [2.III 201; 9.96; 1]. The older form (6th to early 3rd cents. BC), with a varying weight of 500-2000 g, was primarily cast in northern Etruria and consists of an iron alloy; it is either without decoration or decorated with a simple pattern of twigs on one or both sides ( ramo secco) [2.III 202 f.]. The younger form of highly valuable bronze …

Charon's fare

(120 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Reward to the ferryman Charon for the journey across the river of the underworld (ναῦλον, πορθμήϊον; naûlon, porthmḗïon). A coin was placed under the tongue of the corpse or between its teeth [1. 349; 2; 3. 193f., 249f.]. The coin is often old, in bad condition or foreign; antique fakes or coin-like discs were also used, as in Greek graves of the 4th-2nd cents. BC [3. 250].  Charon [1];  Dead, cult of the Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography 1 J. Marquart, Das Privatleben der Römer, 21886 2 Schrötter, 100, s.v. Charonsfährgeld 3 D. C. Kurtz, J. Boardman, Thanatos. Tod und Jenseits bei den Griechen, 1985. P. Sartori, Die Totenmünze, in: ARW 1899, 205-225 Caronte. Un obolo per l'aldilà, Atti Salerno 1995 (= PdP 50, 1995), especially 165-354.

Evaenetus

(151 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (Εὐαίνετος; Euaínetos). The most famous and best of the Syracusan coin-engravers, who in the latter third of the 5th cent. BC initially worked in Catana and also in Camarina, and then from c. 410 BC in Syracuse. Alongside splendid dekadrachmas, E. also signed smaller silver denominations as well as gold and bronze coins, occasionally taking turns with Euclidas and Eumenus.  Dekadrachmon;  Euclidas;  Eumenus Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography R. Weil, Die Künstlerinschr. der sicilischen Münzen, in: 44. Winckelmannsprogramm der Arch. Ges. zu Berlin, 1884, esp. 10-12 L. Forrer, Biographical Dictionary of Medallists 2, s.v. E., 1904, 41-50 L. Tudeer, Die Tetradrachmenprägung von Syrakus in der Periode der signierenden Künstler, in: ZfN 30, 1913, 1-292, esp. 222ff. J. Liegle, E. Eine Werkfolge nach Originalen des Staatlichen Münzkabinetts zu Berlin, in: 101. Winckelmannsprogramm der Arch. Ges. zu Berlin, 1941 H. A. Cahn et al., Griech. Münzen aus Großgriechenland und Sizilien, AM Basel Samm…

Dekanoummion

(154 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (δεκανουμμίον; dekanoummíon). According to sources from late antiquity and Byzantium, the dekanoummion is a copper coin bearing a varying relationship to the denar unit. Despite this lack of certainty, it seems to be established that the

Cochlear(e)

(173 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] [1] Spoon, smallest unit of Roman hollow measures (χήμη, chḗmē, ‘Spoon’). Smallest unit of Roman hollow measures, especially for medicines. Exceptionally, cochlear(e) is calculated differently: in the Carmen de ponderibus as 1/6 of the mystum (1.9 ml); in Isidorus (Orig. 16,25) the cochlear(e) amounts to 2.3 ml.  Acetabulum;  Amphora;  Congius;  Culleus;  Cyathus;  Hemina;  Hollow measures;  Mo…

Decussis

(167 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (Decus). The decussis stands in general for the figure 10 (symbol: X), and the term is derived from the corresponding amount or value in asses. On the basis of the libral standard weight (1 Roman pound = 1 as = 327.45 g), the decussis weighs ten times one as, and as a value represents 5/8 of a denarius of 16 asses. Numismatically speaking, the decussis is significant only as a bronze 10-as piece in the semilibral standard, cast during the years 215-212 BC (  aes grave ). The ‘Roma in Phrygian helmet/prora’ coin exists contemporaneously with the …

Assarion

(280 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (ἀσσάριον; assárion). Greek term for the Latin as [4], with 16 assaria corresponding to 1 denarius [2. 32]; attested epigraphically and from stamps. In the course of the Imperial period and until the cessation of bronze coining in c. AD 275 the bronze assarion develops alongside the chalkos and the obolos to become the most important coin of the Greek East, meeting the need for small coinage in that region. Conversion of the three bronze denominations was variously implemented; in Chios for example 1 obolos = 2 assaria = 8 chalkoi [1. 192, n. 8]. There are denominations of 1/…

Billon

(73 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Silver alloy containing an admixture of more than 50 per cent copper and other base metals; whereas copper with very small proportions of silver is called white copper [1. 36]. Thinning out silver with copper is a common practice especially in late antiquity to balance the increased demand for currency [2. 401ff.].  Antoninianus;  Inflation;  Coinage reforms;  Coins, decline in quality of Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography 1 Göbl 2 F. de Martino, Wirtschaftsgesch. des alten Rom, 1985.

Trial minting

(115 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Trial mintings of coins and medals, as a rule made from inferior metal. Esp. TMs of Roman gold and silver coins exist in bronze and lead [2.64]. They often represent the only record of lost originals or of an issue that was never minted [1.1 ff.]. Coins with a very wide edge, probably special occasional mintings for particular events, can also be described as TM [3.32]. Coin production Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography 1 A. Alföldi, Zur Kenntnis der Zeit der römischen Soldatenkaiser III, in: ZfN 40, 1930, 1-15 2 M. R. Alföldi, Zum Lyoner Bleimedaillon, in: S…

Congius

(137 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Based on an amphora (= 8 congii), congius designates a Roman volume measure for liquids and is equal to 3.275 l, which is standardized when filled with water or wine at 80 pounds at 327.45 g each, so that a congius of 10 pounds weighs about 3.275 kg. The ‘Farnesian’ congius, which was produced in AD 75 under Vespasian and shows the abbreviation p(ondus) X (for 10 pounds) in the inscription, was just below the standard with 3.265 l (ILS 8628). Regarding the subdivision of the congius, cf.   cochlear . The chous is equated with the Roman congius.  Amphora; …

Aes grave

(430 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] According to Plin. HN 33,43, the aes grave, influenced by Greek minting in southern Italy, refers to the oldest, cast bronze Italian coins which replaced the   aes rude . In hoard finds, aes grave occurs at the same time as the   aes signatum as well as the   didrachmon [1.98 ff.] and, shortly after 290 BC until 212 BC, it is cast in Rome and in various towns of central and southern Italy [5.9 f., 64; 2.28 ff.; 7.230 ff.]. It is divided into seven standard weights, from the as up to half an uncia, and it carrie…

Cyathus

(133 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] A jug or drinking vessel that, derived from Greek κύαθος, is especially a Roman measure of capacity for dry goods and liquids of 45.6 ml. The cyathus amounts to 1/12 of the sextarius (= 0,55 l). The number of cyathi drunk is counted as a multiple of uncia, e.g. four cyathi are called trientes (= 1/3 of the sextarius) or 11 cyathi are called deunx. According to a Roman custom popular at banquets, people had to drink as many cyathi as the number of letters in the name of the one to be honoured. Larger goblets were also used that were a multiple of the cyathus.  Deun…

Danake

(105 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (δανάκη; danákē). In ancient written sources (Hsch. 219; Poll. 9,82 i.a.) the danake is a silver Persian coin ─ the name derives from danak ─ which weighed slightly more than an Attic obolós ( c. 0.9g). Together with the silver half- danake (ἡμιδανάκιον; hēmidanákion), the danake should probably be linked to coins from Sidon (1/16 shekel) and Aradus, as a provincial coinage, since the coins are mainly found in the Levant. The danake was occasionally used as an obolos for the dead.  Charon's fare;  Obolos;  Siqlu Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography F. Hultsch, …

Chalkos

(128 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (χαλκοῦς; chalkoûs). In Pollux (4,175; 9,65f. 81) generally described as a bronze coin, the chalkous was the smallest fraction of a coin in Greek poleis. In Athens one obolos makes 8 [1. 47], in Delphi and Epidaurus 12 [1.56ff.], in Priene 16 chalkoi [1. 61f.]. The weight of the chalkos varied; the bronze coins from Seleucia/Tigris having an Χ (= Chalkos) under Antiochus IV weigh c. 2.8-5 g [2. 271f.]; a Neronian coin with the value marking ΧΑΛΚΟΥΣ in Antiochia/Orontes weighs c. 2.5 g [3].  Obolos Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography 1 M. N. Tod, Epigraphi…

Binio

(86 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] A double-sided aureus minted from about AD 210 with a weight of around 10-15 g; replaced by the double-sided solidus after the Constantine coin reform (AD 310).  Aureus;  Medaillon;  Coinage reforms;  Solidus Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography F. Kenner, Der röm. Medaillon, in: NZ 19, 1887, 1-173 especially 13-27 F. Gnecchi, I medaglioni romani, 1912 K. Menadier, Die Münze und das Münzwesen bei den Scriptores Historiae Augustae, in: ZfN 31, 1914, 1-144 especially 9-12 Schrötter, s.v. Binio, 75 J. M. C. Toynbee, W. E. Metcalf, Roman Medaillons, 19…

Dextans

(139 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] In the Roman system of weights and measures, dextans describes 10/12 of the whole and is derived from deesse and sextans, i.e. 1 as (12 unciae) less 1 sextans. The dextans was used in the measurement of length ( pes), the measurement of area ( iugerum), in the law of succession and in the calculation of hours. Based on the Roman pound ( libra: 327.45 g), the dextans weighs 272.88 g [1. 296]. Bronze mintings of 10 unciae in the sextantal or somewhat lighter standard were issued in Luceria as a compensatory coin for the Roman as shortly after 211 BC for a…
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