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Amphora

(308 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld) | Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] [1] Storage and transport vessel (ἀμφορεύς; amphoreús). Two-handled, bulbous storage and transport vessel with a narrow neck. The predominant form of storage vessels in antiquity, these have survived mainly in clay, rarely in bronze, precious metals, glass or onyx. Among  household equipment regarded as undecorated ceramics for everyday use ( Clay vessels II). Painted amphoras served ritual purposes as ornamental items on graves, urns for storing ashes, food storage vessels for the dead…

Akaina

(101 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (Ἄκαινα; ákaina). Originally a rod for driving animals, it was also used by the Greeks as a staff for surveying fields and is equivalent to 10 feet (πούς; poús); regionally it varies between c. 27 and 35 cm. Ten akainai are equal to one   plethron . An area of 100 square feet is called an akaina in Ptolemaic Egypt.  Measures;  Plethron;  Pous Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography F. Hultsch, Griech. und röm. Metrologie, 21882 Id., s. v. A., RE I 1, 1893, 1138-1139 E. Pfeiffer, Die alten Längen- und Flächenmaße, 1986 O. A. W. Dilke, Mathematik, Maße und Gewichte …

Dareikos

(318 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (δαρεικός, δαρικός, δαριχός, dareikós, darikós, darichós). Greek name, deriving from Darius I, (Hdt. 4,166; 7,28f.; Thuc. 8,28) for the generally bean-shaped gold coins (στατήρ, statḗr) of the Great King of Persia. The occasionally used terms dareikoi Philippeioi and argypoi dareikoi are incorrect. The first coins, minted in c. 515 BC and the same weight as the kroiseios ( c. 8.05g), which did not replace the latter until 30 years after the fall of the Lydian Empire, show a symbolic representation of the Persian king on the obverse ─ kne…

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: …

Euclidas

(205 words)

Author(s): Meier, Mischa (Bielefeld) | Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
(Εὐκλείδας; Eukleídas; Paus. 2,9,1; 3: Epicleidas). [German version] [1] Spartan king about 227-222 BC Spartan king c. 227-222 BC, son of Leonidas II, Agiad. His brother Cleomenes III elevated him as king after the murder of the Eurypontid Archidamus III to formally preserve the double monarchy. Tradition attributes the Spartan catastrophe against Antigonus [3] Doson (222) at Sellasia to his tactical incompetence. E. was killed in this battle (Plut. Cleom. 11,5; 28,3; 6f.; Phil. 6; Paus. 2,9,1; 3; Pol. 2,65-68). Meier, Mischa (Bielefeld) [German version] [2] Syracusan die cutter…

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, Th…

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.…

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 dekanoummion was introduced in the reform of Anastasius in AD 498 as a 10-nummus piece with the denomination I (or X) and a weight of c. 2.25 g. In later coinage reforms the weight increased to 6.24 g, to sink again under Constantine IV to some 4.5 g and then towards the end of the 7th cent. AD to c. 2.1 g. Shortly thereafter the denomin…

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;  Modius;  Quadrantal;  Quartarius;  Semodius;  Sextarius;  Urna 1 cochlear   11.4 ml 4 cochlearia 1 cyathus 45.5 ml 6 cochlearia 1 acetabulum 68.2 ml 12 cochlearia 1 qua…

Elektron

(279 words)

Author(s): Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] I. Middle East Elektron as a natural alloy of gold and silver that was mostly worked as found in the Middle East and Egypt. According to analysis, objects seemingly consisting of gold usually contain a large amount of silver, which may constitute more than 40% (e.g., vessels from the royal graves of Ur, c. 2600 BC). Later, elektron was also artificially produced as an alloy. Elektron is harder than gold and, therefore, was preferred for jewellery, display weapons, statues, plating, inlays and units of value (e.g., as rings).  Gold;  Amber Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) Bibliogr…

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/…

Actus

(559 words)

Author(s): Schanbacher, Dietmar (Dresden) | Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) | Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg) | Nesselrath, Heinz-Günther (Göttingen)
[German version] [1] Legal action An action, especially a legal action (Dig. 49,1,12) i. a. defining characteristic of   alienatio : omnis a., per quem dominium transfertur, Cod. Iust. 5,23,1. Formal legal actions in accordance with the old   ius civile , e.g. the   mancipatio , are described as acti legitimi. Any added condition renders them ineffective. Additionally, actus can mean a utility (  servitus ), for example the right to drive draught animals and beasts of burden over a plot of land, including the right of way ( iter, Dig. 8,3,1pr.). This actus is a res mancipi, and is obtained i…

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; …
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