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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 …

Heracles coinage

(112 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] A joint minting by some cities (Rhodes, Cnidus, Iasus, Ephesus, Samos, Byzantium, Cyzicus and Lampsacus) with local ethnika and representations on the reverse, ΣΥΝ (for Symmachia) and the young snake-strangling Hercules on the obverse. The coins were generally seen as the expression of an alliance not documented by other sources, which is mostly dated in the time immediately after 394 BC (defeat of the Spartans off Cnidus). Klose, Dietrich (Munich) Bibliography H. A. Cahn, Knidos, 1970, 173f. G. L. Cawkwell, A Note on the Heracles Coinage Alliance of 394 B…

Ouroboros stater

(116 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] Modern technical term for a type of Celtic golden rainbow cups ( c. 100 BC) from southern Bavaria, formerly attributed to the Vindelici. On the obverse they show the so-called ouroboros, a long, dragon-like creature rolled up along the curve of the coin, on the reverse a torques with 6 spheres or three lyre-shaped ornaments surrounding the centre. The southern Bavarian treasures troves of Gaggers, Irsching, Westerhofen and Sontheim contained ouroboros staters; additional pieces were found in elsewhere in southern Bavaria. The next smaller unit is the quarter stater. K…

Trichalkon

(58 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (τρίχαλκον; tríchalkon). Coin of 3 chalkoí (Chalkos), recorded from the time of Theophrastus (Char. 10,6; 371-287 BC) onwards. The 4th-cent. BC bronze coin of Phocis with value mark T is probably a trichalkon, and it appears as an indication of value on Imperial period bronze coins of Chios (= 1/2  as ?). Klose, Dietrich (Munich)

Triens

(155 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] Latin, 'third' of an as and hence of any twelve-part whole, 4 unciae ( triás ), used with this meaning in Roman currency from the earliest aes grave; in the Janus/ prora series with a head of Minerva on the obverse, four points as a value indicator. Trientes were first cast, then minted, most recently under Cornelius [I 90] Sulla. The triens also appears in other Italian aes grave; in the decimally divided eastern Italian series it is better to call it a quadrunx . It occurs minted in the Roman/Campanian coin series (obv. head of Juno, rev. He…

Tetrachalkon

(54 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] (τετράχαλκον; tetráchalkon). Coin of 4 chalkoí ( Chalkos ), in Athens 1/2 obolós , in Chios inscription on bronze coins of the Imperial period (= 2/3 as (?), in the Seleucid Kingdom value indicator  Χ Δ (4 chalkoí). Hesychius (s. v. πέλανορ) equates Spartan iron money with one tetráchalkon. Klose, Dietrich (Munich)

Lampsakenos

(185 words)

Author(s): Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] Ancient name for the staters of Lampsacus in Mysia. 1. χρυσοῦ στατῆρες Λαμψακηνοί/ chrysoû statêres Lampsakēnoí on stele with Parthenon architectural inscriptions, Athens, 447/6-434 BC (IG I2 339-353 = IG I3 436-451). The staters are of elektron, obverse Pegasus protome facing to the left, reverse quadratum incusum of four quarters. Three groups (525-500; 500-494; about 450 BC) can be differentiated. 2. στατῆρα Λαμψακηνὸν χρυσοῦν/ statêra Lampsakēnòn chrysoûn; χρυσίω Λαμψακανῶ στ[ατεῖρας]/ chrysíō Lampsakānô st[ateîras] or similar on inscriptions from…

Tremissis

(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…

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…

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…

Tetras

(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…

Pentanummium

(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)

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…

Kollybos

(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…

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…
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