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Axum, Axomis

(1,007 words)

Author(s): Pahlitzsch, Johannes (Berlin) | Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[English version] Dieser Ort ist auf folgenden Karten verzeichnet: Arabia (Aksum). Stadt des abessinischen Hochplateaus. Um Christi Geburt gegr., hatten die Könige von A. schon im Verlauf des 1.Jh. n.Chr. ihren Einflußbereich bis nach Adulis am Roten Meer ausgedehnt. Unter König Ēzānā wurde A. Mitte des 4.Jh. von Alexandreia aus christianisiert. Im 6.Jh. eroberte König Kālēb Ella Aṣbeḥā mit byz. Unterstützung das Reich des jüd. Königs der Ḥimyar, Yūsuf Asar Yaṯar (Ḏū-Nuwās). Vielleicht aufgrund der Iso…

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, …

Antoninianus

(448 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] The modern technical term antoninianus refers to a second silver coin introduced alongside the denarius in AD 215 by Caracalla; it was named after his cognomen Antoninus [1]. The antoninianus, with a weight of about 5g, is 1 1/2 times as heavy as the denarius, but is traded as a double denarius [3.62 f.]. The external characteristic is the emperor's aureole and empress' bust on the half moon. Minting of the antoninianus stops under Macrinus in AD 217. After a brief resumption under Elagabalus in AD 218/219, it is only produced again as the main s…

Aure­us

(927 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Gold coins; infrequent in republican Rome in contrast to the Hellenistic Kingdoms; used to supplement (cf. Liv. 27,10,11f.) the minting of silver coins when necessary. The first gold coins, which are known as oath scene stater [4. 144 fig. 28/1; 145 fig. 29/1] -- the sacrifice of a piglet depicted on the reverse refers to the conclusion of a treaty -- are generally assumed to have been minted in 216 BC. Another interpretation,   Au  Gq  De  Sq   S Du  As  Se  Qu Au       1     2   25   50 100 200 400 800 1600 Gq       2     1 121/2   25   50 100 200 400   800 De     25 121/2     1   …

Diobolon

(124 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (διώβολον; diṓbolon). Silver coin worth two   oboloí (= 1/3 drachma, e.g., according to the Attic coinage standard of 1.4 g. The diobolon occasionally has a value marker (ΔΙΩ, ΔΙΟ, Δ). The Attic diṓbola bear a head of Athena on the obv. and an owl with two bodies on the rev. In Athens during the classical period the diobolon was the amount that had to be paid for visiting the theatre (θεωρικόν) or was paid to a participant in the popular assembly (ἐκκλησιαστικόν).  Drachma;  Coinage, standards of;  Theorikon Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography Schrötter, 143f. M. …

Bigatus

(85 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Ancient term (Plin. HN 33,46; Fest. p. 98 and 347B; Tac. Germ. 5; Liv. 23,15,15; 34,10,4. 7) for the denarius, with a carriage depicted on the reverse carrying a deity (Diana, Hercules, Luna, Victoria i.a.). In Livy (33,23,7. 9; 34,46,12; 36,21,11), a synonym for denarius ( argentum bigatum). Current opinion has the first bigatus coins minted from 189/180, and the last around 42 BC.  Denarius Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography R. Thomsen, Early Roman Coinage. A Study of the Chronology, 1-3, 1957-61, s.v. Bigatus RRC2, 613f., 630.

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…

Didrachmon

(179 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (δίδραχμον; dídrachmon). A unit of weight and a silver coin worth two drachmas, the didrachmon was the largest value in circulation, mostly struck in Asia Minor, southern Italy, Rome and part of Sicily, as well as Corinth, Elis and on Aegina, seldom in Athens, and rated variously at 12.48 g in Aegina, at 8.73 g in Attica or at the south Italian standard of 7.9 g, later 6.6 g. As a unit it represented a stater, so esp. for gold coinage. Rhodian 1st-cent. bronze coins and Neronian coins from Antioch on the Orontes bear the legend ΔΙΔΡΑΧΜΟΝ; DIDRACHMON [1; 2].  Drachma;  Stater Ml…

Eumenus

(133 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (Εὔμενος; Eúmenos). One of the earliest Syracusan stamp cutters, manufactured around 415-400 BC, initially influenced by Sosion, predominantly tetradrachmas of varying quality. E. signed alternately with Sosion, Phrygillus, Evaenetus and Euth[...]. In the older research he is occasionally referred to as Eumenes.  Evaenetus;  Phrygillus;  Sosion;  Tetradrachmon Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography R. Weil, Die Künstlerinschr. der sicilischen Münzen, in: 44. Winckelmannsprogramm der Arch. Ges. zu Berlin, 1884, esp. 5-7 L. Forrer, Biographic…

Exagium

(197 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (ἐξάγιον, στάγιον; exágion, stágion). Originally a Hellenistic coin weight (in Babylon with a weight of 17,00 g), the exagium is predominantly a coin weight for the solidus subsequent to Constantine's reforms (AD 312); within the Greek speaking population, it even became a synonym for the latter and was distorted to stágion. The equation was made easier by the fact that the solidus and the exagium had a weight of 1/72 of a libra (= 4.55 g), but the weight of the latter was reduced in the Byzantine era (from the 9th cent.: 4.43 g). Exagia take the shape of round or squa…

Culleus

(96 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Culleus properly designates a leather sack made of cowhide; it was used by the Romans as the largest unit for measuring fluid capacity (especially with wine). Probably originally based on the volume of the stitched cowhide, the culleus amounts to 524 l; 20 amphorae, 40 urnae or 160 congii constitute the culleus, with 1 congius corresponding to 3,275 l.  Amphora;  Congius;  Measure of volume;  Urna Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography F. Hultsch, Griech. und röm. Metrologie, 21882 F. Olck, s.v. C. (no. 2), RE 4.2, 1901, 1746-1747 O. A. W. Dilke, Mathematik…

Dichalkon

(112 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] (δίχαλκον; díchalkon). A Greek measure of weight and bronze coin worth twice as much as a chalkous. It corresponded to 1/4 (Athens), 1/6 (Delphi, Epidaurus) or 1/8 (Priene) of an obolos [1]. Variants of the mark of the value were e.g. B X (stamp of Antiochus IV, Seleucea on the Tigris at about 9.6 g) [2. 271f.] or ΔΙΧΑΛΚ(on) (stamp of Apollonia Pontica at 2.1 g) [3].  Chalkous;  Obolos Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) Bibliography 1 M. N. Tod, Epigraphical Notes on Greek Coinage, in: NC 6.6, 1946, 47-62 2 E. T. Newell, The coinage of the Eastern Seleucid mints fr…

As

(1,075 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Originally the expression for ‘one’ or ‘unit’; in the Roman system of measurement the basic unit in measures of length (1 pes = 29.57 cm), measures of area (1 iugerum = 2,523 m2) and of weight (1 libra, ‘pound’ = 327.45 g). In inheritance and property law the entire estate is called as; the heir to the estate is thus called heres ex asse. In the system of weights the as is divided duodecimally, some part units also representing denominations of coinage ( Aes grave). However the quincunx, bes, dodrans and dextans denominations occur infrequently [1. 39]. The earliest l…

Cistophori

(284 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] Silver coins minted with the reduced Chian-Rhodian or Ptolemaic weight standard of 12.75 g that Eumenes II issued as local currency between about 175-160 BC to substitute for Seleucid coins and the Philhetairos tetradrachmes [3. 62; 4. 10ff.; 5. 45ff.]. Borrowed from the mystery cult in Pergamum, the name refers to the obverse motif of the Dionysian cista mystica consisting of an ivy reef from which a snake appears. The reverse side shows a goryt with two snakes. Cistophori were minted at various times by the more important towns of …
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