LRB converted into Byzantine weight

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Victor_Clark, Jul 24, 2021.

  1. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark all my best friends are dead Romans Dealer

    The coin below was cut down from a Constantine I DAFNE issue from Constantinople

    it is 12mm and 1.5g


    It used to look something like this, though the workshop is Z on the modified coin


    This coin was issued around A.D. 328 and was modified at least fifty years later into a weight. The tremissis was a small Byzantine gold coin introduced by Justinian I in the 380's, with an average weight around 1.5g. Clipping gold coins was a problem, so people made these weights to check the gold coins.

    Here is an excerpt from the Codex Theodosianus from the time of Julian II talking about the problem of clipping or "nibbling away"

    'Emperor Julian Augustus to Mamertinus, Praetorian Prefect. The purchase and sale of solidi are impeded if the solidi are clipped or diminished in size, or nibbled away, to use the proper term for such avarice, since some persons refuse to accept such solidi on the ground that they are light and inadequate. Therefore, it is Our pleasure to establish in each municipality an official called by the Greek word zygostates (lit. weigher), who by reason of his trustworthiness and vigilance will neither deceive nor be deceived, so that in accordance with his judgment and reliabilty he may settle any dispute that may arise between the seller and the buyer with respect to solidi. - Given on the ninth day before the kalends of May at Salona in the year of the fourth consulship of Julian Augustus and the consulship of Sallustius [= April 23, 363].' (Cod. Theod. XII.7,2).
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  3. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    That is very interesting indeed. I'd never seen that quote from the Theodosian Code before - I like that "will neither deceive nor be deceived" part. They ought to carve that over entrance to the Treasury Department building (or the Bureau of Engraving & Printing) :angelic:

    As it so happens, I was thinking - inexpertly thinking - about ancient coin-conversion weights because of this sestertius I got last week:
    Antoninus Pius - Sest. Annona RIC 597a Jul 2021 (0).JPG
    Antoninus Pius Æ Sestertius
    (157-158 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P[P IMP II], laureate head right / T[R POT] XXI COS IIII, S-C, Annona standing left, holding rudder on prow and corn ears over modius.
    RIC 981; BMCRE 2038.
    (24.39 grams / 31 x 28 mm)
    eBay Aug. 2018

    The obverse edge has a series of marks that look sort of like deliberate Roman Numerals (XX or XV and I's). Probably just random damage, but this post gave me an excuse to toss it out there:

    Antoninus Pius - Sest. Annona RIC 597a Jul 2021 (0det).jpg
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  4. ultprice

    ultprice Member

    Very cool Victor. Particularly interesting type, so doubly neat to see it as a weight. I recently won the below coin weight in an auction, what originally was an AE2 of Valentinian II. It weighs 4.26 grams according to the auction house, so I assume it was repurposed as a solidus weight at some point.

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  5. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark all my best friends are dead Romans Dealer

    I have several coins which seem to have been turned into solidus weights

    Decentius from Lyons 4.3g

    Decentius Lyons.jpg

    Maxentius Ostia 4.3g


    GLORIA ROMANORVM emperor reverse from Constantinople (circa A.D. 385) 4.4g


    unknown 21mm 4.3


    Galeria Valeria 4.2g

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  6. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    These were probably made for private use. Here is one from the 500s:


    Exagium nomisma 14x12mm 4.16g
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  7. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    I found these recently and had to add a few to my scale weight collection.

    upload_2021-7-27_11-54-10.png upload_2021-7-27_11-54-30.png

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