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Index Of All Titles


Alexander Tetradrachms
Ancient Coin Collecting 101
Ancient Coins & Modern Fakes
Ancient Counterfeits
Ancient Glass
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Anonymous Folles
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Armenian Numismatics Page
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A Cabinet of Greek Coins
A Case of Counterfeits
Clashed Dies
Coins of Pontius Pilate
Conditions of Manufacture
Countermarked in Late Antiquity
Dictionary of Roman Coins
Doug Smith's Ancient Coins
Edict on Prices
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Fel Temp Reparatio
Fertility Pregnancy and Childbirth
Friend or Foe
Greek Alphabet
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Greek Mythology Link
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Historia Numorum
Illustrated Ancient Coin Glossary
Imperial Mints of Philip the Arab
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Library of Ancient Coinage
Life in Ancient Rome
Maps of the Ancient World
Military Belts
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Not in RIC
Numismatic Bulgarian
Numismatic Excellence Award
Numismatic French
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Parthian Coins
Paleo-Hebrew Alphabet
Phoenician Alphabet
Pi-Style Athens Tetradrachms
Pricing and Grading Roman Coins
Roman Coin Attribution 101
Roman Mints
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Serdi Celts
Silver Content of Parthian Drachms
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum
Syracusian Folles
The Evolving Ancient Coin Market
The Sign that Changed the World
The Temple Tax Hoard
Travels of Paul
Tribute Penny
Tribute Penny Debate Continued (2015)
Tribute Penny Debate Revisited (2006)
Tyrian Shekels
What Did The Julio Claudians Really Look Like?
What I Like About Ancient Coins
Widow's Mite

Litra (λίτρα)

A denomination of Greek coins, usually silver and typically from Sicily. "Litra" is a word which was used by the Greeks of Sicily in their system of weights and money and is evidently another form of the Italian word "libra". It was the unit of an uncial system similar to that used in the Roman and Italian weights and money (As and libra). As a coin, the litra was equal in value to the Aeginetan obol; hence the origin of the word may be explained by supposing that the Greeks of Sicily, having brought with them the Aeginetan obol, afterwards assimilated their system of coinage to that used by their Italian neighbors, making their obol to answer to the libra, under the name of "litra". In the same way a Corinthian stater of ten obols was called in Syracuse a δεκἁλιτρον (dekalitron), or piece of ten litrae.


Silver litra, Himera, Sicily, c. 460-400 B.C.


Adapted by C.D. Cook from: Philip Smith, "Litra", in William Smith, ed., Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 2nd ed. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1870), p. 709, available online at: http://www.ancientlibrary.com/smith-dgra/0716.html