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Old Jul 3, 2010, 07:56 PM   #1
Georgios
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Talent

I was reading an article and they mentioned the word 'talent'. I researched it a bit further and they weigh about 26kg, equal to 1500 tetradrachms which is quite astonishing and look like rectangular bricks. I reckon this was a denomination only in very early Greece? Were they stopped after? How rare are they? Any in private hands or auctioned?

KR,

George
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Old Jul 4, 2010, 05:29 AM   #2
Incitatus
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A 'talent' was apparently an amount equal to what one man could carry (think of it as bullion). There are several historical mentions of gold and silver talents, although I'm not sure if any survive. There are several bronze talents in the museum in Crete that I recall seeing when I was there last. They were square, and looked like a chess board or barbecue grill. I've got some photos of the talent (if I recall correctly they were found on a shipwreck) from the museum on my laptop, I'll poke around and see if I can find one and upload it

Cheers
Steve

Last edited by Incitatus : Jul 4, 2010 at 05:51 AM.
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Old Jul 4, 2010, 06:45 AM   #3
hydatius
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The talent existed chiefly as a unit of account (not an actual object) from the Greek period right through into the fourth and fifth centuries AD in Egypt (and perhaps elsewhere), where a talent was 1,500 denarii. This was important since the denarius shrank drastically in value. Originally a denarius was a solid silver coin but by the fifth century AD a small bronze coin about half the size was worth 10,000 denarii (and as a result was called a 'myriad') (see below).

Price of a pound of gold in denarii during Empire
46 BC - c. 250 1 T(alent) (= 1,500 denarii)
c. 275 20 T
300 40 T
305 662/3 T
318 288 T
324 209 T (period of deflation)
330 2,400 T
335 7,680 T
338 8,640 T
340 13,200 T
350 350,400 T (250-350 = 35,000,000%)
355 648,000 T
370 969,600 T
375 1,080,000 T
380 1,557,678 T
385 1,800,000 T
388 2,016,000 T
c. 400 3,456,000 T (=5.184 billion denarii) (350-400 = 1,000%)
c. 490 6,912,000 T (400-490 = 100%)

Richard
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Old Jul 4, 2010, 12:26 PM   #4
Flavus
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For those who are interested in ancient copper ingots in Crete there is this interesting research:

http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=...F_wQJchpEYcaww

My best regards.
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Old Jul 5, 2010, 06:23 AM   #5
Georgios
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Thank you all very much for the article and all the information. Very interesting indeed. Highlights a much more complex system than the one I pictured.

BR,

Geo
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