Sicily, Acragas, Cast Trias


Sicily, Acragas, Cast Trias (obverse) Sicily, Acragas, Cast Trias (reverse)

This little bronze ingot originates from the Greek city of Acragas on Sicily. When the piece was cast around the mid-5th century BC, the Greeks in Sicily had been using mined silver coins as day-to-day money for a long time already. The reasons for the introduction of such bronze ingots are not entirely clear. Perhaps the Greek cities wanted to facilitate trade with the pre-Greek population, whose barter system involved bronze objects like axes, spearheads and the like.

This cast cone has the value of a trias, as the four pellets on the base of the coin indicate: one trias equaled a third of the common base unit on Sicily, the litra. Since 1 litra held 12 onkiai, one trias was worth 4 onkiai.


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