Kingdom of Lydia, Croesus, Light Trite


Kingdom of Lydia, Croesus, Light Trite (obverse) Kingdom of Lydia, Croesus, Light Trite (reverse)

The highest denomination in Croesus' coinage system was the stater. The next smaller value was the siglos of exactly half a stater's weight. A third of a stater was called a trite.

Interestingly enough, Croesus (561-546 BC) based his further denominations on the trite and not, as might be expected, on the siglos. The next smaller denominations thus were a sixth of a stater (hecte) and a twelfth of a stater (hemihecte). The smallest coin known from Croesus' currency is the 1/24 stater, which weighs only 0.44 gram.

What we take for granted today – for we calculate in dollars and cents, pounds and pennies quite naturally – was something absolutely new in the mid-6th century BC. Croesus therefore is regarded as inventor of our modern monetary system.


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