Drachma

Drachma
A Greek silver coin

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

Drachma
    Drachma
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Drachma
    (Gr. drachmé), a Greek silver coin. The Greeks derived the word from drássomai, "to grip", "to take a handful"; cf. drágma, manipulus, "a handful". Thus the term originally signified a handful of grain (Liddell and Scott; Riehm, "Handwörterbuch", Smith, "Dict. of Antiq."). But in Vigouroux, "Dict. de la Bible", the term is derived from daraq-mana, the name of a Persian coin equivalent to the Hebrew drkmwn, dárkemôn. The Persian word darag, Assyrian darku, means "degree", "division". Thus the words daraq-mana and drachma would signify a part of a mina. The darag-mana was also called a Daric because it was first struck by the emperor Darius Hystaspis. The drachma contained six oboli. It was the fourth part of a stater, the hundredth part of a mina, and the six-thousandth part of a talent. The precise value of the drachma differed at various times. The two principal standards of currency in the Grecian states were the Attic and the Æginetan. The Attic drachma had the greater circulation after the time of Alexander the Great. Its weight was about 66 grains, its value was a little less than twenty cents (nine pence, three farthings), and its size was about that of a quarter. On the one side it had the head of Minerva, and on the reverse her emblem, the owl, surrounded by a crown of laurels. The Æginetan drachma weighed about 93 grains and was equivalent to one and two-thirds Attic drachmas. It was current in the Peloponnessus (Corinth excepted, Riehm, "Handwörterb.") and in Macedonia until Alexander the Great. The drachma is mentioned in the Old Testament (II Machabees, xii, 43), when Judas sends 12,000 drachmas to Jerusalem that sacrifices may be offered for the dead. In the New Testament (Luke, xv, 8, 9), Christ used the word in the parable of the woman that has ten drachmas (D. V. "groats") and loses one.
    RIEHM, Handwörterbuch; BEURLIER in VIG. Dict. de la Bible, s. v. Drachme; BABINGTON in Dict. of the Bible s. v. Mondy; WEX, Métrologie grecque et romaine (Paris, 1886).
    C. VAN DEN BIESEN
    Transcribed by WGKofron With thanks to St. Mary's Church, Akron, Ohio

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


Catholic encyclopedia.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • DRACHMA — Gr. Δραχμὴ, genus nummi, quod interdum λεπτὸν ὁλκὴν, ὀβολὸν, δηνἀριον, quoque iidem dicebant, Romanis Denarius fuit, h. e. sesterti quatuor. Quod ad pondus, septem drachmae unciam incurrunt; unde consequitur, cum libra sit 12. unciarum, 84.… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Drachma — Drach ma, n.; pl. E. {Drachmas}, L. {Drachm[ae]}. [L., fr. Gr. ?. See {Dram}.] 1. A silver coin among the ancient Greeks, having a different value in different States and at different periods. The average value of the Attic drachma is computed to …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Drachma — (Drachme, gr.), 1) antike Silbermünze von verschiedenem Werthe: a) die D. von Abacänum (in Sicilien), = 8 Sgr.; b) von Ägina = 12 Sgr.; c) von Alexandria = 10 Sgr. 11 Pf.; d) die große attische = 7 Sgr.; e) die mittlere attische = 61/2 Sgr.; f)… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • drachma — 1570s, from Gk. drakhme, an Attic coin and weight, probably originally a handful (see DRAM (Cf. dram)). Earlier as dragme (late 14c.), from O.Fr. dragme, from M.L. dragma …   Etymology dictionary

  • drachma — drachmà sf. (2) TrpŽ 1. Graikijos piniginis vienetas. 2. senovinis vaistinių svorio matas, lygus 3,732 g …   Dictionary of the Lithuanian Language

  • drachma — a silver coin of ancient Greece (and the monetary unit of modern Greece before the introduction of the euro in 2002), has the plural form drachmas …   Modern English usage

  • drachma — {{/stl 13}}{{stl 8}}rz. ż Ia, CMc. drachmamie {{/stl 8}}{{stl 20}} {{/stl 20}}{{stl 12}}1. {{/stl 12}}{{stl 7}} jednostka monetarna we współczesnej Grecji {{/stl 7}}{{stl 20}} {{/stl 20}}{{stl 12}}2. {{/stl 12}}{{stl 7}} srebrna moneta bita w… …   Langenscheidt Polski wyjaśnień

  • drachma — ► NOUN (pl. drachmas or drachmae) 1) the basic monetary unit of Greece. 2) a silver coin of ancient Greece. ORIGIN Greek drakhm , an Attic weight and coin …   English terms dictionary

  • drachma — [drak′mə] n. pl. drachmas, drachmae [drak′mē] drachmai [drak′mī΄] [L < Gr drachmē, lit., a handful < drassesthai, to grasp, take by handfuls < IE base * dergh , to grip > TARGE] 1. an ancient Greek silver coin 2. an ancient Greek unit …   English World dictionary

  • drachma — drachmal, adj. /drak meuh, drahk /, n., pl. drachmas, drachmae / mee/. 1. a cupronickel coin and monetary unit of modern Greece, equal to 100 lepta. Abbr.: dr., drch. 2. the principal silver coin of ancient Greece. 3. a small unit of weight in… …   Universalium

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