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On this page: Debitor – Decaduchi – Decasmus


sort of quadrata incusa or deep cleft. We know from Herodotus (iv. 166) that Dareius, the son of Hystaspes, reformed the Persian currency, and stamped gold of the purest standard ; and it is generally believed that the daricus was so called from him. Harpocration, however, says (s. v.) that the name was older than this Dareius, and taken from an earlier king. Gesenius (Hebr. Lexicon") supposes the name to be derived from an ancient Persian word signifying king, or royal palace, or the bow of the king, in allusion to the figure stamped upon it. The best authors, how­ever, think that there is no sufficient ground for supposing either the name or the coin to be older than Dareius, the son of Uystaspes. (Bockh, MetroL Untersuclu p. 129 ; Grote, History of Greece, vol. iv. p. 320.)

This coin had a very extensive circulation, not only in the Persian empire, but also in Greece. The pay given by Cyrus to the soldiers of Clear-chus was a daricus a month (Xen. Anab. i., 3.. § 21) ; and the same pay was offered to the same troops by Thimbrion, a Lacedaemonian general (Ibid. vii. 6'. § 1). In the later books of the Old Testament, the daricus is supposed to be mentioned under the names of adarkon (J12fn&$) and darke-

i? •' _

mon (j1£SnT). (See 1 Chron. xxix. 7; Ezra, viii.

27, ii. 69 *;*Nehem. vii. 70, 72.)

All ancient authorities agree in stating that the daricus was the precise equivalent of the Lydian and Attic stater ; that is, it was equal in weight to two Attic- drachmae. (Harpocr. ; Lex. Seg. ; Suid. ; Schol. ad AristopL Eccl. 598.) This, according to the ordinary ratio of gold to silver, 10 : 1, would make its value equal to twenty silver drachmae ; which, agrees with the statement of Xcnophon (Anab. i. 7. § 18 ; comp, Arrian. Anab. iv. 18).

Five darics made- a mina of silver, and 300 darics a talent. Xenophon also mentions half darics (-^Sapetaous, Anab. i. 3. § 21.)

The value of the daricus in our money, computed from the drachma, is 165. 3df. ; but if reckoned by comparison with our gold money, it is worth much more. The darics in the British Museum weigh 128'4 grains and 128*6 grains, respectively. Hussey (Ancient Weights., &c. vii. 3) calculates the daricus as containing on an average about 123'7 grains of pure gold, and therefore equal in value

•(23*7 ^ ^.0 —__L of a sovereign,, or about II. Is. 10c/. I*/ 6

_L 10 1. &


Very few darics have come down to us ; their scarcity may be accounted for by the fact, that after the conquest of Persia, they were melted down and recoined under the type of Alexander.

There were also silver darics, bearing the same device as the gold, namely, the figure of an archer. (Pint. dim. ] 0 ; Aelian. V. H. i. 22.) Their weights vary from 22.4 to 230 grains: those of the latter weight must have been struck, as was not very unusual in old coinages, some­what above the true weight ; they seem to have been diclrachms of the Babylonian or Egyptian standard.

In allusion to the device of an archer, the darics were often called to£otcu, and it is related of Agesilaus, that, when recalled to Greece, he said that the Persian king had driven him out of Asia by meons of 30,000 bowmen, referring to the sum




which was entrusted to Timocrates the Rhodian to bribe the demagogues of Thebes and Athens to make his presence necessary at home. (Plut. Ages. 15, Artax. 20, Lacon. Apophth. p. 181.) A-ry-andes, who was appointed governor of Egypt by Cambyses, is supposed to have been the first who struck these silver coins, in imitation of the gold coinage of Dareius Hystaspis. (Herod, iv. 166.)


DEBITOR. [obligationes.]

DECADUCHI (S«ca8oDxoO, the members of a council of Ten, who succeeded the Thirty in the supreme power at Athens, b. c. 403. (Harpocrat. s. v.) They were chosen from the ten tribes, one from each (Xen. Hell. ii. 4. §§ 23, 74) ; but, though opposed to the Thirty, they sent ambas­sadors to Sparta to ask for assistance against Thrasybulus and the exiles. They remained masters of Athens till the party of Thrasybulus obtained possession of the city and the democracy was restored. (Lys. c. Eratosth. p. 420 ; Wachs-muth, Hellen. Altertlmmsk. vol. i. p. 646, 2d ed.)

^DECA'RCHIA or DECADA'RCHIA (8e«a/j-X'«, §eK<x5ap%ia), was a supreme council esta­blished in many of the Grecian cities by the Lacedaemonians, who intrusted to it the whole government of the state under the direction of a Spartan harmost. It always consisted of the leading members of the aristocratical party. (Har­pocrat, s. v. ; Sclmeider, ad Aristot. Pol. ii. 146, 147.) This form of government appears to have been first established by Lysander at Ephesus, (Plut. Lys-. 5 ; Wachsmuth, Hellen. Altertlmmsk, vol. i. p. 517, 2ded.)

DECASMUS (3e/m0>oY), bribery. There were two actions for bribery at Athens: one, called ^eicacr^ov ypa<p7i, lay against the person who gave the bribe ; and the other, called 8d>pwy or ScapoSoKias ypacpfy against the person who re­ceived it. (Pollux, viii. 42.) These actions ap­plied to the bribery of citizens in the public as­semblies of the people (crvvb'eKd^eiv ttsv eKKhricriav, Aesch. 6V Timarcli. p. 12), of the Heliaea or any of the courts of justice, of the /3oiM.?7, and of the public advocates (crvvyyopoi, Dem. c. Steph. ii. p. 1137. 3), Demosthenes (De Falsa Leg. p. 343), in­deed, says that orators were forbidden by the law, not merely to abstain from receiving gifts for the injury of the state, but even to receive any present at all,


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