Scanned text contains errors.
connected with the Attic, namely, 4 nummi — 1 drachm. Hence, also, we see how the ounce of the Sicilian system came to be identified by the Greek writers with the clialcus, in its specific sense. The Attic clialcus was -^ of the obol [C'HALcus] ; hence 12 chalci would make up !•£ Attic obols, that is (restoring the ]-10th of depreciation), an Aeginetan obol, or a Sicilian litra. The nummus of the Tarentines, mentioned in the above passage from Pollux, and which was also used at Heracleia, was a much larger coin, and is probably the same as the full-weighted Aeginetan drachma (SpaxfiTl 7raX€"*X which came near enough to the Attic didrachm to be identified with it when the currencies came to be mixed. In fact the word nummus was evidently applied (like a-raTTJp in Greece) to the chief current coin in any system, and it may therefore have had very different values: Plautus actually iises it for the didrachm.
For a further account of the Sicilian nummus and small talent, and the Attico-Sicilian system, see Bb'ckh, cc. xxi. xxii.
iv. On the Value of Ancient Money in terms of our own.— When we endeavour to express the value of ancient coins in terms of our own, we meet Avith certain difficulties which reqiiire particular consideration. If we take for example, a drachma, and a shilling, and make a comparison of their weight and of the fineness of the silver in each, we at once obtain a determinate ratio for the value of the one to the other ; and it might appear to a thoughtless person that, having thus found what fractional part of a shilling a drachma is, we might substitute that value for the drachma, its multiples and parts, wherever they are mentioned by ancient authors ; and so of the other coins ; and that thus we might express all ancient money in terms of our own. Of course we might do so ; but it does not follow that, after doing so, we should at all obtain what we are seeking, a true idea of the value of ancient money, in any sense which can throw light on the numerous social, and economical, and political questions, which the determination of its value may affect. Even the coins themselves give different results according as we compare the gold or the silver with our gold or silver, and also according as we compare them with the true value of the metal in the coin and the value at Avhich the coin is current; our shilling, for example, is current at rather more than its real value. Another source of disagreement, in comparing the gold and the silver coins with ours, is the different ratios of the value of gold to that of silver in ancient and in modern times. (See argentum, aurum.) The only course left is to express the value of the ancient coins in terms . of the current value of our coins, choosing the sovereign or shilling as the standard just as we may prefer, but in making use of the values so obtained, to remember that they are comparatively tvorthless, until by other investigations we have ascertained the value of money as compared with commodities at different periods of ancient history. Such investigations form no part of our present subject. The reader is referred for them to Bockh's Public Economy of Athens, and to Jacob's History of the Precious Metals. The Tables appended to this work are constructed on the principle we have described.
It is unnecessary to make any attempt to give a
complete list even of the chief books on numisma tics. All the earlier works are referred to in one or other of the few books which we now proceed to mention as those which are most important for the student who wishes to pursue the subject fur ther : — Eckhel, Doctrina Numorum Veterum, 8 vols. 4to., Vindobon. 1702—1839, some of the volumes being second editions ; Rasche, Lexicon Universae Rei Numariae, 7 vols. 8vo., Lips. 1785 —1805 ; Wurm, de Ponderum, Numorum, Men- surarum, ac de Anni ordinandi Rationibus, apud Romanos et Graecos. Stutg. 1831, 8vo. ; Hussey, Essay on the Ancient Weights and Money, Oxf., 1836, 8vo. ; Bb'ckh, Metrologische Untersuchungen uber Gewichte, Munzfilsse, und Masse des Alter- tlmms in ihrem Zusammenhange, Berlin, 1838, 8vo ; Grote's Review of Bbckh's work, in the Classical Museum, vol. i. [P. S.]
NUNDINAE is invariably and justly derived by all the ancient writers from novem and dies, so that it literally signifies the ninth day. (Dionys. Ant. Rom. ii. 28, vii. 58; Macrob. Sat. i. ] 6 ; Festus, s. v.Nundinalem Cocum.) In ancient Ca- lendaria all the days of the year, beginning with the first of January, are divided into what we may call weeks, each containing eight days which are marked by the letters A, B, C, D, E, F, G, II. Now it is admitted on all hands that this division is made to mark the nundinae, for every eighth day, according to our mode of speaking, was a nundinae. There were thus always seven ordi nary days between two nundinae. The Romans in their peculiar mode of reckoning added these two nundinae to the seven ordinary days, and consequently said that the nundinae recurred every ninth day, and called them nundinae, as it were novemdinae. A similar mode of stating the num ber of days in a week is still customary in Ger many, where, in common life, the expression eight days is used for a week, and the French and Italians in the same manner call a fortnight quinze jours and quindici giorni.
The number of nundinae in the ancient year of ten months was 38 ; and care was always taken that they should not fall on the calends of January nor upon the nones of any month (Macrob. Sat. i. 13 ; Dion Cass. xl. 47, xlviii. 33), and in order to effect this, the 355th day of the lunar year (dies intercalaris} was inserted in such a manner as to. avoid the coincidence of the nundinae with the primae calendae or the nones. Macrobius says that it was generally believed that if the nundinae fell upon the primae calendae, the whole year would be signalised by misfortunes ; the nones were avoided because the birthday of king Servius Tullius was celebrated on the nones of every month, as it was known that he was born on the nones of some month, though the month itself was not known. Now, as on the nundmes, the country-folk assembled in the city, the patricians feared lest the plebeians gathered at Rome on the nones might become excited and endanger the peace of the republic. These reasons are indeed very unsatisfactory, as Gb'ttling (Gesch. der Rom. Staatstv. p. 183) has shown, and it is more probable that the calends of January were ill suited to be nundinae, because this day was generally spent by every father in the bosom of his own family, and that the nones were avoided, because, as Ovid (Fast. i. 58) says, Nonarum tutelct