A BYZANTINE BRONZE COMMERCIAL WEIGHT
Please refer to our stock # Z.24 when inquiring.
c. 4th -6th Century CE
Made of a copper alloy this weight depicts the denominational mark for 2 ounces (Γ-B) with a small cross above.
In very fine condition with a natural green patina.
3 x 3 x .7 cm (1.18 x 1.18 x .27 inches)
Similar examples in The British Museum, London.
Worldwide Shipping and Certificate of Authenticity Included in Price.
Export Approval from the Israel Antiquities Authority
Entwistle, Christopher. “Byzantine Weights” in The Economic History of Byzantium: From the Seventh through the Fifteenth Centuries., Ed. Angeliki E. Laiou. (Washington D.C., 2002), 611-4.
As a successor to the Roman Empire the Byzantines built their monetary and administrative system largely on the precedent they inherited. Weights such as these were based on the Byzantine litra, itself a derivation of the Roman pound. The litra was then divided into 12 ounce which were then used to make weights of various denominations.
Generally, weights were made of either bronze, glass or lead with precious metals rarely being used. Three forms were prominent and consisted of a double truncated flattened sphere, a square or a disc. The square weight was the most prominent form from the 4th to the late 6th Centuries CE when the disc weight superseded it.