Definitions for obolus

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word obolus

Princeton's WordNet

  1. obolus(noun)

    a Greek unit of weight equal to one tenth of a gram


  1. obolus(Noun)

    A silver coin minted in Ancient Greece, valued at a sixth of a drachma.

  2. Origin: obolus, from ὀβολός, from ὀβελός.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Obolus(noun)

    a small silver coin of Athens, the sixth part of a drachma, about three cents in value

  2. Obolus(noun)

    an ancient weight, the sixth part of a drachm


  1. Obol

    The obol was an ancient silver coin. In Classical Athens, there were six obols to the drachma; it could be exchanged for eight chalkoi. Two obols made a diobol, weighing around 1.41-1.43 grams of silver. Triobols were also in use. In English, the coin is usually called an obol, another name for a halfpenny. An obelískos is a "small obol", called so in jest because of its huge size. According to Plutarch, the Spartans had an iron obolus of four chalkoi. Sparta chose to retain the use of the cumbersome, impractical "oboloi" rather than coins proper, so as to discourage the pursuit of wealth. The obolus is also a measurement of weight. In ancient Greece it was defined as one sixth of a drachma, or about 0.5 gram. In ancient Rome it was defined as 1/48 of a Roman ounce, or about 0.57 gram, but was never issued as a coin as part of the early republican coinage system. Below the drachm was the dupondius to the quartuncia. In modern Greece it is equivalent to one decigram, or 0.1 gram.

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