Attic weight

Attic weight, or the Attic standard, was a monetary standard used during the Hellenistic period. It was also known as Euboic standard. After Alexander the Great, other Greek monetary standards, except the Rhodian standard, were abandoned in favor of the Attic standard.

The Attic standard declined in weight with the passing of time.[1]


The Attic weight was approximately 17.26 grams[2] in silver. The Attic standard differed from the one used in Ptolemaic Egypt.[3] The standard was also known as an Euboic standard.[3]

Philip II of Macedon adopted Attic standard for his kingdom.[1] Alexander the Great also endorsed the Attic standard during his reign. Macedonian Empire's adoption of the Attic weight brought demise to all other Greek weight standards except for the Rhodian standard. Rhodians had the advantage of having a well-developed commercial sphere in areas such as grain trade with Egypt.[4]

During the 300 years of the Hellenistic period the Attic weight underwent several changes. By the time of Alexander the Great, a common trade coin known as a tetradrachm weighted 17.28 grams of silver. In 300 BC the weight of Attic standard stood at slightly reduced weight of 17.20 grams of silver. The Seleucid mint at Antioch shows a continuing process of declining weight. Other mints seem to have followed this decline.[1]

All the Diadochi states used Attic standard with the exception of Ptolemaic Egypt.[1] Ptolemaics used the Phoenician standard instead.[2]

See also


  1. Otto Mørkholm (31 May 1991). Early Hellenistic Coinage from the Accession of Alexander to the Peace of Apamaea (336-188 BC). Cambridge University Press. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-521-39504-5.
  2. Roger S. Bagnall (1976). The Administration of the Ptolomaic Possessions Outside Egypt: With 3 Maps. Brill Archive. ISBN 90-04-04490-6.
  3. Ian Michael Plant (2004). Women Writers of Ancient Greece and Rome: An Anthology. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 141. ISBN 978-0-8061-3621-9.
  4. Richard M. Berthold (2009). Rhodes in the Hellenistic Age. Cornell University Press. pp. 48–49. ISBN 0-8014-7597-X.
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