American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A silver coin or unit of weight equal to one sixth of a drachma, formerly used in ancient Greece.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An ancient Greek silver coin, in value and also in weight the sixth part of the drachma. The obol struck according to the Attic weight-standard weighed about 11¼ grains; according to the Æginetic standard, 16.1; Greco-Asiatic, 9; Rhodian, 10; Babylonic, 14; and Persic, 14 grains. At a later period the coin was struck in bronze.
- Latin obolus, from Greek obolos, variant of obelos, spit, obol. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“(It derives from "obol," an ancient Greek coin, and the "obo" part also echoes the phrase "or best offer.")”
“They would knife a man over a copper obol, and would share with him the last of their water.”
“On their arrival Archidemus, the leader of the democracy at that date, who had charge of the two obol fund,48 inflicted a fine on”
“Sosias was to pay him a net obol a day, without charge or deduction, for every slave of the thousand, and be53 responsible for keeping up the number perpetually at that figure.”
“Again, out of that number of six thousand — supposing each slave to being in an obol a day clear of all expenses — we get a revenue of sixty talents a year.”
“And let him who, having already received the work in exchange, does not pay the price in the time agreed, pay double the price; and if a year has elapsed, although interest is not to be taken on loans, yet for every drachma which he owes to the contractor let him pay a monthly interest of an obol.”
“Originally intended to be a microcosm of the citizen body, juries by Socrates 'time were manned by elderly, disabled, and poor volunteers who needed the meager three-obol pay.”
“I dug in the hem of my cloak and found an obol to pay a disheveled water boy to go to Sophocles 'home and request that he meet me back at the theatre on an urgent matter.”
“See also Athenian spending; capital; finance; obol; payment; tribute; wealth”
“For the Aeginetan obol and the drachma, see Appendix J, Classical Greek Currency, ©3.”
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Coinage and currency, especially traditional, historical and exotic.
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