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Headword: *mnaai=os
Adler number: mu,1145
Translated headword: weighing a mina, worth a mina
Vetting Status: high
"The slingers of the Balearic islands used to throw stones weighing a mina".[1]
And elsewhere: "they give a mina-worth of pottery to those wishing to fetch water".[2]
Greek Original:
*mnaai=os. oi( tw=n *baliari/dwn nh/swn sfendonh=tai mnaai/ous li/qous e)/ballon. kai\ au)=qis: mnaai=on didou=si tou= kerami/ou u(dreu/esqai toi=s e)qe/lousi.
cf. mu 1150, with a different spelling; see also mu 1144.
Considered as a weight (it could also be a sum of money, as perhaps in the second quotation) the mina -- more exactly, mna -- varied from place to place. On the widespread Attic-Euboic standard it was just short of an imperial pound, or c.437 grams, but other systems had a rather lighter mina; and the stones or bullets archaeologically preserved (see Pritchett, below in n.1) are considerably lighter than this.
[1] Adler makes no comment on the source of this statement, but it is surely Diodorus Siculus 19.109.1-2, on the Balearic slingers used by Hamilcar against Agathocles in 311 BCE; they "are accustomed to throw stones weighing a mina". For the Balearic Islands (present-day Mallorca etc.) see generally OCD4 p.222. For Balearic slingers cf. beta 83 and sigma 1728, and see generally on slingers OCD4 p.1376; Pritchett 1-65. Stones "weighing a mina" seem to have been in plentiful natural supply: cf. Xenophon, Art of Horsemanship 4.4, and Cavalry Commander 1.16.
[2] Or perhaps a mina-weight of clay, to make pottery to carry it in? At any rate, both quotation and subject are unidentifiable.
W.K. Pritchett, The Greek State at War 5 (Berkeley & Los Angeles 1991).
Keywords: daily life; geography; historiography; military affairs; science and technology; trade and manufacture
Translated by: David Whitehead on 26 June 2001@04:03:06.
Vetted by:
William Hutton (cosmetics, modified translation and note, added keyword, set status) on 20 October 2003@15:21:22.
Catharine Roth (added cross-references) on 24 June 2004@14:02:10.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 25 June 2004@03:21:24.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 21 November 2005@06:36:09.
David Whitehead on 24 May 2013@05:32:28.
David Whitehead on 9 August 2014@08:58:26.
Catharine Roth (cosmeticule) on 11 September 2020@19:40:10.


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