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Headword: Χαλκίοισι
Adler number: chi,47
Translated headword: bronzes
Vetting Status: high
"We use wretched [bronzes], struck only the other day in the worst of stamps." They used to speak of 'bronzes' like 'golds' in form, bronze-fashioned. Bad currency is being referred to thus, the gold [sort]. Also being mentioned is the bronze [issue]; for in the archonship of Kallinos[1] a bronze currency was struck. He is saying that the polis has experienced the same in regard to its good men and to its traditional currency: for just as we do not use the ancient currency, a fine one, but a novel one, a bad one, so too we do not use the men of old, fine ones, but we combine to use the present soldiers, bad ones.
Greek Original:
Χαλκίοισι τοῖς πονηροῖς χρώμεθα, χθές τε καὶ πρώην κοπεῖσι τῷ κακίστῳ κόμματι: χαλκία ὡς χρυσία ἔλεγον τῷ σχήματι, χαλκοσκευῆ. λέγεται δὲ οὕτω καὶ τὸ κακὸν νόμισμα, τὸ χρυσοῦν. λέγεται δὲ καὶ τὸ χαλκοῦν: ἐπὶ γὰρ Καλλίνου νόμισμα χαλκοῦν ἐκόπη. λέγει δέ, ὅτι τὸ αὐτὸ πέπονθεν ἡ πόλις εἰς τοὺς χρηστοὺς τῶν ἀνθρώπων καὶ εἰς τὸ ἀρχαῖον νόμισμα: ὥσπερ γὰρ τῷ παλαιῷ νομίσματι οὐ χρώμεθα, καλῷ ὄντι, ἀλλὰ τῷ καινῷ, κακῷ ὄντι, οὕτω καὶ τοῖς ἀρχαίοις ἀνθρώποις οὐ χρώμεθα, καλοῖς οὖσι, τοῖς δὲ νῦν στρατιώταις κακοῖς οὖσι συγχρώμεθα.
Aristophanes, Frogs 725-6 (here slightly misquoted, see web address 1) with scholion. On the historical context see Dover 281-2: cut off from their silver-mines and desperate for cash as the Peloponnesian War neared its close, the Athenians had just issued not only (silver-plated) bronze coins but also gold ones, struck from melted-down dedications.
[1] The name should be Kallias, Athenian eponymous archon in 406/5 BCE.
Aristophanes, Frogs, edited with an introduction and commentary by Kenneth Dover (OUP 1993).
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: chronology; comedy; economics; ethics; history; imagery; military affairs; politics; religion; science and technology; trade and manufacture
Translated by: David Whitehead on 3 June 2007@07:36:26.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added link, set status) on 4 June 2007@11:00:42.
David Whitehead (more keywords; typo) on 5 June 2007@02:58:46.
David Whitehead on 7 August 2011@07:55:31.


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