Farthing

Farthing

is the rendering in the Auth. Vers. for two Roman coins of different values. SEE MONEY.

1. The assarius (Graecized ἀσσάριον, Mt 10:29; Lu 12:6), properly a small as, assarium, but in the time of our Lord used as the Gr. equivalent of the Lat. as. In the texts cited it is put (like our term "a copper") for any trifling amount. The Vulg. in Mt 10:29 renders it by as, and in Lu 12:6, puts dipondius for two assaria, the dipondius or dupondius being equal to two ases. The ἀσσάριον is therefore either the Roman as, or the more common equivalent in Palestine in the Graeco- Roman series, or perhaps both. The rendering of the Vulg. in Lu 12:6 makes it probable that a single coin is intended by two assaria, and this opinion is strengthened by the occurrence, on coins of Chios, struck during the imperial period, but without the heads of emperors, and therefore of the Greek autonomous class, of the words ACCAPION, ACCAPIA AYO, ACCAPIA TPIA. The half assarion of the same island has also been found, yet it is of the same size as the full assarion (Akerman, Numismatic Ilustrations of the New Testament, page 7).

Bible concordance for FARTHING.

The proper as was a copper coin, the Roman unit of value for small sums, equal to a tenth of the denarius or drachma, i.e., 1½ cents (Smith's Dict. of Class. Antiq. s.v. As). SEE PENNY.

2. The quadrans (Grae. cized κοδράντης, Mt 5:26; Mr 12:42), the fourth of an as, equal to two lepta (Mark, l.c.), a small copper coin, equal nearly to two fifths of a cent. The name quadrans was originally given to the piece of three ounces, therefore also called teruncius. Hence it bore three balls as its distinctive mark (Kitto, Pictorial Bible, note on Mark, 1.c.). The lepton, small Greek copper coin, seven of which with the Athenians went to the χαλκοῦς, or bronze piece. The copper currency of Palestine, in the reign of Tiberius, was partly of Roman coins, partly of Graco-Roman (technically Greek linperial). In the former class there was no common piece smaller than the as, equivalent to the ἀσσάριον of the N.T. (above), but in the latter there were two common smaller pieces, the one apparently the quarter of the ἀσσάριον, and the other its eighth, though the irregularity with which they were struck makes it difficult to pronounce with certainty; the former piece was doubtless called the κοδράντης, or quadrans, and the latter the λεπτόν, or lepton. SEE MITE.

Definition of farthing

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

 
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