Daric (דִּרכּמוֹן, darkemon', or אֲדִרכּוֹן, adarkon', only in plur.; Talm. דִּרכּוֹן, darken'; Sept. χρυσοῦς; Vulg. solidus, drachma; rendered "dram" [q.v.], Ezr 2:69; Ezr 8:27; Ne 7:70-72; 1Ch 29:7), a gold coin (Xenoph. Anab. 1:7, 18; 1:1, 9; 7:6, 1; Cyrop. v 2, 7; AElian, 1:22; Plutarch, Artax. 22) current in Palestine in the period after the return from Babylon, and used even for the Temple tax (Mishna, Shekal. 2:4). That the Hebrew word is, in the Bible, the name of a coin and not of a weight, appears from its similarity to the Greek appellation of the only piece to which it could refer (Lysias in Eratosth. 11; Athen. 12:534). The mentions in Ezra and Nehemiah show that the coin was current in Palestine under Cyrus and Artaxerxes Longimanus. At these times there was no large issue of gold money except by the Persian kings, who struck the coin known to the Greeks as the στατήρ Δαρεικός, or simply δαρεικός. The darics which have been discovered are thick pieces of pure gold (see Wurm, De ponder. et mensur. p. 58 sq.), of archaic style, bearing on the obverse the figure of a king with bow and javelin, or bow and dagger (Plutarch, Artax. 20; Agesilaus, Lac. Apoph. 40), and on the reverse an irregular incuse square. Their full weight is about 128 grains troy, or a little less than that of an Attic stater, and is most probably that of an early didrachm of the Phoenician talent (see Bockh, Metrolog. Untersuch. p. 130). They must have been the common gold pieces of the Persian empire. The oldest that are often seen cannot be referred to an earlier period than about the time of Cyrus, Cambyses, or Darius Hystaspis, and it is more probable that they are not anterior to the reign of Xerxes, or even to that of Artaxerxes Longimanus. There are, however, gold pieces of about the same weight, but of an older style, found about Sardis, which cannot be doubted to be either of Croesus or of an earlier Lydian king, in the former case the Κροισεῖοι (στατῆρες) of the Greeks (Rawlinson, Herod 1:561). It is therefore probable, as these followed a Persian standard, that darics were struck under Cyrus or his nearer successors. The origin of this coin is attributed by the Greeks to a Darius, supposed by the moderns to be either Darius the Mede or Darius Hystaspis (see Schol. ad Aristoph. Eccles. p. 741; Hengstenberg, Authentie Daniel p. 51). That the Greeks derived their distinctive appellation of the coin from this proper name cannot be doubted; but the difference of the Hebrew forms of the former from that of the latter דּ ריָוֶשׁ, renders this a questionable derivation. Gesenius suggests the ancient Persian word Dara (Lex. s.v.), "king;" but (in his Thesaur. s.v.) inclines to connect the Hebrew names of the coin and that of Darius. In favor of the derivation from Dara, it must be noted that the figure borne by these coins is not that of any one king, but of the king of Persia in an abstract sense, and that on the same principle the coins would rather be called regal coins than darics. The silver darics mentioned by Plutarch (Cim. 10) are probably the Persian silver pieces similar in type to the gold daries, but weighing a drachm and a third of the same standard. (See Harenberg, in Ugolini Thesaur. 28; Eckhel, Doctrin. num. I, 3, 551 sq.; Boden, De daricis, Viteb. 1779; Wesseling, Observv. var. Amst. 1729, p. 241 sq.) SEE MONEY; SEE DRACHMA.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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