DRACHMA (Greek : δραχμή Modern Greek: , Ancient Greek: ; pl. _drachmae_ or _drachmas_) was the currency used in Greece during several periods in its history:
* An ancient Greek currency unit issued by many Greek city states during a period of ten centuries, from the Archaic period throughout the Classical period , the Hellenistic period up to the Roman period under Greek Imperial Coinage . * Three modern Greek currencies, the first introduced in 1832 and the last replaced by the euro in 2001 (at the rate of 340.75 drachma to the euro). The euro did not begin circulating until 2002 but the exchange rate was fixed on 19 June 2000, with legal introduction of the euro taking place in January 2002.
It was also a small unit of weight .
* 1 Ancient drachma
* 1.1 Value * 1.2 Denominations of Ancient Greek drachma * 1.3 Historic currency divisions
* 2 Modern drachma
* 2.1 First modern drachma
* 2.1.1 Coins * 2.1.2 Notes
* 2.2 Second modern drachma
* 2.3 Third modern drachma
* 2.3.1 Third modern drachma coins * 2.3.2 Gallery * 2.3.3 Banknotes * 2.3.4 Gallery (banknotes)
* 3 Encoding * 4 In popular culture * 5 See also * 6 Restoration * 7 Notes and references * 8 External links
Drachma in the Greek world _ Above: Six rod-shaped obeloi (oboloi) displayed at the Numismatic Museum of Athens , discovered at Heraion of Argos . Below: grasp of six oboloi forming one drachma Athenian silver didrachm of "heraldic type"_ from the time of Peisistratos , 545–510 BC. Obverse: Four-spoked wheel. Reverse: Incuse square, divided diagonally Greek drachma of Aegina. Obverse: Land Chelone / Reverse: ΑΙΓ(INA) and dolphin. The oldest Aegina chelone coins depicted sea turtles and were minted ca. 700–550 BC. Silver tetrobol (4/6 of drachma) from Massalia . Obverse: Artemis wearing stephane. Reverse: ΜΑΣΣΑ (of Massalians), lion standing righ. Tetradrachm from Olympia . 105th Olympiad , 360 BC. Obverse: Head of Zeus. Reverse: The nymph Olympia, inscription: ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑ. Silver Drachma of Philip III Arrhidaios , minted at Babylon . Obverse: Head of Herakles. Reverse: Zeus Aëtophoros.
The name _drachma_ is derived from the verb δράσσομαι (_drássomai_, "(I) grasp"). It is believed that the same word with the meaning of "handful" or "handle" is found in Linear B tablets of the Mycenean Pylos . Initially a drachma was a fistful (a "grasp") of six _oboloí_ or _obeloí_ (metal sticks, literally "spits ") used as a form of currency as early as 1100 BC and being a form of "bullion": bronze, copper, or iron ingots denominated by weight. A hoard of over 150 rod-shaped obeloi was uncovered at Heraion of Argos in Peloponnese . Six of them are displayed at the Numismatic Museum of Athens .
It was the standard unit of silver coinage at most ancient Greek mints, and the name _obol_ was used to describe a coin that was one-sixth of a drachma. The notion that _drachma_ derived from the word for fistful was recorded by Herakleides of Pontos (387–312 BC) who was informed by the priests of Heraion that Pheidon , king of Argos, dedicated rod-shaped obeloi to Heraion. Similar information about Pheidon's obeloi was also recorded at the Parian Chronicle .
Ancient Greek coins normally had distinctive names in daily use. The Athenian tetradrachm was called owl , the Aeginetic stater was called chelone , the Corinthian stater was called _hippos_ (horse ) an so on. Each city would mint its own and have them stamped with recognizable symbols of the city , known as badge in numismatics, along with suitable inscriptions, and they would often be referred to either by the name of the city or of the image depicted. The exact exchange value of each was determined by the quantity and quality of the metal, which reflected on the reputation of each mint.
Among the Greek cities that used the drachma were: Abdera , Abydos , Alexandria , Aetna , Antioch , Athens , Chios , Cyzicus , Corinth , Ephesus , Eretria , Gela , Catana , Kos , Maronia , Naxos , Pella , Pergamum , Rhegion , Salamis , Smyrni , Sparta , Syracuse , Tarsus , Thasos , Tenedos , Troy and more.
The 5th century BC Athenian _tetradrachm _ ("four drachmae") coin was perhaps the most widely used coin in the Greek world prior to the time of Alexander the Great (along with the Corinthian stater ). It featured the helmeted profile bust of Athena on the obverse (front) and an owl on the reverse (back). In daily use they were called γλαῦκες _glaukes_ (owls), hence the proverb Γλαῦκ’ Ἀθήναζε, 'an owl to Athens', referring to something that was in plentiful supply, like 'coals to Newcastle '. The reverse is featured on the national side of the modern Greek 1 euro coin .
Drachmae were minted on different weight standards at different Greek mints. The standard that came to be most commonly used was the Athenian or Attic one, which weighed a little over 4.3 grams.
After Alexander the Great 's conquests, the name _drachma_ was used in many of the Hellenistic kingdoms in the Middle East , including the Ptolemaic kingdom in Alexandria and the Parthian Empire based in what is modern-day Iran . The Arabic unit of currency known as _dirham _ (in the Arabic language , درهم), known from pre-Islamic times and afterwards, inherited its name from the drachma or didrachm (δίδραχμον, 2 drachmae); the dirham is still the name of the official currencies of Morocco and the United Arab Emirates . The Armenian dram also derives its name from the drachma.
It is difficult to estimate comparative exchange rates with modern currency because the range of products produced by economies of centuries gone by were different from today, which makes purchasing power parity (PPP) calculations very difficult; however, some historians and economists have estimated that in the 5th century BC a drachma had a rough value of 25 U.S. dollars (in the year 1990 – equivalent to 46.50 USD in 2015 ), whereas classical historians regularly say that in the heyday of ancient Greece (the fifth and fourth centuries) the daily wage for a skilled worker or a hoplite was one drachma, and for a heliast (juror) half a drachma since 425 BC.
Modern commentators derived from Xenophon that half a drachma per day (360 days per year) would provide "a comfortable subsistence" for "the poor citizens" (for the head of a household in 355 BC). Earlier in 422 BC, we also see in Aristophanes (_Wasps_, line 300–302) that the daily half-drachma of a juror is just enough for the daily subsistence of a family of three.
A modern person might think of one drachma as the rough equivalent of a skilled worker's daily pay in the place where they live, which could be as low as $1 USD , or as high as $100 USD, depending on the country.
Fractions and multiples of the drachma were minted by many states, most notably in Ptolemaic Egypt , which minted large coins in gold, silver and bronze.
Notable Ptolemaic coins included the gold _pentadrachm_ and _octadrachm_, and silver _tetradrachm_, _decadrachm_ and _pentakaidecadrachm_. This was especially noteworthy as it would not be until the introduction of the Guldengroschen in 1486 that coins of substantial size (particularly in silver) would be minted in significant quantities.
For the Roman successors of the drachma, see Roman provincial coins .
DENOMINATIONS OF ANCIENT GREEK DRACHMA
The weight of the silver drachma was approximately 4.3 grams or 0.15 ounces, although weights varied significantly from one city-state to another. It was divided into six obols of 0.72 grams, which were subdivided into four tetartemoria of 0.18 grams, one of the smallest coins ever struck, approximately 5–7 mm in diameter.
DENOMINATIONS OF SILVER DRACHMA
IMAGE DENOMINATION VALUE WEIGHT GREEK
Dekadrachm 10 drachmae 43 grams Δεκάδραχμον
Tetradrachm 4 drachmae 17.2 grams Τετράδραχμον
Didrachm 2 drachmae 8.6 grams Δίδραχμον
Drachma 6 obols 4.3 grams Δραχμή
Tetrobol 4 obols 2.85 grams Τετρώβολον
Triobol (hemidrachm) 3 obols ( 1⁄2 drachma) 2.15 grams Τριώβολον (ἡμίδραχμον)
Diobol 2 obols 1.43 grams Διώβολον
Obol 4 tetartemoria ( 1⁄6 drachma) 0.72 grams Ὀβολός (ὀβελός)
Tritartemorion 3 tetartemoria 0.54 grams Τριταρτημόριον (τριτημόριον)
Hemiobol 2 tetartemoria ( 1⁄2 obol) 0.36 grams Ἡμιωβέλιον (ἡμιωβόλιον)
Trihemitetartemorion 3⁄2 tetartemorion 0.27 grams Τριημιτεταρτημόριον
Tetartemorion 1⁄4 obol 0.18 grams Τεταρτημόριον (ταρτημόριον, ταρτήμορον)
Hemitetartemorion 1⁄2 tetartemorion 0.09 grams Ἡμιτεταρτημόριον
HISTORIC CURRENCY DIVISIONS
8 _chalkoi_ = 1 _obolus _ 6 _oboloi_ = 1 _drachma_ 70 _drachmae_ = 1 _mina _ (or _mna_), later 100 _drachmae_ = 1 _mina_ 60 _minae _ = 1 _ Athenian Talent _ (Athenian standard)
Minae and talents were never actually minted: they represented weight measures used for commodities (e.g. grain) as well as metals like silver or gold. The New Testament mentions both didrachma and, by implication, tetradrachma in context of the Temple tax . Luke\'s Gospel includes a parable told by Jesus of a woman with 10 drachmae, who lost one and searched her home until she found it.
Modern drachma coins
1/100 leptοn (Λ.)
SYMBOL Δρχ., Δρ. or ₯
FREQ. USED 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000, 10,000 Δρ.
RARELY USED 50 Δρ.
FREQ. USED 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 Δρ.
RARELY USED 10 Λ., 20 Λ., 50 Λ., 1 and 2 Δρ.
USER(S) None, previously: Greece
CENTRAL BANK Bank of Greece and Greek mint
PRINTER Bank of Greece
MINT Bank of Greece
INFLATION 3.1% (2000)
SINCE March 1998
FIXED RATE SINCE 19 June 2000
REPLACED BY €, NON CASH 1 January 2001
REPLACED BY €, CASH 1 January 2002
€ = 340.750 Δρ.
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.
FIRST MODERN DRACHMA
The drachma was reintroduced in May 1832, shortly before the establishment of the modern state of Greece (with the exception of the subdivision Taurus). It replaced the _phoenix _ at par. The drachma was subdivided into 100 lepta .
The first coinage consisted of copper denominations of 1, 2, 5 and 10 lepta, silver denominations of 1⁄4, 1⁄2, 1 and 5 drachmae and a gold coin of 20 drachmae. The drachma coin weighed 4.5 g and contained 90% silver, with the 20-drachma coin containing 5.8 g of gold.
In 1868, Greece joined the Latin Monetary Union and the drachma became equal in weight and value to the French franc . The new coinage issued consisted of copper coins of 1, 2, 5 and 10 lepta, with the 5- and 10-lepta coins bearing the names _obolos_ (ὀβολός) and _diobolon_ (διώβολον), respectively; silver coins of 20 and 50 lepta, 1, 2 and 5 drachmae and gold coins of 5, 10 and 20 drachmae. (Very small numbers of 50- and 100-drachma coins in gold were also issued.)
In 1894, cupro-nickel 5-, 10- and 20-lepta coins were introduced. No 1-lepton or 2-lepta coin had been issued since the late 1870s. Silver coins of 1 and 2 drachmae were last issued in 1911, and no coins were issued between 1912 and 1922, during which time the Latin Monetary Union collapsed due to World War I .
Between 1926 and 1930, a new coinage was introduced for the new Hellenic Republic, consisting of cupro-nickel coins in denominations of 20 lepta, 50 lepta, 1 drachma, and 2 drachmae; nickel coins of 5 drachmae; and silver coins of 10 and 20 drachmae. These were the last coins issued for the first modern drachma, and none were issued for the second.
Banknote of 1912 issued by the NBG
Notes were issued by the National Bank of Greece from 1841 until 2001 when Greece joined the Euro . Early denominations ranged from 10 to 500 drachmae. Smaller denominations (1, 2, 3 and 5 drachmae) were issued from 1885, with the first 5-drachma notes being made by cutting 10-drachma notes in half.
When Greece finally achieved its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1828, the phoenix was introduced as the monetary unit; its use was short-lived, however, and in 1832 the phoenix was replaced by the drachma, adorned with the image of King Otto of Greece , who reigned as modern Greece’s first king from 1832 to 1862. The drachma was divided into 100 lepta. In 2002 the drachma ceased to be legal tender after the euro, the monetary unit of the European Union, became Greece’s sole currency.
Between 1917 and 1920, the Greek government issued paper money in denominations of 10 lepta, 50 lepta, 1 drachma, 2 drachmae, and 5 drachmae. The National Bank of Greece introduced 1000-drachma notes in 1901, and the Bank of Greece introduced 5000-drachma notes in 1928. The Greek government again issued notes between 1940 and 1944, in denominations ranging from 50 lepta to 20 drachmae.
During the German -Italian occupation of Greece from 1941 to 1944, catastrophic hyperinflation and Nazi looting of the Greek treasury caused much higher denominations to be issued, culminating in 100,000,000,000-drachma notes in 1944.
SECOND MODERN DRACHMA
In November 1944, after Greece was liberated from Germany, old drachmae were exchanged for new ones at the rate of 50,000,000,000 to 1. Only paper money was issued. The government issued notes of 1, 5, 10 and 20 drachmae, with the Bank of Greece issuing 50-, 100-, 500-, 1000-, 5000-, and 10,000-drachma notes. This drachma also suffered from high inflation. The government later issued 100-, 500-, and 1000-drachma notes, and the Bank of Greece issued 20,000-and 50,000-drachma notes.
THIRD MODERN DRACHMA
In 1953, in an effort to halt inflation, Greece joined the Bretton Woods system . In 1954, the drachma was revalued at a rate of 1000 to 1. The new currency was pegged at 30 drachmae = 1 United States dollar . In 1973, the Bretton Woods System was abolished; over the next 25 years the official exchange rate gradually declined, reaching 400 drachmae to 1 U. S. dollar. On 1 January 2002, the Greek drachma was officially replaced as the circulating currency by the euro , and it has not been legal tender since 1 March 2002.
Third Modern Drachma Coins
The first issue of coins minted in 1954 consisted of holed aluminium 5-, 10- and 20-lepton pieces, with 50-lepton, 1-, 2-, 5- and 10-drachma pieces in cupro-nickel. A silver 20-drachma piece was issued in 1960, replacing the 20-drachma banknote. Coins in denominations from 50 lepta to 20 drachmae carried a portrait of King Paul (1947–1964). New coins were introduced in 1966, ranging from 50 lepta to 10 drachmae, depicting King Constantine II (1964–1974). The reverse of all coins was altered in 1971 to reflect the military junta which was in power from 1967 to 1974. This design included a soldier standing in front of the flames of the rising phoenix.
A 20-drachmae coin in cupro-nickel with an image of Europa on the obverse was issued in 1973. In the latter part of 1973, several new coin types were introduced: unholed aluminium (10 and 20 lepta), nickel-brass (50 lepta, 1 drachma, and 2 drachmae) and cupro-nickel (5, 10, and 20 drachmae). These provisional coins carried the design of the phoenix rising from the flame on the obverse, and used the country's new designation as the "Hellenic Republic", replacing the coins also issued in 1973 as the Kingdom of Greece with King Constantine II's portrait. A new series of all 8 denominations was introduced in 1976 carrying images of early national heroes on the smaller values.
Cupro-nickel 50-drachmae coins were introduced in 1980. In 1986, nickel-brass 50-drachma coins were introduced, followed by copper 1- and 2-drachma pieces in 1988 and nickel-brass coins of 20 and 100 drachmae in 1990. In 2000, a set of 6 themed 500-drachma coins was issued to commemorate the 2004 Athens Olympic Games .
Coins in circulation at the time of the adoption of the euro were
* 50 lepta (€0.0015) * 1 drachma (€0.0029) * 2 drachmae (€0.0059) * 5 drachmae (€0.0147) * 10 drachmae (€0.0293) * 20 drachmae (€0.0587) * 50 drachmae (€0.147) * 100 drachmae (€0.293) * 500 drachmae (€1.47)
Gold 20 Drachmai, 1833 of king Othon *
Gold 20 Drachmai, 1876 of king Georgios I *
Gold 50 Drachmai, 1876 of king Georgios I *
5 drachmae (1876) *
1 drachma (1973) during the 1973-1974 military-controlled "Republic" *
1 drachma (1978) *
Two Drachma coin with a soldier standing in front of Phoenix
The first issues of banknotes were in denominations of 10, 20 and 50 drachmae, soon followed by 100, 500 and 1000 drachmae by 1956. 5000-drachma notes were introduced in 1984, followed by 10,000-drachma notes in 1995 and 200-drachma notes in 1997.
Banknotes in circulation at the time of the adoption of the euro were
* 100 drachmae (€0.2935), depicting Athena and Adamantios Korais * 200 drachmae (€0.5869), depticing Rigas Feraios * 500 drachmae (€1.47), depicting Ioannis Capodistrias * 1000 drachmae (€2.93), depicting Apollo * 5000 drachmae (€14.67), depicting Theodoros Kolokotronis * 10,000 drachmae (€29.35), depicting George Papanicolaou and Asclepius
BANKNOTES OF THE GREEK DRACHMA (CIRCA AD 2000)
IMAGE VALUE EQUIVALENT IN EURO (€) MAIN COLOR OBVERSE REVERSE WATERMARK
100 drachmae €0.2935 Brown and violet (obverse); Maroon, green and orange (reverse) Head of Piraeus Athena ; Christian Hansen 's National and Kapodistrian University of Athens building Adamantios Korais; Arkadi Monastery , Crete Head of the Charioteer of Delphi
10,000 drachmae €29.35 Deep purple George Papanicolaou; microscope Asclepius Bust of Philip of Macedonia
5 drachmae banknote (1912) *
5,000,000 drachmae banknote (1944) during the Axis Occupation hyperinflation period *
20 drachmae banknote (1955) *
50 drachmae banknote (1964) *
100 drachmae banknote (1967)
In Unicode, the currency symbol is U+20AF ₯ Drachma sign. There is a special Attic numeral , U+10142 𐅂 Greek acrophonic attic one drachma for the value of one drachma but it fails to render in most browsers.
IN POPULAR CULTURE
* The golden drachma is the main unit of currency in Rick Riordan\'s _Percy Jackson ">
* ^ is also made up. * ^ δράσσομαι, _drassomai_, "grasp"; cf. : δράξ, _drax_, and _drachma_ itself, i.e. "grasp with the hand". * ^ "As much as one can hold in the hand". * ^ The word, whose meaning and translation is still uncertain, is 𐀈𐀏𐀔, _do-ka-ma_ or 𐀈𐀏𐀔𐀂, _do-ka-ma-i_, found on the PY An 1282 and PY Wr 1480 tablets. * ^ Τριόβολον spelling variant is also attested. * ^ Ἡμιοβόλιον spelling variant is also attested. * ^ Greek: λεπτά; plural of λεπτόν, _lepton_. * ^ Minted but rarely used. Usually, prices were rounded up to the next multiple of 10 drachmae. * ^ _A_ _B_ Not minted but remained legal tender (not in actual use in 2002).
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ δραχμή. Liddell, Henry George ; Scott, Robert ; _ A Greek–English Lexicon _ at the Perseus Project . * ^ _A_ _B_ δράσσομαι in Liddell and Scott . * ^ Shelmerdine, Cynthia W.; Bennet, John (January 1, 1995). "Two Linear B documents from Bronze Age Pylos". _Kadmos_. 34 (2). * ^ "PY 1282 An (Ciii)". "PY 1480 Wr (unknown)", _DĀMOS: Database of Mycenaean at Oslo_, University of Oslo . * ^ Raymoure, K.A. "do-ka-ma-i". _Minoan Linear A & Mycenaean Linear B_. Deaditerranean. * ^ Philochorus : Scholion to Aristophanes, Birds 1106 * ^ γλαύξ in Liddell and Scott . * ^ The Inflation Calculator Archived 21 July 2007 at WebCite * ^ Thucydides , _ History of the Peloponnesian War _ 3.17.4. * ^ It was originally set at 1/6 drachma by Pericles, until Cleon raised it in 425 BC; see also Aristophanes , _Knights_ (line 255) and _Wasps_ (line 609, 684, 690, 788–790, 1121). * ^ Cf. footnote 18 of H. G. Dakyns's translation of _Ways and Means: A Pamphlet on Revenues_ alias _On Revenues_ (_The Works of Xenophon_, Macmillan, 1897). This footnote is quoting George Grote (_Plato, and the Other Companions of Sokrates_, vol. 3, J. Murray, 1865, p.597). * ^ British Museum Catalogue 11 – Attica Megaris Aegina * ^ Photo gallery of Tetartemoria and other small Greek coins * ^ Aristotle , Athenian Constitution, 10.2 * ^ _Drachma_, The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume V. Published 1909. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, 1 May 1909. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York * ^ Luke 15:8–10 * ^ "The first modern drachma coins catalog". Retrieved 2013-06-22.
* ^ http://www.bankofgreece.gr/en/Banknotes/coins.htm * ^ "History of Greek Banknotes". Greekcurrency.110mb.com. Retrieved 2013-11-17. * ^ fileformat.info Entry for (U+10142) * ^ "Political Party Drachma 5 Launched". _greekreporter.com_.
_ Wikimedia Commons has media related to DRACHMA _.
_ Wikimedia Commons has media related to MODERN DRACHMA _.
_ Wikimedia Commons has media related to BANKNOTES OF GREECE _.
Preceded by Greek phoenix GREEK CURRENCY 1832–2001 Succeeded by euro
* v * t * e
Currency symbols (¤ )
* ؋ * ₳ * ฿ * ₵ * ₡ * ¢ * * $ * ₫ * ֏ * € * ƒ