Attic weight

Attic weight, or the Attic standard, also known as Euboic standard, was one of the main monetary standards in ancient Greece. As a result of its use in the coinage of the Athenian empire and the empire of Alexander the Great, it was the dominant weight standard for coinage issued in the Eastern Mediterranean from the fifth century BC until the introduction of the Roman denarius to the region in the late first century BC.

Athenian tetradrachm, minted after 449 BC.
Posthumous tetradrachm of Alexander the Great, minted on the Attic weight at Amphipolis, 315–294 BC.

The Attic weight was based on a drachma of 4.31 grams, but in practice the main denomination was the tetradrachm or four-drachma coin, which weighed approximately 17.26 g[1] in silver. For larger sums, the units of account were the mina (100 drachmae or 435 g), and the talent (6,000 drachmae or 26.1 kg).

In practice, this meant that the Attic weight standard was interchangeable with the Euboic standard used on the island of Euboea, which consisted of a stater of 17.2 g divided into six hektai of 2.86 g. Because of Euboea's role in Greek colonisation in the Archaic period, the latter standard was widespread in the Greek West and Pontic regions.[2]