Weighing Up Pondus: Numismatic Evidence in Livy Book 34 (Dan Lowes, University of Liverpool)

1:00pm - 2:00pm / Thursday 7th November 2019 / Venue: Arthur West Room, 8-14 Abercromby Square Abercromby SQ (south)
Type: Seminar / Category: Department
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The Latin word pondus gives English the word pound, and is normally translated as weight by modern translators in various types of texts from Prose to Poetry. In Book 34 of Livy’s history he discusses the triumph of Titus Flamininus and explains how there are a wealth of Athenian coins amongst the treasure. Through this passage Livy gives the modern reader and numismatist a possible insight into the way Greek Coins are seen in the Roman world. Yet the translations and the numismatic evidence don’t seem to add up.

By looking at various other uses of Pondus in Latin texts both contemporary and later than Livy’s writings combined with the numismatic evidence this presentation will look to understand why do translators use the translations they use, and what the problem is with pondus in general. Using the physical evidence and literary texts to discover the true intention of Livy in this passage leads to questions of the complexity of the Ancient economic system.This event is part of the Work in Progress seminar series