Talent (Unit of Dimensions)

Article

July 6, 2022

Talent (ancient Greek τάλαντον, lat. talentum) is a unit of mass and a monetary unit used in ancient times in Europe, Western Asia and North Africa. Etymology: goes back to Proto-Indo-European *tel-, *tol- "carry". In the Roman Empire, a talent corresponded to a mass of water equal in volume to one standard amphora (that is, 1 cubic Roman foot, or 26.027 liters). Talent was the highest unit of weight in the table of Greek measures (actually the word τάλαντον meant "scales"; then "cargo"). As a specific unit of weight, talent is already mentioned by Homer, and everywhere the weighted object is gold. According to the conclusions of metrologists, the mass of talent was equal to the mass of the Semitic shekel (sigle, shekel), namely the heavy gold Babylonian shekel, equal to 16.8 kg. Homeric talents were produced in the form of oblong round bars, similar to the ancient gold staters. In addition, in Homer's time, semi-talents weighing 8.4 kg were in circulation. In addition to Homer's low-weight talent, a talent was known in the same era that corresponded to 26.2 kg. It is first mentioned in connection with the victory of the Sicilian Greeks over the Carthaginians at Himera (480 BC); then the writers until the II century BC. e. it serves to indicate the weight measure of golden objects that were given as a reward (wreaths) or dedicated to temples. Depending on the variable designations of the drachma or mina, in relation to which the talent was a multiple (the talent was divided into 60 min, the mina was divided into 100 drachmas, that is, there were 6000 drachmas in the talent), the quantitative definition of talent was very different, especially since it It was used both as a weight and as a monetary unit. The prototype of the Greek talents was the Babylonian talent, which had the shape of a bronze lion on a stand. The heavy talent weighed 60.4 kg, the light royal talent was half as much. The sixtieth part of the mine weighed as much as the Homeric talent (16.8 kg), and was the basic smallest unit that served to determine the weight of both precious metals and all weighty objects. This weight unit also served as a monetary sign, and 100 of these light units (8.4 kg each) or 50 heavy ones made up a heavy mine of gold. In turn, a light mine was divided into 50 units or 1