download PDF


The second part of the article deals with evidence of Androtion, an Atthidographer, and Aristotle (in the Athenaion politeia) on the seisachtheia and Solon’s metrological reform (although both measures cited, to say strictly, didn’t belong to the Solonian law code), as in these passages drachmas are also mentioned. The authors ascertains that Androtion confuses mistakenly the two above-mentioned actions; as to Aristotle, he ascribed to Solon a monetary reform in addition to a metrological one because he was fi rmly sure that early 6th century B.C. Athens already had its own coinage (we now know it’s wrong, but even in the fi rst half of the 20th century any specialist in Greek numismatic would have subscribed to this Aristotelian judgment). At the end, the author states that of all existing interpretations of Solonian drachmas, the most viable is the one (developed in most detail by J.H. Kroll), which identifi es them as premonetary money, if to be concrete – as non-coined little silver ingots of fixed weight.


Solon, Archaic Athens, law-making, coinage, drachmas, Aristotle, Androtion, seisachtheia, pre-monetary money

Igor E. Surikov

Institute of World History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Austin, M., Vidal-Naquet, P. 1977: Economic and Social History of Ancient Greece: An Introduction. Berkeley.

Buyskikh, A.V. 2008: Prostranstvennoe razvitie Khersonesa Tavricheskogo v antichnuyu epokhu. Simferopol’.

Casey, P.J. 1986: Understanding Ancient Coins: An Introduction for Archaeologists and Historians. London.

Chambers, M. 1973: Aristotle on Solon’s Reform of Coinage and Weights. California Studies in Classical Antiquity 6, 1–16.

Crawford, M.H. 1972: Solon’s Alleged Reform of Weights and Measures. Eirene 10, 5–8.

Creatini, F. 1984: Rifl essi sociali della riforma ponderale di Solone. Studi classici e orientali 34, 127–132.

Dawson, S. 1999: The Athenian Wappenmünzen. Scholia 8, 71–77.

Develin, R. 2003: Athenian Offi cials 684–321 BC. Cambridge.

Figueira, T.J. 2001: Spartanskie zheleznye den’gi i ideologiya sredstv sushchestvovaniya v arkhaicheckoy Lakonii. Antichnaya drevnost’ i srednie veka 32, 5–28.

Finley, M.I. 1973: The Ancient Economy. Berkeley.

Fischer, T. 1973: Zu Solons Maß-, Gewichts- und Münzreform. Chiron 3, 1–14.

Flament, C. 2007: Le monnayage en argent d’Athènes: De l’époque archaïque à l’époque hellénistique (c. 550 – c. 40 av. J.-C.). Louvain-le-Neuve.

Foxhall, L. 1997: A View from the Top: Evaluating the Solonian Property Classes. In: L.G. Mitchell, P.J. Rhodes (eds.), The Development of the Polis in Archaic Greece. London– New York, 61–74.

French, A. 1956: The Economic Background to Solon’s Reforms. Classical Quarterly 6, 1/2, 11–25.

Furtwängler, A. 1986: Neue Beobachtungen zur frühesten Münzprägung. Schweizerische numismatische Rundschau 65, 153–165.

Gallant, J.W. 1982: Agricultural Systems, Land Tenure, and the Reforms of Solon. Annual of the British School at Athens 77, 111–124.

Gordon, S.G. 2002: Zabytye pis’mena: otkrytie i deshifrofka. St. Petersburg.

Gushchin. V.R. 2011: Tsenzovaya reforma Solona i krizis v Attike na rubezhe VII–VI vv. do n.e. Vestnik drevney istorii 3, 107–122.

Hall, J.M. 2014: A History of the Archaic Greek World ca. 1200–479 BCE. 2nd ed. Oxford.

Hammond, N.G.L. 1961: Land Tenure in Attica and Solon’s Seisachtheia. Journal of Hellenic Studies 81, 76–98.

Harding, P. 1974: Androtion’s View of Solon’s Seisachtheia. Phoenix 28, 3, 282–289.

Harding, P. 1977: Atthis and Politeia. Historia 26, 2, 148–160.

Harding, P. 1994: Androtion and the Atthis. Oxford.

Harding, P. 2008: The Story of Athens: The Fragments of the Local Chronicles of Attika. London – New York.

Harris, E.M. 1997: A New Solution to the Riddle of the Seisachtheia. In: L.G. Mitchell, P.J. Rhodes (eds.), The Development of the Polis in Archaic Greece. London – New York, 55–60.

Harris, E.M. 2002: Did Solon Abolish Debt-Bondage? Classical Quarterly 52, 2, 415–430.

Harris, E.M. 2013: Finley’s Studies in Land and Credit Sixty Years Later. Dike 16, 123–146.

Head, B.V. 1887: Historia numorum: A Manual of Greek Numismatics. Oxford.

Head, B.V. 1911: Historia numorum: A Manual of Greek Numismatics. 2nd ed. Oxford.

Hill, G.F. 1964: Ancient Greek and Roman Coins: A Handbook. Chicago.

Hopper, R.J. 1968: Observations on the Wappenmünzen. In: C.M. Kraay, G.K. Jenkins (eds.), Essays in Greek Coinage Presented to S. Robinson. Oxford, 16–39.

Horsmann, G. 2000: Athens Weg zur eigenen Währung: Der Zusammenhang der metrologischen Reform Solons mit der timokratischen. Historia 49, 3, 259–277.

Howgego, C. 1995: Ancient History from Coins. London – New York.

Jacoby F. 1954: Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker. Teil 3. Geschichte von Staedten und Voelkern (Horographie und Ethnographie). b (Supplement): A Commentary on the Ancient Historians of Athens. Vol. 1–2. Leiden.

Jenkins, G.K. 1990: Ancient Greek Coins. 2 ed. London.

Keesling, C.M. 2015: Solon’s Property Classes on the Athenian Acropolis? A Reconsideration of IG I³.831 and Ath. pol. 7.4. In: K.F. Daly, L.A. Riccardi (eds.), Cities Called Athens: Studies Honoring John McK. Camp II. London, 115–135.

Khvostov, M.M. 1897: Sisakhtia Solona i razlozhenie evpatridskogo zemlevladeniya. Philologicheskoe obozrenie 13, 1, 3–26.

Khvostov, M.M. 1897: Sisakhtia Solona i razlozhenie evpatridskogo zemlevladeniya. Philologicheskoe obozrenie 13, 1, 3–26.

Kim, H.S. 2001: Archaic Coinages as Evidence for the Use of Money. In: A. Meadows, K. Shipton (eds.), Money and its Uses in the Ancient Greek World. Oxford, 7–21.

Kovalenko, S.A., Tolstikov, V.P. 2010: O nachale monetnoy chekanki na Bospore. I. Vestnik drevney istorii 3, 31–59.

Kraay, C.M. 1956: The Archaic Owls of Athens: Classifi cation and Chronology. Numismatic Chronicle 16, 43–68.

Kraay, C.M. 1962: The Early Coinage of Athens: A Reply. Numismatic Chronicle 2, 417–423.

Kraay, C.M. 1968: An Interpretation of Ath. pol. Ch. 10. In: C.M. Kraay, G.K. Jenkins (eds.), Essays in Greek Coinage Presented to S. Robinson. Oxford, 1–9.

Kraay, C. M. 1976: Archaic and Classical Greek Coins. Berkeley.

Kraay, C.M. 1977: The Asyut Hoard: Some Comments on Chronology. Numismatic Chronicle 17, 189–198.

Kraay, C.M. 1989: Schatzfunde, Kleingeld und der Ursprung der Münzen. In: M. Radnoti-Alfölfi (Hg.), Methoden der antiken Numismatik. Darmstadt, 180–210.

Kraft, K. 1959/1960: Zur Übersetzung und Interpretation von Aristoteles, Athenaion Politeia, Kap. 10 (Solonische Münzreform). Jahrbuch für Numismatik und Geldgeschichte 10, 21–46.

Kraft, K. 1969: Zur solonischen Gewichts- und Münzreform. Jahrbuch für Numismatik und Geldgeschichte 19, 7–24.

Kroll, J.H. 1981: From Wappenmünzen to Gorgoneia to Owls. The American Numismatic Society. Museum Notes 26, 1–32.

Kroll, J.H. 1993: The Greek Coins (The Athenian Agora. Vol. 26). Princeton.

Kroll, J.H. 1998: Silver in Solon’s Laws. In: R. Ashton, S. Hurter (eds.), Studies in Greek Numismatics in Memory of M.J. Price. London, 225–232.

Kroll, J.H. 2008: The Monetary Use of Weighed Bullion in Archaic Greece. In: W.V. Harris (ed.), The Monetary Systems of the Greeks and Romans. Oxford, 12–37.

Kroll, J.H., Waggoner, N.M. 1984: Dating the Earliest Coins of Athens, Corinth and Aegina. American Journal of Archaeology 88, 3, 325–340.

Lavelle, B.M. 2005: Fame, Money, and Power: The Rise of Peisistratos and “Democratic” Tyranny at Athens. Ann Arbor.

Lewis, N. 1941: Solon’s Agrarian Legislation. American Journal of Philology 62, 2, 144–156.

L’Homme-Wéry, L.-M. 1999: Eleusis and Solon’s Seisachtheia. Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 40, 2, 109–133.

Milne, J.G. 1945: The Economic Policy of Solon. Hesperia 14, 3, 230–245.

Molina, L.A. 1998: Solon and the Evolution of the Athenian Agrarian Economy. Pomoerium 3, 5–18.

Mühl, M. 1953: Solons sogenannten χρεῶν ἀποκοπή im Lichte der antiken Überlieferung. Rheinisches Museum für Philologie 96, 214–223.

Musiolek, P. 1988: Zur Problematik der solonischen Reformen. In: J. Herrmann, J. Köhn (Hg.), Familie, Staat und Gesellschaftsformation. Berlin, 448–451.

Nicolet, H. 1984: Monnaies athéniennes perdues et retrouvees. In: Aux origines de l’Hellénisme: La Crète et la Grèce. Paris, 215–224.

Noyen, P. 1957: Aristote et la réforme monétaire de Solon. L’Antiquité classique 26, 1, 136–141.

Ober, J. 2006: Solon and the Horoi: Facts on the Ground in Archaic Athens. In: J.H. Blok, A.P.M.H. Lardinois (eds.), Solon of Athens: New Historical and Philological Approaches. Leiden – Boston, 441–456.

Oliva, P. 1971: Solon und seine Seisachtheia. Živa Antika 21, 1, 103–122.

Osborne, R. 1996: Greece in the Making, 1200–479 BC. London – New York.

Oudenrijn, C.M.A. von der 1952: Solon’s System of Property-Classes Once More. Mnemosyne 5, 1, 19–22.

Price, M.J., Waggoner, N.M. 1975: Archaic Silver Coinage: The Asyut Hoard. London.

Raaflaub, K.A. 2006: Athenian and Spartan Eunomia, or: What to Do with Solon’s Timocracy? In: J.H. Blok, A.P.M.H. Lardinois (eds.), Solon of Athens: New Historical and Philological Approaches. Leiden – Boston, 390–428.

Radnoti-Alföldi, M. 1978: Antike Numismatik. Teil 1. Mainz

Raven, E.J.P. 1968: Problems of the Earliest Owls of Athens. In: C.M. Kraay, G.K. Jenkins (eds.), Essays in Greek Coinage Presented to S. Robinson. Oxford, 40–58.

Rebuffat, F. 1996: La monnaie dans l’antiquité. Paris.

Reden, S. von 1995: Exchange in Ancient Greece. London.

Reinach, T. 1928: Zu Androtion fr. 40 Müller. Hermes 63, 2, 238–240.

Rhodes, P.J. 1975: Solon and the Numismatics. Numismatic Chronicle 15, 1–11.

Rhodes, P.J. 1977: Solon and the Numismatics: Postscript. Numismatic Chronicle 17, 152.

Root, M. C. 1988: Evidence from Persepolis for the Dating of Persian and Archaic Greek Coinage. Numismatic Chronicle 148, 8–12.

Rosivach, V.J. 2002: The Requirements for the Solonic Classes in Aristotle, AP 7.4. Hermes. 130, 1, 36–47.

Ruschenbusch, E. 1966: ΣΟΛΩΝΟΣ ΝΟΜΟΙ: Die Fragmente des solonischen Gesetzwerkes mit einer Text- und Überlieferungsgeschichte. Wiesbaden.

Ruschenbusch, E. 1994: Plutarchs Solonbiographie. Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 100, 351–380.

Schaps, D.M. 2004: The Invention of Coinage and the Monetization of Ancient Greece. Ann Arbor.

Seaford, R. 2004: Money and the Early Greek Mind: Homer, Philosophy, Tragedy. Cambridge.

Sear, D.R. 1997: Greek Coins and their Values. Vol. 1: Europe. London.

Seltman, C.T. 1924: Athens, its History and Coinage before the Persian Invasion. Cambridge.

Semenov, A.F. 1908: Sisakhtia. Germes 3, 13, 337–340; 14, 364–369.

Servet, J.-M. 1984: Nomismata: État et origines de la monnaie. Lyon.

Skydsgaard, J.E. 1988: Solon’s Tele and the Agrarian History: A Note. In: E. Christiansen et al. (eds.), Studies in Ancient History and Numismatics Presented to R. Thomsen. Aarhus, 50–54.

Stanley, P.V. 1999: The Economic Reforms of Solon. St. Katharinen.

Surikov, I.E. 2006a: Drevneyshie afi nskie monety (Wappenmünzen): problemy interpretatsii i datirovki. Antichnyy mir i archeologia 12, 43–51.

Surikov, I.E. 2006b: Osrakizm v Afi nakh. Moscow.

Surikov, I.E. 2007a: Arkhaicheskaya i klassicheskaya Gretsiya: problemy istorii i istochnikovedeniya. Moscow.

Surikov, I.E. 2007b: Dosolonovskie “shestidol’niki” i dolgovoy vopros v arkhaicheskikh Afi - nakh. Vestnik drevney istorii 3, 28–46.

Surikov, I.E. 2007v: Ot Wappenmünzen k “Sovam”: v poiskakh istoricheskogo konteksta. In: V.A. Kalinin (ed.), Chetyrnadtsataya Vserossiyskaya numismaticheskaya konferentsiya. Tezisy dokladov i soobshcheniy. St. Petersburg, 10–12.

Surikov, I.E. 2009a: O tak nazyvaemoy monetnoy reforme Gippiya v Afi nakh. In: I.V. Shiryakov (ed.), Pyatnadtsataya Vserossiyskaya numismaticheskaya konferentsiya. Tezisy dokladov i soobshcheniy. Moscow, 7–9.

Surikov, I.E. 2009b: Eshche raz o zakonodatel’stvakh Drakonta i Solona v Afi nakh (polemicheskie zametki). Chast’ II. Iz istorii antichnogo obshchestva 12, 5–37.

Surikov, I.E. 2009v: “Khersones iznachal’nyy” ili “predkhersonesskoe poselenie”? Studia historica 9, 185–201.

Theodorou, J. 1996: Athenian Silver Coins: 6th – 3rd Centuries B.C. The Current Interpretation. In: A.P. Tzamales (ed.), Μνήμη Martin Jessop Price. Athens, 51–81.

Thiel, J.H. 1950: On Solon’s System of Property-Classes. Mnemosyne 3, 1, 1–11.

Tumans, H. 2007: Eshche ras ob aristokratizme i “burzhuaznosti” Solona. Vestnik drevney istorii 2, 19–39.

Vickers, M. 1985: Early Greek Coinage, a Reassessment. Numismatic Chronicle 145, 1–44.

Vinogradov, Yu.A. 1993: K probleme polisov v rayone Bospora Kimmeriyskogo. Antichnyy mir i arkeologiya 9, 79–96.

Wallace, W.P. 1962: The Early Coinages of Athens and Euboia. Numismatic Chronicle 2, 23–42.

Waters, K.H. 1960: Solon’s ‘Price-equalisation’. Journal of Hellenis Studies 80, 181–190.

Weber, M. 2001: Istoriya khozyaystva. Gorod. Moscow.

Wees, H. van 2006: Mass and Elite in Solon’s Athens: The Property Classes Revisited. In: J.H. Blok, A.P.M.H. Lardinois (eds.), Solon of Athens: New Historical and Philological Approaches. Leiden – Boston, 351–389.

Welwei, K.-W. 1992: Athen: vom neolithischen Siedlungsplatz zur archaischen Grosspolis. Darmstadt.

Woodhouse, W.S. 1965: Solon the Liberator. Repr. ed. New York. Zograf, A.N. 1951: Antichnye monety. Moscow – Leningrad.