from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A silver coin or unit of weight equal to one sixth of a drachma, formerly used in ancient Greece.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An ancient Greek silver coin, in value and also in weight the sixth part of the drachma.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Latin obolus, from Greek obolos, variant of obelos, spit, obol.


  • (It derives from "obol," an ancient Greek coin, and the "obo" part also echoes the phrase "or best offer.")

    As Tech Heats Up,

  • They would knife a man over a copper obol, and would share with him the last of their water.

    "The Ten Thousand" by Paul Kearney

  • On their arrival Archidemus, the leader of the democracy at that date, who had charge of the two obol fund,48 inflicted a fine on


  • Sosias was to pay him a net obol a day, without charge or deduction, for every slave of the thousand, and be53 responsible for keeping up the number perpetually at that figure.

    Ways and Means

  • Again, out of that number of six thousand — supposing each slave to being in an obol a day clear of all expenses — we get a revenue of sixty talents a year.

    Ways and Means

  • And let him who, having already received the work in exchange, does not pay the price in the time agreed, pay double the price; and if a year has elapsed, although interest is not to be taken on loans, yet for every drachma which he owes to the contractor let him pay a monthly interest of an obol.


  • Originally intended to be a microcosm of the citizen body, juries by Socrates 'time were manned by elderly, disabled, and poor volunteers who needed the meager three-obol pay.


  • I dug in the hem of my cloak and found an obol to pay a disheveled water boy to go to Sophocles 'home and request that he meet me back at the theatre on an urgent matter.

    Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine

  • See also Athenian spending; capital; finance; obol; payment; tribute; wealth


  • For the Aeginetan obol and the drachma, see Appendix J, Classical Greek Currency, ©3.



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