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Another Voarchadumia query: Fionus
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Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Wed Nov 25th, 2009 03:19 pm
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Another query in this very strange book.

Discussing weights and measures, Panteo refers to something that might be a coin or a unit of measurement that he calls the Fionus:

'Circumspecti negotiatores in Fionis, non superficiem, sed clausam substantiam inquirunt.'
'Circumspect traders in Fioni enquire not into the surface but the concealed substance.'

'Rubus item 20 Marcarum, hoc signo exprimitur ad Fionos autem 68 et quod 1 Fioni pro qualibet Marca in Auro.'
'Similarly a rubus is 20 marcae. With this sign is indicated however 68 fioni, 1 fionus being equivalent to any 1 gold marca.'

One of the woodcuts is entitled 'Aequo fionos' ('I press out the fioni') and shows a cutting-press cutting out what seem to be coins, see illustration bottom-right here:

http://www.newcomen.com/excerpts/metallurgy/index.htm

The only reference I can find to this on the Internet is in Sherwood Taylor's lecture on the Voarchadumia delivered to the Newcomen Society. He says he couldn't find out anything about it and took it to mean the same as Florin.

Is there a numismatist in the house?

Paul

Last edited on Wed Nov 25th, 2009 03:49 pm by Paul Ferguson

Alan Pritchard
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 Posted: Wed Nov 25th, 2009 04:08 pm
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The only current author who has written on coins & medals I know of is Vladimir Karpenko. Might be worth contacting him.

Alan

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Wed Nov 25th, 2009 04:42 pm
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Alan Pritchard wrote:
The only current author who has written on coins & medals I know of is Vladimir Karpenko. Might be worth contacting him.

Alan


Thanks, I will try him.

Zupko's very comprehensive book about Italian weights and measures is available on-line, but does not seem to shed any light:

http://books.google.com/books?id=IgoNAAAAIAAJ&pg=PR29&lpg=PR29&dq=Italian+weights+and+measures+from+the+Middle+Ages+to+the+nineteenth+century+By+Ronald+Edward+Zupko&source=bl&ots=714xhPEUI9&sig=awqP4BWdkGuA8S2qNX8nsXf86KI&hl=en&ei=7GsNS5mrKouJ4AbgyKWRBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Wed Nov 25th, 2009 07:43 pm
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I have just tracked down a translation into German of Panteo's text (by Johann Schaubert, Magdeburg, 1600). There's a copy in the Wellcome so I may be able to refer to this and solve the mystery,

Paul


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