Acts of Thomas 2: and agreed with him for three litrae of silver unstamped

What does "silver unstamped" mean? Does it mean a piece of silver?


1 Answer 1


Thanks for the question; it was an interesting search.



...Seizing my lamp, he went up into my house, and stole and carried off a pair of bracelets of unstamped silver of the weight of 40 drachmas,...

Footnote: 32. …’unstamped’: hence constantly in the papyri to denote a man ‘not distinguished’ from his neighbours by any convenient marks (e.g. P. Oxy. 73.29 (A.D. 94))….Found in a metaphorical sense in Ac. xxi 39.

There are also 3 instances in "The vocabulary of the Greek Testament illustrated from the papyri and other non-literary sources" (Moulton and Milligan 1929)



The earliest silversmiths in the colonies used their initials. Many makers used their last name, or first initial and last name. Pseudo-hallmarks were used about 1800. They were meant to mislead the public into believing that the silver was of English origin. Many unmarked pieces of American silver were made by 1825.

The Princeton Review (1881)

“Stamped silver would by force of law be exchangeable for stamped gold, as stamped paper is now; but unstamped silver, like unstamped paper, would have to take its chances in the market.”

Wiki "Silver Hallmarks"

A silver object that is to be sold commercially is, in most countries, stamped with one or more silver hallmarks indicating the purity of the silver, the mark of the manufacturer or silversmith, and other (optional) markings to indicate date of manufacture and additional information about the piece. In some countries, the testing of silver objects and marking of purity is controlled by a national assayer's office.

Hallmarks are applied with a hammer and punch, a process that leaves sharp edges and spurs of metal. Therefore, hallmarking is generally done before the piece goes for its final polishing.

  • I added link of the page. What do you think: was it kind of bar or coin?
    – user64617
    Aug 20, 2018 at 5:31
  • @user64617 From Wiki: A litra (plural: litrae; Ancient Greek: λίτρα) is a small silver coin (or unit of measurement for other precious metals) used in the colonies of Ancient Greece in general and in ancient Sicily in particular. ... In the Talmud, the litra is a unit of measurement, the equivalent of 60 shekels, weighing 354 g (12.5 oz).
    – tblue
    Aug 20, 2018 at 10:59
  • @user64617 - In the link you gave, "litrae" is used two more times. Evidently, can be gold or silver. Did search on "litrae", weight - and numismatic bks came up from archive.org.
    – tblue
    Aug 20, 2018 at 11:41
  • yes I did: Smith, William. et al. 1891., A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (Vol. II), p69.
    – user64617
    Aug 20, 2018 at 16:06
  • perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/…
    – user64617
    Aug 20, 2018 at 16:08

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