Un elemento ascitizio di alcune lingue slave, germaniche e semitiche derivato dal nome di un antico nummo aureo

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Paolo Agostini


Most of the Slavic languages express the concept of “coin” (Sg.) and
“money” (PI.) by words related to an ancient Slavonic *pënedz6, yet the
source of this loanword is unknown. The Slavic word is correlated to the
German and English name of small change (“Pfenning” and resp. “penny”).
As from the IV century A.D. the most widely spread golden coin in the Eastern
Roman Empire was the “solidus” (i.e. ‘hard currency’), which — according
to contemporary sources — was also referred to with the latin name of “pensa [auri]” (i.e. ‘weighed quantity [of gold]’). The paper introduces evidence
tending to show that the borrowing of the latin word into ancient Slavonic took
place when the Slavic peoples got in touch with the Byzantine Empire. Yet,
a similar word is to be found also in classical Aramaean (cf. pizah ‘pure gold’)
and in biblical Hebrew (cf. paz ‘pure gold’). Hence we can assume that the
word pensa was used in connection with the coinage of Philip of Macedon,
who struck golden staters as from 357/6 B.C. onwards.

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