Note: Denarius Converter program

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DCHindley
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Note: Denarius Converter program

Post by DCHindley »

Those who are serious about understanding the socio-economic context of the Roman world should be interested in this program, so I thought I would post this here. It was created by Stefan Kloppenborg, who I believe is John Kloppenborg's son.

The following is an introductory file that used to be in once of the download sites he originally used:
Denarius Converter v1.0 - 1360 KB
Denarius Converter will convert various ancient units to other ancient units and modern units.
For example, if one wanted to convert one modius to bushels, Denarius Converter could do it.
Denarius Converter can convert units in the following catagories:
- Monetary
- Linear
- Area
- Dry Measures
- Liquid Measures
Denarius Converter also allows one to edit, add and delete conversion factors.
One can set a shekel to equal ninety assarion or one (the default is 64).
Denarius Converter even allows one to convert prices to real value and visa-versa, for example, one loaf of bread cost one assarion.
Denarius Converter also allows one to merge other Denarius Converter Data files with the ones already one the computer. You can download other data files from ... other Denarius Converter users [sorry, I do not have any, but someone else might]. If there is a conversion that appears in both files which is different, you can delete one or rename one (or both).
Denarius Converter even comes with a simple buil[t]-in numerical calculator.
System Requirements: Windows 95 or higher [or Windows] NT [or higher]
Denarius Converter is free for individual use.
Stefan Kloppenborg
skloppen@...
http://www11.brinkster.com/denarius/ [link is dead]
http://wcarchive.cdrom.com/pub/simtelne ... narius.zip [download works]
My little review was here:
viewtopic.php?t=386&p=7426

I once asked him via e-mail where he got these equations, and he simply said "from common sources" (which I took to mean he didn't remember anymore and had not bothered to document them). In some cases he is very precise and in others he is very general, probably representing the sources he used. When there were regional differences (either in actual measurement or using Greek terms with their own specific meanings for Roman measures of different value), he indicates "min" "avg" and "max" values, often generally stated.

Unfortunately, Stefan has gone on to pursue other things that do not relate to ancient history ...

The link below will take you to a post where I had uploaded the Zip file as developed by Stefan (denarius.zip, about 1.3 Mb). It contains 15 files needed to set up and operate this little database.

http://www.earlywritings.com/forum/view ... lit=Stefan

If you are afraid of "Zip" files, shame on you. There are still folks out there, even in this forum, who are in a really tight budget and so still use free 16 bit shareware programs for spreadsheets and word processing. If so, you are out of luck.

FWIW, "Zip" has become a generic term for any compressed file, but the format was developed by PKWare, a globally known company with an excellent reputation, so relax. You can scan them using your Virus protection program if you are wary.

Download the Zip file and unzip them (PKUNZIP.EXE, a freeware program, or almost any file compression program will do it) to some convenient subdirectory. The files will not automatically install themselves unless you double click the SETUP.EXE file.

DCH
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lpetrich
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Re: Note: Denarius Converter program

Post by lpetrich »

Interesting sort of program. But why a separate executable? Why not a webpage? I've seen lots of unit-conversion webpages, so it should be easy to set up a webpage that does what this converter does.

I think that the key part is the conversion values. Here is what a data file of them might look like. I'll use JSON as a data format (JSON, JSON Example).

{
"unit-type": "length",
"base-unit": "meter",
"units": [
"foot": {value: 0.3, source: "source for foot"},
"cubit": {value: 0.5, source: "source for cubit"}
]
}

The data file ought to contain sources for all the unit-conversion factors. Readers and writers for JSON are available for most common programming languages. I don't know if Stefan Kloppenborg would be willing to part with his data files, however.
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DCHindley
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Re: Note: Denarius Converter program

Post by DCHindley »

lpetrich wrote: Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:53 pm Interesting sort of program. But why a separate executable? Why not a webpage? I've seen lots of unit-conversion webpages, so it should be easy to set up a webpage that does what this converter does.

I think that the key part is the conversion values. Here is what a data file of them might look like. I'll use JSON as a data format (JSON, JSON Example).

{
"unit-type": "length",
"base-unit": "meter",
"units": [
"foot": {value: 0.3, source: "source for foot"},
"cubit": {value: 0.5, source: "source for cubit"}
]
}

The data file ought to contain sources for all the unit-conversion factors. Readers and writers for JSON are available for most common programming languages. I don't know if Stefan Kloppenborg would be willing to part with his data files, however.
Stefan Kloppenborg copywrited the program in 2001 (I think he was still in High School), but he seems to now be a mechanical engineer in the Toronto area. Mainly automotive related. He is an avid skier, it seems. The address where he used to live, 9 Hollywood Crescent, Toronto, Ontario, does not seem to exist except as the address of a scribe in a Masonic order. Who knew? Anyways, I think the following is his contact info:
https://www.slideshare.net/kloppen/stef ... org-resume

While there is a warning not to "reverse engineer" the program, the data - so he told me many years ago - was available from "the usual sources." I think he meant the Roman Civilization Sourcebooks (there were 2, one for Republic and one for the Empire) and a variety of unit conversion tables available in innumerable textbooks and online. I think you could also just enter a value and you will get just about every equation you could think of:

1 denarius

=16.000000 assarion
=0.040000 aureus
=48.000077 chalkos
=1.000000 denarius
=1.000000 drachma (silver)
=100.000000 dr. (cu) (V BCE)
=60.002400 dr. (cu) (IV-220 BCE)
=120.004800 dr. (cu) (220-149 BCE)
=112.007168 dr. (cu) (149-89 BCE)
=56.000448 dr. (cu) (89-III CE)
=12.000048 dupondion
=127.991809 lepton
=0.010000 mina
=0.009615 mnaieion
=6.000024 obol
=64.000000 quadrans
=4.000000 sesterce
=0.250000 shekel
=0.250000 stater
=0.000167 talent
=0.250000 tetradrachma

1 plethron (min)

=0.500000 aroura(e)
=0.005000 pecheis(2)
=0.500000 schoinion(2)
=0.500000 iugerum(-a)
=0.137800 hectare(s)
=0.340504 acre(s)
=13.780000 are(s)
=1378.000002 metres(2)
=1.378000 dunam(s)
=0.059298 cors-space
=1.000000 plethron (min)
=0.500000 plethron (max)

1 plethron (max)

=1.000000 aroura(e)
=0.010000 pecheis(2)
=1.000000 schoinion(2)
=1.000000 iugerum(-a)
=0.275600 hectare(s)
=0.681008 acre(s)
=27.560000 are(s)
=2756.000004 metres(2)
=2.756000 dunam(s)
=0.118596 cors-space
=2.000000 plethron (min)
=1.000000 plethron (max)

Back in those heady days of the 90's and early 100's, executable files were not feared like they are now. This was just before Microsoft bought all the interpreted database languages they could lay hands on (dBase, FoxPro) to make it near impossible to write your own executables, unless you can program in C++ or something, exceptions being 4th Generational Database program writers like Clarion Database Developer (or whatever they are calling it now, not a big % of total market). The Database fka Paradox, I believe, is dead, as were all those programs that let you create executable spreadsheet apps (Bailer worked with Lotus 123 for DOS spreadsheets I think), some of which actually were just tapping into some kind of Run Time Modules. Now the only widely available program available to create true relational databases (except for maybe Clarion) on PCs is MS Access.

His .ddf files contained metadata that used to be used to access data in bTree and xTree databases. DLL files were Dynamic Link Libraries, which are still used today. At any one time hundreds of them are running on your computer ... so you are already infected! :tombstone: bwoo-haa-haa-ha! :twisted:

DCH
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lpetrich
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Re: Note: Denarius Converter program

Post by lpetrich »

Here are some examples of in-webpage programming that I've written. All the source code is in the page itself, in a programming language called JavaScript.
Yes, Virginia, There Is A... -- Mad Libs
Hymn to Stalin -- Mad Libs
2D Point-Group Demo
Organism-Symmetry Demo

So one can write a converter webpage with all the numbers in the page source or in a file loaded by the page's code.
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DCHindley
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Note: Denarius Converter program

Post by DCHindley »

lpetrich wrote: Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:02 pm Here are some examples of in-webpage programming that I've written. All the source code is in the page itself, in a programming language called JavaScript.
Yes, Virginia, There Is A... -- Mad Libs
Hymn to Stalin -- Mad Libs
2D Point-Group Demo
Organism-Symmetry Demo

So one can write a converter webpage with all the numbers in the page source or in a file loaded by the page's code.
I suppose I could have created such a database in the 1990s when this stuff was as fresh as a daisy in my ever-shriveling brain, but that was 20-25 years ago now. Clarion still exists and a version is available that can be used to create web databases and phone apps. MS Access is, and will always be, a pain in the rear, but you can make beautiful database apps with it (all the bells & whistles, which NONE of my employers have ever utilized like they really should have).

DCH
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spin
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Jesus and the Denarius story

Post by spin »

Driving by and noticing a thread on the denarius...

I thought some people would like to know that the denarius/tax story (Mk 12:15) was certainly apocryphal. The denarius(pdf) was not in circulation in Palestine in the first century. There is no hope for someone in Jerusalem to casually have a denarius on hand or for a person to ask for one. What's worse is that there were no heads on Jewish coins for apparently religious reasons. (Josephus AJ 18.55—18.3.1—says "our law forbids the making of images" over Pilate' setting up busts of the emperor in Jerusalem.) The idea of Jesus asking whose head is on the coin would have been inconceivable in Palestine, but no problem in Rome, where denarii with a head on each were in common usage.

I should add that the widow's offering in 12:42 is two leptons (a Greek coin), which is explained as the equivalent of a quadrans (another Roman coin), an explanation for a Roman audience.

(Just more pointers that Mark was written in Rome.)
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DCHindley
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Re: Jesus and the Denarius story

Post by DCHindley »

spin wrote: Sat Nov 20, 2021 5:02 pm Driving by and noticing a thread on the denarius...

I thought some people would like to know that the denarius/tax story (Mk 12:15) was certainly apocryphal. The denarius(pdf) was not in circulation in Palestine in the first century. There is no hope for someone in Jerusalem to casually have a denarius on hand or for a person to ask for one. What's worse is that there were no heads on Jewish coins for apparently religious reasons. (Josephus AJ 18.55—18.3.1—says "our law forbids the making of images" over Pilate' setting up busts of the emperor in Jerusalem.) The idea of Jesus asking whose head is on the coin would have been inconceivable in Palestine, but no problem in Rome, where denarii with a head on each were in common usage.

I should add that the widow's offering in 12:42 is two leptons (a Greek coin), which is explained as the equivalent of a quadrans (another Roman coin), an explanation for a Roman audience.

(Just more pointers that Mark was written in Rome.)
Hi spin,

Didn't realize that you had posted. Seems we don't get notified of responses in certain directories.

Have been looking at some economics and numismatics books in recent years, and yes, the terrain is strewn with odd facts. The denarius, IIRC, was almost a format to report large numbers with.

Whether the money was in silver, gold or even copper/bronze, it all got processed into denarii so that the bureaucrats in Rome could get their heads around large numbers involved. For a time when there was no "economy" as we think of it now, a lot of money was being spent.

I think the process of reducing everything to denarii reached its extremes in the price controls of Diocletian (latter half 3rd century CE). Or better yet, the sacks of 10,000 "follies" that were in use in medieval times.

DCH

PS: Nice to see you out and about in these parts again.

Edit: removed B from BCE. "Honey, Why are your car keys in the refrigerator?"
Last edited by DCHindley on Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
ABuddhist
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Re: Jesus and the Denarius story

Post by ABuddhist »

DCHindley wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:14 pm I think the process of reducing everything to denarii reached its extremes in the price controls of Diocletian (latter half 3rd century BCE).
Surely you mean CE.
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DCHindley
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Re: Jesus and the Denarius story

Post by DCHindley »

ABuddhist wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:04 am
DCHindley wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:14 pm I think the process of reducing everything to denarii reached its extremes in the price controls of Diocletian (latter half 3rd century BCE).
Surely you mean CE.
Oops! I blame old age ...
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spin
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Re: Jesus and the Denarius story

Post by spin »

DCHindley wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:28 am Oops! I blame old age ...
Not old age, Dave. Just think of Bertie Russell or Noam Chomsky. It's pure senility...

...like when Windows crashes on me then I restart & Windows hits me with a  r o u n d   of goddamnmuthrforking   u p d a t e s, so I totally forget whatever it was I was doing when the disaster struck.

My posting here was a drive-by. I don't think I could face going around in circles any more, covering the same ground, coping with the obnoxious, getting nowhere because there is no sign or hope of co-operation or development. I can't see a nexus of experience coming together to pass on an evolving tradition of an alternative scholarly approach to biblical studies. No fostering of skills for that purpose. "I may be totally wrong, but I'm a dancing fool." Ed: I do note a few interesting new voices here.

I merely came looking for some data I may have posted here that I need, but didn't find.

Hello, my name's spin. I'm an ex-forum junkie. Beside Reddit I haven't touched a forum in several years.
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