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Argyramoiboi (Ancient Greek: ἀργυραμοιβοί, "silver changers") were professional money-changers and assayers in ancient Greece (especially in the Athenian Agora) and the Byzantine Empire. These often set their tables in public places with their business covering the purchase of foreign currency, paying deposit interest, and loans.[1] They also served as pawnbrokers.[1]

According to Theocritus, the argyramoiboi used the Baoovog or touchstone to determine whether gold is genuine or counterfeit.[2] Byzantine historical records also mentioned the argyramoiboi during the reign of Justinian, who released an edict mandating these money-changers to reduce the price that they pay for a solidus from 210 folles to 180.[3]


  1. Smith, David Eugene (1958). History of Mathematics, Volume II. New York: Dover Publications. p. 575. ISBN 9780486204307.
  2. Chomsky, Noam (1993). Lectures on Government and Binding: The Pisa Lectures, Seventh Edition. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. p. 306. ISBN 3110141310.
  3. Hendy, Michael (2008). Studies in the Byzantine Monetary Economy c.300–1450. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 477. ISBN 9780521247153.
  • Edward E. Cohen, Athenian economy and society: a banking perspective, 1997, p. 7 ISBN 0-691-01592-9
  • Michael F. Hendy, Studies in the Byzantine Monetary Economy c.300-1450, 1985, p. 477 ISBN 0-521-08852-6

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