Jan 21, 2008, 02:54 PM
Browsing on V-Coins I noticed a nice selection of cheap Roman provincials from Egypt offered by Sayles/Lavender (free plug :D). But something in particular caught my eye which I never noticed before. Note the photos below; they are both dated "Year 1," where A=1, but whereas the first actually spells out the word "year" ετους, the second uses an "L" shaped symbol as a shorthand equivalent. The reason this struck me as interesting is because the same symbol is used with the same meaning in Egyptian papyri of the Ptolemaic and Roman period. Notice the two examples from papyri--in the first "year" is spelled out, in the second the L symbol is used (L nu alpha = Year 51).