Grzywna (unit)

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Axes-like grzywnas (commonity money) from Kostkowice, Poland, 9-mid 10 Century AD
Old Ruthenian grivna (200 g)

The grzywna (Proto-Slavic *grivĭna, Old East Slavic: гривьна, grivĭna, Russian: гри́вна grivna, Ukrainian: гри́вня hryvnia, Belarusian: гры́ўня hryŭnia, Bulgarian: гри́вна grivna, Serbo-Croatian: гри̑вна grȋvna, Polish: grzywna, Czech: hřívna, Upper Sorbian: hriwna; all from Proto-Slavic *griva 'neck, nape') was a measure of weight, mainly for gold and silver, commonly used throughout medieval central Europe, in particular Poland, Bohemia and the Rus lands. Grzywna was also a unit of measure of a unit of exchange, and as such used as money. There were several different grzywnas such as the Kulm grzywna, Krakow grzywna or Novgorod grivna. It was roughly equivalent to the western mark. One grzywna was equal to half of a pound.

Novgorod grivnas excavated near Koporye

The Krakow grzywna, used in Poland, weighed anywhere from 196.26 g to 201.86g, depending on the timeframe. In the 14th century, it was equal to 196.26 g, while in the beginning of the 16th century in weighed 197.684 g, but after 1558 it was equivalent to 201.802 g and after 1650 it was 201.86g.

The Krakow grzywna was subdivided thus: 4 wiarduneks or quarters = 8 ounces = 16 drams = 24 skojecs = 96 grains = 240 denarii = 480 Obols

As a measure of unit of exchange, the Krakow grzywna was equal to 48 Prague groschen. During the rule of Wladyslaw I the Elbow-high 576 denarii were struck from one Krakow grzywna of silver. During the rule of his son Casimir the Great, 768 denarii were struck from it and during the reign of Władysław II Jagiełło, it was 864 denarii.

Modern use[edit]

Today Hryvnia is the monetary currency in Ukraine.

See also[edit]