|1 Turkish Lira|
|M. Kemal Ataturk|
|1 Italian lira 1863|
|Victor Emmanuel II||Coat of arms of the House of Savoy|
Lira (plural lire) is the name of several currency units. It is the current currency of Turkey and also the local name of the currencies of Lebanon and Syria. It is the former currency of Italy, Malta, San Marino and the Vatican City, all of which were replaced in 2002 with the euro, and of Israel, which replaced it with the old shekel in 1980. The term originates from the value of a Troy pound (Latin libra) of high purity silver. The libra was the basis of the monetary system of the Roman Empire. When Europe resumed a monetary system, during the Carolingian Empire, the Roman system was adopted, the so-called £sd (librae, solidi, denarii).
Particularly this system was kept during the Middle Ages and Modern Age in England, France, and Italy. In each of these countries the libra was translated into local language: pound in England, livre in France, lira in Italy. The Venetian lira was one of the currencies in use in Italy and due to the economic power of the Venetian Republic a popular currency in the Eastern Mediterranean trade.
During the 19th century, Egypt and the Ottoman Empire adopted the lira as their national currency, equivalent to 100 piasters or kuruş. When the Ottoman Empire collapsed in years 1918-1922, many among the successor states kept the lira as their national currency. In some countries, such as Cyprus, which have belonged to both empires, the Ottoman Empire and the British Empire, the words lira and pound are used as equivalents.
For Turkish lira, the Turkish lira sign () is used. Otherwise L, sometimes in a double-crossed script form (₤) or less often single-crossed (£), is usually used as the symbol (occasionally a plain capital "L" crossed by a bar is used).
The Jordanian dinar is widely called a "lira".
Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia
The Bulgarian and Romanian languages refer to the English pound as lira (or occasionally paund ) in opposition to Croatian which refers to the Italian currency as lira.
- Cyprus pound (called "lira" in Greek)
- Israeli lira
- Italian lira
- Italian East African lira
- Italian Somaliland lira
- Maltese lira
- Neapolitan lira
- Sammarinese lira
- Tripolitanian lira
- Vatican lira
- Pound (currency), translated "lira" in some languages
- French livre cognate
- Turkish lira cognate
- Typewriter and computer keyboards of British origin provide this symbol while basic American keyboards do not thus making abbreviation inconvenient.
- Carlo M. Cipolla, Le avventure della lira, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1975.
- Stefano Poddi, "La lunga storia della lira", stralcio, Fondazioni, n. 2 marzo-aprile, 2008. Roma.
- Stefano Poddi, "La lunga storia della lira", articolo completo, Difesa e Lavoro, settembre 2008.