It should be borne in mind that in early times the larger values, such as minae, would be transmitted by commerce, while after the introduction of coinage the lesser values of shekels and drachmae would be the units; and this needs notice, because usually a borrowed unit was multiplied or divided according to the ideas of the borrowers, and strange modifications thus arose.
From Phoenicia this naturally became the main Punic unit; a bronze weight from Iol (18), marked 100, gives a drachma of 56 or 57 (224-228); and a Punic inscription (18) names 28 drachmae = 25 Attic, and therefore 57 to 59 grains (228-236); while a probably later series of 8 marble disks from Carthage (44) show 208, but vary from 197 to 234.
In Spain it was 236 to 216 in different series (17), and it is a question whether the Massiliote drachmae of 58-55 are not Phoenician rather than Phocaic. In Italy this mina became naturalized, and formed the "Italic mina" of Hero, Priscian, &c.; also its double, the mina of 26 unciae or 10,800, = 50 shekels of 216; the average of 42 weights gives 5390 (=215.6), and it was divided both into 100 drachmae, and also in the Italic mode of 12 unciae and 288 scripulae (44).
Then the "Alexandrian mina" of Dioscorides and Galen (2) is 20 unciae = 8250; in the "Analecta" (2) it is 150 or 158 drachmae = 8100.
Then Attic: Euboic or Aeginetan :: 18:25 in the metrologists (2), and the Euboic talent = 7000 "Alexandrian" drachmae; the drachma therefore is 80.0.
At Athens the old mina was fixed by Solon at 150 of his drachmae (18) or 9800 grains, according to the earliest drachmae, showing a stater of 196; and this continued to be the trade mina in Athens, at least until 160 B.C., but in a reduced form, in which it equalled only 138 Attic drachmae, or 9200.
It also passed into Italy, but in a smaller multiple of 35 drachmae, or 1/4th of the Greek mina; 12 Italian weights (44) bearing value marks (which cannot therefore be differently attributed) show a libra of 2400 or 1/4th of 9600, which was divided in unciae and sextulae, and the full-sized mina is known as the 24 uncia mina, or talent of 120 librae of Vitruvius and Isidore (18) = 9900.
The 80-grain system, as we have seen, was probably formed by binarily dividing the 10 shekels, or "stone"; and it had a talent (Abydus lion) of 5000 drachmae; this is practically identical with the talent of 6000 Attic drachmae.
With but four drachmae in his possession he came to Athens, where he listened first to the lectures of Crates the Cynic, and then to those of Zeno, the Stoic, supporting himself meanwhile by working all night as water-carrier to a gardener (hence his nickname (1 3 p€/wrXrls).