The smallest copper or bronze coin current among the Jews. They were first struck by the Maccabean princes with Hebrew legends, and afterward by the Herods and the Roman procurators with Greek legends. The "widow's mite" mentioned in Mark 12:42 and Luke 21:2 was probably of the first kind, since those with Greek legends were regarded as unlawful in the temple service. According to Mark, the lepton was only half a kodrantes (Latin quadrans), which would indicate a value of about one-fourth of a cent or half an English farthing.
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