Brief information about the Lira
Lira Lira (plural lire or lira) 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 the Ottoman Empire and the British Empire, the words lira and pound are used interchangeably.