The talent as a unit of weight was introduced in Mesopotamia at the end of the 4th millennium BC, and was normalized at the end of the 3rd millennium during the Akkadian-Sumer phase. It was divided into 60 minas, each of which was subdivided into 60 shekels. The use of 60 illustrates the attachment of the early Mesopotamians to their useful sexagesimal arithmetic. These weights were used subsequently by the Babylonians, Sumerians, and Phoenicians, and later by the Hebrews. The Babylonian weights are approximately: shekel (8.4 gm), mina (504 gm), and talent (30.2 kg = 66.6 lb). The Phoenicians took their trade to the Greeks with their weight measures during the Archaic period, and the latter adopted these weights and their ratio of 60 minas to one talent; a Greek mina in Euboea around 800 B.C. was hence 504 gm; other minas in the Mediterranean basin, and even Greek minas in other parts of Greece, varied locally in some small measure from the Babylonian values, and from one to another.
The Homeric talent "as money" was probably the gold equivalent of the value of an ox or a cow. Based on a statement from a later Greek source that "the talent of Homer was equal in amount to the later Daric [... i.e.] two Attic drachmas" and analysis of finds from a Mycenaean grave-shaft, a weight of about 8.4 gm can be established for this money talent. The talent of gold was known to Homer, who described how Achilles gave a half-talent of gold to Antilochus as a prize.
The weight talent (Latin: talentum, from Ancient Greek: τάλαντον, talanton "scale, balance, sum") was one of several ancient weight units for commercial transactions. An Attic weight talent was approximately 26.0 kg (approximately the mass of water required to fill an average amphora), and a Babylonian talent was 30.2 kg.Ancient Israel adopted the Babylonian weight talent, but later revised it. The heavy common talent, used in New Testament times, was 58.9 kilograms (130 lb).
A Roman weight talent in ancient times is equivalent to 100 libra; a libra is exactly three quarters of an Attic weight mina, so a Roman talent is 1.33 Attic talents and hence approximately 32.3 kilograms (71 lb). An Egyptian talent was 80 librae. and hence approximately 27 kilograms (60 lb).