The commerce of the Roman Empire was a major sector of the Roman economy during the early Republic and throughout most of the imperial period. Fashions and trends in historiography and in popular culture have tended to neglect the economic basis of the empire in favor of the lingua franca of Latin and the exploits of the Roman legions; the language and the legions were supported by trade while being at the same time part of its backbone. Romans were businessmen and the longevity of their empire was due to their commercial trade. Whereas in theory members of the Roman Senate and their sons were restricted when engaging in trade, the members of the Equestrian order were involved in businesses, despite their upper class values that laid the emphasis on military pursuits and leisure activities. Plebeians and freedmen held shop or manned stalls at markets, while vast quantities of slaves did most of the hard work; the slaves were themselves the subject of commercial transactions. Due to their high proportion in society, the reality of runaways.
The intricate and extensive accounting of Roman trade was conducted with counting boards and the Roman abacus. The abacus, using Roman numerals, was ideally suited to the counting of Roman currency and tallying of Roman measures; the negotiatores were in part bankers. They bought and sold staples in bulk or did commerce in wholesale quantities of goods; the argentarii acted as agents in public or private auctions, kept deposits of money for individuals, cashed cheques and served as moneychangers. They kept tabulae, which were considered as legal proof by the courts. In some instances the argentarii are considered as a subset of the negotiatores and in others as a group apart; the argentarii sometimes did the same kind of work as the mensarii, who were public bankers appointed by the state. The mercatores were plebeians or freedmen, they were present in all the open-air markets or covered shops, manning stalls or hawking goods by the side of the road. They were present near Roman military camps during campaigns, where they sold food and clothing to the soldiers and paid cash for any booty coming from military activities.
There is some information on the economy of Roman Palestine from Jewish sources of around the 3rd century AD. Itinerant pedlars took perfumes to the rural population; this suggests that the economic benefits of the Empire did reach, at least, the upper levels of the peasantry. The Forum Cuppedinis in ancient Rome was a market. At least four other large markets specialized in specific goods such as cattle, wine and herbs and vegetables, but the Roman Forum drew the bulk of the traffic. All new cities, like Timgad, were laid out according to an orthogonal grid plan which facilitated transportation and commerce; the cities were connected by good roads. Navigable rivers were extensively used and some canals were dug but neither leave such clear archaeology as roads and they tend to be underestimated. Maintaining peace was a major factor in the expansion of trade. All settlements the smaller ones, could be located in economically rational positions. Before and after the Roman Empire, hilltop defensive positions were preferred for small settlements and piracy made coastal settlement hazardous for all but the largest cities.
By the 1st century, the provinces of the Roman Empire were trading huge volumes of commodities to one another by sea routes. There was an increasing tendency for specialization in manufacturing and mining; some provinces specialized in producing certain types of goods, such as grain in Egypt and North Africa and wine and olive oil in Italy and Greece. Knowledge of the Roman economy is patchy; the vast bulk of traded goods, being agricultural leave no direct archaeology. Exceptionally, as at Berenice, there is evidence of long distance trade in pepper, hazelnuts, stone pine cones, coconuts and peaches besides the more expected figs and dates; the wine, olive oil and garum trades were exceptional in leaving amphorae behind. There is a single reference of the Syrian export of kipi stiff quince marmalade to Rome. Before the republic, the Roman Kingdom was engaged in regular commerce using the river Tiber. Before the Punic Wars changed the nature of commerce in the Mediterranean, the Roman republic had important commercial exchanges with Carthage.
It entered into several commercial and political agreements with its rival city in addition to engaging in simple retail trading. The Roman Empire traded with the Chinese over the Silk Road. Maritime archeology and ancient manuscripts from classical antiquity show evidence of vast Roman commercial fleets; the most substantial remains from this commerce are the infrastructure remains of harbors, moles and lighthouses at ports such as Civitavecchia, Portus, Leptis Magna and Caesarea Maritima. At Rome itself, Monte Testaccio is a tribute to the scale of this commerce; as with most Roman technology, the Roman seagoing commercial ships had no significant advances over Greek ships of the previous centuries, though the lead sheeting of hulls for protection seems to have been more common. The Romans used. Continuous Mediterranean "police" protection over several centuries was one of the main factors of success of Roman commerce, given that Roman roads were designed more for feet or hooves than for wheels, could n
John Murray (publisher)
John Murray is a British publisher, known for the authors it has published in its history, including Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Lord Byron, Charles Lyell, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Herman Melville, Edward Whymper, Charles Darwin. Since 2004, it has been owned by conglomerate Lagardère under the Hachette UK brand. Business publisher Nicholas Brealey became an imprint of John Murray in 2015; the business was founded in London in 1768 by John Murray I, an Edinburgh-born Royal Marines officer, who built up a list of authors including Isaac D'Israeli and published the English Review. John Murray the elder was one of the founding sponsors of the London evening newspaper The Star in 1788, he was succeeded by his son, John Murray II, who made the publishing house one of the most important and influential in Britain. He was a friend of many leading writers of the day and launched the Quarterly Review in 1809, he was the publisher of Jane Austen, Sir Walter Scott, Washington Irving, George Crabbe and many others.
His home and office at 50 Albemarle Street in Mayfair was the centre of a literary circle, fostered by Murray's tradition of "Four o'clock friends", afternoon tea with his writers. Murray's most notable author was Lord Byron, who became a close correspondent of his. Murray published many of his major works. On 10 March 1812 Murray published Byron's second book, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, which sold out in five days, leading to Byron's observation "I awoke one morning and found myself famous". On 17 May 1824 Murray participated in one of the most notorious acts in the annals of literature. Byron had given him the manuscript of his personal memoirs to publish on. Together with five of Byron's friends and executors, he decided to destroy Byron's manuscripts because he thought the scandalous details would damage Byron's reputation. With only Thomas Moore objecting, the two volumes of memoirs were dismembered and burnt in the fireplace at Murray's office, it remains unknown. John Murray III continued the business and published Charles Eastlake's first English translation of Goethe's Theory of Colours, David Livingstone's Missionary Travels, Charles Darwin's Origin of Species.
Murray III contracted with Herman Melville to publish Melville's first two books and Omoo in England. John Murray III started the Murray Handbooks in 1836, a series of travel guides from which modern-day guides are directly descended; the rights to these guides were sold around 1900 and subsequently acquired in 1915 by the Blue Guides. His successor Sir John Murray IV was publisher to Queen Victoria. Among other works, he published Murray's Magazine from 1887 until 1891. From 1904 he published the Wisdom of the East book series. Competitor Smith, Elder & Co. was acquired in 1917. His son Sir John Murray V, grandson John Murray VI and great-grandson John Murray VII continued the business until it was taken over. In 2002, John Murray was acquired by Hodder Headline, itself acquired in 2004 by the French conglomerate Lagardère Group. Since it has been an imprint under Lagardère brand Hachette UK. In 2015, business publisher Nicholas Brealey became an imprint of John Murray; the archive of John Murray Publishers, from 1768 through to 1920, was offered for sale to the nation by John Murray VII for £31 million and the National Library of Scotland has acquired it, including the manuscript of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species.
On 26 January 2005, it was announced that the National Library was to be given £17.7m by the Heritage Lottery Fund towards the £31.2m price offered by John Murray on condition the Library digitise the materials and make them available. The Scottish Government agreed to contribute £8.3m, with the Library setting a £6.5m fundraising target for the remainder. 1768 – John MacMurray, a former lieutenant of the Marines, buys a bookselling business at 32 Fleet Street. He changes his name to Murray and uses his naval contacts to build up a thriving business 1806 – The first bestseller, A New System of Domestic Cookery, by A Lady, was published, with a second edition two years later. 1809 – The influential periodical the Quarterly Review founded 1811 – Childe Harold's Pilgrimage by Lord Byron published 1812 – John Murray moved to 50 Albemarle Street, its home for the next 191 years 1815 – Jane Austen decides she would like to move to Murray with Emma, published in 1815 1816 – Coleridge moved to John Murray for Christabel and Other Poems, which included'Kubla Khan' 1836 – The first guide books, Murray's Handbooks, published by John Murray III 1849 – A groundbreaking observational study on the Sikh people is published.
This comprehensive account arguably foreshadowed the British Empire's first large-scale attempt at using the scientific method to civilise populations. 1857 – David Livingstone's Missionary Travels, published – one of the many great 19th-century publications of exploration from John Murray 1859 – On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin published 1859 – The first self-help book, Samuel Smiles's Self Help, published 1863 – Henry Walter Bates's The Naturalist on the River Amazons published 1865 – Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambesi and its Tributaries. 1858-1864 by David and Charles Livingstone published 1912 – June, Published Behind The Night Light by Nancy Price, reprinted in Jun
Ancient Roman units of measurement
The ancient Roman units of measurement were built on the Hellenic system, which in turn was built upon Egyptian and Mesopotamian influences. The Roman units were well documented; the basic unit of Roman linear measurement was Roman foot. Investigation of its relation to the English foot goes back at least to 1647, when John Greaves published his Discourse on the Romane foot. Greaves visited Rome in 1639, measured, among other things, the foot measure on the tomb of Titus Statilius Aper, that on the statue of Cossutius in the gardens of Angelo Colocci, the congius of Vespasian measured by Villalpandus, a number of brass measuring-rods found in the ruins of Rome, the paving-stones of the Pantheon and many other ancient Roman buildings, the distance between the milestones on the Appian Way, he concluded that the Cossutian foot was the "true" Roman foot, reported these values compared to the iron standard of the English foot in the Guildhall in London: Smith gives a value of 0.9708 English feet, or about 295.9 mm.
An accepted modern value is 296 mm. The Roman foot was sub-divided either like the Greek pous into fingers. Frontinus writes in the 1st century AD that the digitus was used in Campania and most parts of Italy; the principal Roman units of length were: Other units include the schoenus used for the distances in Isidore of Charax's Parthian Stations and in the name of the Nubian land of Triacontaschoenus between the First and Second Cataracts on the Nile. The ordinary units of measurement of area were: Other units of area described by Columella in his De Re Rustica include the porca of 180 × 30 Roman feet used in Hispania Baetica and the Gallic candetum or cadetum of 100 feet in the city or 150 in the country. Columella gives uncial divisions of the jugerum, tabulated by the anonymous translator of the 1745 Millar edition as follows: Both liquid and dry volume measurements were based on the sextarius; the sextarius was defined as 1⁄48 of a cubic foot, known as an amphora quadrantal. Using the value 296 mm for the Roman foot, an amphora quadrantal can be computed at 25.9 L.
A sextarius, by the same method, should in theory measure 540 ml an imperial pint. Archaeologically, the evidence is not as precise. No two surviving vessels measure an identical volume, scholarly opinion on the actual volume ranges, for example, from as low as 500 ml up to 580 ml; the core volume units are: amphora quadrantal – one cubic pes congius – a half-pes cube sextarius – 1⁄6, of a congius The units of weight or mass were based on factors of 12. Several of the unit names were the names of coins during the Roman Republic and had the same fractional value of a larger base unit: libra for weight and as for coin. Modern estimates of the libra range from 322 to 329 g with 5076 grains or 328.9 g an accepted figure. The as was reduced from 12 ounces to 2 after the First Punic War, to 1 during the Second Punic War, to half an ounce by the 191 BC Lex Papiria; the divisions of the libra were: The subdivisions of the uncia were: The complicated Roman calendar was replaced by the Julian calendar in 45 BC.
In the Julian calendar, an ordinary year is 365 days long, a leap year is 366 days long. Between 45 BC and AD 1, leap years occurred at irregular intervals. Starting in AD 4, leap years occurred every four years. Year numbers were used; when a year number was required, the Greek Olympiads were used, or the count of years since the founding of Rome, "ab urbe condita" in 753 BC. In the middle ages, the year numbering was changed to the Anno Domini count; the calendar used in most of the modern world, the Gregorian calendar, differs from the Julian calendar in that it skips three leap years every four centuries to more approximate the length of the tropical year. The Romans grouped days into an eight-day cycle called a nundina, with every eighth day being a market day. Independent of the nundinae, astrologers kept a seven-day cycle called a hebdomada where each day corresponded to one of the seven classical planets, with the first day of the week being Saturn-day, followed by Sun-day, Moon-day, Mars-day, Mercury-day, Jupiter-day, lastly Venus-day.
Each astrological day was reckoned to begin at sunrise. The Jews used a seven-day week, which began Saturday evening; the seventh day of the week they called Sabbath. Each Jewish day was reckoned to begin at sunset. Christians followed the Jewish seven-day week, except that they called the first day of the week the Dominica, or the Lord's day. In 321 Constantine the Great gave his subjects every Sunday off in honor of his family's tutelary deity, the Unconquered Sun, thus cementing the seven-day week into Roman civil society; the Romans divided the daytime into hours starting at sunrise and ending at sunset. The night was divided into four watches; the duration of these hours varied with seasons.
Mass is both a property of a physical body and a measure of its resistance to acceleration when a net force is applied. The object's mass determines the strength of its gravitational attraction to other bodies; the basic SI unit of mass is the kilogram. In physics, mass is not the same as weight though mass is determined by measuring the object's weight using a spring scale, rather than balance scale comparing it directly with known masses. An object on the Moon would weigh less than it does on Earth because of the lower gravity, but it would still have the same mass; this is because weight is a force, while mass is the property that determines the strength of this force. There are several distinct phenomena. Although some theorists have speculated that some of these phenomena could be independent of each other, current experiments have found no difference in results regardless of how it is measured: Inertial mass measures an object's resistance to being accelerated by a force. Active gravitational mass measures the gravitational force exerted by an object.
Passive gravitational mass measures the gravitational force exerted on an object in a known gravitational field. The mass of an object determines its acceleration in the presence of an applied force; the inertia and the inertial mass describe the same properties of physical bodies at the qualitative and quantitative level by other words, the mass quantitatively describes the inertia. According to Newton's second law of motion, if a body of fixed mass m is subjected to a single force F, its acceleration a is given by F/m. A body's mass determines the degree to which it generates or is affected by a gravitational field. If a first body of mass mA is placed at a distance r from a second body of mass mB, each body is subject to an attractive force Fg = GmAmB/r2, where G = 6.67×10−11 N kg−2 m2 is the "universal gravitational constant". This is sometimes referred to as gravitational mass. Repeated experiments since the 17th century have demonstrated that inertial and gravitational mass are identical.
The standard International System of Units unit of mass is the kilogram. The kilogram is 1000 grams, first defined in 1795 as one cubic decimeter of water at the melting point of ice. However, because precise measurement of a decimeter of water at the proper temperature and pressure was difficult, in 1889 the kilogram was redefined as the mass of the international prototype kilogram of cast iron, thus became independent of the meter and the properties of water. However, the mass of the international prototype and its identical national copies have been found to be drifting over time, it is expected that the re-definition of the kilogram and several other units will occur on May 20, 2019, following a final vote by the CGPM in November 2018. The new definition will use only invariant quantities of nature: the speed of light, the caesium hyperfine frequency, the Planck constant. Other units are accepted for use in SI: the tonne is equal to 1000 kg. the electronvolt is a unit of energy, but because of the mass–energy equivalence it can be converted to a unit of mass, is used like one.
In this context, the mass has units of eV/c2. The electronvolt and its multiples, such as the MeV, are used in particle physics; the atomic mass unit is 1/12 of the mass of a carbon-12 atom 1.66×10−27 kg. The atomic mass unit is convenient for expressing the masses of molecules. Outside the SI system, other units of mass include: the slug is an Imperial unit of mass; the pound is a unit of both mass and force, used in the United States. In scientific contexts where pound and pound need to be distinguished, SI units are used instead; the Planck mass is the maximum mass of point particles. It is used in particle physics; the solar mass is defined as the mass of the Sun. It is used in astronomy to compare large masses such as stars or galaxies; the mass of a small particle may be identified by its inverse Compton wavelength. The mass of a large star or black hole may be identified with its Schwarzschild radius. In physical science, one may distinguish conceptually between at least seven different aspects of mass, or seven physical notions that involve the concept of mass.
Every experiment to date has shown these seven values to be proportional, in some cases equal, this proportionality gives rise to the abstract concept of mass. There are a number of ways mass can be measured or operationally defined: Inertial mass is a measure of an object's resistance to acceleration when a force is applied, it is determined by applying a force to an object and measuring the acceleration that results from that force. An object with small inertial mass will accelerate more than an object with large inertial mass when acted upon by the same force. One says. Active gravitational mass is a measure of the strength of an object's gravitational flux. Gravitational field can be measured by allowing a small "test object" to fall and measuring its free-fall acceleration. For example, an object in free fall near the Moon is subject to a smaller gravitational field, hence
The pous or Greek foot was a Greek unit of length. It had various subdivisions whose lengths varied over time. 100 podes made up 600 podes made up a stade and 5000 made up a milion. The Greek pous has long and short forms; the pous spread throughout much of Europe and the Middle East during the Hellenic period preceding and following the conquests of Alexander the Great and remained in use as a Byzantine unit until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. A pous is divided into fingers which are multiplied as shown; the sexagesimal or decimal multiples have Mesopotamian origins while the septenary multiples have Egyptian origins. Greek measures of short median and long podes can be thought of as based on body measures; the lengths may be compared to the Imperial/U. S. Foot of 304.8 mm. Stecchini and others propose the Greek podes are different sizes because they are divided into different numbers of different sized daktylos to facilitate different calculations; the most obvious place to observe the relative difference is in the Greek orders of architecture whose canon of proportions is based on column diameters.
H Arthur Klein. The World of Measurements. Simon and Schuster. R. A. Cordingley. Norman's Parallel of the Orders of Architecture. Alex Trianti Ltd. Francis H. Moffitt. Surveying. Harper & Row. ISBN 0-06-044554-8. Gillings. Mathematics in the time of the Pharaohs. MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-07045-6. Lucas N. H. Bunt. Jones; the Historical Roots of Elementary Mathematics. Dover. ISBN 0-486-25563-8. Somers Clarke & R. Englebach. Ancient Egyptian Construction and Architecture. Dover. ISBN 0-486-26485-8. Gardiner. Egyptian Grammar. Griffith Institute. ISBN 0-900416-35-1. Anne H. Groton. From Alpha to Omega. Focus Information group. ISBN 0-941051-38-2. J. P. Mallory. In Search of the Indo Europeans. Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0-500-27616-1. Vitruvius; the Ten Books on Architecture. Dover. Claudias Ptolemy; the Geography. Dover. ISBN 0-486-26896-9. Herodotus; the History. William Brown. Michael Grant; the Rise of the Greeks. Charles Scribners Sons. Lionel Casson; the ancient mariners: seafarers and sea fighters of the Mediterranean in ancient times.
Macmillan. OCLC 392365. James B. Pritchard; the Ancient Near East. OUP. Nelson Glueck. Rivers in the Desert. HUC. Jean Gimpel; the Medieval Machine. Holt Rheinhart & Winston. ISBN 0-03-014636-4. H Johnathan Riley Smith; the Atlas of the Crusades. Swanston. ISBN 0-7230-0361-0. Elizabeth Hallam; the Plantagenet Chronicles. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 1-55584-018-3. H. W. Koch. Medieval Warfare. Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-573600-5
The Capitolium or Capitoline Hill, between the Forum and the Campus Martius, is one of the Seven Hills of Rome. The hill was earlier known as Mons Saturnius, dedicated to the god Saturn; the word Capitolium first meant the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus built here, afterwards it was used for the whole hill, thus Mons Capitolinus. Ancient sources refer the name to caput and the tale was that, when laying the foundations for the temple, the head of a man was found, some sources saying it was the head of some Tolus or Olus; the Capitolium was regarded by the Romans as indestructible, was adopted as a symbol of eternity. By the 16th century, Capitolinus had become Capitolino in Italian, Capitolium Campidoglio; the Capitoline Hill contains few ancient ground-level ruins, as they are entirely covered up by Medieval and Renaissance palaces that surround a piazza, a significant urban plan designed by Michelangelo. Influenced by Roman architecture and Roman republican times, the word Capitolium still lives in the English word capitol.
The Capitol Hill in Washington, D. C. is assumed to be named after the Capitoline Hill, but the relation is not clear. At this hill, the Sabines, creeping to the Citadel, were let in by the Roman maiden Tarpeia. For this treachery, Tarpeia was the first to be punished by being flung from a steep cliff overlooking the Roman Forum; this cliff was named the Tarpeian Rock after the Vestal Virgin, became a frequent execution site. The Sabines, who immigrated to Rome following the Rape of the Sabine Women, settled on the Capitoline; the Vulcanal, an 8th-century BC sacred precinct, occupied much of the eastern lower slopes of the Capitoline, at the head of what would become the Roman Forum. The summit was the site of a temple for the Capitoline Triad, started by Rome's fifth king, Tarquinius Priscus, completed by the seventh and last king, Tarquinius Superbus, it was considered one of the most beautiful temples in the city. The city legend starts with the recovery of a human skull when foundation trenches were being dug for the Temple of Jupiter at Tarquin's order.
Recent excavations on the Capitoline uncovered an early cemetery under the Temple of Jupiter. There are several important temples built on Capitoline hill: the temple of Juno Moneta, the temple of Virtus, the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Capitolinus; the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Capitolinus is the most important of the temples. It was nearly as large as the Parthenon; the hill and the temple of Jupiter became the symbols of the capital of the world. The Temple of Saturn was built at the foot of Capitoline Hill in the western end of the Forum Romanum; when the Senones Gauls raided Rome in 390 BC, after the battle of River Allia, the Capitoline Hill was the one section of the city to evade capture by the barbarians, due to its being fortified by the Roman defenders. According to legend Marcus Manlius Capitolinus was alerted to the Gallic attack by the sacred geese of Juno; when Julius Caesar suffered an accident during his triumph indicating the wrath of Jupiter for his actions in the Civil Wars, he approached the hill and Jupiter's temple on his knees as a way of averting the unlucky omen.
Vespasian's brother and nephew were besieged in the temple during the Year of Four Emperors. The Tabularium, located underground beneath the piazza and hilltop, occupies a building of the same name built in the 1st century BC to hold Roman records of state; the Tabularium looks out from the rear onto the Roman Forum. The main attraction of the Tabularium, besides the structure itself, is the Temple of Veiovis. During the lengthy period of ancient Rome, the Capitoline Hill was the geographical and ceremonial center. However, by the Renaissance, the former center was an untidy conglomeration of dilapidated buildings and the site of executions of criminals; the church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli is adjacent to the square, located near where the ancient arx, or citadel, atop the hill it once stood. At its base are the remains of a Roman insula, with more than four storeys visible from the street. In the Middle Ages, the hill’s sacred function was obscured by its other role as the center of the civic government of Rome, revived as a commune in the 11th century.
The city's government was now to be under papal control, but the Capitoline was the scene of movements of urban resistance, such as the dramatic scenes of Cola di Rienzo's revived republic. In 1144, a revolt by the citizens against the authority of the Pope and nobles led to a senator taking up his official residence on the Capitoline Hill; the senator’s new palace turned its back on the ancient forum, beginning the change in orientation on the hill that Michelangelo would accentuate. A small piazza was laid out in front of the senator’s palace, intended for communal purposes. In the middle of the 14th century, the guilds’ court of justice was constructed on the southern end of the piazza; this would house the Conservatori in the 15th century. As a result, the piazza was surrounded by buildings by the 16th century; the existing design of the Piazza del Campidoglio and the surrounding palazzi was created by Renaissance artist and architect Michelangelo Buonarroti in 1536–1546. At the height of his fame, he w
Roman currency for most of Roman history consisted of gold, bronze and copper coinage. From its introduction to the Republic, during the third century BC, well into Imperial times, Roman currency saw many changes in form and composition. A persistent feature was the inflationary replacement of coins over the centuries. Notable examples of this followed the reforms of Diocletian; this trend continued into Byzantine times. Because of the economic power and longevity of the Roman state, Roman currency was used throughout western Eurasia and northern Africa from classical times into the Middle Ages, it served as a model for the currencies of the Muslim caliphates and the European states during the Middle Ages and the Modern Era. Roman currency names survive today in many countries; the manufacture of coins in the Roman culture, dating from about the 4th century BC influenced development of coin minting in Europe. The origin of the word "mint" is ascribed to the manufacture of silver coin at Rome in 269 BC at the temple of Juno Moneta.
This goddess became the personification of money, her name was applied both to money and to its place of manufacture. Roman mints were spread across the Empire, were sometimes used for propaganda purposes; the populace learned of a new Roman Emperor when coins appeared with the new Emperor's portrait. Some of the emperors who ruled only for a short time made sure; the Romans cast their larger copper coins in clay moulds carrying distinctive markings, not because they did not know about striking, but because it was not suitable for such large masses of metal. Roman adoption of metallic commodity money was a late development in monetary history. Bullion bars and ingots were used as money in Mesopotamia since the 7th millennium BC. Coinage proper was only introduced by the Roman Republican government c. 300 BC. The greatest city of the Magna Graecia region in southern Italy, several other Italian cities had a long tradition of using coinage by this time and produced them in large quantities during the 4th century BC to pay for their wars against the inland Italian groups encroaching on their territory.
For these reasons, the Romans would have known about coinage systems long before their government introduced them. The reason behind Rome's adoption of coinage was cultural; the Romans had no pressing economic need. However, Roman coinage saw limited use; the type of money introduced by Rome was unlike. It combined a number of uncommon elements. One example is the aes signatum, it measured about 160 by 90 millimetres and weighed around 1,500 to 1,600 grams, being made out of a leaded tin bronze. Although similar metal currency bars had been produced in Italy and northern Etruscan areas, these had been made of Aes grave, an unrefined metal with a high iron content. Along with the aes signatum, the Roman state issued a series of bronze and silver coins that emulated the styles of those produced in Greek cities. Produced using the manner of manufacture utilised in Greek Naples, the designs of these early coins were heavily influenced by Greek designs; the designs on the coinage of the Republican period displayed a "solid conservatism" illustrating mythical scenes or personifications of various gods and goddesses.
In 27 BC, the Roman Republic came to an end. Taking autocratic power, it soon became recognized that there was a link between the emperor's sovereignty and the production of coinage; the imagery on coins took an important step when Julius Caesar issued coins bearing his own portrait. While moneyers had earlier issued coins with portraits of ancestors, Caesar's was the first Roman coinage to feature the portrait of a living individual; the tradition continued following Caesar's assassination, although the imperators from time to time produced coins featuring the traditional deities and personifications found on earlier coins. The image of the Roman emperor took on a special importance in the centuries that followed, because during the empire, the emperor embodied the state and its policies; the names of moneyers continued to appear on the coins until the middle of Augustus' reign. Although the duty of moneyers during the Empire is not known, since the position was not abolished, it is believed that they still had some influence over the imagery of the coins.
The main focus of the imagery during the empire was on the portrait of the emperor. Coins were an important means of disseminating this image throughout the empire. Coins attempted to make the emperor appear god-like through associating the emperor with attributes seen in divinities, or emphasizing the special relationship between the emperor and a particular deity by producing a preponderance of coins depicting that deity. During his campaign against Pompey, Caesar issued a variety of types that featured images of either Venus or Aeneas, attempting to associate himself