The solidus, nomisma, or bezant was a pure gold coin issued in the Late Roman Empire. Under Constantine, who introduced it on a wide scale, it had a weight of about 4.5 grams. It was replaced in Western Europe by Pepin the Short's currency reform, which introduced the silver-based pound/shilling/penny system, under which the shilling functioned as a unit of account equivalent to 12 pence developing into the French sou. In Eastern Europe, the nomisma was debased by the Byzantine emperors until it was abolished by Alexius I in 1092, who replaced it with the hyperpyron, which came to be known as a "bezant"; the Byzantine solidus inspired the slightly less pure Arab dinar. In late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, the solidus functioned as a unit of weight equal to 1/72 of a pound; the solidus was introduced by Diocletian in AD 301 as a replacement of the aureus, composed of solid gold and minted 60 to the Roman pound. His minting was on a small scale and the coin only entered widespread circulation under Constantine I after AD 312, when it permanently replaced the aureus.
Constantine's solidus was struck at a rate of 72 to a Roman pound of pure gold. By this time, the solidus was worth 275,000 debased denarii. With the exception of the early issues of Constantine the Great and the odd usurpers the solidus today is a much more affordable gold Roman coin to collect compared to the older aureus; those of Valens Honorius and Byzantine issues. The solidus was maintained unaltered in weight and purity until the 10th century. During the 6th and 7th centuries "lightweight" solidi of 20, 22 or 23 siliquae were struck along with the standard weight issues for trade purposes or to pay tribute. Many of these lightweight coins have been found in Europe and Georgia; the lightweight solidi were distinguished by different markings on the coin in the exergue for the 20 and 22 siliquae coins and by stars in the field for the 23 siliquae coins. In theory the solidus was struck from pure gold, but because of the limits of refining techniques, in practice the coins were about 23k fine.
In the Greek-speaking world during the Roman period, in the Byzantine economy, the solidus was known as the νόμισμα nomisma. In the 10th century Emperor Nicephorus II Phocas introduced a new lightweight gold coin called the tetarteron nomisma that circulated alongside the solidus, from that time the solidus became known as the ἱστάμενον νόμισμα histamenon nomisma in the Greek speaking world, it was difficult to distinguish the two coins, as they had the same design and purity, there were no marks of value to distinguish the denominations. The only difference was the weight; the tetarteron nomisma was a lighter coin, about 4.05 grams, but the histamenon nomisma maintained the traditional weight of 4.5 grams. To eliminate confusion between the two, from the reign of Basil II the solidus was struck as a thinner coin with a larger diameter, but with the same weight and purity as before. From the middle of the 11th century the larger diameter histamenon nomisma was struck on a concave flan, though the smaller tetarteron nomisma continued to be struck on a smaller flat flan.
Former money changer Michael IV the Paphlagonian assumed the throne of Byzantium in 1034 and began the slow process of debasing both the tetarteron nomisma and the histamenon nomisma. The debasement was gradual at first, but accelerated rapidly: about 21 carats during the reign of Constantine IX, 18 carats under Constantine X, 16 carats under Romanus IV, 14 carats under Michael VII, 8 carats under Nicephorus III and 0 to 8 carats during the first eleven years of the reign of Alexius I. Alexius eliminated the solidus altogether. In its place he introduced; the weight and purity of the hyperpyron nomisma remained stable until the fall of Constantinople to the Crusaders in 1204. After that time the exiled Empire of Nicea continued to strike a debased hyperpyron nomisma. Michael VIII recaptured Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantine Empire continued to strike the debased hyperpyron nomisma until the joint reign of John V and John VI. After that time the hyperpyron nomisma continued as a unit of account, but it was no longer struck in gold.
From the 4th to the 11th centuries, solidi were minted at the Constantinopolitan Mint, but in Thessalonica, Rome, Ravenna, Alexandria, Carthage and other cities. During the 8th and 9th centuries the Syracuse mint produced a large number of solidi that failed to meet the specifications of the coins produced by the imperial mint in Constantinople; the Syracuse solidi were lighter and only 19k fine. Although imperial law forbade merchants from exporting solidi outside imperial territory, many solidi have been found in Russia, Central Europe and Syria. In the 7th century they became a desirable circulating currency in Arabian countries. Since the solidi circulating outside the empire were not used to pay taxes to the emperor, they did not get reminted, the soft pure-gold coins became worn. Through the end of the 7th century, Arabi
The Bible is a collection of sacred texts or scriptures. Varying parts of the Bible are considered to be a product of divine inspiration and a record of the relationship between God and humans by Christians, Jews and Rastafarians. What is regarded as canonical text differs depending on traditions and groups; the Hebrew Bible overlaps with the Christian Old Testament. The Christian New Testament is a collection of writings by early Christians, believed to be Jewish disciples of Christ, written in first-century Koine Greek. Among Christian denominations there is some disagreement about what should be included in the canon about the Apocrypha, a list of works that are regarded with varying levels of respect. Attitudes towards the Bible differ among Christian groups. Roman Catholics, high church Anglicans and Eastern Orthodox Christians stress the harmony and importance of the Bible and sacred tradition, while Protestant churches, including Evangelical Anglicans, focus on the idea of sola scriptura, or scripture alone.
This concept arose during the Protestant Reformation, many denominations today support the use of the Bible as the only infallible source of Christian teaching. The Bible has been a massive influence on literature and history in the Western World, where the Gutenberg Bible was the first book printed using movable type. According to the March 2007 edition of Time, the Bible "has done more to shape literature, history and culture than any book written, its influence on world history is unparalleled, shows no signs of abating." With estimated total sales of over 5 billion copies, it is considered to be the most influential and best-selling book of all time. As of the 2000s, it sells 100 million copies annually; the English word Bible is from the Latin biblia, from the same word in Medieval Latin and Late Latin and from Koinē Greek: τὰ βιβλία, translit. Ta biblia "the books". Medieval Latin biblia is short for biblia sacra "holy book", while biblia in Greek and Late Latin is neuter plural, it came to be regarded as a feminine singular noun in medieval Latin, so the word was loaned as a singular into the vernaculars of Western Europe.
Latin biblia sacra "holy books" translates Greek τὰ βιβλία τὰ ἅγια tà biblía tà ágia, "the holy books". The word βιβλίον itself had the literal meaning of "paper" or "scroll" and came to be used as the ordinary word for "book", it is the diminutive of βύβλος byblos, "Egyptian papyrus" so called from the name of the Phoenician sea port Byblos from whence Egyptian papyrus was exported to Greece. The Greek ta biblia was "an expression. Christian use of the term can be traced to c. 223 CE. The biblical scholar F. F. Bruce notes that Chrysostom appears to be the first writer to use the Greek phrase ta biblia to describe both the Old and New Testaments together. By the 2nd century BCE, Jewish groups began calling the books of the Bible the "scriptures" and they referred to them as "holy", or in Hebrew כִּתְבֵי הַקֹּדֶשׁ, Christians now call the Old and New Testaments of the Christian Bible "The Holy Bible" or "the Holy Scriptures"; the Bible was divided into chapters in the 13th century by Stephen Langton and it was divided into verses in the 16th century by French printer Robert Estienne and is now cited by book and verse.
The division of the Hebrew Bible into verses is based on the sof passuk cantillation mark used by the 10th-century Masoretes to record the verse divisions used in earlier oral traditions. The oldest extant copy of a complete Bible is an early 4th-century parchment book preserved in the Vatican Library, it is known as the Codex Vaticanus; the oldest copy of the Tanakh in Hebrew and Aramaic dates from the 10th century CE. The oldest copy of a complete Latin Bible is the Codex Amiatinus. Professor John K. Riches, Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow, says that "the biblical texts themselves are the result of a creative dialogue between ancient traditions and different communities through the ages", "the biblical texts were produced over a period in which the living conditions of the writers – political, cultural and ecological – varied enormously". Timothy H. Lim, a professor of Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism at the University of Edinburgh, says that the Old Testament is "a collection of authoritative texts of divine origin that went through a human process of writing and editing."
He states that it is not a magical book, nor was it written by God and passed to mankind. Parallel to the solidification of the Hebrew canon, only the Torah first and the Tanakh began to be translated into Greek and expanded, now referred to as the Septuagint or the Greek Old Testament. In Christian Bibles, the New Testament Gospels were derived from oral traditions in the second half of the first century CE. Riches says that: Scholars have attempted to reconstruct something of the history of the oral traditions behind the Gospels, but the results have not been too encouraging; the period of transmission is short: less than 40 years passed between the death of Jesus and the writing of Mark's Gospel. This means that there was little time for oral trad
Apulia is a region in Southern Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea to the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, the Strait of Otranto and Gulf of Taranto to the south. The region comprises 19,345 square kilometers, its population is about four million, it is bordered by the other Italian regions of Molise to the north, Campania to the west, Basilicata to the southwest. Across the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, it faces Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Montenegro, its capital city is Bari. Apulia's coastline is longer than that of any other mainland Italian region. In the north, the Gargano promontory extends out into the Adriatic like a'sperone', while in the south, the Salento peninsula forms the'tacco' of Italy's boot; the highest peak in the region is Mount Cornacchia within the Daunian Mountains, in the north along the Apennines. It is home to the Alta Murgia National Park and Gargano National Park. Outside of national parks in the North and West, most of Apulia and Salento is geographically flat with only moderate hills.
The climate is mediterranean with hot and sunny summers and mild, rainy winters. Snowfall on the coast is rare but has occurred as as January 2019. Apulia is among the hottest and driest regions of Italy in summer with temperatures sometimes reaching up to and above 40 °C in Lecce and Foggia; the coastal areas on the Adriatic and in the southern Salento region are exposed to winds of varying strengths and directions affecting local temperatures and conditions, sometimes within the same day. The Northerly Bora wind from the Adriatic can lower temperatures and moderate summer heat while the Southerly Sirocco wind from North Africa can raise temperatures and drop red dust from the Sahara. On some days in spring and autumn, it can be warm enough to swim in Gallipoli and Porto Cesareo on the Ionian coast while at the same time, cool winds warrant jackets and sweaters in Monopoli and Otranto on the Adriatic coast. Apulia is one of the richest archaeological regions in Italy, it was first colonized by Mycenaean Greeks.
A number of castles were built in the area by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, including Castel del Monte, sometimes called the "Crown of Apulia". After 1282, when the island of Sicily was lost, Apulia was part of the Kingdom of Naples, remained so until the unification of Italy in the 1860s; this kingdom was independent under the House of Anjou from 1282 to 1442 was part of Aragon until 1458, after which it was again independent under a cadet branch of the House of Trastámara until 1501. As a result of the French–Spanish war of 1501–1504, Naples again came under the rule of Aragon and the Spanish Empire from 1504 to 1714; when Barbary pirates of North Africa sacked Vieste in 1554, they took an estimated 7,000 slaves. The coast of Apulia was occupied at times at other times by the Venetians. In 1861 the region became part of the Kingdom of Italy, with the new capital city at Turin. In the words of one historian, Turin was "so far away that Otranto is today closer to seventeen foreign capitals than it is to Turin".
The region's contribution to Italy's gross value added was around 4.6% in 2000, while its population was 7% of the total. The per capita GDP is low compared to the national average and represents about 68.1% of the EU average. The share of gross value added by the agricultural and services sectors was above the national average in 2000; the region has industries specialising in particular areas, including food processing and vehicles in Foggia. Between 2007 and 2013 the economy of Apulia expanded more than that of the rest of southern Italy; such growth, over several decades, is a severe challenge to the hydrogeological system. Apulia's thriving economy is articulated into numerous sectors boasting several leading companies: Aerospace; the unemployment rate was higher than the national average. There is an estimated 50 to 60 million olive trees in Puglia and the region accounts for 40% of Italy's olive oil production. There are four specific Protected Designation of Origin covering the whole region.
Olive varieties include: Baresane, Brandofino, Carolea, Cellina di Nardò, Cerignola, Cima di Bitonto, Cima di Mola, Coratina grown in Corning, CA. A 2018 Gold Medal New York International Olive Oil Competition winner, Garganica, La Minuta, Moresca, Nocellara Etnea, Nocellara Messinese, Ogliarola Barese, Ogliara Messinese, Peranzana, produced as "Certified Ultra-Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil", Santagatese, Tonda Iblea, Verdello. There has been an issue of marketed "extra pure" olive oil being imported from Spain, the Balkans and Tunisia; this includes the use of rectified lampante, being allowed due to a controversial 1995 law. The olive oil industry in Puglia is under threat from the pathogen Xy
Lucera is an Italian city of 34,243 inhabitants in the province of Foggia in the region of Apulia, the seat of the Diocese of Lucera-Troia. Located upon a flat knoll in the Tavoliere Plains, near the foot of Daunian Mountains, Lucera was the capital of Province of Capitanata and the County of Molise from 1579 until 1806; the city is characterized by a Mediterranean climate, with long, hot summers, with extreme temperature changes during the day, mild winters, although due to its proximity to the Daunian mountains the temperature can drop to values below 0 °C. The winds are quite frequent and, although sometimes quite strong, are moderate; the average annual temperature is around 15 °C, rainfall amounts to an average value of 497 millimetres. Snowfalls are rare. Lucera is located in the territory of the ancient tribe of the Daunii. Archeological excavations show the presence of a bronze age village inside the city boundaries. Lucera was named after either Lucius, a mythical Daunian king, or a temple dedicated to the goddess Lux Cereris.
A third possibility is that the city was founded and named by the Etruscans, in which case the name means Holy Wood. In 321 BC, the Roman army was deceived into thinking. Hurrying to relieve their allies the army walked into an ambush and were defeated at the famous Battle of the Caudine Forks; the Samnites were thrown out after a revolt. The city sought Roman protection and in 320 BC was granted the status of Colonia Togata, which meant it was ruled by the Roman Senate. In order to strengthen the ties between the two cities, 2,500 Romans moved to Lucera. From on, Lucera was known as a steadfast supporter of Rome. During the civil wars of the late Republic, Pompey set up his headquarters in Lucera, but abandoned the city when Julius Caesar approached. Lucera switched its allegiance and Caesar's clemency spared it from harm. In the next civil war between Octavian and Mark Anthony the city did not escape as lightly. After the war, Octavian settled many veteran soldiers on the lands of the ruined city.
This helped Lucera recover and marked an era of renewed prosperity. Many of the surviving Roman landmarks hail from this Augustan period, among them the Luceran amphitheatre. With the fall of the Western Roman Empire the city of Lucera entered into a state of decline. In 663 AD, it was captured from the Lombards and destroyed by the Eastern Roman Emperor Constans II. In 1224, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, responding to religious uprisings in Sicily, expelled all Muslims from the island, transferring many to Lucera over the next two decades. In this controlled environment, they could not challenge royal authority and they benefited the crown in taxes and military service, their numbers reached between 15,000 and 20,000, leading Lucera to be called Lucaera Saracenorum because it represented the last stronghold of Islamic presence in Italy. During peacetime, Muslims in Lucera were predominantly farmers, they grew durum wheat, legumes and other fruits. Muslims kept bees for honey; the colony thrived for 75 years until it was sacked in 1300 by Christian forces under the command of Charles II of Naples.
The majority of the city's Muslim inhabitants were slaughtered or – as happened to 10,000 of them – sold into slavery, or exiled, with many finding asylum in Albania across the Adriatic Sea. Their abandoned mosques were demolished, churches were built in their place, including the cathedral of S. Maria della Vittoria. After the Muslims were removed from Lucera, Charles tried to settle Christians in the city; those Muslims that converted to Christianity got part of their property back, but none was restored his former position of political or economic influence. As time progressed, grain production fell in the city, in 1339 the city was hit by a famine. Christians were allowed to farm as the Muslims. Sights in Lucera include: the Roman Amphitheater, dating to Augustus' times and one of the largest in southern Italy, it was discovered in 1932: during the excavations, a statue of Augustus was found in the site. It measures c. 131 by 99 metres, of elliptical plan, could host from 16,000 to 18,000 spectators.
The area measures 75.2 x 43.2 m. The amphitheater could be accessed from two large portals, one towards Lucera and one towards Foggia, it was destroyed in the capture of the city by the Eastern Roman Emperor Constans II in 663. The medieval Castle the Church of St. Francis the Cathedral, built in 1300 on the grounds of the last standing medieval mosque in Italy, destroyed the same year. Church of the Carmen Church of St. Dominic Church of St. Antony the Abbot, whose dome was once part of the city's mosque. Church of St. John the Baptists The commune of Lucera is home to the Denominazione di origine controllata wine of Cacc'e mmitte di Lucera; this red Italian wine is said to have gotten its name from the local dialect referring to the act of pouring a wine from cask to goblet and going back for seconds. The DOC includes 80 hectares of land around the commune with all grapes destined for DOC wine production needing to be harvested to a yield no greater than 14 tonnes/ha; the wine is made from the Uva di Troia grape, Montepulciano and Malvasia nera.
White wine grape varieties are permitted in this red wine with Trebbiano Toscano, Bombino bianco and Malvasia del Chianti collectively allowed to accoun
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
Hercules is a Roman hero and god. He was the Roman equivalent of the Greek divine hero Heracles, the son of Zeus and the mortal Alcmene. In classical mythology, Hercules is famous for his strength and for his numerous far-ranging adventures; the Romans adapted the Greek hero's iconography and myths for their literature and art under the name Hercules. In Western art and literature and in popular culture, Hercules is more used than Heracles as the name of the hero. Hercules was a multifaceted figure with contradictory characteristics, which enabled artists and writers to pick and choose how to represent him; this article provides an introduction to representations of Hercules in the tradition. Hercules is known for his many adventures, which took him to the far reaches of the Greco-Roman world. One cycle of these adventures became canonical as the "Twelve Labours". One traditional order of the labours is found in the Bibliotheca. Slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra. Capture the Golden Hind of Artemis.
Capture the Erymanthian Boar. Clean the Augean stables in a single day. Slay the Stymphalian Birds. Capture the Cretan Bull. Steal the Mares of Diomedes. Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. Obtain the cattle of the monster Geryon. Steal the apples of the Hesperides. Capture and bring back Cerberus. Hercules had a greater number of "deeds on the side" that have been popular subjects for art, including: Side adventures The Latin name Hercules was borrowed through Etruscan, where it is represented variously as Heracle and other forms. Hercules was a favorite subject for Etruscan art, appears on bronze mirrors; the Etruscan form Herceler derives from the Greek Heracles via syncope. A mild oath invoking Hercules was a common interjection in Classical Latin. Hercules had a number of myths. One of these is Hercules' defeat of Cacus, terrorizing the countryside of Rome; the hero was associated with the Aventine Hill through his son Aventinus. Mark Antony considered him a personal patron god.
Hercules received various forms of religious veneration, including as a deity concerned with children and childbirth, in part because of myths about his precocious infancy, in part because he fathered countless children. Roman brides wore a special belt tied with the "knot of Hercules", supposed to be hard to untie; the comic playwright Plautus presents the myth of Hercules' conception as a sex comedy in his play Amphitryon. During the Roman Imperial era, Hercules was worshipped locally from Hispania through Gaul. Tacitus records a special affinity of the Germanic peoples for Hercules. In chapter 3 of his Germania, Tacitus states:... they say that Hercules, once visited them. They have those songs of theirs, by the recital of this barditus as they call it, they rouse their courage, while from the note they augur the result of the approaching conflict. For, as their line shouts, they feel alarm; some have taken this as Tacitus equating the Germanic Þunraz with Hercules by way of interpretatio romana.
In the Roman era Hercules' Club amulets appear from the 2nd to 3rd century, distributed over the empire made of gold, shaped like wooden clubs. A specimen found in Köln-Nippes bears the inscription "DEO HER", confirming the association with Hercules. In the 5th to 7th centuries, during the Migration Period, the amulet is theorized to have spread from the Elbe Germanic area across Europe; these Germanic "Donar's Clubs" were made from deer antler, bone or wood, more also from bronze or precious metals. They are found in female graves worn either as a belt pendant, or as an ear pendant; the amulet type is replaced by the Viking Age Thor's hammer pendants in the course of the Christianization of Scandinavia from the 8th to 9th century. After the Roman Empire became Christianized, mythological narratives were reinterpreted as allegory, influenced by the philosophy of late antiquity. In the 4th century, Servius had described Hercules' return from the underworld as representing his ability to overcome earthly desires and vices, or the earth itself as a consumer of bodies.
In medieval mythography, Hercules was one of the heroes seen as a strong role model who demonstrated both valor and wisdom, while the monsters he battles were regarded as moral obstacles. One glossator noted that when Hercules became a constellation, he showed that strength was necessary to gain entrance to Heaven. Medieval mythography was written entirely in Latin, original Greek texts were little used as sources for Hercules' myths. In 1600, the citizens of Avignon bestowed on Henry of Navarre the title of the Hercule Gaulois, justifying the extravagant flattery with a genealogy that traced the origin of the House of Navarre to a nephew of Hercules' son Hispalus; the Renaissance and the invention of the printing press brought a renewed interest in and publication of Greek literature. Renaissance mythography drew more extensively on the Greek tradition of Heracles under the Romanized name Hercules, or the alternate name Alcides. In a chapter of his book Mythologiae, the influential mythographer Natale Conti collected and summarized an extensive range of myths concerning the birth and death of the hero under his Roman name Hercules.
Conti begins his lengthy chapter on Hercules with an overview description that continues the moralizing i
The sestertius, or sesterce, was an ancient Roman coin. During the Roman Republic it was a silver coin issued only on rare occasions. During the Roman Empire it was a large brass coin; the name sestertius means "two and one half", referring to its nominal value of two and a half asses, a value, useful for commerce because it was one quarter of a denarius, a coin worth ten asses. The name is derived from semis, "half" and "tertius", "third", in which "third" refers to the third as: the sestertius was worth two full asses and half of a third. English-language sources use the original Latin form sestertius, plural sestertii. A modern shorthand for values in sestertii is IIS, in which the Roman numeral II is followed by S for semis, the whole struck through; the sestertius was introduced c. 211 BC as a small silver coin valued at one-quarter of a denarius. A silver denarius was supposed to weigh about 4.5 grams, valued at ten grams, with the silver sestertius valued at two and one-half grams. In practice, the coins were underweight.
When the denarius was retariffed to sixteen asses, the sestertius was accordingly revalued to four asses, still equal to one quarter of a denarius. It was produced sporadically, far less than the denarius, through 44 BC. In or about 23 BC, with the coinage reform of Augustus, the sestertius was reintroduced as a large brass denomination. While the as, now made of copper, was worth 1/4 of a sestertius. Augustus tariffed the value of the sestertius as 1/100 gold aureus; the sestertius was produced as the largest brass denomination until the late 3rd century AD. Most were struck in the mint of Rome but from AD 64 during the reign of Nero and Vespasian, the mint of Lyon, supplemented production. Lyon sestertii can be recognised by legend stop, beneath the bust; the brass sestertius weighs in the region of 25 to 28 grammes, is around 32–34 mm in diameter and about 4 mm thick. The distinction between bronze and brass was important to the Romans, their name for brass was orichalcum spelled aurichalcum, meaning'gold-copper', because of its shiny, gold-like appearance when the coins were newly struck.
Orichalcum was considered, by weight. This is why the half-sestertius, the dupondius, was around the same size and weight as the bronze was, but was worth two asses. Sestertii continued to be struck until the late 3rd century, although there was a marked deterioration in the quality of the metal used and the striking though portraiture remained strong. Emperors relied on melting down older sestertii, a process which led to the zinc component being lost as it burned off in the high temperatures needed to melt copper; the shortfall was made up with bronze and lead. Sestertii tend to be darker in appearance as a result and are made from more crudely prepared blanks; the gradual impact of inflation caused by debasement of the silver currency meant that the purchasing power of the sestertius and smaller denominations like the dupondius and as was reduced. In the 1st century AD, everyday small change was dominated by the dupondius and as, but in the 2nd century, as inflation bit, the sestertius became the dominant small change.
In the 3rd century silver coinage contained less and less silver, more and more copper or bronze. By the 260s and 270s the main unit was the double-denarius, the Antoninianus, but by these small coins were all bronze. Although these coins were theoretically worth eight sestertii, the average sestertius was worth far more in plain terms of the metal it contained; some of the last sestertii were struck by Aurelian. During the end of its issue, when sestertii were reduced in size and quality, the double sestertius was issued first by Trajan Decius and in large quantity by the ruler of a breakaway regime in the West, named Postumus, who used worn old sestertii to overstrike his image and legends on; the double sestertius was distinguished from the sestertius by the radiate crown worn by the emperor, a device used to distinguish the dupondius from the as and the Antoninianus from the denarius. The inevitable happened. Many sestertii were withdrawn by the state and by forgers, to melt down to make the debased Antoninianus, which made inflation worse.
In the coinage reforms of the 4th century, the sestertius passed into history. The sestertius was used as a standard unit of account and was represented on inscriptions with the monogram HS. Large values were recorded in terms of sestertium milia, thousands of sestertii, with the milia omitted and implied; the wealthy general and politician of the late Roman Republic, who fought in the war to defeat Spartacus, was said by Pliny the Elder to have had "estates worth 200 million sesterces". A loaf of bread cost half a sestertius, a sextarius of wine anywhere from less than half to more than one sestertius. One modius of wheat in 79 AD Pompeii cost se