As (Roman coin)
The as, assarius was a bronze, and copper, coin used during the Roman Republic and Roman Empire. The Romans replaced the usage of Greek coins, first by bronze ingots, the system thus named as was introduced in ca.280 BC as a large cast bronze coin during the Roman Republic. The following fractions of the as were produced, the bes, quincunx, quadrans, sextans and semuncia, as well as multiples of the as. After the as had issued as a cast coin for about seventy years, and its weight had been reduced in several stages. At about the time a silver coin, the denarius, was introduced. Earlier Roman silver coins had been struck on the Greek weight standards that facilitated their use in southern Italy and across the Adriatic, but all Roman coins were now on a Roman weight standard. The denarius, or tenner, was at first tariffed at ten asses and this is said to have been a result of financing the Punic Wars. During the Republic, the as featured the bust of Janus on the obverse, the as was originally produced on the libral and the reduced libral weight standard.
The bronze coinage of the Republic switched from being cast to being struck as the weight decreased, during certain periods, no asses were produced at all. The as continued to be produced until the 3rd century AD and it was the lowest valued coin regularly issued during the Roman Empire, with semis and quadrans being produced infrequently, and not at all by the time of Marcus Aurelius. The last as seems to have produced by Aurelian between 270 and 275 and at the beginning of the reign of Diocletian. The as, under its Greek name assarion, was re-established by the Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos and it was a low-quality flat copper coin, weighing ca. 3–4 grams and forming the lowest denomination of contemporary Byzantine coinage and it appears that the designs on the assarion changed annually, hence they display great variations. The assarion was replaced in 1367 by two other denominations, the tournesion and the follaro
The miliarense was a large silver coin, introduced to the late Roman monetary system in the early 4th century. It was struck with variable fineness, generally with a weight between 3.8 and 6.0 grams, and a diameter of c, the miliarense was struck first under Constantine the Great. There were two kinds of coins and heavy. It took 14 heavy miliarensia and 18 light miliarensia to equal one gold solidus, a variant of the original denomination was revived in the Byzantine silver coinage from the 8th to the 11th centuries
The sestertius, or sesterce, was an ancient Roman coin. During the Roman Republic it was a small, silver coin issued only on rare occasions, during the Roman Empire it was a large brass coin. The name is derived from semis and tertius, third, in which third refers to the third as, 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, in practice, the coins were usually underweight. When the denarius was retariffed to sixteen asses, the sestertius was accordingly revalued to four asses and it was produced sporadically, far less often than the denarius, through 44 BC. In or about 23 BC, with the reform of Augustus. Augustus tariffed the value of the sestertius as 1/100 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 AD64 during the reign of Nero and Vespasian, Lyon sestertii can be recognised by a small globe, or legend stop, beneath the bust.
The brass sestertius typically weighs in the region of 25 to 28 grammes, is around 32–34 mm in diameter, 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, orichalcum was considered, by weight, to be about double the value of copper. This is why the half-sestertius, the dupondius, was around the size and weight as the bronze as. Sestertii continued to be struck until the late 3rd century, although there was a deterioration in the quality of the metal used. Later emperors increasingly relied on melting down older sestertii, a process led to the zinc component being gradually lost as it burned off in the high temperatures needed to melt copper. The shortfall was made up with bronze and even 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 currency meant that the purchasing power of the sestertius and smaller denominations like the dupondius.
In the 1st century AD, everyday small change was dominated by the dupondius and as, but in the 2nd century, as inflation bit, in the 3rd century silver coinage contained less and less silver, and more and more copper or bronze. By the 260s and 270s the main unit was the double-denarius, the Antoninianus, 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, 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 aureus was a gold coin of ancient Rome originally valued at 25 pure silver denarii. The aureus was regularly issued from the 1st century BC to the beginning of the 4th century AD, Caesar struck the coin more often, and standardized the weight at 140 of a Roman pound. Augustus tariffed the value of the sestertius as 1100 of an aureus, the mass of the aureus was decreased to 145 of a pound during the reign of Nero. At about the time the purity of the silver coinage was slightly decreased. After the reign of Marcus Aurelius the production of aurei decreased, during the 3rd century, gold pieces were introduced in a variety of fractions and multiples, making it hard to determine the intended denomination of a gold coin. The solidus was first introduced by Diocletian around 301 AD, struck at 60 to the Roman pound of pure gold, Diocletians solidus was struck only in small quantities, and thus had only minimal economic effect. The solidus was reintroduced by Constantine I in 312 AD, permanently replacing the aureus as the coin of the Roman Empire.
The solidus was struck at a rate of 72 to a Roman pound of gold, each coin weighing twenty-four Greco-Roman carats. By this time, the solidus was worth 275,000 of the increasingly debased denarii, regardless of the size or weight of the aureus, the coins purity was little affected. Analysis of the Roman aureus shows the purity level usually to have been near to 24 carat gold, inflation was affected by the systematic debasement of the silver denarius, which by the mid-3rd century had practically no silver left in it. In 301, one gold aureus was worth 833⅓ denarii, by 324, in 337, after Constantine converted to the solidus, one solidus was worth 275,000 denarii and finally, by 356, one solidus was worth 4,600,000 denarii. Today, the aureus is highly sought after by collectors because of its purity and value, an aureus is usually much more expensive than a denarius issued by the same emperor. For instance, in one auction, an aureus of Trajan sold for $15,000, two of the most expensive aurei were sold in the same auction in 2008.
One aureus, issued in 42 BC by Marcus Junius Brutus, the second aureus, issued by the emperor Alexander Severus, has a picture of the Colosseum on the reverse, and had a price realized of $920,000. Guilder Polish złoty Online numismatic exhibit, This round gold is, the charm of gold in ancient coinage
When exactly they were first made is uncertain. Popular tradition ascribes them to Servius Tullius, but due to the quality of art found on even the earliest specimens. A date in the midst of the 5th century BC is generally agreed on, designs featured are that of a bull, an eagle, and other religious symbols. The earliest asses signata were not cast in Rome proper, but in central Italy, Etruria and they bore the image of a branch with side branches radiating from it, and were called Ramos Seccos. They did not equate to a set standard, varying from about 600 to 2500 grams when complete. They were usually broken into subdivisions, and there are very few specimens surviving today. The surviving ramo secco bars are usually quarter, half or three bars, or minor smaller pieces which could be classified as asses rudes. The same fragmentation into smaller change applies to asses signata issued by the city of Rome and they weighed approximately 5 as when whole. They could technically be termed a quincussis, although they are not marked with any value, Ramos seccos were not issued by governing bodies, and could have been made at any foundry facility.
Italo Vecchi, Italian Cast Coinage, A descriptive catalogue of the cast coinage of Rome and Italy, London 2013
Aes rude was a nugget of bronze used as a sort of proto-currency in ancient Italy during the gradual transition from bartering to the use of round coinage made from precious metals. The Italian economy of the time was based on a bronze standard, the earliest surviving piece of aes rude dates from the early 8th century BC and as late as the late 4th century BC, and was cast in central Italy. It is, bronze, shaped vaguely like a lumpy ingot, only on did it become usual to mark these lumps and, make them into a standard shape. A History of Ancient Greece, Oxford,1999, Blackwell Publishers, Spink,1926 Head Barclay V. Historia Nummorum, a Manual of Greek Numismatic, London,1911 Gaius Plinius Secundus, Naturalis Historia, XXXIII, XIII,43. A descriptive catalogue of the cast coinage of Rome and Italy, Hard bound in quarto format,84 pages,92 plates. ISBN 978-0-9575784-0-1 Hard bound in quarto format,72 pages,87 plates, ISBN 978-0-9575784-0-1 A new edition of Italian Cast Coinage compiled by Italo Vecchi which summarises the research into Italy’s cast bronze coinage since 1885.
It lists 327 types from the aes rude and currency bars of early 1st millennium Italy to the issues during the Second Punic War. The book includes an account of the cast coinages of Rome, Umbria, North-East and Central Italy, at the end of the book there are 87 plates illustrating almost all the types in the catalogue. The book is indexed for ease of reference
It was during this period that Romes control expanded from the citys immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world. During the first two centuries of its existence, the Roman Republic expanded through a combination of conquest and alliance, by the following century, it included North Africa, most of the Iberian Peninsula, and what is now southern France. Two centuries after that, towards the end of the 1st century BC, it included the rest of modern France and much of the eastern Mediterranean. By this time, internal tensions led to a series of wars, culminating with the assassination of Julius Caesar. The exact date of transition can be a matter of interpretation, Roman government was headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and advised by a senate composed of appointed magistrates. Over time, the laws that gave exclusive rights to Romes highest offices were repealed or weakened. The leaders of the Republic developed a tradition and morality requiring public service and patronage in peace and war, making military.
Many of Romes legal and legislative structures can still be observed throughout Europe and much of the world in modern nation states, the exact causes and motivations for Romes military conflicts and expansions during the republic are subject to wide debate. While they can be seen as motivated by outright aggression and imperialism and they argue that Romes expansion was driven by short-term defensive and inter-state factors, and the new contingencies that these decisions created. In its early history, as Rome successfully defended itself against foreign threats in central and northern Italy, with some important exceptions, successful wars in early republican Rome generally led not to annexation or military occupation, but to the restoration of the way things were. But the defeated city would be weakened and thus able to resist Romanizing influences. It was able to defend itself against its non-Roman enemies. It was, more likely to seek an alliance of protection with Rome and this growing coalition expanded the potential enemies that Rome might face, and moved Rome closer to confrontation with major powers.
The result was more alliance-seeking, on the part of both the Roman confederacy and city-states seeking membership within that confederacy. While there were exceptions to this, it was not until after the Second Punic War that these alliances started to harden into something more like an empire and this shift mainly took place in parts of the west, such as the southern Italian towns that sided with Hannibal. In contrast, Roman expansion into Spain and Gaul occurred as a mix of alliance-seeking, in the 2nd century BC, Roman involvement in the Greek east remained a matter of alliance-seeking, but this time in the face of major powers that could rival Rome. This had some important similarities to the events in Italy centuries earlier, with some major exceptions of outright military rule, the Roman Republic remained an alliance of independent city-states and kingdoms until it transitioned into the Roman Empire. It was not until the time of the Roman Empire that the entire Roman world was organized into provinces under explicit Roman control
The argenteus was a silver coin produced by the Roman Empire from the time of Diocletians coinage reform in AD294 to ca. It was of similar weight and fineness as the denarius of the time of Nero, the coin was produced at a theoretical weight of 1/96th of a Roman pound, as indicated by the Roman numeral XCVI on the coins reverse. Argenteus, meaning of silver in Latin, was first used in Plinys Natural History in the phrase argenteus nummus, the 4th-century historian Ammianus uses the same phrase, however there is no indication that this is the official name for a denomination. The Historia Augusta uses the phrase to refer to several fictitious coins, the coin has been continuously in use by Caesars Legion in their quest to destroy the profligates. Numismatics Roman currency Edict on Maximum Prices
Mercury is a major Roman god, being one of the Dii Consentes within the ancient Roman pantheon. He is the god of financial gain, eloquence, messages/communication, boundaries, luck and thieves. He was considered the son of Maia and Jupiter in Roman mythology, in his earliest forms, he appears to have been related to the Etruscan deity Turms, both gods share characteristics with the Greek god Hermes. He is often depicted holding the caduceus in his left hand, similar to his Greek equivalent he was awarded the caduceus by Apollo who handed him a magic wand, which turned into the caduceus. Mercury did not appear among the di indigetes of early Roman religion. Rather, he subsumed the earlier Dei Lucrii as Roman religion was syncretized with Greek religion during the time of the Roman Republic, starting around the 4th century BC. He was often accompanied by a cockerel, herald of the new day, a ram or goat, symbolizing fertility, like Hermes, he was a god of messages, eloquence and of trade, particularly of the grain trade.
Mercury was considered a god of abundance and commercial success, particularly in Gaul and he was also, like Hermes, the Romans psychopomp, leading newly deceased souls to the afterlife. Additionally, Ovid wrote that Mercury carried Morpheus dreams from the valley of Somnus to sleeping humans, archeological evidence from Pompeii suggests that Mercury was among the most popular of Roman gods. The god of commerce was depicted on two bronze coins of the Roman Republic, the Sextans and the Semuncia. This is probably because in the Roman syncretism, Mercury was equated with the Celtic god Lugus, Romans associated Mercury with the Germanic god Wotan, by interpretatio Romana, 1st-century Roman writer Tacitus identifies him as the chief god of the Germanic peoples. The Romans made use of small statues of Mercury. Mercurius Arvernus, a syncretism of the Celtic Arvernus with Mercury, Mercurius Cimbrianus, a syncretism of Mercury with a god of the Cimbri sometimes thought to represent Odin. Mercurius Cissonius, a combination of Mercury with the Celtic god Cissonius, Mercurius Esibraeus, a syncretism of the Iberian deity Esibraeus with the Roman deity Mercury.
Esibraeus is mentioned only in an inscription found at Medelim, and is possibly the deity as Banda Isibraiegus. Mercurius Gebrinius, a syncretism of Mercury with the Celtic or Germanic Gebrinius, known from an inscription on an altar in Bonn, Mercurius Moccus, from a Celtic god, who was equated with Mercury, known from evidence at Langres, France. The name Moccus implies that this deity was connected to boar-hunting, Mercurius Visucius, a syncretism of the Celtic god Visucius with the Roman god Mercury, attested in an inscription from Stuttgart, Germany. Visucius was worshiped primarily in the area of the empire in Gaul
Roman Republican currency
Coinage came late to the Roman Republic compared with the rest of the Mediterranean, especially Greece and Asia Minor where coins were invented in the 7th century BC. The currency of central Italy was influenced by its resources, with bronze being abundant. The coinage of the Roman Republic started with a few silver coins apparently devised for trade with the Greek colonies in Southern Italy, during the Second Punic war a flexible system of coins in bronze and gold was created. This system was dominated by the silver denarius, a denomination which remained in circulation for 450 years, the coins of the republic are of particular interest because they were produced by mint magistrates, junior officials who choose the designs and legends. This resulted in the production of advertising the officials families for political purposes. Toward the end of the 4th century BC bronze began to be cast in flat bars which are today, without any historical authority. These bars were heavily leaded, of varying weights although generally on the order of five Roman pounds, and usually had a design on one and both sides.
The actual function of aes signatum has been interpreted, although a form of currency they were not coins since they did not adhere to a weight standard. V. A. A. A. F. F. Julius Caesar briefly raised their number to four, according to Suidas, the mint was located in the temple of Juno Moneta on the Capitoline Hill. By this time Rome was familiar with coinage, as it had introduced to Italy in the Greek colonies of Metapontum, Croton. Rome had conquered a large portion of central Italy, giving it large quantities of bronze, a system of heavy cast leaded bronze coinage was introduced, these issues are known as aes grave by numismatists. Stylistically the coins were distinctly Roman and, due to both their size and their being cast rather than struck, crude compared to the coinage elsewhere around the Mediterranean at the time. The standard coin was the as, the word as referred to a coin and to a unit of weight – in fact, as could mean any unit – of length, the uncia was thus both a weight and a coin of the weight.
In addition to the as and its fractions, multiples of the as were produced, fractions were much more common than asses and their multiples during the period of aes grave. By the time of the standard, the smaller denominations such as the uncia and semuncia were struck rather than cast. A variety of common denominations were minted over time, those found in Crawford are listed here. Greek-style struck bronze coins were produced in quantity with the inscription ΡΩΜΑΙΩΝ around 300 BC. Rome entered into a war against Tarentum in 281 BC, the Tarentines enlisted the support of Pyrrhus of Epirus and this coinage may have predated the aes grave discussed above, but was minted and used largely in Magna Graecia and Campania