The denarius was the standard Roman silver coin from its introduction in the Second Punic War c. 211 BC to the reign of Gordian III, when it was replaced by the Antoninianus. It continued to be minted in small quantities for ceremonial purposes and through the tetrarchy; the word dēnārius is derived from the Latin dēnī "containing ten", as its value was of 10 assēs. The word for "money" descends from it in Italian, Slovene and Spanish, its name survives in the dinar currency. Its symbol is represented in Unicode as, however it can be represented as X̶. A predecessor of the denarius was first struck in 267 BC, five years before the First Punic War, with an average weight of 6.81 grams, or 1⁄48 of a Roman pound. Contact with the Greeks prompted a need for silver coinage in addition to the bronze currency that the Romans were using at that time; the predecessor of the denarius was a Greek-styled silver coin called the didrachm, struck in Neapolis and other Greek cities in southern Italy. These coins were inscribed for Rome but resemble their Greek counterparts.
They were most used for trade purposes and were used in Rome. The first distinctively Roman silver coin appeared around 226 BC. Classic historians sometimes called these coins denarii, but they are classified by modern numismatists as quadrigati, derived from the quadriga, or four-horse chariot, on the reverse, which with a two-horse chariot or biga was the prototype for the most common designs used on Roman silver coins for the next 150 years. Rome overhauled its coinage around 211 BC and introduced the denarius alongside a short-lived denomination called the victoriatus; this denarius contained 1⁄72 of a Roman pound, of silver. It formed the backbone of Roman currency throughout the Roman republic; the denarius began to undergo slow debasement toward the end of the republican period. Under the rule of Augustus its silver content fell to 3.9 grams. It remained at nearly this weight until the time of Nero, when it was reduced to 1⁄96 of a pound, or 3.4 grams. Debasement of the coin's silver content continued after Nero.
Roman emperors reduced its content to 3 grams around the late 3rd century. The value at its introduction was 10 asses, giving the denarius its name, which translates as "containing ten". In about 141 BC, it was re-tariffed at 16 asses; the denarius continued to be the main coin of the Roman Empire until it was replaced by the antoninianus in the middle of the 3rd century. The coin was last issued, in bronze, under Aurelian between AD 270 and 275, in the first years of the reign of Diocletian.. It is difficult to give rough comparative values for money from before the 20th century, as the range of products and services available for purchase was so different. Classical historians say that in the late Roman Republic and early Roman Empire the daily wage for an unskilled laborer and common soldier was 1 denarius or about US$2.80 in bread. During the republic, legionary pay was 112.5 denarii per year doubled by Julius Caesar to 225 denarii, with soldiers having to pay for their own food and arms.
Centurions received higher pay: under Augustus, the lowest rank of centurion was paid 3,750 denarii per year, the highest rank, 15,000 denarii. The silver content of the denarius under the Roman Empire was about 50 grains, 3.24 grams, or 1⁄10 troy ounce. On June 6, 2011, this was about US$3.62 in value. The fineness of the silver content varied with economic circumstances. From a purity of greater than 90% silver in the 1st century AD, the denarius fell to under 60% purity by the year 200, plummeted to 5% purity by the year 300. By the reign of Gallienus, the antoninianus was a copper coin with a thin silver wash. By comparison, a laborer earning the minimum wage in the United States in January 2014 made US$58 for an 8-hour day, before taxes and an employee earning the minimum wage in the United Kingdom in 2014 made £52 for an 8-hour day, before taxes. In the final years of the 1st century BC Tincomarus, a local ruler in southern Britain, started issuing coins that appear to have been made from melted down denarii.
The coins of Eppillus, issued around Calleva Atrebatum around the same time, appear to have derived design elements from various denarii such as those of Augustus and M. Volteius. After the denarius was no longer issued, it continued to be used as a unit of account, the name was applied to Roman coins in a way, not understood; the Arabs who conquered large parts of the land that once belonged to the Eastern Roman Empire issued their own gold dinar. The lasting legacy of the denarius can be seen in the use of "d" as the abbreviation for the British penny until 1971, it survived in France as the name of a coin, the denier. The denarius survives in the common Arabic name for a currency unit, the dinar used from pre-Islamic times, still used in several modern Arab nations; the major currency unit in former Principality of Serbia, Kingdom of Serbia and former Yugoslavia was dinar, it is still used in present-day Serbia. The Macedonian currency denar is derived from the Roman denarius; the Italian word
Constantius II was Roman Emperor from 337 to 361. His reign saw constant warfare on the borders against the Sasanian Empire and Germanic peoples, while internally the Roman Empire went through repeated civil wars and usurpations, culminating in Constantius' overthrow as emperor by his cousin Julian, his religious policies inflamed domestic conflicts. The second son of Constantine I and Fausta, Constantius was made Caesar by his father in 324, he led the Roman army in war against the Sasanian Empire in 336. A year Constantine I died, Constantius became Augustus with his brothers Constantine II and Constans, he promptly oversaw the massacre of eight of his relatives. The brothers divided the empire with Constantius receiving the eastern provinces. In 340, his brothers Constantine and Constans clashed over the western provinces of the empire; the resulting conflict Constans as ruler of the west. The war against the Sasanians continued, with Constantius losing a major battle at Singara in 344. In 350, Constans was assassinated in 350 by the usurper Magnentius.
Unwilling to accept Magnentius as co-ruler, Constantius waged a civil war against the usurper, defeating him at the battles of Mursa Major in 351 and Mons Seleucus in 353. Magnentius committed suicide after the latter battle, leaving Constantius as sole ruler of the empire. In 351, Constantius elevated his cousin Constantius Gallus to the subordinate rank of Caesar to rule in the east, but had him executed three years after receiving scathing reports of his violent and corrupt nature. Shortly thereafter, in 355, Constantius promoted his last surviving cousin, Gallus' younger half-brother Julian, to the rank of Caesar; as emperor, Constantius promoted Arian Christianity, persecuted pagans by banning sacrifices and closing pagan temples and issued laws discriminating against Jews. His military campaigns against Germanic tribes were successful: he defeated the Alamanni in 354 and campaigned across the Danube against the Quadi and Sarmatians in 357; the war against the Sasanians, in a lull since 350, erupted with renewed intensity in 359 and Constantius traveled to the east in 360 to restore stability after the loss of several border fortresses to the Sasanians.
However, Julian claimed the rank of Augustus in 360, leading to war between the two after Constantius' attempts to convince Julian to back down failed. No battle was fought, as Constantius became ill and died of fever on 3 November 361 in Mopsuestia, naming Julian as his rightful successor before his death. Constantius was born in 317 at Pannonia, he was the third son of Constantine the Great, second by his second wife Fausta, the daughter of Maximian. Constantius was made Caesar by his father on 13 November 324. In 336, religious unrest in Armenia and tense relations between Constantine and king Shapur II caused war to break out between Rome and Sassanid Persia. Though he made initial preparations for the war, Constantine fell ill and sent Constantius east to take command of the eastern frontier. Before Constantius arrived, the Persian general Narses, the king's brother, overran Mesopotamia and captured Amida. Constantius promptly attacked Narses, after suffering minor setbacks defeated and killed Narses at the Battle of Narasara.
Constantius captured Amida and initiated a major refortification of the city, enhancing the city's circuit walls and constructing large towers. He built a new stronghold in the hinterland nearby, naming it Antinopolis. In early 337, Constantius hurried to Constantinople after receiving news that his father was near death. After Constantine died, Constantius buried him with lavish ceremony in the Church of the Holy Apostles. Soon after his father's death Constantius ordered a massacre of his relatives descended from the second marriage of his paternal grandfather Constantius Chlorus, though the details are unclear. Eutropius, writing between 350 and 370, states that Constantius sanctioned “the act, rather than commanding it”; the massacre killed two of Constantius' uncles and six of his cousins, including Hannibalianus and Dalmatius, rulers of Pontus and Moesia respectively. The massacre left Constantius, his older brother Constantine II, his younger brother Constans, three cousins Gallus and Nepotianus as the only surviving male relatives of Constantine the Great.
Soon after, Constantius met his brothers in Pannonia at Sirmium to formalize the partition of the empire. Constantius received the eastern provinces, including Constantinople, Asia Minor, Syria and Cyrenaica. Constantius hurried east to Antioch to resume the war with Persia. While Constantius was away from the eastern frontier in early 337, King Shapur II assembled a large army, which included war elephants, launched an attack on Roman territory, laying waste to Mesopotamia and putting the city of Nisibis under siege. Despite initial success, Shapur lifted his siege after his army missed an opportunity to exploit a collapsed wall; when Constantius learned of Shapur's withdrawal from Roman territory, he prepared his army for a counter-attack. Constantius defended the eastern border against invasions by the aggressive Sassanid Empire under Shapur; these conflicts were limited to Sassanid sieges of the major fortresses of Roman Mesopotamia, including Nisibis and Amida. Although Shapur seems to have been vict
Aes signatum consisted of cast ingots of bronze of measured quality and weight, embossed with a government stamp, used as currency in Rome and central Italy before the introduction of aes grave in the mid 4th century BC. When they were first made is uncertain. Popular tradition ascribes them to Servius Tullius, but due to the high quality of art found on the earliest specimens, this seems unlikely. A date in the midst of the 5th century BC is agreed on. Designs featured are that of a bull, an eagle, other religious symbols; the earliest aes signatum was not cast in Rome proper, but in central Italy, Etruria and Reggio Emilia. It bore the image of a branch with side branches radiating from it, was called Ramo Secco; the bars did not adhere to a set weight standard, varying from about 600 to 2500 grams when complete. They were broken into subdivisions, few complete specimens survive today; the surviving ramo secco bars are quarter, half or three quarter bars, or minor smaller pieces which could be classified as rough bronze.
The same fragmentation into smaller change applies to aes signatum issued by the city of Rome, which did correspond to the Roman heavy standard for the as. They weighed 5 asses when whole, they could technically be termed a quincussis. The Roman aes signatum conforms more to size and weight standards because they are an official issue, where the ramo secco bars were more of a recognizable item of barter exchange that would be weighed, rather than taken at a face value. Ramo secco bars were not issued by governing bodies, could have been made at any foundry facility. 3. Italo Vecchi, Italian Cast Coinage, A descriptive catalogue of the cast coinage of Rome and Italy, London 2013
Constantine III (Western Roman Emperor)
Flavius Claudius Constantinus, known in English as Constantine III was a Roman general who declared himself Western Roman Emperor in Britannia in 407 and established himself in Gaul. He was co-emperor from 409 until 411. Constantine rose to power during a bloody struggle in Roman Britain and was acclaimed emperor by the local legions in 407, he promptly moved to Gaul, taking all of the mobile troops from Britain, to confront the various Germanic invaders who had crossed the Rhine the previous winter. Constantine gained the upper hand after several battles with the forces of the Western Roman Emperor Honorius; as a result, Honorius recognised Constantine as co-emperor in 409. The activities of the invading tribes, raids by Saxons on the near-defenseless Britain and desertions by some of his top commanders led to a collapse of support. After further military setbacks he abdicated in 411, he was executed shortly afterwards. In 406, the provinces of Roman Britain revolted; the garrisons had determined to choose their own leader.
Their first two choices and Gratian, did not meet their expectations and were killed. Fearful of a Germanic invasion and desperate for some sense of security in a world that seemed to be falling apart, the Roman military in Britain sought greater security in strong and able military leadership and chose as their leader a man named after the famed emperor of the early fourth century, Constantine the Great, who had himself risen to power through a military coup in Britain. Constantine was one of some ability. Early in 407, they acclaimed him as emperor. Constantine moved quickly, he crossed the Channel at Bononia and took with him all of the mobile troops left in Britain, thus denuding the province of any first line military protection and explaining the disappearance of the legions from Britannia in the early fifth century. The Roman forces in Gaul declared followed by most of those in Hispania. On 31 December 406 several tribes of barbarian invaders, including the Vandals, the Burgundians, the Alans and the Sueves had crossed the Rhine near Mainz, overrun the Roman defensive works in a successful invasion of the Western Roman Empire.
Constantine's forces won several confrontations with the Vandals and secured the line of the Rhine. The sitting Western emperor, ordered Stilicho, his leading general, or magister militum, to expel Constantine. Sarus the Goth, a commander of Honorius, defeated two of Constantine's generals and the Frank Nebiogastes, who were leading the vanguard of his forces. Constantine's lieutenant, was first trapped in killed outside, Valence. Constantine sent another army headed by Edobichus and Gerontius, Sarus retreated into Italy, needing to buy his passage through the Alpine passes from the brigand Bagaudae, who controlled them. With these advances, Constantine garrisoned the Alpine passes into Italy. By May 408 he had made Arles his capital, where he appointed Apollinaris, the grandfather of Sidonius Apollinaris, as prefect. In the summer of 408, the Roman forces in Italy assembled to counterattack. Hispania was a stronghold of the House of Theodosius and loyal to the ineffectual Honorius. Constantine feared that Honorius' cousins would organise an attack from that direction while troops under Sarus and Stilicho attacked him from Italy in a pincer manoeuvre.
He struck first at Hispania. He summoned his eldest son, from the monastery where he was dwelling, elevated him to Caesar, sent him with the general Gerontius towards Hispania, where they defeated the cousins of Honorius with little difficulty. Constans left his wife and household at Saragossa under the care of Gerontius and returned to Arles to report to his father. Meanwhile, the loyalist Roman army mutinied at Ticinum on 13 August, followed by the execution of Honorius' general Stilicho on 22 August. Intrigue within the Imperial court caused his men to abandon the western army; this left Honorius in Ravenna without any significant military power, facing a Gothic army under Alaric that roamed unchecked in northern Italy. So, when Constantine's envoys arrived to parley, the fearful Honorius recognised Constantine as co-emperor, the two were joint consuls for the year 409; that year was Constantine's high-water mark. While he had been fighting Honorius' armies, some of the Vandal tribes had overrun Constantine's Rhine defenses and spent two years and eight months burning and plundering their way through Gaul.
The tribes reached the Pyrenees, where they broke through Constantine's garrisons and entered Hispania. Constantine prepared to send his son Constans back to deal with this crisis when word came that his general Gerontius had rebelled, raising his relative, Maximus of Hispania, as co-emperor. Despite Constantine's best efforts, the feared attack from Hispania come the following year, when Gerontius advanced with the support of his barbarian allies. At about the same time Saxon pirates raided Britain. Distressed that Constantine had failed to defend them, the Roman inhabitants of Britain and Armorica rebelled and expelled his officials. Constantine's response to this tightening circle of enemies was a final desperate gamble. Encouraged by the entreaties of officials of the western court, he marched on Italy with the troops left to him, they wanted to replace Honorius with a more capable ruler. Constantine, had insufficient forces and retreated i
The quadrans or teruncius was a low-value Roman bronze coin worth one quarter of an as. The quadrans was issued from the beginning of cast bronze coins during the Roman Republic with three pellets representing three unciae as a mark of value; the obverse type, after some early variations, featured the bust of Hercules, while the reverse featured the prow of a galley. Coins with the same value were issued from other cities in Central Italy. After ca. 90 BC, when bronze coinage was reduced to the semuncial standard, the quadrans became the lowest-valued coin in production. It was produced sporadically until the time of Antoninus Pius. Unlike other coins during the Roman Empire, the quadrans bore the image of the emperor; the Greek word for the quadrans was κοδράντης, translated in the King James Version of the Bible as "farthing". In the New Testament a coin equal to one half the Attic chalcus was worth about 3/8 of a cent. In Mark's gospel, when a poor widow gave two mites or λεπτα to the Temple Treasury, the gospel writer noted that this amounted to one quadrans.
Roman currency Semis
The gram is a metric system unit of mass. Defined as "the absolute weight of a volume of pure water equal to the cube of the hundredth part of a metre, at the temperature of melting ice". However, in a reversal of reference and defined units, a gram is now defined as one thousandth of the SI base unit, the kilogram, or 1×10−3 kg, which itself is now defined by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures, not in terms of grams, but by "the amount of electricity needed to counteract its force" The only unit symbol for gram, recognised by the International System of Units is "g" following the numeric value with a space, as in "640 g" to stand for "640 grams" in the English language; the SI does not support the use of abbreviations such as "gr", "gm" or "Gm". The word gramme was adopted by the French National Convention in its 1795 decree revising the metric system as replacing the gravet introduced in 1793, its definition remained that of the weight of a cubic centimetre of water. French gramme was taken from the Late Latin term gramma.
This word—ultimately from Greek γράμμα, "letter"—had adopted a specialised meaning in Late Antiquity of "one twenty-fourth part of an ounce", corresponding to about 1.14 modern grams. This use of the term is found in the carmen de ponderibus et mensuris composed around 400 AD. There is evidence that the Greek γράμμα was used in the same sense at around the same time, in the 4th century, survived in this sense into Medieval Greek, while the Latin term did not remain current in Medieval Latin and was recovered in Renaissance scholarship; the gram was the fundamental unit of mass in the 19th-century centimetre–gram–second system of units. The CGS system co-existed with the MKS system of units, first proposed in 1901, during much of the 20th century, but the gram has been displaced by the kilogram as the fundamental unit for mass when the MKS system was chosen for the SI base units in 1960; the gram is today the most used unit of measurement for non-liquid ingredients in cooking and grocery shopping worldwide.
Most standards and legal requirements for nutrition labels on food products require relative contents to be stated per 100 g of the product, such that the resulting figure can be read as a percentage by weight. 1 gram = 15.4323583529 grains 1 grain = 0.06479891 grams 1 avoirdupois ounce = 28.349523125 grams 1 troy ounce = 31.1034768 grams 100 grams = 3.527396195 ounces 1 gram = 5 carats 1 gram = 8.98755179×1013 joules 1 undecimogramme = 1 "eleventh-gram" = 10−11 grams in the historic quadrant–eleventh-gram–second system a.k.a. hebdometre–undecimogramme–second system 500 grams = 1 Jin in the Chinese units of measurement. 1 gram is equal to 1 small paper clip or pen cap. The Japanese 1 yen coin has a mass of one gram, lighter than the British penny, the United States cent, the Euro cent, the 5 cent Australian coins. Conversion of units Duella Gold gram Orders of magnitude Gram at Encyclopædia Britannica
The Hoxne Hoard is the largest hoard of late Roman silver and gold discovered in Britain, the largest collection of gold and silver coins of the fourth and fifth centuries found anywhere within the Roman Empire. It was found by Eric Lawes, a metal detectorist in the village of Hoxne in Suffolk, England in 1992; the hoard consists of 14,865 Roman gold and bronze coins and 200 items of silver tableware and gold jewellery. The objects are now in the British Museum in London, where the most important pieces and a selection of the rest are on permanent display. In 1993, the Treasure Valuation Committee valued the hoard at £1.75 million. The hoard was buried in an oak box or small chest filled with items in precious metal, sorted by type, with some in smaller wooden boxes and others in bags or wrapped in fabric. Remnants of the chest and fittings, such as hinges and locks, were recovered in the excavation; the coins of the hoard date it after AD 407, which coincides with the end of Britain as a Roman province.
The owners and reasons for burial of the hoard are unknown, but it was packed and the contents appear consistent with what a single wealthy family might have owned. It is that the hoard represents only a part of the wealth of its owner, given the lack of large silver serving vessels and of some of the most common types of jewellery; the Hoxne Hoard contains several rare and important objects, such as a gold body-chain and silver-gilt pepper-pots, including the Empress pepper pot. The hoard is of particular archaeological significance because it was excavated by professional archaeologists with the items undisturbed and intact; the find helped to improve the relationship between metal detectorists and archaeologists, influenced a change in English law regarding finds of treasure. The hoard was discovered in a farm field about 2.4 kilometres southwest of the village of Hoxne in Suffolk on 16 November 1992. Tenant farmer Peter Whatling had lost a hammer and asked his friend Eric Lawes, a retired gardener and amateur metal detectorist, to help look for it.
While searching the field with his metal detector, Lawes discovered silver spoons, gold jewelry, numerous gold and silver coins. After retrieving a few items, he and Whatling notified the landowners and the police without attempting to dig out any more objects; the following day, a team of archaeologists from the Suffolk Archaeological Unit carried out an emergency excavation of the site. The entire hoard was excavated in a single day, with the removal of several large blocks of unbroken material for laboratory excavation; the area was searched with metal detectors within a radius of 30 metres from the find spot. Peter Whatling's missing hammer was recovered and donated to the British Museum; the hoard was concentrated in a single location, within the decayed remains of a wooden chest. The objects had been grouped within the chest; some items had been disturbed by burrowing animals and ploughing, but the overall amount of disturbance was low. It was possible to determine the original layout of the artefacts within the container, the existence of the container itself, due to Lawes' prompt notification of the find, which allowed it to be excavated in situ by professional archaeologists.
The excavated hoard was taken to the British Museum. The discovery was leaked to the press, the Sun newspaper ran a front-page story on 19 November, alongside a picture of Lawes with his metal detector; the full contents of the hoard and its value were still unknown, yet the newspaper article claimed that it was worth £10 million. In response to the unexpected publicity, the British Museum held a press conference at the museum on 20 November to announce the discovery. Newspapers lost interest in the hoard allowing British Museum curators to sort and stabilise it without further disruption from the press; the initial cleaning and basic conservation was completed within a month of its discovery. A Coroner's inquest was held at Lowestoft on 3 September 1993, the hoard was declared a treasure trove, meaning that it was deemed to have been hidden with the intention of being recovered at a date. Under English common law, anything declared as such belongs to the Crown if no one claims title to it. However, the customary practice at the time was to reward anyone who found and promptly reported a treasure trove with money equivalent to its market value, the money being provided by the national institution that wished to acquire the treasure.
In November 1993, the Treasure Trove Reviewing Committee valued the hoard at £1.75 million, paid to Lawes as finder of the treasure, he shared it with farmer Peter Whatling. Three years the Treasure Act 1996 was enacted by Parliament which allowed the finder and landowner to share in any reward; the Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service surveyed the field in September 1993, after it was ploughed, finding four gold coins and 81 silver coins, all considered part of the same hoard. Both earlier Iron Age and mediaeval materials were discovered, but there was no evidence of a Roman settlement in the vicinity. A follow-up excavation of the field was carried out by the Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service in 1994, in response to illegal metal detecting near the hoard find; the hoard burial hole was re-excavated, a single post hole was identified at the southwest corner.