Edict on Maximum Prices
The Edict on Maximum Prices was issued in 301 by Roman Emperor Diocletian. The Edict was probably issued from Antioch or Alexandria and was set up in inscriptions in Greek and it now exists only in fragments found mainly in the eastern part of the empire, where Diocletian ruled. However, the fragments have been sufficient to estimate many prices for goods. The Edict on Maximum Prices is still the longest surviving piece of legislation from the period of the Tetrarchy, the Edict was criticized by Lactantius, a rhetorician from Nicomedia, who blamed the emperors for the inflation and told of fighting and bloodshed that erupted from price tampering. By the end of Diocletians reign in 305, the Edict was for all practical purposes ignored, the Roman economy as a whole was not substantively stabilized until Constantines coinage reforms in the 310s. Earlier in his reign, as well as in 301 around the time as the Edict on Prices, Diocletian issued Currency Decrees. It is difficult to exactly how the coinage was changed, as the values.
The Roman Empire was awash with other coins from outside of the Empire – especially in the Mediterranean, the implied coinage changeover time was at least a decade. Although the decree was successful for a short time after it was imposed. The full mechanics of the decree have been lost, no full decree has been found, as it exists only in fragments. However, enough of the text is known for the following to be understood to be true. All coins in the Decrees and the Edict were valued according to the denarius, the argenteus seems to have been set at 100 denarii, the silver-washed nummus at 25 denarii, and the bronze radiate at 4 or 5 denarii. The copper laureate was raised from 1 denarius to 2 denarii, the gold aureus, was revalued at at least 1,200 denarii. During the previous decades the amount of silver in the billon coins had fuelled inflation. This inflation is understood to be the reason the decree was issued, issues of economic system feedback were not well understood at the time. Merchants were forbidden to take their goods elsewhere and charge a higher price, the last third of the Edict, divided into 32 sections, imposed a price ceiling – a list of maxima – for well over a thousand products.
These products included various food items, freight charges for sea travel, the highest limit was on one pound of purple-dyed silk, which was set at 150,000 denarii. The Edict did not solve all of the problems in the economy, Diocletians mass minting of coins of low metallic value continued to increase inflation, and the maximum prices in the Edict were apparently too low
The solidus, nomisma, or bezant was originally a relatively pure gold coin issued in the Late Roman Empire. Under Constantine, who introduced it on a scale, it had a weight of about 4.5 grams. The Byzantine solidus inspired the originally slightly less pure Arabian 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 AD301 as a replacement of the aureus, composed of solid gold. His minting was on a scale and the coin only entered widespread circulation under Constantine I after AD312. Constantines solidus was struck at a rate of 72 to a Roman pound of gold, each coin weighed 24 Greco-Roman carats. By this time, the solidus was worth 275,000 increasingly 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. Especially those of Valens Honorius and Byzantine issues, the solidus was maintained essentially 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 weight issues. Many of these coins have been found in Europe and Georgia. The lightweight solidi were distinguished by different markings on the coin, usually 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 the Greek-speaking world during the Roman period, and in the Byzantine economy, the solidus was known as the νόμισμα nomisma. Initially it was difficult to distinguish the two coins, as they had the design and purity, and 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 coin with a larger diameter.
From the middle of the 11th century the larger diameter histamenon nomisma was struck on a concave 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. Alexius reformed the coinage in 1092 and eliminated the solidus altogether, in its place he introduced a new gold coin called the hyperpyron nomisma at about 20. 5k fine. 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
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
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
The semis literally meaning half was a small Roman bronze coin that was valued at half an as. During the Roman Republic, the semis was distinguished by an S or 6 dots, some of the coins featured a bust of Saturn on the obverse, and the prow of a ship on the reverse. Initially a cast coin, like the rest of Roman Republican bronzes, the coin was issued infrequently during the Roman Empire, and ceased to be issued by the time of Hadrian 117-138 AD. Roman currency
The siliqua is the modern name given to small, Roman silver coins produced in the 4th century A. D. and later. When the coins were in circulation, the Latin word siliqua was a unit of weight defined as one twenty-fourth of the weight of a Roman solidus, siliqua vicesima quarta pars solidi est, ab arbore, cuius semen est, vocabulum tenens. A siliqua is one-twentyfourth of a solidus and the name is taken from the seed of a tree, the term siliqua comes from the siliqua graeca, the seed of the carob tree, which in the Roman weight system is equivalent to 1/6 of a scruple. The term has been applied in modern times to various silver coins on the premise that the coins were valued at 1/24 of the gold solidus and therefore represented a siliqua of gold in value. Since gold was worth about 14 times as much as silver in ancient Rome, there is little historical evidence to support this premise. The term is one of convenience, as no name for these coins is indicated by contemporary sources, thin silver coins to the 7th century which weigh about 2 to 3 grams are known as siliquae by numismatic convention.
The majority of examples suffer striking cracks or extensive clipping, Roman currency Hoxne Hoard, a hoard of 14,212 silver siliquae dating from the early 5th century
Jupiter, Jove, is the god of sky and thunder and king of the gods in Ancient Roman religion and mythology. Jupiter was the deity of Roman state religion throughout the Republican and Imperial eras. In Roman mythology, he negotiates with Numa Pompilius, the king of Rome, to establish principles of Roman religion such as offering. Jupiter is usually thought to have originated as a sky god, the two emblems were often combined to represent the god in the form of an eagle holding in its claws a thunderbolt, frequently seen on Greek and Roman coins. As the sky-god, he was a witness to oaths. Many of his functions were focused on the Capitoline Hill, where the citadel was located and he was the chief deity of the early Capitoline Triad with Mars and Quirinus. In the Capitoline Triad, he was the guardian of the state with Juno. His sacred tree was the oak, the Romans regarded Jupiter as the equivalent of the Greek Zeus, and in Latin literature and Roman art, the myths and iconography of Zeus are adapted under the name Iuppiter.
In the Greek-influenced tradition, Jupiter was the brother of Neptune, each presided over one of the three realms of the universe, the waters, and the underworld. The Italic Diespiter was a sky god who manifested himself in the daylight, Tinia is usually regarded as his Etruscan counterpart. The Romans believed that Jupiter granted them supremacy because they had honoured him more than any other people had, Jupiter was the fount of the auspices upon which the relationship of the city with the gods rested. He personified the divine authority of Romes highest offices, internal organization and his image in the Republican and Imperial Capitol bore regalia associated with Romes ancient kings and the highest consular and Imperial honours. The consuls swore their oath of office in Jupiters name, to thank him for his help, they offered him a white ox with gilded horns. A similar offering was made by generals, who surrendered the tokens of their victory at the feet of Jupiters statue in the Capitol.
Some scholars have viewed the triumphator as embodying Jupiter in the triumphal procession, Jupiters association with kingship and sovereignty was reinterpreted as Romes form of government changed. Originally, Rome was ruled by kings, after the monarchy was abolished and the Republic established, religious prerogatives were transferred to the patres, nostalgia for the kingship was considered treasonous. Those suspected of harbouring monarchical ambitions were punished, regardless of their service to the state, in the 5th century BC, the triumphator Camillus was sent into exile after he drove a chariot with a team of four white horses —an honour reserved for Jupiter himself. His house on the Capitoline Hill was razed, and it was decreed that no patrician should ever be allowed to live there, during the Conflict of the Orders, Romes plebeians demanded the right to hold political and religious office
Quincunx (Roman coin)
The quincunx was an ancient Roman bronze coin produced during the Roman Republic. It was not part of the standard Roman monetary system and it was only produced during the Second Punic War, by mints at Luceria, Teate and northern Apulia. A coin with the value was minted in Capua, during the Second Punic War. The word quincunx comes from Latin quinque which means five and uncia which means one twelfth and its value was sometimes represented by a pattern of five dots arranged like the points of a die, so this pattern came to be called quincunx
The quinarius was a small silver Roman coin valued at half a denarius. The quinarius was struck for a few years, along with the silver sestertius, at this time the quinarius was valued at 5 asses. The coin was reintroduced in 101 BC as a replacement for the victoriatus, for a few years following its reintroduction, large quantities of quinarii were produced, mostly for circulation in Gaul. The coin was produced sporadically until the 3rd century, the term gold quinarius or quinarius aureus is used to describe the half-aureus, which is valued at 12.5 denarii. This term has no ancient authority
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
In its many centuries of existence, the Roman state evolved from a monarchy to a classical republic and to an increasingly autocratic empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it came to dominate the Mediterranean region and Western Europe, Asia Minor, North Africa and it is often grouped into classical antiquity together with ancient Greece, and their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world. Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern government, politics, art, architecture, warfare, religion and society. Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics such as the United States and France. By the end of the Republic, Rome had conquered the lands around the Mediterranean and beyond, its domain extended from the Atlantic to Arabia, the Roman Empire emerged with the end of the Republic and the dictatorship of Augustus Caesar. 721 years of Roman-Persian Wars started in 92 BC with their first war against Parthia and it would become the longest conflict in human history, and have major lasting effects and consequences for both empires.
Under Trajan, the Empire reached its territorial peak, Republican mores and traditions started to decline during the imperial period, with civil wars becoming a prelude common to the rise of a new emperor. Splinter states, such as the Palmyrene Empire, would divide the Empire during the crisis of the 3rd century. Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the part of the empire broke up into independent kingdoms in the 5th century. This splintering is a landmark historians use to divide the ancient period of history from the pre-medieval Dark Ages of Europe. King Numitor was deposed from his throne by his brother, while Numitors daughter, Rhea Silvia, because Rhea Silvia was raped and impregnated by Mars, the Roman god of war, the twins were considered half-divine. The new king, feared Romulus and Remus would take back the throne, a she-wolf saved and raised them, and when they were old enough, they returned the throne of Alba Longa to Numitor. Romulus became the source of the citys name, in order to attract people to the city, Rome became a sanctuary for the indigent and unwanted.
This caused a problem for Rome, which had a large workforce but was bereft of women, Romulus traveled to the neighboring towns and tribes and attempted to secure marriage rights, but as Rome was so full of undesirables they all refused. Legend says that the Latins invited the Sabines to a festival and stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins, after a long time in rough seas, they landed at the banks of the Tiber River. Not long after they landed, the men wanted to take to the sea again, one woman, named Roma, suggested that the women burn the ships out at sea to prevent them from leaving. At first, the men were angry with Roma, but they realized that they were in the ideal place to settle. They named the settlement after the woman who torched their ships, the Roman poet Virgil recounted this legend in his classical epic poem the Aeneid