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Currency & Weights



Each is value is based on the as:
aureus = 400 asses
denarius = 16 asses
sesterius =  4 asses
dupondius = 2 asses
Each coin was minted with a different metal:
aureus-- gold
denarius-- silver alloy
sesterius-- metal alloy
as-- copper or bronze

Before the Second Punic War (218-201 B.C.)
2 ½ asses = 1 sestertius
10 asses = 1 denarius
4 sestertii = 1 denarius
After the Second Punic War:
4 asses = 1 sestertius
16 asses = 1 denarius
4 sestertii = 1 denarius

What did it cost?....

½ liter of Falernian wine = 30 denarii
½ liter of beer = 4 denarii
5 lettaces = 4 denarii
4 lbs of dessert grapes = 4 denarii
1 lb white silk = 12,000 denarii
1 lb genuine purple silk = 150,000 denarii


   
 

DRY MEASURES LIQUID MEASURES
1 modius = 16 sextarii 1 culleus = 20 amphorae
1 sextarius = 16 cyathi 1 amphora = 48 sextarii

"Romans measured area by the amount ploughed in a day by a yoke of oxen. Land was reckoned by the IUGERUM (28,000 square Roman feet or 5/8 of an acre). A farm of 10 iugera (5-6 acres or 2.5 hectares) could provide a plebian family of most of its annual subsistence needs. In Egypt, land was measured by the AROURA (equal to 1.1 iugera)."

MEASURES OF DISTANCE
"Romans measured distance by the mile, mille passuum ("one thousand of paces"), equivalent to 1,620 English yards or 92% of the English mile. 1 Roman mile = 1,000 paces (passus) = 5,000 feet (pedes). An average day's march for a Roman army was 15 to 17 miles; a forced march (magnum iter) was 20 to 25 miles."  (http://www.tulane.edu/~august/handouts/601cprin.htm)

Heads and Tails

"The two sides of the coins were referred to as the obverse and the reverse. The markings on each side changed as the Empire grew and the Roman's world view evolved. In the days of the Republic the obverse of the bronze coins displayed the head of a diety while the reverse had the prow of a ship and marking of worth. The silver coins had the head of Roma on the obverse and the that of Dioscuri on the reverse."

"During the period of growth and as the role of the Emperor grew the coins became a vehicle of propaganda. Images of the Emperor of the obverse and the diety to match his nature of the reverse let those throughout the empire get a glimpse of their leader. Variations occurred with architectural marvels displayed and legends of Rome depicted. Romulus and Remus became a popular source for coin markings." (J. Walsh 2001)

Denomination
Metal
Weight
Equvelent value-in Denari
Equvelent value- In Asses
Aureus
gold
7.9 grs.
25
400
Quinarius
gold
3.8 grs.
12-1/2
200
Denarius
silver
3.8
1
16
Quinarius
silver
1.9 grs.
1/2
8
Sestertius
Orichalcum
25 grs.
1/4
4
Dupondius
Orichalcum
12.5 grs.
1/8
2
As
copper
11 grs.
1/16
1
Semis (introduced by nero 64-68 A.D.
Orchalcum
3.25 grs
1/32
1/2
Quadrans
copper
3 grs
1/64
1/4
ROMAN CURRENCY OF THE PRINCIPATE, http://www.tulane.edu/~august/handouts/601cprin.htm

Bibliography


http://www.dl.ket.org/latin2/mores/currency/currency.htm ROMAN CURRENCY, J. Walsh 2000, March 17, 2003

http://www.dl.ket.org/latin3/mores/currency/currency.htm
Roman Currency, Mores, March 17, 2003

http://www.tulane.edu/~august/handouts/601cprin.htm ROMAN CURRENCY OF THE PRINCIPATE, March 17, 2003

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