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 Roman Uniform Currency, Weights, and Measures

Roman Currency

Back Side


Caesar Gordian III - Front Side


   One of the defining characteristics of the Roman Empire was their ability to have a standard currency.  However, the currency changed throughout the Roman Times.  One the most famous coins of the Roman  Empire was the coinage of Caesar Gordian III. The picture on the left is a picture of the coins  of Caesar Gordian III.  He was only 13 when he became the ruler of Rome after the two emperors were murdered.  This coin dates back from arou nd  238 AD around the months April and June.  This coin is from Sestertius, Rome.
Aurelian Front
Aurelian Back
Another famous emporer was Aurelian.  Aurelian was the son of a famous Senator called Aurelius. His full name was Lucius Domitius Aurelianus and would become one of the most well known emperors of the Roman Empire.  Aurelian was most known for his severity.  It was once said that he killed his sister's son (or daughter) for no real reason.  However, he ended up becoming a great emperor.  These coins date back from about 214 AD.
Nero - Front
Nero - Back
Nero was the emperor during the fight with the Parthians.  Nero was most popular when he was awarded the clupeus virtutis of Augustus.  This medal was to reward him with his efforts against the Parthians.  The Back of the coin is the Altar to Peace which Nero built after peace was maintained between Rome and the Parthians.  This coin is probably from around 54 AD.
Trajan - Front
Trajan - Back
The emperor on this coin is Trajan Augustus.  This coin depicts Trajans battles in the water.  The silver in them represent the Danube River while the back shows him on the prow of a ship acting like a god.  Emperor Trajan Augustus was known mostly for his conquest of Germany and the Dacians.  This coin probably dates back from about 107 AD.

Weights and Measurements

    One of the most well know measurements come from the Roman Empire.  This measurement is called the Pound.  The Pound was derived from the Ancient Roman Libra.  The Libra of Rome was divided into 12 ounces in Ancient Rome as apposed to 16 ounces in Modern Times.  Pound has its initials as lb because of libra.  The Libra is actually .722 of an English Pound.  The 12 ounce system is still used in some trade and measurements but has almost become extinct to the measurement dealing with 16 ounces.

    A furlong might have also been adapted from the extinct Roman Empire.  Used to mean "a furrow long" it determined how long an ox could plow without needing a break.  However, this distances is also equivalent to the distance of a Roman Stadium .  Therefore, the furlong might have come from the Roman Empire, today meaning the eigth part of a mile.

    Probably the most famous measurement is the mile.  The mile was directly derived from the Roman Empire.  The Roman Empire described it has 1000 paces or mille passus in Latin.  1000 paces is equal to about 1,618 yards and has changed until the finite 1,760 yards used today.

    The Ounce has also come from the Romans.  An Ounce was 1/12 of a Pound.  Today it is 1/16 but the 1:12 is still used is some parts of the world today.  The Roman word for ounce was the unciae.
(see Pound)

    The Pace was also depicted from the Roman Empire.  The Pace was considered placing one foot exactly infront of the other foot.  The two feet would measure approximately 30 inches.  The other style of pace was one stride which averaged about 60 inches.
 The historically accurate pace method was the method dealing with an actual stride averaging about 5 feet.


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