Author Topic: Roman coin names  (Read 27795 times)

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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Roman coin names
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2009, 09:58:19 AM »
Fascinating, lehmansterms. Thanks for taking the time to write it down. My friends who wave metal detectors find typical copper coins of the limes. We don't even know what denomination they are. That gives you an impression of how much we know of the monetary system where the going gets tough.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline lehmansterms

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Re: Roman coin names
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2009, 02:03:22 PM »

Ah, you speak of the so-called "Limes Denarii", I presume.  Although I dislike that name, since Limes Falsa already belongs to a totally different class of contemporary copies, I suppose that given the lack of a better name or verifiable explanation for the usually denarius-sized AE and silvered AE pieces, primarily of the Severans, which used to be a very scarce curiosity, but which have recently appeared in such great numbers since the opening of the former "Iron Curtain" countries of Eastern Europe, it will have to do for the time being.

This is a whole area of study/investigation/scholarship which along with a couple other common classes of contemporary copies is woefully poorly understood.  If I were a younger man and just starting out on an academic numismatic career, I could see this as being a person's justifiable life's work in explanation and cataloging in order to even get a real toe in the door.

It's certainly a subject which bears a lot more academic notice then it has in the past.  Now that we have overcome some of the Victorian prejudices about what does and doesn't constitute "legitimate art", perhaps some person or persons will see fit to begin devoting the academic resources necessary to raise these pieces from "footnote status" and pejoritive labels like: "Barbarous", "Degenerate", "Illiterate", etc, to see where, exactly, they fit into the greater mosaic of monetary systems of the era.


Offline sminnoch

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Re: Roman coin names
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2009, 11:46:16 PM »
Not a thread I'd seen before either.

There are a number of Republican denominations missing, mostly odd bronze denominations struck on very few occasions.

There were Staters and half staters struck before the introduction of the denarius.  There are also some 60-as, 40-as and 20-as pieces, marked LX, XXXX, XX.

There were also gold quinarii, struck on two occasions under the Republic (for the Social War, around 90 BC and for Caesar) but more commonly issued under the Empire.

Before the reform that saw the introduction of the denarius, there were drachms as well as the didrachms/quadrigati.  When the denarius came in, these in a way were persisted with by a new coin called the Victoriatus, after it's reverse type which shows Victory crowning a trophy.  They were the same weight as the drachm, which suggests their primary purpose was to act as a foreign trade piece, and would have been worth 3/4 of a denarius. 

Some early bronze coins were struck on Greek litra standard (1/2 litra, litra, double-litra are known)

Quincussis - 10 asses (only on Aes Grave, pre-denarius)
Tressis/Tripondius - 3 asses
Dextans - 10 unciae
Dodrans - 9 unciae
Bes - 8 unciae
Quincunx - 5 unciae
Semuncia - 1/2 uncia
Quartuncia = 1/2 uncia

« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 01:02:39 AM by sminnoch »