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Roman Republic

Romans used lumps of bronze as the currency from the 4th century BCE. They are called "aes rude" and "Aes Signatum ".

Around 269 BCE Romans started issuing cast bronze coins called aes grave ( weight 1 pound). They also issued greek style silver coins called didrachms (7.2 grams). Around 235 - 211 BCE, Romans issued Quadrigatus for two decades before stopped minting them.  Roman Republic's early coins bear no names except Roma.

In 211 BCE, silver Denarius (4.5 grams) was introduced at a value of 10 Asses. Denarius was revalued at 16 Asses around 140 BCE.

Under the Roman Republic, the coins were issued by a college of moneyers called "Tresviri monetales or Triumviri Auro or Argento, Aeri, Flando, Feriundo ( the three responsible for melting and striking bronze, silver and gold). They were in charge of the mint and reported to the Senate. Their legend appreared as III VIR. AAAFF on the coins. The Tresviri monetales worked under the general supervision of the quaestor. The three moneyers were generally appointed annually to the Tresviri monetales and usually struck coins concurrently.

Names and symbols representing the moneyers also started appearing on the coins.  Denarii were minted with the helmeted head of Roma on the obverse and the Dioscuri Castor & Pollux on the reverse side.

Roman Republic issued gold coins only in times of great need, such as wars in later years. First gold aureus was issued during the second Punic War. The regular mintage of the aureus began during the time of the Imperators. The aureus had a value of 25 denarii.

Monetary System
c. 400 -  269 BCE

Cast Bronze money
Aes Rude
Aes Signatum ( 5 pounds)

Monetary System
c. 269 -  211 BCE

Gold coins.
Aureus = 25 Denarii

Silver coins.
Didrachms or Quadrigatus (7.2 g)

Cast Bronze coins
Aes Grave
(Sextantal Standard)

Aes = 2  semis
Aes = 3  triens
Aes = 4  quadrans
As = 6  extans
Aes = 12 uncia.
Aes = 24 semi unica

Monetary System
c. 211  -  43 BCE.

Gold coins.

Aureus = 25 Denarii

Silver coins.

Denarius (3.6 g) = 2 Quinarius = 4 Sestertius =10 Asses (cast bronze coins)

Struck opper coins.
(Sextantal Standard)

As = 2 semis
As = 3 triens
As = 4 quadrans
As = 6 sextans
As = 12 uncia.
As = 24 semi unica


Ancient Country List


RK. July 28, 2005