World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

As (coin)

Article Id: WHEBN0019284985
Reproduction Date:

Title: As (coin)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Denarius, Roman numerals, 23 BC, Biblical and Talmudic units of measurement, Erotic art in Pompeii and Herculaneum, Sejanus, Janus, Dupondius, Roman currency, Roman abacus
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

As (coin)

"Ases" redirects here. For the acronym "ASES", see American Solar Energy Society.

The as (plural asses), also assarius (rendered into Greek as ἀσσάριον, assarion)[1] was a bronze, and later copper, coin used during the Roman Republic and Roman Empire.

Republican era coinage

The Romans replaced the use of Greek coins, first by blocks and then by disks made of bronze aureus (250)


After the as had been issued as a cast coin for about seventy years, and its weight had been reduced in several stages, a sextantal as was introduced (meaning that it weighed one-sixth of a pound). At about the same time a silver coin, the denarius, was also introduced. Earlier Roman silver coins had been struck on the Greek weight standards that facilitated their use in southern Italy and across the Adriatic, but all Roman coins were now on a Roman weight standard. The denarius, or 'tenner', was at first tariffed at ten asses, but about 140 B.C. it was retariffed at sixteen asses. This is said to have been a result of financing the Punic Wars.

During the Republic, the as featured the bust of Janus on the obverse, and the prow of a galley on the reverse. The as was originally produced on the libral and then the reduced libral weight standard. The bronze coinage of the Republic switched from being cast to being struck as the weight decreased. During certain periods, no asses were produced at all.

Imperial era coinage

Following the coinage reform of Augustus in 23 BC, the as was struck in reddish pure copper (instead of bronze), and the sestertius or 'two-and-a-halfer' (originally 2.5 asses, but now four asses) and the dupondius (2 asses) were produced in a golden-colored alloy of bronze known by numismatists as orichalcum. The as continued to be produced until the 3rd century AD. It was the lowest valued coin regularly issued during the Roman Empire, with semis and quadrans being produced infrequently, and then not at all by the time of Marcus Aurelius. The last as seems to have been produced by Aurelian between 270 and 275 and at the beginning of the reign of Diocletian.[2]

Byzantine coinage

The as, under its Greek name assarion, was re-established by the Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos (r. 1282–1328) and minted in great quantities in the first half of the 14th century. It was a low-quality flat copper coin, weighing ca. 3–4 grams and forming the lowest denomination of contemporary Byzantine coinage, being exchanged at 1:768 to the gold hyperpyron. It appears that the designs on the assarion changed annually, hence they display great variations. The assarion was replaced in 1367 by two other copper denominations, the tournesion and the follaro.[1][3]

Value in the market

Here are some example salaries and product costs as of the times of Diocletian in the third century AD:

  • Farm laborer monthly pay, with meals = 400 asses
  • Teacher's monthly pay, per boy = 800 asses
  • Barber's service price, per client = 32 asses
  • 1 kg of pork = 380 asses (1 lb = 170 asses)
  • 1 kg of grapes = 32 asses (1 lb = 15 asses)

See also

References

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.