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AUSPICIUM.

182

eamc into circulation in Greece in the time of Philip, and continued in use till the subjection of Greece to the Romans. [daricus ; stater.]

roman gold money. — The standard gold coin of Rome was the *aureus Hummus, *or *denarius aureus, *which, according to Pliny *(H.N. *xxxiii. 3. s. 13) was first coined 62 years after the first silver coinage [argentum], that is in the year 207 b.c. The lowest denomination was the *scrupulum, *which was made equal to 20 sestertii. The weight of the scrupulum, as determined by Mr. Hussey *(Ancient Weights and Money) *was 18’06grs. In the British Museum there are gold coins of one, two, three, and four scrupula, the weights of which are 17’2, 34*5, 51*8, and 68’9 grains respectively. They bear a head of Mars on one side, and on the other an eagle standing on a thunderbolt, and beneath the inscription " roma." The first has the mark xx (20 sestertii); the second, xxxx (40 sestertii) ; the third, J/ x (60 sestertii). Of the last we subjoin an engraving:—•

Pliny adds that afterwards aurei were coined of 40 to the pound, which weight was diminished, till under Nero (the reading of this word is doubtful) they were 45 to the pound. This change is supposed, from an examination of extant specimens, to have been made in the time of Julius Caesar. The estimated full weight of the aurei of 40 to the pound is 130*1 grains, of those of 45 to the pound 115*64 grains. No specimens exist which come up to the 130*1 grains ; the heaviest known is one of Pompey, which weighs 128*2 grains. The average of the gold coins of Julius Caesar is fixed by Letronne at 125*66 grains, those of Nero 115*39 grains. Though the weight of the aureus was diminished, its proportion to the weight of the denarius remained about the same, namely, as 2 : 1 (or rather, perhaps, as 2*1 : 1). Therefore since the standard weight of the denarius, under the early emperors, was 60 grains, that of the aureus should be 120. The average weight of the aurei of Augustus, in the British Museum, is 121*26 grains: and as the weight was afterwards diminished, we may take the average at 120 grains. There seems to have been no intentional alloy in the Roman gold coins, but they generally contained a small portion of native silver. The average alloy is 3^. The aureus of the Roman emperors, therefore, contained ||g = *4 of a grain of alloy, and therefore 119*6 grains of pure gold. Now a sovereign contains 113*12 grains of pure gold. Therefore the value of the aureus in terms of the sovereign is ^§ : |5 = 1-0564 = *II. Is. Id. *and a little more than a halfpenny. This is its value according to the present worth of gold ; but its current value in Rome was different from this, on account of the difference in the worth of the metal. The aureus passed for 25 denarii; therefore, the denarius being 8|c?., it was worth 17s. *%d. *The ratio of the value of gold to that of silver is given in the article argentum. The following cut represents an aureus of Augustus in the British Museum, which weighs 121

Alexander Severus coined pieces of one-half and one third of the aureus, called *Semissis *and *tremis-sis *(Lamprid. *Aleoc. Sev. *c. 39), after which time the aureus was called *solidus.*

Constantine the Great coined aurei of 72 to the pound ; at which standard the coin remained to the end of the empire. (Cod. x. tit. 70. s. 5 ; Hussey, *On Ancient Weights and Money; *Wurm. *De Pond. *&c.) [P. S.]

** AURUM CORONARIUM**. When a general in a Roman province had obtained a victory, it was the custom for the cities in his own provinces, and for those from the neighbouring states, to send golden crowns to him, which were carried before him in his triumph at Rome. (Liv. xxxviii. 37, xxxix. 7; Festus,

Servius says *(ad Virg. Aen. *viii. 721), that **aurum coronarium** was a sum of money exacted from conquered nations, in consideration of the lives of the citizens being spared ; but this statement does not appear to be correct.

** AURUM LUSTRALE** was a tax imposed by Constantine, according to Zosimus (ii. 38), upon all merchants and traders, which was payable at every lustrum, or every four years, and not at every five, as might have been expected from the original length of the lustrum. This tax was also called

** AURUM VICESIMARIUM**. [aerarium. p. 23, b.]

** AUSPEX**. [augur.]

** AUSPFCIUM**. .[augur.]