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Rev. An unbridled horse galloping to right; underneath, ROMA.

5. One fifth of a drachm, weighing nearly 15 grains. Types
same as no 4. Museum of Naples. (Coll. Santangelo.)

These coins seem to have been long in circulation, for Trajan
issued a restoration of this type and at Vienna is a specimen coun-
termarked by Vespasian.

On p. 1 1 of the Brit. Museum Cat. is an illustration of a large
bronze coin, size 1.85, bearing on the Obv. a beardless head of Janus
wearing a pointed cap. On p. 48 of the same Catalogue is a
descripnon of an As of Central Italy : size 2.95, bearing on the
Obv. a beardless Janus bound with diadem.

— 77 —

This Janus type is also found on coins of Volterm and of Rhe-
gium and Capua with Oscan legends. M. A. Sambon dates these
bronze coins of Capua 268 to 218 B.C.

The Obverse of the gold coins with the legend ROMA and the
sacrificial scene on the Rev. also bears this Janus type. The style of
these silver coins is very variable, some are of fine Greek style,
others very poor.

On page 371 of vol. XX of the Rivista Italiana di NiiDiisniatica,
1907, M. Arthur Sambon gives some valuable notes on these Janus
coins. He refers to the suggestion of Willers (^Corolla Numism.,
p. 310), tliat Tiberius Veturius reproduced the type of the aureus
ill memory of L. \'eturius who received in 209 five hundred pounds
ot gold and took part in the war against Hasdrubal, and therefore
he thinks these gold coins were issued in 209 B.C., and he refers to
Pliny (H.N.33,47).

The Obv. may be compared with didrachm noIV. yK.

Compare the Obv. type of coins of Etruria with a cross incuse on
^L. where we see the same head as on Obv. of this coin.

These are the eight different types of bronze litra; unconnected
with the Roman As, issued in Campania.


In this third period we find a new series quite independent of
the litrct, bearing marks of value shewing their relation to the
Roman copper series of the As and its parts. From the section of
the flan of these coins we see the flan was cast, but the die was struck,
and as these are the earliest struck coins of the As series they
probably were not issued before the introduction of the denarii in
269 B. C. The types however shew that they are Campanian coins,
for they differ altogether from the Roman series, which was never
varied in regard to its types.

Haeberlin says : " In this third period the bronze unit becomes
subordinated to the silver unit, and in this change lies the secret of
the Roman reductions. The Roman As, equated with the silver unit
ot the scriptulum loses half its weight, and is issued on the semi-
libral standard ".

" Corresponding to the quadrigati is a bronze coinage (struck
pieces with ROMA, from triens or 4 libelliK to half uncia or sem-
bella) which has hitherto not been regarded as Capuan, and which
was a true coinage, not mere token money, like the small bronze of
the previous period. The Roman As of this period is divided deci-
mally, not duodecimally " (Num. Cbron., p. 117, 1907. Part. I,
Fourth series, no 25). This paper by Mr. G. F. Hill is a most

- 78-

valuable epitome of the work of Dr. E. J. Haeberlin published in

" The subordination of bronze to silver, the fact that the As
represented now not so much an independent amount in itself, as
a certain amount of silver, brought about its loss in weight ;as long
as the State guaranteed its equivalence to the silver unit there was
no reason why it should not be reduced in weight.

"This reduction was not a case of state bankruptcy; such a view
of it was excusable only so long as the bronze coinage, gradually
filling in weight, was supposed to be the only coinage of the
capital ". " Silver is to bronze as i : 120 ".

Table of the coins of the Heavy Pound Series (327.45 grammes).
III. Neo-Roman Pound.

Scriptula; of 1.137 grammes 17.55 grains.

As =


Semis =


Triens ==


Quadans =


Sextans =


Uncia =


Semiuncia =


Quarter uncia =


This date appears too late for the didrachms which M. A. Sambon
thinks were issued in 269 B.C. and says we know but little of the
history of the Veturii.

This brief account of the eight silver coins of Rome's heroic age
only serv^es to show how little we know of the mint cities and
their government by the Romans. The greatness and wealth of
Capua have so impressed some writers on the subject of the coinage
that the divided condition ot the citizens and the many notices of
enmity and disloyalty to Rome have been apparently underestimated.
Some coins such as those bearing the Janus head were most
probablv issued in that city, but that the Capuan was the only mint
outside Rome used by her colonists in the South seems most
unlikely when we regard the evidence of the eight types here
described. Let us hope that some one will harmonize the valuable
studies of Haeberlin, Sambon and Bahrfeldt and present us with a
more clear and well-founded account than has yet been written.

— 79 —


For some time before the influence of the Greek Colonies began
to aftect the coinage of the cities in Campania to the north of Capua
the citizens used ingots and heavy bronze coins stamped with a

On the ingots we see an eagle on a thunderbolt and on the ^L
a figure of Pegasus and ROMANOM. These heavy coins and ingots,
however, do not belong to the series with which we are concerned
in these chapters, as they are not among the coins influenced by
the Greeks. They are very rare and costly, and those who wish to
study them will find them well illustrated in the work by Garrucci
and in various illustrated catalogues.

A translation of the valuable information given by D' Haeberlin
may be seen in the Rivisia Italiana di Numisiiiatica,p. 203, vol. XIX,


The bronze coins issued with the silver of the First Period of
the Romano-Campanian coinage influenced by the Greeks consist
ot Litrge and Double litr^e, bearing three different types, and may
be regarded as money of account, or tokens of a value not the
same as the intrinsic value of the metal. We do not know how
many litnt passed for a didrachm, nor what was the weight of the
pound divided into litra;, nor how many went to the pound.

No attempt was made to make this coinage correspond in any
way with the Roman series of the As and its parts. Up to the time
of Timoleon's expedition, in the year 344 B.C., bronze coins had
always, in Magna Graecia and Campania, represented a conventional
value, and their weights are so irregular that no satisfactory tables
have ever been made of their relative value to the silver coinage.
We do not know for certain what was the relative value of silver
and bronze in Campania during this first Period. In Sicily ten litr^
had been valued as a didrachm ; confer the tables, on p. 43 of M"" G.
F. Hill's Handbook of Greek and Roman Coins ; in Campania it
seems probable that twelve may have been the number, but no
definite proof seems to be shewn.

— 8o —

Here is a problem which we hope may some day be solved, but
at present we must be content to recognize our ignorance ; even
the name Litra applied to these coins is only a moder-n assumption.

In this Romano-Campanian series we have eight types of bronze
litrze, three of which belong to the first and the other five to the
second Period.

Although thev are with one exception all common coins and may
he bought for a few shillings, they are nevertheless interesting from
their association with the Roman armies who conquered Campania
and from the problem of their relative value to the contemporary


I. Double litra. Size slightly over an inch in diameter. Weight of
specimen in Brit. Mus. : 236 grains; the ideal weight we should
expect would be 240 grains and the specimen in the Museum may
have lost quite the 4 grains needed to make its original weight.

Obv. Head of Pallas, in Corinthian helmet decorated with a
griffin, to left.

ROMANO in front of the face.

Rev. An eagle standing on a fulmen with wings spread. In the
field to left ROMANO with a symbol like a club or sword in sheath.

As the eagle is standing on a fulmen we may conjecture that it
signified the bird of Zeus rather than a Roman symbol.

These are rare coins ; specimens may be seen in the public
Museums at London, Berlin, Vienna, and Naples.

Bahrfeldt attributed these coins to Capua, Carraci to Locri,
Babelon to Consentia in Bruttium. Although the eagle is found on
silver coins of Capua with the legend II DN)! the style of these
bronze coins is very different.

II. Litra. Size nearly three-quarters-of-an-inch in diameter; weight
120 grains.

Obv. Head of Pallas to left in Corinthian helmet : without


— 8i —

Rev. Head and neck of horse bridled to right, on a shght shallow
base, the mane hogged, or close cropped : ROMANO behind.

In the Bahrfeldt collection is a specimen of a Hemi-litra with the
legend OH AM Ofl. Some specimens of Hemi-htr« in the Cab. of
Berlin, London, and Copenhagen have the head of Pallas to right,
ROMANO on Obv., and on the Rev. the head of the horse turned
to left.

Some barbarous specimens of these coins are found. The head
of Pallas is similar to that on coins of Syracuse struck circa 317 B.C.
Many specimens were found at Vicarello.

III. Litra. Size, the same. Weight trom [2o to 123 grains.

Obv. Head of Apollo to right with hair bound with taenia.

Rev. A lion to right with tail raised as if lashing the air, his head
turned facing ; he is biting a spear, or, as some think, a serpent. In
the exergue ROMANO.

There is great variety in the style of work, some specimens being
much finer than others, some almost rude.

Specimens are to be seen in the British Museum, at Turin,
Berlin, Gotha and Naples. Some specimens are to be found with
the head of Apollo turned to left at Gotha, Glasgow, Berlin, London,
Copenhagen and Naples. One example is known restruck on a coin
of Luceria ; it was found in the deposit of Vicarello.


In the second Period the struck bronze coins are still to be looked
upon as a token currency " but they are smaller, consisting of tenths
and twentieths of the scruple, i. e. libellae and sembellae"; this is

Hands. 6

— 82 —

D"" Haeberlin's remark upon these coins as given in page 1 1 5 Num.
Chron. (Part. I, 1907, series IV no 25).

But when we go to look at these coins in the British Museum
we find them called Litrae, Hemi-litr«, and Quarter litrae.

There are five types, four of which are copied from the silver
coinage with which they were issued. The Litni; appear to weigh
about" 100 grains, the Hemilitrae 50 grs., Quarter-litri^ 25 gr.
The word Libella is a diminutive of libra or litra. Varro (L. L. 5
36,43) says " numi denarii decuma libella quod libram pondo aeris
valebat", "and Pliny (33, 13) " librales unde etiam nunc libella
dicitur at dupondius appendebantur asses ". Hence proverbially or
colloquially " libella " was used for any small coin ; hence " ad
libellam "meant exactly, our " to a farthing". The " sembellae"
were half libellae (semi libells). Varro says (L- L-^ 5, 3 6, 4> 8)
" sembella quod libelk^ dimidium quod semis assis ".

But apparently from Varro (10, 3, 169), these w^ords were used
of small silver coins. " Eandem rationem habere assem ad semissen
quam habet in argento libella ad sembellam ". D' Haeberlin pro-
bably used these words in their general colloquial sense of a
small coin.

IV. Litra. Weight of specimen in Brit. Mus. 99 grs. Size - inch.

Obv. Head of Hercules to right.

Rev. Pegasus flying to right ; no ground line.

ROMA in field under Pegasus. A club in field above. Compare
coins of Capua with similar §L. type and DHN)!.

Compare also bronze coins of Frentrum, and didrachms of Syra
cuse issued 345-337 B.C.

V. Hemlitra; weight about 50 grs. ; size ; ;^ inch.

Obv. Head of Mars to right, wearing Corinthian helmet ; behind
a club : border of dots.

Rev. A free horse prancing to right, above, a club, below,

- 83 -

Similar to the didrachm no M. A\.

In the Museum at Naples is a bronze figure of a prancing horse
of the third century B.C. very similar.

VI. Hemilitra. Same size as no II.

Obv. Head of Mars to right wearing Corinthian helmet : border
of dots.

Rev. Head and neck of horse to right ; behind, a fiilx. ROMA in

Similar to the type of didrachm no VII. iR. With these bronze
coins we may compare those of Coza, and Velechia.

VII. Hemilitra called Libella bv Haeberlin. Size I inch ; weight
50 grs.

Obv. Head of Apollo to right laureated.

Rev. Horse, free, prancing teft; ROMA beneath the body, or

Similar to type of didrachm no V. ^R.

VIII. Quarter litra called Sembella by Haeberlin. Size j-j! inch.

Weight 25 grs.

Obv. Head of Roma in Phrygian helmet to right, border of dots.

Rev. A dog to right looking up with his off fore-paw raised. The
head is like that of a greyhound. In exergue ROMA with varied
shapes of letters.

- 84 -


The As and the Semis of this series have not been found.

I. Triens. Size 1 1 inch. Value 96 Scriptula of the Heavy Pound
of 327.45 grammes.

Obv. Head of Juno (?) to right wearing diadem with winghke
side decoration, and with sceptre over shoulder ; behind 0000 :
border of dots.

Rev. Hercules standingnearly facing, wielding club in right hand,
and grasping by the hair the centaur Nessus, turned to right ; in
front" 0000. In exergue ROMA or A.

The story of Hercules slaying the centaur who carried Deianeira
across the river Evenus is told by Sophocles in his play
Trachiniae (556) and by Apollodorus (II, 7).

The familiarity of these Campanians with this Greek legend is

Specimens may be seen in all the national Cabinets.

II. QuADRANS. Size 1'^ inch. Value 72 Scriptula. Weight of
specimen in Brit. Mus. : 627 grs.

Obv. A beardless male head wearing a wolf's skin or boar's skin
cap ; behind 000 '• border of dots.

Rev. A bull galloping to right, his head turned facing, above 000,
below a snake with crested head advancing also to right. In exergue

A similar head in a wolf-skin or boar-skin cap may also be
seen on coins of Etruria. At first sight it resembles the head of
Heracles in the lion's skin, and one naturally asks whether the
change to the wolf's skin, if it is a wolf's skin, was an Italian artist's
idea or whether the head may be meant for some other Italian

The head-dress on the obverse is called a wolf's skin by
M. A. Sambon, but is by others called a boar's skin, because of the
tooth curled upwards plainly seen on some specimens. It is thought
to be the head of Heracles wearing the skin of the Erymanthian
boar (Apollodorus, II, 5, § 4. Diodorus, IV, 12).

The significance of the Rev. type, the bull and the serpent, has
not yet been satisfoctorily explained. It has been suggested that the
bull was an emblem of power, and such may have been its mean-
ing on coins of Augustus. On coins issued during the Social war
we see the bull goring a wolf; there evidently the bull signified the
power of the Italian party, and the wolf that of Rome.

Is it not possible that the common bronze coins bearing the bull
copied from the coins of Neapolis may have suggested the adoption
of this type as a symbol of Campanian power ?

- ^5 -

If this was the case we see an old emblem used with a new
meaning, the symbol of the nature power of moisture, used as that
of the warlike power of the worshippers of Dionysus.

The bull may be seen on didrachmsof the Epirote republic issued
before 238 B. C. They are illustrated on p. 274 of D'' Head's ///j/o/m
Niiin. On them the bull is surrounded with a wreath ; they are
however later than the Campanian coins, and whatever idea that
represented, the Campanians did not copy it.

The serpent is not being trampled under the hoofs of the bull,
but advancing with it.

At that time the serpent was a symbol of life, not of evil to be
trodden under foot. The meaning of the type is still a subject of
enquiiy, and any help in interpreting this type will be welcomed
by numismatists. Some have thought this coin might be compared
with the common denarius of Julius Caesar on wdiich is seen an
elephant trampling on an object which has wrongly been called a
serpent ; it is a carnynx or Gallic trumpet.

On bronze coins of Samnium after 268 B. C. issued in Aesernia
we see an eagle fighting with a snake, and there the snake may be
the symbol of Samnium as the eagle was of Rome. Compare the
similar design on a coin of Etruria illustrated on p. 77 of A. Sambon's
v/ork Monnaies antiques de FItalie. On didrachms of Elis an eagle
contending with a serpent is seen from27i-i9i B.C., but this may
be a reference to a passage in Homer, and is quite independent of
the Campanian series.

III. Sextans. Size i l inch ; value 48 scriptukt. Weight of
specimens in Brit. Mus. : 450 grs.

Obv. A wolf to right suckling the twins and turning the head to
caress them. In exergue O O : border of dots.

Rev. An eagle to right with closed wings, holding a leal of a flower
in beak, behind O O, before ROMA : a circle around.

An eagle on a fulmen occurs on coins of Capua but with wings
open and the legend DFIN)!.

An eagle with closed wings is seen on the small silver coins of
Alba Fucens, and on staters of Agrigentum issued 472-415 B. C.

An eagle with closed wings is seen on coins of Elis 392-322 B. C,
and on didrachms of Croton, but on these the bird is the symbol
of Zeus.

Confer the eagle's head on a coin of Elis with a leaf in the beak
figured on Plate i of ' Catalogue of Greek coins of an American
Collector', 20''' April 1909, Sotheby Wilkinson and Hodge, Well-
ington St., Strand, London.

May we regard the eagle on these sextantes as the symbol of Roma?

IV. Uncia. Size i inch. Value 24 Scriptukv. Weight of specimen
in Brit. Mus. : 225 grains.

Obv. Radiated head of Helios, full-face ; O on left of neck : border
of dots.

Rev. A crescent with ends upwards and two stars of eight rays
each, in field above the mark of value O, between the stars.

Under the crescent ROMA; a circle around. A similar head ot
Helios is found on coins of Velechia and also of Atella.

A crescent-moon is also seen on coins of Etruria ; some also bear
the two stars.

V. Semiuncia. Sizefinch, value 12 Scriptulie, weight of specimen
in Brit. Mus. : 123 grains.

Obv. Head of female deity wearing turreted diadem, to right
(perhaps the Tyche of the city) : border of dots.

Rev. A horseman galloping to right wielding a whip; below the
horse ROMA : a circle around.

On some specimens the breasts of the figure on the horse are
much developed.

VI. Perhaps Semiuncia.

Obv. Head of Ceres to right ; behind, an uncertain letter,
perhaps S : border of dots.

Rev. Heracles with the doe of Ceryneia in Arcadia. Perhaps
copied from the celebrated bronze in the Museum at Palermo ; a
specimen is in the Museum at Turin. The story is told bv Diodorus
Sic. (IV, 13).



The year 264 B. C. was the first year of the first Punic war. In
the fourth year of the war the Carthaginians ravaged the coasts of

This quadrantal series which seems to be represented only by
quadrantes, was issued some time during this war.

The types are the same as those of the quadrantes of the third
Period, the distinguishing mark is the ear of corn added to the tvpe
of the reverse; above the sign of value 000.

No other parts of the As belonging to this series are known.

Size I ~ inch, weight varying from 242 to 107 grs.

The writer has seen a smaller specimen.



The Libral As of 335-286 B. C. weighed 272.875 grammes.

4210.04 grains.
Semi-hbral As of 286-268 B. C. weighed 136.44 grammes.

2105.02 grains.
Sextantal As of 268-217 B. C. weighed 54.58 grammes.

842. grains.
The Uncial As of 217 B. C. weighed 27.29 grammes.

421. grains.


D' Haeberhn shews that the original Roman As of the Metropo-
lis never weighed 327.45 grammes. The heavier specimens, which
were thought to belong to this heavy weight, w^ere pieces of the
old Roman Pound over-struck with the types of the As of 272.875
grammes. The great majority of the specimens existing weigh about
272 grammes. D'' Haeberlin found, by weighing over iioo spe-
cimens of the Roman As, that the mean weight was 267.62 grammes
which represents a loss of about 5 grammes through wear.

The Pound of 327.45 grammes w^as only used outside the metro-
polis and it appeared in the form of the heavy Janus with ^.
Mercury series, in Latium.

This weight was exceeded frequently, and many specimens are
over-struck, some weighing 360 grammes, and one specimen in
D' Haeberlin's collection weighs 400 grammes. The origin of the
theory that there was a Quadrantal series may be traced to the fact
that struck coins of the later reduction only weigh about half of the
coins of the earlier period, and several sextantes of the later period
are over-struck on Unciae of the earlier Period.

The true explanation of these facts is that the bronze coinage was
brought into harmony with the six scruple Romano didrachms at
Gapua about 312 B. C. The scripulum of 1. 137 grammes in the pro-
portion of I : 120 was the equivalent of the Roman Semis of the
Oscan pound of 136.44 grammes (2105.02 grains) and the scripu-
lum became the sjlver unit of Rome. All the Asses of reduced
weight, whatever their weight may be, are in one sense to be classed
as Semilibral ; because their value is the silver Scripulum, the value
of the old Semis ; they are in tact ' token money '.

— 88 —

This unsatisfactory condition of the bronze coinage came to an
end in 268 B. C. when the Denarius was introduced, viz. Denarius
of 4.548 grammes (or 70.22 grains) X 120= 54575 grammes
of JE, that is to say it equals ten Asses of 54.58 grammes.

Phny's remarks are not to be received as a reasonable explanation
of the reduction of the As ; he imagined that the state was in
such a miserable condition owing to the drain upon its resources
during the Punic war, that the As was reduced trom 288 scrupula,
i. e. from 327.45 grammes to a sextans, and that the State made
from this proceeding a profit of five-sixths.

The State never made the slightest profit to the detriment of the
private citizen in making this alteration of the coinage, and when
we understand it correctly, we see that all these values rest on the
solid basis of strict Roman law.

It will be seen from the Tables given in this paper thatN°'I,
III and IV were duodecimal, but No II decimal, while the scruple
had ten libellae and the semilibral As was nothing else than the
scruple expressed in bronze.

On account of this the semilibral Unciae (=foOf 13 6.44 grammes)
have the weight of ^ of 327.45 gram., that is to say a semilibral
sextans of 27.29 grammes weighs exactly the same as the ounce of
the pound of 357.45, which likewise weighed 27.29 gram. With the
coinage of the Denarius in 268 B. C. the new pound of 327.45 gram,
was introduced in the Metropolis. The Sextantal As represented
therefore one-sixth and the Uncial As one-twelfth of this.

It has been suggested that the type of the bull and the snake on
the quadrans of the semilibral series may have some connection
with the Persian myth of Mithras, but this does not seem to be at
all probable, because that myth was never received by the Greeks, and
the earliest notices of Mithras in Italy are much later in date than
the period at which these coins were issued. The cult of Mithras is
mentioned by Herodotus, Xenophon,and Strabo, but only as a foreign
cult of the ancient enemies of the Greeks. The earliest mention oi
this cult in Italy is that made by Plutarch.

Then there is the last line of Book I of the Thebaid of Statins
written about 90 A. D. " seu Persei sub rupibus antri indignata sequi
torquentem cornua Mithram ". The earliest Mithraic inscription is
that of a freedman of a Flavian Emperor. The earliest marble
sculpture of Mithras in Italy is one dedicated by a slave of
T. Claud. Livinianus, a prefect of Trajan. The best and latest work
on the subject is by Franz Cumont, " Textes et Monuments figures
relatifs aux-Mvsteres de Mithra".

- 89 -

The study of Metrology presents so many difficulties and is
associated with so many doubts as to the very foundations of the
science that it is unpopular and ver}' generally neglected.

All therefore who wish to know something of the relative values

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