Roman Republic introduced coinage later than its neighbours. The Roman coinage was greatly influenced by the Greek coinage. Early period of Roman coinage saw bronze ingots with the Aes rude came later into existence. The weight of the metal was the instrument of exchange of the ancient Rome. The early coinage seen by Roman republic was Cast coinage, its monetary unit was ‘As’. This Assarius of the Greeks became the ‘As’ of Roman Republic.
The cast coinage was minted for the duration of seventy years. The weight of this coinage was gradually decreased, about same time silver coinage according to Greek standards was introduced. Roman introduced their own weight standards, the denarius was the first tariff as ten asses but in 140 BC it was re-tariffed as sixteen asses.
The gold denomination with 20, 40 and 60 Asses was introduced during the Punic war.The roman coinage switched from Cast to the die-struck minting techniques due to the decreased in weight standards. There came a certain time, when no asses were issued.
The above-shown coin is the cast bronze As of Roman Republic from 225-217 BC. The obverse of this coin depicts Janiform head of Janus with denominational mark ‘I’ below the bust. The prow of ship is depicted on the reverse side with denominational mark ‘I’ above it. The design of this denomination varied but the ‘I’ was the identification sign of this denomination.
The time of Augustus in 23 BC,the Roman coinage was reformed. The As was issued in reddish pure copper instead of bronze metal, it continued to be issued till 3rd century AD. The As was re-established by Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos and minted in great quantities in the first half of the 14th century AD as a part of Byzantine coinage.
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