Jump to content

Roman Republic Transition from 10 Asses to 16 Asses to a Denarius


Recommended Posts

Around 141 BCE, Rome went through a revaluation of the Denarius from 10 Asses to 16 Asses... That is some inflationary impact!  or Just a cute way to increase the value of Treasury Reserves... Regardless, there were cool denomination markings from 141 BCE onwards until everyone understood the new valuation of 16 Asses to a Denarius.

Please post your cool Revaluation Denarii!

 

141 BCE XVI Denomination marking

image.thumb.png.98b075ee3d30617772d4aa67d0839c85.png

RR L Julius 141 BCE Roma XVI Dioscuri Gallop S 100 Cr 224-1

 

But a little later they went back to a X Denomination, but it represented 16 Asses NOT the original 10 Asses to a Denarius... hmmm a bit CONFUSING...

 

image.thumb.png.803ba5fd0840587d10927185604b8b0e.png

RR C Renius AR Denarius 18mm 3.8g Roma 138 BC Helmeted hd Roma r X - C RENI ROMA Juno driving biga goats r whip reins scepter Cr 231-1

(X must had been a "Get your GOAT" on everyone)

 

Maybe by 136 BCE EVERYONE was confused... maybe angry that they were only get 10 Asses change on their X Denarii, that should had been 16 Asses change!  SO, it looks like the put a BAR across the the X ( crossed X- or *) to ensure everyone knew it was a 16 Asses Denarius...

 

image.thumb.png.545cb1c4f189ea6c2d23f7311000f692.png

RR AR Denarius 3.85g L Antestius Gragulus 136 BCE Rome mint Roma Jupiter quadriga tbolt Cr 238-1 Syd 451

 

THEN, in 124 BCE they decided that everyone MUST understand that there are 16 Asses to a Denarius... and went BACK to the X denomination... which is not the Roman Numeral 10, rather a secret society script to mean 16 Asses 🙂

 

image.thumb.png.58737dc4025773cec670962df456ecfb.png

RR AR Den Q. Fabius Labeo 124 BCE  18mm 3.7g Rome - Roma R X below - Jupiter in quad Prow LABI Cr 273-1 Syd  532

 

Welllll... that got all hinkey!

 

Please post your cool Revaluation Denarii!

 

Edited by Alegandron
  • Like 19
  • Cookie 1
  • Cool Think 1
  • Gasp 1
  • Confused 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted · Supporter

Great write up my friend! Besides @AncientJoe 😉 I really do think your collecting style is closest to mine... not that my coins are as cherry, but I cannot remember seeing a coin of yours that didn't make me think, "Oooh, that'd go great in my collection!

I could swear I have an XVI but am not finding it in my pics. So here are some others. 

IMG_0638(1).PNG.92a0e5cab3e9ca0e5edf111f467a4c7c.PNG

ANONYMOUS. RR Denarius (206-195 BCE). Mint: Rome.

Obv: Helmeted head of Roma right; X (mark of value) to left.

Rev: ROMA.

The Dioscuri on horses rearing right, each holding spear; prow below.

Crawford 114/1.

3.7 g. 19 mm.

 

 

IMG_0637(1).PNG.9cda64e8b0d28692aed15699ca0e66e0.PNG

IMG_0305(1).PNG.3ee77344e378986bdcea5f9e2ff7c310.PNG

L. SAUFEIUS

(152 BC)

Rome, Denarius.

Obv : X.

Helmeted head of Roma right; behind.

Rev : L SAVF ROMA.

Victory in biga right, holding whip and reins.

RRC 204/1.

Nicely toned. Good very fine. 3.2 gr, 17 mm. Purchased from Biga Feb 2022

 

 

1D19E20B-F6FB-4FD5-B2F7-6CB220879B7A-1353-0000012DAC488A93.png.7429992d7baf2601640ec09f88e2ca92.png

  • Like 10
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Ryro said:

Great write up my friend! Besides @AncientJoe 😉 I really do think your collecting style is closest to mine... not that my coins are as cherry, but I cannot remember seeing a coin of yours that didn't make me think, "Oooh, that'd go great in my collection!

Thank you @Ryro, that is a very kind thought. I am truly honored.  It feels good that others share your passions, even if they can be a bit eclectic.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

XVI coins were one of the first subsets of RR denarii I pursued. I picked up #4 in 2016 and am still waiting on #5. I think all of us here would like #6.

  • L. Iulius, 141 BC, Obv - Roma right, behind XVI, Rev Dioscuri galloping, below L.IVLI; Cr 224 - two of these
  • C. Titinius, 141 BC, Obv - Roma to right, XVI behind; Rev - Diana in biga right, C•TITINI, ROMA below. Cr 226
  • M. Aufidius Rusticus, 140 BC, Obv - Roma right; RVS below chin; XVI behind; Jupiter in quadriga, M•AVF below; ROMA in exergue. Cr 227
  • C. Valerius Flaccus, 140 BC, Obv - Roma to right, behind, XVI; Rev. Victory in biga, above - FLAC, below - C.VAL.C.F; in exergue, ROMA; Cr 228
  • this coin is from Jean Elsen & ses Fils S.A. auction 135, #115 - L. Atilius Nomentanus, 141 BC, Obv - Roma r.; behind, XVI; Rev. Victory biga r, below, L·ATILI and in exergue, NOM; Cr 225
  • this one is not in Crawford! - Monnaies d’Antan; Mail Bid Sale N°17; LOT 238; May 22, 2015
    Cn. Gellius, 138 BC, Obv - Roma to right, behind, XVI; all within laurel wreath; Rev. Mars in quadriga, below CN.GEL, in exergue, ROMA; Cr. 232

316268203_4_28.16005.thumb.JPG.62f0d32e33359d1065b59b1fc460ad24.JPG

1782926401_4_28.16006.thumb.JPG.d33754348e6ba7928121927926308fa1.JPG

 

539538036_L.ATILIXVI.thumb.jpg.df35e892640f3de37c05898490d91e29.jpg

 

1878149716_Gellia_XVIDenarius138BCRRC_232.1MonnaiesdAntanM17L238.jpg.e1065690028fe544d2d5e6d812ceb218.jpg

  • Like 19
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, rrdenarius said:

XVI coins were one of the first subsets of RR denarii I pursued. I picked up #4 in 2016 and am still waiting on #5. I think all of us here would like #6.

  • L. Iulius, 141 BC, Obv - Roma right, behind XVI, Rev Dioscuri galloping, below L.IVLI; Cr 224 - two of these
  • C. Titinius, 141 BC, Obv - Roma to right, XVI behind; Rev - Diana in biga right, C•TITINI, ROMA below. Cr 226
  • M. Aufidius Rusticus, 140 BC, Obv - Roma right; RVS below chin; XVI behind; Jupiter in quadriga, M•AVF below; ROMA in exergue. Cr 227
  • C. Valerius Flaccus, 140 BC, Obv - Roma to right, behind, XVI; Rev. Victory in biga, above - FLAC, below - C.VAL.C.F; in exergue, ROMA; Cr 228
  • this coin is from Jean Elsen & ses Fils S.A. auction 135, #115 - L. Atilius Nomentanus, 141 BC, Obv - Roma r.; behind, XVI; Rev. Victory biga r, below, L·ATILI and in exergue, NOM; Cr 225
  • this one is not in Crawford! - Monnaies d’Antan; Mail Bid Sale N°17; LOT 238; May 22, 2015
    Cn. Gellius, 138 BC, Obv - Roma to right, behind, XVI; all within laurel wreath; Rev. Mars in quadriga, below CN.GEL, in exergue, ROMA; Cr. 232

316268203_4_28.16005.thumb.JPG.62f0d32e33359d1065b59b1fc460ad24.JPG

1782926401_4_28.16006.thumb.JPG.d33754348e6ba7928121927926308fa1.JPG

 

539538036_L.ATILIXVI.thumb.jpg.df35e892640f3de37c05898490d91e29.jpg

 

1878149716_Gellia_XVIDenarius138BCRRC_232.1MonnaiesdAntanM17L238.jpg.e1065690028fe544d2d5e6d812ceb218.jpg

Very nice @rrdenarius!  Awesome Sweet-XVI line up !!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted · Supporter
5 hours ago, Alegandron said:

Thank you @Ryro, that is a very kind thought. I am truly honored.  It feels good that others share your passions, even if they can be a bit eclectic.

I resemble that remark. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cupiennius with an X in 147 BC:

[IMG]
L. Cupiennius, 147 BC.
Roman Republican AR denarius, 3.89 g, 17.7 mm, 3 h.
Rome, 147 BC.
Obv: Helmeted head of Roma, right; cornucopiae behind; denominational mark X before.
Rev: Dioscuri galloping right; L·CVP (VP ligatured) below; ROMA in exergue.
Refs: Crawford (RRC) 218/1; RSC Cupiennia 1; Sydenham (CRR) 404; RCV 94.

Renius with an X in 138 BC.

C Renius denarius Juno Caprotina driving biga of goats LAC.jpg

C. Renius, 138 BC.
Roman AR denarius, 3.84 g, 16.3 mm, 1 h.
Rome, 138 BC.
Obv: Helmeted head of Roma, right; X behind.
Rev: Juno in a biga of goats, right, wearing diadem and holding scepter and reins in left hand and whip in right hand; C·RENI below; ROMA in exergue.
Refs: Crawford (RRC) 231/1; RSC Renia 1; Sydenham (CRR) 432; Sear (RCV) 108.
 
Caprarius with an X in 125 BC.[IMG]
C. Caecilius Metellus Caprarius, 125 BC.
Roman AR denarius, 3.89 g, 18.4 mm, 1 h.
Rome, 125 BC.
Obv: Head of Roma, right, wearing Phrygian helmet; X below chin, ROMA behind.
Rev: Jupiter, crowned by flying Victory, in biga of elephants left, holding thunderbolt in left hand and reins in right hand; C METELLVS in exergue.
Refs: Crawford RRC 269/1; Sydenham CRR 485; RCV 145; RSC Caecilia 14.
  • Like 12
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 1st coin pictured below is an early denarius with the 10 to 1 standard. I sold the coin in the CNG 483 auction. The 2nd coin is a denarius with the new standard of 16 to 1.

745234899_DenariusSicily209-208BC4_19gm.jpg.ca2a9fe4ed88c0532cdfc69abbc4b79c.jpg

Roman Republic, Anonymous, 209/8 BC. Mint in Sicily. AR Denarius Serratus: 4.19 gm, 20 mm, 11 h. Crawford 79/1. Ex Al Kowsky Collection.

These coins were issued to pay Roman legionnaires & mercenaries fighting in the 2nd Carthaginian War. 

304872532_2491170-003AKCollection.thumb.jpg.433f557f16cae4f3bf518145cc7e1581.jpg

  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Denarius of L. Iuli 141 BC Obv Helmeted head of Roma right XVI behind. Rv. Dioscuri on horseback charging right with leveled lances. Crawford 224/1 RBW 949 3.89 grms 20 mm Photo by W. Hansen224-b.jpg.442e9d459bf84504beeb1dd921594f53.jpg

The new XVI mark does not appear to have been a success and it was quickly replaced. Later the mark of value was dropped altogether. Probably one of those things that seemed to be a good idea at the time.

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've ever thought a denarius to be a denarius : now I'm completely confused 😉

A pre-devaluation denarius (148 BCE)

53e627d0c7c44acab09749f94e13ab7a.jpg

M. Atilius Saranus, Denarius - Rome mint, 148 BC
Helmeted head of Rome right, SARAN downwards behind, X below chin
Dioscurs riding right, M.ATILI in field, ROMA at exergue
3.66 gr
Ref : RCV # 92, RSC, Atilia # 8v.

 

A "cross bar" denarius (137 BCE)

c4e91aaad61c4a30bd452a0dc56a1f25.jpg

S. Pompeius Fostlus, Denarius - Rome mint, 137 BC
Helmeted head of Roma right, X below chin, jug behind head
SEX PO [FOSTLVS] She wolf suckling Remus and Romulus, fig tree in background, the shepherd Faustulus behind. ROMA at exergue
3,73 gr
Ref : RCV # 112 var, RSC Pompeia # 1a, Crawford # 235/1c

 

And a "who cares" denarius  with te X again (109 or 108 BCE)

bfcdb77d34d34e86966c4d14749834a7.jpg

L. Flaminius Chilo, Denarius - Rome mint, 109 or 108 BC
Helmeted head of Roma right, ROMA behind head and X below chin
L·FLAMINI/CILO in two lines at exergue. Victory in prancing biga right
19 mm, 3,83 gr
Ref : RCV # 179, RSC Flaminia # 1, Sydenham #540, RBW # 1144, Crawford # 302/1.
From the E.E. Clain-Stefanelli collection

 

Q

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Benefactor

Fascinating topic! I have some relevant coins issued both before and after the re-tariffing.

My only denarius marked with an "X" that was issued before the re-tariffing of that denomination to 16 asses circa 141 BCE:

Roman Republic, C. Antestius, AR Denarius 146 BCE. Obv. Head of Roma right wearing winged helmet with peaked visor (ornamented with griffin’s head?), pearl necklace, and earring of pellets in form of bunch of grapes, C • ANTESTI upwards behind [partially off flan, ANTE ligate], X [mark of value, 10 asses]* beneath chin / Rev. Dioscuri holding spears, on horseback galloping right; puppy running right below horses’ hooves, with both forefeet raised; in exergue, ROMA; minor flan flaws on reverse. Crawford 219/1e, RSC I Antestia 1, BMCRR I 859, Sear RCV I 95/1 (ill.), Sydenham 411. 19 mm.. 3.76 g., 3 h.  Ex. CNG Auction 378, July 13, 2016, Lot 408; ex. RBW [Richard B. Witschonke] Collection; ex. BCD Collection [see old coin ticket], purchased by RBW from BCD March 1985; ex. ASW [Alan S. Walker, currently Dir. of Nomos AG]. ** [Footnotes omitted.]

image.jpeg.ed931bb5b1ba913bfb901671ae38bb6b.jpeg

I have nothing issued after the re-tariffing expressly marked "XVI." But I do have a few issued within a few years of the re-tariffing that continued to be marked "X" even though the value was now actually 16 asses:

Roman Republic, M. Aurelius Cota [Cotta], AR Denarius 139 BCE. Obv. Head of Roma right, wearing winged helmet ornamented with stylized representation of gryphon’s head, earring with three pellets, and necklace of pendants; hair arranged in three symmetrical locks; to right below chin, COTA; behind, mark of value X [after re-tariffing, so = 16 asses] / Rev. Hercules in biga of centaurs right, holding reins in left hand and club in right hand; centaurs each carry branch in left hand; below, M•AVRELI (AVR ligate); in exergue, ROMA. 19 mm., 3.78 g. “Removed from a ring mount; otherwise very fine.” Crawford 229/1b; BMCRR I 916-917 (& Vol. III Pl. xxvi. 2); RBW Collection 959 (ill. p. 201); RSC I Aurelia 16; Sear RCV 1 106. Purchased from Dix Noonan Webb Auction 253, 13 April 2022, Lot 1240; ex. Spink Numismatic Circular May 1984, No. 2625 at p. 125 (ill. p. 137). [Footnotes omitted.]

 image.jpeg.96eb2ea7ee368d18eb1184d16fe4177b.jpeg

Roman Republic, C. Renius, AR Denarius 138 BCE. Obv. Helmeted head of Roma right, X behind [after re-tariffing, so = 16 asses]/ Rev. Juno [RSC identifies her as Juno Caprotina; Crawford disagrees and Sear does not mention the theory] in biga of goats right, holding scepter and reins in left hand and whip in right hand, C • RENI below goats, ROMA in exergue. RSC I Renia 1, Crawford 231/1, Sydenham 432, Sear RCV I 108 (ill.), BMCRR Rome 885. 17 mm., 3.8 g.  [Footnotes omitted.]

image.jpeg.5050b0094c12bd115ab97c772e43bedb.jpeg

Roman Republic, Ti. Veturius, AR Denarius 137 BCE. Obv. Helmeted head of Mars right, TI. VET (monogrammed) and X behind head [after re-tariffing, so = 16 asses]  / Rev. Youth holding pig, kneeling left, head right, between two soldiers who touch the pig with their swords, ROMA above. RSC I Veturia 1, Crawford 234/1, Sydenham 527, Sear RCV I 111 (ill.), BMCRR Italy 550. 18 mm., 3.8 g. [First Republican denarius to have head of anyone other than Roma on obverse.]  

image.jpeg.8063c4e1c60c98a2290c2da7037b68d3.jpeg

My earliest denarius (and the second one issued) with the "XVI" monogram -- an "X" with a bar through it -- that looks like a star or an asterisk:

Roman Republic, C. Servilius M.f., AR Denarius 136 BCE. Obv. Head of Roma right wearing winged helmet, wreath behind neck, ROMA beneath with * [X with bar through it = XVI monogram = mark of value for 16 asses] to left / Rev. Dioscuri on horseback galloping in opposite directions, heads turned back to face each other, both twins holding their spears downwards behind horses, C. SERVEILI M F in exergue. RSC I Servilia 1, Crawford 239/1, Sydenham 525, Sear RCV I 116 (ill.), BMCRR Italy 540. 19.35 mm., 3.89 g. [Sear says that this is the first Republican denarius with “ROMA” legend on obverse, and the second to use the monogram for XVI .]

image.jpeg.21528e644d03ccd1ef2c4491d873d433.jpeg

Here's a denarius that was issued more than a decade after re-tariffing, but bears no mark of value whatsoever:

Roman Republic, T. Cloelius, AR Denarius Rome 128 BCE. Obv. Head of Roma right wearing a winged helmet, single drop earring, and pearl necklace, wreath behind neck and ROMA beneath; no mark of value / Rev. Victory in biga right, holding reins in both hands in attempt to restrain horses rearing high (or “galloping with high action” [BMCRR Vol. I 1079 at p. 165]); below horses, an ear of grain right; in exergue, T•CLOVLI. Crawford 260/1, RSC I [Babelon] Cloulia 1 (ill. p. 32), BMCRR Vol. I 1079 & Vol. III Pl. xxix no. 5, Sear RCV I 136, RBW Collection 1055 (ill. p. 219), Sydenham 516. 19 mm., 3.83 g. Purchased Nov. 2021 from Künker France - Poinsignon Numismatique. [Footnote omitted.]

image.jpeg.d459070843bd3ffae586b9f19b036a89.jpeg

Then, in the midst of a long series of denarii bearing the XVI monogram, this type goes back to the "X" -- despite the denarius having been re-tariffed at 16 asses 25 years earlier:

Roman Republic, Anonymous* AR Denarius, 115-114 BCE.  Obv. Head of Roma right wearing winged Corinthian helmet; below, ROMA; behind, X [despite earlier change from 10 to 16 asses in value] / Rev. Roma, wearing Corinthian helmet, seated right on pile of shields, holding spear in left hand; helmet on ground between pile of  shields and her right foot; before her, she-wolf right, suckling twins Romulus and Remus; on either side, birds flying. Crawford 287/1, RSC I 176 (ill.), Sear RCV I 164 (ill.). 20 mm., 3.07 g. Ex. Silbury Coins, UK, Jan. 3, 2019.

 image.jpeg.fef8a786a20a7a79b042dbe91ccd595e.jpeg

*  See Sear RCV I at p. 104: "An issue lacking the moneyer's name is surprising and noteworthy at such a late date. The omission must have been his own decision and not the result of a change in government policy. Remarkably, this distinctive reverse type was revived almost 200 years later on an aureus of Titus (see no. 2417). [Italics in original.]

 Here is my latest denarius with the monogrammed XVI as a mark of value; none of my subsequent Republican denarii has any mark of value:

Roman Republic, L. Aurelius Cotta*, AR serrate Denarius, 105 BCE, Rome Mint. Obv. Draped bust of Vulcan right, wearing conical cap (pileus) bound with laurel wreath, tongs behind shoulder with * [= XVI; mark of value] above; beneath chin, control mark “D” with single pellet below**; all within myrtle-wreath / Rev. Eagle standing three-quarters right on thunderbolt with wings spread and head left; in exergue, L • COT; laurel-wreath around.*** Crawford 314/1b, RSC I Aurelia 21 (ill.); BMCRR 1296, Sydenham 577, Sear RCV I 191 (ill.). 19 mm., 3.74 g. Purchased from Ken Dorney June 2021; with old coin ticket from 1950s/1960s [with Sydenham number but not Crawford]. [Footnotes omitted.]

 image.jpeg.d28493aa78ab88acbe35e87624bf823b.jpeg

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/10/2022 at 1:52 PM, Alegandron said:

Around 141 BCE, Rome went through a revaluation of the Denarius from 10 Asses to 16 Asses...

When I was writing my page on how scholars date Roman Republican coins and their connection with history, I included comments on XVI under "c. 141" and c. 136:

http://augustuscoins.com/ed/Repub/TimelineTable.html
 

After reading many sources, I got the impression that the change from 10 to 16 was noted on coins with the change from X to XVI (which was very short-lived), but scholars avoided trying to explain why X was reused later--probably because it is hard to explain!

@Alegandronshowed an XVI example of L. Julius. Here is one from the same year, 141, but of C. Titinus, Cr 226/1, Sear I 102.


image.jpeg.c079d31cd8597368c5476ac1a0991fa3.jpeg

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...