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On this page: Aes – Aes Circumforaneum – Aes Equestre – Aes Manuarium – Aes Uxorium



bronze was of a light and somewnat sickly tint. (See Quatremere de Quincy, Jupiter Otympie?i ; Plut. De Pytli. Orac. 2.) Plutarch says, that in his time its composition was unknown. For fur­ther information on the composition of "bronze, see L. Savot (Num. Ant. p. ii. c. 17), Falbroni (in the Atti deir Acad. Ital. vol. i. pp. 203—245, and Got-ting. Gel. Anzeig. 1811, No. 87), and Winckel-mann (Werke, vol. v.).

No ancient works in brass, properly so called, have yet been discovered, though it has been af­ firmed that zinc was found in an analysis made of an antique sword (see Mongez, Mem. de Flnstitut.); but it appeared in so extremely small a quantity, that it hardly deserved notice ; if it was indeed present, it may rather be attributed to some acci­ dent of nature than to design. On the subject of metals and metallurgy in general, seeMETALLUM, and for the use of bronze in works of art see statuaria. [P. S.]

AES (money, nummi a'cnei or aerii). Since the most ancient coins in Rome and the old Italian states, were made of aes, this name was given to money in general, so that Ulpian (Dig. 50. tit. 16. s. 159) says, Etiam aureos nummos aes dicimus. (Compare Hor. Ars Po'dt. 345, Ep. i. 7. 23.) For the same reason we have aes alienum, meaning debt, and aera in the plural, pay to the soldiers. (Liv. v. 4 ; Plin. H. N. xxxiv. 1.) The Romans had no other coinage except bronze or copper (aes), till B. c. 269, five years before the first Punic war, when silver was first coined ; gold was not coined till sixty-two years after silver. (Plin. H. N. xxxiii. 13.) For this reason Argen- tinus, in the Italian mythology, was made the son of Aesculanus. (Quia prius aerea pecunia in usu esse coepit post argentea. August. De Civ. Dei, iv. 21.) Respecting the Roman copper money, see As, and respecting the Greek copper money see chalcous. [P. S.]

AES CIRCUMFORANEUM, money bor­rowed from the Roman bankers (argentarii), who had shops in porticoes round the forum. (Cic. Ad Attic, ii. 1.)

AES EQUESTRE, AES HORDEA'RIUM, and AES MILITA'RE, were the ancient terms for the pay of the Roman soldiers, before the regu­lar stipendium was introduced. The aes equestre was the sum of money given for the purchase of the horse of an eques ; the aes hordearium, the sum of money paid yearly for the keep of the horse of an eques, in other words the pay of an eques ; and the aes militare, the pay of a foot soldier. (Gaius, iv. 27.) None of this money seems to have been taken from the public treasury, but to have been paid by certain private persons, to whom this duty was assigned by the state.

The aes Jiordearium, which amounted to 2000 asses, had to be paid by single women (viduae, i. e. both maidens and widows) and orphans (orbi), pro­vided they possessed a certain amount of property, on the principle, as Niebuhr remarks, that in a mili­tary state, the women and children ought to con­tribute for those who fight in behalf of them and the commonwealth ; it being borne in mind, that they were not included in the census. (Liv. i. 43 ; Cic. de Rep. ii. 20.) The equites had a right to distrain (pignoris capio) if the aes hordearium was not paid. (Gains, I. c.)

The aes equestre, which amounted to 10,000 asses, was to be given, according to the statement


of Livy (I. c.), out of the public treasury (expullico}; but as Gaius says (/. c.), that the equites had a right to distrain for this money likewise, it seems impossible that this account can be correct ; for we can hardly conceive that a private person had a right of distress against a magistrate, that is, against the state, or that he could distrain any of the public property of the state. It is more pro­bable that this money was also paid by the single women and orphans, and that it was against these that the equites had the same right to distrain, as they had in the case of the aes hordearium.

The aes militare, the amount of which is not expressly mentioned, had to be paid by the tribuni aerarii, and if not paid, the foot soldiers had a right of distress against them. (Cato, ap. Gell. vii. 10 ; Varr. L. L.v. 181, ed. Miiller; Festus,s. v. aerarii tribuni ; Gains, /, c.) It is generally as­sumed from a passage of the Pseudo-Asconius (in Verr. p. 167, ed. Orelli), that these tribuni aerarii were magistrates connected with the treasury, and that they were the assistants of the quaestors ; but Madvig (De Tribunis Aerariis Disputatio^ in Opuscida, vol. ii. pp. 258—261), has brought for­ward good reasons for believing that the tribuni aerarii were private persons, who were liable to the payment of the aes militare, and upon whose pro­perty a distress might be levied, if the money were not paid. He ' supposes that they were persons whose property was rated at a certain sum in the census, and that they obtained the name of tribuni aerarii, either because they received money from the treasury for the purpose of paying the soldiers, or because, which is the more probable, they levied the tributum, which was imposed for the purpose of paying the army, and then paid it to the soldiers. The state thus avoided the trouble of collecting the tributum and of keeping minute accounts, for which reason the vectigalia were afterwards farmed, and the foot-soldiers were thus paid in a way similar to the horse-soldiers. These tribuni aerarii were no longer needed when the state took into its own hands the payment of the troops [exercitus], but they were revived in b. c. 70, as a distinct class in the commonwealth by the Lex Aurelia, which gave the judicia to the senators, equites and tribuni aerarii. [tribuni aerarii.] The opinion of Niebuhr {Hist, of Rome, vol. i. p. 474.), that the aes militare was paid by the aerarians [aerarii] is, it must be recollected, merely a conjecture, which, however ingenious, is supported by no an­cient authority.

It has been well remarked by Niebuhr (Hist, of Rome, vol. ii. p. 442), that the 2000 asses, which was the yearly pay of a horseman, give 200 asses a month, if divided by 10, and that the monthly pay of a foot soldier was 100 asses a month. It must be recollected that a year of ten, and not of twelve months, was used in all calculations of pay­ments at Rome in very remote times.

AES MANUARIUM was the money won in playing with dice, manibus collectum. Manus was the throw in the game. All who threw certain numbers, were obliged to put down a piece of money; and whoever threw the Venus (the highest throw) won the whole sum, which was called the aes'manuarium. (Gell. xvii. 13 ; Suet. Aug. 71.)

AES UXORIUM, a tax paid by men who reached old age without having married. It was first imposed by the censors, M. Furius Camillus and M. Postumius, in b. c. 403, but we do not

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