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On this page: Ascaules – Ascia – Asclepieia – Ascoliasmus


The quadrans or teruncius, the fourth part of the ab, or piece of three ounces, has three tails to denote its value. An open hand, a strigil, a dol­phin, grains of corn, a, star, heads of Hercules, Ceres, &c., are common devices on this coin. Pliny (H. N. xxxiii. 3. s. 13) says that both the triens and quadrans bore the image of a ship. The sextans, the sixth part of the as, or piece of two ounces, bears two balls. In the annexed specimen, from the British Museum, there is a caduceus and strigil on one side, and a cockle-shell on the other. Its weight is 7.79 grains.



Roma, 1839, 4to. ; and in Lepsius's review of it appended to his treatise Ueber die Tyrrhener-Pelas- cjer.} [P.S.]

ASCAULES. [tibia.]

ASCIA (<TKS7rapvoV) Horn. Od. v. 235), an adze, Muratori (Ins. Vet. Thes. i. 534—536) has pub­lished numerous representations of the adze, as it is exhibited on ancient monuments. We select the three following, two of which show the instrument itself, with a slight variety of form, while the third represents a ship-builder holding it in his right hand, and using it to shape the rib of a vessel.

The uncia, one ounce piece, or twelfth of the as, is marked by a single ball. There appear on this coin heads of Pallas, of Roma, and of Diana, ships,, frogs, and ears of barley. (For other devices, see EckheL, Doctr. Num. Vet.}

After the reduction in the weight of the as, coins were struck of the value of 2, 3, 4, and even 10 ases, which were called respectively dussis or dupondius, tre&sis^ quadrussis^ and decusttis. Other multiples of the as were denoted by words of similar formation, up to centussis, 100 ases ; but most of ^herri do not exist as coins.

It is a very remarkable feet that, while the duodecimal division of the :as prevailed among the nations of Italy south of the Apennines, the deci­mal division was in use to the north of that chain ; so that, of the former nations no quincunx has been discovered, of the latter no semis. In Sicily the two systems were mixed. [pondera,] For further details respecting .the coinage of the other Italian states, see Bockh, Metrol. Untersuch. § 27 ; Abeken, .Vlittel-ftulien, and Lepsius, Ueber die Verbreitung des ItaLischen Munzsystems von Etrurien aus.

In certain forms of expression, in which aes is used for money without specifying the denomina­tion, we must understand the as. Thus deni aeris, mille aeris, decies aeris^ mean respectively 10,1000, 1,000,000 ases.

The word as was used also for any whole which was to be divided into twelve equal parts; and those parts were called unciae. Thus the nomen­clature of the duodecimal division of the as was ap-lied not only to weight and money, but to measures of length, surface, and capacity, to inheritances, interest, nouses, farms, and many other things. Hence, for example, the phrases haeres ex asse, the heir to a whole estate ; licieres ex dodrante, the heir to three-fourths, &c. (Cic. Pro Caecin^ 6 ; Corn. Nep. Attic. 5.) Pliny even uaes the phrases semis-sem Africae (H. N. xviii. 6. s, 7), and dodrantes et semiunciae horarum (ff.N.ii, 14. s. 11).

The as was also called, in ancient times, assarius (sc. nummus}, and in Greek rb auTffdpiov. to Polybius (ii. 15) the assarius was equal to half the obolus. On the coins of Chios we find affffdptov, affcraplov ^icrv, afftfdpia cfita, acrordpia rpia. (In addition to the works referred to in this article, and those of Hussey and Wurm, much valuable information will be found in the work entitled, Aes Grave del Museo

We also give another instrument in the above cut taken from a coin of the Valerian family, and ailed acisculus. It was chiefly used by masons, whence, in the ancient glossaries, Aciscularius is translated. AaT<fyios, a stone-cutter.

As to the reason why Ascia is represented on sepulchral monuments, see Forcellini, Lexicon, s.v. [J. Y.]

ASCLEPIEIA (a<r/cA?77riem), the name of festi­ vals which were probably celebrated in all places where temples of Asclepius (Aesculapius) existed. The most celebrated, however, was that of Epi- daurus, which took place every five years, and was solemnized with contests of rhapsodists and musicians, and with solemn processions and games. (Schol. ad Find. Nem. iii. 145 ; Paus. ii. 26. §. 7.) 'Acr/cA^TTieia are also mentioned at Lampsacus (Bockh, Corp. Inscr. vol. ii. p, 1131), and at Athens (Aeschin, c. Ctesiph. p. 455), which were, probably, like those of Epidaurus, solemnized with musical contests. They took place on the eighth day of the month of E^phebolion. [L. S.J

ASCOLIASMUS (do-^Aza^os., the leaping upon the leathern bag, o.o-kos} was one of the many kinds of amusements in which the Athenians indulged during the Anthesteria and other festivals in honour of Dionysus. The Athenians sacrificed

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