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DENARIUS.

3'9S

BRITISH MUSEUM. ACTUAL SIZE. 60'6 GRAINS.

WEIGHT

DENARIUS.

patrimony,- the expression for which in At tie Greek was ttjs A.7/|e<w$ ct,pxzw: Xafyxavziv AcArjpy?', being equivalent to the Roman phrase adire here- ditatem. These registers were kept by the de- marchs, who, with the approbation of the members of the demus assembled in general meeting, in­ serted or erased names according to circumstances. Thus, when a youth was proposed for enrolment, it was competent for any demote to object to his admission on the ground of illegitimacy, or non- citizenship, by the side of either parent. The Demotae decided on the validity of these objec­ tions under the sanction of an oath, and the ques­ tion was determined by a majority of votes. (Dem. o. Eztb. p. 1318.) The same process was observed when a citizen changed his demus in consequence of adoption. (Isaeus, De Apoll. Hered. p. 66. 17.) Sometimes, however, a demarch Avas bribed to place, or assist in placing, on the register of a demus, persons who had no claim to citizenship. (Demosth. c. LeocJi. p. 1091.) To remedy this ad­ mission of spurious citizens (vrapeyypaTrToi) the §ta\J/7)<£iffis was instituted. [DiAPSEPHisis.] Lastly, crowns and other honorary distinctions could be awarded by the demi in the same way as by the tribes. (K. F. Hermann, Griech. Staats- alterth. §111, &c.; Wachsmuth, Hellen. Alter- thumsk. Arol, i. p. 544, &c., 2nd ed.; Leake, The Demi of Attika, London, 1841, 2nd ed.; Ross, Die Demen von Attika.) [R. W.]

DENARIUS, the principal silver coin among the Romans, was so called because it was originally equal to ten asses ; but on the reduction of the weight of the as [As], it was made equal to six­teen asses, except in military pay, in which it was still reckoned as equal to ten asses. (Plin. H.N. xxxiii. 13.) The denarius Avas first coined five years before the first Punic Avar, b. c. 269. [AR-gentum.] There were originally 84 denarii to a pound (Plin.//. N. xxxiii. 46 ; Celsus, v. 17. § 1), but subsequently 96. At Avhat time this reduction Avas made in the weight of the denarius is uncertain, as it is not mentioned in history. Some have con­jectured that it Avas completed in Nero's reign ; and Mr. Hussey (Ancient Weights, &c. p. 137) justly remarks, that Suetonius (Jul. 54) proves that 84 denarii went still to the pound, about the year B. c. 50 ; since if Ave reckon 96 to the pound, the pro­portion of the value of gold to silver is 7"8 to 1, Avhich is incredibly lo\v ; while the Aralue on the other supposition, 8'9 to 1, is more probable. Com­pare argentum.

Mr. Hussey calculates the average weight of the denarii coined at the end of the commonAvealth at 60 grains, and those under the empire at 52*5 grains. If avc deduct, as the average, -^ of the Aveight for alloy, from the denarii of the common­Avealth, there will remain 58 grains of pure silver ; and since the shilling contains 80*7 grains of pure

58 silver, the value of the best denarii Avill be rrr-~

of • a shilling, or 8*6245 pence ; which may be reckoned in round numbers 8^d. If the same method of reckoning be applied to the later denarius, its value Avill be about 7'5 pence, or 7^d. (Hussey, pp. 141, 142.)

The Roman coins of silver went at one time as low down as the fortieth part of the denarius, the teruncius. They were, the quinarius or half de­narius, the sestertius or quarter denarius [sester­tius], the>• libella or tenth of the denarius (equal to

WEIGHT

BRITISH MUSEUM. ACTUAL SIZE. 58'5 GRAINS.

the as), the sembetta or half libella, and the terun­cius or quarter libella.

The quinarius was also called vidoriatus (Cic. Pro Font. 5), from the impression of a figure of Victory which it bore. Pliny (H.N. xxxiii. 13) says that victoriati were first coined at Rome in pursuance of the lex Clodia ; and that previous to that time, they were imported as an article of trade from Illyria. The Clodius, who proposed this law, is supposed to have been the person who obtained a triumph for his victories in Istria, whence he brought home a large sum of money (Liv. xli. 13); which would fix the first coinage of the victoriati at Rome, b. c. 177 ; that is, 92 years after the first silver coinage.

If the denarius weighed 60 grains, the teruncius would only have weighed 1^ gr. ; which would have been so small a coin, that some have doubted whether it was ever coined in silver ; for we know that it was coined in copper. [As.] But Varro (DeLing. Lot. v. 174, eel. Mtiller) names it among the silver coins with the libella and sem-bella. It is, however, improbable that the terun­cius continued to be coined in silver after the as had been reduced to -Jg- of the denarius ; for then the teruncius would have been ^th of ~the denarius, whereas Varro only describes it as a .subdivision of libella, when the latter was yoth of the denarius. In the time of Cicero, the libella appears to have been the smallest silver coin in use (Cic. Pro. Rose, Com. c. 4) ; and it is frequently used, not merely to express a silver coin equal to the as, but any very small sum. (Plaut. Gas. ii, 5. 7, Capt. v. 1. 27.) Gronovius (De Sestertiis, ii. 2), however, maintains that there was no such coin as the libella when Varro wrote ; but that the word was used to signify the tenth part of a sestertius. No specimens of the libella are noAV found.

If the denarius be reckoned in value 8-^-c?., the other coins which have been mentioned, will be of the following value : —

Pence

Farth.

•5 3] 25

1-0625

2-125

2

•5

4

1

8

2

Teruncius . . . . Sembella .... Libella ..... Sestertius .... Quinarius or Victoriatus Denarius ....

It has been frequently stated that the denarius

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