The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Monetarii – Monile

MONETA.

Roman citizen had the right to have his gold and silver coined, but none had the right to put his own image upon a coin, and not even Sulla ventured to act contrary to this custom. The coins apparently of the republican period with the portraits of individuals, were, according to Eckhel, coined at a later time, and by the de­scendants of those persons whose portraits are given. Caesar was the first to whom this privi­lege was granted, and his example was followed by many others, as we see from the coins of Sext. Pompeius. The emperors assumed the right to put either their own images or those of members of their families upon their coins.

From the time of Augustus, the triumviri, gene­rally speaking, no longer put their names on any coin, and it became the exclusive privilege of the emperor to coin silver and gold. The senate en­trusted with the administration of the aerarium retained only the right of coining copper, whence almost all copper coins of this period are marked with S. C. or EX S. C. But this lasted only till the time of Gallienus, when the right of coining all money became the exclusive privilege of the em­perors. As, however, the vast extent of the empire rendered more than one mint necessary, we find that in several provinces, such as Gaul and Spain, Roman money was coined under the superin­tendence of quaestors or proconsuls. Roman colo­nies and provinces now gradually ceased to coin their own money. In the western parts of the empire this must have taken place during the first century of our ae>ra, but in the East the Roman money did not become universal till after the time of Gallienus. From the time of the emperor Aurelian a great number of cities of the empire possessed mints in which Roman money was coined, and during the latter period of the empire the su­perintendents of mints are called procurators or praepositi monetae.

The persons who were employed as workmen in a mint were called monctarii. Their number at Rome appears to have been very great during the latter period of the empire, for in the reign of Aurelian they nearly produced a most dangerous rebellion. (Aurel. Vict. de Caes. 35 ; Vopisc Awrel. 38.) They seem generally to have been freedmen. (Murat. Inscript. 968. n. 5.)

In Greece every free and independent city had the right to coin its own money. Sparta and Ityzantium are said to have only coined iron money (Pollux, vii. 106), but no ancient iron coin has ever been found. Respecting the time when money was first coined in Greece, see argentum and Nu m M us. The Greek term for money was 1/0/^107101, from j/(5/xoy, because the determination of its value was fixed by law or contract. (Aristot. Ethic, v. 8.)

The mint at Athens was called apyvpoicoirs'iov. [argyrocopeion.] We do not hear of any officers connected with the management or the superintendence of the Athenian mint. How fur the right of coining money was a privilege of the central government of Attica is unknown. But the extant coins show that at least some denies of Attica had the right of coining, and it is probably that the government of Athens only watched over the weight and the purity of the metal, and that the people in their assembly had the right of regu­lating everything concerning the coining of money. (Aristoph. Ecdes. 810, &c.) The Attic gold and •silver coins were always of very pure metal, and

767

MONILE.

we have only one instance-in which the state at a time of great distress used bad metal. This was in the archonship of Antigenes and Callias, B. c. 407 and 406. (Aristoph. Ran. 673, with theSchol, and 678.) Individuals who coined bad money were punished with death. (Demosth. c. Lep't. p. 508; nomismatos diaphoras dike.) Tho place where money was coined is always indicated on Greek coins ; either the name of the place is stated, or some symbolical representation of the place, as the owl on Athenian and a peacock on Samian coins. These symbols are generally of a religious nature, or connected with the worship of the gods or heroes.

For further information on this subject see Eckhel, DoctrinaNumontm Veterum^ and especially the Prolegomena generalia in vol. i. ; Dureau de la Malle, Economic Politiqite des Romains.

MONETARII, [moneta.]

MONILE (opjaos), a necklace. Necklaces were worn by both sexes among the most polished of those nations which the Greeks called barbarous, especially the Indians, the Egyptians, and the Per­sians. [AH mill a.] Greek and Roman females adopted them more particularly as a bridal orna­ment. (Lucan, ii. 361 ; Claud, de vi. cons. Honor. 527.)

V>-^>^>:"^'^>>>>>x>s>>'>^^y>^->>>!ss

"5^^>>;>^>>>^g^>^>>»^^

>>>>>^^$%^-^>^»^a^»>

?>5>>'?^$»^;S^>>>5

^^-^r's^" Tr Vr' vr" V' S<^ V^N=. vv v^Svv^S-r ^< Vr* V»' iS'^^W1^ r.'

The simplest kind of necklace was the monih baccatum, or bead necklace (Virg. Aen. i. 657 ; Lamprid. AL Sev. 41), which consisted of berries, small spheres of glass, amethyst, £c., strung to­gether. This is very commonly shown in ancient paintings. (See woodcut, p. 136.) The head of Minerva at page 566, exhibits a frequent modifi­cation of the bead necklace, a row of drops hanging below the beads. These drops, when worn, arrange themselves upon the neck like rays proceeding from a centre. To this class of necklaces belongs one in the Egyptian collection of the British Museum (see the annexed woodcut), in which small golden lizards alternate with the drops. The figure in the

Pages
About | First | English Index | Classified Index | Latin Index | Greek Index

766

767

768
letter/word  
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.