Sestertius: coin of Roman Empire; 1/4 as


Sestertius, 244-249: Roman Empire

Sestertius, 244-249: Roman Empire

Ruler: Philip the Arab (Marcus Julius Philippus "Arabs") — Roman emperor from 244 to 249.

ANNONA AVGG: Annona Augusta — ancient goddess of the harvest, divine personification of the grain supply to the city of Rome. She was a creation of Imperial religious propaganda as a theophany of the emperor's power to care for his people through the provision of grain.

SC (Senatus Consultum) — a mark that was indicated on cheap copper/bronze coins to confirm that their value corresponds to the specified denomination (by special decree of the Senate).

Image of the ancient harvest goddess Annona with corn-ears, modius (a Roman measure of grain and corn volume, about 8 liters; also vessel capable of measuring one such measure) and cornucopiae (symbol of abundance and wealth).

IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG (Imperator Marcus Julius Philippus Augustus): Emperor Marcus Julius Philip Augustus.

Rome Mint (Italy).

Interesting: the emperor was born in the Syrian city of Shahba; therefore, it is not surprising that his portrait adorns the Syrian 100 pound banknote of 1998.

  • Bronze: 29 mm - 17.21 g
  • Reference price: 67.0$

COIN SESTERTIUS — WHERE & WHEN (coins catalog: by names & emitents)
  1. ANCIENT ROME (3rd century BC — 3rd century AD) — ROMAN REPUBLIC + ROMAN EMPIRE + ROMAN PROVINCES: sestertius = 2.5 as = 1/4 denarius

SESTERTIUS as coin name.
Sestertius (plural: sestertii) — an ancient Roman coin (originally silver, later copper/bronze/orichalcum), that was equal to a quarter of a denarius.
The Roman sestertius is one of the oldest coins in the world. There is evidence of their appearance as far back as the 3rd century BC (over 2200 years ago!).
Initially, these were relatively small silver coins (about 1 g; whereas the denarius weighed more than 4 g). Over time, bronze, noticeably heavier options appear.
At the turn of the millennium, the mass production of coins made of the orichalcum alloy (a common name in Rome for an ancient type of brass, resembling gold in color) began. Sometimes the weight exceeded the Roman ounce (more than 27 grams).
With regard to the purchasing power of the coin, one can find mention of the following, now somewhat "wild", fact on the Internet: in ancient Rome, a slave was worth, as a rule, 2000 sestertius (the slave owner would need a rather heavy "purse" — more than 50 kg of such coins; when calculating with denarii, the buying and selling operation looked more civilized: "only" more than 2 kg of coins were needed).
The last sestertius coins in circulation are mentioned in the second half of the 3rd century. The coin, as a valid means of payment, existed for about half a millennium.
Due to the significant influence of Rome on the life of a large part of humanity at that time, the coin became widely distributed in Europe, Asia and Africa. Therefore, it is not at all surprising that sestertii continue to be found en masse even in my country — in Ukraine.
The name of the sestertius coin comes from two Latin terms: "semis" (half) and "tertius" (third) — meaning "two and a half". The coin was originally (when it was exclusively silver) equal in value to the price of two and a half pounds of copper. The weight unit pound (in Rome — libra) was 327.45 g. That is, more than 818 g of copper could be purchased for the first silver sestertii.
On the other hand, originally the sestertius was equal to three coins: 2 asses + 1 semis (half an as) = 2.5 asses (at that time the as weighed exactly one libra).
It is interesting that sestertius was abbreviated as LLS (or in lower case letters — lls /libra-libra-semis or pound-pound-half/). When the first two letters are superimposed on the third, a dollar sign is obtained: $ (probably, still, a coincidence: other versions of the appearance of the symbol look much more plausible).