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632. The money of the Romans was in early times wholly of copper. The unit was the as, which was nominally a pound in weight, but actually somewhat less. It was divided into twelve unciae (ounces).

In the third century B.C. the as was gradually reduced to one-half of its original value. In the same century silver coins were introduced,—the dēnārius and the sēstertius . The denarius = 10 asses; the sestertius = 21/2 asses.

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