translated by “penny” in the
A. V. of the Bible, was the principal silver coin among the Romans, and was
so called because it was originally equal to ten asses; but on the reduction
of the weight of the as, it was made equal to sixteen asses, except in
military pay, in which it was still reckoned as equal to ten asses. The
denarius was first coined five years before the first Punic war, B.C. 269.
An account of the introduction and the subsequent reductions of the denarius
is given under As, p. 205, where its value and subdivisions are fully
discussed, and the authorities given. It is sufficient to state here that
its normal weight during the last two centuries of the republic was 60
grains, and its value about 8 1/2 d.
subdivisions in silver coins was the quinarius
or half denarius, and the sestertius
Denarii. (British Museum. Actual size.)
For other divisions and for the types found upon the coins, see As.