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VICTORIA´TUS was the name of a Roman coin of considerable importance in the time of the Roman Republic, so called because it bore the type of Victory crowning a trophy. Its origin is doubtful; but it makes its appearance in Italy towards the end of the 3rd century B.C., first in Campania and then in other parts of the Roman dominions and in Rome itself. The weight is three scruples, or three sestertii; that is to say, three-fourths of the denarius, or about 45 grains. It has been disputed whether the [p. 2.955]weight of the victoriatus was taken from that of the contemporary coins of Illyria (after

Roman Victoriatus.

B.C. 229), or whether the reverse was the case. The convenience of the coin lay in the fact that it was equal in value to the drachms of the Illyrian, Achaian, Rhodian, Massilian, and other important currencies. Its importance in currency is fully attested by numerous finds. Beside the victoriatus, its half, weighing about 22 grains, also circulated.

The weight of the victoriatus soon fell; and at a period put by Mommsen at about B.C. 104, but by other writers earlier, quinarii or half denarii were issued with the types of the victoriatus, and after that time even victoriate coins issued earlier but still in circulation were reckoned only as half a denarius.


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