A Roman silver coin, so called because it originally contained 10 asses.
In later times it=16 asses
=1/25 of an aureus.
Its original weight was 4.55 gr.
(=between $0.18 and $0.20); from B.C. 217 to Nero, 3.90 (about $0.14); after Nero's time 3.41
gr., the amount of pure silver being so reduced that it was worth only about $0.12. Its value
subsequently sank more and
Denarii, actual size. (British Museum.)
more, until at the beginning of the third century A.D. it was worth only $0.06. When
at the end of the third century Diocletian introduced a new silver coin of full value
according to the Neronian standard (the so-called argenteus
), the name
was transferred to a small copper coin. See Numismatics