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DENA´RIUS 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. Its chief subdivisions in silver coins was the quinarius or half denarius, and the sestertius or quarter denarius [SESTERTIUS].

Denarii. (British Museum. Actual size.)

For other divisions and for the types found upon the coins, see As.


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