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Owen
Sep 27, 2007, 04:07 PM
Hello all. I am totally new to ancient coins...or coin collecting of any kind. :confused: I am a jewelry artisan, and I use ancient pieces in my designs sometimes. Anyway, I purchased a coin, and I don't understand part of the description. I wonder if anyone here would "translate" for me. Here is the entire description: Roman Empire, Hadrian, 117 - 138 AD. AE-As. Rome Mint. Rx./ Felicitas standing lt. Fine. Here is the portion that I don't understand: AE-As. Rome Mint. Rx. I emailed the person from whom I purchased the coin and he just said they were numismatic terms and told me to Google it...but I don't really know how to break it down to individual terms and where to begin. Please help. Thanks. :)

AncientDave
Sep 27, 2007, 04:46 PM
AE is an indication of the metal the coin is made of, and AE means either Copper or Brass. AR indicates silver, AU Gold. AS is short for Assarion, which is a denomination in the imperial coinage, probably the most common one in the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. It is usually a copper coin roughly the size of a U.S. Half dollar. Rx must refer to the Reverse of the coin, which in your case apparently shows the goddess Felicitas. Rome Mint means what it it sounds like, the coin was minted in Rome. Hope this helps.

hydatius
Sep 28, 2007, 12:13 PM
AS is short for Assarion, which is a denomination in the imperial coinage, probably the most common one in the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D.

Not quite. 'As' is 'as' (plural 'asses'), which is the name of the coin (the base unit of Roman republican coinage: 2 asses = 1 dupondius, 2 dupondii = 1 sesterius; it's pretty small change by the time of Hadrian). 'Assarius' is the adjective form of 'as' (like 'sestertius' and 'sestertiarius') and is used when referring to the monetary unit rather than the coin itself (the Oxford Latin Dictionary cites only one use of the word). 'Assarion' has been somehow turned into a neuter Greek noun.

Richard

Spradling
Sep 28, 2007, 02:14 PM
Assarion is the usual (and somewhat problematic) denomination for later Roman provincial coinages (replacing the earlier Greek denominations), so the large bronzes from the Balkans with the "E" on the reverse are often called pentassaria, and the bronzes from Southern Asia Minor with the mark IA on the obverse are often called ten or eleven assaria pieces (the "IA" being ambiguous and can be read as either ten assaria or the numeral 11). The denomination is written in full on coins of Chios. The noun assarion is based on the Roman as, but is not the same thing. Cheers, George Spradling

AncientDave
Sep 28, 2007, 05:39 PM
Look at that, I shared what I knew, and I learned something in the process. Welcome to the coolest hobby on earth, you never stop learning.

Owen
Sep 29, 2007, 05:16 PM
Many thanks to all!