Ancient Roman Money
Like the Ancient Greeks, the Romans employed a barter system in the early days if their history. During the Republic, around the fifth century B.C., Roman merchants and citizens exchanged goods and services with one another. The customary barter good was the pecus, or cow (the Latin word for money is pecunia). This worked well when Rome was just Rome. But as the city grew into a republic, and the Republic grew and expansion occurred, bartering became more and more inconvenient and ineffective.The Introduction of Silver
To compete with their Greek trading partners, who had been minting silver coins since the seventh century B.C., the Romans brought in Greek metal smiths to mint silver coins for them. As expected, the early Roman silver coins were heavily inspired by the Greeks.
The Greek style of coinage was used by the Romans until 187 B.C. At this time, Rome restructured its currency system, introducing new denominations and types of coins, including a piece of silver called the denarius.Roman Coins and Values as – bronze coin, basic unit of currency dupondius – bronze coin, worth two asses semis – bronze coin, also worth two asses sestertius – bronze coin, worth four asses quadrans – bronze coin, also worth four asses denarius - silver coin, worth 16 asses aureus – gold coin, worth 400 asses Imperial Currency
During Rome’s Imperial period (27 B.C. - A.D. 313), more currency continued to be minted from bronze, brass, silver, and gold. Earnings were paid to workers using silver denarii and gold aureii. Commercial business was usually done using brass and bronze coins.
In the city of Rome, coinage was minted in the Temple of Juno Moneta (the derivation of the word “money”) on the Capitoline Hill. The responsibility of currency production and issue lied with junior magistrates called tresiviri monetales, who were members of the Senate. Around the Empire, different provinces were responsible for minting gold and silver coins, as well as bronze and brass coins. Coins continued to be produced featuring prominent Roman symbols and citizens, including both gods and Emperors.
Roman coins continued to be widely used and accepted until the capital was moved to Byzantium. Coinage symbols changed from Roman gods and emperors to symbols of Christianity. These new Roman coins then became the standard currency of the entire region of the Byzantine Empire.