- Michael Crawford
ExtractThere are two related stories about Roman coinage: the one of its internal evolution, and the other of its progressive domination of the Mediterranean world, its use throughout the Roman empire, and finally its fragmentation into the coinages of the successor kingdoms in the west and the Byzantine empire in the east.Rome under the kings and in the early republic managed without a coinage, like the other communities of central Italy, with the episodic exception of some Etruscan cities; *bronze by weight, aes rude (see aes), with a pound of about 324 g. (11.5 oz.) as the unit, served as a measure of value, no doubt primarily in the assessment of fines imposed by a community in the process of substituting public law for private retribution; this stage of Roman monetary history is reflected in the *Twelve Tables. The progressive extension of Roman hegemony over central Italy brought booty in the form of *gold, *silver, and bronze; the means to create a coinage on the Greek model were at hand.
- Economic History