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frame serves as a kind of cornice to the type; they were sometimes added to the medallion in ancient times, but in other cases they form a single piece with the medallion itself.
114. Exagium (solidi). A piece of bronze either rectangular or round, used in the later times of the Empire to serve as the standard weight of the Roman solidus. They often bore the portrait or portraits of the Imperial family of their time and sometimes the inscription exagium solidi.
115. TESSERA. These were provisional substitutes for money, a kind of token or representative sign of value. They exist in both bronze and lead and are of all periods (see ch. XXXVII).
116. CONTORNIATES are a kind of tessera or medallion measuring from about an inch to an inch and a half, for the most part cast and very rarely struck and having certain characteristics which distinguish them from coins. They were produced in the third and fourth centuries and their name is derived from a circular furrow or incised ring on both sides forming a kind of cornice or frame to the types (see ch. XXXIII).
117. SPECIAL WORDs. There are many technical words used by Numismatists and Archäologists, some simply Latin or Greek words, others more or less modernised, which have a special meaning and are frequently used in the descriptions of coins. Some of these have been explained above, but there are many others of which it may be as well to give an alphabetical list :
Accensus, an apparitor or attendant on a consul or prætor. Accollated, adj. used of two portraits, one overlapping the other
in the same direction. Acerra,
A small casket in which incense was kept. Ædile, A Roman magistrate. Ægis, A breastplate ornamented with the Gorgon's head. Apex, A sacerdotal pointed cap. Aquila legionaria, The eagles on the Roman standards. Bifrons. A head having two faces like Janus. Billon, A French word for very base silver coinage. Bipennis, An axe with two edges (cf. securis). Caduceus, A rod round which serpents are twisted. Mercury's
emblem. Carpentum, A coach drawn by mules used by the Empresses. Cistophorus, A silver coin of Asia Minor, bearing as type the
mystic chest of Bacchus with serpents above. Clipeus, The round brazen shield of the Roman soldiers.
Also a shield bearing a portrait hung on a public
building. Congiarium, At first a provision of food or oil, afterwards a present of money given by the Emperors, used from
Nero to M. Aurelius. Cornucopiae, Horn of plenty. The horn of the goat Amalthea. Cornupete, Word descriptive of the action of a bull butting. Corona,
The head decoration of Emperors and divinities on
Roman coins. These were of the following kinds.
And crowns of ivy, myrtle, rushes and roses.
The ornament on a helm. : Curule (Curulis), adj. applied to the thrones or seats of Curule
Adiles or other high magistrates.
the Emperors of the later Empire.
A bundle of rods round an axe, symbol of Consular
The band round the head of a god or Emperor. Flamen,
A chief priest of Jupiter or Mars. Ilcxastyle, A temple with six columns in front. Hippocampus, A sea-horse.
A twisted band or white woollen fillet worn by
Roman priests. Insignia, Pontifical or military badges or ensigns. Labariim, A military standard bearing the monogram of Christ. Largitio, An Imperial gift or distribution, a later word for
Liberalitas, introduced by Constantius II. Laureale, Ornamented with a crown of laurel. Lemnisci, The ribbons attached to a crown. Lectisternium, A feast at which idols were seated at table. Liberalitas, A present of food from the Emperor (same as Con
giarium) this word was used after the time of
A curved rod, the badge of the augurs.
Obriza (Obrussa), Very pure gold.
A small vessel like a saucer used in libations.
A shepherd's crook.
A small shield, crescent-shaped. Pelasiis,
The winged travelling-cap of Mercury. Pharetra,
A quiver for arrows. Pileus,
The conical shaped cap of the Dioscuri. Plectrum,
An instrument used in playing the lyre. Poculiiiit,
A cup. Pusulatum, Refined silver. Potin, A French word for very base silver. Præfericulum, A large shallow bowl used in sacrifices wrongly used
for guttus, a narrow-necked vase. Prætexta (toga). A magistrate's toga bordered with purple. Radiate, adj. With rays, or frequently with a rayed crown. Rostrum, The beaked prow of a Roman ship. Rostrata, Decorated with prows, as for example a crown or
A fillet worn by the Emperors. :
a kind of Alute or pipe. Torque,
a Gallic chieftain's collar.
118. ABBREVIATions. It will be useful to conclude this chapter on nomenclature with an explanation of the Abbreviations commonly used in Numismatic books and catalogues throughout Europe.
Æ'. First or Large Brass.
Reverse. to r. to right. to 1. to leit.
Stück = Specimen. desgl. dgl. desgleichen = ditto, the same.
A. Al. or O. Aurum or Oro = gold.
Elettro = Electrum.
Piombo = Lead.
D'. Dritto = Obverse.
Buona conservazione = Good Condition.
Unico = unique.
FRENCH ABBREVIATIONS (Some which are identical with the Italian are omilted.) AV. Avers = Obv. Rev. Revers = R. à d. à droite= to right. à g. à gauche = to left. . F. d. c. Fleur de coin = In mint condition. T. B. Très belle = very fine condition.
Belle = good condition. fr. fruste = bad condition.
trouée = pierced. four. fourrée = plated.
pièce = specimen. pl. plomb = lead.