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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.
Laurel crowns of bay or laurel leaves.
Radiate crowns with spikes or rays.
Civic crowns made of oak leaves.
Rostral crowns ornamented with model prows.
Mural crowns ornamented with battlements.

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.
Decussati, Crossed in the form of X.
Diadem, A circle or band of gold ornamenting the heads of

the Emperors of the later Empire.
Dioscuri, Castor and Pollux.
Electrum, A metal composed of gold and silver.

A bundle of rods round an axe, symbol of Consular

authority. Fillet,

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

M. Aurelius.
Licior, A Roman magistrate's attendant.

A curved rod, the badge of the augurs.

A cuirass.
Loricalus, One girt with a cuirass.
Modius, A measure like a bushel.
Nicephorus, A figure bearing a statuette of Victory.
Nimbus, An aureole, or halo.




Obriza (Obrussa), Very pure gold.
Palladium, A statuette of Minerva in the temple of Vesta.
Pallium, A Greek cloak.
Paludamentum, Au Imperial military cloak.
Parazonium, A short sword in a sheath.
Parma, A small round shield.

A small vessel like a saucer used in libations.
Pegasiis, The winged horse of the muses.

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

Secespila, A knife used in sacrificing.
Sella curulis, Throne or chair of the higher Magistrates.
Signa militaria, Military standards or ensigns.
Simpulum, A cup with a handle, used in the sacrifices.
Sistrum, A musical instrument of percussion used in the cult

of Isis.
Subsellium, The throne of the plebeian magistrates.
Suggestum, A stage or platform used by orators.
Teda, or Tæda, A pitch-pine torch.
Tessera, A small square wooden tablet.

A fillet worn by the Emperors. :
Tetrastyle, adj. used of temples with four columns.

a kind of Alute or pipe. Torque,

a Gallic chieftain's collar.
Tripod, a three-legged bronze altar.
Trireme, a ship with three rows of oars.
Triquetra, Three legs united, the symbol of Sicily.
Turreted, adj. used of castellated crowns.
Venabulum, a hunting spear.
Victimarius, The assistant of the priest at a sacrifice.

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.


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Æ'. First or Large Brass.

Second Brass.
Æs. Third Brass.
R. Silver.
N. Gold.
Obv. Obverse.

Reverse. to r. to right. to 1. to leit.

F.D.C. Fleur de coin, Mint condition.
E. F. Extremely fine condition.
V.F. Very fine condition.

Fine condition.
M. Mediocre condition.
P. Poor condition.
S. scarce, R. rare, RR. very rare, RRR. exceedingly rare.

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Stück = Specimen. desgl. dgl. desgleichen = ditto, the same.


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A. Al. or O. Aurum or Oro = gold.
R. Argento =silver.
Æ. or Br. Aes or Bronzo = Bronze.

Elettro = Electrum.

Piombo = Lead.
G. B. Gran Bronzo = a sertertius.
M. B. Medio Bronzo = Dupondius or As.
P. B. Piccolo Bronzo = Any subdivision of an As.
Med. Medaglione = Medallion.

D'. Dritto = Obverse.
Re. Rovescio = Reverse.
a. d. a destra = to right.
a. s. a sinistra = to left.
F. D. C. Fior di conio = Fleur de coin.

Buona conservazione = Good Condition.
Conservazione mediocre= Mediocre Condition.
Cattiva conservazione = Poor Condition.
Comune = Common.
raro = rare, RR. rarissimo = very rare, RRR. =

extremely rare.
R'. RP. Ri. ascending grades of rarity.

Unico = unique.
ES. Esemplare = Specimen.

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.

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