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tions such ofiicers hail formerly the title Triumviri monetales aeris, argenti, auri flatores (that is experts in the melting only of the metals) a fact which makes it appear certain that their institution was anterior to the time of the issue of silver money; at a time, that is, when casting only was the custom whether for coins of bronze, or for gold and silver bullion.
At any rate the title IIIVIRI does not appear on the coins until about the year 700 of Rome (54 B.C.); before that time their title was indicated by other letters.
174. The names of the three officers do not appear regularly on all the coins. Some bear only one name, others two, others all three.
Moreover coins in all three metals are known of some officers, while of others coins in two or one metal only, and the names of other officers, known by the testimony of authors or inscriptions, are not found on any coins. It is not difficult to understand such apparent anomalies by the very obvious supposition that the three officers sometimes worked together, and that others on the other hand divided between them the duties connected with the public treasury; one was for example appointed to superintend the melting of gold bullion, a second the coining of the silver and the third that of bronze.
It may also have happened that during the career of an officer there was no need to coin money in the metal over which he was appointed to preside.
175. The names of the officers were not always placed upon the coins in the same manner. From the first years in which silver coins were issued the officers placed on the coins a symbol as a sign by which they might be known, then an initial letter or a monogram and afterwards their full name, (as we shall see more fully in chapter XIX), modifying the types little by little, and at last completely changing them from those used at first.
176. Although the Triumviri monetales were the officers appointed for the coining of money this does not mean that the office was not sometimes conferred exceptionally on others even in Rome itself; and thus we have coins signed by the Plebeian /fidiles and by the Curule /iuliles.
177. Among the coins struck outside the city of Rome the military coinage (nummi castrenses) takes the first place. The military commander undertook the office of mint master, receiving the gold and silver from Rome, and according to his needs or circumstances coined the metal placing upon the coins his name with the title dictator consul, prxtor, or the generic title of imperator or sometimes he caused it to be coined by his qucestor or proquxstor, and such coins served for all the territory under his jurisdiction.
Here is a list of all the different titles appearing upon the coins of the Roman Republic.
178. TRIUMVIR (IIIVIll) confer what is said concerning this title in numbers 172, 173, and 174.
179. Quatuorvir (iiuvir) confer number 188.
180. Aedilis Plebis (aed Pl). The office of the Plebeian Aidiles was instituted about the year 495 B.C. at the same time as that of the Tribune of the People. The Plebeian asdiles were chosen from the plebeian party, and their official duties were originally connected with the care of the buildings (aedes, hence their name) in which the people assembled for the purpose of voting.
As assistants to the Tribunes, they were entrusted with the care of the public archives, and were sometimes also appointed to superintend the Annona (State stores for the year); they thus probably had the direction of the public games, and also assumed from time to time the office of moneyer as we may see from the coins of the families Calpurnia, Critonia, Fannia.
181. Aedilis Curulis (aed Cur). The curule asdiles instituted in the year 367 B.C. were chosen from among the Patricians, and bore the insignia of a higher rank than that of the Plebeian asdile.
They wore the toga prxtexla, and were enthroned on the sella curulis while the Plebeian rcdiles were only allowed a subsellium as their official seat. Their official duties were very nearly the same as those of the Plebeian ajdiles, but were exercised on more important or solemn occasions. When during their time of office they acted as mint officers they placed on the coins a curule throne as their symbol, examples of which are common among the coins of the following families, Cecilia, Considia, Cestia, Turia, Vettia, Plnetoria, Pompeia, Livineia, Valeria, Norbana.
182. Consul (cos). The title signifies a colleague, one of two consules appointed to work and consult together. The original institution ot the office of Consuls or united presidents seems to have been intimately connected with the earliest beginnings of the Roman political system and was inaugurated immediately after the expulsion of the kings.
The Consuls possessed royal powers and honours symbolized by the ebony sceptre, the curule throne, and the tasces, and were in fact the real rulers of the State.
In the year 452 B.C. their office was suspended to make room for the Decemviri, but was re-established in the year 444 B.C.
During the Republic the Consuls were elected by the people; then under the Empire by the Senate.
Very often they were nominated before entering upon the office and in the interval between nomination and office were called designati (consul designatus).
The number, originally two, was in the courseof time augmented but in order to manage this without altering the original number of men in office, the extra Consuls were elected for only one part of the year. At length in the time of the later empire the office of Consul became simply honorary, and hence we have the following titles which however do not appear on any coins;
Consules ordinarii, those which followed the ancient institutions, and being nominated on the Kalends of May gave their name to the year;
Consules suffecti or as it were supplementary officers were those nominated by the Emperor for the rest of the year, in case of the death of one of the ordinary Consuls;
Consules Innorarii those who having no real authority simply held the title honoris causa.
After the division of the Empire one consul was nominated for Rome and another for Constantinople and thus there was the Consul occidcntalis and the Consul orientalis.
183. Dictator (dig). This title was given to a Consul whenever through extraordinary circumstances the fullest powers were assigned to him.
The Dictatorship was usually of a temporary nature but under Julius Ca;sar became perpetual (Di itator perpetuus).
184. Censor (cens and sometimes Cens Pot, censoria potestate): this officer was originally instituted in the year 442 to assist the Consul in certain of his duties. The Censors were two in number and their special duties were the superintendence of the registration of the people, the collection of the revenue, and the public expenditure.
185. Praetor (praet). The Prcetors were first elected in the year 365 B.C. to assist the Consuls in their judicial functions; sometimes they were assisted by Proprxtores.
186. Imperator (imp). This title may be seen in its primitive sense of Commander-in-chief of the army on the coins of Sulla, Marcus Antonius, Lepidus, &c.
188. In the year 44 B.C. Julius Caesar increased the number of mint officers to four and their official title was therefore the quatuorviri (IIIIVIRI), which we may read on the coins of L. Flaminius Chilo and of L. Amilius Buca. In the year 27 B.C. the number of these officers was again changed back to three, all mention however of the triumviri on the coinage ceased in the year 5 B.C. ; but their office still existed under the supervision of the Senate charged with the striking of the Bronze coinage which they invariably marked with the letters S.C. (Senatus consulto).
The coinage of gold and silver, from that time passed into the direct jurisdiction of the Emperors as we shall see later in chapter XXIII.
Lucius Titurius Sabinus placed on the Obverse of his denarii the head of Titus Tatius the king of the Sabines from whom he claimed descent, and on the Reverse the rape of the Sabines.
The Horatii placed on their coins the name COCLES and the head of Cloelia, the Calpurnii the head of Numa Pompilius from whom they boasted their descent. In a similar way Quintus Marcius Philippus represented on his denarii the head of Philip of Macedonia; Julius Cassar in order to record the descent of /Eneas from Venus struck a denarius with the head of Venus on the Obverse and the scene of /Eneas carrying his aged father Anchises on the Reverse. Such examples might be multiplied considerably but those above cited are sufficient to prove how symbols, historical personages and scenes, generally referred to far off or extremely remote legends or myths, such as tended always to display the vanity of the moneyer whose name was engraved upon the coins.
194. Among these varied types exception must be made in regard to the coins issued not by the triumviri monetales but by officers not usually charged with coining.
The head of Saturn for example forms the constant type of the denarii issued by the Quaestors, because they were the custodians of the Public Treasury, situated in the precincts of the temple of Saturn.
The Curule /Ediles placed on their coins a curule throne as emblem of their office, the plebeian asdiles placed on theirs instead the head of Ceres.
195. Later, during the century which preceded the common era, contemporaneous events, triumphs and victories &c. began to be represented on the coinage, and at length Julius Caesar dared to place thereon his own portrait, an example which was soon followed by his generals, M. Antony, Lepidus, Labienus, Pompey and others, and finally Augustus claimed this as his own prerogative and that of certain of the members of the Imperial family.
196. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to give any general rules concerning the legends of the Republican coinage. Very often the Obverse is anepigraphic (that is to say without legend), especially when the coin bears the head of a deity. In such cases the name of the officer is inscribed on the Reverse together with the titles and offices with which he was invested and sometimes with other information, as for example, the authorization of the Senate and so forth. Moreover as these notices as well indeed as the names, cognomens or prenomens ("see number 191) are nearly always abbreviated, another list will be found necessary in order to decipher the legends, to which are added the few other abbreviations which are met with on some of the coins of the Republic.
LIST OF THE ABBREVIATIONS
A — Augur (Coelia).
AAA FF — Gold, Silver, Brass, melting, and striking (Aurom
Argentom Aeri Flando Feriundo). AC — Absolvo, Condemno (Cassia).
AED CVR — Aedilis Curulis (Aemilia, Furia, Plautia, Sulpicia).
AED PL or PLEB. — Aedilis Plebis (Critonia, Cupiennia).
AN XV PR H 0 C S — Annis quindecim progressus hostes occi
dit, cives servavit (Aemilia).