Copper As issued by Ancient Roman Republic, 225- 217 BC
Cast in Rome

Obverse Description

Laureate head of Janus; below _

Reverse Description

The prow of a warship; above I

Edge Description



The earliest copper coins of the denomination 'as' weighed one Roman pound (about 329 g.) and were produced by casting from about 280 BC. By 225 BC when coins like this example were being produced the weight of an as had dropped to an average of about 268 g. This coin's weight is slightly below that average. In about 217 BC the standard weight for the as began rapidly droping firstly to about 6 Roman ounces, then in about 214 BC to 3 ounces and to 2 ounces in about 211 BC. The smaller copper coins meant that the old production technique of casting could be replaced by striking. This coin was cast and its date of production, derived from its weight is in the period 225 BC to 217 BC.

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