Copper Quadrans issued by the Roman Republic, 225-217 BC
Cast in Rome

Obverse Description

The head of Hercules wearing lions skin facing left; behind, three beads

Reverse Description

The prow of a Roman war ship; below, three beads

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. There were 12 Roman uncia in a Roman pound and 12 uncia coins to the as. This coin, a quadrans or quarter of an as was worth 3 uncia, hence the three dots for the denomination on each side. As with all Roman copper coins of that period, the weight of the coin denominations were gradually reduced. Quadrans coins with the weight of this example were being produced between 225 BC and 217 BC. Cast coins were not produced with exact weights but the average weight of a large sample would have been close to the desired standard.

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