Aureus: Difference between revisions

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[[File:Aureus Septimius Severus-193-leg XIIII GMV.jpg|thumb|300px|''Aureus'' minted in 193 by [[Septimius Severus]] to celebrate [[Legio XIV Gemina|XIV ''Gemina Martia Victrix'']], the legion that proclaimed him emperor.]]
The '''''aureus''''' ({{abbr|pl.|plural}} '''''aurei''''' — "golden") was a [[gold coin]] of [[ancient Rome]] originally valued at 25 pure silver ''[[denarius|denarii]]''. The ''aureus'' was regularly issued from the 1st century BC to the beginning of the 4th century AD, when it was replaced by the ''[[solidus (coin)|solidus]]''. The ''aureus'' was about the same size as the ''denarius'', but heavier due to the higher [[density]] of [[gold]] (as opposed to that of [[silver]].)
Before the time of [[Julius Caesar]] the ''aureus'' was struck infrequently, probably because gold was seen as a mark of un-Roman luxury. Caesar struck the coin more often, and standardized the weight at <math>\tfrac{1}{40}</math> of a [[Roman pound]] (about 8 [[gram]]s). [[Augustus]] (r. 29 BC – 14 AD) tariffed the value of the ''[[sestertius]]'' as <math>\tfrac{1}{100}</math> of an ''aureus''.