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COIN: metal stamped for currency, or in commemoration of some record the travels of Hadrian. The reign of Probus might be written event, in which latter case the coin are frequently distinguished as from his coins. In illustrating the history and chronology of sculpture medals. With the ancients, however, the coins used for currency had and ancient marbles, coins enable the scholar and the artist not only to occasionally this property of the modern medal. [MEDAL.] The word discern those peculiarities which characterise style, as it relates to coin is derived by some from the Greek Kólvos, common; by others different ages and schools, but to ascribe busts and statues to the persons from the Latin, cuneus, a wedge; the first currency of metal, in all whom they represent. The personation of the different provinces, too, probability, being in the form of wedges, or ingots. Commerce, in the forms another point of interest upon the Roman coins. Coins are earliest periods, was carried on by the mere exchange of articles, and frequently essential to the illustration of obscure passages in ancient it is remarkable that throughout the early part of Scripture, as well as writers; and preserve delineations of some of the most beautiful edifices through the poems of Homer, not a single passage occurs from which of antiquity not existing now even in their ruins. Addison, in his we can infer either the use or the existence of stamped money. Metals, Dialogue on the Usefulness of Ancient medals,' has long convinced however, being close and compact in form, universal as to use, and the world of the connexion of this science with poetry. As a branch admitting of division into larger or lesser parts, soon became the of the fine arts, it may be sufficient to say that some of the medals of representatives of value, though at what exact period remains in doubt. Sicily belong to a period when sculpture had attained its highest perHerodotus, i. 94, speaking of the Lydians, expressly says they were the fection. We would particularly refer to the coins of Syracuse
. In first people on record who coined gold and silver into money. The every quality of art, too, the Roman coins, to a certain period yield Parian Chronicle, however, ascribes the origin of coined money to the to the Greek alone. From Augustus to Hadrian the Roman mint was Æginetans, under Pheidon, king of Argos, 895 years before Christ. the seat of genius : and coins of admirable execution are found even Ælian, in his . Various History, corroborates this statement as far as down to the time of Posthumus. the Æginetans are mentioned : and our best numismatic antiquaries The generality of numismatic writers divide coins into Ancient and agree in considering the coins of Ægina, from their archaic form and Modern ;-the Ancient, into the great divisions of Greek, Roman, and appearance, as the most ancient known. They are of silver, and bear Barbarian. on the upper side the figure of a turtle, and on the under an indented The Greek they divide into cities and kings. Of the first they can mark, as if the metal, at the time of striking, had been fixed upon a make no chronological arrangement: it is alphabetical, under the puncheon, and from the weight of the blow had received a deep cleft. different countries. The kings commence with the age of Alexander In later coins of Ægina, the turtle has been changed to a tortoise, and the Great, and belong to the four kingdoms into which his empire the fissure on the other side converted into a device. The coins of was divided, besides the kingdom of Epirus. This series, in a chronoLydia probably come next in point of antiquity, and then the early logical point of view, closes with the extinction of the dynasty of the
Lagidæ in the Augustan age. The coins of the Greek cities were impressed either with appropriate symbols or the heads of deities. The coins of the monarchs bore the heads of the respective princes. Pinkerton observes that the first copper coins of Greece known are those of Gelon king of Syracuse, about 490 years before our æra. These were called Chalci, pieces of brass ; others, of a more diminutive size, were called Lepta, or Kerma, as being change for the poor. He considers there is no proof of the coinage of gold in Greece before Philip of Macedon. Athens had no gold money at the beginning of the Peloponnesian war.
The Roman coins are divided into consular, imperial, and medallions. The subdivisions of the consular are into Roman ases and coins of the families. Of the imperial there are two subdivisions, Roman and Grecian; the latter being again subdivided into those of provinces,
colonies, and municipia. The medallions are likewise divided into Gold Dario.
Roman and Grecian. The earliest coinage of Rome was of copper, and
took place in the reign of Servius Tullius, probably about five centuries Darics of the Persian kings, which occur both in gold and silver, and before Christ. The Romans are supposed to have borrowed the art bear a strong resemblance to the coins of Ægina in the mode of from their neighbours, the Etruscans. Of the as, its divisions and its striking : these, if they are to be referred to Darius the First, must compounds, we have already spoken in a former article. [As.] On have been coined between B.C. 522 and 486. The richer the metal, the some of the later Roman, as well as on what were called the Italian ases smaller and more portable was the quantity required for the coin. and their parts, the practice became prevalent of placing the naines of There are coins in gold of the early kings of Persia, similar in type to many of the principal families of Rome upon the fields of the coins. the silver Darics, and of very minute size.
These form the division which are called family coins. The silver The study of coins is not to be considered as the province of the coinage of Rome was introduced in the year 266 B.C., when the denarius antiquary alone. Coins are among the most certain evidences of was so termed from its being equivalent to ten ases. Pliny informs history. In the later part of the Greek series they illustrate the us ( Nat. Hist.' xxxiii. 13, edit. Hard. ii. 612) that the coinage of gold chronology of reigns. In the Roman series they fix the dates and was introduced sixty-two years after that of silver. The largest piece succession of events. Gibbon observes that if all our historians were of gold was called aureus. [AUREUS.) The imperial coins of Rome lost, medals, inscriptions, and other monuments, would be sufficient to form the most complete and most interesting series of any extant. ARTS AND SCI, DIY, VOL. III.