Roman Republic AE AS 195 - 187 BC

Obv: Janiform head. Rev: Prow of ship with anchor to right "ROMA" below. Metal: Bronze 31.1 grams, 31 mm diameter. Condition: VG.

History of Roman Coinage

Like the Spartans the early Romans were a military race with little need for commerce, which they left to their Greek neighbors.  Until the Romans starting getting tribute from Carthage, much of the Roman economy was based on bronze coins. Bronze was exchanged in Roman pounds, "Libra" or lbs which cointained 360 grams and was divided into 12 bronze coin units called uncia (ounce) so there were 12 ounces to a Roman lbs of 360 grams. Today's pound (lbs) is 25% more or 16 ounces (uncia) to a pound of 480 grams.