What Was Roman Money Called?

The name of Ancient Roman currency depended on the coin’s metal, collectively called aes; a bronze coin was an as, a silver coin was a denarius and a gold coin was an aureus. Ancient Romans also used copper alloy coins called dupondius and metal alloy coins called sestertius.

The denominations of Roman currency changed depending on the time period. For example, after the Second Punic War in 201 BC, the denominations were based on the as:

  • Dupondius: equal to two asses
  • Sestertius: equal to two dupondii or four asses
  • Denarius: equal to four sestertii, eight dupondii or 16 asses
  • Aureus: equal to 25 denarii, 100 sestertii, 200 dupondi or 400 asses