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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates


II. From the Abolition of the Monarchy in Rome to the Union of Italy

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson

The History of Old Rome

CHAPTER VIII - Law, Religion, Military System, Economic Condition, Nationality


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Page 26

Inland Intercourse in Italy

Respecting the internal intercourse of the Italians with each other our written authorities are silent; coins alone furnish some information. We have already mentioned(28) that in Italy, with the exception of the Greek cities and of the Etruscan Populonia, there was no coinage during the first three centuries of Rome, and that cattle in the first instance, and subsequently copper by weight, served as the medium of exchange.

28. Cf. I. XIII. Inland Commerce of the Italians

Within the present epoch occurred the transition on the part of the Italians from the system of barter to that of money; and in their money they were naturally led at first to Greek models. The circumstances of central Italy led however to the adoption of copper instead of silver as the metal for their coinage, and the unit of coinage was primarily based on the previous unit of value, the copper pound; hence they cast their coins instead of stamping them, for no die would have sufficed for pieces so large and heavy.

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