What was your roman coin worth?

The table laid out below, compares the relative values of the early denominations. Beneath that is a list of prices that are documented in the historical sources.

Values

# aureus denarius sestertius dupondius as semis quadrans
aureus 1 25 100 200 400 800 1600
denarius - 1 4 8 16 32 64
sestertius - - 1 2 4 8 16
dupondius - - - 1 2 4 8
as - - - - 1 2 4
semis - - - - - 1 2
quadrans - - - - - - 1

What could you get for your money?

  • Value of the historian Pliny's estate:5,000,000 denarii
  • Membership of the Senatorial class: 250,000 denarii
  • Membership of the Equestrian class: 100,000 denarii
  • Cost of staging 3 - 4 days public games: 25 50,000 denarii
  • Cost of a slave boy: 600 denarii
  • Annual pay of Roman legionary: 300 denarii
  • Overcoat: 13 denarii
  • Cloak: 5 denarii and 2 asses
  • Daily pay of labourer: up to 1 denarius
  • Loaf of bread: 2 asses
  • Half litre of wine: 1 as
  • Wax and stylus for writing: 1 semis