Images de page


from Persia and Assyria, and associated with the on the reverse of the staters of Philip of Macedon, worship of Cybele, a symbol which is continued in known as Philips, and largely imitated by other the later coinage of Miletus. Types of this kind states. Coins of Alexander the Great are abundant, were succeeded by portraits of protecting deities. many having been struck after his conquests in the The earliest coins of Athens have the owl, as type of Greek towns of Asia. A rose distinguishes those the goddess Athene; at a later period, the head of struck at Rhodes, a bee those struck at Ephesus, the goddess herself takes its place, the owl afterwards &c.; these are all types generally accompanying re-appearing on the reverse. The pinch-mark, the figure of Zeus on the reverse ; on the obverse at tirst a rudely-roughed square, soon assumed the is the head of Hercules, which has sometimes been more sightly form of deep, wedge-like indents, which supposed to be that of Alexander himself. It in later specimens becoine more regular, till they would rather seem, however, that the conquercr's form themselves into a tolerably symmetrical square. immediate successors were the first who placed In the next stage, the indents become shallower, their portrait on the coins, and that under a shallow and consist of four squares forming one large one. pretence of deification, Lysimachus as a descendant

The surrounding of the punch- of Bacchus, and Seleucus of Apollo, clothed in the
mark with a band bearing a attributes of these deities. Two most beautiful and
name, and the introduction of important series of Greek coins are those of the
a head in its centre, as in the Seleucidæ, in Asia, of silver, and of the Lagidæ or
annexed figure (fig. 2), gradu. Ptolemies, in Egypt, of gold.
ally led to the perfect reverse. In Palestine there is an interesting series of coins
There is a remarkable series founded on the religious history of the Jewish
of so-called “encased' coins nation, and assigned to Simon Maccabæus. They
struck in Magna Græcia, of are shekels and half-shekels, equivalent to two Attic
which the reverse is au exact drachme and one drachma respectively. The shekels

repetition in concave of the bear on the obverse the pot of manna, with the Fig. 2. relief of the obverse. These inscription ‘Schekel Israel' (the Shekel of Israel); on

coins are thin, flat, sharp in the reverse is Aaron's rod with three flowers, and relief, and beautifully executed.

the legend • Terouschalim kedoschah' (Jerusalem The learling coin of Greece and the Greek colonies the Holy). The inscriptions are in the Samaritan was the st:iter, so called because founded on a stan- character. The successors of Simon assumed the dard of weight generally received before the intro- title of king, and placed their portraits on the coins, duction of coined money. There were double staters, with inscriptions in Greek as well as in Hebrew. and half, third, and quarter staters, and the stater Roman coins belong to three different series, was equivalent in value to six of the silver pieces known as the Republican, the Family, and the called drachmäe. The obolus was one-sixth of the Imperial. drachma, at first struck in silver, in later times in The so-called Republican, the earliest coinage, corper.

beyan at an early period of Roman history, and The inscriptions on the earliest Greek coirs consist subsisted till about 80 B. C. Its standard metal of a single letter, the initial of the city where was copper, or rather æs or bronze, an alloy of they were struck. The remaining letters, or a portion of them, were afterwards added, the name, when in full, being in the genitive case.

Monograms sometimes occur in audition to the nanie, or part name, of the place. The first coin bearing the name of a king is the tetradrachm (or piece of four drachmä) of Alexander I. of Macedon.

Among the early coins of Asia, one of the most celebrated is the stater Daricus or Daric, named from Darius Hystaspes. It had for symbol an archer kneeling on one knee, and seems to have been coined for the Greek colonies of Asia by their Persian conquerors. In the reign of Philip of

Fig. 4. Macedon, the coinage of Greece bad attained its full development, having a perfect reverse.

One of the copper,

The standard unit was the poundweight earliest specimens of the complete coin is a beau- diviled into twelve ounces. The æs, or as, or pound tiful medal struck at Syracuse, with the head of of bronze, is said to have received a state impress as

early as the reign of Servius Tullius, 578

This gigantic piece was oblong like a brick, and stamped with the representa. tion of an ox or sheep, whence the word pecunia, from pecus, cattle. The full pound of the as was gradually reluced, always retaining the twelve (nominally) uncial subdivisions, till its actual weight came to be no more than a quarter of an ounce. About the time when the as had dimin. ished to nine omces, the square form was exchanged for the circular.

This large copper coin, called the 'as grave,' was not struck with the punch, but cast, and exhi

biteli on the obverse the Janus bifrons ; Fig. 3.

and on the reverse, the prow of a ship, with

the numeral I. Of the fractions of the Proserpine accompanied by dolphins, and for reverse | ag, the sextans, or sixth part, generally bears the a victor in the Olympic games in a chariot receiving head of Mercury, and the uncia, or ounce piece a wreath from Victory- a type which is also found | (tig. 4), that of Ninerva ; these pieces being further

B. C.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



distinguished by dots or knobs, one for each ounce. Judæa. The Colosseum appears on a sestertive of There were circular pieces as high as the decussis, Vespasian. The coins of Trajan are noted for their or piece of twelve asses, presenting a head of Roma architectural types. Hadrian's coins commemorate (or Minerva), but none are known to have been his journeys. The coins and medals of Antonine, coined till the weight of the as had diminished to Marcus Aurelius, and the two Faustinæ are well four ounces. The Roman uncial coinage extended executed; as are also those of Commodus, of whom to the other states of Italy, where a variety of types a remarkable niedallion relates to the conquest of were introduced, including mythological licads and Britain. There is a rapid falling off in design after animals, In the reign of Augustus, the as the time of Commodus, and base silver conies extenvirtually superseded by the sestertius, called by 'sively into use in the reign of Caracalla. Gallienus numismatists the first bronze, about the size of our introduced the practice of coiving money of copper penny, which was at first of the value of 2, after washed with silver. wards of 4 asses. The sestertius derived its value The colonial and provincial money of this period from the silver denarius, of which it was the fourth. was very inferior to that coined in Rome. In the The half of the sestertius was the dupondius (known coins of the provinces which had been formed out as the second bronze), and the half of the dupondius of the Greek empire, the obverse bears the emperor's was called the assarium, an old name of the as. head, and the reverse generally the chief temple of The assarium is kuown to numismatists as the the gods in the city of coinage; the inscriptions are third bronze.

in Greek. In the imperial coins of Alexandria Silver was first coined at Rome abont 281 B. C., appear such characteristic devices as the heads of the standard being founded on the Greek drachma, Jupiter Ammon, Isis, and Canopus, the sphinx, the then equivalent in value to ten asses; the new coin serpent, the lotus, and the wheat-ear. Colonial was therefore called a denarius, or piece of ten asses. coins were at first distinguished by a team of oxen, The earliest silver coined at Rome has on the afterwards by banners, the number of which indi. obverse the head of Roma (differing from Minerva cated the number of legions from which the colony by having wings attached to the lielmet); on the had been drawn. reverse is a quadriga or biga, or the Dioscuri. After the time of Gallienus, the colonial money Among various other types which occur in the and the Greek imperial money, except that of silver of the Italian towns subject to Rome are the Alexandria, ceased, and much of the Roman coinage horse's liead, and galloping horse, Loth very beauti- was executed in the provinces, the name of the ful. During the social war, the revolted states town of issue appearing on the exergue. Diocletian coined money independently of Rome, and used introduced a new piece of money, called the follis, various devices to distinguish it as Italian and not which became the chief coin of the lower empire. Roman money.

The first bronze has disappeared after Gallienus, The earliest gold coins seem to have been issued and the second disappears after Diocletian, the third about 90 B. C., and consisted of the scrupulum, bronze diminishing to zóth of an ounce. With the equivalent to 20 sestertii, and the double and treble establishment of Christianity under Constantine, a scrupulum. These pieces bear the head of Mars on few Christian types are introduced. The third bronze the obverse, and on the reverse an eagle standing of that emperor has the Labarum (q. v.), with the on a thunderbolt, with the inscription 'Roma' on monogram IHS. Large medallions, called contorniati, the exergue. The large early republican coins were encircled with a deep groove, belong to this period, cast, not struck.

and seem to have been prizes for distribution at The Family Coins begin about 170 B. C., and the public games. Pagan types recur on the coins about 80 B. c. they entirely supersede the coins first of Julian ; and after his time the third bronze described. Those families who successively held disappears. offices connected with the public mint acquired the The money of the Byzantine empire forms a link right first to inscribe their names on the money, between the subject of ancient and that of modern afterwards to introduce symbols of events in their coins. The portrait of the emperor on the obverse own family history. These types gradually super. is after the 10th c. supported by some protecting seiled the natural ones; the portrait of an ancestor saint. The reverse has at first such types as followed; and then the portrait of a living citizen, Victory with a cross, afterwards a representation of Julius Caesar,

the Saviour or the Virgin ; in some instances, the Under the empire, the copper sestertius, which Virgin supporting the walls of Constantinople. had displaced the as, continued the monetary Latin is gradually superseded by Greek in the standard A magnificent series exists of the first inscriptions, and wholly disappears by the time of bronzes of the emperors from Augustus to Gallienus. Alexius I. The chief golul piece was the solidus or While it was the privilege of the emperors to coin nomisma, which was long famed in commerce for its gold and silver, copper could only be coined ex purity, and circulated largely in the west as well as senatusconsulto, which from the time of Augustus the east of Europe. was expressed on the coins by the letters S.C., or Of the coins of the middle ages, the most importCX S.C. The obverse of the imperial coins bears ant is the silver denier or penny, derived froni the the portraits of the successive emperors, sometimes Latin denarius. Its half was the obole, first of of the empress or other members of the imperial silver, afterwards of billon. Coins of this descrip family; and the reverse represents some event, tion were issued in the German empire, France, military or social, of the emperor's reign, sometimes England, and the Scandinavian states, and in many allegorised The emperor's name and title are cases by ecclesiastical princes and feudal lords as inscribed on the obverse, and sometimes partly well as sovereigns. The obverse of the regal coin continued on the reverse; the inscription on the of the early middle ages is generally the bust of the reverse generally relates to the subject delineated; sovereign, and the reverse a Greek cross, accomand towards the close of the 31 c., the exergue of panied by the royal name or title, and the place of the rt verse is occupied by the name of the town mintage or the moneyer (see Mint),

The arms of where the coin is struck. The coins of Augustus the country were introduced in the 12th c., in conand those of Livia, Antonia, and Agrippina the junction with the cross, and afterwards superseded Ever have much artistic merit. The workmanship it. In the 13th and 14th centuries, coins began to of Nero's sestertii is very beautiful. The coins of be issued by free imperial cities or corporations of Vespasian and Titus cominemorate the conquest of towns; and there prevailed extensively throughout


[ocr errors]

Germany and other parts of Europe a thin piece of that coin had been fixed at ten shillings, were called a bracteate, in relief on one side, and hollow called rials (a name derived from a French coin), on the other, often not bearing a single letter, and and the double rial or sovereign was first coined rarely a full inscription. Down to the 14th c., the by Henry VII. The obverse has the king on relief of the medieval coins is very inconsiderable, his throne with sceptre and orb, and on the reverse, the pieces thin, and the art poor.

in the centre of a heraldic full-blown rose, is Britain received the Roman money on its subji. a shield with the arms of France and England gation. Constantine secms to have had a mint in The testoon, or shilling, valued at twelve pence, London, and the Roman currency continued to also first appeared in this reign, with the royal circulate for a time after the departure of the profile crowned on the obverse, and the royal arms conquerors. The first independent coinage, however, quartereil by the cross ou the reverse. A great shews hardly a trace of the influence of Rome; it debasement of the coinage took place in the reign consists of two small coins, called the skeatta and of Henry VII. The reverse of the farthings of that styca, the former of silver, the latter of copper. monarch bears a portcullis, that of the shillings a Both seem to belong solely to the Saxon kingdom of rose surmounted by a crown, and of the sovereigns, Northumbria ; they are without inscriptions; a the royal arms supported by a lion and dragon. A bird, a rude profile, and several unintelligible sym. noble was coined with St George and the dragon on bols appear on them, and their art is of the most the obverse, and on the reverse a slip with three debased kind. In the other kingdoms of the hep- crosses for inasts, and a rose on the centre mast. tarchy silver pennies were coined, first intended to On the coins of Henry VIII. the title “Hiberniw be zagth of a pound weight; on the disappearance Rex' first appeared, former kings having only styled of skeatta and styce, they form, with the occa- themselves · Dominus Hiberniæ,' Ireland not being sional addition of halfpennies, the sole currency of accounted a kingdom. Under Edward VI., the England down to the reign of Elward III. The silver coins called crowns and half-crowns appear, pennies of the heptarchy bear the name of the king having for device the king crowned on horseback in or of the moneyer; a cross sometimes appears after the armour of the period. They derived their name the introduction of Christianity, and in later times a from coins circulating on the continent, which had rude head of the king or queen. The pennies of the for device a crown. The royal arms in an oval Saxon and Danish sole monarchs of England, have shield without the cross are introduced as the a somewhat similar character. Alfred's earlier coins reverse of the shilling. From this period there is a have a grotesque-looking portrait, and on the reverse very obvious decline in the artistic feeling of the

English coins. On some of the shillings of Mary, her bust and that of Philip face each other, the insignia of Spain and England impaled occupying the reverse; afterwards the king's head occupies one side of the coin, and the queen's the other. Half-sovereigns, or rials, anıl angels were coined of the old type of Ellward IV. The great event in the coinage of Elizabeth's reign was the temporary introduction

of the mill and screw, instead of the hammer and Fig. 5.

punch, producing coins of a more regular and work.

manlike appearance. The profile bust of James I., a monogram of London; in his later coins the head crowned and in armour, appears on his shillings and disappears, and a cross and circle take its place. smaller pieces; on his crowns and half-crowns he is A cross, variously ornamented with three pellets in represented on horseback; on the reverse are the each angle, continues to be the usual reverse of the quartered arms of the three kingdoms (the harp of Saxon, Norman, and Plantagenet coins. The coins Ireland appearing for the first time on the coinage), of Edward III. are a great artistic advance on those with the motto 'Que Deus conjunxit nemo separet.' that preceded them. The silver coinage of that king Copper farthings, with crown, sceptre, and sword consisted not only of pennies, halfpennies, and on the obverse, and a harp on the reverse, were farthings, but also of groats and half-groats. The coined for England as well as Ireland, the first obverse of the groat bears a conventional crowned copper money issued in England since the styca. head within a flowered circle of nine arches, the Private tokens of copper, issued by tradesmen and words ‘Dei Gratia' and the title “Rex Francia' others, had, however, been in circulation before, and appearing for the first time in the legend. The came again into use to a large extent at a later reverse has the motto “ Posui Deum adjutorem period. Charles I. coined ten and twenty shilling meum,' which continuel on the coinage till the pieces of silver, the former a very noble coin, with time of Ellward V. But the great numismatic a representation of the king on horseback. A crown, feature of Elward III.'s reign is the issue of gold struck at Oxford, bears on the obverse the king on nobles, worth six shillings and eightpence. The horseback, with a representation of the town, and obverse of those beautiful coins represent the king on the reverse the heads of the Oxford declaration. in a slip, a sword in his right hand, in luis left a The guinea, first coined in this reign, was so called shield with the quartered arms of France and from the metal being procured from the coast of England. The reverse is a rich cross flory within Guinea; its original value was but twenty shillings. a circle of eight arches, and a lion under a crown The coins of the Commonwealth exhibit a shield in each angle of the cross, the legend being Thesus with the cross of St George surrounded by a palm autem transiens per medium illorum ibat.' Half | and olive branch, and have for legend • The Comand quarter nobles were also coined. The noble monwealth of England. On the reverse are two having increased in value, a coin called an angel, shields accollée, with the cross of St George and the of the former value of a noble, was issued by Henry harp of Ireland, and the motto “God with us.' VI. and Edward IV. The obverse represented St Coins far superior in character were executed by Michael transfixing a dragon ; the reverse a ship, Cromwell, with his laureated bust and title ng with a cross for the mast.

Protector, and on the reverse a crowned shield As we approach the period of the Reformation, quartering the cross of St George, of St Andrew the coinage grarlually becomes more ornate. The and the harp, with the Protector's paternal arms in nobles coined by Edward IV., after the value surtout; but few of these were issued. In the early


coins of Charles II., that monarch is crowned, and the one being the unicorn, of the other the king on in the dress of the time; in his later money he is in horseback. A still more beautiful coin was the conventionalised Roman drapery, with the head gold bonnet piece of James V., so called from the turned to the left, and from that time it has been cop in the king's portrait. Of Mary, there are a the practice to turn every king's head the reverse great variety of interesting pieces. The portrait is way from that of his predecessor. The four shields sometimes crowned, sometimes uncrowned, and on on the reverse are disposed in the form of a cross the coin issued soon after Francis's death, has a (an arrangement which continued till the reign of widow's cap and high-frilled dress. The types in George Il.), and on the edge of the crowns and half- James VI.'s reign are also very various. (in bia crowns is the legend. Decus et tutamen.' Charles II. accession to the English thi'one, the relativo issued a copper coinage of halfpennies and farthings; value of English and Scottish coins was declared on the former appears the device of Britannia, taken to be as 12 to 1. The coins afterwards issued from the Roman coins relating to Britain. Pennies from the Scottish mint differed from the English, were not coined till George III.'s reign. The coins chiefly in having Scotland in the first quarter of William and Mary have the profiles of the king in the royal shield. The last Scottish gold coinage and queen one over the other, and the shields of consisted of pistoles and half-pistoles of Darien the three kingdoms in the form of a cross on the gold, about the size of a guinea and half-guinea, reverse, with Nassau in the centre. The coinage of struck by William III.; the pistole distinguished William alone, after the death of Mary, is of some by a rising sun under the bust of the king. what improved design, Sir Isaac Newton being then The coinage of Ireland is scanty and uninteresting Master of the Mint. Little change in the general compared with that of Scotland. The coins of design of the coin occurs in the reigns of Anne and English monarchs struck in Dublin resemble much George I. On the accession of the House of Hano. those current in England. Henry VIII. first placed ver, the Hanoverian arms are placed in the fourth a harp on the Irish coins. shield, and George IV. substituted a quartered shield In France, the earliest coins are those of the with Nassau en surtout for the four shields on the Merovingian kings, rude imitations of the late reverse of his gold coins. During the greater part Roman and early Byzantine money, and mostly of of George III.'s reign the coinage was utterly gold. Under the Carlovingian dynasty, deniers and neglected, and the silver pieces in circulation were oboles are the prevailing coinage, remarkably rude in worn perfectly sinooth. When coins were at last fabric, without portrait, and bearing the name of the issued, the Roman conventionalism of the previons king and place of mintage. Some coins of Charlereigns gave way to a now fashionable Greek con magne, struck at Rome, are of better workmanship. ventionalism. The quartered shield supplanted the They contain one letter of 'Roma'at each extremity four shields, and on the reverse of the crown of the cross, with the legend Carolus IP.' The appeared a Grecianised St George and the dragon. coinage improved under the Capetian kings; the fleurGeorge IV.'s bust is taken from Chantrey's statie; de-lis appears in addition to the cross. In the 13th c. the rose, thistle, and shamrock, united under a gold pieces were issued, and in the time of Philip crown, appear on the reverse of his shilling. Silver VI. both the design and the execution of the coins groats were issued in the reign of William IV. The are beautiful. The coins of Louis XII. are the first ensigns of Hanover disappeared at the beginning of that bear the royal portrait. The modern coinage the present reign ; the reverse of the shilling is may be said to begin under Henry II., whose even poorer than that of George IV., the words portrait is good. The seignorial coins of France in • One shilling occupy the field, surrounded by an the middle ages are of considerable importance, and oak branch and a laurel branch; silver pieces of three: the medals of Louis XIV. and Napoleon I. are much pence have been introduced. But the principal more interesting than the modern coins. monetary event is the issue of the silver ilorin, in The medieval coinage of Italy is of great interest. value equivalent to two shillings, looked on as a The money of the Lombard kings of Italy and step towards the institution of a decimal coinage. Dukes of Benevento, is little inferior to that of the It represents the head of the Queen crowned, with Greek emperors. There is a beautiful series of the legend in old English character, and for reverse gold and silver pieces belonging to Venice, bearing the four shields are once more placed in the form of the names of the doges, and having generally for

type the doge receiving the gonfalon, or standard No native Scottish coinage existed earlier than of St Mark. The gold ilorins of Florence, with the the 11th century. Coins are extant of Somerled, lily for device, are no less celebrated, and were prince of the Isles of that century, and of Alexander imitated by other states. Florence had also a I. of the contury following. The silver pennies of remarkable series of medals, with admirable William the Lion, and Alexander II. and III., are portraits of persons of note. The coins of the popes, like contemporary English money, but ruder, and from Hadrian I. down to the 14th c., bear the name bear the names of the moneyers and place of mintage, of the pope and emperor of the west; those of later generally Edinburgh, Perth, or Berwick. The date are beautiful in execution, and have seated profiles on the coins of John Baliol, Robert Bruce, portraits of the pontiff's, with the cross-keys and and David II. are attempts at portraiture.

A mitre for reverse. A remarkable series of medals remarkable gold piece, first coined by Robert II., is commemorates the chief events of each reign, one the St Andrew, with the arms of Scotland on the of which, struck after the massacre of St Bartholoobverse, and St Andrew on his cross on the reverse. mew, has for type an angel slaying the Huguenots, In the four succeeding reigns the weight of the and the inscription Ugonottorum strages. The silver coins rapidly decreased, and coins of billon, or coins of the Norman princes of Naples struck in base metal, were issued, nominally pennies, but Sicily, have the legends partly or wholly in Arabic. three and a half of which eventually passed for a Malta has a series, with the arms and effigies of silver penny. The evil increased, and baser and the grand-masters. baser alloy was used. Groats of billon, known The medieval money of Germany comprises coins as placks and half-placks, were coined by James of the emperors, the electors, the smaller princes, II. James IV.'s coins have characteristic the religious houses, and the towns. The imperial portrait, and a good deal of artistic feeling series is extensive and very interesting, though, till James III. and iv. issued well-executed gold near the close of the middle ages, it is rather backpieces, called unicorns and riders, the type of ward in its art. About the Reformation period,

a cross.



[ocr errors]

however, there are vigorous portraits both on its the Coinage of Great Britain (London, 1840); current coins and on the medals, and those double Lindsay's View of the Coinage of Scotland (Cork, dollars which are virtually medals. The coins of 1815); Leblanc, Traité Historique des Monnoies de th; Dukes of Saxony, with their portraits, are France (Paris, 1690) ; Cappe, Die Münzen der equally remarkable. The coins of the archbishops | Deutschen Kaiser und Könige cles Mittelalters of Cologne, Mainz, and Treves form a very inter- (Dresden, 1818 — 1850); Marsden, Numismuta esting series, the first more especially, with a Orientalia Illustrata (London, 1823– 1825). representation of the cathedral.

NUMMULITE LIMESTONE, an important The coins of the Low Countries resemble those member of the Middle Eocene period, consisting of of France and Germany. The Dutch medals are

a limestone composed of nummulites held together of interest, more especially those struck in com- by a matrix formed of the commiputed particles of memoration of events in the war with Spain.

their shells, and of smaller foraminifera. It forms The coins of the Swiss cantons and towns during immense masses of the strata which are raised up the early period of Swiss independence bore the heraldic shield of each, drawn with vigorous be traced as a broad' band often isoo miles in

on the sides of the Alps and Himalayas, and may grotesqueness. There are also pieces struck by breadth, and frequently of enormous thickness, ecclesiastical lords, and by different families who from the Atlantic shores of Europe and Africa, had a right of coinage,

through Western Asia, to Northern India and The coins of Spain begin with those of the Gothic

China. It is knowu also to cover vast areas in princes, which are chiefly of gold, and on the model North America. of the trientes and semisses of the lower empire. Some of the early pieces have a rude head of the

NUMMULITES, or NUMMULINA (Gr. monarch on one side, and of the emperor on the money-fossil); a genus of fossil foraminifera, the other. Afterwards, the obverse bears the profile of shells of which form immense masses of rock of the monarch, and the reverse cross of some

Eocene age.

See NUMMULITE LIMESTONE. Updescription, with the name of the place of mintage, wards of 50 species have been described. They are and the word “Pius' for legend." In later times, circular bodies of a lenticular shape, varying in there are two interesting series of coins belonging tò magnitude from the merest point to the size of a the kingdom of Aragon and to the kingdom of crown-piece. The shell is composed of a series of Castile and Leon.

small chambers arranged in a concentric manner. The coinages of Norway and Swelen at first The growth of the shell does not take place only resembled the British, and afterwards the German around the circumference, but each whorl invest's type. From the 10th to the 14th c., bracteates

all the preceding whorls, so as to form a new layer were issued by the ecclesiastics. The coinage of over the entire surface of the disk, thus adding to Hungary begins in the 11th c., and has the por: fossil its lenticular form. A thin intervening space

the thickness as well as the breadth, and giving the traits of the monarchs. The Russian coinage is Byzantine in character, and rude in its art. The separates each layer from the one which it covers, earliest pieces are the silver darga of the 14th c., and this space at the margin swells out to form the of an oblong shape, with representations of the chamber; All the internal cavities, however, seem prince on horseback, and varioid legendary sub- to have been occupied with the living sarcode, and jects. Peter the Great introduced the usual

an intimate connection was maintained between European type. There is an important series of them by means of innumerable parallel tubuli

, bronze coins of the Crusaders,' beginning with which everywhere pass from one surface to another, Tancred, and coming down to the end of the 15th and which permitted the passage of the sarcode as c., including money of the kings of Cyprus and freely as do the minute pores or foramina of the Jerusalem, and other princes established in the living foraminifera. east.

The name is given to them from their regemIn India, the succession of the kings of Bactrin, blance to coins. In Egypt, where the whole of the the remotest of the dynasties founded on the Mokkadam Mountains, from the stone of which ruins of Alexander's empire, has only become the pyramids were built, is formed of them, they known through their recently-discovered coins.

are called by the natives 'l'haraoh's Pence.' There are early rude Hindu coins of the Gupta NUN, a member of a religious order of women. line, with figures of the Brahminical divinities of The etymology of this name is a subject of some a tyle still in use.

controversy, but there seems every reason to believo of the coins of the Mohammedan princes, the that it is from a Coptic or Egyptian root, which oldest gold picces are the bilingual coins of cities of signifies 'virgin.' It is found in use as a Latin Syria and Palestine, of the middle of the 7th c. word as early as the time of St Jerome (Ep. to (A. 11. 78), barbarous imitations of the latest Byzan. Eustachius, p. 22, c. 6). The general characteristics tine money of Alexandria. Most of the Mohamme- of the religious orders will be found under the head dan coins are covered exclusively, by inscriptions Monachism (q. v.), and under those of the several expressive of the elementary principles of the orders. It is only necessary here to specify a few Mohammedan faith. For some centuries, no sove particulars peculiar to the religious orders of females. reign except the calif was allowed to inscribe his Of these the most striking perhaps is the strictness name on the coin. Large gold coins of great purity in the regularly authorisecl orders of nuns of the were issued by the Moslem kings of Granada in cloister,' or enclosure, which no extern is ever perSpain.

mitted to enter, and beyond which the nuns are The high prices given for ancient coins have led never permitted to pass, without express leave of to numerous forgeries from the 15th c, downwards. the bishop. The superiors of convents of nuns are Against such imitations, collectors require to be on called by the names Abbess, Prioress, and, in general, their guard.

Mother Superior. They are, ordinarily speaking, Among the best works on numismatics are elected by chapters of their own body, with the Eckhel, Doctrina Numorum Veterum (Vienna, 1792 approval of the bishop, unless the convent be one of -1798); Hennin, Manuel de Numismatique An- the class called exempt houses, which are immecienne (Paris, 1830); Grasset, Handbuch der alten dintely subject to the anthority of the Holy See. Numismatik (Leipsic, 1852–1853); Leuke, Numis- The ceremony of the solemn blessing or inangura. matı Hellenica (London, 1854); Ruding's Annals of tion of the abbess is reserved to the bishop, or

« PrécédentContinuer »