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so true to life and nature,—(saving only in /of Lethe. Within the series of a few conthe few and well-seen instances of compli- tinuous coins he can read the records of menting a new emperor by investing him otherwise unstoried empire, and at once aid in his predecessor's features)*—that the nemory and prove historic truth as he stamped metal bears testimony alike to its notes them nested in his cabinet. own genuineness, and to the voice of his. Dr. Cardwell has well stated that famous tory.

instance of the testimony given by ancient It should be considered that, however coins to history, in the matter of Thurium; stale and commonplace many of these con- and various others in which the corroboracreted virtues or local genii now may zeem tion of laconic statements, nay, the filling up to our long-accustomed eyes, burdened as of vague sketches, have been due to the those mystic figures are with the frequent preservation of these tiny memorials. But cornucopia and other triter emblems, ihere examples might be multiplied at will : perwas a time when these so obvious thoughts baps we may, in soberness, be said to know were new, just-born, unfledged-and that as much of the world's history--the Roman time might have been the coin's own birth. world in particular—from ancient money day. Keeping this in mind, how many of as from authors: indeed, many of the mighty the countries in the wise old world are among men, and more of their mighty typified in a fine spirit both of poetry and deeds, would have remained unknown to truth on the beautiful money of ancient their posterity but for some numismatic Greece and Rome! It would seem not witness to their lives and actions. How improbable that the personification of na- little, but for coins, could the student know tions upon coins was the same as that of the goodly reigns of Nerva and Trajan; adopted in triumphal processions. There, nay, even of the better chronicled days of in appropriate masquerade, mingled with Hadrian and Probus?

How inadequately, the military pageantry, were borne on stages were it not for them, would he have estior platforms the figured representatives of mated the high civilization of ancient Sicily conqueror and conquered; there, the Da -of Syracuse, Heraclia, and chiefly Agrician lay bound, while the Roman built a gentum ? How lightly would he have trophy of his arms; there, 'sad Judæa wept deemed of Rome's early struggles with beneath her palm,' and being desolate, sat the states of Magna Græcia, if he had not upon the ground, while the Gentile sentinel the testimony of coins to the refinement of stood guarding her and mocking; there, Tarentum, and the unequalled elegance of some dusky Ethiopian, drawn in a car by Thurium? But for coins, how little had elephants, leaning on tusks of ivory, and he known, or knowing kept in memory, the holding out the scorpion, personated Afri- civilizing occupation of our own Albion ca; the crocodile, the sistrum, and the ibis under Claudius, and Hadrian, and Geta, and testified to formal Egypt; Spain had her Severus ? Where else could he have read strange barbaric weapons, and the timid at all, or in any case half so well, of the coney that creeps in her Sierras; Arabia, beautiful unhistoried Philistia, of the Ptoleladen with spices, followed with the camel maic and Antiochian kings, of the Sassaniat her feet; Parthia, 'fidens fugâ versisque dæ, Arsacidæ, and other monarchs of the sagittis,' came in the procession with bow East, and the consular families of Western and quiver at her back; Sicily was chaplet- Rome? Not a little let us Britons at the ed with Cerealic wheat; Achaia wore ber ends of the earth confess to owe of historic coronet of parsley; Britain leant upon a facts to the care and skill of the numisrock, enthroned amid the seas; and Italy, matist; we speak but of our earliest age, the world's stern step-mother, was crowned our otherwise unstoried childhood : Tascio like Cybele with towers of strength, sat on and Segonax, equally with heroical Bonduthe celestial sphere, and stretched forth the ca and the noble-hearted Cymbeline, are sceptre of her monarchy.

found, almost exclusively from coins, to Yet further; for more than may allure have been far other than fabulous personhis fancy, for higher things than serve to ages; and Ifars, Anlaf, and Sithric, primal tickle ingenuity, the sensible numismatist kings of Ireland, claim from coins alone to looks with satisfaction on his coins. In be considered as realities. Imagine what them he perceives the very seed-corn of stability it would add to our belief in the history, pocket epitomes of interesting existence of a quondam King Lear, or the facts, stepping-stones across the shallows sturdy Brutus of our London-Troy, to dis* The early Trajans, for example, exhibit the

cover pieces of metal stamped with their head of Nerva-as we have a coin of Henry VIII. images and superscriptions ; with what

corroborated faith would we think of the

masked with his father's face.


chivalric Arthur, if we found an obol charg- “We have coins bearing on the obverse the ed obverse with his profile, and reverse head of Alexander the Great, encircled with a with the Round Table ! With what inter- diadem, together with the inscription AAEZ ANest would the men of Bath gaze upon their APOY, and on the reverse a warrior on horse

back, with the inscription KOINON MAKE 10Bladud, and on the fortunate thirsty

, swine NIIN. Now, were this the whole account that that laid the foundations of his city! the coins in question afford us of themselves, we

To take a few only of those great names should probably have assigned them to some who have confessed an interest in what period in the history of Macedon connected with Addison does not scruple to style "the that illustrious conqueror. We might indeed science' of numismatics-Pericles and Au- tend themselves as far as his conquests, and

conceive that the coins of Alexander would exgustus are to be counted among its patrons, that

, in acknowledgment of his talents and of no less than Elizabeth and Leo, and yester their admiration, his successors would still retain day the Napoleon of war, as to-day the Na- his name and impress long after he was dead. poleon of peace ; Lorenzo and Petrarch We find too, even on a slight acquaintance with take their rank among the band; Alfred, numismatic antiquities, that many cities of Bede, Alcuin, and the elder Bacon are re- Greece and Asia did in fact adopt the badges ported, on sufficient grounds, to have been chosen by him for the coins of Macedon, and of the fraternity ; Cromwell too, following period of the Roman empire. Still if the coins,

that they continued to be in use to an advanced the example of his martyred master; Sel- that I am considering, had given us no further den, Camden, Laud, Clarendon, Evelyn, tokens of their date, we should probably have Wren—not to mention Walpole, and a assigned them to Macedon, without fixing upon thousand of less note-knew the joys of any precise time in Grecian history as the exact the collector. But in truth, from Rubens period they belonged to. Fortunately we find, and Raffaelle, from Chantrey, and Canova, which convey a reference to Roman history of

after the word MAKE AONI2N, other letters, and Thorwaldsen, from Newton, and Mead, the time of the empire, and beneath the figure and Hunter, down to the veriest smatterer of the horse the three Greek numerals EOC, in art and science of our own all-educating expressing the date 275. Now, referring this day, it is probable that few men of intellect date back to the battle of Actium, the epoch have escaped the influenza of a hankering commonly adopted during the time of the emfor coins, if at times they were incautiously pire, we are brought down to the year of Rome exposed to the attractions of a cabinet: for Christian era, the precise period at which Philip

998, corresponding with the year 245 of the it is verily both a pleasant thing and profit. the elder, who then occupied the throne of the able to collect, possess, study, and enjoy Cæsars, was celebrating his recent victories io these small but imperishable records of the the East, and connecting them, as we may sup past, pocket triumphs, miniature temples, pose, with the ancient fame of Alexander the deciduous morsels shed from Fame's true Great. To complete the proof, is confirmation laurel, whose stem is iron, and its leaves be wanting, we meet with a medal having the bronze, and its buds silver, and expanded device, and date, but hearing on the obverse the

same reverse in all its particulars of inscription, flowrets gold, and the bloom or patina as titles of this very Philip, with the head of a the morning dew upon them all; to keep, Roman emperor. So then these coins, which, we say, and have a property in, these little from most of their tokens, might at first sight monuments of brass as lasting as the


have been issigned to a much earlier period, mids—these scoriæ struck out on all sides were minted for the use of Macedon, about the when the fetters of an empire were forged

middle of the third century after Christ, in obedi—these relics of primitive antiquity more displaying some alleged connexion between

ence to the mandate of the emperor Philip, and genuine than Helen's cross or Peter's chain that emperor and the ancient conqueror of the —these elixir-drops of concentrate dura- East.?-pp. 35, 36. bility congealed to adamant and graven with the short-hand memorials of truth- The word xorvá not unfrequently occurs these ineffaceable transcripts of character, elsewhere; as, for example, on a silver fact, and feature--in number multiplied, piece from Cyrene in Africa, bearing oband in authenticity undoubted, that now at versely the head of Jupiter Ammon, and these last days may well defy the ravages with iis characteristic silphium on the reof chance, change, suppression, or forget. verse. This silphium, we may note in passfulness.

ing, was a plant yielding a drug as much The word coin is derived from xovós, esteemed by ancient Greeks as opium is common or current; and occurs on some now by the Chinese: it was called OpopaGreek money nominally of Alexander, but nax, or heal-all--and as a matter of course really of the Roman Emperor Philip, a dif- effected miraculous cures. So great was ficuliy well explained in one of the valua- its price that, according to Pliny, Julius ble lectures of the Camden Professor :- Cæsar defrayed the expenses of the first

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civil war by selling 110 ounces of silphium, kind of ornamental money (and the idea of which he found stored in the public trea- combining money with ornament is still sury. After thus much we may be startled extant in head dresses of Venetian sequins, to be told, that a drug so choice was neither and in circlets of old coins worn commonly more nor less than assafætida. But to re. in the East) has been dug up by the Duke turn.

of Argyll from beneath the upright stones Some have preferred to xoivóv the ety- at Inverary. mology of 'cuneus,' a wedge or ingot, as- Others have been found in Ireland-of serting that the earliest form of money was which Mr. Akerman gives faithful reprethe lump or mass. Whether 'cuneus' be sentations, and thus writes:the root or not, the fact is indisputable that mere crude metal was weighed as money Cæsar, it is somewhat remarkable that nothing

With regard to the iron rings mentioned by long anterior to its formation into coin. of the kind is known to have been discovered * Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, with British coins in England; while in Ireland four hundred shekels, current with the rings of gold and brass have been dug up in merchants;' now, the shekel was a weight great numbers. Enough to load a cart were centuries before it was a coin; 3000, ac- found in a tumulus, in Monaghan, a few years cording to Arbuthnot, being equal to a tal- since; and this fact proves, that though these ent; and the word "current may be under rings might occasionally have been applied to stood more fitly by sterling, as being un. intended for fibulæ, or some such personal orna

the purposes of money, they were originally alloyed, of right assay; the word "sterling,' ments.? as we need hardly observe, being a cor. ruption of Easterling, so termed from the We must confess that, at first sight, the money of Eastern Germany, which was fact of finding a cart-load of these rings remarkably pure, and therefore in request, seems to us to prove the direct oppositeat a period when our own coinage was exces- namely, that it was rather a hoard of cash sively corrupt. We all remember too how than an accumulation of ornaments. Mr. Brennus the Gaul flung his heavy sword Akerman might, we think, have stated a into the scales that were too penuriously better reason for his opinion; it is not weighing the ransom of Rome: and similar impossible that over the dead body of a instances need not be multiplied. Unminted chieftain his followers may have flung bullion, as a legalized medium of exchange, their bracelets in his honor. Nevertheis not less a modern than it has been an less, when we recollect that the Egyptian ancient expedient; for it has been revived hieroglyphic for money is a riog, we think in our own times by Mr. Ricardo, although it less likely that a tribe should impoverish the project was abortive and dropped im- itself, than that their chief should hoard his mediately, only one brick of gold weigh treasures. ing sixty ounces, and impressed with a But precious metal (and this word is more sovereign stamp, having been made and likely to be the root of medal' than the issued for foreign commerce: a leaden Arabic 'methalia,' head) was soon found to model of this, gilt to resemble the original, require some guarantee for its purity, as is now in the British Museum ; and fur- well as the more easily discoverable fact of nishes a remarkable illustration of the man. its just weight; and in a day when seals ner in which the arts circulate, the whirli- were sacred things, no test was so obvious gig of time bringing round its revenges.' as the signet. Heraldic emblems, or rather The progress from lumps of metal to the allegorical devices, to save anachronism in minted 'fian' of coinage, was gradual and terms, would appear to be the first ideanatural: for, after the mere mass or weight, as the Babylonish lion, Ægina's tortoise, it would seem likely that the gold bracelet, Bæotia's shield, the lyre of Mytilene, and the mancus, the torques, or the fibula, or the wheat of Metapontum ; but it would other decoration, of legitimate size and soon seem advisable to add the sanction of purity, succeeded; as, to take a familiar religion to that of mere honor, and this will instance, we find Le Balafré in Quentin at once account for the common impress of Durward paying his reckoning with links the head of some divinity. Thus Juno, untwisted from his gold neck-chain : in Diana, Ceres, Jove, Hercules, Apollo, Baclike manner the bracelets of Judah, and chus, Pluto, Neptune, and many of the rest his staff, (upon which the signet was com- of the Pantheon, have sanctioned by their monly carried,) were Tamar's hire; the effigies impressed the most perfect mean of bushels of gold rings by which Carthage barter in the world. Superstition dared bought a truce with Rome, were possibly not cheat, in the very face of Rhodes's brilthis sort of substitute for coin: the same liant Phæbus, of the stern Athenian Miner

VOL. III. No. III. 26



va, and the mighty Jupiter of Macedon. the apparent incredulity as to Suidas, &c.; Almost without doubt the coin's prototype, for we can add with certainty to this list a the original model of these beautiful heads, multitude of well known similar substitutes, was in each respective case some statuary many even much stranger, and worse adaptidol, venerable for alleged miracles as any ed for exchange. For example, a species Lady of Loretto, or for indefinite antiquity of coal-money, and circular bits of hide, are as the black Jupiter now doing duty as St. not unfrequent in our British barrows; the Peter. It seems to us clear that it was ow- Dutch have minted pasteboard ; our old exing to this exhibition of idolatry on coins chequer tallies might be called in some sort that the Jewish shekel never bore a head, wooden money; James II. coined gunbut was charged only with the almond rod metal; in 1690 we had a tin coinage to the and pot of manna ; for Israel, as we know by extent of £70,000 ; lead and pewter have her banners, might innocently bear an her circulated largely as tradesmen's tokens; aldic emblem, but was forbidden to fashion the Malays have a currency of betel-nuts, any device which the heathen nations wor- the Madagascar people of almonds, the Afrishipped. Mohammedan money in-like man- can tribes cowrie-shells, the inhabitants of ner, and for a similar reason, is prohibited Yucatan certain seeds of plants, and the by the Koran from exhibiting any portrait-original settlers in Massachusetts accounture. Another interesting fact may be ex. ed musket-balls, full-bore,' a legal tender; plained in an analogous manner-namely, so lately as in 1803, teste Captain Marryat, ihat until Alexander of Macedon had over- deer-skins at the stated value of 40 cents run the Persian monarchy in the East, and per pound were a legalized mean of barter until Julius Cæsar had consummated the at Cincinnati, and if proffered instead of Roman empire in the West, no image of a money could not be refused. But no need living man was permitted to be stamped to look either far back or far abroad; silver upon a coin ; deities or heroes alone could paper, flimsy as a stoutish cobweb, liable resume to give a sanction to the national more than any sibylline leaves to be scat. redit.

tered and destroyed by water, wind, and Besides and beyond the usual metals fire, exposed to demolition by mere contact (gold, silver, and copper,) many and strange with its sturdy brother cash, and to illegisubstitutes have often" been adopted as bility from mere grease and dirt—this very means of commercial circulation. Dr. type of insecurity, if not of immateriality, Cardwell says:

is our own chief circulating medium, and "We are informed, on such authority as that represents our highest sums.

Coins were first stamped on one side only, of Suidas, that money of leather and of shells was once used by the Romans; and by Cedre- the reverse of the earliest Greek money be. nus, that wood was also employed by them for ing the impress of points on which the the same purpose. Aristides says that leather stricken flan was fixed, and that of our own money was once current at Carthage, and Sen- most ancient British, as well as some of ineca makes the same remark on Sparta. But definite antiquity from Hindostan, being the with respect to all these cases alike we may an- indentation of a smooth concavity. The swer, that no such money is now known to exist; metal was a bead hot from the furnacethat the authorities quoted are in no instance competent evidence respecting times so far re- perhaps our own skeattas (shot-money) mote from them; and that if such money ever were so called from their form before strikhad existed, and could have been preserved to ing—and the money, when stamped, was the present day, it would be as utterly destitute often naturally serrated, from radiation of historical usefulness to us as of intrinsic value caused by the blow; this effect giving the in itsell. We are told, on authority somewhat first idea for our modern safeguard against more considerable, that iron was used in the same manner at Sparta, at Clazomene, at By- clipping—the milled edge. The simple zantium, and at Rome, and tin also, by Diony- mechanism used for minting were hammer, sius of Syracuse. No ancient specimen in either anvil, and pincers, as we find them portray. of these metals has ever been discovered; but ed on an interesting consular coin inscribed we may admit that such coins have actually ex- 'MONETA. Now, concerning the dies, noisted, and may account for their total disappear- thing is more wonderful in ancient coins ance by the extreme remoteness of the time when than their infinite variety. Dr. Cardwell they were made, and the great probability that they would long since have been decomposed. says, and the statement is known to be cor. Lead has also been mentioned by ancient authors rect by all numismatists— as formerly used in coinage.”—p. 94.

“It may also be a matter of surprise, that, with We do not altogether agree with Dr. cients should still have recourse to the hammer

their imperfect command over metals, the anCardwell in much of the above, especially in for common purposes, as they would be com

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pelled, from want of a well-tempered material. The earliest known coins, or at least to be constantly making new dies, after a small those now in being, bore the indented number of impressions had been taken; but this difficulty only furnishes us with a new 'evidence square, as the mories of Ægina : to this

soon succeeded simple incusion, as the ral practice. It is a singular fact, that in very wheat-ear of Metapontum, and the bull's few instances have any iwo ancient coins been head of Phocis. And this incused kind of found which evidently proceeded from the same coin followed probably very close

upon die. The Prince Torre-Muzza, for instance, indented; for, instead of being fixed on who was for many years a collector of Sicilian points, the idea would soon occur of fixing medals,* could not find in his extensive cabinet the metal on some slightly yielding surface any two that corresponded in all particulars with each other.”---pp. 101, 102.

-lead, for example, or wood-so as to pro

duce a reversed intaglio of the obverse It is possible that these perishable dies, cameo. Incused coins next came to have so exquisite in workmanship, may have two different impressions ; thus we find the been carved, for the greater ease, in a sort Neptune of Posidonia with his drapery arof clay, or other plastic composition, which ranged both back and front, evidencing dishardened by heat, would thus be made capa. tinctly the obverse and the reverse.

To ble of striking one impression on the drop this succeeded the double stamp-or proper of precious metal still softened from the tail-piece added to the profile-often within furnace. The ancients had no steel, their squares, as we find on the Darics, and early coins were numberless, and the dies as di. Athenian money; from which step it is verse as the coins. Striking, not casting, easy to imagine further gradations, until was, from many marks, their method ; and the perfect medal is attained. And a word we can only imagine that the heavy ham: here concerning the term medal—Dr. Card. mer had attached to its face the quasi well observesmould, the highly-wrought but fragile dies,

“You will have observed that the words which, like Virgil's bees, must perish as coins' and “medals' have hitherto been used they strike

indiscriminately, as if it were not intended to Animasque in vulnere ponunt.' acknowledge that any important distinction exEven with all our modern skill, and its ma: fact, has not been generally observed ; and the

ists between them. The distinction, in point of ny mechanical appliances, the longevity of neglect of it is probably owing to the impossidies, steel of treble temper though they be, bility of separating those specimens which were is always problematical; one may be capa-intended to be used as money, from specimens ble of striking half a million coins without designed for other purposes. There are, indeed, material deterioration, while another will some among them of so large a size, and so pegive way beneath a score ; to so many cas- culiar in other respects, that they cannot be conualties are steel dies liable from the varia. founded with common currency; but for these I tions of temperature, from degrees of force term medals as denoting all minted pieces what

reserve the term medallion, intending to use the in striking, from chemical deficiencies in soever, and coins to distinguish those among the original process of face-hardening, and them which were designed as money. from other causes little understood.

" It was an opinion, however, maintained by But leaving thus too slightly touched the Hardouin, and before him by Erizzo, that none mysterious topic of an ancient die, upon

of the various specimens we possess were issued which no light has been thrown even by the

as money, but were all of them originally be

stowed as tokens or memorials. But the opindiscovery of moulds for casting, which ions of Hardouin, as Barthelemy well observes, were certainly the tools of Gaulish forgers, have no longer any claim to be refuted ; and the let us proceed with the history of coins. It circumstances of the case are so directly opposed is a remarkable fact, that, notwithstanding 10 this opinion of his, that we now endeavor high civilization, there appears to have ex

to ascertain what medals are tokens or memoisted no money in Egypt anterior to the rials by examining whether they possess the Persian occupancy. Cash does not seem

known characteristics of coins.

“ Those characteristics may be thus briefly to have entered into the calculations of a stated. Wherever any class of specimens prePharaoh, and nothing like a coin is found serves the same specific character, though mintupon sculptures or papyri: Joseph's 'money ed in different years, or even reigns, or even, as for the corn' need not have been other than in some cases, in different centuries; wherever personal ornaments; and although there they present a uniformity of weight, or device, or are extant an abundance of circular seals or general style of workmanship, allowing only for * cartouches' stamped on burnt clay, we of the arts; wherever they have been found in

the changes required by the varying condition nowhere see the idea carried on to the prelimmense numbers; wherever they bear in their cious metals.

inscription either the name or the denoted value ** This collection was purchased by Lord North-l of a coin: in those cases we may infer that they wick.'


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