Aes Rude, First Roman Currency

Date: c. 600 - 400 BCE
Ancient Italy

| /

  • Delivery in 3 - 6 days. Orders over $50 ship free!
  • Your purchase will match the quality of the items shown.

33 items left

Item Description:

Aes rude (Latin for “rough bronze”) were bronze nuggets used as a proto-currency in ancient Italy. The earliest known pieces of aes rude date back to 8th century BCE, and continued to be used into the late 4th century BCE. Our group of aes rude fragments were found in Central Italy and date back to around the 5th to 4th centuries BCE, approximately the time of the early Roman Republic.

Originally, sheep and cattle were generally traded as the main assets of value. However, metal pieces carried significant advantages: they were much smaller, easier to transport, and didn’t spoil. There was no standardization of size and weight for these lumpy bronze units, and pieces needed to be weighed for each transaction. Early Roman laws, such as the lex Aternia Tarpeia, were among the first to allow bronze as payment for fines that were originally to be paid in oxen and sheep.

Gradually, aes rude evolved into more sophisticated forms of currency. The aes signatum was introduced in the 5th century BCE, which were cast bronze ingots with standardized weights and a government seal. The first Roman coin, known as the aes grave, appeared in 269 BCE.

Each includes a Certificate of Authenticity.

An aes signatum, left, and an aes grave, right, the successors to the aes rude.

An aes signatum, left, and an aes grave, right, the successors to the aes rude.

Your order will include:

  • The historical item(s) shown above
  • Glass top leatherette display box
  • Information card and Certificate of Authenticity

Our original glass and leatherette display boxes showcase your relic above a custom information card, with a design unique to History Hoard.

Authenticity Guaranteed

History Hoard relics are guaranteed genuine and are backed by a 100% money back policy.

Learn More

We only send emails about newly added items.