Tessera (and Lead Coinage)


Burnett, A., M. Amandry and P.P. Ripollès. Roman Provincial Coinage I: From the death of Caesar to the death of Vitellius (44 BC-AD 69). (London, 1992, and supplement).
Boccard, E. de. Les tesseres et les Monnaies de Palmyre. (Paris, 1962).
Buttrey, T.V. "The Spintriae as a Historical Source" in NC 1973. Online
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l’Empire Romain, Vol. 8: Nepotian to Romulus Augustus, plus tesserae & cotorniates. (Paris, 1888). Online
Dattari, G. Numi Augg. Alexandrini. (Cairo, 1901).
Emmett, K. Alexandrian Coins. (Lodi, WI, 2001).
Farhi, H. "Note on Two Types of Byzantine Lead Currency" in INR 8 (2013).
Geissen, A. Katalog alexandrinischer Kaisermünzen, Köln|, Band 4: Claudius Gothicus - Bleimünzen. (Cologne, 1974-1983), pp. 178 - 213.
Hendin, D. Guide to Biblical Coins. (Amphora, 2010).
Hoover, O. "A Reassessment of Nabataean Lead Coinage in Light of New Discoveries" in NC 2006.
Milne, J. G. A Catalogue of the Alexandrian Coins in the Ashmolean Museum. (Oxford, 1933), pp. 125 - 130.
Rostowtzew, M. Tesserarum Urbis Romae et Suburbi Plumbearum Sylloge. (St. Petersburg, 1903). Online
Rostowtzew, M. Tesserarum Urbis Romae et Suburbi Plumbearum Sylloge, Supplementum I. (St. Petersburg, 1905). Online
Scholz, J. "Römische Blei Tesserae" in Numismatische Zeitschrift bd. 25 (1893). Online
Wildwinds Website Tesserae Page. Online

Dictionary| of Roman| Coins|

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Tessera, a square, marked with a certain number of points, to serve as a ticket or a voucher.

were also small pieces of wood, of bone or of ivory, or of bronze, which received various names, according to the different purposes to which they were applied. Accordingly there were theatrical, gladiatorial, liberal (frumentariae), convivial, military, and hospitable tesserae. Many of these are a species of coin, or counter, and are found in most large numismatic cabinets. From the times of the emperors they were chiefly employed for distribution amongst the people, to enable each individual to go with one or more of them, and receive the gifts which had been assigned to him, in corn, in oil, in money, and in every other article of greater or less value. For this reason they were call tesserae liberalitatis.

Medals, struck when public distributions were made, present numerous examples of this kind, and the tessera, or tablet, appears in the right hand of the figure, which respectively personify Annona, and Liberalitas. See the words.

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