Shortly after the Gallic invasion, Lucius Furius built a temple to Juno Moneta (the Monitress) on the spot where the house of Manlius Capitolinus stood. This spot of the Capitol was selected because Manlius was the first man alarmed by the cackling of the sacred geese. This temple was subsequently converted into a mint, and the “ases” there coined were called moncta.
Juno is represented on medals with instruments of coinage, as the hammer, anvil, pincers, and die. (See Livy, vii. 28, and Cicero, Dc Divinitate, i. 15.)
The oldest coin of Greece bore the impress of an ox. Hence a bribe for silence was said to be an “ox on the tongue.” Subsequently each province had its own impress:
For the As, the head of Janus on one side, and the prow of a ship on the reverse. The Semi-as, the head of Jupiter and the Jetter S.
The Triens, the head of a woman (? Rome or Minerva) and four points to denote four ounces. The Quadrans, the head of Hercules and three points to denote three ounces.
The Sextans, the head of Mercury, and two points to denote two ounces.
“Taking forth a bowed groat and an old penny bowed he gave it [sic] her.” —Coney-catching. (Time, Elizabeth.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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