Roman Republic, Denarius

In the year 170 BC, the Roman admiral Gaius Lucretius Gallus was sentenced to pay a monetary fine of one million aes. C. Lucretius had been in command of the Roman fleet in the Third Macedonian War (171-168 BC) against Perseus, king of Macedonia. Lucretius had distinguished himself by his cruelties and exactions against the subdued Greeks in such a way that they had complained about him in Rome. As a consequence the tribunes of the people had applied for a penalty for Lucretius.

At that time, the term aes meant the Roman coin of account, the silver sesterce. The sesterce was not coined but merely a unit of account; the fine was thus probably paid in denarii. 1 denarius was worth 4 sesterces; Gaius Lucretius therefore had to remit 250,000 denarii.