Via Tiberina (CHRR 81)

In the original 1969 publication of CHRR Crawford says “There is no good reason for regarding this hoard as a votive deposit.”

In 2003 re revised his views, but still did not commit himself to believing it was a votive deposit:

This question is of some interest to me as I’d be curious if it meant all these objects were actually in circulation together or had a long period of sequential deposit. But the main issue is that I failed to include this in my #NotAllElephants article from 2021 (formatted full text). It doesn’t change my argument in the slightest but it makes my maps and tables incomplete and that bugs the heck out of me!

The hoard contained 6 fragments of Roman currency bars (so called aes signatum):

RRC 7/1, RRC 10/1, RRC 12/1, RRC 11/1, RRC 5/1, RRC 4/1

Not illustrated:

“Another roughly triangular fragment, with an undulating fracture line that runs along two of the three sides of the piece; which presents in relief on the two wide faces a wavy line in relief which could also be or rather hint at one of the stylized floral ornaments of the lightning clasped in the claws of the eagle, of the quadrilateral EAGLE-PEGASUS (3) while, on the other face nothing can be identified. Weight gr. 72; cm. 4 X 2.6o X 1.30 thick.”

“An almost shapeless triangular fragment where it is difficult but certainly possible to recognize traces of the feet of the bull appearing on the two sides of the relative BULL-BULL quadrilateral (2). Weight gr. 58; cm. 3.6o x 2.50 x 1.10 thick.” (Machine translations)

Cesano not only talks about the coins but also gives weight details for the Aes Rude that make up the largest category in the deposit:

One weird thing is the gap in this find between currency bars and the next Roman coinage which starts with the prow series libral standard aes grave. Was there a gap in deposition during this time?

I wanted to think about weights of the aes rude as a counter point for the currency bar fragments so I made some charts:

However, we shouldn’t just think about weight but also size, as Cesano says:

“The pieces are of two types, compact and heavy bronze and lighter spongy slag, whereby the weight is not indicated by the volume of the pieces themselves.” {machine translation}

The images and above quotes are from Cesano 1942 with a lovely colleague just sent me.

What would the Romans call it?

This is a follow up to an old post

Festus says: 

Rodus, vel  raudus significat rem rudem et inperfectam;  nam saxum quoque raudus appellant poetae, ut Accius in Melanippo: “Constit[u]it, cognovit, sensit,  conlocat sese in locum celsum; hinc manibus rapere  roudus saxeum grande[m] et grave[m]”; et in Chrysippo: “Neque quisquam a telis vacuus, sed uti cuique  obviam fuerat, ferrum alius †saxio rudem†.” Vulgus  quidem in usu habuit, non modo pro aere inperfec to, ut Lucilius, cum ait: “plumbi pa<u>xillum rodus li nique matexam”; sed etiam signato, quia in manci pando, cum dicitur: “rudusculo libram ferito”, asse  tangitur libra. Cincius de verbis priscis sic ait:  “Quemadmodum omnis fere materia non deforma ta rudis appellatur, sicut vestimentum rude,  non perpolitum; sic aes infectum rudusculum. Apud  aedem Apollinis aes conflatum iacuit, id ad rudus appellabant. In aestimatione censoria  aes infectum rudus appellatur. Rudiari ab eodem  dicuntur, qui saga nova poliunt. Hominem inperi tum rudem dicimus.” Rudentes restes nauticae, et asini, cum voces mittunt.       

Working translation:

Rodus, or raudus, signifies an unfinished and imperfect thing; for the poets also call a rock raudus, as Accius in Melanippus:

“He stood, perceived, and recognised; betook And placed himself in a high place; thence seized In hands a huge and heavy unhewn rock.” [this quote is a modified Loeb trans.]

and in Chrysippus:

“Nor was anyone without a weapon, but they came together, some with iron, others with unhewn rock.”

The common people indeed had it in use not only as Lucilius says, for unrefined bronze, as when he says:

“a little lump of lead and a [fine?] cord [of flax? silk?]” [see below: Isodore also quotes this line with more context]

but also symbolically, in the disposal of property [manumission?!], when it is said: “Let the scale be struck with rudusculo,” as an as touches the scale. [cf. Varro, LL 5.163!]

Cincius says of the ancient words:

“In the same way that almost every material that is not deformed is called rudis, just as a garment is rude, as in not refined; so is unwrought bronze called rudusculum. Near the temple of Apollo was situated fused[?] bronze, which was called rudus. In census appraisals unwrought bronze is called rudus. Rudiari are called thus because they adorn new cloaks. We call an ignorant person, rudem.” [I’ve no idea what the penultimate sentence about rudiari means; I want it to be about rudiarii, i.e. manumitted gladiators, but I just can’t make it work to have that meaning.]

Rudentes [can mean either] the naval ropes, [or] the donkeys when they bellow.

Tangential update 1-19-23:

Quote from:

CRAWFORD, Michael H. Thesauri, hoards and votive deposits In: Sanctuaires et sources: Les sources documentaires et leurs limites dans la description des lieux de culte [online]. Naples: Publications du Centre Jean Bérard, 2003 (generated 19 janvier 2023). Available on the Internet: <http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/878&gt;. ISBN: 9782918887218. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/books.pcjb.878.

He translated asses as money but I think given how many actual asses one finds in these things perhaps we should leave it be in the original language.