One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An ancient Roman coin and monetary unit equal to one quarter of a denarius.
- ‘On Tiridates, though it would seem hardly within belief, he spent eight hundred thousand sesterces a day, and on his departure presented him with more than a hundred millions.’
- ‘There was, of course, one more thing that may be worth a few sesterces, but I would not part with the ring for the world.’
- ‘Those were the good old days, the glory days of butchery and brutality, before those millions of sesterces from the east flooded Rome with luxury and indolence.’
- ‘Indeed, he returned 6 million sestertii seized from Pompey's legate at Corfinum in the first weeks of the war.’
- ‘In ancient Rome, people in the forum were hired for a few sesterces to strut in front of the senate and shout ‘traitor’, ‘liar’, ‘criminal’ at a senator designated by their sponsor.’
From Latin sestertius (nummus) ‘(coin) that is two and a half (asses)’.
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