ROMAN REPUBLIC: PB aes formatum (104.11g), uncertain Italian mint, ca. 400-300 BC, cf. ICC pl. 90, 4-5, 38 x 40 x 14mm, anonymous cast bronze in the form of a scallop shell, quite sharply cast and nicer than usual, EF. Fifth-century Rome saw the official valuation of bronze at equivalents of oxen and sheep, when in ca. 450 the decemvirs codified the Roman Law in the famous Twelve Tablets which recognized the bronze currency in use in central Italy (i.e., 1000 asserae = 1 ox, 100 lbs. of bronze = 1 ox, 10 asserae = 1 sheep, etc.). A system of barter with copper objects had long existed in central Italy where copper was plentiful and valued while silver was rare and gold nearly non-existent. The Italian population had produced Aes Rude from very early times and they are often found in hoards of votive deposits to divinities of fountains and rivers from the first half of the 1st millennium B.C. down to the end of the 4th century B.C. Called aes formatum by Haeberlin, this very rare bronze currency was a precursor to the issues of aes grave, but later than aes rude.