658. The Assarius

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‘Aσσάριον is one of the two words rendered “farthing” in our version.
It was the Roman as or assarius, a copper coin, equal in value to a tenth of a denarius, (see note on Matt. 20:22And when he had agreed with the laborers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. (Matthew 20:2), #683) or three farthings English, or one cent and a half American.
In Luke 12:66Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? (Luke 12:6), two assaria are spoken of. It is thought that a single coin is there intended of the value of two assaria. The Vulgate has dipondius. Madden says: “It is very clear from the fact of the word dupondius, or dipondius, which was equal to two asses, and was a coin of itself, being substituted for the two assaria of the Greek text, that a single coin is intended by this latter expression. This idea is fully borne out by the coins of Chios. The Greek autonomous copper coins of this place have inscribed upon them the words ACCAPION, ACCAPIA ΔΨΩ or ΔΨΟ and ACCAPIA TPIA” (History of Jewish Coinage, p. 243).