More history than science

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« on: January 23, 2013, 05:11:20 PM »
Ancient Romans used coins with sex scenes, to pay prostitutes for their services.

A spintria (plural, spintriae ) is a small bronze or brass Roman token, possibly for use in brothels, usually depicting sexual acts or symbols.

Some scholars have argued that spintriae were used to pay prostitutes. According to Suetonius, carrying a ring or a coin bearing the emperorís image into a latrine or brothel could be the basis for an accusation of treason (maiestas) under Tiberius. Under Caracalla, an equestrian was sentenced to death for bringing a coin with the emperorís likeness into a brothel; he was spared only by the emperorís own death.[1] There is no direct ancient evidence, however, to support the theory that spintriae were created as tokens for exchange in place of official coinage.[2]

They may have been gaming tokens. They seem to have been produced for only a short period, mostly in the 1st century AD.

 There were usually struck from brass or bronze, and were little smaller than a U.S. quarter. The represented erotic plot was suitable for the provided services. Some of the coins depicted homosexual acts between men.