Definition for SES'TERCE

SES'TERCE, n. [Fr. from L. sestertius.]

A Roman coin or denomination of money, in value the fourth part of a denarius, and originally containing two asses and a half, about two pence sterling or four cents. The sestertium, that is, sestertium pondus, was two pounds and a half, or two hundred and fifty denarii; about seven pounds sterling, or thirty-one dollars. One qualification of a Roman knight was the possession of estate of the value of four hundred thousand sesterces; that of a senator was double this sum. Authors mention also a copper sesterce, of the value of one third of a penny sterling. Sesterce was also used by the ancients, for a thing containing two wholes and a half; the as being taken for the integer. – Encyc.

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