Note I am trying to translate to Cicero's Latin. Roma had already banks, which we could suppose that in an alternate timeline where the day Cicero is born the banks of the Empire start issuing checks, and the day of the years 4 after Christs the Caesar orders a central banks that must emit fiat currency?

Note I am not worried to have diagreement to possible use in common usage terminology.

Title: Money-currency dicothomy

There exist a clear distinction between Money and Currency, meanwhile Money is a commodity accepted by general consent as a medium of economic exchange, Currency is a medium of exchange for goods and services. (Making it a superset of money). This distinction is important for economic theories (generally is recognized, but for some must important that for others).

So far I have decided to use the word pecunia to refer to money, because for what I have seen in Lingua Latina per se Illustrata pars I it is being used to refer to money in the same abstract way of no mentioning any kind of coin as would be expected of the word of money in any language.

In what respect to the existence of this dichotomy in classical times, it is almost sure that it did not existed in any classical term given that non-money currency not would exists until after medieval times. The same logic applies to the existence of any classical word for the concept of currency.

Nevertheless all coins of some kind did share the effect of the process of monetary impression of ancient times (making the same denomination currency with cheaper material), so maybe there is some possibility of classical translation from the literature about this phenomena in classical times (if it even exists).

Some candidates:

  1. dívísum (Like in spanish)
  2. currens (like in English)
  3. Latin Wikipedia says Moneta which aside of not being in my dictionary is too concrete to my likes, I don't like the idea of calling coin to the abtract idea of currency.
  • 1
    I do like the idea of coming here to Meta for requests for feedback if you're unsure if the question is any good. All I would suggest is to provide any sort of reason why you think it belongs here. Are you unsure that you're asking in the right way? Anything in particular that you want help with? That sort of thing.
    – cmw Mod
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 4:49

1 Answer 1


You should indicate what you plan to use the translation for. For example, I don't think a translation to classical Latin makes sense as such because I don't think it makes such a distinction. One good option would be to ask whether the Romans did indeed make such a distinction anywhere in his extant literature.

If you want to communicate with others about the matter in the modern world, then adhering to extant nomenclature is important. You might also want to justify your decisions on pecunia & moneta, as people and current terminology may have other suggestions on those.

  • In fact there was no such thing as non money currency in Classical times.
    – Dolphínus
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 6:49
  • @Dolphínus You should make that point explicitly in the question. Many people here will assume classical Latin unless you mention otherwise.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 7:14
  • Just added the matter of fact in question
    – Dolphínus
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 7:15

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