Two different Roman brass coins are translated by this word: one of these, the assarion, Mt 10:29; Lu 12:6, was worth less than a cent; the other, the kodrantes, Mt 5:26, was probably nearly four mills.
(1.) Mt 10:29; Lu 12:6. Greek assarion, i.e., a small as, which was a Roman coin equal to a tenth of a denarius or drachma, nearly equal to a halfpenny of our money.
Representing two Greek words: kodrantes (Latin: quadrans, Mt 5:26; Mr 12:42), and assarion (Latin: as, Mt 10:29; Lu 12:6; the "two assaria" constituted probably one coin). The quadrans was originally the fourth of an as, i.e. three ounces. In Christ's time the quadrans equaled two Greek lepta, "mites." Among the Roman copper coins current then in Palestine there was none smaller than the as or assarich; among the Greek imperial coins there was the quadrans (quarter of the as) and lepton, "mite," one-eighth of an as and half of a quadrans. The as was one and three-fourths of a farthing; the quadrans thus less than half a farthing. But either the as the lowest Roman coin, or the quadrans, the lowest Greek imperial coin, is sufficiently expressed by the term "farthing," as being our lowest coin.
See WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.
Two names of coins in the New Testament are rendered in the Authorized Version by this word:
a coin current in the time of our Lord, equivalent to three-eights of a cent;
2. The assarion, equal to one cent and a half,
Mt 10:29; Lu 12:6