from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A Roman bronze coin, of the value of 2 asses (see
as), issued by Augustus and some of his successors: popularly called by coin-collectors “second brass,” to distinguish it from the sestertius, the “first brass” Roman coin.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun A bronze coin minted during the Roman Empire and Roman Republic, equal to 2
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
While this reduction of the standard facilitated the manufacture of coins of larger values (dupondius, tripondius, decussis, equal to 2, 3, and 10 asses respectively), it resulted in giving to copper coins a current value far above their intrinsic worth and furthered the introduction of stamped, instead of cast, coins.
The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 11: New Mexico-Philip 1840-1916 1913