This page cannot be viewed in frames

Go to page

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Roman tokens in exchange for sexual favors

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Token to lupanar
Token to lupanar

Sexual services were normally paid between 2 and 10 asses. Occasionally, special coins (spintria) were issued which, according to scientists, were in the form of our present-day tokens. They gave entry and the possibility of using the services. More coins of this type.

The Spintria was an obscene Roman tessera from the early empire, most likely related to prostitution in brothels (most scientists say). According to Suetonius, during the reign of Tiberius entering the lupanar with a coin or ring showing the ruler was a form of treason (maiestas). During the reign of Caracalla, an equine was sentenced to death for bringing a coin with the image of the emperor to the brothel; the accused was only saved because the ruler himself was murdered. We do not have any official proof that spintrae are a form of tokens in exchange for services and substitutes for money. For example, the numismatist Theodore V. Buttrey claims that they were used as gambling chips. Spintriae was produced only for a short time, probably in the 1st century CE.

IMPERIUM ROMANUM needs your support!

If you like the content that I collect on the website and that I share on social media channels I will be grateful for the support. Even the smallest amounts will allow me to pay for further corrections, improvements on the site and pay the server.



Find out more!

Check your curiosity and learn something new about the ancient world of the Romans. By clicking on the link below, you will be redirected to a random entry.

Random curiosity

Random curiosity

Discover secrets of ancient Rome!

If you want to be up to date with newest articles on website and discoveries from the world of ancient Rome, subscribe to the newsletter, which is sent each Saturday.

Subscribe to newsletter!

Subscribe to newsletter

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: