Roman Sex Tokens

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A spintria (plural, spintriae) is a small bronze or brass Roman token, possibly for use in brothels, usually depicting sexual acts or symbols.

Some scholars have argued that spintriae were used to pay prostitutes. According to Suetonius, carrying a ring or a coin bearing the emperor’s image into a latrine or brothel could be the basis for an accusation of treason (maiestas) under Tiberius. Under Caracalla, an equestrian was sentenced to death for bringing a coin with the emperor’s likeness into a brothel; he was spared only by the emperor’s own death.There is no direct ancient evidence, however, to support the theory that spintriae were created as tokens for exchange in place of official coinage.

They may have been gaming tokens. They seem to have been produced for only a short period, mostly in the 1st century AD.

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