S. Austin Allibone, comp. Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay. 1880.
Medals are so many monuments consigned over to eternity, that they may last when all other memorials of the same age are worn out or lost.
Medals give a very great light to history in confirming such passages as are true in old authors, and settling such as are told after different manners.
If we consider the different occasions of ancient and modern medals, we shall find that they both agree in recording the great actions and successes in war; allowing still for the different ways of making it and the circumstances that attended it.
The Roman medals were their current money: when an action deserved to be recorded on a coin, it was stamped, and issued out of the mint.
Among the Romans, to preserve great events upon their coins, when any particular piece of money grew very scarce it was often recoined by a succeeding emperor.
What a majesty and force does one meet with in these short inscriptions: are not you amazed to see so much history gathered into so small a compass?
One may often find as much thought on the reverse of a medal as in a canto of Spenser.
A reverse often clears up the passage of an old poet, as the poet often serves to unriddle the reverse.
The figures of many ancient coins rise up in a much more beautiful relief than those on the modern; the face sinking by degrees in the several declensions of the empire till, about Constantines time, it lies almost even with the surface of the medal.
As a medallist, you are not to look upon a cabinet of medals as a treasury of money, but of knowledge.
Nothing can be more pleasant than to see virtuosos about a cabinet of medals, descanting upon the value, rarity, and authenticalness of the several pieces.
Medallions, in respect of the other coins, were the same as modern medals in respect of modern money.