Metrologicorum scriptorum reliquiae, collegit recensuit partim nunc primum edidit F. Hultsch, vol. II, Lipsiae 1866 72-75 (Bibliotheca Scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana).
The De asse is a brief metrological treatise that was once attributed to the land-surveyor Balbus. This authorship has now been rejected on linguistic and numismatic grounds, however, and scholars prefer instead to date the text to the 3rd-4th c., between the reigns of Severus Alexander and Constantine, whose monetary reform offers a reasonable terminus ante quem. Marcus Fabius Calvus, a humanist from Ravenna, first published the short treatise, together with a similar text attributed to Julius Africanus, as an appendix to his Latin translation of the Corpus Hippocraticum, perhaps after finding it in the codex Arcerianus of the Corpus agrimensorum Romanorum (Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibl., Guelf. 36.23).
The text consists of seventeen short paragraphs. These offer a terse discussion of monetary subdivisions starting with the as, followed by an explanation of measurements starting with the ounce. Given the text’s extremely concise nature, it has also been suggested that it represents an abridgement of a larger work. [A. Borgna; tr. C. L. Caterine].