Pecuniary

From pecus, cattle, especially sheep. Varo says that sheep were the ancient medium of barter and standard of value. Ancient coin was marked with the image of an ox or sheep. We have the Gold Sheep (mouton d'or) and Gold Lamb (agneau d'or) of ancient France, so called from the figure struck on them, and worth about a shilling. (Latin, pecuniarius, pecunia.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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