Category Archives: Roman Coins

Some Roman coins of the usurper Allectus

Some Roman coins of the usurper Allectus

Flatbed scanning and image manipulation technology have come a long way since 1997 when I first made Coins of the Romans Relating to Britain By John Y. Akerman, 1836, available for free on the internet! (See some of my earlier and more primitive scanning attempts here) So I have been revisiting this classic work to provide better quality images of the interesting woodcuts of roman coins contained in this book:

Roman coin - Allectus Adventus
Woodcut of a roman coin of Allectus (293-296AD)

Above: Obverse. IMP ALLECTVS P F AVG. Imperator Allectus Pius Felix Augustus.

Reverse. ADVENTVS AVG. Adventus Augusti. Allectus on horseback, his right hand raised, his left holding the hasta: before, a captive seated on the ground: in the exergue, S P C.

A very unusual coin, for Allectus at least, this particlar reverse is very similar to the now famous denarius of Carausius from the Frome Hoard, found by metal detectorist Dave Crisp. Roman Coins and Their Values, 4th revised edition, doesn’t list this particular coin, could it be a forgery inspired by the Carausius denarius, or just a very rare issue of Allectus?

Roman coin of Allectus, Galley type
Woodcut of a roman coin of Allectus (293-296AD)

Above: The classic coin of Allectus, the Galley reverse. RCV lists three different ‘Galley’ types.

See also: Coins of the Romans Relating to Britain, Plates I-VI

Rare Carausius ‘Clasped Hands’ Denarius being offered by Dix, Noonan and Webb

Rare Carausius ‘Clasped Hands’ Denarius being offered by Dix, Noonan and Webb

Dix, Noonan and Webb are offering a very rare Carausius ‘Clasped Hands’ Denarius in their December 9th coin auction:

Carausius, Argenteus, London, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, rev. clasped hands, 4.19g/6h (cf. RIC 549; cf. Shiel 14-20). Very fine and very rare £600-800

There was a near perfect example of this coin found amongst the 52,503 coins of the Frome Hoard, found by Dave Crisp. See The Frome Hoard Book, by Sam Moorhead, Anna Booth and Roger Bland, page 28 for more information about this very unusual coin and an interesting theory about the meaning of the letters ‘RSR’ beneath the clasped hands from Guy de la Bedoyere. Although, John Y. Akerman writing in Coins of the Romans Relating to Britain, 1836, says “It is difficult to assign an exact meaning to the letters RSR; but if conjecture be allowed, it seems highly probable that this coin was struck at Rutupia (Richborough in Kent).”

Wish I had the money for this one!

Metal Detecting UK

Frome Hoard Fundraising – The 1st of February 2011 deadline draws closer

Somerset Museum in Taunton has until February 1, 2011 to raise the £320,250 purchase price of the Frome Hoard. On top of the purchase price, money also needs to be raised to cover the ongoing costs of conserving the 52,503 third century Roman coins, discovered by metal detectorist Dave Crisp. You can donate to the Frome Hoard campaign fund online via the Art Fund web site. Not only has the Art Fund already donated £40,250 to the Frome Hoard campaign fund, but they will match, pound for pound, donations by members of the public up to a total value of £10,000.

Another way of supporting the campaign to keep the Frome Hoard in Somerset is to buy the Frome Hoard book: The Frome Hoard by Sam Moorhead, Anna Booth and Roger Bland on Amazon.co.uk, a snip at £4.49 delivered. 50p from every sale of the Frome Hoard book goes towards the campaign fund and the cost of conserving the coins. Worth every penny of the cover price for the stunning photographs of the coins of Carausius alone!

Book on the Frome Hoard to be Released on October 11

The British Museum is releasing a book on the Frome Hoard!

Found in April 2010 by metal detectorist Dave Crisp, the Frome Hoard consisted of a very large roman pot filled to the brim with 52,503 Roman coins. The coins in the pot weighed around 160 kilograms (that’s 352.7lbs in old money), one of the largest coin hoards ever discovered! The coins are mostly third century radiates, some of them in a remarkable state of preservation. The book, titled simply ‘The Frome Hoard’, will be released on the 11th October 2010.

Denarius from the Frome HoardAbove: A Denarius of Carausius from the Frome Hoard. Photo courtesy of the Portable Antiquities Scheme’s Flickr photostream.

Another interesting point to note is that the British Museum still needs around £30,000 for conservation work on the coins, and 50p from every sale of the Frome Hoard book goes towards the cost of conserving the coins and the acquisition campaign apparently being run by Somerset County Heritage Service so that the hoard can stay in Somerset and be displayed in Taunton Museum.

I’ll provide some more information on the book and probably a review when I receive my copy.

The Frome Hoard by Sam Moorhead, Anna Booth and Roger Bland on Amazon.co.uk

Earliest Known Sighting of Halley’s Comet – Comets and Meteors on Ancient Greek and Roman Coins

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11255168

It seems the ancient greeks spotted Halley’s comet in 466BC.

This got me thinking about ancient greek and roman coins that depict comets or meteorites (or at least appear to depict a comet or meteorite). There are more than a few of them, but wasn’t there a very rare ancient greek silver coin minted sometime in the fifth century BC that depicted a “meteorite”? I wonder if the coin was really commemorating the appearance of the Halley’s comet?

I have been searching around the web trying to find pictures of it and some more details, but so far it has eluded me. Trying to remember the details of this is doubly frustating because I am pretty sure I recently saw one of these coins for sale on ebay.com.

I guess I might be thinking of the Armenian king Tigranes the Great, who produced a coin depicting what is believed to be Halley’s Comet in 87BC.

Did anybody out there see a greek coin depicting a comet or meteorite on ebay in the last few weeks?

See this link for more ancient coins that depict comets and meteorites.

The ancient greeks are believed to have worshipped meteorites and kept them in their temples. Until recently The Black Stone of Paphos, a large dark coloured stone found at The Temple of Aphrodite in Paphos, Cyprus, was believed to be a meteorite.