Category Archives: Roman History

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

Treasure stuff from Dio Cassius – Roman Gold Rings

“As the Boii and the rest of the Gauls were continually offering for sale many articles and an especially large number of captives, the Romans became afraid that they might some day use the money against them, and accordingly forbade everybody to give to a Gaul either silver or gold coin.”

“The matter of the gold rings is as follows. Of the ancient Romans no one,—not to mention such as had once been slaves,—who had grown up as a free citizen even, was allowed to wear gold rings, save senators and knights,—as has been stated. Therefore they are given to those freedmen whom the man in power may select; although they may use gold in other ways, this is still an additional honor and distinguishes them as superior, or as capable, through having been freed, of becoming knights.”

“In this way Dacia became subject to Rome and Trajan founded cities there. The treasures of Decebalus were also discovered, though hidden beneath the Sargetia river, which ran past his palace. He had made some captives divert the course of the river and had then excavated its bed. There he had placed a large amount of silver and of gold and other objects of great value, that could endure some moisture, had heaped stones over them and piled on earth. After that he had let the river flow over them. The same captives were compelled to deposit his robes and other similar objects in neighboring caves; and when he had effected this, he made away with them to prevent their talking. But Bicilis, a comrade of his, who knew what had been done, was seized and gave this information.”

From the books of Dio Cassius on Project Gutenberg.