Roman Coinage Britain: Hoards Military Sites Museums Imperial Economy Daily Life

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Seller: ancientgifts (4,624) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 122871661497 "Roman Coinage in Britain" by P. J. Casey. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title. DESCRIPTION: Softcover. Publisher: Shire Publications (2009). Pages: 64. Size: 8¼ x 6 inches; ½ pound. Summary: This book puts the coinage of the Roman period in Britain into a perspective of the economic and political events of the time. After outlining the currency system of the Empire from the first century to the fourth and investigating the factors which influenced the volume of coinage issued by the state and the occassions on which it was issued, Mr Casey considers the way in which the coinage found on Roman sites in Britain conforms to or deviates from this imperial pattern. Social, economic and locational factors are investigated, and the very characteristic pattern of the coinage found in Britain is illustrated from a number of archaeological sites. The work is aimed at the practicing archaeologist as well as the general student of the past, and emphasis is placed on the need to understand the overall pattern of coin production and use in the Roman period before deductions are made about the chronology and occupation of individual sites. Almost all of the commonest Roman coins found in Britain are illustrated at actual size. CONDITION: NEW. New oversized softcover. Shire Publications (1994 First Edition) 64 pages. Unblemished except for faint edge and corner shelfwear to the covers. Pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread. Shelfwear is principally in the form of faint "crinkling" to the cover spine head and heel, as well as the cover "tips" (the four open corners of the covers, top and bottom, front and back). Condition is entirely consistent with new stock from a bookstore environment wherein new books might show faint signs of shelfwear, consequence of routine handling and simply being shelved and re-shelved. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! #8733b. PLEASE SEE DESCRIPTIONS AND IMAGES BELOW FOR DETAILED REVIEWS AND FOR PAGES OF PICTURES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEWS: REVIEW: Accessible to archaeological experts and students alike, PJ Casey's “Roman Coinage in Britain” is a fascinating investigation of the Roman Empire's economic presence in Britain. Drawing from a wealth of archaeological sources, this book places Roman coinage in its rightful economic and political context to better understand the chronology and lives of those who used it. Boasting over a hundred images of exquisitely preserved coins, many of them life-sized, Casey's study is a must for coin collectors, amateur archaeologists and anyone with an interest in ancient Roman Britain. REVIEW: Osprey Publishing (Shire) has been providing books for enthusiasts since 1968 and since then it has grown, evolved and taken on new challenges until it stands today as one of the most successful examples of niche publishing around. REVIEW: John Casey was employed at Durham University between 1972 and 2000, retiring as Reader in Archaeology. He was a well-known Romanist and numismatics scholar who undertook excavations at the Roman forts of Brecon Gaer (nr Aberyscir) and Segontium (Gwynedd), the Roman town of Venta Silurum (Caerwent), the Roman temple at Lydney (Gloucestershire) and the Greta Bridge vicus in County Durham. His books included "Coins and the Archaeologist" (1974, 2nd ed. 1988), "The End of Roman Britain" (1979), "Roman Coinage in Britain" (1980), and "Understanding Ancient Coins" (1986). He was the author of numerous articles on Roman coinage and hoards, including the finds from Piercebridge. REVIEW: P. J. Casey has a degree in archaeology from the University of Wales, Cardiff. He is on the councils of both the Royal Numismatic Society and the British Numismatic Society. He has conducted excavations at Caernarfon, Lydney Park, Caerleon, Ilchester, Greta Bridge and elsewhere, and he contributes coin reports to numerous other excavations. The Royal Numismatic Society awarded him the Lhotke Memorial Prize for the first edition of Roman Coinage in Britain. TABLE OF CONTENTS: Preface. 1. The Roman Imperial Currency System. 2. The Roman Coinage in Britain. Site Finds-Civil Sites. Site Finds-Military Sites. Coin Hoards. 3. Museums. 4. Further Reading. Index. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: Splendid, well-researched and written. Handsomely illustrated. Compact but informative and detailed. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: This title puts the coinage of Roman Britain into a perspective of the economic and political events of the time. After outlining the currency system of the Empire from the first century to the fourth and investigating the factors which influenced the volume of coinage issued by the state and the occasions on which it was issued, the author considers the way in which the coinage found on Roman sites in Britain conforms to or deviates from this imperial pattern. This book is aimed at the practicing archaeologist as well as the general student and emphasis is placed on the need to understand the overall pattern of coin production and use in the Roman period before deductions are made about the chronology and occupation of the individual sites. Almost all the commonest Roman coins found in Britain are illustrated at actual size P. J. Casey is Reader in Archaeology at the University of Durham and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He is on the councils of both the Royal Numismatic Society and the British Numismatic Society. The Royal Numismatic Society awarded him the Lhotke Memorial Price for the first edition of this book. REVIEW: Terrific Little Book! This is a great little book for the person who is starting out on the hobby of coin collecting, whether they are going to solely collect Roman coins or a more general collection. The book features virtually all of the coins that were in common use in Roman Britain and life size reproductions of the coins are shown. There are no present day value in the book, but I find that these are practically useless anyway as within 12 months the prices have changed and anyway the book price can be very far away from what you actual get if you sold them on the open market. It is not the best the most comprehensive book available on Roman coins, but for those who are just starting in the hobby, or just want to purchase one or two coins (there are many available on the internet now) for their historical interest, the book is an invaluable aid to identification. REVIEW: This is definitely an introductory book but I does go in to pretty good detail. It's easy to read but the writing is very straight forward and perhaps a little dry. I do wish there were more plates in the book but the ones that are there are nice and clear. Unfortunately if focuses mostly on 200 AD and beyond and I needed it for research into first century roman coinage. REVIEW: This is a great little book for the person who is starting out on the hobby of coin collecting, whether they are going to solely collect Roman coins or a more general collection. The book features virtually all of the coins that were in common use in Roman Britain and life size reproductions of the coins are shown. REVIEW: I bought this for my uncle who has done some archeological digs. He reads a lot informative books and very difficult to find books that have enough factual information. He said the book was excellent. REVIEW: Informative, useful and value for money!!! Although when the book arrived the hand drawn images looked amateurish, they actually do assist to identify coins when found. This was a gift for someone and the recipient was very pleased to get it. REVIEW: Good introduction to Roman coinage which gives some detail that you can use to begin to identify coins you might found. REVIEW: I'm new to metal detecting and with this book have been able to identify the Roman coins I find. REVIEW: This book covers many, many coins, so is great for identification of anything we find when we are metal detecting REVIEW: A very handy little reference book. An easy introduction to the world of roman coins. Very good series. Good value. REVIEW: Five stars. I bought this for an eighty eight year old gentleman who loves metal detecting in the ancient fields of Pembrokeshire. REVIEW: Portable, more easily accessible back up for more dense and scholarly works. REVIEW: Outstanding book, handy size to carry around. REVIEW: Interesting read. Managed to date my own Roman Coin from its countless pictures. REVIEW: Five stars! Another brilliant book by Shire on Roman History. REVIEW: Five stars! Concise and informative. REVIEW: Five stars. Superb introduction and great photography. REVIEW: Five stars! Excellent read and very useful. REVIEW: Five stars! Very good detail. REVIEW: Five stars! Great Read! REVIEW: Five stars! Brilliant little book! REVIEW: Five stars! Great book. ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: REVIEW: Britain was a significant addition to the ever-expanding Roman Empire. For decades Rome had been conquering the Mediterranean Sea - defeating Carthage in the Punic Wars, overwhelming Macedon and Greece, and finally marching into Syria and Egypt. At long last, they gazed northward across the Alps towards Gaul and ultimately setting their sights across the channel (they believed it to be an ocean) into Britannia. After Claudius' invasion in 43 A.D., part of the island became a Roman province in name, however, conquest was a long process. Constantly rebellious and twice reorganized, it was finally abandoned by the Romans in 410 A.D. At the time of the Roman arrival, Britain (originally known as Albion) was mostly comprised of small Iron Age communities, primarily agrarian, tribal, with enclosed settlements. Southern Britain shared their culture with northern Gaul (modern day France and Belgium); many southern Britons were Belgae in origin and shared a common language with them. In fact, after 120 B.C. trading between Transalpine Gaul intensified with the Britons receiving such domestic imports as wine; there was also some evidence of Gallo-Belgae coinage. Although Julius Caesar’s presence did not result in conquest, it was this intense trade - some claim it was partly ego - that brought the Roman commander across the Channel in both 55 and 54 B.C. Previously, the Channel, or Mare Britannicum, had always served as a natural border between the European mainland and the islands. During his subjugation of Gaul during the Gallic Wars, Caesar had wanted to interrupt Belgae trade routes; he also assumed the Britons were assisting their kindred Belgae. Later, he would rationalize his invasion of Britain by telling the Roman Senate that he believed the island was rich in silver. Although the Republic was probably aware of the island’s existence, Britain, for the most part, was completely unknown to Rome, and to many more superstitious citizens, only existed in fables; traders repeatedly told of the islanders’ barbarous practices. To the disgust of many Romans, they even drank milk. Nevertheless, Caesar’s initial contact with the islanders went poorly, and he had to quickly reorganize his army to avoid defeat. During his second 'invasion' when he was accompanied by five legions, he pushed further northward across the Thames River to meet the Briton chieftain Cassivellaunus. Although he was joined for battle by several local chieftains, to avoid crossing the Channel in poor weather, Caesar feigned growing problems in Gaul, arranged a peace treaty with Cassivellaunus, and returned to the European mainland without leaving a garrison. While many Romans were enthusiastic about Caesar’s excursion across the Channel, Caesar’s worst enemy Cato was aghast. The Greek historian Strabo, a contemporary of the late Republic, said the only things of value were hunting dogs and slaves. More important to Caesar was the difficulties developing in Gaul, a failed harvest, and possible rebellion. The Romans would not return to Britain for another century. With the death of Caesar and the civil war that followed, the Republic was no more, and the new empire’s interest in Britannia intensified under both Emperors Augustus and Caligula as the Romanization of Gaul progressed. While Augustus’s attentions were drawn elsewhere, Caligula and his army stared across the Channel towards the British Isles - the emperor only ordered his men to throw their javelins at the sea - there would be no invasion. The actual annexation fell to the most unlikely of emperors, Claudius (41 – 54 A.D.). In 43 A.D., Emperor Claudius with an army of four legions and auxiliaries under the command of Aulus Plautius crossed the English Channel, landing at Richborough. They began the conquest of the island. Some believe the emperor’s only goal was personal glory; years of humiliation under Caligula left him longing for recognition. Although he had only been there sixteen days, Claudius would take credit, of course, for the conquest with a glorious triumphant return to Rome in 44 A.D. The Roman army had landed on the British shore and marched northward towards the Thames River; it was there that Claudius joined them. Rome's army quickly overran the territory of the Catuvellauni with a victory at Camulodunum (modern-day Colchester). Afterwards, the army quickly moved to the north and west, and by 60 A.D. much of Wales and the areas to the south of Trent were occupied. Client kingdoms were soon established including the Iceni at Norfolk and the Brigantes to the north. While one legion was sent northward, the future emperor Vespasian led another legion southwest where he would capture 20 tribal strongholds. Cities such as London (Londinium) - because of its proximity to the Channel - and St. Albans (Verulamium) were established. There was, however, considerably resistance; the Britons were not about to quit without a fight. Caratacus, a member of the Catuvellauni, rallied considerably support in Wales only to be captured in 51 A.D. After his defeat, he escaped and made his way to a region controlled by Brigantes whose queen quickly turned him over to the Romans. He and his family were taken to Rome in chains. In Rome, a triumph was held to glorify Claudius, but the captured chieftain was given the opportunity to speak to the Roman people: "Had my lineage and rank been accompanied by only moderate success, I should have come to this city as friend rather than prisoner, and you would not have disdained to ally yourself peacefully with one so nobly born … If I had surrendered without a blow before being brought before you, neither my downfall nor your triumph would have become famous. If you execute me, they will be forgotten. Spare me, and I shall be an everlasting token of your mercy (Tacitus, Annals, 267). His life, together with that of his wife, daughter, and brothers, was spared by Claudius. While Caratacus’s revolt was a failure, Rome had yet to tangle with the mighty Boudica. She was the wife of Prasutagus, a Roman ally and client king of the Iceni, a tribe in eastern Britain. His death in 60/61 A.D. left a will that gave one-half of his territory to Rome and one-half to his daughters; however, Rome did not wish to share the kingdom and, instead, decided to plunder it all. The result left Boudica flogged and her daughters raped. Although she and her army would eventually be defeated, she rose up, gathered an army, and with the neighboring Trinovantes went on the offensive. Towns were sacked and burned, including Londinium, and residents killed - possibly as many as 70,000 (these are Roman numbers and may or may not be completely accurate). In his Annals Tacitus wrote, Boudicca drove around all the tribes in a chariot with her daughters in front of her. "We British are used to woman commanders in war." she cried. "I am descended from mighty men! But now I am not fighting for my kingdom and wealth. I am fighting as an ordinary person for my lost freedom, my bruised body, and my outraged daughters." She prayed that the gods would grant her the vengeance the British deserved. Unfortunately, her prayers went unanswered, and instead of surrendering to the Romans, she committed suicide. Tacitus believed that had it not been for the quick response of Roman governor Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, Britain would have been lost. Although progress was relatively slow, Rome considered the conquest of Britain necessary. While Julius Caesar had dismissed the island as having little of value, the truth was far from it. The Battle of Watling Street was the last serious threat to Roman authority in the lowlands. Aside from his victory against Boudicca, in his desire to strengthen Roman presence, Paulinus also eliminated the Druid stronghold at Anglesey; the Druid religion had always been considered a threat to the Romans and their imperial cult. Accordingly, the governor’s rather vigorous response to the Boudica’s surrender led not only to his recall by Rome - he was replaced by Turpilianus - but a change in Roman policy towards Britain. Gradually, Britons were adopting Roman ways. With a stronger presence in Britain, Rome began to make significant changes. Burnt towns were rebuilt. Soon, London (Londinium), serving as the administrative capital, would have a basilica, a forum, a governor’s palace, and a bridge crossing the Thames. Although progress was relatively slow, Rome considered the conquest of Britain necessary. While Julius Caesar had dismissed the island as having little of value, the truth was far from it. Not only was it important for its tax revenue but it was also useful for its mineral resources - tin, iron, and gold and as predicted hunting dogs and animal furs. Mining developed. In addition, there was its grain, cattle, and, of course, slaves. Roads were built; Watling Street which linked Canterbury to Wroxeter on the Welsh border and Ermine Street which ran between London and York. And, with any burgeoning economy, merchants arrived, resulting in increased trade and commerce. However, despite the presence of a strong military, resistance continued, so expansion remained gradual. From 77 to 83 A.D. the military commander Gnaeus Julius Agricola - ironically the father-in-law of Tacitus - served as governor. It was not Agricola’s first time In Britain. He had served there as a young man on Suetonius Paulinus’ staff as a military tribune. In his On Britain and Germany, the historian wrote about Agricola’s previous stay in Britain stating that he was energetic but never careless. Concerning the state of affairs in Britain at the time, he wrote: "Neither before nor since has Britain ever been in a more uneasy or dangerous state. Veterans were butchered, colonies burned to the ground, armies isolated. We had to fight for life before we could think of victory". The Britons were on the defensive. "We have country, wives and parents to fight for: the Romans have nothing but greed and self-indulgence" . The tribune studied his craft well, and in his return to the island as governor, he was prepared. His first order of business was to restructure the army’s loose discipline and reduce abuses, thereby giving men a reason to "love and honor peace." With his new army, he marched northward to Caledonia (Scotland) conquering much of northern England along the way. In a series of conflicts, Agricola was able to achieve victory, subduing northern Wales and finally meeting the Caledonians at Mons Graupius. The governor even eyed the neighboring island of Ireland, claiming it could be taken with only one legion. Unfortunately, Agricola was forced to withdraw from Scotland when one of his legions was recalled by Emperor Domitian (81 - 96 A.D.) to confront intruders along the Danube. However, despite his attacks against rebels, Agricola was not a cruel conqueror. Aside from the forts he built to the north, he fostered 'civilizing' or Romanizing the Britons, encouraged urbanization, moving into towns that were equipped with theaters, forums, and baths. And, like other conquered lands, Latin was to be taught. Unfortunately, his success would not go unnoticed by Domitian, who, in a fit of jealousy, recalled Agricola. The territory he had long desired to the north, Scotland, would not be fully conquered for years to come. Eventually, a 73 mile (118 km) long stone and turf wall would be built between the province of Britain and barbarian territories under Emperor Hadrian (117–138 A.D.). The emperor had visited both Gaul and Britain in 121 and 122 A.D. and believed that in order to maintain peace the frontier had to be secured. He realized that external expansion meant an increased reliance on strengthening frontier defenses. Although taking years to build and manned with 15,000 soldiers, it seems that it was not to keep the barbarians out but designed solely for surveillance and patrols. By 130 A.D. military garrisons had been established throughout Britain. It was at this time that Rome realized the need to further strengthen their army on the European continent and began to recruit from the 'barbaric' provinces of the empire, namely the Balkans and Britain. In 139 A.D. another wall, the 37 mile (60 km) long Antonine Wall (named for the Emperor Antonius Pius), was built c. 100 km to the north between the Firth of Forth and the River Clyde; however, it was too difficult to defend, and therefore it was abandoned in 163 A.D. Further changes soon came to the island. In order to rule more efficiently, the island was divided in half, Britannia Superior governed from London, and Britannia Inferior governed from York (Eboracum). Emperor Diocletian would later divide the province into four separate regions. Because of Diocletian’s tetrarchy, Britain was then placed under the watchful eye of the emperor in the west. Trouble continued to haunt Britain. During the 3rd century A.D., the island had been under constant attack by the Picts of Scotland, the Scots from Ireland, and the Saxons from Germany. After a rebellion led by Carausius and then Allectus enabled Britain temporarily to become a separate kingdom, the Roman emperor of the west Constantius (293 – 306 A.D.) regained control in 296 A.D. The emperor had served as a military tribune combatting Celtic tribes earlier in his career. In celebration of his victory, he received a much-deserved title from the people of London 'The Restorer of the Eternal Light.' However, along with the arrival of Christianity, by the end of the 4th century A.D., Rome was having trouble maintaining control of Britain. After Alaric’s sack of Rome in 410 A.D., the western half of the empire began to undergo significant changes; Spain, Britain, and the better part of Gaul would soon be lost. The eastern half of the empire, based in Constantinople, became the economic and cultural center. The loss of the rich grain-producing provinces doomed Rome. According to historian Peter Heather in his The Fall of the Roman Empire, Britain, unlike other provinces, was more prone for a revolt or break with Rome because many civilians, as well as military personnel, felt left out; attention (primarily defense) was being given elsewhere. Emperor Valentinian I (364-375 A.D.), who had defeated Saxon insurgents in 367 A.D., gradually began to withdraw troops. In 410 A.D. Honorius, one of the last emperors of the west, pulled out completely; the emperor even wrote letters to individual British cities informing them that they were to 'fend' for themselves. In the final days, Roman magistrates were expelled and local governments were established. Britain was no longer a province of Rome; however, the years that followed could not erase all of the empire’s impact on the people and culture of the island. There was occasional contact with Rome. Missionaries helped Christians battle the heretics, and in the 5th century A.D., as attacks from Saxons increased and marauders from Ireland and Scotland raided the English coast, an appeal went out to the Roman commanding general Aetius for help. He never replied. As Europe fell under the veil of the 'Dark Ages,' Britain would break into smaller kingdoms. The Vikings would cross the sea in the late 8th century and cause havoc for decades. Finally, one man would ward off the Viking attempt at conquest and claim to be king of England, Alfred the Great. Britain would recover. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. REVIEW: Roman Britain (Britannia to the Romans) was the area of the island of Great Britain that was governed by the Roman Empire, from 43 to 410 A.D. Julius Caesar invaded Britain in 55 and 54 B.C. as part of his Gallic Wars. The Britons had been overrun or culturally assimilated by other Celtic tribes during the British Iron Age and had been aiding Caesar's enemies. He received tribute, installed a friendly king over the Trinovantes, and returned to Gaul. Planned invasions under Augustus were called off in 34, 27, and 25 B.C. In 40 A.D., Caligula assembled 200,000 men at the Channel, only to have them gather seashells. Three years later, Claudius directed four legions to invade Britain and restore an exiled king over the Atrebates.[5] The Romans defeated the Catuvellauni, and then organized their conquests as the Province of Britain (Latin: Provincia Britannia). By the year 47 A.D., the Romans held the lands southeast of the Fosse Way. Control over Wales was delayed by reverses and the effects of Boudica's uprising, but the Romans expanded steadily northward. Under the 2nd century emperors Hadrian and Antoninus Pius, two walls were built to defend the Roman province from the Caledonians, whose realms in the Scottish Highlands were never directly controlled. Around 197 A.D., the Severan Reforms divided Britain into two provinces: Britannia Superior and Britannia Inferior. During the Diocletian Reforms, at the end of the 3rd century, Britannia was divided into four provinces under the direction of a vicarius, who administered the Diocese of the Britains. A fifth province, Valentia, is attested in the later 4th century. For much of the later period of the Roman occupation, Britannia was subject to barbarian invasions and often came under the control of imperial usurpers and imperial pretenders. The final Roman withdrawal from Britain occurred around 410 A.D.; the native kingdoms are considered to have formed Sub-Roman Britain after that. Following the conquest of the Britons, a distinctive Romano-British culture emerged as the Romans introduced improved agriculture, urban planning, industrial production, and architecture. The Roman goddess Britannia became the female personification of Britain. After the initial invasions, Roman historians generally only mention Britain in passing. Thus, most present knowledge derives from archaeological investigations and occasional epigraphic evidence lauding the Britannic achievements of an emperor. 46,323 Roman citizens settled in Britain from many parts of the Empire. Britain was known to the Classical world; the Greeks, Phoenicians and Carthaginians traded for Cornish tin in the 4th century B.C. The Greeks referred to the Cassiterides, or "tin islands", and placed them near the west coast of Europe. The Carthaginian sailor Himilco is said to have visited the island in the 5th century B.C. and the Greek explorer Pytheas in the 4th. However, it was regarded as a place of mystery, with some writers refusing to believe it existed at all. The first direct Roman contact was when Julius Caesar undertook two expeditions in 55 and 54 B.C., as part of his conquest of Gaul, believing the Britons were helping the Gallic resistance. The first expedition was more a reconnaissance than a full invasion and gained a foothold on the coast of Kent but was unable to advance further because of storm damage to the ships and a lack of cavalry. Despite the military failure it was a political success, with the Roman Senate declaring a 20-day public holiday in Rome to honor the unprecedented achievement of obtaining hostages from Britain and defeating Belgian tribes on returning to the continent. The second invasion involved a substantially larger force and Caesar coerced or invited many of the native Celtic tribes to pay tribute and give hostages in return for peace. A friendly local king, Mandubracius, was installed, and his rival, Cassivellaunus, was brought to terms. Hostages were taken, but historians disagree over whether any tribute was paid after Caesar returned to Gaul. Caesar conquered no territory and left no troops behind but he established clients and brought Britain into Rome's sphere of influence. Augustus planned invasions in 34, 27 and 25 B.C., but circumstances were never favorable, and the relationship between Britain and Rome settled into one of diplomacy and trade. Strabo, writing late in Augustus's reign, claimed that taxes on trade brought in more annual revenue than any conquest could. Archaeology shows that there was an increase in imported luxury goods in southeastern Britain. Strabo also mentions British kings who sent embassies to Augustus and Augustus's own Res Gestae refers to two British kings he received as refugees. When some of Tiberius's ships were carried to Britain in a storm during his campaigns in Germany in 16 A.D., they came back with tales of monsters. Rome appears to have encouraged a balance of power in southern Britain, supporting two powerful kingdoms: the Catuvellauni, ruled by the descendants of Tasciovanus, and the Atrebates, ruled by the descendants of Commius. This policy was followed until 39 or 40 A.D., when Caligula received an exiled member of the Catuvellaunian dynasty and planned an invasion of Britain that collapsed in farcical circumstances before it left Gaul. When Claudius successfully invaded in 43 A.D., it was in aid of another fugitive British ruler, Verica of the Atrebates. The invasion force in 43 A.D. was led by Aulus Plautius, but it is unclear how many legions were sent. The Legio II Augusta, commanded by future emperor Vespasian, was the only one directly attested to have taken part. The IX Hispana, the XIV Gemina (later styled Martia Victrix) and the XX (later styled Valeria Victrix) are known to have served during the Boudican Revolt of 60/61 A.D., and were probably there since the initial invasion. However this is not certain because the Roman army was flexible, with units being moved around whenever necessary. The Legio IX Hispana may have been permanently stationed with records showing it at Eboracum (York) in 71 A.D. and on a building inscription there dated 108 A.D., before being destroyed in the east of the Empire, possibly during the Bar Kokhba revolt. The invasion was delayed by a troop mutiny until an imperial freedman persuaded them to overcome their fear of crossing the Ocean and campaigning beyond the limits of the known world. They sailed in three divisions, and probably landed at Richborough in Kent, although at least part of the force may have landed near Fishbourne, West Sussex. The Catuvellauni and their allies were defeated in two battles: the first, assuming a Richborough landing, on the river Medway, the second on the river Thames. One of their leaders, Togodumnus, was killed, but his brother Caratacus survived to continue resistance elsewhere. Plautius halted at the Thames and sent for Claudius, who arrived with reinforcements, including artillery and elephants, for the final march to the Catuvellaunian capital, Camulodunum (Colchester). Vespasian subdued the southwest,[28] Cogidubnus was set up as a friendly king of several territories, and treaties were made with tribes outside direct Roman control. After capturing the south of the island, the Romans turned their attention to what is now Wales. The Silures, Ordovices and Deceangli remained implacably opposed to the invaders and for the first few decades were the focus of Roman military attention, despite occasional minor revolts among Roman allies like the Brigantes and the Iceni. The Silures were led by Caratacus, and he carried out an effective guerrilla attack campaign against Governor Publius Ostorius Scapula. Finally, in 51 A.D., Ostorius lured Caratacus into a set-piece battle and defeated him. The British leader sought refuge among the Brigantes, but their queen, Cartimandua, proved her loyalty by surrendering him to the Romans. He was brought as a captive to Rome, where a dignified speech he made during Claudius's triumph persuaded the emperor to spare his life. However, the Silures were still not pacified, and Cartimandua's ex-husband Venutius replaced Caratacus as the most prominent leader of British resistance. In 60–61 A.D., while Governor Gaius Suetonius Paulinus was campaigning in Wales, the southeast of Britain rose in revolt under the leadership of Boudica. Boudica was the widow of the recently deceased king of the Iceni, Prasutagus. The Roman historian Tacitus reports that Prasutagus had left a will leaving half his kingdom to Nero in the hope that the remainder would be left untouched. He was wrong. When his will was enforced, Rome responded by violently seizing the tribe's lands in full. Boudica protested. In consequence, Rome punished her and her daughters by flogging and rape. In response, the Iceni, joined by the Trinovantes, destroyed the Roman colony at Camulodunum (Colchester) and routed the part of the IXth Legion that was sent to relieve it. Suetonius Paulinus rode to London (then called Londinium), the rebels' next target, but concluded it could not be defended. Abandoned, it was destroyed, as was Verulamium (St. Albans). Between seventy and eighty thousand people are said to have been killed in the three cities. But Suetonius regrouped with two of the three legions still available to him, chose a battlefield, and, despite being heavily outnumbered, defeated the rebels in the Battle of Watling Street. Boudica died not long afterwards, by self-administered poison or by illness. During this time, the Emperor Nero considered withdrawing Roman forces from Britain altogether. There was further turmoil in 69 A.D., the "Year of the Four Emperors". As civil war raged in Rome, weak governors were unable to control the legions in Britain, and Venutius of the Brigantes seized his chance. The Romans had previously defended Cartimandua against him, but this time were unable to do so. Cartimandua was evacuated, and Venutius was left in control of the north of the country. After Vespasian secured the empire, his first two appointments as governor, Quintus Petillius Cerialis and Sextus Julius Frontinus, took on the task of subduing the Brigantes and Silures respectively. Frontinus extended Roman rule to all of South Wales, and initiated exploitation of the mineral resources, such as the gold mines at Dolaucothi. In the following years, the Romans conquered more of the island, increasing the size of Roman Britain. Governor Gnaeus Julius Agricola, father-in-law to the historian Tacitus, conquered the Ordovices in 78 A.D. With the XX Valeria Victrix legion, Agricola defeated the Caledonians in 84 A.D.at the Battle of Mons Graupius, in northern Scotland. This was the high-water mark of Roman territory in Britain: shortly after his victory, Agricola was recalled from Britain back to Rome, and the Romans retired to a more defensible line along the Forth–Clyde isthmus, freeing soldiers badly needed along other frontiers. For much of the history of Roman Britain, a large number of soldiers were garrisoned on the island. This required that the emperor station a trusted senior man as governor of the province. As a result, many future emperors served as governors or legates in this province, including Vespasian, Pertinax, and Gordian I. There is no historical source describing the decades that followed Agricola's recall. Even the name of his replacement is unknown. Archaeology has shown that some Roman forts south of the Forth–Clyde isthmus were rebuilt and enlarged, although others appear to have been abandoned. Roman coins and pottery have been found circulating at native settlement sites in the Scottish Lowlands in the years before 100 A.D., indicating growing Romanization. Some of the most important sources for this era are the writing tablets from the fort at Vindolanda in Northumberland, mostly dating to 90–110 A.D. These tablets provide vivid evidence for the operation of a Roman fort at the edge of the Roman Empire, where officers' wives maintained polite society while merchants, hauliers and military personnel kept the fort operational and supplied. Around 105 A.D. however there appears to have been a serious setback at the hands of the tribes of the Picts of Alba. Several Roman forts were destroyed by fire, with human remains and damaged armor at Trimontium (at modern Newstead, in southeast Scotland) indicating hostilities at least at that site. There is also circumstantial evidence that auxiliary reinforcements were sent from Germany, and an unnamed British war of the period is mentioned on the gravestone of a tribune of Cyrene. However, Trajan's Dacian Wars may have led to troop reductions in the area or even total withdrawal followed by slighting of the forts by the Picts rather than an unrecorded military defeat. The Romans were also in the habit of destroying their own forts during an orderly withdrawal, in order to deny resources to an enemy. In either case, the frontier probably moved south to the line of the Stanegate at the Solway–Tyne isthmus around this time. A new crisis occurred at the beginning of Hadrian's reign (117 A.D.): a rising in the north which was suppressed by Quintus Pompeius Falco. When Hadrian reached Britannia on his famous tour of the Roman provinces around 120 A.D., he directed an extensive defensive wall, known to posterity as Hadrian's Wall, to be built close to the line of the Stanegate frontier. Hadrian appointed Aulus Platorius Nepos as governor to undertake this work who brought the Legio VI Victrix legion with him from Germania Inferior. This replaced the famous Legio IX Hispana, whose disappearance has been much discussed. Archaeology indicates considerable political instability in Scotland during the first half of the 2nd century, and the shifting frontier at this time should be seen in this context. In the reign of Antoninus Pius (138–161 A.D.) the Hadrianic border was briefly extended north to the Forth–Clyde isthmus, where the Antonine Wall was built around 142 following the military reoccupation of the Scottish lowlands by a new governor, Quintus Lollius Urbicus. The first Antonine occupation of Scotland ended as a result of a further crisis in 155–157 A.D., when the Brigantes revolted. With limited options to dispatch reinforcements, the Romans moved their troops south, and this rising was suppressed by Governor Gnaeus Julius Verus. Within a year the Antonine Wall was recaptured, but by 163 or 164 A.D. it was abandoned. The second occupation was probably connected with Antoninus's undertakings to protect the Votadini or his pride in enlarging the empire, since the retreat to the Hadrianic frontier occurred not long after his death when a more objective strategic assessment of the benefits of the Antonine Wall could be made. The Romans did not entirely withdraw from Scotland at this time, however: the large fort at Newstead was maintained along with seven smaller outposts until at least 180 A.D. During the twenty-year period following the reversion of the frontier to Hadrian's Wall, Rome was concerned with continental issues, primarily problems in the Danubian provinces. Increasing numbers of hoards of buried coins in Britain at this time indicate that peace was not entirely achieved. Sufficient Roman silver has been found in Scotland to suggest more than ordinary trade, and it is likely that the Romans were reinforcing treaty agreements by paying tribute to their implacable enemies, the Picts. In 175, a large force of Sarmatian cavalry, consisting of 5,500 men, arrived in Britannia, probably to reinforce troops fighting unrecorded uprisings. In 180 A.D. Hadrian's Wall was breached by the Picts and the commanding officer or governor was killed there in what Cassius Dio described as the most serious war of the reign of Commodus. Ulpius Marcellus was sent as replacement governor and by 184 A.D. he had won a new peace, only to be faced with a mutiny from his own troops. Unhappy with Marcellus's strictness, they tried to elect a legate named Priscus as usurper governor; he refused, but Marcellus was lucky to leave the province alive. The Roman army in Britannia continued its insubordination: they sent a delegation of 1,500 to Rome to demand the execution of Tigidius Perennis, a Praetorian prefect who they felt had earlier wronged them by posting lowly equites to legate ranks in Britannia. Commodus met the party outside Rome and agreed to have Perennis killed, but this only made them feel more secure in their mutiny. The future emperor Pertinax was sent to Britannia to quell the mutiny and was initially successful in regaining control. However, a riot broke out among the troops. Pertinax was attacked and left for dead, and asked to be recalled to Rome, where he briefly succeeded Commodus as emperor in 192 A.D. The death of Commodus put into motion a series of events which eventually led to civil war. Following the short reign of Pertinax, several rivals for the emperorship emerged, including Septimius Severus and Clodius Albinus. The latter was the new governor of Britannia, and had seemingly won the natives over after their earlier rebellions; he also controlled three legions, making him a potentially significant claimant. His sometime rival Severus promised him the title of Caesar in return for Albinus's support against Pescennius Niger in the east. Once Niger was neutralized however, Severus turned on his ally in Britannia — though it is likely that Albinus saw he would be the next target and was already preparing for war. Albinus crossed to Gaul in 195 A.D. where the provinces were also sympathetic to him, and set up at Lugdunum. Severus arrived in February 196 A.D., and the ensuing battle was decisive. Although Albinus came close to victory, Severus's reinforcements won the day, and the British governor committed suicide. Severus soon purged Albinus's sympathizers and perhaps confiscated large tracts of land in Britain as punishment. Albinus had demonstrated the major problem posed by Roman Britain. In order to maintain security, the province required the presence of three legions; but command of these forces provided an ideal power base for ambitious rivals. Deploying those legions elsewhere, however, would strip the island of its garrison, leaving the province defenseless against uprisings by the native Celtic tribes and against invasion by the Picts and Scots. The traditional view is that northern Britain descended into anarchy during Albinus's absence. Cassius Dio records that the new Governor, Virius Lupus, was obliged to buy peace from a fractious northern tribe known as the Maeatae. The succession of militarily distinguished governors who were subsequently appointed suggests that enemies of Rome were posing a difficult challenge, and Lucius Alfenus Senecio's report to Rome in 207 A.D. describes barbarians "rebelling, over-running the land, taking loot and creating destruction". In order to rebel, of course, one must be a subject — although the Maeatae clearly did not consider themselves such. Senecio requested either reinforcements or an Imperial expedition, and Severus chose the latter, despite being 62 years old. Archaeological evidence shows that Senecio had been rebuilding the defenses of Hadrian's Wall and the forts beyond it, and Severus's arrival in Britain prompted the enemy tribes to sue for peace immediately. The emperor had not come all that way to leave without a victory, however, and it is likely that he wished to provide his teenage sons Caracalla and Geta with first-hand experience of controlling a hostile barbarian land. An invasion of Caledonia led by Severus and probably numbering around 20,000 troops moved north in 208 or 209 A.D., crossing the Wall and passing through eastern Scotland on a route similar to that used by Agricola. Harried by punishing guerrilla raids by the northern tribes and slowed by an unforgiving terrain, Severus was unable to meet the Caledonians on a battlefield. The emperor's forces pushed north as far as the River Tay, but little appears to have been achieved by the invasion, as peace treaties were signed with the Caledonians. By 210 A.D. Severus had returned to York, and the frontier had once again become Hadrian's Wall. He assumed the title Britannicus but the title meant little with regard to the unconquered north, which clearly remained outside the authority of the Empire. Almost immediately, another northern tribe, the Maeatae, again went to war. Caracalla left with a punitive expedition, but by the following year his ailing father had died and he and his brother left the province to press their claim to the throne. As one of his last acts, Severus tried to solve the problem of powerful and rebellious governors in Britain by dividing the province into Britannia Superior and Britannia Inferior. This kept the potential for rebellion in check for almost a century. Historical sources provide little information on the following decades, a period known as the Long Peace. Even so, the number of buried hoards found from this period rises, suggesting continuing unrest. A string of forts were built along the coast of southern Britain to control piracy; and over the following hundred years they increased in number, becoming the Saxon Shore Forts. During the middle of the 3rd century, the Roman Empire was convulsed by barbarian invasions, rebellions and new imperial pretenders. Britannia apparently avoided these troubles, although increasing inflation had its economic effect. In 259 A.D. a so-called Gallic Empire was established when Postumus rebelled against Gallienus. Britannia was part of this until 274 A.D. when Aurelian reunited the empire. Around the year 280 A.D., a half-British officer named Bonosus was in command of the Roman's Rhenish fleet when the Germans managed to burn it at anchor. To avoid punishment, he proclaimed himself emperor at Colonia Agrippina (Cologne) but was crushed by Marcus Aurelius Probus. Soon afterwards, an unnamed governor of one of the British provinces also attempted an uprising. Probus put it down by sending irregular troops of Vandals and Burgundians across the Channel. The Carausian Revolt led to a short-lived Britannic Empire from 286 to 296 A.D. Carausius was a Menapian naval commander of the Britannic fleet; he revolted upon learning of a death sentence ordered by the emperor Maximian on charges of having abetted Frankish and Saxon pirates and having embezzled recovered treasure. He consolidated control over all the provinces of Britain and some of northern Gaul while Maximian dealt with other uprisings. An invasion in 288 A.D. failed to unseat him and an uneasy peace ensued, with Carausius issuing coins and inviting official recognition. In 293 A.D. the junior emperor Constantius Chlorus launched a second offensive, besieging the rebel port of Gesoriacum (Boulogne-sur-Mer) by land and sea. After it fell, Constantius attacked Carausius's other Gallic holdings and Frankish allies and Carausius was usurped by his treasurer, Allectus. Julius Asclepiodotus landed an invasion fleet near Southampton and defeated Allectus in a land battle. As part of Diocletian's reforms, the provinces of Roman Britain were organized as a diocese subordinate to a praetorian prefect resident with an emperor and from 318 A.D. a prefect based at Augusta Treverorum (Trier), Julius Bassus, prefect to Constantine's son Crispus. Prior to this appointment two was the canonical number of prefects (not counting those of usurpers). The territorial prefectures first appear circa 325 A.D. Four are listed in 331 A.D. It is certain that the diocesan vicar was based at Londinium as the principle city of the diocese as it had been for250 years; that Londinim and Eboracum continued as provincial capitals; and that the territory was divided up into smaller provinces for administrative efficiency and presence as the governors, heretofore mainly judicial and administrative officials, assumed more financial duties (as the procurators of the Treasury ministry were slowly phased out in the first three decades of the 4th century years). The governors were stripped of military command (a process completed by 314 A.D.), which was hand over to duces. Civilian and military authority would not longer be exercised by one official with rare exception until the mid-5th century when a dux/governor was appointed for Upper Egypt. The tasks of the vicar were to control and coordinate the activities of governors; monitor but not interfere with daily routing functioning the performance of the Treasury and Crown Estates which had their own administrative infrastructure; and act as the regional quartermaster-general of the armed forces. In short as the sole civilian official with superior authority he had general oversight of the administration, though having only direct control, while not absolute, over governors who were part of the prefecture while the other two fiscal departments were not. The early-4th century Verona List, the late-4th century work of Sextus Rufus, and the early-5th century List of Offices and work of Polemius Silvius all list four provinces by some variation of the names Britannia I, Britannia II, Maxima Caesariensis, and Flavia Caesariensis. All of these seem to have initially been directed by a governor (praeses) of equestrian rank. The 5th-century sources, however, list a fifth province named Valentia and give its governor and Maxima's a consular rank. Ammianus mentions Valentia as well, describing its created by Count Theodosius in 369 A.D. after the quelling of the Great Conspiracy. Ammianus considered it a recreation of a formerly lost province, leading some to think there had been an earlier fifth province under another name and others to place Valentia beyond Hadrian's Wall, in the territory abandoned south of the Antonine Wall. Reconstructions of the provinces and provincial capitals during this period partially rely on ecclesiastical records. On the assumption that the early bishoprics mimicked the imperial hierarchy, scholars use the list of bishops for the 314 A.D. Council of Arles. Unfortunately, the list is patently corrupt: the British delegation is given as including a Bishop "Eborius" of Eboracum and two bishops "from Londinium" (one de civitate Londinensi and the other de civitate colonia Londinensium). In the 12th century, Gerald of Wales described the supposedly metropolitan sees of the early British church established by the legendary SS Fagan and "Duvian". He placed Britannia Prima in Wales and western England with its capital at "Urbs Legionum" (Caerleon); Britannia Secunda in Kent and southern England with its capital at "Dorobernia" (Canterbury); Flavia in Mercia and central England with its capital at "Lundonia" (London); "Maximia" in northern England with its capital at Eboracum (York); and Valentia in "Albania which is now Scotland" with its capital at St Andrews. Modern scholars generally dispute the last: some place Valentia at or beyond Hadrian's Wall but St Andrews is beyond even the Antonine Wall and Gerald seems to have simply been supporting the antiquity of its church for political reasons. A common modern reconstruction places the consular province of Maxima at Londinium, on the basis of its status as the seat of the diocesan vicar; places Prima in the west according to Gerald's traditional account but moves its capital to Corinium of the Dobunni (Cirencester) on the basis of an artifact recovered there referring to Lucius Septimius, a provincial rector; places Flavia north of Maxima, with its capital placed at Lindum Colonia (Lincoln) to match one emendation of the bishops list from Arles;[60] and places Secunda in the north with its capital at Eboracum (York). Valentia is placed variously in northern Wales around Deva (Chester); beside Hadrian's Wall around Luguvalium (Carlisle); and between the walls along Dere Street. Constantius Chlorus returned in 306 A.D., despite his poor health, aiming to invade northern Britain, with the provincial defenses having been rebuilt in the preceding years. Little is known of his campaigns with scant archaeological evidence, but fragmentary historical sources suggest he reached the far north of Britain and won a major battle in early summer before returning south. He died in York in July 306 A.D. with his son Constantine I at his side. Constantine then successfully used Britain as the starting point of his march to the imperial throne, unlike the earlier usurper, Albinus. In the middle of the century, for a few years the province was loyal to the usurper Magnentius, who succeeded Constans following the latter's death. After the defeat and death of Magnentius in the Battle of Mons Seleucus in 353 A.D., Constantius II dispatched his chief imperial notary Paulus Catena to Britain to hunt down Magnentius's supporters. The investigation deteriorated into a witch-hunt, which forced the vicarius Flavius Martinus to intervene. When Paulus retaliated by accusing Martinus of treason, the vicarius attacked Paulus with a sword, with the aim of assassinating him, but in the end he committed suicide. As the 4th century progressed, there were increasing attacks from the Saxons in the east and the Scoti (Irish) in the west. A series of forts was already being built, starting around 280 A.D., to defend the coasts, but these preparations were not enough when a general assault of Saxons, Scoti and Attacotti, combined with apparent dissension in the garrison on Hadrian's Wall, left Roman Britain prostrate in 367 A.D. This crisis, sometimes called the Barbarian Conspiracy or the Great Conspiracy, was settled by Count Theodosius with a string of military and civil reforms. Another imperial usurper, Magnus Maximus, raised the standard of revolt at Segontium (Caernarfon) in north Wales in 383 A.D. and crossed the English Channel. Maximus held much of the western empire, and fought a successful campaign against the Picts and Scots around 384 A.D. His continental exploits required troops from Britain, and it appears that forts at Chester and elsewhere were abandoned in this period, triggering raids and settlement in north Wales by the Irish. His rule was ended in 388 A.D., but not all the British troops may have returned. The Empire's military resources were struggling after the catastrophic battle of Adrianople in 378 A.D. Around 396 A.D. there were increasing barbarian incursions into Britain, and an expedition — possibly led by Stilicho — brought naval action against the raiders. It seems peace was restored by 399 A.D., although it is likely that no further garrisoning was ordered; and indeed by 401 A.D. more troops were withdrawn, to assist in the war against Alaric I. The traditional view of historians, informed by the work of Michael Rostovtzeff, was of a widespread economic decline at the beginning of the 5th century. However, consistent archaeological evidence has told another story, and the accepted view is undergoing re-evaluation, though some features are agreed: more opulent but fewer urban houses, an end to new public building and some abandonment of existing ones, with the exception of defensive structures, and the widespread formation of "black earth" deposits indicating increased horticulture within urban precincts. Turning over the basilica at Silchester to industrial uses in the late 3rd century, doubtless officially condoned, marks an early stage in the de-urbanization of Roman Britain. The abandonment of some sites is now believed to be later than had formerly been thought. Many buildings changed use but were not destroyed. There were growing barbarian attacks, but these were focused on vulnerable rural settlements rather than towns. Some villas such as Great Casterton in Rutland and Hucclecote in Gloucestershire had new mosaic floors laid around this time, suggesting that economic problems may have been limited and patchy, although many suffered some decay before being abandoned in the 5th century. The story of Saint Patrick indicates that villas were still occupied until at least 430 A.D. Exceptionally, new buildings were still going up in this period in Verulamium and Cirencester. Some urban centers, for example Canterbury, Cirencester, Wroxeter, Winchester and Gloucester, remained active during the 5th and 6th centuries, surrounded by large farming estates. Urban life had generally grown less intense by the fourth quarter of the 4th century, and coins minted between 378 and 388 A.D. are very rare, indicating a likely combination of economic decline, diminishing numbers of troops, problems with the payment of soldiers and officials or with unstable conditions during the usurpation of Magnus Maximus 383–87 A.D. Coinage circulation increased during the 390s, although it never attained the levels of earlier decades. Copper coins are very rare after 402 A.D., although minted silver and gold coins from hoards indicate they were still present in the province even if they were not being spent. By 407 A.D. there were no new Roman coins going into circulation, and by 430 A.D. it is likely that coinage as a medium of exchange had been abandoned. Pottery mass production probably ended a decade or two previously; the rich continued to use metal and glass vessels, while the poor probably adopted leather or wooden ones. Towards the end of the 4th century Britain came under increasing pressure from barbarian attacks, and there were not enough troops to mount an effective defense. After elevating two disappointing usurpers, the army chose a soldier, Constantine III, to become emperor in 407 A.D. He crossed to Gaul but was defeated by Honorius. It is unclear how many troops remained or ever returned, or whether a commander-in-chief in Britain was ever reappointed. A Saxon incursion in 408 A.D. was apparently repelled by the Britons, and in 409 AD. Zosimus records that the natives expelled the Roman civilian administration. However, Zosimus may be referring to the Bacaudic rebellion of the Breton inhabitants of Armorica since he describes how, in the aftermath of the revolt, all of Armorica and the rest of Gaul followed the example of the Brettaniai. A letter from Emperor Honorius in 410 A.D> has traditionally been seen as rejecting a British appeal for help, but it may have been addressed to Bruttium or Bologna. With the imperial layers of the military and civil government gone, administration and justice fell to municipal authorities, and local warlords gradually emerged all over Britain, still utilizing Romano-British ideals and conventions. Laycock has investigated this process and emphasized elements of continuity from the British tribes in the pre-Roman and Roman periods, through to the native post-Roman kingdoms. In British/Welsh tradition, pagan Saxons were invited by Vortigern to assist in fighting the Picts and Irish, though Germanic migration into Roman Britannia may have begun much earlier. There is recorded evidence, for example, of Germanic auxiliaries supporting the legions in Britain in the 1st and 2nd centuries. The new arrivals rebelled, plunging the country into a series of wars that eventually led to the Saxon occupation of Lowland Britain by 600 A.D. Around this time, many Britons fled to Brittany (hence its name), Galicia and probably Ireland. A significant date in sub-Roman Britain is the Groans of the Britons, an unanswered appeal to Aetius, leading general of the western Empire, for assistance against Saxon invasion in 446 A.D. Another is the Battle of Deorham in 577 A.D., after which the significant cities of Bath, Cirencester and Gloucester fell and the Saxons reached the western sea. Most scholars reject the historicity of the later legends of King Arthur, which seem to be set in this period, but some such as John Morris think there may be some truth to them. During the Roman period Britain's continental trade was principally directed across the Southern North Sea and Eastern Channel, focusing on the narrow Strait of Dover, though there were also more limited links via the Atlantic seaways. The most important British ports were London and Richborough, whilst the continental ports most heavily engaged in trade with Britain were Boulogne and the sites of Domburg and Colijnsplaat at the mouth of the river Scheldt. During the Late Roman period it is likely that the shore forts played some role in continental trade alongside their defensive functions. Exports to Britain included: coin; pottery, particularly red-gloss terra sigillata (Samian ware) from southern, central and eastern Gaul, as well as various other wares from Gaul and the Rhine provinces; olive oil from southern Spain in amphorae; wine from Gaul in amphorae and barrels; salted fish products from the western Mediterranean and Brittany in barrels and amphorae; preserved olives from southern Spain in amphorae; lava quern-stones from Mayen on the middle Rhine; glass; and some agricultural products. Britain's exports are harder to detect archaeologically, but will have included metals, such as silver and gold and some lead, iron and copper. Other exports probably included agricultural products, oysters and salt, whilst large quantities of coin would have been re-exported back to the continent as well. These products moved as a result of private trade and also through payments and contracts established by the Roman state to support its military forces and officials on the island, as well as through state taxation and extraction of resources. Up until the mid-3rd century, the Roman state's payments appear to have been unbalanced, with far more products sent to Britain, to support its large military force (which had reached circa 53,000 by the mid-2nd century), than were extracted from the island. It has been argued that Roman Britain's continental trade peaked in the late 1st century A.D. and thereafter declined as a result of an increasing reliance on local products by the population of Britain, caused by economic development on the island and by the Roman state's desire to save money by shifting away from expensive long-distance imports. Evidence has, however, been outlined that suggests that the principal decline in Roman Britain's continental trade may have occurred in the late 2nd century A.D., from circa 165 A.D. onwards. This has been linked to the economic impact of contemporary Empire-wide crises: the Antonine Plague and the Marcomannic Wars. From the mid-3rd century onwards, Britain no longer received such a wide range and extensive quantity of foreign imports as it did during the earlier part of the Roman period; however, vast quantities of coin from continental mints reached the island, whilst there is historical evidence for the export of large amounts of British grain to the continent during the mid-4th century. During the latter part of the Roman period British agricultural products, paid for by both the Roman state and by private consumers, clearly played an important role in supporting the military garrisons and urban centers of the northwestern continental Empire. This came about as a result of the rapid decline in the size of the British garrison from the mid-3rd century onwards (thus freeing up more goods for export), and because of 'Germanic' incursions across the Rhine, which appear to have reduced rural settlement and agricultural output in northern Gaul. Mineral extraction sites such as the Dolaucothi gold mine was probably first worked by the Roman army from circa 75 A.D., and at some later stage passed to civilian operators. The mine developed as a series of opencast workings, mainly by the use of hydraulic mining methods. They are described by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History in great detail. Essentially, water supplied by aqueducts was used to prospect for ore veins by stripping away soil to reveal the bedrock. If veins were present, they were attacked using fire-setting and the ore removed for crushing and comminution. The dust was washed in a small stream of water and the heavy gold dust and gold nuggets collected in riffles. The diagram at right shows how Dolaucothi developed from circa 75 A.D. through to the end of 1st century. When opencast work was no longer feasible, tunnels were driven to follow the veins. The evidence from the site shows advanced technology probably under the control of army engineers. The Wealden ironworking zone, the lead and silver mines of the Mendip Hills and the tin mines of Cornwall seem to have been private enterprises leased from the government for a fee. Although mining had long been practiced in Britain (see Grimes Graves), the Romans introduced new technical knowledge and large-scale industrial production to revolutionise the industry. It included hydraulic mining to prospect for ore by removing overburden as well as work alluvial deposits. The water needed for such large-scale operations was supplied by one or more aqueducts, those surviving at Dolaucothi being especially impressive. Many prospecting areas were in dangerous, upland country, and, although mineral exploitation was presumably one of the main reasons for the Roman invasion, it had to wait until these areas were subdued. Although Roman designs were most popular, rural craftsmen still produced items derived from the Iron Age La Tène artistic traditions. Local pottery rarely attained the standards of the Gaulish industries although the Castor ware of the Nene Valley was able to withstand comparison with the imports. Most native pottery was unsophisticated however and intended only for local markets. By the 3rd century, Britain's economy was diverse and well established, with commerce extending into the non-Romanized north. The design of Hadrian's Wall especially catered to the need for customs inspections of merchants' goods. Under the Roman Empire, administration of peaceful provinces was ultimately the remit of the Senate, but those, like Britain, that required permanent garrisons were placed under the Emperor's control. In practice imperial provinces were run by resident governors who were members of the Senate and had held the consulship. These men were carefully selected, often having strong records of military success and administrative ability. In Britain, a governor's role was primarily military, but numerous other tasks were also his responsibility such as maintaining diplomatic relations with local client kings, building roads, ensuring the public courier system functioned, supervising the civitates and acting as a judge in important legal cases. When not campaigning he would travel the province hearing complaints and recruiting new troops. To assist him in legal matters he had an adviser, the legatus juridicus, and those in Britain appear to have been distinguished lawyers perhaps because of the challenge of incorporating tribes into the imperial system and devising a workable method of taxing them. Financial administration was dealt with by a procurator with junior posts for each tax-raising power. Each legion in Britain had a commander who answered to the governor and in time of war probably directly ruled troublesome districts. Each of these commands carried a tour of duty of two to three years in different provinces. Below these posts was a network of administrative managers covering intelligence gathering, sending reports to Rome, organizing military supplies and dealing with prisoners. A staff of seconded soldiers provided clerical services. Colchester was probably the earliest capital of Roman Britain, but it was soon eclipsed by London with its strong mercantile connections. The different forms of municipal organization in Britannia were known as civitas (which were subdivided, amongst other forms, into colonies such as York, Colchester, Gloucester and Lincoln and municipalities such as Verulamium), and were each governed by a senate of local landowners, whether Brythonic or Roman, who elected magistrates concerning judicial and civic affairs. The various civitas sent representatives to a yearly provincial council in order to profess loyalty to the Roman state, to send direct petitions to the Emperor in times of extraordinary need, and to worship the imperial cult. Roman Britain had an estimated population between 2.8 million and 3 million people at the end of the second century. At the end of the fourth century, it had an estimated population of 3.6 million people, of whom 125,000 consisted of the Roman army and their families and dependents. The urban population of Roman Britain was about 240,000 people at the end of the fourth century. The capital city of Londinium is estimated to have had a population of about 60,000 people. Londonium was an ethnically diverse city with inhabitants from across the Roman Empire, including natives of Britannia, continental Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. There was also cultural diversity in other Roman-British towns, which were sustained by considerable migration, both within Britannia and from other Roman territories, including North Africa, Roman Syria, the Eastern Mediterranean, and continental Europe. During their occupation of Britain the Romans founded a number of important settlements, many of which still survive. The towns suffered attrition in the later 4th century, when public building ceased and some were abandoned to private uses. Though place names survived the deurbanized Sub-Roman and early Anglo-Saxon periods, and historiography has been at pains to signal the expected survivals, archaeology shows that a bare handful of Roman towns were continuously occupied. According to S.T. Loseby, the very idea of a town as a center of power and administration was reintroduced to England by the Roman Christianizing mission to Canterbury, and its urban revival was delayed to the 10th century. Roman towns can be broadly grouped in two categories. Civitates, "public towns" were formally laid out on a grid plan, and their role in imperial administration occasioned the construction of public buildings. The much more numerous category of vici, "small towns" grew on informal plans, often round a camp or at a ford or crossroads; some were not small, others were scarcely urban, some not even defended by a wall, the characteristic feature of a place of any importance. The Druids, the Celtic priestly caste who were believed to originate in Britain, were outlawed by Claudius, and in 61 A.D. they vainly defended their sacred groves from destruction by the Romans on the island of Mona (Anglesey). However, under Roman rule the Britons continued to worship native Celtic deities, such as Ancasta, but often conflated with their Roman equivalents, like Mars Rigonemetos at Nettleham. The degree to which earlier native beliefs survived is difficult to gauge precisely. Certain European ritual traits such as the significance of the number 3, the importance of the head and of water sources such as springs remain in the archaeological record, but the differences in the votive offerings made at the baths at Bath, Somerset, before and after the Roman conquest suggest that continuity was only partial. Worship of the Roman emperor is widely recorded, especially at military sites. The founding of a Roman temple to Claudius at Camulodunum was one of the impositions that led to the revolt of Boudica. By the 3rd century, Pagans Hill Roman Temple in Somerset was able to exist peaceably and it did so into the 5th century. Eastern cults such as Mithraism also grew in popularity towards the end of the occupation. The London Mithraeum is one example of the popularity of mystery religions among the soldiery. Temples to Mithras also exist in military contexts at Vindobala on Hadrian's Wall (the Rudchester Mithraeum) and at Segontium in Roman Wales (the Caernarfon Mithraeum). It is not clear when or how Christianity came to Britain. A 2nd-century "word square" has been discovered in Mamucium, the Roman settlement of Manchester. It consists of an anagram of PATER NOSTER carved on a piece of amphora. There has been discussion by academics whether the "word square" is actually a Christian artifact, but if it is, it is one of the earliest examples of early Christianity in Britain. The earliest confirmed written evidence for Christianity in Britain is a statement by Tertullian, circa 200 A.D., in which he described "all the limits of the Spains, and the diverse nations of the Gauls, and the haunts of the Britons, inaccessible to the Romans, but subjugated to Christ". Archaeological evidence for Christian communities begins to appear in the 3rd and 4th centuries. Small timber churches are suggested at Lincoln and Silchester and baptismal fonts have been found at Icklingham and the Saxon Shore Fort at Richborough. The Icklingham font is made of lead, and visible in the British Museum. A Roman Christian graveyard exists at the same site in Icklingham. A possible Roman 4th century church and associated burial ground was also discovered at Butt Road on the south-west outskirts of Colchester during the construction of the new police station there, overlying an earlier pagan cemetery. The Water Newton Treasure is a hoard of Christian silver church plate from the early 4th century and the Roman villas at Lullingstone and Hinton St Mary contained Christian wall paintings and mosaics respectively. A large 4th century cemetery at Poundbury with its east-west oriented burials and lack of grave goods has been interpreted as an early Christian burial ground, although such burial rites were also becoming increasingly common in pagan contexts during the period. The Church in Britain seems to have developed the customary diocesan system, as evidenced from the records of the Council of Arles in Gaul in 314 A.D.. Represented at the Council were bishops from thirty-five sees from Europe and North Africa, including three bishops from Britain, Eborius of York, Restitutus of London, and Adelphius, possibly a bishop of Lincoln. No other early sees are documented, and the material remains of early church structures are far to seek. The existence of a church in the forum courtyard of Lincoln and the martyrium of Saint Alban on the outskirts of Roman Verulamium are exceptional. Alban, the first British Christian martyr and by far the most prominent, is believed to have died in the early 4th century (although some date him in the middle 3rd century), followed by Saints Julius and Aaron of Isca Augusta. Christianity was legalized in the Roman Empire by Constantine I in 313 A.D. Theodosius I made Christianity the state religion of the empire in 391 A.D., and by the 5th century it was well established. One belief labeled a heresy by the church authorities — Pelagianism — was originated by a British monk teaching in Rome: Pelagius lived circa 354 to 420/440 A.D. A letter found on a lead tablet in Bath, Somerset, datable to circa 363, had been widely publicized as documentary evidence regarding the state of Christianity in Britain during Roman times. According to its first translator, it was written in Wroxeter by a Christian man called Vinisius to a Christian woman called Nigra, and was claimed as the first epigraphic record of Christianity in Britain. However, this translation of the letter was apparently based on grave paleographical errors, and the text, in fact, has nothing to do with Christianity, and in fact relates to pagan rituals. The Romans introduced a number of species to Britain, including possibly the now-rare Roman nettle (Urtica pilulifera), said to have been used by soldiers to warm their arms and legs, and the edible snail Helix pomatia.] There is also some evidence they may have introduced rabbits, but of the smaller southern Mediterranean type. The European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) prevalent in modern Britain is assumed to have been introduced from the continent after the Norman invasion of 1066. During their occupation of Britain the Romans built an extensive network of roads which continued to be used in later centuries and many are still followed today. The Romans also built water supply, sanitation and sewage systems. Many of Britain's major cities, such as London (Londinium), Manchester (Mamucium) and York (Eboracum), were founded by the Romans. However, unlike many other areas of the Western Roman Empire, the current majority language is not a Romance language - or a language descended from the pre-Roman inhabitants. [Wikipedia]. REVIEW: Britain (or more accurately, Great Britain) is the name of the largest of the British Isles, which lie off the northwest coast of continental Europe. The name is probably Celtic and derives from a word meaning 'white'; this is usually assumed to be a reference to the famous white Cliffs of Dover, which any new arrival to the country by sea can hardly miss. The first mention of the island was by the Greek navigator Pytheas, who explored the island's coastline, circa 325 B.C. During the early Neolithic Age (circa 4400 B.C. – 3300 B.C.), many long barrows were constructed on the island, many of which can still be seen today. In the late Neolithic (circa 2900 B.C. – 2200 B.C.), large stone circles called henges appeared, the most famous of which is Stonehenge. Before Roman occupation the island was inhabited by a diverse number of tribes that are generally believed to be of Celtic origin, collectively known as Britons. The Romans knew the island as Britannia. It enters recorded history in the military reports of Julius Caesar, who crossed to the island from Gaul (France) in both 55 and 54 B.C. The Romans invaded the island in 43 A.D., on the orders of emperor Claudius, who crossed over to oversee the entry of his general, Aulus Plautius, into Camulodunum (Colchester), the capital of the most warlike tribe, the Catuvellauni. Plautius invaded with four legions and auxiliary troops, an army amounting to some 40,000. Due to the survival of the Agricola, a biography of his father-in-law written by the historian Tacitus (105 A.D.), we know much about the first four decades of Roman occupation, but literary evidence is scarce thereafter; happily there is plentiful, if occasionally mystifying archaeological evidence. Subsequent Roman emperors made forays into Scotland, although northern Britain was never conquered; they left behind the great fortifications, Hadrian's Wall (circa 120 A.D.) and the Antonine Wall (142 -155 A.D.), much of which can still be visited today. Britain was always heavily fortified and was a base from which Roman governors occasionally made attempts to seize power in the Empire (Clodius Albinus in 196 A.D., Constantine in 306 A.D.). At the end of the 4th century A.D., the Roman presence in Britain was threatened by "barbarian" forces. The Picts (from present-day Scotland) and the Scoti (from Ireland) were raiding the coast, while the Saxons and the Angles from northern Germany were invading southern and eastern Britain. By 410 A.D. the Roman army had withdrawn. After struggles with the Britons, the Angles and the Saxons emerged as victors and established themselves as rulers in much of Britain during the Dark Ages (circa 450 -800 A.D.). [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. REVIEW: Roman coins were first produced in the late 4th century B.C. in Italy and continued to be minted for another eight centuries across the empire. Denominations and values more or less constantly changed but certain types such as the sestertii and denarii would persist and come to rank amongst the most famous coins in history. Roman coinage, as in other societies, represented a guaranteed and widely recognized value which permitted an easy exchange of value which in turn drove both commerce and technology development as all classes could work to own coins which could be spent on all manner of goods and services. Even more significantly, large and identical payments could now be easily made which made possible a whole new scale of commercial activity. Coins also had a function as a vehicle to spread the imagery of the ruling class as coinage was the mass media of the day and often carried likenesses of emperors and famous imperial monuments which would be the nearest most Romans ever got to see of them. The early Republic did not use coins but rather a system of bronze weights, the aes rude. These units were quite large as one unit was the equivalent of 324 grams or 11 1/2 ounces. in weight. Despite their heaviness this type continued to be produced up to circa 218 B.C. As the Romans expanded over central Italy war booty meant coins could be produced using precious metals - gold, silver, and bronze. The first Roman coins were probably the small bronze ones of low value produced at Neapolis from 326 B.C. and carried the legend PΩMAIΩN. The first silver coins were produced from the early 3rd century B.C. and resembled contemporary Greek coins. These were worth two Greek drachmas and carried the legend ROMANO, later to become ROMA. Gradually, following the financial excesses of the Punic Wars, the weight of coins was reduced, as was the metal content of the bronze bars. Due to financial necessity, gold coins (aurei) were also minted, a rare event not to be repeated until the 1st century B.C. In circa 211 B.C. a whole new coinage system was introduced. Appearing for the first time was the silver denarius (pl. denarii), a coin that would be the principal silver coin of Rome until the 3rd century A.D.. The coin was initially funded by a tax on property but then via war booty as the wars against Carthage swung in Rome's favor. The denarius was equal to 10 bronze asses (singular as), each of which weighed 54 grams or 2 ounces. There were other coins such as the silver victoriatus which was in weight equal to three quarters of a denarius, the quinarii, worth half of a denarius, and other bronze and gold coins but these were not always widely or consistently used. From circa 200 B.C. only Rome now produced coins in Italy and the movement of troops ensured the wider circulation of Roman coinage. As Rome expanded and took ever more treasure from her enemies silver began to replace bronze as the most important material for coinage. This was especially so following the acquisition of the silver mines of Macedonia from 167 B.C., resulting in a huge boom in silver coins from 157 B.C. In addition, in circa 141 B.C. the bronze as was devalued so that now 16 were equivalent to one denarius. It was now no longer necessary to mark coins as Roman as there were no others in Italy and by the 1st century B.C. Roman coins were now also being widely used across the Mediterranean. In 84 B.C. once again the link between warfare and coinage was evidenced when Sulla minted new silver and gold coins to pay his armies, a necessity repeated by Julius Caesar, who in 46 B.C., minted the largest quantity of gold coin yet seen in Rome, out-producing the state mint in the process. Following the death of Caesar coinage was produced by the various parties fighting to succeed him but with Octavian's victory a uniform Roman coinage was once more established. The imagery on coins took a turn towards propaganda when Julius Caesar used his own profile on his coins, an opportunity not missed by Brutus who similarly used his own image on one side of his coins and on the other side two daggers symbolizing his role in the assassination of Caesar. Augustus, naturally, followed suit but he also reformed the denominations of smaller coins and his new system would form the basis of Roman coinage for the next three centuries. Gone were the silver coins below the denarius to be replaced in 23 B.C. by the brass (copper and zinc) orichalcum sestertius and dupondius (pl. dupondii), and the as and the even smaller quadran (quarter) were now made from copper instead of bronze. The silver denarius continued as before (now valued 84 to the pound) and the gold aureii were valued at 25 denarii each and 41 to the pound (7.87 g). Coins were largely struck in Rome but a significant exception was the Lugdunum mint which started production (mostly gold and silver coins) in 16 B.C. and dominated until the mid 1st century A.D.. Other notable mints, albeit with sporadic production, were in Lyon in Gaul and the cities of Antioch, Alexandria and Caesarea, amongst others. It is also worth noting that in the east local varieties persisted, especially low value bronze coinage. Following the Severan emperors coin production began to proliferate throughout the empire. Hundreds of individual cities across the empire also minted their own coins and the forms of smaller denominations, in particular, were left to local authorities but in general all of these provincial varieties were convertible to Roman coin values. It was also probable that these various coins remained within their own geographical area as empire wide circulation was not guaranteed and although Rome-minted coinage was shipped to provinces it is more than likely that it remained there. Coins were continuously minted as taxation only met 80% of the imperial budget and the shortfall was met by putting more coins into circulation, the source coming from freshly mined metal. This also meant that extravagant emperors could get themselves into serious financial trouble. One solution was to reduce the weight and or the metal content of coins and so increase the possible money supply. Nero did this in 64 A.D. (reducing gold content by 4.5% and silver by 11%) as did Commodus, Septimius Severus and Caracalla, who produced the antoninianus which perhaps had the face value of two denarii while only really being worth nearer one and a half. Gradually, silver coins went from pure to 50% and then on down until they reached an all time low of just 2% silver content. There is even evidence in the later empire that low-content silver coins were deliberately given a finer silver surface to make them appear more valuable than they were. Such blatant manipulation of currency did not go unnoticed by the general population who retaliated by paying their taxes using the newer coins and keeping the older more valuable ones for savings or even melting them down. Another problem was the production of forged money, largely helped by the poor quality of the official coinage. There was a specific body of professionals (nummularii) who had the task of testing suspect coinage but they were overwhelmed by the flood of fake coins. The situation became even graver following the barbarian invasions of the 3rd century A.D. and the resulting financial pressure on the empire led to the collapse of the silver currency so that only the gold coinage and goods in kind kept the economy afloat. From Aurelian attempts were made to improve the situation with coins being stamped to indicate their metal content: XXI or KA for 5% silver and XI or IA for 10 %. In 293 A.D. Diocletian continued the reforms by guaranteeing the gold content of the aurei at 60 to a pound (later renamed the solidus and which would actually outlast the empire itself), minted a new pure silver coin and a part silver bronze coin, the nummus (worth 1/7200 of a solidus). He also further reassessed values in 301 A.D., restricted production to between 12 and 15 mints, and made all designs and legends the same across the empire, wherever they were minted. Constantine reversed the trend by devaluing the solidus so that 72 equaled the pound but the economy bore the change. In general, bronze coins came to the fore in the later empire with their denominations varying over time and further reforms continued so that the stability of earlier centuries was never quite recaptured and production of coinage in the West ceased around 480 A.D.. Images were made on coins by striking the coin by hand onto a pre-cut die placed below (obverse) and above (reverse) the blank coin. In the Republic, control of state coinage was in the hands of three junior magistrates (later to be four), the tresviri aere argento auro flando feriundo or a.a.a.f.f. They often signed their issues and initially favored such classic images as Roma, Jupiter, Mars and Victory. In the second century B.C. a series of coins depicted a quadriga or four-horse chariot but from circa 135 B.C. the tresviri metales began to stamp references to their own family history, local landmarks, contemporary events and perhaps even their political allegiance. The representation of rulers was avoided, perhaps because on Greek coins this had been for kings and tyrants and so was not in accordance with the principles of a republic. Legends were in vertical or horizontal lines not curving around the edge and could continue on to the opposite side of the coin. Imperial period coins typically have on the obverse side a portrait of the emperor - now in sole charge of the state treasury - usually in profile wearing either a radiant crown or crown of laurel leaves, or, more rarely, a member of the imperial family. Portraits could vary from an idealized to very realistic representation depending on particular emperors, the stage of their reign and changing artistic trends. After Constantine imperial portraits became increasingly standardized and a more uniform representation of the emperor regardless of individual physical characteristics became the norm. A notable exception to using the emperor was the SC (Senatus Consulto) stamped on Augustan coppers, perhaps signifying senatorial backing. Legends now ran clockwise around the coin, always starting from the bottom left. The reverse side of coins could carry a greater variety of designs and, in particular, Augustus' introduction of the large sestertius gave engravers a bigger scene to work with. Early bronze coins often depicted a ship's prow but higher value coins displayed much more interesting subjects and designs included monuments such as the Colosseum, Trajan's column, and various temples in Rome or state sponsored projects such as aqueducts, bridges and the revamped harbor of Ostia depicted on Nero's sestertii. Imperial conquest could be referenced such as Augustus' use of a crocodile chained to a palm tree on as coins to symbolize the subjugation of Egypt. Mark Anthony's coins carried the numbers of the particular legions they were destined for, and provincial coins could depict local gods and heroes, monuments and even symbols of local religion such as the canopic jars on the reverse of coins minted in Alexandria. In many cases coins offer the only physical likeness of prominent personalities in the history of Rome. They also depict lost or ruined monuments and help to establish both the precise chronology of Rome and the date of other artifacts that might accompany them in archaeological finds. Coins of certain date can also help to date other less certain coins when they are found together. Coin portraits have also contributed invaluably to naming previously unidentified portrait sculpture and the distribution of coins across the empire can also reveal much about population movements, trade networks and civic identity. All of these studies continue to develop over time as ever more coin hoards are randomly discovered in out of the way places across territory once part of the Roman Empire. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. REVIEW: Forget stone, a discovery of a Roman coin in Britain proves history is set in bronze and silver. During the chaos and confusion of the third century A.D., amid widespread disease, famine, and barbarian invasions, a brazen upstart seizes control of a breakaway state within the Roman Empire. He proclaims himself emperor only to disappear days later, his life and story lost, save for only the briefest of remarks in two fragmentary and unreliable sources. Then, an amateur treasure hunter scanning the green fields of Oxfordshire with a metal detector chances upon a small clay pot filled with more than 5,000 ancient Roman coins. A British Museum archaeologist brushing away centuries of corrosion and carefully picking apart bronze and silver pieces, discovers one exceedingly strange coin. Among the thousands of unremarkable ones, this coin carries an unfamiliar bearded face, a perplexing name, Domitianus, and most strikingly, the three letters IMP, short for imperator, or emperor. Suddenly, the hunt was on for another coin, this one found not buried in the ground, but buried in the archives of a small provincial museum in southern France. The French coin, dug up in 1900, was deemed worthless at the time, a modern counterfeit depicting what was surely a made up emperor. Amazingly, the portrait on the supposed fake matches the strange coin in the British Museum, as does the image on the reverse side. Small characteristic markings provide the final confirmation; both coins had been struck from the same die or stamp. The French coin is not a fake, and the bearded man, not an imposter, but a lost emperor. It sounds like the plot to the latest bestseller, but it's not. The characters, including the lost emperor, are all real. The treasure hunter is Brian Malin, a local resident of Oxfordshire, who had found a similar sized hoard just miles away in 1989, and donated it to the nearby Ashmolean Museum. In the late 1980s, when England had no coherent strategy encouraging the reporting of such finds, and every year, thousands of coins were dug up and sold without being recorded, Malin's gift was extraordinary. Since then, Britain has instituted the Treasure Act, which lays down specific rules for the treatment and sale of ancient coins. It legally binds treasure hunters to report any find of more than two coins of gold or silver over 300 years old. If the find is deemed significant, British museums are given the chance to purchase the coins at fair market value. Malin found the Domitianus coin in a second hoard, also from Chalgrove, which is ten miles southeast of Oxford, in 2003. Because the Domitianus coin was found fused together with thousands of other coins, all inside a Roman clay jar, its authenticity was unquestionable. As the story reached the press, the coin became source of national pride. The British paper The Times printed a picture of the coin with the caption "Is this Britain's Lost Emperor?" Archaeologists and historians were quick to temper some of the sensationalism, noting that it was highly unlikely that Domitianus, who had probably been confined to a region in southwest Germany near the Danube, had ever even seen Britain, and that the coin had made its way to Oxfordshire via trade routes or troop movements. Even so, the discovery of the coin created a buzz throughout academic circles in Britain. Christopher Howgego, the curator of ancient coins at the Ashmolean, told reporters that, "the coin is one of the most interesting Roman objects ever found in Britain." Malin first lent the coins to the British Museum for conservation and a short exhibit entitled Buried Treasure: Finding Our Past. Then, in 2005, the hoard, dubbed Chalgrove II, was bought by the Ashmolean Museum for around $75,000. The Domitianus coin accounting for nearly a quarter of the final price tag. The high market value of such rare coins can cause problems for historians trying to distinguish fakes from the real thing. "If a usurper's coin is considered to be a unique historical 'document', its cash-value rises accordingly, thus stimulating modern forgery--all the more reason why researchers must temper enthusiasm with caution," explains Lawrence Okamura, a historian and numismatist from the University of Missouri, who was a long time skeptic of the 1900 Domitianus coin because of the poor documentation concerning its discovery and subsequent journey to the small French museum. Even since the authenticity of the two coins has been established, the story of the rebel emperor remains frustratingly incomplete. Most of the little that we know about the lost emperor comes from two sources, The New Histories by the Greek Zosimus and the Historia Augustae, a compilation of biographical sketches of emperors penned by several unknown authors. They were both written a century after Domitianus' reign in A.D. 271, and combined, devote fewer than 30 words to the usurper. Zosimus, writing about the reign of Aurelian (A.D. 270-275), says only, "Epitimius, Urbanus, and Domitianus, were suspected of commiting treason [by Aurelian], and were immediately apprehended and punished." However, neither source says that Domitianus proclaimed himself emperor, a curious omission that also led historians to originally doubt the authenticity of the 1900 coin. Such fragmentary records of the western Roman frontier and its usurpers is often all that historians have to work with when trying to piece together the third-century. "Its' frustrating work," says Okamura, "You often wonder whether you're floundering in a closed inter-textual loop disconnected from real people and events." However, through a composite of coins, artifacts, inscriptions, and texts historians and archaeologists have been able to sketch a rough narrative of period, known as the third-century crisis, from which the Chalgrove coins come. The chaos began after the humiliating defeat of the emperor Valerian at the hands of the Persians at the battle of Edessa in A.D. 259. He was captured, then stuffed, and put on display in the palace of the Persian ruler Sapor I. When Gallienus, Valerian's young and inexperienced son, took control of the empire he found its resources stretched thin by drought and disease, its forces vastly overextended and facing invasions in both the east and west. Postumus, a commander on the Danube, took advantage of the weakened Empire and declared himself emperor. Instead of trying to march on Rome, however, Postumus set up a breakaway state in the image of the Empire proper, and for nearly nine years ruled the so-called Gallic Empire, which included modern day Spain, France, and Britain. Then, in 269, a soldier named Laelianus tried to spark a military coup that set off a cascade of violence. The following years were fraught with factional fighting and desperate bids for power, with brutal assassinations happening on almost a monthly basis. Domitianus, the man featured on the coin, seems to have grabbed power in the short interlude between the death of the emperor Victorinus in A.D. 271 and the accession of Tetricus later that year. Aurelius Victor, the fourth-century Roman history, tells us that Victorinus was killed by one of his own soldiers for having an affair with the man's wife. While it's likely that Domitianus killed Victorinus to gain control of the Gallic throne, it is unclear if he was actually the slighted soldier Aurelius writes about. In any case, we know that Domitianus' reign must have been extremely short, for the rule of his successor, Tetricus began only months later. In all probability, Domitianus had just enough time to take control of a mint, probably at Trier, in modern day Germany, and produce a small number of coins. Domitianus was only one of a string of short-lived usurpers, who claimed imperial power before the breakaway state was reincorporated in A.D. 274. The rebel emperors differed from their Roman counterparts in a number of significant ways. None of the Gallic rulers had been confirmed by the Roman Senate, a formality that was still regarded as a necessary step to laying claim to the Empire. As a result, they had a precarious relationship with the official Roman emperor. At best, the Roman emperor ignored the Gallic usurper, content to have him fight off barbarians and manage unruly local tribes. At worst, the two emperors clashed head on in violent battles that pitched Roman against Roman. It is unlikely that Domitianus would have ever seen Rome, or even the Italian peninsula; the common Roman citizen probably knew as much about him as we do today, that is, almost nothing. The self-proclaimed "emperors" were not considered to be emperors at all by most of the citizens; in fact, the Romans had a separate name for men like Domitianus, tyrannus, meaning anyone who had come to power illegitimately. Though the word did not necessarily carry the pejorative meaning of its English cognate, tyrant, rulers like Domitianus were clearly viewed as inherently different from men like Claudius Gothicus and Aurelian, two of the emperors who ruled at Rome during the period. The coin features Domitianus wearing a crown of radiant rays of light on the obverse, or heads side, with an inscription bearing a common imperial suffix: Imp(erator) C(aesar) Domitianus P(ius) Felix Aug(ustus), Emperor Caesar Domitianus, the dutiful and fortunate augustus. The bearded Domitianus bears a striking resemblance to his immediate predecessor, Victorinus, and the similarity between the two portraits suggests that the coin may not depict an actual likeness of Domitianus. The engraver who struck the coin may never have even seen the emperor, but rather fashioned the portrait in the typical style of the time copying coins already in circulation. On the reverse is a representation of the Roman goddess Concordia, the goddess of harmony and meant to represent the solidarity of his military. The design was equal parts propaganda and wishful thinking. In every way, the coin imitates those of the legitimate Roman emperors of the time. The coin was a powerful form of rhetoric in the ancient world, perhaps the most powerful among a largely illiterate population. Minting a coin was as close as a usurper could get to legitimatizing his power. The coin is an antoninianus or double denarius piece, a denomination which was introduced in A.D. 215 by the emperor Caracalla. As war and an economic recession spread throughout the empire in the second half of the third century the double denarius began to decline in quality. Nervous emperors responded by minting more coins and by continuing to debase the currency. By the time Domitianus minted his coins, the double denarius probably contained little more than two percent silver, just a thin wash over the base bronze. During these periods of inflation and violence, people worried about being robbed or murdered for what little money they had and were more likely to hoard, and bury their coins. What turmoil led to the burial of the 5,000 coins at Chalgrove? There are a number of likely candidates. The latest coin in the hoard was minted in A.D. 279, suggesting that the hoard was probably buried in the decade or so after that date. The hoard could have been buried during Constantius Chlorus', invasion of Britain in A.D. 296, when he quashed the usurper Allectus and regained control of Britain for Rome. The coins not only help to reconstruct the chronology of emperors, but also trace the economic, religious, and even architectural developments of the empire. We owe our knowledge of many Roman buildings, like Nero's ostentatious golden arch, to coins that have preserved their likenesses. The design of Rome's warships from the Punic Wars are known primarily through bronze coins of the Republican Era. Similarly, coins have corroborated previously unverifiable people, places, and events recorded in primary texts. And in exceptional cases, a single coin, like that of Domitianus, can create a whole new entry in our history books, prompting us to ask: what has yet to be found, and who else has been lost to us? [Archaeological Institute of America]. REVIEW: Fifty thousand Roman coins found in a field in Somerset, England, in 2010 (including the artifacts above) amount to the largest hoard of coins discovered in a single vessel—and the second largest hoard of ancient coins ever found in Britain, according to British Museum experts. The coins, along with recently discovered Iron Age gold jewelry—both found by amateur treasure hunters—will be acquired by museums, thanks to a series of grants and donations, officials recently announced. The coins will go to England's Museum of Somerset. The haul, most of which has been cleaned and restored, contains nearly 800 coins minted by Carausius, a Roman general who declared himself emperor of Britain in A.D. 286 and ruled for seven years before being assassinated by his treasurer. During those seven years, Carausius spread his rule in part through propaganda—for example, by issuing high-quality silver coins bearing his likeness. The find also contained coins showing Rome's mythical founders, Romulus and Remus, suckling a wolf—a scene never before found on Carausius coins. Carausius may have used the image to link himself with the historical Roman Empire. "He was a great propagandist," British Museum archaeologist Sam Moorhead told National Geographic News. "He basically introduced that coin as soon as he came to the throne." [National Geographic]. REVIEW: Hadrian’s Wall (known in antiquity as the Vallum Hadriani or the Vallum Aelian) is a defensive frontier work in northern Britain which dates from 122 A.D. The wall ran from coast to coast at a length of 73 statute miles (120 km). Though the wall is commonly thought to have been built to mark the boundary line between Britain and Scotland, this is not so; no one knows the actual motivation behind its construction but it does not delineate a boundary between the two countries. While the wall did simply mark the northern boundary of the Roman Empire in Britain at the time, theories regarding the purpose of such a massive building project range from limiting immigration, to controlling smuggling, to keeping the indigenous people at bay north of the wall. Its military effectiveness has been questioned by many scholars over the years owing to its length and the positioning of the fortifications along the route. Regarding this, Professors Scarre and Fagan write: "Archaeologists and historians have long debated whether Hadrian’s Wall was an effective military barrier…Whatever its military effectiveness, however, it was clearly a powerful symbol of Roman military might. The biographer of Hadrian remarks that the emperor built the wall to separate the Romans from the barbarians. In the same way, the Chinese emperors built the Great Wall to separate China from the barbarous steppe peoples to the north. In both cases, in addition to any military function, the physical barriers served in the eyes of their builders to reinforce the conceptual divide between civilized and noncivilized. They were part of the ideology of empire." The suggestion that Hadrian’s Wall, then, was built to hold back or somehow control the people of the north does not seem as likely as that it was constructed as a show of force. This seems to be the best explanation for the underlying motive behind the construction of Hadrian’s Wall. The Romans had been dealing with uprisings in Britain since their conquest of the region. Although Rome’s first contact with Britain was through Julius Caesar’s expeditions there in 55/54 B.C., Rome did not begin any systematic conquest until the year 43 A.D. under the Emperor Claudius. The revolt of Boudicca of the Iceni in 60/61 A.D. resulted in the massacre of many Roman citizens and the destruction of major cities (among them, Londinium, modern London) and, according to the historian Tacitus (56-117 A.D.), fully demonstrated the barbaric ways of the Britons to the Roman mind. Boudicca’s forces were defeated at The Battle of Watling Street by General Gaius Suetonius Paulinus in 61 A.D. At the Battle of Mons Graupius, in the region which is now Scotland, the Roman General Gnaeus Julius Agricola won a decisive victory over the Caledonians under Calgacus in 83 A.D. Both of these engagements, as well as the uprising in the north in 119 A.D. (suppressed by Falco) substantiated that the Romans were up to the task of managing the indigenous people of Britain. The suggestion that Hadrian’s Wall, then, was built to hold back or somehow control the people of the north does not seem as likely as that it was constructed as a show of force. Hadrian’s foreign policy was consistently “peace through strength” and the wall would have been an impressive illustration of that principle. In the same way that Julius Caesar built his famous bridge across the Rhine in 55 B.C. simply to show that he, and therefore Rome, could go anywhere and do anything, Hadrian perhaps had his wall constructed for precisely the same purpose. Emperor Hadrian (born Publius Aelius Hadrianus in 76 A.D.) ruled the Roman Empire from 117-138 A.D. His building projects, especially in Greece, are legendary and his penchant for ambitious monuments is exemplified in his eponymous wall. The work was begun in stone (unlike other fortifications which began with timber) in the east and proceeded westward across uneven terrain to create an impressive reflection of the power of Rome. The wall was originally 9.7 feet wide (3 metres) and 16-20 feet high (six metres) east of the River Irthing, all built of stone, and 20 feet wide (6 metres) by 11feet high (3.5 metres) west of the river, made up of stone and turf, stretching 73 miles (120 km) across the breadth of the land. This ambitious building project was completed within six years through the labour of the Roman legions stationed in Britain. Plans for the construction of the wall were in place prior to Hadrian’s visit to Britain in 122 A.D. and, perhaps, construction had already begun before the traditional date assigned for the initial work on the wall, possibly as early as 118 A.D. There were between 14-17 fortifications along the length of the wall and a Vallum (a ditch purposefully constructed of earthworks) which ran parallel to the wall. The Vallum measured 20 feet (6 metres) wide by 10 feet (3 metres) deep, flanked by large mounds of tightly packed earth. It is this composition of the site which has given rise to the traditional interpretation of the wall as a defensive work built to repel invasion from the north. The Vallum was built after the construction of the wall and the forts as evidenced by its deviation from existing ruins and the clear indication of causeways across the ditch at intervals which correspond to established fortification sites. When the Antonine Wall was constructed further north (in c. 142 A.D. by Emperor Antoninus Pius) the Vallum appears to have been partially filled in for easier passage. The Antonine Wall was built after Hadrian’s Wall had been abandoned as an outpost and was positioned further to the north in present-day Scotland between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde. The Antonine Wall was perhaps constructed to serve the same purpose as Hadrian’s Wall but is thought to have functioned more pragmatically than the earlier construct. Hadrian’s Wall is thought to have been plastered and white washed so that it would be a shining beacon of the might of Rome, visible from considerable distances. The Antonine Wall does not suggest this same grandeur nor, in spite of the many fortifications along its route, the same intent in design and construction. Emperor Marcus Aurelius (ruled 161-180 A.D.) drew the Roman legions back from the Antonine Wall to Hadrian’s Wall under his reign and fortified the garrisons in his efforts to maintain the boundaries of the Empire. Hadrian’s great monument to Rome’s might continued as an impressive affirmation until 410 A.D. when the Roman legions left Britain. Activity around and along the wall seems to have continued as evidenced by archaeological finds but a disciplined Roman presence after 410 is not signified. Following the Roman withdrawal, large portions of the wall were carried off for personal building projects by the local inhabitants. Huge sections were removed to provide paving for British troops heading north on muddy tracks to quell the Jacobite Uprising of 1745 A.D. Hadrian’s Wall may have disappeared entirely were it not for the efforts of one man, the antiquarian John Clayton (1792-1890 A.D.) who, in 1834 A.D., began buying the land around the wall in an effort to preserve it. Clayton’s excavations and enthusiasm for the site kept what remains of Hadrian’s Wall intact and, in 1987 A.D., it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Today it is under the care of English Heritage commission and is cared for largely by volunteers who recognize its immense historical significance. [Archaeological Institute of America]. REVIEW: Dig season was coming to a close when amateur archaeologists in southeast England made one of their most important discoveries to date: a Roman mosaic, dating back more than 1,000 years. Since 2015, the dig led by the Boxford History Project and the Berkshire Archaeology Research Group has brought together local archaeology enthusiasts and professional archaeologists. The team's work has focused on three Roman sites near the small village of Boxford. But when the first, vibrant colors of the mosaic poked through the broken dirt of the excavation site, "I was stunned into silence," said the leader of the Boxford History Project, Joy Appleton, in an interview with the New York Times. Anthony Beeson, a member of the Association for Roman Archaeology, initially thought it might be a hoax. "It was so unlike anything that has ever turned up in this country," he said in an interview with science news outlet Live Science. Luckily for Appleton and Beeson, the mosaic was not a hoax but instead a glimpse into life in Britain under ancient Roman rule. The mosaic itself is large, measuring just over 19 feet long. So far, only one side of the panel has been revealed by excavators, but characters and beasts from Roman myths can be clearly seen. Initial studies of the scene depicted on the mosaic reveal it shows the mythological character Bellerophon at the court of characters believed to be either Lobates or Proteus. At the bottom of the mosaic is a creature known as the chimera, which had a lion's head, a goat's torso, a serpent's tail, and breathed fire. In Greek legends, Bellerophon was sent to kill the chimera, and the scene depicts the creature ready to attack. The mosaic may also depict the Greek hero Hercules fighting with a centaur. In a statement, Roman expert Neil Holbrook explained that the find was one of the most important mosaics ever found in Britain. "Not only is it a fantastic new piece of Roman art from Britain, but it also tells us about the lifestyle and social pretensions of the owner of the villa at Boxford," he stated. The villa's owner, Holbrook claimed, was likely of British origin and trying to forge a close relationship with the Romans. By commissioning a mosaic with Roman iconography, it may have signaled a willingness to embrace the Roman government that occupied Britain. The Roman Empire invaded ancient Britain in 43 A.D. and occupied the region until 410 A.D. During this time, Britain became one of the western fronts of the expansive empire, and a number of representatives built villas throughout the country. Mosaics have been found in England of varying quality and preservation, but the archaeologists in Boxford claim this find is significant for its intact quality and what it can reveal about the inhabitants who commissioned it. In a press release detailing the find, Cotsworld Archaeology, one of the organizations that contributed to the excavation, explained that the site likely contained a moderately sized villa with a series of adjoining rooms. They believe the mosaic and a bath suite where residents could plunge into a cold-water pool were added over time. While the mosaic has been the most exciting find from this summer's dig, it wasn't the only artifact found at the site. During the beginning of the year, the team found a child's bracelet and coins. Volunteers also uncovered what they theorize was a barn and a courtyard gateway. Excavations have finished for this season, but the team of archaeologists and enthusiasts plans to return to the site next year in the hopes of unearthing more remnants of an ancient society. [National Geographic]. REVIEW: About 60 pairs of sandals and shoes that once belonged to Roman soldiers have been unearthed at a supermarket construction site in Camelon, Scotland (see map), archaeologists say. The 2,000-year-old leather footwear was discovered along with Roman jewelry, coins, pottery, and animal bones at the site, which is located at the northern frontier of the Roman Empire. The cache of Roman shoes and sandals—one of the largest ever found in Scotland—was uncovered recently in a ditch at the gateway to a second century A.D. fort built along the Antonine Wall. The wall is a massive defensive barrier that the Romans built across central Scotland during their brief occupation of the region. The find likely represents the accumulated throwaways of Roman centurions and soldiers garrisoned at the fort, said dig coordinator Martin Cook, an archaeologist with AOC Archaeology Group, an independent contractor in Britain. "I think they dumped the shoes over the side of the road leading into the fort," he said. Subsequently the ditch silted up with organic material, which preserved the shoes." Despite being discards, the hobnailed shoes are in relatively good condition, Cook added. While the new supermarket site also includes the remains of a first century Roman fort and ancient field systems, excavations have centered on the area of the younger Antonine fort. "We've got evidence of a really substantial structure," Cook said. "You would have had a square fort with stone walls and three or four ditches around them." Other finds include a Roman axe and spearhead, three or four brooches, French Samian ware—which is a high-prestige ceramic—glass, and standard pots, he said. "I would say it is one of the most important forts in Scotland," Cook added. "This will be one of the most important Scottish excavations in the last decade." The Romans are believed to have abandoned the Antonine Wall and retreated south toward England in about A.D. 165. The Camelon dig team is on the lookout for evidence that could challenge this by suggesting the Romans stayed longer in the region. To date, however, the excavation seems to confirm that the Romans legged it—minus their footwear, of course. [National Geographic]. REVIEW: An examination of more than 300 rural and urban skeletons from Roman Britain suggests that it was healthier to live in town. “The assumption is always that if you’re living in the countryside it’s healthier. But we found that urban dwellers were more likely to reach old age than their rural counterparts,” Rebecca Redfern of the Museum of London told New Scientist. Redfern and her colleagues studied 150 skeletons from nine rural cemeteries in what is now Dorset in southern England, and found that 29.5 percent of them lived beyond the age of 35. The remainder of the individuals came from urban cemeteries in modern-day Dorchester, or Roman Durnovaria. The bones revealed that 34 percent of the city dwellers lived beyond the age of 35. “The reason they probably lived longer is that small towns like Durnovaria were far less polluted than much larger cities like Rome, and so had relatively small populations and lower housing densities compared with other urban areas in the Roman Empire,” she explained. Children living in town, however, were more likely to die before reaching age ten, and town residents were more likely to suffer from rickets, tuberculosis, and dental disorders—probably due to more wine and preserves in their diets than what was eaten in the country. Many of the country folk were probably serfs and laborers who survived on basic diets. [Archaeological Institute of America]. REVIEW: Only five percent of Roman Britons had severe gum disease, despite the prevalence of infections, abscesses, and tooth decay in their smiles, according to a study conducted by a team made of researchers from King’s College London and London’s Natural History Museum. They examined 303 skulls recovered from a cemetery in Dorset. Most of these people had died in their 40s sometime between 200 and 400 A.D. “The amount of severe gum disease around today is around one third of the population. But much to our surprise these people didn’t have a lot of gum disease, but they did have a lot of other dental problems,” Francis Hughes of the dental institute at King’s College London told BBC News. Wear and tear from abrasive grains and cereals in the pre-toothbrush age probably contributed to longstanding infections and chronic pain. “This study shows a major deterioration in oral health between Roman times and modern England. By underlining the probable role of smoking, especially in determining the susceptibility to progressive periodontitis in modern populations, there is a real sign that the disease can be avoided,” added Theya Molleson of the Natural History Museum. [Archaeological Institute of America]. REVIEW: Although medical science was still in its infancy during Roman times, knowledge of medicinal plants was widespread and sick people may have been treated with herbal remedies by relatives and friends. Environment, diet, exercise and hygiene all had a part to play in a positive approach to health. Most towns had latrines, a sewage disposal system and baths, all of which helped to maintain a healthy society. However people also sought cures by visiting a healing shrine and appealing to gods with specific healing powers, like Aesculapius. There was no formal system of training in medicine, and neither human anatomy nor the causes of disease were properly understood. Although some doctors were fraudulent, surviving medical texts reveal many positive features in Greco-Roman health care, particularly within the fields of dietetics (the study of food and health), pharmacology (the study of medicines) and surgery. A wide range of surgical instruments has been found in Britain, as have small stone stamps used to mark eye ointments. These instruments and the operations that were undertaken with them remained the best that were available until relatively recent historical times. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. REVIEW: Wansdyke is a long earthen ditch and bank that runs in an east-west alignment from the Avon Valley, south of Bristol, to the Savernake Forest, near Marlborough, Wiltshire. The historical background to the building of the earthwork has long been a subject of intense scholarly debate and still continues today. Though not as familiar to many people as Offa's Dyke (in the Welsh borderlands) or Hadrian's Wall, in the north, it is, nonetheless, one of the most important ancient linear earthworks to have survived in the U.K. Vortigern Studies is a Netherlands-based initiative run by Dutch historian Robert Vermaat. Wansdyke Project 21 is part of the Vortigern study site, the latter concentrating on the period between the Roman occupation in Britain (officially ended A.D. 410) and the early Middle Ages - a period popularly known as the Dark Ages. Could there be a connection between the late Roman coin hoards uncovered in the immediate hinterland of East Wansdyke and the presence of the great earthwork in this part of Wiltshire? The recent discovery of the Stanchester hoard - the latest dated group of late Roman coins yet recorded from the county - invites such a question and, arguably, even points the way to an answer. The cumulative evidence is highly suggestive and points to a late Roman/post-Roman construction date for East Wansdyke ranging between the opening years of the 5th century and circa A.D. 450. Highly suggestive maybe, but can it be proved that there was a relationship between the hoards and, maybe, other finds in the area and the location of the earthwork? The short answer is no. From the secretive nature of treasure concealing, it follows that coin hoards were never likely to be found on or within the immediate shadow of the dyke, still less one as imposing as this. With its commanding profile in the landscape and the subject of close monitoring, the dyke would have been the last place in which anyone would place treasure they hoped some day to re-claim. Some of the most up-to-date views on the dyke have appeared recently in Roman Wiltshire and After. One theory cited here is that the earthwork was constructed in the late 4th century, but in discussing this Peter Fowler argues that the dyke ‘built in the Roman mode’ was constructed towards the end of the 5th century to face a military threat from the north. But the apparent widespread outbreak of violence following the Roman withdrawal, it has been claimed elsewhere, possibly provides the context for the final-build-up phases of both East and West Wansdyke – and for Bokerley Dyke (11 miles south west of Salisbury) where it blocks a Roman road, and still forms the county boundary between Hampshire and Dorset. Both the latter and Wansdyke in fact lay close the boundaries of the territories of adjoining civitates. More specifically, it has been suggested that the north-facing East Wansdyke may have been built close to the boundary between the Belgae and the Dubonni, based, as they were, on the cantonal capitals of Venta Belgarum (Winchester) and Corinium Dubunnorum (Cirencester). Further south, in south-west Wiltshire, the Old English place-name of Teffont is considered to suggest the presence of the eastern boundary of the Durotiges, based on Dorchester. The presence here of coins (the latest of them of Honorius, (A.D. 395-423) and other material uncovered points to the existence of a shrine site. Cantonal organization, of a diminishing and reducing form, must have still been in force, and if so, it may have heightened tensions and triggered rivalry over resources between neighbours in the late Roman, early post-Roman periods. Ken Dark argues that the boundary, if not Wansdyke itself, must have been in place by the sixth century at least and that, on balance, it is a ‘5th/6th century British linear boundary, facing north and incorporating hillforts in its line’. The Stanchester Hoard find, so named after a nearby Romano-British villa, is the most important in this discussion and will therefore be treated in more detail. It was uncovered by a local schoolboy in a field at Wilcot, in the summer of 2000 in the Vale of Pewsey, a short distance south of the dyke. The importance of the hoard is beyond question. The latest coins in the group were struck in A.D. 406, making it the latest dated Roman coin group from Wiltshire. Following a public appeal, all the coins are now safely in the possession of the Wiltshire Heritage Museum at Devizes. The museum acquired the hoard for £50,000 - the most expensive item it has ever bought. In the context of this discussion, the significance of the Stanchester hoard, in the Vale of Pewsey, lies in the closeness of the find-spot both to the nearby villa (partially excavated in 1939 and 1969) and to East Wansdyke. Late Roman villas at key sites, here and in West Country, are believed to have taken on administrative functions of some form, with military or quasi-military officials supervising the collection of the annona, or tax-in-kind - in this case grain supplies for the local towns and the Roman Army on the Continent. It has been pointed out that Margaret Gelling – the leading British place-name scholar - considers that the late Roman villas to which the Saxons later attached the name -chester (such as Stanchester or Woodchester, Gloucestershire) were exceptional in some way, and may have had an administrative role in Britain at the end of the Roman period, or in the later so-called Dark Age phase of post-Roman activities. The Stanchester hoard is outstanding, of its kind. Its many highly prized pieces included an unusually large number of elaborately engraved silver miliarenses. In all, there were 33 of this type of coin – a coin issue bearing some of the finest examples of imperial busts of the period. Many of the pieces are said to be rare, some unique, and most virtually in ‘mint’ condition. All had been concealed in a grey flagon made at the well-known pottery production of Alice Holt in present-day Hampshire. But there are other reasons why I consider the Stanchester finds to be of supreme importance. Three gold solidi of Honorius were among the 1,196 coins uncovered. Late gold solidi are uncommon in Wiltshire. But apart from the late date (latest A.D. 406), the significance of the buried collection lies in the find spot, and what has been described as the ‘almost certain association of the hoard with the known nearby Roman villa of Stanchester, and the proximity of the nearby Wansdyke earthwork’. It so happens that in this broad area the great dyke bears a striking profile across the chalk downlands – in its day quite possibly a dual purpose symbol of organization and power, directed at those on both sides of its imposing line. But no discovery, in this context, stands alone. What is not perhaps widely known, however, is that the Stanchester find of 2000 is just the latest in a number of important discoveries (some as yet unpublished) of late Roman coin hoards unearthed in the last decade or so, in this area of the modern county of Wiltshire. The find sites command immediate attention, even more so when the evidence they have yielded is taken collectively. Firstly, Bishops Cannings, close to Wansdyke, near Devizes. This was the massive hoard of almost 7,500 coins, discovered ten years ago in 1992 on farmland belonging to the Crown Estates. It was the subject of a treasure trove in 1995 and attracted headlines in the national press and accompanying reported comments suggesting there might be a link here with Wansdyke. It produced one gold coin, 1,569 silver and a massive number (5,837) of bronze pieces – incorporating the largest recorded hoard of what are known as ‘Valentinianic’ bronze coins in the province. The terminal date of coins in this hoard was A.D. 395- 402. The hoard furthermore included bronze vessels and, significantly, a military belt fitting along with a few items of jewelry containing a rare jewel-set silver brooch of a type considered to reflect the growing interest in luxury arts as signs of status in the late Roman world. It is worth noting, in the context of this discussion, that the Bishops Cannings hoard found in 1992 contained an especially large mix of bronze and silver coins. What is immediately clear, however, is that this hoard bears obvious parallels with the recent Stanchester discovery (at least in this region and context of this debate). Coincidental or not, this is the area where Wansdyke is still to be seen at its most imposing, as it runs from Morgans Hill to Tan Hill and follows the sweep of the chalk escarpment of the downs. At nearby Roundway Down, another high-status object, a silver ring, was uncovered in separate circumstances, engraved with an imperial bust and bearing the Greek legend NIKE ‘Victory.’ The latter, it is suggested, may point to the campaign of the commander known as the ‘Valentinian General’ (the Emperor Valentinian I - A.D. 363-375), Count Theodosius, to counter the so-called 'Great Barbarian Conspiracy' of A.D. 367, that may have also, in part at least, involved a widespread rising of disgruntled provincials. Other important - apparently random, non-hoard finds - have come from locations just north of the London- Bath Roman road where, it has been suggested, the builders of Wansdyke probably used the ancient highway as a territorial demarcation line. The latter alignment occurs as the road crosses the low-lying area between Bath and Morgan’s Hill. Firstly at Gastard, Corsham - a silver decorated bezel from a finger ring, of a type considered to have be made or worn after A.D. 409 when the empire had lost direct control of the province. And it was near Corsham, where yet another late object of high rank or status has come recently to light - a gold belt buckle. This is of a type previously only represented in Britain by the great gold buckle (dating from about A.D. 390) that formed part of the celebrated late Roman treasures unearthed at Thetford, Norfolk, in 1979. The so-called ‘Valentinianic’ coins of the A.D. 364-378 period are common in the region, and All Cannings, virtually 'next door' to Bishops Cannings, is yet another location where coins of this period have been uncovered, though in a non-hoard context. Coin specialist T.S. Moorhead has conducted the most detailed study yet available of Wiltshire coin finds, focusing on the distribution tables for this key Late Roman period (A.D. 363-78) and the concentration of late silver hoards in the south-west region, most especially those in the county. He discusses suggestions that in this period bronze coins were issued to finance the military, especially on frontier projects, though it has been argued that, increasingly, soldiers preferred payment in silver. Another site is Wayside Farm, just 5 km to the south of the Bishops Cannings find spot, on the outskirts of Devizes. Coins uncovered here at an important Romano-British rural settlement location in excavations in 1999 indicate that the site - which yielded a large number of Valentinianic and later issues - was attracting coinage, and its inhabitants using it, into the early 5th century. The latest coins dated between A.D. 388-402. The excavators recovered 16 coins from a midden at the site, dating from within a range of between A.D. 393 and 402. Associated finds, including a lead sheet ‘curse tablet,’ suggest that the site had religious affiliations. It is worth noting here the evidence from a hoard uncovered at West Park, Bromham (a few miles west of Morgan’s Hill), in 1981 during plowing close to a Roman villa not far from the Roman town of Verlucio (Sandy Lane). Although not exactly in close proximity to East Wansdyke, the site is on a parallel line to the earthwork and the London-Bath Roman road. This find, concealed in a small beaker of what is known as New Forest ware, included 20 miliarenses and 396 silver siliquae of mid 4th century date. The hoard is believed to have been concealed in about A.D. 375. Samples from this find are now on display at the museum in Devizes, along with those discovered at Cunetio, Bishops Cannings and Stanchester. They surely constitute one of the most important concentrations of late Roman hoards to be found in Britain. Significantly, a total of 858 coins from the Valentinian period (A.D. 364-378) were recovered from nearby Verlucio/Sandy Lane. Certain other sites - though not very close to Wansdyke and therefore strictly speaking outside the scope of this article - deserve to be mentioned. This is where the major site of Cunetio (Mildenhall), near Marlborough, surely comes into its own. It now lies undetectable (but with scheduled site status) beneath a field under regular agricultural cultivation. But its present anonymous presence in the landscape is misleading. Cunetio was once a small cross-roads town but one later transformed into an important military and economic focus for the region, fortified with massive walls and bastions at some point post-A.D. 367 (the date of ‘Great Barbarian Conspiracy’). These troubles produced a robust response from Rome, culminating in a widespread program of re-fortification under the direction of Count Theodosius. According to some scholars, the unrest may have also taken the form of an insurrection or rebellion following the breakdown of authority. This sounds a real possibility and might go some way towards explaining the presence of the coin hoards, here as elsewhere. It has been suggested that the walls at Cunetio (described as ‘the most formidable Valentinianic fortress so far identified in Britain’) were built as a result of visit of Theodosius. There is also a strong accompanying argument that the town, already then a major tax and corn supply depot, was a regional administrative centre and also perhaps a base, even, for a component of the comitatenses, the mobile field army. On a broader level, it is argued that the successful Theodosian military intervention could also explain the increase in the number of bronze coins in the province, because this form of coinage was used to finance the military at this time. The military importance of Cunetio is beyond question. It was not only a fortified town, it functioned as what has been described as a key military base that also served as a tax collecting administrative centre. Many coins have been found here, including the ‘Cunetio Treasure’ found in 1978 and composed of 55,000 low denomination coins mostly amassed between A.D. 270-275, its sheer size making it largest coin hoard from Roman Britain. Late Roman coin finds of 1912 at Cunetio were more recently the subject of an illuminating reappraisal study published in 1997. Another significant discovery was made in 1990 at Butterfield Down, in south Wiltshire, on the eastern outskirts of Amesbury, within a rich archaeological area some 5 km west of Stonehenge. Here a metal detector user uncovered eight gold solidi of four emperors, including two of Arcadius (A.D. 383-408) and four of Honorius (A.D. 393-423), and one silver piece. The latest coin has been dated to about A.D. 405. Another 925 coins, from the general area of the Down, were also uncovered by metal detector users. Coin use continued into the 5th century and this pattern was confirmed by the presence of issues of the period A.D. 388-402, thus conforming to the general pattern of late Roman activity in the central Wiltshire region. Another key site that must be included in this study is Castle Copse, near Great Bedwyn, south of Marlborough. We are told that ‘up to 35 villa sites’ lay within a nine-mile radius of this once powerful symbol of power. This hilltop villa was set out in a large-scale ‘palatial style’- evidently a seat of power of someone of rather special. But it has been further argued that, if this site was a rural retreat of a late Roman government official, then it is highly likely that other farming villas would have been located within the confines of its estate]. If that were so, then some of the 35 villa sites cited would no doubt have fallen within its administrative embrace and, by implication, the find sites of the major hoards discussed here. In the view of Bryn Walters, Castle Copse is one of the largest villas known in Britain – a site ‘enigmatically linked with the Bedwyn dyke system and, consequently with the sub-Roman defenses at Chisbury Castle’. He adds: ‘Their probable contemporaneity with Wansdyke suggests a longevity not previously considered possible for a rural villa.’ Chisbury has produced a hoard of worn late bronze coins considered to represent the last phase of coin use - suggesting here that ‘coin continued in use in Wiltshire until the very end of coin exchange in the province, sometime in the early 5th century A.D.’. To summarize: of the late hoards (latest coins dating from the opening years of the fifth century) and find-sites cited here, most lay relatively close to Wansdyke. Is this concentration of finds just a coincidence? I think not. But to repeat an earlier question: is there something here that links the depositing of such coinage – the concealment of late Roman/sub-Roman wealth - with the building of the earthwork? Or could it be that the coin hoarding occurred at a time when the presence of the border was not yet marked out as an imposing linear earthwork in the landscape - a disputed line that the building of Wansdyke later consolidated and marked out, for all to see? The discoveries beg further questions: did these hoards have something to do with the collection of funds and/or payments to officials? Could they have perhaps been remnants of pay-chests, or misappropriated funds, even: pay or financial inducements once destined for those supervising or working on local large-scale projects? Or to put I more prosaically, were these simply the long-harboured, buried away belongings of individuals suffering from an age-old human weakness – the obsessive desire to hoard wealth or, indeed, whatever they possessed? Other, equally pertinent questions arise: was hoarding a sign that inflation had rendered the coinage almost value-less, or was it simply a reaction to the unrest triggered by the uncertainties of deeply troubled times? It might be significant, in this area of legitimate conjecture, to look closer at the Bishops Cannings hoard, because it bears close similarities to the Stanchester hoard. It produced one gold coin, 1,569 silver and a massive number (5,837) bronze pieces – incorporating the largest recorded hoard of what are known as Valentinianic bronze coins in the province. Of all the late Roman coin hoards in the West Country containing what are known as clipped silver siliquae, this hoard is considered to be the most important. The clipping of coins in the island province (where it seems to have been unique) is a familiar practice known to scholars, and a number of explanations have been put forward for its emergence. One is that it was an attempt to make the pool of coins in circulation go further at a time when no new issues were entering the province. Another theory is that the coins were reduced to produce a source of surplus silver for the minting of forged coins, while some scholars have suggested that clipping points to a failure on the part of the central Roman authorities to stop the practice – that is to say, the clipping phenomenon occurred after the province had passed out of Roman control, and emerged after the breakdown of that authority in Britain, at the end of the usurper Constantine III’s reign (407- 411). Clipped coins in hoards are now shown to be have been found most frequently in deposits made after the end of the 4th century and, apparently, in hoards almost exclusively associated with deposits made in the reign of Honorius (A.D. 393 – 423). This argument has been advanced in relation to discussion focused on excavations at Segontium (Caernarfon) in North Wales. The Caernarfon fort, a frontier military post in the extreme west, yielded a high proportion of the Valentinianic (A.D. 363-378) coin type. Clipped or otherwise, silver siliquae coins appear to offer an important dating pointer- but not entirely. Intriguingly, none of the 1,115 examples of this coin issue from Stanchester, had been so reduced – and this very late find has given rise to the suggestion that the practice of clipping might post-date 406 – the date after which the hoard was concealed. Elsewhere it has been suggested, in relation to the Bishops Cannings hoard, that clipping of silver coins started in the last quarter of the 4th century and continued into the 5th century. One theory in an area of often conflicting conjecture is that, in general, the coins continued to circulate as late as A.D. 420. But others argue that coin circulation extended beyond this point, though by then it might not taken the everyday currency transaction form we would understand it, but, rather, bullion/bulk exchange. In other words, by then coinage had become almost exclusively a repository of wealth rather than a medium of exchange. The Bishops Cannings hoard and the subsequent treasure inquest at Devizes attracted national newspaper attention, including the headlined claim that it was ‘the world’s largest Roman coin hoard.’ It was not. Yet it was clearly no ordinary find, though its prominence in the public mind was soon superseded by the discovery of the great Hoxne treasure, uncovered in November of the same year (1992), on the borders of Suffolk and Norfolk. The Hoxne find - one of the richest treasure hoards of its kind known - incorporated over 14,780 coins and 200 other gold and silver objects. At least 80 per cent of the 14,124 silver siliquae had been clipped. The latest coins in the Hoxne find were two siliquae of the usurper Constantine III (A.D. 407-11). The view is that the hoard was buried sometime after A.D. 407 during the period when the Roman authorities effectively abandoned control of Britain. So if a link exists between Wansdyke and these important hoards from the closing years of Roman control of the island province, then it can only be made by examining other late coin discoveries unearthed close to the earthwork in the past decade or so – a period that, in this area, has produced some outstanding examples of late Roman coinage. We have to assume, then, that apart from those making deposits in the ground for ritual- religious reasons, most practical hoarders intended to recover their earthly wealth later, in more favorable times. Why they didn’t do so is another, difficult and wider question to explain. In any event, conclusive proof of a direct connection between the construction of East Wansdyke and hoarding, seems almost out of the question. Coin specialists still disagree as to how long the inhabitants of Britain continued to use coins after the end of Roman rule, but the general view seems to be that it is unlikely to have lasted no more than 20 to 30 years. This, it is argued, gives ‘a probable date range of A.D. 407-450 at the latest ‘ for the burial of the Hoxne hoard. Perhaps much the same argument could be applied to the Bishops Cannings hoard, with its large group of clipped silver siliquae, found - by coincidence and by chance - in the same year (1992) and, significantly, close to Wansdyke. The Hoxne treasures (incorporating the silver coin issues of 15 different Roman emperors minted in a 50-year period of 358-408) and the Bishops Cannings finds share a rare phenomenon – the mix of silver miliarenses and siliquae. Though these coins were struck at mints all over the empire, they are only found - with a very few exceptions - in Britain and Romania, another province that subsequently became 'locked' outside the empire. It is worth noting here that this rare phenomenon is also shared by the finds at Bromham and Stanchester. It may be just a coincidence, but the Stanchester finds almost parallel in date range those from Hoxne - silver siliquae issues struck, in this instance, during the reigns of 14 rulers from A.D. 337 to A.D. 406. These same Wiltshire (Stanchester) hoard discoveries form the cover illustration of the most recent published study on the subject of hoards by Richard Anthony Abdy, who curates the later Roman and Byzantine coins at the British Museum. The author points out here that the typical features of the find are its relatively unclipped siliquae, few forgeries and a strong presence of miliarenses, adding: ‘Is this due to the selectivity of the hoarder or an as yet untouched coinage?’ On a broader front, he explains that of all Roman silver coin hoards from the empire for the period A.D. 388-410, 80 per cent are from Britain. He further argues, that recycled coinage continued to be used over a considerable period of time after A.D. 410. The suggested probable date range for the depositing of the Hoxne finds (A.D. 407-450) is thus an intriguing one. Was Wansdyke built at some point in this broad period? For this we are told 'East Wansdyke .. was constructed .. with Roman precedents in mind against what was feared to be an imminent invasion of Saxons from the Thames Valley.' The coin evidence in general is as ambiguous as almost everything else in this context. Yet, despite all the arguments, conflicting or otherwise, the coin finds seem to offer a respectable dating context and, conceivably, help to unlock the key to the age-old puzzle concerning the presence of the dyke - and in a way that no other form of evidence can match. Further, if it is accepted that there is a connection between East Wansdyke and the nearby hoards (and, by implication, a close association between the latest dates of the coins, their placing in the ground and the period of circulation of such currency) then, as proposed earlier, its construction can be narrowed down to the period between the early to middle of the 5th century. Looking at the spread of find locations on a present-day map, it seems that the hinterland to the south of the dyke was favored by coin hoarders, though admittedly this modern view pre-supposes that the earthwork was in place when the treasure-burying took place. But when in place, it visibly offered a protective zone, a bar to intruders or invaders from the north and thus marking the northern boundary of a rich and prosperous agricultural region. But then we have to concede that it might not have been simply a question of hiding possessions from foes to the north? Anyone with a desire to hide wealth and seek out ‘safe deposit’ sites might just have been anxious to protect personal gains from more immediate near-neighbors, and not necessarily from distant predators beyond-the dyke. There are other problems. Given the uncertainty amongst scholars about how long the use of late Roman coinage continued into the post Roman period, the question of precise dating is difficult to resolve. But despite all the converging questions, the Stanchester find seems to point to a plausible answer. The background circumstances, along with the evidence from other hoards merit closer examination, even though some of the discoveries have yet to be fully published. Coincidence or not, this is just where - even today - the earthwork follows a spectacularly sinuous and imposing line through the Wiltshire countryside. Yet what applies to Stanchester also seems to apply broadly to that other recent hugely important hoard from Bishops Cannings. The coins, found here in 1992, date from A.D. 330 to 402. A short distance to the north of Devizes, this find site is as close as any to Wansdyke. Coincidences abound here. The Stanchester hoard (only 11 km to the east of Bishops Cannings) comes almost precisely within the same time-scale, shielded by the same boundary earthwork. The two outstanding hoards, I would argue, tip the balance in favor of a Wansdyke link. The Stanchester coins were deposited in the ground either in the final, troubled years of imperial control, or in the post-Roman period, when coins were beginning to circulate mainly in large hoards rather than as a small change. And that practice, it is suggested, could have continued for up to 50 years or more after the formal withdrawal of Roman authority circa A.D. 410. Some of the Stanchester coins - found in a field in July 2000 - were struck just a few years before the formal withdrawal of the Roman administration from Britain and the issuing of the famous rescript of the Emperor Honorius (A.D. 393-423), informing the civitates in Britain henceforth to ‘look to their own defense.’ Is it too fanciful to suggest that this advice was taken literally and that Wansdyke was one of the reactions to the instruction addressed, as it was, to the civic leaders? For these same leaders may have been troubled by threats on a number of fronts: those from external foes, challenges to their authority and wealth from neighboring, rival cantons and, maybe even the threats posed by factions stirring civil unrest within their own areas of control. The other finds of similar form – hoards, small coin finds and jewelry – point to what looks like a pattern. Yet quite what form that pattern took is almost impossible to define. But there is one common parallel: most had been concealed in open ground, and lay no more than a few kilometers or so from the north-facing earthwork. Plotted on a map, the find locations almost appear to form a gentle curve running roughly parallel, to the dyke. If, as argued in another context, the conclusions drawn from the study of these finds offer a meaningful distribution sample and not an interpretation based on evidence distorted by the accidental or coincidental circumstances of discovery, then the case for a relationship with the dyke gains some credibility. Further, if this same pattern is indeed a meaningful one, then it follows that the coin evidence offers a plausible dating context for the building of the earthwork. [The Journal of Ancient Numismatics]. I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. This book is shipped FOR FREE via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). All domestic shipments and most international shipments will include free USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site) and free insurance coverage. A small percentage of international shipments may require an additional fee for tracking and/or delivery confirmation. If you are concerned about a little wear and tear to the book in transit, I would suggest a boxed shipment - it is an extra $1.00. Whether via padded mailer or box, we will give discounts for multiple purchases. International orders are welcome, but shipping costs are substantially higher. Most international orders cost an additional $12.99 to $33.99 for an insured shipment in a heavily padded mailer, and typically includes some form of rudimentary tracking and/or delivery confirmation (though for some countries, this is only available at additional cost). There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Rates and available services vary a bit from country to country. You can email or message me for a shipping cost quote, but I assure you they are as reasonable as USPS rates allow, and if it turns out the rate is too high for your pocketbook, we will cancel the sale at your request. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are sent via insured mail so as to comply with PayPal requirements. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. That’s why all of our domestic shipments (and most international) shipments include a USPS delivery confirmation tag; or are trackable or traceable, and all shipments (international and domestic) are insured. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world - but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE." Condition: NEW. Faintly shelfworn. See detailed condition description below., Title: Roman Coinage in Britain, Provenance: Roman Britain, Country/Region of Manufacture: United Kingdom

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