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The Late Roman Gold and Silver Coins from the Hoxne Treasure

Peter Guest (British Museum Press)

The Late Roman Gold and Silver Coins from the Hoxne Treasure front cover

Discovered in 1992, the Hoxne Treasure is perhaps the richest cache of gold and silver coins, jewellery and tableware from the entire Roman world. The core of this volume is the catalogue of the 15,000 late 4th- and early 5th-century gold and silver coins, together with an in-depth discussion of the production and supply of late Roman coinage. Hoxne's silver coins are particularly interesting, and the book also contains ground-breaking discussions of the silver content of Roman currency as well as of the peculiarly British phenomena of coin clipping and copying. The value of the Hoxne Treasure in shedding light on an otherwise dark period of British history also calls for a broader, non-numismatic perspective, and the volume includes an important chapter dealing with the social significance of precious metals in the later Roman empire, particularly their role in the gift-exchange networks that defined and maintained late Roman imperial society. Contains 30 b/w illustrations.

Comments on The Late Roman Gold and Silver Coins from the Hoxne Treasure

"Treasure! Hysteria, media, exhibition, illustrated booklet - and then? Then people have to find out what the treasure means beyond the heap of gold and silver and publish it. 15,234 coins - 580 gold, the rest silver - provide a firm platform on which to discuss what gold and silver meant to the Romans, how the coinage was produced, how the sequence of issues can be dissected by very detailed study of the designs, and how coinage metal changed over time. Then, and perhaps most important of all, why 428 of the coins - of good design, good workmanship, and excellent silver - are copies struck shortly after their originals, and probably in East Anglia, from slivers clipped off the edges of official coins. An almost perfect volume; not for sensation seekers, but a unique store of new information presented in a clear sensible layout without designer fuss." Richard Reece, British Archaeology 84 (Sept 2005), 49