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Find Of Roman Coins Shows Ancient Britons In A New Light
The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 2-26-2007

Posted on 02/25/2007 6:07:08 PM PST by blam

Find of Roman coin shows ancient Britons in a new light

By Daily Telegraph Reporter
Last Updated: 1:34am GMT 26/02/2007

Experts are excited about a rare coin unearthed by an amateur treasure hunter which could change the accepted ancient history of Britain.

The silver denarius which dates back to the Roman Republic — before Julius Caesar made Rome an empire — was unearthed near Fowey in Cornwall.

Dating from 146 BC, it shows how ancient Britons were trading with the Romans well before the country was conquered in AD 43.

"It proves that there was a lot more going on between the continent and ourselves," said Anna Tyacke, Finds Liaison Officer at the Royal Cornwall Museum.

Cornwall had trade significance because of the tin and copper it produced, but that economic activity is not well documented before the third century AD.

Coins were relatively rare, of high value and often stayed in circulation for more than 100 years — which makes dating the find harder.

Sam Moorhead, Finds Adviser of Iron Age and Roman coins at the British Museum, said: "It may have been the wages of a Roman legionnaire, who earned about 300 denarii a year in the Roman imperial period — after the conquest.

"You could probably have got about eight loaves of bread for a coin like this, or eight litres of wine.

"Vineyard labourers would have earned between a half and one denarius a day. Whereas to be a senator you had to have at least 250,000 denarii in the bank."

The silver coin was minted in Rome and carries the likeness of Roma wearing a winged helmet, plus the name of a Caius Antestius, its maker.

"Roma is a personification of Rome, rather like Britannia is a personification of Britain," Mr Moorhead explained.

The reverse of the coin carries a picture on horseback of the mythological twins Castor and Pollux, who were believed to have helped the Romans in battle.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ancient; briton; coin; epigraphyandlanguage; godsgravesglyphs; roman; romanempire
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1 posted on 02/25/2007 6:07:12 PM PST by blam
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To: SunkenCiv

FYI.


2 posted on 02/25/2007 6:07:37 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
"It proves that there was a lot more going on between the continent and ourselves,"

It proves that one coin made it to the island.

3 posted on 02/25/2007 6:09:50 PM PST by TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig (Life is tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid.)
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To: blam

Could have been from a Roman who was a coin collector.In which case the dating had better come from something other than the coin!


4 posted on 02/25/2007 6:16:09 PM PST by Nateman (Socialism , the real global menace threatening mankind!)
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To: blam

Very cool!

Are there pics?


5 posted on 02/25/2007 6:17:57 PM PST by BenLurkin
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To: Nateman

If the coin is stamped 146 B.C., it's probably a fake.


6 posted on 02/25/2007 6:19:50 PM PST by scrabblehack
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To: BenLurkin
"Are there pics?"

Not yet. They'll probably turn up tomorrow on the archaeological sites.

7 posted on 02/25/2007 6:22:54 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

The Pheonicians were trading in Cornwall centuries before the Romans. What's the big deal?


8 posted on 02/25/2007 6:30:01 PM PST by since 1854 (http://grandoldpartisan.typepad.com)
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To: TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig

Recon.


9 posted on 02/25/2007 6:40:10 PM PST by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: blam
Dating from 146 BC, it shows how ancient Britons were trading with the Romans well before the country was conquered in AD 43.

It shows nothing of the sort. It only shows that Roman coins had made it to Briton. Coins are coins, a medium of exchange. Somebody who traded with Romans, in turn traded with somebody, and the end of the chain winds up in Briton

10 posted on 02/25/2007 6:45:14 PM PST by SauronOfMordor (Never try to teach a pig to sing -- it wastes your time and it annoys the pig)
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To: PzLdr
Probably got swept up by a fish that eventually got caught by a fisherman.

Or recon for Marklar.

11 posted on 02/25/2007 6:51:04 PM PST by TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig (Life is tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid.)
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To: blam

Not so shocking.

Caesar says the Gauls had ships with no oars that dwarfed their triremes.


12 posted on 02/25/2007 6:59:02 PM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 49th; ...
Thanks Blam.
Dating from 146 BC, it shows how ancient Britons were trading with the Romans well before the country was conquered in AD 43... Cornwall had trade significance because of the tin and copper it produced, but that economic activity is not well documented before the third century AD. Coins were relatively rare, of high value and often stayed in circulation for more than 100 years — which makes dating the find harder.
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13 posted on 02/25/2007 7:04:54 PM PST by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Thursday, February 19, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv
Why would this be a surprise? We know the non-Roman world was more sophisticated than the Roman historians were willing to concede. The Brits has something valuable to sell - tin - and Roman world was quite willing to buy it. And there were no Socialists or mercantilists around to try to stop world trade.
14 posted on 02/25/2007 7:11:38 PM PST by colorado tanker
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To: scrabblehack
Right--anything using Arabic numerals at that time would have to be a fake.

The date is from the name of the official (monetal or moneyer) C. Antestius. T.R.S. Broughton's Magistrates of the Roman Republic puts him between 137 and 134 B.C., but that work was published in 1952, and perhaps new information has come out since then to show that he was actually in office in 146 B.C.

15 posted on 02/25/2007 7:12:37 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: blam

It further shows that Rome used diplomacy and made deals with foreign leaders whenever possible. Propaganda and diplomacy have been emphasized in Latin culture throughout recorded history. Recent UK columns are a more contemporary example of the same.


16 posted on 02/25/2007 7:28:49 PM PST by familyop
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To: scrabblehack

***If the coin is stamped 146 B.C., it's probably a fake. ***

It's legit if it's BCE.;-)


17 posted on 02/25/2007 7:34:50 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: colorado tanker
It's not surprising to me, except insofar that valuable items are generally only lost to the one who loses them, and scooped up by whomever happens along. :')

A year or so ago there was an expression of surprise that Roman stuff from before Emperor Claudius, but Caesar had already established connections on the island before his two short forays. Much of Britain was conquered during Claudius' reign. Agricola nearly finished up in Scotland but was recalled for execution by Nero. Nero was overthrown and three others in the same year before Vespasian, Claudius' artillery man in Britain, succeeded to the purple.
 
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18 posted on 02/25/2007 7:34:59 PM PST by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Thursday, February 19, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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The Romans in Ireland
Archaeology Today | 2000? | L.A. Curchin
Posted on 07/18/2004 11:54:58 PM EDT by SunkenCiv
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1173950/posts


19 posted on 02/25/2007 7:35:14 PM PST by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Thursday, February 19, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: blam

It may prove that Romans from a later period carried old coins.

Duh!


20 posted on 02/25/2007 7:39:58 PM PST by Poser (Willing to fight for oil)
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