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Find of Roman coin shows ancient Britons in a new light

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  • Joe Geranio
    If you love these kinds of Articles join The Julio Claudian Iconographic Association @ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/julioclaudian/ Find of Roman coin shows
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 26, 2007
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      If you love these kinds of Articles join The Julio Claudian
      Iconographic Association
      @ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/julioclaudian/

      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.

      advertisement"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.
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