HAMP-F6F384: Roman coin: Solidus of Honorius

Rights Holder: Winchester Museum Service
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COIN

Unique ID: HAMP-F6F384

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

CORONER'S REPORT

An early 5th-century gold solidus of Honorius (393-423 AD), 'VICTORIA AVGGG', struck at Ravenna, 402-406 AD (R.I.C. 1287d) found in relation with find ID HAMP-F71BD4.

The coins

The coins, both gold solidi, were issued by the Roman emperor Honorius (AD 393-423). One was made at the mint in his then capital Ravenna between AD 402-6, while the other was made at nearby Milan in the period AD 395-402. Catalogue has been produced by Robert Webley, Finds Liaison Officer for Hampshire.

Previous finds of gold coins at Fareham

The first single gold coin find was made at this spot at Fareham, 5th January 2006, and recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme, find ID HAMP-F927E7. It did not qualify as potential treasure at the time but was subsequently purchased by the Hampshire Museum Service. The second gold coin was found by Mr Stevens with the aid of a metal detector on 21st June 2006, and also acquired by Hampshire Museum Service through the Treasure act 1996 (HM Coroner report 13th July 2006; BM ref. 2006 T321).

From the same find?


All four gold coins found so far at this spot in Fareham were made for the emperor Honorius and could easily have been in circulation together before forming part of the same deposit in the early fifth century AD. Gold coins in ancient and medieval times were extremely valuable items and would be highly unlikely to have been dropped accidentally (In the fifth century four solidi appear to have represented a soldier's yearly subsistence).

Metal content?

At this period great efforts were made by the Romans to refine gold and silver for their coinage (they carried mint-markings guaranteeing the processes) and such coins were usually as pure as was then technologically possible (greater than 95%).

Conclusion

On the balance of probabilities, these coins belong together as a hoard and constitute a prima facie case of treasure by being precious metal coins of an antiquity greater than 300 years and are of one find of more than two pieces. Further they would appear to be addenda to the previous two finds of similar coins giving a new total of four gold coins for the Fareham hoard.

Notes:

The coin is in very good condition (extremely fine). Found susbsequent to an initial single find (HAMP-F927E7), and later second (HAMP-D43CA3); the resultant small hoard was put through the Treasure process (2006 T321). This coin was found at the same time as one other; the pair were put through as addendum 2007 T449.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2007T449

Chronology

Broad period: ROMAN
Subperiod from: Late
Period from: ROMAN
Date from: AD 402
Date to: AD 406

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Thickness: 1.1 mm
Weight: 4.47 g
Diameter: 21.3 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Friday 31st August 2007

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Robert Webley
Identified by: Mr Robert Webley

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2007T449

Materials and construction

Primary material: Gold
Manufacture method: Struck or hammered
Completeness: Complete

Coin data (numismatics)

Denomination: Solidus
Denomination qualifier: Certain
Ruler/issuer: Honorius (emperor)
Primary ruler qualifier: Certain
Reece period: Period 22 [402-445]
Mint or issue place: Ravenna
Mint qualifier: Certain
Obverse description: Bust of Emperor, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed facing right
Obverse inscription: D N HONORI-VS P F AVG

Reverse description: Emperor standing right holding standard and Victory on globe; with his left foot he spurns a seated bound captive
Reverse inscription: VICTORI-A AVGGG

Die axis measurement: 6 o'clock
Degree of wear: Slightly worn: very fine
Fourth Century reverse type: VICTORIA AVGG
Reverse mint mark: R/V//COMOB

Coin references

  • RIC : X 1286d (p. 328)

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Hampshire (County)
District: Fareham (District)
Parish or ward: Stubbington (District Ward)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SU5404
Four figure Latitude: 50.833022
Four figure longitude: -1.234571
1:25K map: SU5404
1:10K map: SU50SW
Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: HAMP
Created: 11 years ago
Updated: 7 years ago

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