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  Coins of the Roman Revolution 49BC-AD14
Edited by Anton Powell and Andrew Burnett
ISBN 978-1-910589-76-2, ISBN-10 1910589764, Hardback, 2020, pp xviii+238,
Coins of the best-known Roman revolutionary era allow rival pretenders to speak to us directly.
After the deaths of Caesar and Cicero (in 44 and 43BC) hardly one word has been reliably transmitted to us from even the two most powerful opponents of Octavian: Mark Antony and Sextus Pompeius – except through coinage and the occasional inscription. The coins are an antidote to a widespread fault in modern approaches: the idea, from hindsight, that the Roman Republic was doomed, that the rise of Octavian-Augustus to monarchy was inevitable, and that contemporaries might have sensed as much.
Ancient works in other genres skilfully encouraged such hindsight. Augustus in the Res Gestae, and Virgil in Georgics and Aeneid, sought to flatten the history of the period, and largely to efface Octavian’s defeated rivals. But the latter’s coins in precious metal were not easily recovered and suppressed by Authority. They remain for scholars to revalue. In our own age, when public untruthfulness about history is increasingly accepted – or challenged, we may value anew the discipline of searching for other, ancient, voices which ruling discourse has not quite managed to silence.
In this book eleven new essays explore the coinage of Rome’s competing dynasts. Julius Caesar’s coins, and those of his `son’ Octavian-Augustus, are studied. But similar and respectful attention is given to the issues of their opponents: Cato the Younger and Q. Metellus Scipio, Mark Antony and Sextus Pompeius, Q. Cornificius and others.
A shared aim is to understand mentalities, the forecasts current, in an age of rare insecurity as the superpower of the Mediterranean faced, and slowly recovered from, division and ruin.
Anton Powell † has published extensively on the history of Sparta, Athens – and the literature of the Roman Revolution. His monograph Virgil the Partisan (CPW, 2008) was awarded the prize of the American Vergilian Society for `the book that makes the greatest contribution toward our understanding and appreciation of Vergil’. He has twice been Invited Professor at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, in 2006 for Greek history and in 2008 for Latin literature.
Andrew Burnett was Deputy Director of the British Museum from 2002 to 2013, having begun his career in the Coins and Medals department. His distinctions include the Silver Medal of the Royal Numismatic Society, the Jeton de Vermeil of the French Numismatic Society and the Huntington Medal of the American Numismatic Society. He was appointed a CBE by the Queen in the New Year’s Honours of 2012, and is an Honorary member of the Royal Belgian Numismatic Society, the International Numismatic Council and the French Numismatic Society (2105, 2016). He has been the President of the Royal Numismatic Society, the Roman Society and the International Numismatic Commission. His publications include volumes in the series Coin Hoards from Roman Britain; Coinage in the Roman World, and his major collaborative work is Roman Provincial Coinage Volumes I-III.

The Contributors

Lucia F. Carbone
Hannah Cornwell
Guillaume de Méritens de Villeneuve
Claudia Devoto and Barbara Spigola
Ben Greet
Raphaelle Laignoux
Clare Rowan
Amy Russell
A. Suspène and J. Chausserie-Laprée
David Woods
David J. Wright