||Coins of the Roman Revolution
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
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
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
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
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.
Lucia F. Carbone
Guillaume de Méritens de Villeneuve
Claudia Devoto and Barbara Spigola
A. Suspène and J. Chausserie-Laprée
David J. Wright