13/10/2007 Important new work of reference published by Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
An important new work of reference published by the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford and distributed by Douglas Saville Numismatic Books.


It is unusual for a book on coins to focus only on a single denomination. It is even more extraordinary to concentrate on a small coin like the quinarius (worth half a denarius) throughout the whole of its period of issue. But that is exactly what this volume does.

The catalogue is the core of the work. In it, quinarii are listed from the date when they were first minted during the Roman Republic to their final appearance in the late third century AD before Diocletian’s reform of the coinage. The author has included all specimens that could be verified that are listed in the major catalogues (e.g. RIC, BMC, etc.) as well as those from many public collections (both published and unpublished) and some that require reconfirmation that they actually exist.

Illustration is lavish: there are 37 plates where the coins are illustrated at their actual size and 17 where selected items have been enlarged to 1½ times life-size. Where it has not been possible to illustrate a coin, every attempt has been made to supply references to photographs elsewhere.

The text has been divided into three chronological sections: the Republic to Domitian; the second century ending with Commodus; and the third century from AD 192 to Diocletian’s reform. Within each, the focus is on explaining when and where quinarii were minted, the way in which they operated within the coinage, and how their function evolved over time.

Detailed analysis of the sequence of issues, mint attribution, dating, and circulation also form a critical part of the discussion supported by tables, graphs, and drawings. Two bibliographies are also included; one general and one of find spots.

For those who wish to learn more about this minor but interesting denomination, this book is essential reading.

Cathy King worked in the Heberden Coin Room in the Ashmolean Museum for over thirty years specialising in Roman coinage of the third to the fifth centuries AD. She has written numerous articles on a wide variety of numismatic subjects including monetary history, coin circulation, and coin finds as well as editing two volumes in the Oxford Symposium series: Imperial Revenue, Expenditure and Monetary Policy in the Fourth Century AD (vol. 5, 1980) and Coin Finds and Coin Use in the Roman World (Vol. 13, 1996; co-edited with David Wigg).

Amongst other projects she is currently engaged in identifying and cataloguing coins from the John Evans collection in the Heberden Coin Room.

ISBN 1-85444-226-0 ISBN-13: 9-781854-442260. 460 pages; 54 plates, including 17 enlargements. Case-bound in cloth; laminated jacket. £75.

[NB-postage. Within the UK £7.00 Europe £14.00 USA £22.00 The book weighs 2 kg plus packing weight.]

To order this important new book, please contact:
Douglas Saville Numismatic Books