The Coin Hoards of the Roman Empire Project is a joint initiative of the Ashmolean Museum and the Oxford Roman Economy Project. It intends to fill a major lacuna in the digital coverage of coin hoards from antiquity. It aims to collect information about hoards of all coinages in use in the Roman Empire between approximately 30 BC and AD 400. Imperial Coinage forms the main focus of the project, but Iron Age and Roman Provincial coinages in circulation within this period are also included to give a complete picture of the monetary systems of both the West and the East. The intention is to provide the foundations for a systematic Empire-wide study of hoarding and to promote the integration of numismatic data into broader research on the Roman Economy.
The walls of Carthage and the date of Augustine’s De Trinitate
Journal of Theological Studies
This article calls attention to a hitherto overlooked piece of evidence that securely dates the completion of Book IX and subsequent books of Augustine’s De Trinitate to AD 424/425 or later: in it Augustine refers to having seen the moenia (defensive walls) of Carthage, which were not built until AD 424/425. The paper reviews the evidence for and previous scholarship on the chronology of the composition and completion of the De Trinitate, and considers the implications of the new dating for the circumstances of its completion, situating it within the production of his other major works in the mid-late 420s.
NORTH AFRICA AUGUSTINE DE TRINITATE THEOLOGY LATE ANTIQUITY BONIFACE CHRONOLOGY
Earthquakes at Aphrodisias
Visual Histories of the Classical World: Essays in Honour of R.R.R. Smith
ROMAN ARCHAEOLOGY, APHRODISIAS, EARTHQUAKES, HISTORICAL EARTHQUAKES
Aphrodisias in the long sixth century
Asia Minor in the Long Sixth Century: Current Research and Future Directions
This chapter considers the evidence for urban life and urban change at Aphrodisias in the long sixth century, drawing in particular on the evidence from recent excavations in the ‘Place of Palms’ that shows late antique rebuilding of the monumental pool and the surrounding colonnades there, which can be associated also with evidence for repairs to the Hadrianic Baths, the North Agora, the bouleuterion, and parts of the city wall shortly before or around AD 500. This enormous building and repair programme speaks eloquently to the vitality of urban life at Aphrodisias as the sixth century opened. Gameboards and graffiti around the rebuilt pool shed light on the use of this public space during the sixth century, while epigraphic and archaeological evidence allow us to trace further changes to the monumental architecture of the city centre. These include the construction of a header tank to continue supply to pressurised fountains around the monumental pool, perhaps in the reign of Justinian, and the apparently contemporary creation of a street fountain (‘Gaudin’s Fountain’) elsewhere in the city; and evidence for continued use of and repairs to the monumental Hadrianic Baths, whose floor paving was repaired and re-set as late as AD 610 or after. Finally, the end of the monumental city in the early seventh century is discussed, and its possible connection with the Persian invasions of Asia Minor; a series of burned deposits suggest multiple conflagrations around the city in the period AD 614–616, and the recent excavations show that these fires were followed soon afterwards by an earthquake. There is evidence for an organised clean-up of much of the destruction debris, showing some continued civic organisation, but thereafter the city never regained the monumentality it had had before.
APHRODISIAS EARTHQUAKES FIRE PERSIAN INVASION SIXTH CENTURY SEVENTH CENTURY LATE ANTIQUITY BUILDING ACTIVITY EUERGETISM
'Vaisseaux du désert et emporia des oasis : les réseaux commerciaux du Sahara antique
Mer et désert de l’Antiquité à nos jours. Approches croisées
The metaphor of camels as ships of the desert is a cliché, but invites us to consider parallels between desert caravan trade and maritime trade. This paper will review current thinking on the nature of ancient Saharan and trans-Saharan trading networks during the Roman period, and explore the extent to which patterns of ancient maritime trade might provide some useful models for thinking about Saharan trade. It is clear from depictions of Roman ships in Saharan rock art that some travellers or traders in the Sahara were familiar with Mediterranean ships, but there are also instructive similarities between the general patterns of ancient Saharan trade and maritime trade.
Oases can be thought of as islands in a sea of sand, and are connected to their nearest neighbours; longer-distance routes consist of a series of such connections. Caravans are limited in the distance they can travel between oases, or points of water; and oases thus have a major role as revictualling points or staging posts on trans-Saharan routes. However, it is questionable how far this encouraged a kind of cabotage trading, selling parts of the cargo at each oasis port of call, since higher profits could usually be obtained from larger markets at the far ends of the system.
Yet certain oases, principally major groups in the territory of the Garamantes in the Fazzan (Libyan Sahara), seem to have acted as major entrepôts for the redistribution of goods. In the better-documented Saharan trade of the medieval and early modern periods, caravans did not usually cross the entire Sahara, but broke up and reformed at centres in the Fazzan (e.g. Murzuk) or the Algerian Sahara (Touat, Gourara, Tidikelt oases). Different breeds of camels were used on the northern and the southern parts of the system, and the central Saharan oases acted as major markets and had to be able to support – in terms of food and water – large caravans for several weeks or even months, while traders waited to buy a return cargo. As with maritime ports, water supply and provisioning infrastructure was a constraint on the volume of traffic that could be handed by these oases. Arguably, in the late first millennium BC and the early first millennium AD, the water supply infrastructure in the form of foggaras (subterranean irrigation and water supply channels) in the Fazzan far exceeded that of the same area in the medieval and later periods, and could therefore have supported a larger caravan throughput (which is not to say that it certainly did). This trading system created major markets within the Sahara itself, reflected in the range and quality of imported Roman goods in the Garamantian Fazzan. These markets in some respect resemble entrepôts of a maritime system, combining the sale and purchase of long-distance caravan cargoes with a more local set of trading connections both feeding into and benefiting from the longer-distance trade.