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
'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.
Lead pollution recorded in Greenland ice indicates European emissions tracked plagues, wars, and imperial expansion during antiquity.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Lead pollution in Arctic ice reflects midlatitude emissions from ancient lead-silver mining and smelting. The few reported measurements have been extrapolated to infer the performance of ancient economies, including comparisons of economic productivity and growth during the Roman Republican and Imperial periods. These studies were based on sparse sampling and inaccurate dating, limiting understanding of trends and specific linkages. Here we show, using a precisely dated record of estimated lead emissions between 1100 BCE and 800 CE derived from subannually resolved measurements in Greenland ice and detailed atmospheric transport modeling, that annual European lead emissions closely varied with historical events, including imperial expansion, wars, and major plagues. Emissions rose coeval with Phoenician expansion, accelerated during expanded Carthaginian and Roman mining primarily in the Iberian Peninsula, and reached a maximum under the Roman Empire. Emissions fluctuated synchronously with wars and political instability particularly during the Roman Republic, and plunged coincident with two major plagues in the second and third centuries, remaining low for >500 years. Bullion in silver coinage declined in parallel, reflecting the importance of lead-silver mining in ancient economies. Our results indicate sustained economic growth during the first two centuries of the Roman Empire, terminated by the second-century Antonine plague.
Humans, Lead, Silver, Environmental Pollutants, Ice, Disease Outbreaks, Roman World, Extraction and Processing Industry, History, Ancient, Greenland, Armed Conflicts