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An article in Nature discusses the financial implications of coins found at Pompeii.


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When Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79, hundreds of people who had failed to flee the nearby city of Pompeii were killed by toxic gases and volcanic debris. Now, an analysis of ancient coins found with skeletons in Pompeii hints at the economic status of those who remained. You may read about it here at the science journal, Nature (sadly, a subscription is required to read the whole article).

Roman bronze coins found in the Thermopolium of Vetutius Placidus in Pompeii, Italy in May 1939.
Cash boxes in a Pompeiian tavern held nearly 1,500 coins (sample pictured) in total.

Here's one of mine that could have been spent in Pompeii on a less dangerous day:

[IMG]
Vespasian, AD 69-79.
Roman AR denarius, 3.18 g, 18.4 mm, 6 h.
Rome, AD 73.
Obv: IMP CAES VESP AVG P M COS IIII CEN, laureate head, right.
Rev: SALVS AVG, Salus seated left, holding patera, left hand at side.
Refs: RIC 58; RIC 2.1 522; BMCRE 87-89; Cohen/RSC 432; CBN 76; RCV 2307.


Let's see your coins of the mid-first century that might have been spent at Pompeii on a luckier day!

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Aureus of Nero 66-67 AD Obv Head right laureate. Rv Jupiter seated left holding thunderbolt. RIC 63 7.33 grms 18 mm Boscoreale Hoard found in 1985 Photo by W. Hansenneroav2.jpg.047d0073383db0d3d8c20da8b701c912.jpgThough found in 1895 this hoard was not catalogued until 1909. After the hoard was discovered the coins were sent to Paris where they entered the market. In the article published in 1909 Cesar Capessa records slightly over 1000 aureii as being a part of this hoard. The aureii of Nero make up a large percentage of the coins recorded with something 212 examples being of the IVPPITER CVSTOS type  alone. It seems clear from the numbers of aureii of Nero found in this hoard that the owner of the villa rustica at Boscoreale had profited from the massive rebuilding effort at Rome carried out by Nero in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 64 AD

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