PAS Finds: week ended 11 March 2022

PAS Finds: week ended 11 March 2022

A round-up of some of the finds recorded at the PAS for the week ended 2 April. There were 135 finds recorded in this week

Featured Find

Denarius of Didia Clara

Photo: West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service
Period: Roman
Date found: 10/10/2021
Location: Craven, North Yorkshire

A denarius of Didia Clara, issued under Didius Julianus in AD 193. The obverse shows the bust of Didia Clara, who was the only known daughter of Didius Julianus. The legend gives her title of Augusta, which she and her mother acquired when Julianus became emperor.  Although she was allegedly the most beautiful woman in all of Rome, very little is known about her life

The reverse shows Hilaritas who was Roman personification of joyfulness and public rejoicing. The legend reads HILAR TEMPOR, short for Hilaritas Temporum, “Joy of the Times”. This imagery and legend often followed the birth of a child. Any joy was going to be short lived.

Didius Julianus

Didius Julianus was emperor for a mere 66 days during the Year of the Five Emperors. He became Emperor after the murder of Pertinax on 28 March 193. He gained the title by placing the winning bid, of 25,000 sesterces per soldier, in an auction held by the Praetorian Guard. The process and outcome was unpopular with both the public in Rome and three influential generals, who each had aspirations for the title. The nearest to Rome was Septimus Severus who marched to the capital. Some reports suggest the Praetorian Guard put up a fight, others that they deserted en masse. Julianus was killed by a soldier on 2 June 193.

One contemporaneous account says that Didia and her mother were the instigators of Julianus bid for power, another that they viewed it “with both trepidation and reluctance as if they already foresaw catastrophe

National Importance

This denarius is a gorgeous coin and is the first coin of Didia Clara recorded at the PAS. It has been designated a Find of Note: National Importance

Selection of other finds

Photo: The Portable Antiquities Scheme CC By 2.0

Roman coin die

A solid iron Roman coin die, which was found in the same field as a coin weight, steelyard weights and copper alloy ingots. The coin design on the striking face has not survived. It is a Find of Note of Regional Importance.
Photo: The Portable Antiquities Scheme CC By 2.0

Quinarius of Allectus

Only a couple of this type of Quinarius of Allectus have been recorded at the PAS. Hence, it’s a Find of Note. Allectus was an officer in the Roman navy and treasurer to Carausius, who he assassinated in 293 to assume power. The legend on the reverse reads VIRTUS AUG for Virtus Augusti, who personifies manly vigor and courage.
Photo: Surrey County Council CC BY SA2.0

Hilt guard from Iron Age sword

This piece of metal could easily have been dismissed but it is a Find of Note of Regional Importance. It is a “Crown” type hilt guard dating to 100 BC – 100 AD. The crown-shaped hilt-end is a British iron Age innovation.
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