The Quadrigatus, Coarelli, and the “Scuola Inglese”

If you, like me, find the continuing scholarly conflicts over the dating of the quadrigatus a little confusing, I would like to recommend to you the following:

Bernard’s NC 2017 Review Article

It revisits not only

F. Coarelli’s Argentum Signatum Le origini della moneta d’argento a Roma (Rome, Istituto italiano di numismatica, 2013).
But also subsequent steps in the debate esp.
A.M. Burnett and M.H. Crawford, ‘Coinage, money and mid-Republican Rome. Reflections on a recent book by Filippo Coarelli’, AIIN  60 (2014), pp. 231-65
F. Coarelli, ‘Risposta a A.M. Burnett e a M.H. Crawford’, AIIN 60 (2014),  pp. 267-89.
On the interpretation of Janus iconography as reviewed by Bernard I would add:
BUT physical evidence should be given far more weight than iconography in dating.  Key points of the debate RE physical evidence:
  • How do you interpret two hoards from Selinunte (RRCH 58 and 61) in light of its destruction in 250 BCE?
  • And how does one interpret the Kerkouane single find in light of its destruction in
  • 256 BCE?

Bernard notes that interpretation depends on pre-supposition of scholars.  In the later case he emphasizes “a large cache of late Roman lamps near the sanctuary in which the quadrigatus was found” (p. 504 n. 8)

Key scholarship to which Bernard points includes:

On down-dating of RRC 22/1 to no earlier than 245 BCE: 
A.M. Burnett and A. McCabe, ‘An early Roman struck bronze with a helmeted goddess and an eagle’, in L. Sole and S. Tusa, eds,  Nomismata, Studi di numismatica antica offerti ad Aldina Cutroni Tusa per il suo novantatreesimo compleanno (Ragusa, 2016), pp. 238-74.
On the minting of Quadrigati in Spain and Apulia:
P. Debernardi and O. Legrand, ‘Roman Republican silver coins of the Quadrigatus Period struck in Spain’, RBN 161 (2015), pp. 273-92
P. Debernardi, ‘I quadrigati apuli’,  Notiziario del Portale Numismatico dello Stato 8 (2016), pp. 94-117.
On the use of Spanish silver to strike quadrigati, including the early type found in RRCH 58:
F. Albarède, J. Blichert-Toft, M. Rivoal, and P. Telouk, ‘A glimpse into the Roman finances of the Second Punic Was through silver isotopes’, Geochemical Perspective Letters 2 (2016), pp. 127-37.
On Roman use of Spanish Silver in Historical Context:
C. Rowan, ‘The profits of war and cultural capital: silver and society in Republican Rome’,  Historia 62.3 (2013), pp. 361-86
He also maps hoards containing one or more quadrigati, evidence on which Coarelli is very pessimistic (cf. Coarelli, ‘Risposta’, pp. 268-9, full ref. above):
He interprets this distribution as follows (p. 508):
Bernard goes on to review  mid-third century hoards from which quadrigati are absent BUT with otherwise contain Roman coins (Basilicata 1860, San Martino in Pensilis, Ponte Gini near Gattaiola [a scatter hoard], Nora; p. 509-510).
p. 510-513 reviews historical context of 3rd century and Roman coinage, a topic on which Bernard has much expertise and has published widely, see his book and JRS 2018 article.

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