Here is the write up on it from The Scotsman:
Tue 24 Feb 2004
Coin of Mystery Roman
Emperor Found in Field
By Stephanie Condron, PA News
with a metal detector has unearthed a Roman
coin so rare
it bears the face
of a mystery emperor who “ruled” Britain
for a matter of days.
Brian Malin, a father-of-one from Oxfordshire, unearthed the bronze coin in a field
in Oxfordshire bearing the face
of Emperor Domitianus
It is only the second coin in existence to bear the image of the self-proclaimed ruler of Britain
A similar coin was found in France
100 years ago but until now its uniqueness had
meant both Emperor Domitianus
and the coin were dismissed as a hoax.
Historians say the British discovery confirms the French
find is genuine and Domitianus
They believe he was an upstart from the Roman
legion who was ousted for treason for daring to declare himself emperor and have the coins made.
Mr Malin found the coin in a field
in April last year, 10 miles south-east of Oxford
The coin was among a pot
of 5,000 all bearing the heads of emperors and stuck together, providing the perfect “timeline” for archaeologists.
He handed his
find to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford
which passed it to experts at the British Museum who began separating the coins.
The coins dating from 250AD to the mid 270sAD spanned five emperors during a time of great upheaval for the Roman empire
coin curator at the British Museum, said: “As we sifted through the hoard
we came through hundreds of coins bearing the face
of the same emperor.
“The Roman empire
was beginning to fray. Domitianus
, it looks, ruled in 271AD, he was the penultimate emperor and there was only one coin with his
“There have been references to Domitianus
in two ancient texts but they described him as an officer who had
been punished for treason.”Domitianus
probably ruled Britain
for only days which would explain why only two coins bearing his
image exist, said Mr Abdy
Rulers routinely had
coins made to stake their claim as emperor.Had
where the pot
of coins was found been declared an archaeological site, Mr Malin would not have been allowed to metal detect there.
Likewise, it was not somewhere the experts say they would have looked to make such a rare
They have put a five-figure sum on the bronze disc which will be difficult to value because there is no market for Domitianus
coins. The other is in a museum in France
of the French
Dr Chris Howgego
, curator for Roman coins
at the Ashmolean Museum, said: “It’s exciting and valuable and interesting. Brian Malin has been metal detecting since he was 16. He’s now in his
“He has brought stuff before and found one hoard
before. The latest is of great historical interest.
“He deserves a lot of credit because he did not even delve into the jar
and brought it into the museum punctually and he is rather sweet.
“He has not once asked about the value – he has asked ‘How important is this and what can we learn?”’
In line with Britain
’s treasure trove laws, a coroner’s inquest will be held and an independent panel will decide how much the 5,000-coin hoard
The panel will then mediate between the Ashmolean, which has said it wants to buy the pot
of coins, and Mr Malin.
coin is going on display at the British Museum tomorrow. It has said it would like to buy the coin if the Ashmolean does not.