Following the generous bequest of a Roman coin collection from the late Mr J Stevens- Cox, staff at the Community Heritage Access Centre in Yeovil have been astonished to discover an incredible rare coin from a turbulent era in history.
The coin is a radiate of Gaius Marcus Aurelius Marius, more simply known to us as Marius. This coin is so remarkable because the emperor himself is believed to have only reigned for a matter of days in AD 269 before being killed and becoming just another name in a long list of 50 emperors who reigned in 50 years of the 3rd century AD.
Ben Sayers, a heritage intern at CHAC, said “The chances of a coin minted in such a small window of opportunity surviving the best part of 2000 years are tiny. It is an amazing discovery.”
Not many of these coins are known to exist in the country and recent searches have suggested a possible total as low as 50 with the Portable Antiquities Scheme having recorded 39 across the country and the British Museum having only two. This coin therefore is certainly a rarity and an example of the great discoveries and work being done by the Community Heritage Access Centre.
Cllr Sylvia Seal, portfolio holder Leisure & Culture said, “The discovery of such a rare old coin in Somerset is magnificent. It’s great that our very own CHAC get to house the coin and I hope that people will want to come and see this piece of British history.”