Sep 11 – 16, 2022
University of Warsaw
Europe/Warsaw timezone

Tracing Roman gold stocks with LA-ICP-MS analysis of coins from the Second Punic War to the end of the first century CE.

Sep 15, 2022, 11:00 AM
Auditorium Maximum - Hall B

Auditorium Maximum - Hall B


Arnaud Suspène (Université d'Orléans / CNRS IRAMAT-CEB) Maryse Blet-Lemarquand (IRAMAT, CNRS-univ. Orléans)


A large data set of LA-ICP-MS analyses of Roman gold coins sheds light on the development of gold coinage under the Republic and the Early Empire. As is well known, gold coinage was a latecomer in Roman monetary history and large issues remained rare until the age of Caesar. After Caesar however, gold coinage became a regular feature of the Roman monetary system. This major change in the history of Roman money raises many questions about logistics, gold stocks, and mints. The chemical fingerprints of Roman gold coins reveal the flows of gold stocks in the Roman world over three centuries. The main result is that there is not a fully homogeneous gold stock in use in the Roman world during this period and that chemical relationships can often be established between gold minted by Rome at a given time and foreign coins struck previously.

Primary author

Arnaud Suspène (Université d'Orléans / CNRS IRAMAT-CEB)


Maryse Blet-Lemarquand (IRAMAT, CNRS-univ. Orléans)

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