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Durham e-Theses
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The episode of Carausius and Allectus, with particular reference to the numismatic evidence

Shiel, Norman (1975) The episode of Carausius and Allectus, with particular reference to the numismatic evidence. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis is a study of the decade from 287-296 when Britain was a separate empire under the control of the usurpers Carausius and Allectus. It provides the fullest analysis so far of the literary evidence which gives a basic framework for the history of the period. This evidence is very limited in extent, and suffers in great measure from the defects of bias in the case of earlier accounts and gross inaccuracy in the case of the later ones. The scant epigraphic evidence, consisting of the one Carausian milestone, has been included in the section on literary evidence. There is a considerable body of numismatic evidence for Carausius and Allectus which has been both used to complement that of the written accounts and also studied in its own right. A corpus of all hoards, gold and silver coins, and BRI coins known at the time of the writing has been assembled, and a general survey made of site finds and other particularly distinctive groups such as the ‘Rouen’ antoniniani. The coins in most important collections have been examined and those from Richborough, as the largest group from one site, used to produce various statistics or test various theories. It has therefore been possible to draw some conclusions as to the location of mints, the sequence and size of issues, the distribution of men and resources, the policies of the two usurpers and the history of the period in general. Many problems and uncertainties still remain for which there can be no convincing solution at present because of the lack of evidence. For some of these, possible solutions have been suggested but excessive speculation, which has bedevilled this subject in the past, has been avoided.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1975
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:43

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