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An occasional series of short videos on coins that shed light on various aspects of ancient history, presented by Professor Kevin Butcher.

Secrets of the Roman Mint

14:10, Wed 29 May 2013

Professor Kevin Butcher and Dr Matthew Ponting discuss the technique used by the Roman mints to disguise the quality of the silver coinage and how to analyse the coins.

(MP4 format, 166 MB)


The Roman Mill at Barbegal

12:54, Mon 28 May 2012

The astonishing water mill complex at Barbegal in Provence used to be considered a product of late antiquity, but the discovery of a coin of Trajan (AD 98-117) embedded in the plaster of the aqueduct has led to a reconsideration of the place of hydraulic technology in the earlier Roman empire.

(MP4 format, 149 MB)


The Temples of Baalbek

18:23, Mon 25 Apr 2011

Can coins help us reconstruct the original appearance of the giant temples of Heliopolis (modern Baalbek) in Lebanon?

(MP4 format, 217 MB)


Nero and Agrippina

23:42, Wed 16 Mar 2011

Why does Agrippina seem to be given precedence over her son Nero on the earliest coins of his reign?

(MP4 format, 131 MB)


Dating the birth of Jesus

16:22, Wed 15 Dec 2010

Anno domini. Today we use the system devised by the sixth-century monk, Dionysius Exiguus, as a way of synchronising events, and associate its origin with the nativity of Jesus and the 'first Christmas'. But did Dionysius get his dates right? A coin issued by Herod Antipas suggests not ...

(MP4 format, 156 MB)


Nero plays the lyre

12:27, Thu 18 Nov 2010

Does this coin depict the emperor Nero as a musician, or does it show the god Apollo instead?

(MP4 format, 75 MB)


Render unto Caesar

12:25, Thu 18 Nov 2010

What was the tribute penny of the Bible?

(MP4 format, 105 MB)


Caligula and his Sisters

12:22, Thu 18 Nov 2010

A brass sestertius of Caligula provides contemporary proof of the high regard the emperor had for his three sisters.

(MP4 format, 100 MB)


Antony and Cleopatra

11:18, Tue 9 Nov 2010

What did Cleopatra look like? Her coins provide evidence.

(MP4 format, 112 MB)



10:54, Mon 25 Oct 2010

A coin minted at the Spanish city of Bilbilis in AD 31 records not only the success of Tiberius' henchman Sejanus but also his fall from grace. Professor Kevin Butcher explains how it does this.

(MP4 format, 29 MB)