Et tu Boris? Frome hoard resemblance
ROYAUME-UNI - Lu sur westerndailypress.co.uk
He might have been the Boris Johnson of his time.
With a raffish appearance, a keen awareness of his image and a desire to make the most of sporting occasions, the Roman general Carausius was the first independent emperor of Britain. New light on the character of the previously little-known Roman figure, who set up his own breakaway fiefdom in the third century, has been shed by research into the Frome Hoard discovery.
The collection of 52,000 coins found by a metal detector enthusiast near the Somerset town in 2010 has now been analysed by an expert for the British Museum. Among the coins in what was one of the largest discoveries of Roman coins ever found in Britain were 850 minted by Carausius, who broke away from the main Roman Empire in the year 286.
They have now been studied by museum Roman coin finds adviser Dr Sam Moorhead, who says we now know more about the emperor's seven-year reign, which ended in his assassination at the hands of a political rival.
Dr Moorhead told The Times: "I'm convinced this man was a salty seadog. A tall, dark, burly man, with curly hair and a raffish beard. He's an absolute bruiser."
The coins show images of Carausius shaking hands with the mythical figure of Britannia and handing out money to people, and depictions of the Secular Games, a festival of entertainment and hunting.
Dr Moorhead has concluded that the emperor had two coin-minting operations, one of which accompanied him around the country, and appeared to produce coins to give to soldiers to buy their loyalty.
It is now known that Carausius used what had been the Roman fleet to defend Britain against the official Roman Empire.
He was killed in a plot involving his own finance minister, Allectus.
Dr Moorhead said there were parallels with the less violent rivalry between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
"There's a Tony Blair and Gordon Brown thing going on," he told the Times.
The hoard, which includes five pioneering silver denarii coins, is now on display at the Museum of Somerset in Taunton.