Oplontis Villa near Pompeii - Coins Found There

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Marsyas Mike, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Although I just visited Pompeii and tried beforehand to research what to look for, I only just tonight chanced upon a reference to the Oplontis Villa - it is also called the Villa Poppaea (because it is believed Nero's wife owned it).

    A bunch of coins were found in Villa B. Here is a link to the Oplontis Villa site, giving an overview of finds (including coins):


    Even better, here are some of the coins found there - from a "Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero" exhibition - great selection of what was in circulation in 79 AD - from the Republic onward:


    In addition to the photos, it even tells which skeleton each coin was found with.

    I hope this isn't old news to everybody else (I searched this site and got no hits). My apologies if so.
    Parthicus, Nyatii, 7Calbrey and 27 others like this.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. vlaha

    vlaha Respect. The. Hat.

    Thanks for the tip, Mike. If I'm ever over there I will be sure to check the place out.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Marsyas Mike likes this.
  4. TIF

    TIF I am not an expert Supporter

    I had not seen that website before. How fascinating and gruesome! Thanks for posting.
    Marsyas Mike and Okidoki like this.
  5. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Cool... thanks for posting that. I really enjoyed the pages, especially the link featuring the array of coins found in the purse and box with one of the skeletons.
    Marsyas Mike likes this.
  6. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    That photo raised a question not explained in the text. The gold coins were all more recent and higher grade than all but two of the silvers. What does this suggest about the person of the coins? Following links on the page led to a 404 dead end so I assume this exhibit is past and no longer supported by the universary. Check before you visit.
    Nerva and Marsyas Mike like this.
  7. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Oh, that's neat. Thanks.
    Marsyas Mike likes this.
  8. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    As @dougsmit has pointed out, I was most struck by how old the denarii were that were still in circulation, while noticing many aureii from Vespasian's reign.
  9. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    Interesting to note that a Vespasian denarius struck at Ephesus was in the hoard.
    Marsyas Mike and Roman Collector like this.
  10. Mikey Zee

    Mikey Zee Delenda Est Carthago

    Utterly fascinating!!! As gruesome as the skeletal remains are, they do make this site more intimately human and something much more than an ancient ruin. Hopefully, they will continue to leave the unexcavated areas alone for later generations and superior techniques.

    I suppose the age of some of the denarii give a hint as to how long many coins were continually in 'circulation'....as well as their variety.
  11. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    Personally, as a Flavian collector, something like this puts the Rome mint's antiquarian bent during Vespasian's reign in proper context.
  12. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Glad this has been of interest. As with most exhibitions and a lot of museum sites, the coin information sometimes seems a bit less than a collector would like.

    Doug's questions are good ones. But I'm not getting 404 dead links - when I click the coin photos, I get a page that has this (among other information) about skeleton 27, a pregnant woman found with a lot of silver and gold:

    The Coins Found with Skeleton 27
    "Among the human remains in room 10 were those of a pregnant woman, now known as skeleton 27, who possessed one of the largest collections of coins ever found in the Vesuvian region, worth 10,952 sesterces. A single one of her gold coins was worth enough to support an adult with the basic necessities of life for almost a year. One part of Skeleton 27’s stash of coins was in a small wooden box, alongside pieces of silver and jewelry. The second part was held in a purse, found on her chest. Many of the silver coins are worn, indicating that they had been in circulation for some time."


    Clicking on the "view image" at the bottom left pulls up the Skeleton 27 coins (the same coins as on the original page, but all together in one image). This is still not very much information, at least for a collector. And I wish the photos were bigger & better...

    And where's the bronze? You'd think poorer folks would want to take some along with them.
  13. gregarious

    gregarious E Pluribus Unum

    very kool, thanks for posting MMike
    Marsyas Mike likes this.
  14. gregarious

    gregarious E Pluribus Unum

    wow! some of the silver coins were much worn even back then.
    Marsyas Mike likes this.
  15. rg3

    rg3 Well-Known Member

    Nice links! I visited that exhibit last year (or was it two). They have a neat permenant exhibit about the Flavian burial temple. I'll take some pics and post them later this week.
  16. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Thanks for the links, I love stuff like this.
  17. coinsareus10

    coinsareus10 Active Member

    Thanks for the site. Couldn't stop reading once I started.
    Roman Collector likes this.
  18. Nerva

    Nerva Well-Known Member

    Fascinating! As others said, the website left me wanting more. Would an aureus really be enough to live on for a year? Maybe at a subsistence level, it would buy enough bread ... but not sure it's meaningful as a measure of income even of the poorest, is it? Apparently 33k coins known to have been found at Pompeii. I recently read this book on the economy of Pompeii, with a chapter on coins: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0198786...TF8&colid=21OTLTFWFPXY0&coliid=I1ACZP2N4Z0KU8 It's a fascinating subject, but the writing is a bit dry. Coin chapter looks at coin finds in shops.
    Roman Collector likes this.
  19. Roman Collector likes this.
  20. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

    Great links! Thanks!
  21. ancientone

    ancientone Well-Known Member

    A very interesting site.

    And how bad of a condition would they have to be before they would have been pulled from circulation?
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page