One of the more obscure areas of Roman Republican early coinage are debased quadrigati, which traditionally are deemed to represent the last stage of this coin type. Starting from a pre-screening, based on low specific gravity samples, we first performed neutron diffraction analyses on a larger sample, which allowed us to single out the more debased series. Subsequently, we focused on those series and applied various additional physical investigations on 18 specimens. The focus of this paper is 17 samples displaying very low silver content. They all belong to a very particular group, refereed as “Apulian” quadrigati in previous literature. They are selected for their numismatic differences and to put in evidence the relevant details of their silver quality, which ranges from “apparently good” to “plain bronze.” In this work, we combine rigorous analytical investigations like X-ray fluorescence (both ordinary and micro-), scanning electron microscope, and neutron diffraction to our accurate numismatic classification of the specimens, leading to a clear correlation between series and debasement. This work aims in particular to gain better insights into these mysterious “silver” emissions, bringing new results that can disclose unknown financial and political facts pertaining to the Second Punic War.

Some insight into “bronze quadrigati”: a multi-analytical approach

Corsi J.;Borghi A.;Cossio R.;Gambino F.;Ghignone S.;Scherillo A.;Re A.
;
Lo Giudice A.
Last
2022-01-01

Abstract

One of the more obscure areas of Roman Republican early coinage are debased quadrigati, which traditionally are deemed to represent the last stage of this coin type. Starting from a pre-screening, based on low specific gravity samples, we first performed neutron diffraction analyses on a larger sample, which allowed us to single out the more debased series. Subsequently, we focused on those series and applied various additional physical investigations on 18 specimens. The focus of this paper is 17 samples displaying very low silver content. They all belong to a very particular group, refereed as “Apulian” quadrigati in previous literature. They are selected for their numismatic differences and to put in evidence the relevant details of their silver quality, which ranges from “apparently good” to “plain bronze.” In this work, we combine rigorous analytical investigations like X-ray fluorescence (both ordinary and micro-), scanning electron microscope, and neutron diffraction to our accurate numismatic classification of the specimens, leading to a clear correlation between series and debasement. This work aims in particular to gain better insights into these mysterious “silver” emissions, bringing new results that can disclose unknown financial and political facts pertaining to the Second Punic War.
14
7
133
141
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12520-022-01589-0
Ancient coins, Debased quadrigati, Silver surface enrichment, Neutron diffraction, X-ray fluorescence, Scanning electron microscope
Debernardi P.; Corsi J.; Borghi A.; Cossio R.; Gambino F.; Ghignone S.; Scherillo A.; Re A.; Lo Giudice A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1869341
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