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Delos Hoard

Papageorgiadou-Bani, C.  "Le trésor de Délos 1905 (RRCH 465)" in Revue numismatique 2003, Vol. 6, Issue 159, pp. 291-306.

Available online: http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/numi_0484-8942_2003_num_6_159_2516

The hoard was unearthed in 1905 during the excavations of the French School in a house near the theater on Delos. It consisted of 650 coins, one of them of Juba I, while the rest were Roman denarii. The Roman pieces can be divided in two groups, the first with Roman Republic denarii, dated from 147 to 40, and the second, more numerous, with 604 coins, issued for the legions of Marc Antony. This group provides the dating of the hoard to the period of the battle of Actium. The Delos hoard can be compared with other finds from the Actium area itself and Euboea (Styrra) which show the same composition. Such hoards are rare in Greece (in total, four) and must be closely connected to the movements of Antony's army in the aftermath of the naval battle. The composition of these hoards reminds us of another group consisting of Roman coins alone which have been found for the most part in the region of Macedonia. The deposition of all of them can be dated to particular military events, dating from 54 to 42 B.C., and they all consist of a very large number of denarii issued within the span of a century. The same conclusions can be drawn concerning the Macedonia and Actian finds. The denarii, coming to Greece in the hands of the Roman soldiers, went into everyday circulation through local trade and were then gathered by the local authorities in order to fulfill their obligations toward the state. In turn, Rome paid them back in order to finance her subsequent military enterprise. Thus, we find only a very small number of denarii of this period in local circulation.

For Antony's legionary denarii, the following quantities were contained in the Delos Hoard:

CHOR SPECVL  9
CHOR PRAET 6
XII ANTIQVAE 5
XVII CLASSICAE 8
XVIII LYBICAE 4
PRI 0
LEG II 40
LEG III 25
LEG IIII 0
LEG IV 28
LEG V 37
LEG VI 36
LEG VII 27
LEG VIII 27
LEG IIX 0
LEG VIIII 15
LEG IX 20
LEG X 28
LEG XI 24
LEG XII 28
LEG XIII 20
LEG XIIII 6
LEG XIV 12
LEG XV 39
LEG XVI 24
LEG XVII 22
LEG XVIII 6
LEG XVIIII 0
LEG XIX 16
LEG XX 13
LEG XXI 23
LEG XXII 15
LEG XXIII 24
Legion obscured 17
Total 604