The circulation of bronze coinage in N. Gaul in the mid-fourth century A.D. : the numismatic evidence for the usurpation of Magnentius and its aftermath, 350-361
The aim of the thesis is to use numismatic evidence to extend the picture of N. Gaul in 350-361 which is available from other sources, and in particular to ascertain details about the usurpation of Magnentius in 350-353, the German invasions of 350-355 and the activities of Julian in 355-361. 103 hoards from Britain, Holland, Belgium, France, W. Germany and Switzerland are analysed, together with 54 site-finds from Belgium and the Rhineland which are compared with 5 site-finds from Britain and 6 from elsewhere in the Roman world. A basic pattern of coin-loss in N. Gaul is identified from the site-finds which, when compared with the pattern found elsewhere, reveals a shortage of coin in N. Gaul in 354-361 as a result of the German invasions. One answer to this shortage was to strike barbarous copies, the distribution of which is seen to correspond to the areas which had survived the invasions or where the scene of Julian's work of reconstruction. In addition a series of hoards, destruction levels and intensively occupied hill-top refuges helps to plot the course of the German invasions. More general matters of coin-circulation are discussed. Various circulation-"pools" are identified and their relationship to one another analysed; coin supply as well as the reasons for and the speed of coin movement are studied. Movements of personnel or troops, as well as administrative links, are identified as the main factors in coin movement in N. Gaul. Particular attention is paid to methods of analysis and to the reliability of the evidence from hoards and site-finds, especially the latter, and ways are determined of recognising distorted or unreliable finds.