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Victoria County History of Kent Vol. 3  1932  Romano-British Kent - Military History Page 37

British origin (P1. V). The nearest analogy from this county is a little—known figure of somewhat similar type from Lincoln,50  but for any extensive series of sculptures of a quality approaching this we have to look to the Romano-Gallic school of Sens, or even farther south to Provence itself. In its badly damaged condition the Richborough sculpture is difficult to complete and interpret. The general type is used for representations of Abundantia, Hygieia, and other minor goddesses, or of persons assuming similar attributes; or it may be merely an idealized portrait, such as occurs on tombstones from the Hellenic period onwards. Whether the carving served in fact as a tombstone we cannot now say. But it stands high amongst examples of Roman art found in Britain; and the classic purity of its style may be thought to indicate a date either soon after the invasion of A.D. 43 or during the revival of the Hellenistic tradition that characterized the reign of Hadrian.
   (7) Lastly, something must be said about the many thousands of coins which have been found on the site. These coins are beginning to create a literature of their own, and only a few of the salient problems which they raise can be mentioned here.51
   Of individual coins, one has long been known to fame. It is a copper issue, of barbarous type, showing on the obverse the head of an emperor and something like the legend domino Carausio ces, while the reverse rudely copies the device of emperor, phoenix and labarum, which was in use about A.D. 3 40—50, and bears the legend DOMIN . . . CONTA . .  NO. As interpreted by Sir Arthur Evans, it is (or then was) a unique coin, minted about A.D. 408, which records on the one side Constantine III and on the other a second and unknown Carausius, colleague perhaps of Constantine.52  A somewhat similar coin, found in the top soil of the fortress in 1924—5,53  does not advance the problem. On the other hand, the ranks of new (or unrecognized) claimants to the throne have been extended by other discoveries. Amongst the coins found in 1924—5 is a 3rd brass’ bearing on the obverse a diademed and draped bust with the inscription D N PAVVNIVS AVG, and, on the reverse, a Victory holding wreath and palm, with the words VICT0R[IA] AVGGG. Who was the august Pavunius whose sole monument is this obscure coin? And who, again, was the Saxon King Eadwald, unknown save by an occasional coin found at Richborough and on one or two other sites in eastern Britain?54  The flashes of light which evidence such as this throws momentarily across the scene serve merely to make the darkness visible.
   Of greater historical interest is the burning question of the significance of the late Roman coinage of Richborough. On most of the known Romano— British sites—Wroxeter, Silchester, Caerwent, Kenchester—there is a marked diminution in the mass of coinage after the close of the Constantine era. Sites which produce any considerable number of the coins of Arcadius and Honorius (save in occasional large hoards, as at Caerwent) are few; and not one, in this respect, can be placed in the same category as Richborough.
   50  Published, without illustration, in Arch. Journ. xlii (1885), 261. Now in the Lincoln Museum.
51  See in particular the Richborough Reps.; also F. S. Salisbury, Numismatic Chron. 5th Ser. vii, and Antiq. Journ. vii, 268.
52  Numismatic Chron. 3rd Ser. vii (1887), 191; reprinted in Arch. Cambrensis, 5th Ser. V. 138. Sir Arthur Evans’s view is not accepted by all numismatists.
53  Antiq. Journ. vi, 312; Second Richborough Rep. 209—10.
54  Second Richborough Rep. 228.

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