Somerset

Rare Roman coin amongst Somerset collection

  • 30 October 2012
  • From the section Somerset
A rare Roman coin
The Gaius Marcus Aurelius Marius coin will be stored in Yeovil

A rare Roman coin dating back to AD 269 has been found amongst a bequeathed private collection in Somerset.

The coin is a radiate of Gaius Marcus Aurelius Marius, an emperor believed to have reigned for only months.

It was discovered in the Ilminster area and is part of a collection of hundreds of coins owned by Bristol-born James Stevens Cox, who died in 1997.

Ben Sayers, from the Community Heritage Access Centre (CHAC) in Yeovil, said it was "an amazing discovery".

"The chances of a coin minted in such a small window of opportunity surviving the best part of 2,000 years are tiny," he added.

The centre, which will house the coin, said there could be as few as 50 of the coins in existence in England.

Mr Stevens Cox was born in 1910 and spent some 80 years researching the history of Ilminster, where his family home was based.

Gaius Marcus Aurelius Marius was emperor of the Gallic Empire which was ended in AD 274.

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