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  • Published: 7 May 2024
  • ISBN: 9781847927514
  • Imprint: Bodley Head
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $36.99

Moneta

A History of Ancient Rome in Twelve Coins




The extraordinary story of Rome told through one of the world's once most ubiquitous objects: coins.

The extraordinary story of ancient Rome, history's greatest superpower, as told through humankind's most universal object: the coin.

When Gareth Harney was first handed a Roman coin by his father as a child, he became entranced by its beauty, its permanence, and its unique power to connect us with the distant past. He soon learned that the Romans saw coins as far more than just money – these were metal canvases on which they immortalised their sacred gods, mighty emperors, towering monuments, and brutal battles of conquest. Revealed in those intricate designs struck in gold, silver, and bronze was the epic history of the Roman world.

Moneta traces ancient Rome’s unstoppable rise, from a few huts on an Italian hilltop to an all-conquering empire spanning three continents, through the fascinating lives of twelve remarkable coins. In these handcrafted pieces of ancient art we witness Caesar's bloody assassination, follow the legions to the edge of the known world, take a seat in the packed Colosseum, and ultimately, watch as barbarian armies mass at the gates.

Hold the glory, and the infamy, of ancient Rome in the palm of your hand.

  • Published: 7 May 2024
  • ISBN: 9781847927514
  • Imprint: Bodley Head
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $36.99

About the author

Gareth Harney

Gareth Harney is a historian and coin collector striving to bring the wonders of the ancient world to a wider audience. For two decades he has explored the ruins of the Roman Empire, from the rugged landscapes of Hadrian’s Wall to the desert sands of the Sahara, all the while celebrating every aspect of ancient Rome with his large online following. Tweeting @OptimoPrincipi he combines rigorous historical research with thrilling storytelling to make classical history vital and relatable. Having built his own ancient coin collection since childhood, he now uses his website, blog, and high-definition coin photography to promote the joys of the hobby to a whole new generation.

Praise for Moneta

Fantastic. Moneta is a brilliant combination of history and expert storytelling – if anyone reads the first five pages, they’ll be up all night with it

CONN IGGULDEN, bestselling author of the Emperor series

A novel and highly readable approach to Roman history. The author's enthusiasm shines through on every page

PHILIP MATYSZAK, author of A History of Ancient Rome in 100 Lives

Extremely enjoyable. A brilliant combination of entertaining and educational Roman history that makes numismatics vivid and exciting

EMMA SOUTHON, author of A History of the Roman Empire in 21 Women

Fast paced and vivid, Moneta makes more than a millennium of Roman history tangible, telling the story of the empire’s rise and fall through the thing that backed it all - cold hard cash. The coins in these pages funded wars, paid debts, and bought bread, but they also defined factions, declared beliefs, and forged the enduring images of some of history’s greatest men

HONOR CARGILL-MARTIN, author of Messalina

This vivid story of some 800 years of artistry, assassination and adventure makes it far more than a history of Roman coins, but it's that too, and if you weren't already fascinated by these tiny beautiful works of art and all we can learn from them, I promise that you will be by the time the barbarians are at the gate (and probably by end of the prologue). There are riches aplenty in these pages, and Gareth uses his wonderful hoard of coins to pay our fare back to the roar of the Colosseum and the Roman senate house, where he is waiting to describe the ancient past with learning and immediacy

CHRISTOPHER HADLEY, author of The Road

A first-rate popular history written with verve and imagination

THOMAS J. T. WILLIAMS, author of Lost Realms

For those who want an enjoyable potted history of 1,000 years of Rome told in an engaging new way, Harney’s book is well worth a few denarii

The Times