Swansea University’s Dr George Watson has been awarded the Gilljam Prize for Third-Century Numismatics by the Royal Numismatic Society, for his book Connections, Communities, and Coinage: The system of coin production in southern Asia Minor AD 218-276. Dr Watson’s book looks at the bronze coinage produced by cities of the Roman provinces in southern Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) during the third century AD.

“The exploration of the manner in which these coins were produced is the first book-length contribution for nearly half a century to a major scholarly debate about where control of these coinages lay: whether with the cities themselves or with some supra-regional or perhaps imperial authority,” he said.

“I argue that it was the cities that controlled their coinages, but I show how they collaborated in the production of their coins, and that this collaboration fostered a sense of regional community among the cities in this part of the Roman world.”

Coinage played a particularly important role in histories of the third-century, which, Dr Watson explained, is often seen as the start of the transition from the Roman to post-Roman worlds.

 “In contrast to our written sources, which are sparse and patchy, coins survive from the third century in vast numbers, making them a crucial source for this important time period,” he said.

“I’m interested in the way in which these coins represent a point of interaction between the state, as issuers of the coins, and those governed by the state, the people who use coins for everyday transactions.”

For more information on Dr Watson’s research interests and publications see here.