The First Dictators

Politics, Propaganda and the Collapse of the Roman Republic If you thought fake news, personal propaganda – and political strongmen shifting democracies toward dictatorship – were modern phenomena, then this exhibition invites you to think again. The First Dictators explores how coins were used for propaganda purposes during the dying days of the Roman Republic … Read more

A Tale of Two Empires: Rome and Persia

A stand-off between two superpowers may feel like a relatively modern phenomenon – but it is one with roots extending back thousands of years. ‘A Tale of Two Empires’ charts a fascinating journey: from the violence, glory and humiliation of the third century; through the artistic interaction, peace, and tolerance of the early fifth to … Read more

The Last Roman

Emperor Justinian I (527 – 565 AD), the so-called ‘Last Roman Emperor’, rose from peasant beginnings in Serbia to become the most powerful man on Earth. Crowned Emperor of the Romans at Constantinople in 527 AD, Justinian’s reign saw a surge in the might of the Roman Empire – land in the West was reclaimed … Read more

EXCAVATING EMPIRE

Gold, Silver and Bronze in Byzantium Discover Byzantium – the once-great empire whose glittering capital was the city of Constantinople (today’s Istanbul )- through this intriguing exploration of its coinage and economy. Constantinople’s majesty astounded visitors from across the medieval world. However, the Byzantine empire was eclipsed in popular imagination by its earlier Roman incarnation … Read more

Buried Treasures

Introduction Buried Treasures: Uncovering Hoards examines 8 of the 48 hoards held in part at the Barber Institute’s coin collection – from here you can explore the exhibition case by case. Unlike a lot of archaeology, hoards can be found by ordinary people, from builders to farmers, metal detectorists to divers. Similarly, the coins and … Read more

Buried Treasures

Uncovering Hoards Buried treasure – and the excitement of discovering it – lies at the heart of this fascinating exhibition exploring coin hoards. The Barber Institute’s collection contains coins from no fewer than 48 hoards, of which eight will be uncovered here. These include two caches unearthed in Britain: the Dorchester Hoard (pictured right), dug … Read more

Inheriting Rome

The Imperial Legacy in Coinage and Culture Look at one of the coins you’re carrying today: you’ll see the Queen’s portrait facing right and Latin script around the royal head. It seems our coins have looked this way forever – and that’s nearly true. But why? This exhibition uses money to explore and question our deep-seated familiarity with the Roman Empire’s imagery. Britain is … Read more

FAITH & FORTUNE

Visualising the divine on Byzantine and Early Islamic Coinage Epochal moments in the early histories of two of the world’s great religions – as illustrated by the currencies their followers created and circulated – are explored in this absorbing exhibition. Coins have always provided a stage on which the dramas of religion and politics, statehood … Read more