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 not the only nation, empire or state to channel ancient Rome in this way: the Barber’s excellent collection of coins from the Byzantine Empire – as well as examples from Hungary, Georgia and Armenia – illustrate both the problems and possibilities of being genuine heirs of Rome.

Attempting to uncover the political uses of Rome’s legacy, this exhibition encourages the visitor to ponder why we are so often told of the empire’s importance – and whose interests such imagery serves.

A most fascinating display of coinage and its symbolism and power – Jan, Birmingham

The Barber always delivers! Excellent. – Geoff and Lin, Leamington

A fascinating display – thoroughly enjoyed on my first visit to the Barber Institute – Michael Martin, Wiltshire

Brilliant! Fascinating! Well done to all those who put in the work to document each coin, your work has paid off beautifully! – Mike Alley, Selly Oak

As a history student, this is a particularly fascinating exhibition – Freddy, The Vale

I really enjoyed it! Thanks! – Ana, Spain

Until 24 April 2016

Coin Gallery



Sunday 17 January, 21 February, 20 March, 17 April 2.30pm