A coin that solved the mystery of a little-known Roman emperor
is going on display at a new exhibition.
The base silver coin, bearing the face of Emperor Domitianus,
was found by Brian Malin as he combed a field in Oxfordshire with a
Only one other such coin exists, showing the face of the man who
ruled Britain for just four days, but was dismissed as a hoax.
Mr Malin's coin is on exhibition at the British Museum in
Experts say his discovery proves the earlier coin, found in
France a hundred years ago, was genuine and that Domitianus did
The coin, estimated to be worth more than £10,000, goes on
display on Wednesday at the British Museum in London.
Historians believe Domitianus was briefly the Roman ruler of
Britain, an upstart from the legion who was ousted for treason for
daring to declare himself emperor and having the coins made.
Mr Malin, who has been searching for treasure with his metal
detector for more than fifteen years, found the coin in a field in
April last year, ten miles south-east of Oxford.
It was in a pot of 5,000 others, stuck together and also bearing
the heads of emperors.
Dating from AD 250 to about AD 275, they spanned five emperors
and a time of great upheaval for the Roman Empire.
Richard Abdy, Roman coin curator at the British Museum, said:
"The Roman empire was beginning to fray. Domitianus, it seems, ruled
in AD 271 and there was only one coin with his image [on it].