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Sanctuaires et sources

Olivier de Cazanove
John Scheid

Thesauri, hoards and votive deposits

Michael H. Crawford

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1One of the most conspicuous features of the archaeology of the Italian peninsula in the Hellenistic period is the discovery in association, in or near sanctuary sites, of coins and terracottas, complexes of material known as votive deposits. The general view of the latter is that when, for instance, someone deposited a terracotta foot, they did not expect themselves to get it back or anyone else to use it; and that such objects were displayed for a time and then buried or dumped. We shall see in a moment that there are other contexts in which coins occur as offerings, but, despite all the problems of evidence to which we shall come, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that coins sometimes followed the same path as terracottas. Coins in votive deposits are on the other hand distinguished from other objects by a combination of three factors, not otherwise found together: (1) they are not made in order to serve as votives, (2) they may be of high value, and (3) they are reusable. As far as (2) is concerned, even a single piece may be of high value, whether it is a silver didrachm or a currency bar (it really is time that people stopped calling such objects aes signatum, which is the Latin for struck bronze).

2The fact that coins in votive deposits are coins mean that they have to be analysed and understood - in part - against a general pattern of circulation of coinage in the area concerned, to be inferred from hoards, coins from excavations, stray finds, local collections, as well as votive deposits themselves. There is good evidence in peninsular Italy in the Hellenistic period, with which I shall mostly be concerned, for what circulated where and when, and one should not make inferences from absences at a particular time and place without knowing this evidence. An analysis of such circulation is of course a research project in itself, but understanding coins as votives cannot dispense with at any rate some consideration of the problem.

3One further preliminary point relates to the description of the material, namely the uselessness of “uncial” or “semuncial” as a tool of classification: the sextantal standard was officially adopted along with the denarius, in about 211 BC, the uncial standard perhaps with the retariffing of the denarius in 141 BC, the semuncial standard in 91 BC; but long before either the uncial or the semuncial standards were officially adopted, issues were produced of those weights, and the only way to date a coin is to identify the actual issue.

  • 1 A. Bammer (Appendix I), “A peripteros of the Geometric period in the Artemision of Ephesus”, AS, 40 (...)
  • 2 D. Waarsenburg and H. Maas, “Gods, men and money: reflections on a protohistoric bronze hoard from (...)
  • 3 See Appendix I; there is a brief general discussion by T. Hackens, “Favisae”, Études étrusco-italiq (...)

4Relatively unproblematic are coins used as foundation deposits, obviously inaccessible as long as the temple, statue, building or whatever remained standing. The earliest known case is that of the Artemision at Ephesus, where it seems to me perverse of Bammer to claim that the electrum coins, «among the sacrificial remains that were swept together and for reasons of piety, like a kind of ‘holy garbage’, tossed into the socle of the naiskos at the time of its constructions, were not also a foundation deposit1. A similar situation seems to be attested at Satricum, where an archaic bronze hoard was buried under the 540/530 BC temple of Mater Matuta2; Waarsenburg and Maas make the extremely interesting suggestion that the valuable material buried in this way was a tithe of the original total of offerings. The institution of foundation deposits then has a long history thereafter, including a couple of cases involving the walls of Latin colonies, through to the end of antiquity3.

  • 4 See Appendix II; G. Kaminski, JDAI, 106, 1991, p. 63-181, “Thesauros. Untersuchungen zum antiken Op (...)

5There is of course another context where coins may appear in a sanctuary, which is not the context of a votive deposit, namely the thesaurus. This typically consists of a cavity in a stone-built structure, with a slot through which coins are dropped into the cavity. Some twenty or so specimens are known, of a variety of forms, from the whole of peninsular Italy4.

  • 5 See in general U. Laffi, “La lex aedis Furfensis”, in La cultu-ra italica, Pisa, 1978, p. 121-44.
  • 6 See M. Crawford, Coinage and Money under the Roman Republic, London, 1985, p. 18; I no longer belie (...)

6It is at this point that archaeological and written evidence intersect, since a number of thesauri are epigraphically identified as such; and there is substantial other epigraphical and literary testimony. Coins in thesauri were evidently intended to be accessible for the use of the sanctuary: all the thesauri known to me would have been openable with varying degrees of difficulty. The Cippus Abellanus indeed specifically provides for such an eventuality, since it was agreed (Vetter 1; I give a Latin and English translation) that thesaurum, qui in eo territorio est, cum aperirent, communi sententia aperirent, et quidquid in eo thesauro quandoque exstat portionum alteram alteri caperent…, «when they opened the thesaurus, which is in that territory, they should open it by common agreement, and whatever at any time is in that thesaurus they should take a half share each…»; similarly at Furfo (ILLRP 508): quae pequnia recepta erit, ea pequnia emere, conducere, locare, dare, quo id templum melius hon-estius seit, liceto… quod emptum erit aere aut argento ea pequnia, quae pequnia ad id templum data erit «whatever money shall have been received, it is to be lawful to use that money to buy, hire, make a contract, assign, in order that that temple may become better equipped and more impressive… whatever has been bought with that money, bronze or silver, the money which has been given to that temple…»5; and Ch. LXXII of the Lex Coloniae Genetiuae Ursonensis (Roman Statutes, n°25) provides that pecunia which has been offered stipis nomine is to be used for its sacrifices and other purposes only by the temple to which the offering has been made. Such a rule was presumably in the mind of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, when he invented or transmitted the fictional claim (IV, 15, 4), that «for this sacrifice and festival (the Paganalia) he (Servius Tullius) ordered everyone from the same pagus to contribute a specified coin each…»6.

  • 7 For similar inscriptions from the Greek world, see R. Cantilena, M. Pellegrino, M. Satriano, “ Mone (...)
  • 8 J. Scheid, Commentarli Fratrum Arualium qui supersunt, Rome, 1998, nos. 100a, 26; 107, I, 12; 114, (...)
  • 9 G. Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer, Munich, 1912, p. 429.

7There is then a whole series of inscriptions that refer to the use of the stips or pecunia of a deity, for instance, ILLRP 39 (Rome, Asclepius, de stipe); 186 (Rome, Iuppiter Iurarius, de stipe); 717, 721 (= CIL, I2, 2948) (both Capua, Diana, de stipe; for the date of the latter, see M. Pobjoy, PBSR, 65, 1997, 59-88, “A new reading of the mosaic inscription in the temple of Diana Tifatina” (= AE 1997, 316); 189 (Aletrium, Iuppiter, pecunia); 271 (Tarricina, Venus, pecunia). The serui and magistri of Mens Bona at Cora simply record the sums they gave (ILLRP 225). The coins found in the thesaurus at Collepietro (Appendix II) included an as with Diouis / stipe engraved on it; and the as in Paris with Fortunai / stipe (ILLRP 114; see Appendix II) presumably had a similar origin7. The archaic word was perhaps stips, replaced by pecunia, a change referred to by Varro, LL V, 182:… etiam nunc diis cum thesauris asses dant stipem dicunt «…even now, when people give money to the gods, placing it in thesauri, they call it stips…» The object in which either was placed was the thesaurus: see also Seneca, Epist. 115, 5: (virtue) colitur autem non taurorum opimis corporibus contrucidatis nec auro argentoque suspenso nec in thensauros stipe infusa «but virtue is nurtured not by sacrificing the fattened bodies of bulls or by hanging up gold and silver as offerings or by placing a stips in a thesaurus…»; ILS 9260 (Lambaesis):… religiosi qui stipem ad Aescul[a]pium pon[e]re uolunt, in the-saurarium mittant, ex quibus aliquod donum Aesculapio fiat «…the pious who wish to offer a stips to Asclepius should place it in the thesaurarius, so that out of it a gift to Asclepius may be made…» Against this background, the terminology used by the Fratres Aruales, admittedly under Elagabalus and later, is anomalous, namely thesauros dare8. It is also curious that Wissowa suggested that stips meant “Geldopfer”, even while admitting that this distinction between stips and thesaurus did not work9.

8Deposits of coins in water as a sacred site might seem relatively unproblematic, since they were presumably often intended to be immobilised there and to be an “Opfer”: it may be that Suasa and the River Garigliano belong in this category, Monte Falterona, Collazzone, Vicarello and Valle dAnsanto certainly do (see Appendix III). In the case of the mass of coins from the R. Liri, it is unclear whether they form a votive deposit at a river crossing or whether they represent also or rather the coins and pseudo-coins lost in a river harbour. But coins deposited in water were not always immobilised: use was made at Narnia of the resources ex stipe quae ex lacu V[elino] (derived) (CIL, XI, 4123 = ILS 5446). One has an image of the priests wading into the lake in their green wellies.

9Votive deposits in caves, on the other hand, as at San Marino, Grotta Bella, Melezzole, and Rapino (see Appendix III), except in the case of coins deposited in a crack in a rock that was inaccessible, are one aspect of the general pattern of deposits of coins in sanctuaries, to which I now turn.

  • 10 P.G. Guzzo, “Doni preziosi agli dei”, in S. Adamo Muscettola and G. Greco, ed., I culti della Campa (...)
  • 11 M. R. Sanzi di Mino and A. R. Staffa, “Il santuario italico-romano della dea Feronia in località Po (...)
  • 12 Data rescued by C. Masseria, “... et Venerem et proelia destinat... (Hon Carm. III 13, 5). Riti di (...)

10The problem can be very simply posed, namely that almost without exception, as far as I know, our archaeological evidence comes from secondary deposits, after the coins and other votives had been removed from their original place of deposit (see also n. 1)10. Thus the finds at Pisaurum (see Appendix III) were made before the days of scientific recording; and the excavations of the sanctuary of Hercules Curinus, Sulmo, remain for all practical purposes unpublished. The sanctuary at Poggio Ragone, Loreto Aprutino, although destroyed by a landslide in antiquity and meticulously excavated in modern times, clearly had a great deal of material salvaged from it after the landslide11. A rare exception is a sanctuary at Bantia, though even there the excavation data leave much to be desired12. In and around an altar built from blocks of stone were found, along with two tiny fragments of pottery (probably present by accident; the “tail” of late coins is also worrying): Miniaturised and non-miniaturised metal objects; Glass beads; Bone ring; Fifth century didrachm of Metapontum; Fourth century didrachms of Neapolis, Velia, Thurii, Heraclea, Tarentum; 1 “Romano-Campanian” bronze; 1 Republican denarius and 7 Republican bronzes; 3 Imperial bronzes to Maximinus Thrax.

  • 13 See R. Cantilena et al. (n. 7), p. 67; 78, for a brave attempt to make sense of the original “repor (...)

11At Poseidonia-Paestum, votives cleared from their original location seem to have been placed in squares surrounded by low walls, described by the excavators as “loculi”13; it may be that the “cellars” containing terracottas reported at Nemi were somewhat similar (see Appendix III). And Gellius reports from Varro that the cellae and cisternae under the Area Capitolina, described as fauisae Capitolinae, contained not only old statues fallen from the temple of Jupiter, but also alia quaedam religiosa e donis consecratis, «certain other things that were religiosa from among the gifts consecrated» (II, 10, 1-4, going on to report the view of Q. Valerius Soranus that fauisae were what the Greeks called thesauri, where the servants of the temple kept old things that were religiosa).

12The nature of our evidence means that there is a very real question of whether differences in patterns of coin finds from one site to another are real differences. Thus the proportion of Minerva/Horse’s head ROMANO pieces in the early and recent excavations at Satricum (Appendix III) is quite different, which presumably results from the excavators having found dumps from different periods. I shall make a number of suggestions about differences in patterns; but the fragility of our evidential base should not be disguised.

13The questions to which we would like an answer seem to me to be six.

  • 14 R. Merkelbach, “Aurelia Artemisia aus Ephesos, eine geheilte Augenkranke”, Epigraphica Anatolica, 2 (...)
  • 15 Philopseudeis, 20; Dea Syria, 29; compare Clement, Protreptikos 2 (133); the exposition of J. Babel (...)
  • 16 Macrobius is talking of a mensa as an alternative to an ara: namque in fanis alia uasorum sunt et s (...)
  • 17 J. Scheid (n. 8), no. 100a, 26 (Elagabalus): item foras ad aram reuersi thesauros dederunt....

14(a) How were coins or groups of coins not in a thesaurus displayed, if indeed they were displayed? It is easy to see how bronze or terracotta statuettes and other votives could have been displayed, by being placed on shelves or by being hung from walls or beams, even if we do not have from Italy anything as explicit as the inscribed offering recently published by R. Merkelbach14: a bronze sheet representing two eyes, with a ring for hanging above and an inscription below, recording the prayer, its answer, and the dedication. A circular stand for a baby elephant and a Cerberus figure from Veii is a delightful example of such practices; a circular stand and figures in bronze is also known from Olympia. Seneca talks of suspending objects of gold and silver (see above); and both offering tables and suspension are attested at Poggio Ragone (n. 11). Lucian twice attests the offering of coins to statues15; and Macrobius III, 11, 6, talks of placing stipes on mensae16, the Commentarii of the Fratres Aruales of giving thesauri at altars17. In all such cases, the offerings were presumably collected by the cult personnal. But we are a long way either from explaining the volume of the Italian evidence or from understanding how the process worked.

15(b) What happened to coins when votives were taken off display and buried or dumped, where coins had indeed been on display? Isolated coins could obviously have been dumped by accident, but hardly groups. We cannot in any case suppose a general policy of recycling objects of value, since bronze statuettes are regularly part of votive deposits and will not have been buried or dumped by accident.

16(c) What are we to make of the difference between sanctuaries that have yielded a handful of coins and those that have yielded hundreds or thousands? Are we to suppose that in cases where few coins have turned up the excavators have simply not found that part of the site where the coins were buried or dumped? And are we to suppose that, although there can have been no universal practice of recovering objects of value, this happened in some cases, but isolated coins slipped through the net? It is a further complication that isolated coins could have been dropped by those responsible for clearing out votives, or indeed by casual passers-by.

17(d) What is the significance of those cases where vast quantities of coinage were offered and buried or dumped? It seems hard to suppose that at sites such as Carsóli or Nemi kilograms and kilograms of aes grave were buried or dumped in a fit of absent-mindedness. Despite all the uncertainties, I incline to suppose that not every site attracted coins in large quantities. Why did some do so? And why were vast quantities of coinage sometimes buried or dumped, when at other times coinage was systematically used for the purposes of the cult?

  • 18 I should like to thank Amalia Faustoferri for showing me the coins on Thursday 18 April 2002; the M (...)

18(e) Where a site has yielded large quantities of coinage, are many or most of the coins the result of groups of coins having been offered? It is extremely difficult for anyone familiar with the material, and with contemporary coin hoards, to look at the lists and the pictures of the coins from sites such as Gabii, Pietrabbondante, Campochiaro, or Timmari, without coming to the conclusion that the bulk of the material was deposited as a group or groups, in effect as a series of coin hoards, in the case of Campochiaro, for instance, one bronze hoard and two silver hoards. The discovery of Amalia Faustoferri at San Buono, a votive offering consisting of a sealed coarse-ware pot full of coins — 22 asses and one semis or triens — thus spectacularly confirms a long-held hypothesis18; nor is it likely that such a pot will have been buried or dumped by accident, since the weight would surely have alerted those handling it to the situation.

19The discovery at San Buono also invites reconsideration of a tantalising sixteenth-century discovery at Firmum Picenum, for which it is necessary to go back to the original manuscript source, namely M. Smet, Leiden, Universiteitsbibliothek, MS BP1, p. 61 (the version in Naples, Biblioteca Nazionale, MS V.E.4, f. 95, is abbreviated):…reperta est urna terrea, in qua erant numi argentei uariorum uultu-um, pondo assium IVS. Et tabella aenea, priore parte sic inscripta, L. PESSENIVS… Ibidem, altera tabella aerea in simili urna reperta fuit et cum ea monetae aheneae (not moneta ahenea, as in the ed. 1588, f. XXV r) pondo assium CCCLXX cum hac inscrip-tione, TERENTIO…, «…an earthenware urn was found, in which there were silver coins of various types, weighing four and a half asses. Also a bronze tablet, inscribed as follows on the front: L. PESSENIVS… In the same place, another bronze tablet was found on a similar urn, and with it bronze coins weighing 370 asses, with this inscription: TERENTIO…» The inscriptions on the tablets are CIL, IX 5350 = ILS 3188 = I2, 1920 = ILLRP 232:

20L. Pescenius T.f.

21Mircurio dono dedit mereto

22(Added later on the back: sacra Ioui Stigio (= Vergil, Aen. IV, 638))

23and CIL, IX 5351 = ILS 6132 = I2 383 = Ritschl XCVII = ILLRP 593:

24L. Terentio (s) L.f.

25C. Aprufenio (s) C.f. L. Turpilio (s) C.f.

26M. Albani (os) L.f.

27T. Munatio (s) T.f.


29aire moltaticod


31We are dealing with groups of 200-300 Republican denarii and of 2000-3000 asses, apparently given as groups to the sanctuary, and in the case of the silver coins opened up and rededicated. Yet surely both groups were originally intended to be available for the needs of the sanctuary if required.

32One can go on to suggest that coins given as groups to sanctuaries will also often have been contained in purses or pouches of leather or other perishable material. Pots, purses or pouches full of coins could obviously have stood or been hung like other votives. I note in passing that coins from votive deposits should no longer be treated as isolated finds for the purpose of studies of coin circulation; and that to the difficulty which already existed of distinguishing between coins offered and coins dropped is added that of distinguishing between a hoard offered to a sanctuary and a hoard independently buried there in a perishable container, or indeed a nucleus which had been the contents of a thesaurus.

33(f) Is any chronological pattern detectable? In general terms, coins as votives appear first in Magna Graecia, then elsewhere in the course of the third century BC. The spread of the practice in fact mirrors the spread of coinage. Three further features of the material strike one. First, there is relatively little material of Imperial date. Were coins in this period systematically recycled? The evidence of the finds from Vicarello suggests not. But it might still be the case that there was an increasing tendency to recycle coinage. Second, in terms both of number of pieces and of value, the bulk of the material is before 200 BC. Do thesauri take over from undifferentiated deposits as the destination of offerings of coins? And why, although thesauri were clearly made so as to be openable and the contents removable, were so many of them abandoned with their contents intact? Finally, in part as a consequence of the date of the bulk of the material, bronze preponderates over silver; as so often, Cicero provides an idealising representation of actual practice (de leg. II, 22 (compare 45)): auri, argenti, eboris sacrandi modus esto.

34Our needs are really quite simple: a sanctuary buried at the height of its activity by a landslide or a volcanic eruption, in such a way that nothing could be rescued at the time, discovered by the archaeologists before the clandestini, properly excavated, and published.


Appendix I. Foundation Deposits

Artemision, Ephesos

E. S. G. Robinson, “The coins from the Ephesian Artemision reconsidered”, JHS, 71, 1951, p. 156-167; IGCH 1153; A. Bammer, “A peripteros of the Geometric period in the Artemision of Ephesus”, AS, 40, 1990, 137-60, = (more or less) “Les sanctuaires des viiie et viie siècles à l’Artemision d’Éphèse”, RA, 1991, p. 63-83,; St. Karwiese, “The Artemisium hoard and the first coins of Ephesus”, RBN, 137, 1991, p. 1-28, (without the latest archaeological evidence) - temple: before c. 560.


IGCH 1789; D. Stronach, “The “Apadana”. A signature of the line of Darius I”, in De l’Indus aux Balkans. Recueil à la mémoire de J. Deshayes, Paris, 1985, p. 439-45, - stone boxes with tablets of Darius: after 500.


O. Broneer, “Excavations at Isthmia, 1954”, Hesp. 24, 1955, p. 110-41, part. p. 135-136 = IGCH 11 -temple: early fifth century.


H. Payne, Perachora I, Oxford, 1940, p. 108 - statue of Hera Akraia: c. 400


in Museo Nazionale (stater as HN3 2163) - in wall betwen cella and opisthodomos of Vigna Nuova temple: c. 350.


IGCH 1288 – temple: c. 300.


P. R. Franke, “Inschriftliche und numismatische Zeugnisse fur die Chronologie des Artemis-Tempels zu Sardis”, MDAIA, 76, 1961, p. 197-208, part. p. 203-7; C. Boehringer, Zur Chronologie mittelhel-lenistischer Münzserien 220-160 v. Chr., Berlin, 1966, p. 68-9 - statue of Artemis: late third/early second century.


T. V. Buttrey et al., Morgantina Studies II, Princeton, 1989, p. 158 - wall in North Sanctuary Annex: c. 275.


K. L. Regling, Die Münzen von Priene, Berlin, 1927, p. 9; J.C. Carter, The Sculpture of the Sanctuary of Athena Polias at Priene, London, 1983, p. 231 - statue of Athena: early second century.


E. Hansen and C. Le Roy, “Au Létôon de Xanthos: les deux temples de Léto”, RA, 1976, p. 317-36, part. p. 321-5 - Temple A (Leto): c. 150-125 (information from Jacques des Courtils).

Tel Beer-Sheba

Y. Aharoni, “Excavations at Tel Beer-Sheba… 1973-1974”, Tel Aviv 2, 1975, p. 146-68, - wall of temple (3 silver coins of Demetrius II of 129, 128, 127): after 127.


T. V. Buttrey et al., Morgantina Studies II, Princeton, 1989, p. 171 - macellum: c. 125.


H. H. Gorringe, Egyptian Obelisks, New York, 1882, p. 72-3 (four bronze coins of Cleopatra) - obelisk: Augustus.


G. Riccio, “Asse fuso dell’antica Luceria...”, Poliorama Pittoresco, 14, 1852-3, p. 215-16, (as with C.MODIO CR.F L.PVLIO L.F) – «Dopo che ebbi pubblicata nel 1846 la monografia delle monete dell’antica zecca di Luceria… facendosi alcuni restauri alla porta dell’attuale Città di Lucera, che conduce verso Troja, appellata perciò porta di Troja, a venti palmi circa di profondità, si rinvenne il tanto desiderato ed atteso asse Lucerino col cavallo intero…» (the drawing and description of the coin are inaccurate (see E. j. Haeberlin, Aes Grave, Frankfurt a. M., 1910, pp. 182-3, no. 5), and Riccio never indeed claims to have seen the coin itself; but there is no particular reason to doubt the report of the discovery): c. 300 BC.


j. Ortalli, “Le mura coloniali di Ariminum e il deposito monetale con semuncia e “testa di Gallo””, Etudes Celtiques, 27, 1990, p. 103-18; implausibly opting for pre-colonial Roman building activity; HN3, p. 17 (one cast semuncia of Ariminum and two struck bronzes of Ariminum) - in the fill of the trench in the angle between the wall and a tower: after 268 BC.


R Zaccagni, Archeologia Laziale 1, 1978, p. 44 (see Appendix III) (aes grave) - altar: third century


M. H. Crawford, Coin Hoards 9, London, 2001, p. 269-70 (oval sextans) - altar in sanctuary in necropolis of Cannicella: third century.


F. Zevi, in Roma Medio-Repubblicana, Rome, 1973, p. 361; F. Zevi et al., NSc, 1978 Supp., p. 7 – building: late third century.

San Giovanni in Galdo

A. di Niro, in Sannio. Pentri e Frentani dal VI al I sec. a. C, Rome, 1980, p. 274 - temple: second century BC.

Milionia”, east of Opi

L. A. Lanzi, Saggio di lingua etrusca… II.2, Rome, 1789, p. 619-621 with pl. XVI, 2-3 = III2, Florence, 1825, p. 533-535 with pl. XVI, 2-3 (Mommsen, Die unteritalische Dialekten, Leipzig, 1850, p. 345-6; CIL, I2, 392, pp. 739, 882; CIL, IX, 3808; ILLRP 283 with add.; Vetter 228b; C. Letta, I Morsi e il Fucino nell’antichità, Milan, 1972, p. 115-116; C. Letta and S. D’Amato, Epigrafia della regione dei Marsi, Milan, 1975, p. 350), «Trovata ne’ Marsi vicino a Milionia. N’ebbe copia il Sig.Ab. D. Marino Tomasetti, che me l’ha gentilmente comunicata. Da lui pure ho notizia che sotto la lapida si trovasse un mattonato, ove erano sette monete di conj diversi e in oltre una lancia da un lato, un pugnale dall’altro. Alla lapida era sovrapposta una colonetta quadrata alta quasi due palmi, con un anello di bronzo nella sommità. Ossa, o altro indizio di sepolcro non vi si vide - votive «colonetta»: perhaps second century BC.

Plane A

A. j. Parker, Ancient Shipwrecks of the Mediterranean and the Roman Provinces, Oxford: BAR, 1992, no. 819 (bronze coin of Tarraco) - mast of ship: second century BC.

Chrétienne A

A. j. Parker, no. 302 (bronze coin of Cossyra) - mast of ship: second century BC.

Cavalière, Le Lavandou

A. j. Parker, no. 282 - mast of ship: c. 100 BC.

Cap del Vol

A. j. Parker, no. 186 - mast of ship: no details available, cargo perhaps 25-0 BC.


j. D. Bateson, “A Flavian hoard from Scotland: a foundation deposit?”, NC, 150, 1990, p. 233-6, -«…within the fill at the western end of the construction trench of the front wall of the principia…»: 45 denarii to AD 78.

Capitol, Rome

Tacitus, Hist IV, 53, 4, passimque iniectae fundamentis argenti aurique stipes et metallorum primitiae – temple: AD 79.

London, Blackfriars

P. R. V. Marsden, A Ship of the Roman Period from Blackfriars, London, 1967, p. 36 (as of Domitian, rev. Fortuna, RIC 371) - mast of ship: Domitian.

Calanque de lÂne

A. J. Parker, no. 158 - mast of ship: Domitian.


A. j. Parker, no. 874 - mast of ship: Constantine.


G. Paul, “Die Anastylose des Tetrapylons”, in C. Roueche and R. R. R. Smith, ed., Aphrodisias papers 3, JRA suppl. 20, Ann Arbor, 1996, p. 201-213, part. 208 n. 11 - column base of the Tetrapylon as rebuilt in the fourth century AD.

Appendix II. Thesauri in Peninsular Italy

I list thesauri in the sense of “Opferstock”, Type 3 in L. Ziehen, RE VIA, “Greek Θησαυρóς, 1936, p. 1-7, supplementing and correcting the list in F. Catalli and J. Scheid, “Le thesaurus de Sora”, RN, 3e sér, 36, 1994, p. 55-65.


Torchiarolo = Valesium

G. Marzano, “Di un tesoro di monete greche e di un santuario a Valesio”, Ricerche e Studi, Museo “Francesco Ribezzo”, Brindisi, 1, 1964, p. 45-51 (photo): 300 m north of the city walls, beside a well, an underground chamber composed of slabs of stone, with a slot between the two upper slabs, above a “grosso vaso di argilla” placed in a cavity in the slab forming the base. Coins from thesaurus (1926): RRCH 11 = IGCH 1977-8.

Saturo = Satyrion (Tarentum)

D. Graepler, “In margine alla mostra itinerante “Luogo di ritrovamento sconosciuto. Scavi clandestini distruggono il patrimonio archeologico””, in P. Pelagatti ed., Antichità senza provenienza, BdA Supp. 89-90, 1995, p. 63-72, figs. 14-15: near a sanctuary, a thesaurus in the form of a well, with cover (see F. G. Lo Porto, “La documentazione archeologica in Puglia”, in Atti Magna Grecia XVII, 1978, p. 495-504, part. p. 499-500, for a hoard of fourth century gold and silver coins, jewellery and a cameo, from nearby).

Strongoli = Petelia, Contrada Pianette

NSc, 1881, p. 67: «…tra macerie di antiche mura si rinvennero alcuni vasi fittili a vernice nera, ed un piccolo busto virile di bronzo col capo coperto di berretto frigio…»

Coins «entro un pignattino»:


1 AE of Metapontum

1 AE of Hipponium

8 AE of Brettii

1 AE of Nuceria

8 AE of Petelia

1 AE of Mamertini

1 uncertain as

3 uncertain semisses

1 denarius of Sex. Pompeius

1 denarius of M. Cato Pro Pr

1 bronze of Pius

A trickle of coins going from the third century BC to the second century AD cannot be a hoard; the original structure may have resembled the one at Torchiarolo.


Roma (Catalli and Scheid 1)

Flat round stone lid, with circular hole.

Present location: Oxford, Ashmolean Museum

Inscription (Orelli 1612 = CIL, VI, 294 = ILS 3464),

around hole, on inside:

Herculi Libero Siluano

on outside:

diis Sanctis Ti. Iulius Alexander d.d.

La Magliana

Recherches archéologiques à La Magliana 2 (forthcoming).


Praeneste (Catalli and Scheid 8)

Square pyramid with hollow on top, presumably for

vessel as offering.

Inscription (G. B. de Rossi, Bull.Inst., 1876, p. 37 = CIL, XIV, 2854), on side:

[p]ro salut. F(ortunae ) P(rimigeniae ) Pr(aenestinae)

C Caesaris thes.i(mpensa) s(ua)

Aug.Germ. Q. Cosidius Tertius

et reditu d. d.

It is extremely doubtful if we have to do with a thesaurus: the object itself is certainly not one, but rather a base for an offering; and E.Q. Visconti understood the text as reading thesis = “offering”. Catalli and Scheid 7, citing CIL, XIV, 2858, is a doublet.

Lanuvium (Catalli and Scheid 6)

Flat circular stone lid, with hole.

Inscription (CIL, XIV, 4177 (drawing)), around hole:

Q. Labe. Q.f. Ioui Beono


D. Nonnis, “Un “Thesaurus” iscritto d’età repubblicana di Anagni”, RPAA, 67, 1994-5, p. 153-165: Hollow column forming upper half of thesaurus, with hole in top, bronze cover missing. Present location: Museo Lapidario, Cattedrale di Anagni

Inscription (ILLRP 721 ):

L. Metiliu[s?.] f.

P. Gauius P. f.


P(ecunia) Venerus

Santopadre (Near Arpinum)

(Catalli and Scheid 9)

A. Sogliano, NSc, 1896, p. 370-1; G. Pierleoni, Arpinum 1, 1912, p. 5-14; G. Pierleoni, NSc, 1913, p. 448-9; M. Rizzello, I santuari della media valle del Uri IV-I sec. a.C., Sora, 1980, p. 73-7; R. Vitale, in La monetazione romano-campana II, 248 (incomplete bibliography): «in un fondo del Sig. Gaetano Notargiacomo, denominato Morrone Pelato, in contrada Sant’Amasio» (G. Pierleoni), near pavement of cocciopesto, near dump of votives, two joining blocks, each hollowed out at join. Present location: Museo Nazionale di Napoli??? Coins from thesaurus (RRCH 559):

2 AE with Minerva/Horse’s head ROMANO

3 uncertain AE

116 struck AE of the denarius system to C. Antestius

Fregellae, Sanctuary of Asclepius

(Catalli and Scheid 4)

F. Coarelli, Fregellae II (Perugia, 1986), p. 36 (figures and photos): thesaurus in the form of a well, with cover.

Fregellae, City

G. Colasanti, Fregellae, Rome, 1906, p. 101-2; F. Coarelli, Fregellae. La storia e gli scavi, Rome, 1981, p. 41: lower of two joining blocks intact, upper block broken, each hollowed out at join; the lower block is still in existence, the drainhole is presumably post-Roman (compare Beneventum).

Sora (Catalli and Scheid 11)

F. Catalli and J. Scheid, RN, 6e série, 36, 1994, p. 66-75, “Le thesaurus de Sora” (photos): two joining blocks, each hollowed out at join, together forming hemisphere at top, with bronze cover, beside podium of temple

Present location; Sora (bronze cover: Museo Civico di Frosinone)

Inscription, on bronze cover:

Sex. Curfidius C.f.


M. Caesius L.f.

Mineruae p(ondo) XXS::

d.s.s. f.c.

Coins from thesaurus: 1 denarius (RRC 282/4)

1 dupondius of Caligula

45 asses and imitations, 3 halves of asses, down to Caligula, Catalli and Scheid argue that this is material deposited over a relatively short period, perhaps a year; and certainly all of it could have been in circulation under Caligula; earlier material could only have been extracted by taking the thesaurus to pieces.

The weight is that of the bronze cover.

S. Vittore del Lazio (near casinum)

(Catalli and Scheid 10)

A. Giannetti, “Mura ciclopiche in S. Vittore del Lazio… probabile identificazione del sito dell’antica Aquilonia”, RAL, 28, 1973, p. 101-12, part. p. 110-11: two joining blocks, each hollowed out at join, with hole in upper block.


Pettino (near amiternum)

(Catalli and Scheid 13)

Bullettino dell’Instituto di Corrispondenza Archeologica, 1859, p. 116 = CIL, IX, 4325 = CIL, I2, 1856 = ILLRP 532 = CIL, I2, 4, p. 1049 (photo): hollow column, lid missing.

Present location: Museo Nazionale dell’Aquila

Inscription, on front:

L. Pomponius St.f.

P. Saluienus Tit.f.

mag. coir.

Collepietro (near superaequum)

G. Pansa, BCAR, 1906, p. 224 = CIL, I2, 2484 =

ILLRP 191: thesaurus, discovered “spezzandosi un grosso macigno, vuoto nell’interno, in cui le monete erano contenute come in un salvadanaio”.

Coins from thesaurus:

Didrachms of Neapolis

Asses, including one with



Compare ILLRP 114 = P.-P. Bourlier, Baron d’Ailly, Recherches sur la monnaie romaine, Lyon, 1864-9, pl. LIV, p. 12:



on an as of unknown provenance.

Beneventum, Sant’Agostino

(Catalli and Scheid 11 bis)

NSc 1904, p. 111 = A. Degrassi, MAL, 1967, p. 43-6 = SV III, p. 141-4, figs. 25-7 = CIL, V-, 3193 (photo): hollow column, with cuttings for three clamps for bronze cover (the drain-hole is presumably post-Roman, contra Degrassi, since it is hard to suppose that coins would in fact have gone out through it, compare Fregellae, City; but it is quite unreasonable with G. Kaminski (n. 4), 67 n. 20, to deny that the object is a thesaurus and to understand t(esserar-ius)).

Present location: Museo del Sannio.

Inscription, on side:


M. Vrsius M.f.

t(hesaurum ) d(ono) d(edit ) l(ibens ) m(erito)

Monte Pallano, San Mauro Vecchio

(= Pallanum (?))

L. Cuomo and A. Pellegrino, Il problema di Monte

Pallano, Documenti di Antichità Italiche e Romane,

VIII, Chieti, 1976, p. 30-1, Tav. 17; A. Cicchitti et al.,

Monte Pallano, Lanciano, 1996, p. 38-40, Tav. 1,

Fig. 2: rectangular cavity in the rock, presumably to

be covered by stone lid

Present location: Monte Pallano.

Note that “il “thesaurus” dell’eventuale tempio alla

Torretta”, A. Cicchitti et al., p. 44, does not exist

(information from E. Bispham).

Carpineto della Nora = Decem Pagi

(Catalli and Scheid 14)

ILLRP 1271c = A. La Regina, Ricerche sugli insediamenti vestini, Rome, 1968, p. 413-14 (photos) = (AE 1968, 150) = R. Marinucci, “Iscrizioni del Museo Nazionale di Chieti”, RAL, 28, 1973, p. 497-512, part. p. 506-7 = CIL, I2, 3269: rectangular chest, lid missing.

Present location: Museo Nazionale di Chieti.

Inscription, on side:

[I]ouei Victorei decem

paagorum restituendum

coiraue {raue} runt heisce,

T. Pompullius L.f., V. Auidius V.f.,

L. Peticius V.f., V. Firuius Tit.f.


M. Matteini Chiari, L’Italia dei Sanniti, Rome, 2000, p. 284: square thesaurus lid with slot.

57 coins



G. Ciampoltrini, “Un thesauros di Luni (CIL, XI

1343)”, Athenaeum, 81, 1993, p. 642-4, (photos):

hollow column, bronze cover missing.

Present location: Museo Archeologico di Firenze.

Inscription, on side, c. 100 BC:

C. Caluius Cf.

T. Lurius T.f IIuir (i)

Ameria (Catalli and Scheid 18)

CIL, XI, 4398 = G. Asdrubale Pentiti, Supp. It. 18

(2000), p. 231: hollow block, “cavum emissarium” on the right-hand side.

Inscription, on side:

T. Roscius T.f. Autuma (ma in ligature)

IIIIuir iter

de sua pecunia dat thesaur(um)

p(ondo ) LXXV

The weight is presumably that of a bronze cover (compare Sora).

Ferentillo (near Interamna Nahars)

(Catalli and Scheid 17)

NSc 1876, p. 36 = Bullettino dell’Instituto di Corrispondenza Archeologica, 1876, p. 36 = 1879, p. 9 = CIL, XI 4988 = CIL, I 2104 = ILLRP 1273 = Imagines 128 = R. Cordella and N. Criniti, Nuove iscrizioni latine di Norcia, Cascia e Valnerina, Spoleto, 1988, p. 190: stone block with depression to be covered by bronze lid and “cavum emissarium” on the right-hand side (but compare Fregellae, City, and Beneventum).

Present location: Ferentillo

Inscription, on front:

P. Crastinus P.f Paulus

C. Tittienus Q.f. Macer

tesaurum f(aciendum) c(urauerunt)

Morrovalle = Vicus Cluentensis

(Catalli and Scheid 16)

CIL, IX 5803 (drawing) = ILS 3213 = CIL, I2, 1928 (drawing) = ILLRP 49 = A. Degrassi (s.v. Beneventum) (photos); L. Gasperini, “Spigolature epigrafiche marchigiane, IV. Sul “thesaurus” iscritto tardo-repubblicano da S. Lucia di Morrovalle (MC)”, Picus, 3, 1983, p. 7-21; U. Moscatelli, “Sulla localizzazione del fanum Apollinis presso Morrovalle (Macerata)”, Picus, 4, 1984, p. 169-78: hollow column and flat circular stone lid, with slot, found in 1878 near «Fosso delle Cervare, che sbocca nel confine tra Macerata e Morrovalle, a poca distanza dalla Badia di San Claudio, prossima alle pianure del Chienti, in contrada Santa Lucia, in un terreno posseduto anticamente dalle monache di Osimo, ed ora acquistato dalla famiglia Emiliani di Monte Lupone» (NSc, 1880, p. 222-3).

Present location: Morrovalle.

Inscription, around slot:

Maxima Nasia Cn.f. Apoline dat

Coin hoards from the same area, not necessarily from the thesaurus, contra Degrassi:

(a) 1848 (NSc, 1880, p. 222-3): «Nella primavera del 1848, in questo stesso luogo [near Fosso delle Cervare], ove ora si è discoperto il monolite cilindrico, molte monete consolari di argento vi furono rinvenute…»

(b) 1964 (S. Sorda, “Ripostigli di monete romane repubblicane nel Museo Nazionale di Ancona”, AIIN, 12-14, 1965-7, p. 85-118, part. p. 109-18, Ripostiglio di Morrovalle): «nella proprietà della Contessa E. Lazzarini, in contrada Montanari»: 131 denarii out of about 1, 000 down to C. Considius Paetus.


CIL, I2 3293 (photo): hollow column forming upper

half of thesaurus, with hole in top and slots for

clamps to bottom half.

Inscription, on side:

P. Au [f]ilius P.f.

C. Magius M.f.



CIL, XI 6307: two blocks held together by a clamp at the top, with a cavity between and a hole at the top.

Present location: Museo Oliveriano di Pesaro Inscription, on front:





Rome, Janiculum

Chr. Hülsen, “Der Hain der Furrina am Janiculum”, MDAIR, 22, 1907, p. 225-54, part. p. 233-237 = IGUR 109 (see Catalli and Scheid, p. 61 n. 7).

Via Tiberina

S. L. Cesano, NSc, 1942, p. 383-95: a hole in virgin soil below the centre of a pavement, 3. 00 x 4. 50 m, made up of five slabs by three slabs, each 0. 50 x 1. 50 m, discovered by the army in 1941; does the slot in the pavement mean that it was a thesaurus? Were the coins re-buried as a foundation deposit? Present location of the coins: Museo Nazionale Romano

Aes rude

Early bars

Currency bars

Libral + semilibral aes grave

26 struck AE

Ostia (Catalli and Scheid 3)

CIL, XIV p. 610 n. 25 = I2, 2440 (photo) = ILLRP 204 = Imagines 98: block with depression, for vessel as offering, or conceivably for bronze arca or to be covered by bronze lid.

Present location: Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum

Inscription, on side: No. Ofalius No.f. q. pro sed et familia soua Leibero donum dat meret(o)

Tibur (Catalli and Scheid 5)

CIL, XIV 3679 = Inscriptiones Italiae IV, I, 188 (mis-cited in Catalli and Scheid 5) = Sherk 57:… uti per-mitte[retur] ei basim marmo[ream sua i]mpensa omni sub thens[auro] Herculis et Augus[ti porta] Esquilina ponere…

The reference may be to placing a marble base down the slope from a thesaurus which was a building, rather than underneath an “Opferstock”, which one would expect to have been solidly anchored already.

Lecce nei Marsi, loc. Castelluccio

(Catalli and Scheid 12)

CIL, IX 3812 = I2, 390 = ILLRP 266: block with depression, for vessel as offering, or conceivably for bronze arca or to be covered by bronze lid. Inscription, on side:

V. Vetius Sa.f.


d(onum ) d(at) l(ibens) m(erito)

Sulmo, Sanctuary of Hercules Curinus

A. La Regina, in EAA, s.v. Sulmona, whence Forma Italiae IV, I, p. 250 (p. 249 in Catalli and Scheid 15). The find is of “un piccolo Θησαυρóς, in the sense of a building, “entro il quale si sono rinvenuti i doni votivi con le relative basi”.

Ariminum (Catalli and Scheid 19)

G.V. Gentili, “Nota su due nuovi monumenti epigrafici: una dedica da Rimini ed un epitaffio da Voghenza”, Epigraphica, 38, 1976, pp. 51-8, (photos): block with depression, for vessel as offering, or conceivably for bronze arca or to be covered by bronze lid.

Inscription, on side:

M. Arrecinus M.f. […]

Clemens leg. III Cyren(aicae)

et leg. XXII, praef.fabr. IIuir IIIuir aug.

Appendix III. Votive Deposits with Coins

B(accho ) et S(iluano ) u.s.l.m.

I here give a summary account of those deposits discussed in the text; I hope shortly to place a provisional list on the web-site of “Inventaire des lieux de culte en Italie”.

Suasa, from the River Cesano

G. Geronzi, RassNum, 27, 1930, p. 363-5:

Gold dumps, bronze ornaments + tools, iron tools

Uncia of Tuder

2 AE of Ariminum and Rhegium

16 AR and AE of the denarius system

9 AR and AE from Augustus to Theodoric

River Garigliano

Report of the Cambridge Illyricum Expedition, Pulborough, 1968; B.W. Frier, A. Parker, NC, 130, 1970, p. 89-109; W.E. Metcalf, NC, 134, 1974, p. 42-52; L. Houghtalin, NC, 145, 1985, p. 67-81 (whence R. Vitale, in La monetazione romano-campana II, Rome, 1998, p. 250-1); S.R. Ruegg, Underwater Excavations at Roman Minturnae, Jonsered, 1995; G.R. Bellini ed., Minturnae Antiquarium. Monete dal Garigliano, I-VI, 1996-2001:

Many thousands of coins, covering almost the whole of antiquity; earlier hypotheses are of votive offerings at the crossing-point of the Via Appia or of dumps of rubbish, happening to include coins, from the town of Minturnae (improbable, given the chronological span of the finds); another possibility, which does not exclude the first, might be of losses in a very busy river harbour. Many of the imitations published in a series of studies by C. Stannard come illegally from the same site.

Monte Falterona

1838-9, from “il lago della Ciliegeta” (for the first accounts of the discovery, Gazzetta di Firenze, 2 July 1838, n° 79 (non uidi); F. Inghirami, A.M. Migliarini, “Scavi della Falterona”, Bullettino dell’Instituto di Corrispondenza Archeologica, 1838, p. 65-70; and, in general, see A.M. Fortuna, F. Giovannoni, Il lago degli Idoli, Florence, 1989; F.M. Vanni, in Ricognizioni archeologiche sul territorio comunale di Stia, Stia, 1985, p. 63-70.

Carta archeologica d’Italia, 107, Monte Falterona, Forence 1929, p. 18, n° 4; C. Beni, “La grande stipe votiva di Falterona”, Atti e Memorie dell Accademia Toscana… Colombaria, 1929-30, p. 289-311 (C. Beni was a descendant of the original “excavator”, and cites also reports sent to the Direzione delle RR Gallerie, Florence):

Bronze statuettes (most sold to the British Museum); weapons

Coins: Janus/not described

Wheel/Anchor quincussis (see also G. Micali, Monumenti inediti a illustrazione della storia degli antichi popoli italiani, Florence, 1844, p. 88-90. 3 or 4 not identifiable

E. Braun, Bullettino dell’Instituto di Corrispondenza Archeologica, 1842, p. 178-84; E. Braun, Annali dell’Instituto di Corrispondenza Archeologica, 1843, p. 346-66 (review of Micali), at p. 354-5; A. Gennarelli, La moneta primitiva e i monumenti dell’Italia antica, Rome, 1843, p. 93-4:

About 1000 pieces of Aes rude and some fragments of currency bars

F. M. Vanni, “Tutela ed acquisizioni di monete etrusche a Firenze nell’ultima epoca granducale”, in Sec.Cong.Int.Etr. Atti II, Rome, 1989, p. 1125-33, part. p. 1126-7:

Aes rude

Anchor/Wheel quincussis

Anchor/Wheel as

Semis of the heavy Dioscuri/Mercury series

Quadrans of the librai Prow series

Semilibrai sextans Imperial coins

Collazzone, in a spring

M. Bergamini Simoni, “Rinvenimenti monetali inediti nel territorio di Todi”, in G. Bonamente, F. Coarelli ed., Assisi e gli Umbri nell’antichità, Atti del convegno internazionale, Assisi, 1996, p. 45-104, part. p. 63-4:

Over 400 bronze coins from Domitian to Marcus Aurelius

Vicarello, in a hot spring

G. Marchi, P. Tessieri, L’aes grave del Museo Kircheriano, Rome, 1839: reviewed by G. Riccio, Poliorama Pittoresco, 15, 1853-4, p. 43-5, 48; W. Henzen, RhM, 9, 1854, p. 20-36; P.-P. Bourlier, Baron d’Ailly, Recherches sur la monnaie romaine, I-IV, Lyon, 1864-9, passim; E.J. Haeberlin, Aes grave, Frankfurt, 1910, passim (the accounts of Marchi, Tessieri and of Henzen overlap with each other; both overlap with those of d’Ailly and Haeberlin (both arranged by issue) and all with those of Cesano, Panvini Rosati, Balbi de Caro (Museo Nazionale Romano) and Michelini Tocci (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana);

S.L. Cesano, “Della circolazione dell’aes grave in Italia”, AIIN, 1, 1913, p. 47-82, part. 73-82; A.M. Colini, “La stipe delle Acque salutari di Vicarello. Notizie sul complesso della scoperta”, RPAA, 40, 1967-8, p. 35-56; F. Panvini Rosati, “Monete della stipe di Vicarello nel Museo Nazionale Romano”, RPAA, 40, 1967-8, p. 57-74; L. Michelini Tocci, “Monete della stipe di Vicarello nel Medagliere Vaticano” RPAA, 40, 1967-8, p. 75-81; L. Gasperini, “Gli Etruschi e le sorgenti termali”, in Etruria meridionale. Conoscenza, conservazione, fruizione, Viterbo, 1985, p. 27-35; S. Balbi de Caro, “Due serie in bronzo alla leggenda ROMANO dal deposito votivo di Vicarello”, RIN, 90, 1988, p. 83-124; R. Vitale, in La monetazione romano-campana, II, p. 225-8; 313:

Coins down to the issue of Sex. Pompeius RRC 235

Imperial coins

Valle D’ansanto

V. M. Santoli, De Mephiti et uallibus Anxanti libri tres, Naples, 1783:

Coins of Cumae, Nola, Neapolis, anonymous of Fistelia (over 100), Telesia (?), Teanum Apulum, Taras, Thurii, Velia, Caulonia, Locri, Rome

A. Stazio, “L’apporto delle monete ad un problema di archeologia: il santuario di Mefite nella Valle d’Ansanto”, AIIN, 1, 1954, p. 24-38; A. Stazio, “Rapporti fra Pompei ed Ebusus”, AIIN, 2, 1955, p. 33-57, part. 43 n. 4; A. Bottini, S. Isnenghi Colazzo, I. Rainini, “Valle d’Ansanto”, NSc, 1976, p. 359-524;

C. Grella, “Nuove immissioni monetali nel Museo di Avellino”, AIIN, 30, 1983, p. 161-80, part. p. 165-70; I. Rainini, Il santuario di Mefite in Valle d’Ansanto, Rome, 1985; I. Rainini, “Terrecotte votive della Collezione Zigarelli nel Museo Provinciale di Avellino” Ann.Fac.Lett.Perugia, 24, 1986-7, p. 185-229; C. Grella, “Rinvenimenti monetali della Valle d’Ansanto-Mefite e di S. Felicità…”, AIIN, 37, 1990, p. 239-57; R. Vitale, in La monetazione romano-campana, II, p. 276-9 (incomplete bibliography): Greek, “Romano-Campanian”, Roman aes graue, Republican, Imperial coins

San Marino

D. Giorgetti ed., Le radici del Titano: materiali archeologici dal santuario della “Tanaccia” a San Marino, San Marino, 1995:

Bronze statuettes 450-350 BC; terracotta votives; terracotta statuettes; pottery (dates as coins); tiles (BC/AD) Massalia AE

Neapolis AE = Taliercio Mensitieri, pl. XVI, 46-7

Semilibral semuncia

Republican and Imperial coins from 211 BC to Titus Imperial coins from AD 250 to 392

Grotta Bella

D. Monachi, “Nota sulla stipe votiva di Grotta Bella”, SE, 54, 1986, p. 75-99, (note the gap CI BC-CI AD):

74 coins of the denarius system down to an as of C. Fabius C.f.

1 alleged semuncial quadrans

8 coins CII-CV AD (14 illegible coins)


M. Bergamini Simoni, in Assisi e gli Umbri, 73 (but probably not a hoard):

Roman aes grave, aes grave of Volaterrae, Tuder, Wheel series


See <​icls/​imaginesit>


A. Degli Abati-Olivieri-Giordani, Marmora Pisaurensia notis illustrata, Pesaro, 1737, x = (1738), x: in agro quodam, primo a Pisauro lapide, Collem Albanum uersus, prope Ecclesiam, ac Suburbium S. Venerandae, ueterum Pisaurensium Sacer Lucus fortuito detegi incoepit, quamobrem fossoribus multis adhibitis (!), eximias et quantiuis pretii auroque contra cariores opes reperi; tresdecim nempe Inscriptiones lingua literisque antiquissimis ac paene Pelasgis insculptas; stantes aras; maximam uoto-rum donariorumque tam ex argilla quam ex metallo copiam; fictilia signa, ut ego quidem arbitror, Deorum; maximam item numismatum copiam ab ultimis usque temporibus oblatorum, ex quibus Sacri Luci aetatem eversionemque facile statuere possumus. Verum quum nondum omnia inuestigata sint, contiguumque praedium perscrutari quam pri-mum in animo habeam, malui intacta omnia relin-quere peculiari dissertatiunculae de Luco Sacro Veterum Pisaurensium, qua pro meis uiribus illustrare conabor illa paene ignota numina, quae in Inscriptionibus memorantur, omnes Luci ipsius partes historiamque, signa, donaria, numismata, omnia denique quae in eo reperta fuerunt. The MS “De luco sacro ueterum Pisaurensium”, however, as transcribed by A. de Bellis Franchi, “I cippi pesaresi”, Atti e Memorie dell’Accademia Toscana… La Colombaria, 30, 1965, p. 3-28, gives even fewer details, apart from on the coins, of which there were over 4000, including Roman and Italian aes grave, «involte… tra carboni intorno all’are a quali più a quali meno… una sola di argento…» The sequence of coins ends with one of Trajan, one of Crispina, and one of Constantius.


(See in general G. Ghini, “La ripresa delle indagini al santuario di Diana a Nemi”, Archeologia Laziale, 11, 2, 1993, p. 277-89; R. Brandt et al. ed., Nemi -Status Quo, Rome, 2000; P. Guldager Bilde, M. Moltesen, A Catalogue of Sculptures from the Sanctuary of Diana in the University of Pennsylvania Museum, Philadelphia, ARID, Supp. 29, Rome, 2002; I have not explored Palazzo Venezia, MSS F. Barnabei, Carteggio XI and XLIV A.G. MacCormick ed., Mysteries of Diana, Nottingham, 1983; R. Vitale, in La monetazione romano-campana, II, p. 242-4:

Greek silver coins, Greek bronze coins, aes rude, Roman and Italian aes grave, incl. pre-denarius struck bronze, “Romano-Campanian” silver and bronze coins, coins of the denarius system, Imperial coins (curiously denied by F. Melis, F.R. Serra Ridgway, “Mysteries of Diana”, Archeologia Laziale, 8, 1987, p. 218-26, part. p. 223)-votives (terracottas and coins) were apparently buried around the temple, terracottas without coins in “cellars”.


With Votive Deposit II, CV-CIII BC (M. Bouma, Religio votiva, Groningen, 1996 (reviewed by A. Comelia, Ostraka, 8, 2, 1999, p. 567-71), holding that we have original deposits in thysiae and bothroi down to 400 BC, but dumps thereafter: see p. 70 n. 2):

2 didrachms of Hyria

2 Minerva/Horse’s head bronzes

1 denarius of M. Metellus Q.f. (!!!!!)

With the Hellenistic votive deposit = Votive Deposit III (information from J.W. Prins):

25 AE of Neapolis

2 AE of Suessa

1 AE of Teanum 1 AE of Velia

4 Punic AE

5 Goddess/Lion ROMANO AE

29 Minerva/Horse’s head ROMANO AE

1 Hercules/Pegasus ROMA AE

3 Roma/Dog ROMA AE

1 fragment of currency bar?

2 unciae of Dioscuri/Mercury series

1 semuncia of Dioscuri/Mercury series

1 fragment of Lion’s head/Horse’s head as

1 Boar’s head/Lyre triens

1 post-semilibral semuncia

15 struck asses and fractions down to C. Scr

1 plated denarius of P. Mae Ant M.f.

1 denarius of L. Piso Frugi

11 uncertain coins

Only 1 out of 22 coins found in 1896 is a Minerva/Horse’s head AE, but 28 out of 84 in 1985-1989: might there be a scattered hoard? The late coins perhaps come from use of the area above the votive deposit after its sealing; in any case, the worn and unidentified uncial triens in the layer that sealed the votive deposit could have been lost much later than the 170-150 BC bracket suggested by the excavators.

D.J. Waarsenburg, The Northwest Necropolis of Satricum, Amsterdam, 1995, p. 218 n. 640, refers briefly to the “stipe votiva Bottacci”, containing «many large chunks of cast bronze, cut off from round or oval ingots».

B. Ginge, Excavations at Satricum… 1907-1910, Amsterdam, 1996, refers to 6 illegible bronze coins from the SW Sanctuary.


(See in general M. Guaitoli, PdelP, 36, 1981, p. 152-73, “Gabii”.

Sanctuary outside the walls to the east (P. Calabria, “Note sulla circolazione monetale in area laziale”, Notizie dal Chiostro, Monastero S. Maria Maggiore, 35-6, 1985, p. 95-110), in the general area of a votive deposit, in stratigraphy disturbed by clandestini:

Aes rude

Fragment of currency bar

“Fondazione are” (P. Zaccagni, Arch.Laz ., 1, p. 44: “nel battuto di fondazione pertinente a tali are”):

1 semis of the heavy Dioscuri/Mercury series (Catalogue, n° 2)

1 as of the heavy Apollo/Apollo series (n° 1 )

1 sextans of the heavy Apollo/Apollo series (n° 4)

1 triens of the librai Prow series (n° 3)

“Sotto il piano di vita degli altari”:

1 AE of Suessa (n° 29)

1 Minerva/Horse’s head ROMANO AE (n° 27)

1 semilibral uncia (n° 15)

1 uncertain quadrans (n° 19)

1 as of C. Plotius Rufus (n° 33)

1 as of M. Salvius Otho (n° 34)

“Piano di vita degli altari”:

1 AE of Cales (n° 51)

2 AE with Apollo/Man-faced bull (n°s. 50, 53)

1 uncia of the heavy Dioscuri/Mercury series (n° 5)

1 Goddess/Lion ROMANO AE (n° 39)

1 uncertain quadrans (n° 18)

1 as with L before prow (n° 44) (16. 99 gr.; RRC, 97/22a)

1 as of C. Terentius Lucanus (n° 22)

“Strato compreso tra la terra nera ed il tufo”:

2 Minerva/Horse’s head ROMANO AE (n°s. 25, 30)

1 post-semilibral uncia (n° 13)

1 as of M. Maecilius Tullus (n° 32)

No level:

1 AE of Cales (n° 48)

3 AE of Neapolis (n°s. 35, 49, 52)

3 Minerva/Horses head ROMANO AE (n°s. 26, 28, 31)

2 Goddess/Lion ROMANO AE (n°s. 37, 38)

2 Apollo/Horse ROMA AE (n°s. 46, 47)

1 semilibral uncia (n°. 14)

4 semilibral semunciae (n°s. 9, 10, 11, 12)

1 post-semilibral uncia (n°. 16)

5 uncertain asses (n°s. 24, 41, 43, 45, 54)

1 uncertain semis (n°. 42)

1 uncertain quadrans (n°. 17)

2 uncertain sextantes (n°s. 7, 8)

1 as with meta (n°. 6)

1 as with butterfly and bunch of grapes (n°. 40)

1 as of L. Semp Pitio (n°. 21)

1 as of P. Lurius Agrippa (n°. 23)

1 as of L. Naevius Surdinus (n°. 55)

1 as of Tiberius (n°. 20)

Sanctuary of Juno (P.P. Ripolles, “Favisa I” in M. Almagro-Gorbea ed., El santuario de Juno en Gabii.

Excavaciones 1956-1969, Rome, 1982, p. 231-50:

1 uncia of the heavy Dioscuri/Mercury series (Catalogue, n°. 2)

1 AE Minerva/Horse’s head ROMANO (n°. 3)

1 uncertain as (n°. 6)

1 uncia of M. Titini (n°. 7)

Near “Fauisa I”:

1 post-semilibral quadrans (n°. 4)

1 sestertius of Otacilia Severa (n°. 32)

Near “Fauisa II”:

2 uncertain asses (n°s. 11, 14)

1 as of A. Cae (n°. 8)

1 as of L. Sauf (n°. 9)

From the area of the sanctuary:

1 imitation of AE of Panormus (n°. 1)

5 uncertain asses (n°s. 5, 12, 13, 15, 16)

2 uncertain semisses (n°s. 17, 18)

2 uncertain trientes (n°s. 19, 20)

1 uncertain Prow bronze (n°. 21)

1 quinarius of L. Rubri Dossen (n°. 10)

1 quadrans of Sisena Galus/Messalla Apronius (n° 22)

1 dupondius of Tiberius (n°. 23)

1 sestertius of Vespasian (n°. 25)

1 as of Domitian (n°. 24)

1 as of Hadrian (n°. 26)

1 as of Sabina (n°. 27)

1 as of Marcus Aurelius (n°. 28)

1 as of Faustina (n°. 29) (RIC III, 1628)

1 as of Commodus (n°. 30)

1 denarius of Caracalla (n°. 31)

1 as of Herennia Etruscilla (n°. 33)

1 antoninianus of Valerian (n°. 34)

1 antoninianus of Gallienus (n°. 35)

2 antoniniani of Salonina (n°s. 36, 37)

From Taberna n°. 3:

Hoard of 115 antoniniani to Gallienus and Salonina


A recent visit to Italy suggests that the list of thesauri could probably be extended almost indefinitely, to include at least a block of limestone built into the steps up to the building for offerings at the sanctuary of Hercules Curinus above Sulmona, a block which certainly had a cover in bronze attached at the front; a rectangular block of limestone with a rectangular cavity in the top in the Deposit of the Museo Civico di Corfinio; the column from the sanctuary at Poggio Ragone which surely had a money-box attached at the top.


1 A. Bammer (Appendix I), “A peripteros of the Geometric period in the Artemision of Ephesus”, AS, 40, 1990, p. 150 = “Les sanctuaires des viiie et viie siècles à l’Artemision d’Éphèse”, RA, p. 74. See above all E N. Glinister, “Sacred rubbish” in E. Bispham, C. Smith ed., Religion in Archaic and Republican Rome and Italy, Edinburgh, 2000, p. 54-70.

2 D. Waarsenburg and H. Maas, “Gods, men and money: reflections on a protohistoric bronze hoard from the temple of Mater Matuta at Satricum (Latium)”, Interpreting Deposits: Linking Ritual with Economy, Caeculus, 4, 2001, p. 45-56. I do not share the view of J.W. Bouma that the deposit with which he is concerned is a primary one: J. W. Bouma, “Understanding local economy: a 5th-3rd c. BC votive deposit at Satricum, Borgo le Ferriere (Italy)”, ibidem, p. 57-68.

3 See Appendix I; there is a brief general discussion by T. Hackens, “Favisae”, Études étrusco-italiques, Louvain, 1963, p. 71-99, part. p. 90; J.W. Bouma, The Archaeology of Latial Votive Religion, Groningen, 1996, II, 43-51, resumes Hackens.

4 See Appendix II; G. Kaminski, JDAI, 106, 1991, p. 63-181, “Thesauros. Untersuchungen zum antiken Opferstock”, with bibliography, discusses examples from the Greek world (add Froehner 61: Atargatis), but knows very few of the Italian examples. For the siting of the Delos example, outside the com-pitum of the Italians, see T. Mavroiannis, “Laedicula dei Lares Compitales nel compitum degli Hermaistai a Delo”, BCH, 119, 1995, p. 89-123. See in general Pausanias I, 34, 4 (Oropus); and D. M. Lewis, “Temple inventories in ancient Greece”, in M. Vickers, ed., Pots and Pans, Oxford, 1986, p. 71-81 = Selected Papers, Cambridge, 1997, p. 40-50; C. Ampolo, “Fra economia, religione e politica: tesori e offerte nei santuari greci”, Scienze dell’Antichità, 3-4, 1989-90, p. 271-279, G. Bodei Giglioni, “Pecunia fanatica: l’incidenza economica dei templi laziali”, RSI, 89, 1977, p. 33-76, repr. in F. Coarelli ed., Studi su Praeneste, Perugia, 1978, p. 3-46.

5 See in general U. Laffi, “La lex aedis Furfensis”, in La cultu-ra italica, Pisa, 1978, p. 121-44.

6 See M. Crawford, Coinage and Money under the Roman Republic, London, 1985, p. 18; I no longer believe that Augustus changed the basis of the Roman census.

7 For similar inscriptions from the Greek world, see R. Cantilena, M. Pellegrino, M. Satriano, “ Monete da Poseidonia-Paestum: trasformazioni e continuità tra Greci, Lucani e Romani”, A11N, 46, 1999, p. 9-154, part., p. 127 nn. 123-124.

8 J. Scheid, Commentarli Fratrum Arualium qui supersunt, Rome, 1998, nos. 100a, 26; 107, I, 12; 114, II, 32.

9 G. Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer, Munich, 1912, p. 429.

10 P.G. Guzzo, “Doni preziosi agli dei”, in S. Adamo Muscettola and G. Greco, ed., I culti della Campania antica, Atti del convegno Internationale di studi in ricordo di Nazarena Valenza Mele, Rome, 1998, p. 27-36, surveys some surviving examples of offerings in precious metals.

11 M. R. Sanzi di Mino and A. R. Staffa, “Il santuario italico-romano della dea Feronia in località Poggio Ragone di Loreto Aprutino (PE)”, RPAA, 69, 1996-7, p. 155-186; A. R. Staffa, in id., ed., Loreto Aprutino, Loreto Aprutino, 1998, p. 42-55.

12 Data rescued by C. Masseria, “... et Venerem et proelia destinat... (Hon Carm. III 13, 5). Riti di passaggio in un santuario di Banzi”, Ostraka, 8, (2), 1999, p. 469-90.

13 See R. Cantilena et al. (n. 7), p. 67; 78, for a brave attempt to make sense of the original “reports”.

14 R. Merkelbach, “Aurelia Artemisia aus Ephesos, eine geheilte Augenkranke”, Epigraphica Anatolica, 20, 1992, p. 55.

15 Philopseudeis, 20; Dea Syria, 29; compare Clement, Protreptikos 2 (133); the exposition of J. Babelon, “Offrandes monétaires à des statues cultuelles”, RN, 1943, p. 1-9, is muddled.

16 Macrobius is talking of a mensa as an alternative to an ara: namque in fanis alia uasorum sunt et sacrae supellectilis, alia ornamentorum; quae uasorum sunt instrumenti instar habent, quibus semper sacrificia conficiuntur, quarum rerum principem locum obtinet mensa in qua epulae libationesque et stipes repo-nuntur. ornamenta uero sunt clipei, coronae et cuiusce modi donaria.

17 J. Scheid (n. 8), no. 100a, 26 (Elagabalus): item foras ad aram reuersi thesauros dederunt....

18 I should like to thank Amalia Faustoferri for showing me the coins on Thursday 18 April 2002; the Museo Nazionale di Teano currently displays a black-slip cup containing coins from località Loreto. R. Cantilena et al. (n. 7) list two hoards of Greek coins and a hoard of victoriati from the sanctuary areas at Poseidonia-Paestum; there is another group of victoriati (p. 70) and two groups of Greek coins (pp. 71-72), which are certainly also hoards.

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