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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


Richard Abdy

Curator of Roman Coins
Coinage of the Roman Empire

Department: Coins and Medals 


+44 (0)20 7323 8640

Richard Abdy helps to curate the Museum’s collection of Roman coins, and covers the middle imperial period of the second century AD through to Late Antiquity (late Roman and early Byzantine as well as the emerging 'barbarian' kingdoms). He is also responsible for the recording and reporting of the many Roman coin hoards discovered in England and Wales under the Treasure Act (1996).

He is interested in the world of the Roman Emperors in general – the notable historical events and personalities as well as evidence of daily life – and is particularly concerned with the way such information can be gathered from Roman coins and medals. Coins were as ubiquitous in antiquity as they are today. Whether lost by accident or buried for safekeeping, as offerings to the gods or in graves, their very survival has much to say about the people of the past. Their designs also carry the images and political messages of the emperors and empresses.

Current projects

Coin Hoards from Roman Britain XIII, with E. Besly, and F. Lopez-Sanchez (eds.), (Wettern: Moneta Publications forthcoming 2010)

Contributions to the Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Coins: 'Tetrarchy and the house of Constantine' and 'The Severans' (forthcoming, 2010).

Creating a new, updated and revised edition of Roman Imperial Coinage (RIC) vol. II.2, for the Emperor Hadrian.

Cataloguing the coinages of the Post-Roman successor kingdoms, (with G. Williams).

Numismatic support for British Museum British School at Rome's forthcoming excavations at Hadrian's Villa near Rome.

Coins from Butrint
Ongoing post-excavation numismatic support to the work of the Butrint Foundation.

Previous projects

Public Image: Portraits on Coins & Medals (2004)

National Treasures: Icons to mark 25 years of the National Heritage Memorial Fund,1980–2005 (2005)

External fellowships/ honorary positions/ membership of professional bodies

Council member (and internal auditor) of the Royal Numismatic Society

Recent publications

Richard Abdy and Amelia Dowler, Coins and the Bible, (Spink, 2013)

R. Abdy, 'The Domoitian coin from Chalgrove: a Gallic emperor returns to history' in Antiquity Volume 83, issue 321, September 2009, pp.751-757.

R. Abdy, Roman Army (BritishMuseumPocket Dictionaries), London (BM Press, 2008).

R. Abdy, ‘In the pay of the Emperor: coins from the Beaurains (Arras) treasure’ in Constantine and Britain, E. Hartley et al (eds.), (London: Lund Humphries, 2006)

R. Abdy, ‘After Patching: imported and recycled coinage in 5th-6th century Britain’ and ‘A catalogue of hoards and single finds from the British Isles c. 410-680’, with G. Williams, both in: B. Cook and G. Williams (eds.) Money and History in the North Sea World: Essays in honour of Marion Archibald (Leiden: Brill, 2005)

R. Abdy, Romano-British Coin Hoards (Princes Risborough: Shire, 2002)

R. Abdy, Coin Hoards from Roman Britain XI, with I. Leins and J. Williams (eds.), (London: Royal Numismatic Society Special Publications 36, 2002)

R. Abdy, Coin Hoards from Roman Britain XII, with E. Ghey, C. Hughes and I. Leins 9eds.), (Wettern: Moneta Publications 97, 2009)

R. Abdy, ‘A Survey of the Coin Finds from the Antonine Wall’ in: Britannia, xxxiii (2002), pp. 189-217