This catalogue brings together the British Museum’s collection of 322 coins minted by the first successor kings of the Roman Empire in early medieval Italy dating from AD 476–552. It aims to provide an introduction to the coinage and the history of the Museum’s collection as well as to aid the identification of coin types. The last catalogue of the collection was published by W. Wroth in 1911.

Publications in 1994 by J.P.C. Kent (The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. 10 (RIC X)) and in 2004 by M.A. Metlich ( The Coinage of Ostrogothic Italy) set new standards of typology for this series of coins. The British Museum’s collection has now been catalogued according to this typology, which is reflected in the layout of this online catalogue. For ease of cataloguing and to avoid confusion, the dating given in RIC X /Metlich has been used throughout.

This catalogue is intended as the first stage of an ongoing reassessment of the many coinages in use during this complex period and will be revised and developed to reflect current scholarship.

Whilst some of the coins in this collection are on display in the galleries, the majority are housed in the Department of Coins and Medals. It is hoped that this online catalogue will enable access to the collection for a wider audience and make the coins more easily available for research and enjoyment. However, visitors are welcome to study the coins by appointment with the department.


Dr Elena Baldi
c/o Department of Coins and Medals, British Museum
January 2015