Philip II Pentassarion
CC BY-SA 4.0
Author: Otto Nickl.

Roman Empire, Philip II as Caesar, 244-247, AE Pentassarion of Marcianopolis in Moesia Inferior.
When Gordian III was killed in battle with the Sasanians, Marcus Julius Philippus, the Praetorian Prefect, known as Philip the Arab, was elevated to the purple as Philip I. At that time he elevated his son to the rank of Caesar. In 247 Philip II was raised to the rank of Consul and Augustus. The years 248-249 were ones of revolt and invasion and Philip sent Decius to quell the revolts. On defeating all enemies Decius was proclaimed emperor by his troops and defeated and killed Philip at a battle near Verona. Philip II was either killed at the battle or by the Praetorian Guard when the news reached Rome. He was aged 12 at the time.
The obverse shows Philip facing the god Serapis, and the reverse shows the snake-god Glykon.


Termcard and events

To keep up to date with our events, which may change at short notice, you can join our mailing list by e-mail or "like" our Facebook page.

Our meetings generally take place in the Ioannou (Classics) Centre, 66 St. Giles'. The entrance is just next to the rear entrance to the Ashmolean and Taylorian. To sign up to our mailing list, please contact our Secretary via email - details can be found on the "About us" page. Meetings are usually at 5pm on Tuesdays or Thursdays of even weeks through term, though this can vary as may be indicated below.

Details of past meetings may be found here.


Trinity Term 2021

Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, it will be necessary to postpone all physical OUNS events until such a time as normal activities can safely be resumed. Details of digital events will be posted here and distributed by email as and when they become available. We apologise for any disappointment caused and look forward to continuing our physical meetings when this emergency has come to an end. Until then, the Committee expresses its thanks for your understanding and wishes good health to our members and their families.

The following talks will take place over Microsoft Teams and will be followed by a discussion. If you are interested in attending any of our talks, join our mailing list by emailing
daniel.etches [at]
to receive meeting invitations and further details.


4th week ~ Tuesday 18 May

'Making Money in Republican Rome: A Numismatic Perspective on Rome's Expansion'
Prof. Fleur Kemmers (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt)

Microsoft Teams. 5pm.

Roman society was thoroughly monetized in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE, using weighed out bronze bullion in all classic monetary functions. From the late 4th c. BCE onwards Rome started to mint its own coinage, haphazard and small scale at first. By the turn to the 3rd c. BCE coin production was massive, and largely based on silver. What was the impetus to start producing coins? Why did things accelerate in the late 3rd and early 2nd centuries BCE? What triggered a change-over from a system of value based on bronze to one largely based on silver? In this paper I will argue that the changed economic opportunities and state obligations, brought about by Rome´s expansion into Southern Italy, and subsequently the entire Mediterranean, led to new requirements and possibilities for monetary instruments.


6th week ~ Tuesday 1 June

''How Do You Solve a Problem Like Mezezios?' – Understanding and Unpicking the Imagery of the Emperors Mezezios (668-669) and Constantine IV (668-685)'
Dr. Maria Vrij (The Barber Institute of Fine Arts / University of Birmingham)

Microsoft Teams. 5pm.


8th week ~ Tuesday 15 June

'Provenances and Hoards in the Ptolemaic Coin Collections of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. A Paper Archaeology'
Dr. Julien Olivier (Bibliothèque nationale de France)

Microsoft Teams. 5pm.


Watch this space for further details of meetings this term.


Affiliated to:
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Heberden Coin Room logo

Sponsored by:
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Dix Noonan Webb Ltd., Mayfair.

Next sales:
Orders, Decorations, Medals, and Militaria, Wednesday 19 May 2021 starting at 10:00
British, Irish, and World Banknotes, 27 May 2021 starting at 10:00

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