Seaton Down Hoard coin, nummus of Delmatius

A nummus of the type that weighed 1/132 of a pound. It is one of 3 similar coins from the Seaton Down Hoard. It was made between AD 335 and AD 337 in Arles, in modern France and issued by Delmatius.

This coin has the Chi-Rho (☧) symbol on the reverse inside the soldiers’ standard. This symbol is made using the Greek letters X (chi) and P (rho), which are the first two letters of ‘Christ’ in Greek (XPIΣTOΣ, Christos) and was, and still is, used as an emblem of Christianity. Constantine converted to Christianity after reportedly seeing a vision of the Chi-Rho before the Battle of Milvian Bridge in AD 312 along with the words ‘In this sign thou shalt conquer’. After his success, he went on to sign the Edict of Milan to ensure religious tolerance for Christians and adopted the Chi-Rho in his standards. The Chi-Rho continued to be used by his sons and others.

The inscription ‘GLORIA EXERCITVS’ means ‘the glory of the army’ and was seen as a celebration of the bravery and fortitude of the soldiers and their military successes. The image depicts two soldiers and one standard and was a common image on coinage.

RAMM acquired the Seaton Down hoard with help from a generous donation by Patrick and Sally Long, Clinton Devon Estates, Thomson Reuters, Devon County Council and many members of the public. Patrick and Sally Long were particularly keen that the coins are preserved for inspiration and wonder of children.
The conservation and display of the hoard and a project to engage with East Devon schools and communities was funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund with further public donations.

Object Summary

Accession Loan No.
Collection Class
Devon archaeology
Collection Area Region
Northern Europe
Collector Excavator
Alex Farnell, AC Archaeology
copper alloy
Common Name
Seaton Down Hoard coin, nummus of Delmatius
Simple Name
Inscription Transcription
Period Classification
Roman (43-410)
Production Year Low
Production Year High

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coin, nummus (1/132 of a pound), of Delmatius