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Mattingly, Harold

    Full Name: Mattingly, Harold

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1884

    Date Died: 1964

    Place Born: Sudbury, Suffolk, England, UK

    Place Died: Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England, UK

    Home Country/ies: United Kingdom

    Subject Area(s): coins (money), Early Western World coins, metal, numismatics, and Roman (ancient Italian culture or period)


    Historian of ancient Rome and numismatist; responsible for a total revision of the chronology and study of Roman coinage. Mattingly was educated at Lays School and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. An excellent student, he was awarded a Craven University scholarship and studied in Germany. He joined the British Museum in 1910 in the Department of Printed Books before moving to the Department of Coins and Medals. Initially he published on Roman history in general, issuing two books (1909 and 1914). During the First World War 1914-16 he served in active duty before reassignment to the Postal Censorship Bureau until 1918. Returning to the Museum after the war, Mattingly turned his interests to numismatics. He and Edward Stanley Gotch Robinson, also of the Department of Coins and Medals, set about in a series of paper disproving the traditional dating of the Roman denarius. Beginning in 1923, Mattingly began issuing his catalog, Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, a systematic study of Roman coinage. The somewhat more synoptic Roman Imperial Coinage appeared at the same time. These works were a thorough account of the subject which laid the groundwork for archaeologist and field scholars.

    Selected Bibliography

    Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum. 6 vols. London: British Museum, 1923 ff.; Some New Studies of the Roman Republican Coinage. Proceedings of the British Academy 39 (1953): 239-285; The Roman Imperial Coinage. 10 vols. London: Spink, 1923-1994; Roman Coins from the Earliest to the Fall of the Western Empire. London: Methuen & Co., 1928 [numerous reprints and editions].


    [obituary:] . Harold Mattingly, Distinguished Numismatist. The Times (London). February 1, 1964, p. 10.


    "Mattingly, Harold." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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