Talk:Hoxne Hoard/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Findspot details

While I was editing the findspot details at the BM the other day, one of the curators asked me not to give precise details of the findspot. He was concerned, particularly if this ends up on the Main Page as a featured article, that it could lead to the farmer being harassed by metal detectorists. I noticed that someone had restored the details that I removed earlier - I've removed them again and I think they should stay out, given these concerns. -- ChrisO (talk) 15:40, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

I have reverted the change as Wikipedia should not censor verifiable information for whatever motives. The approximate find spot ("Home Farm") is not a secret (e.g. the ArchSearch page for the site is titled HOME FARM, HOXNE, and any nighthawker could easily find out that the hoard was found on Home Farm from sources other than Wikipedia. Indeed, the site had already been attacked by illegal metal detecorists in 1994, without any help from Wikipedia. BabelStone (talk) 20:09, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia should and does redact some things for some quite legitimate motives all the time - see WP:OFFICE for starters. For example, WP:BLP policies could be interpreted as censorship or simply behaving in a way that recognises our potential to do real-world damage. WP:NOTCENSORED is thrown out constantly against any reason given for being more circumspect about how we deal with potentially sensitive information. Whether or not this is one of those cases is up for grabs. As you say, the data about "home farm" is available already on a published, open access, reliable source. This being the case we should at least insert that footnote (currently used elsewhere as number 18 in the article). If ArchSearch decide to take this information down then so should we because a) we have lost the verification and b) because if there is genuine concern for the welfare of the farmer by ArchSearch (and us) publshing that then we should take that social responsability seriously. Witty Lama 02:03, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
I've gone ahead and been WP:BOLD and removed the specific farm name from the article but retained the footnote (no.18) to ArchSearch as well as descriptions of where the farm (and findspot) is relative to the town. Here's the diff. I believe this is an acceptable middle ground between preserving the legitimate privacy of the farmer and the encyclopedic importance of the location of the find. Witty Lama 02:13, 4 July 2010 (UTC)


Hazzah! I've found the actual hammer in the museum database and linked it as a footnote in the Discovery and initial excavation section :-) Registration:1994,0408.400 Witty Lama 09:58, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

I can't believe this has been archived away with the hoard. Someone had a good chuckle when creating this entry on the database. (talk) 10:23, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
yeah, from what I can gather, the whole "I was just looking for my friend's hammer and happened across this hoard" story is pretty suss (especially under the former laws), so I think they gave the BM a hammer too to back up the story :-) Of course, this is not verifiable and therefore won't get in the article, but a tantilising titbit. Witty Lama 11:19, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

May I point out that the hammer has been re-numbered. It is now 1994,0408.410, and is under that number in the published catalogue. The Museum database entries are in the process of being updated, but that process is not yet complete. CMJ —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:30, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

I've made the change (it's footnote 12 at the moment and until someone adds another footnote above it). Is that you Catherine (CMJ)? If so, how are you liking the progress of the article in the last couple of days - especially the extensive feedback being given on the Feature Article review page: Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Hoxne Hoard/archive1 ? Liam - Witty Lama 11:56, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes, CMJ = Catherine Johns. :-) I haven't gone through the whole article yet this weekend. I am sure it continues to improve. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:24, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Further Reading

I have moved the citations for McFadden and Tomber to a "further reading" section as we are only citing them at second hand via the BBC transcript (and footnotes no longer link to them directly). I think this is perfect illustration of when to use "further reading". - PKM (talk) 17:18, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

A Further reading section should not be a sub-section of References. If we must have such a section, it will have to be another second level heading.
Personally I think this is a mistake. Just because these footnoted citations are in a text note rather than the main body does not stop them being references. Adding a Further reading section is an open invite for a drive-by dumping ground of dubious books that happen to mention the hoard in any form. (talk) 17:21, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Since these are footnoted in the note (I missed that), I'll accept that an editor has checked these references outside of the second-hand sourcing in the transcript. I have reverted the change.
(My understanding is that we should not directly cite references we have not seen ourselves. Am I offbase on that? This is my first FA exercise.) - PKM (talk) 18:01, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Separate "List of items"?

It was suggested at the FAR that we separate the tables into an article called something like List of items in the Hoxne Hoard. That's a more drastic change than I would make without consensus. What do others think? And how much of the other text goes with it?

If I were doing this, I would replicate the narrative list from this article (with a {{details}} reference?) and then move the tables. - PKM (talk) 19:33, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

I think a list article is a perfectly sensible idea. Witty Lama 15:29, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Help! Page numbers needed

For those who aren't trolling through the Featured Article review comments - we need a few page number citations - can someone look these up the in the catalogue? We can't get our FA without them:

  • Section Hoxne Hoard#silver items
  • Re: fire-gilding with mercury - need a citiation for "as was usual at the time" (is that in the catalogue, or elsewhere?)

Thanks! - PKM (talk) 03:47, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Roman gilding: mercury-gilding was the usual method. Because this is widely known amongst Roman specialists because of the publication of many, many analyses over the last 25+ years, it is only briefly referred to on p.185-6 in Johns 2010 (this is, after all, a book intended for specialists, not the general public), with a footnote to the standard study, Oddy 1983, i.e. W.A. Oddy, 'The gilding of Roman silver plate', in Baratte 1983, pp.9-21. Baratte 1983 is F. Baratte (ed.) Argenterie Romaine et Byzantine, (Paris 1983). CMJ —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:26, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Thank you, that is very helpful. Would it be possible for you to provide a reference for the number of other silver piperatoria similar to the Hoxne examples that are known (a page number from your book should be sufficient) ? The article currently states "fewer than ten". BabelStone (talk) 22:26, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
The silver items reference to "only ten" of that type..... I looked through all the books I could find on Google books and could not find a ref. Maybe drop this phrase? I did find a view that the styles of Roman pepper pots varied a great deal. Victuallers (talk) 09:56, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
It's very probably in the relevant chapter of Johns 2010. The Land (talk) 10:50, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
I googlebooked it too and could find nothing about the numbers of such objects. If we can't find a reference it should go, but I think that it is very interesting to know how many other similar examples are known, otherwise the reader cannot get a sense of how unusual or important the Hoxne pepper castors are. BabelStone (talk) 11:31, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
This talks about there being no single style (bit like today!) Victuallers (talk) 11:42, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
I've re-edited this bit - page 79 of Johns should have the less than 10 bit, but I've replaced that with a quote from the next page (see FAC also). Johnbod (talk) 12:52, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

The full discussion of the typology of Roman piperatoria is in Johns 2010, 76-78. There are a couple of vessels from a 1st-century treasure that may have been spice-containers, but may not have been. From the third century, there are a couple (from the Vienne treasure) that are probably (though not certainly) for sprinkling pepper or other spices, but they are not shaped as statuettes: one is vase-shaped, and the other is a little cylindrical box with a lid. - There are only three non-Hoxne examples, as far as I know, of fairly certain pepper-dispensers where the whole container is in human or animal form, a hollow statuette. These are the examples from the Chaourse and Nicolaevo treasures, and the one in Boston, probably from Sidon. The Hoxne 'Empress' is of this type, as are the Hoxne ibex and the hare-and-hound, though they are zoomorphic rather than anthropmorphic. The Hoxne Hercules-and-Antaeus is different, because although it involves a statuette of human figures, it is a solid-cast statuette on a hollow base: only the base contained the spice, not the figure. - So how many there are depends entirely on which sub-type you are referring to. A group of four pepper-pots in one assemblage is unprecedented, so far. - CMJ —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:07, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Frome Hoard

Editors of this article may be interested in the discovery of the Frome Hoard that was announced this morning -- 52,500 Roman coins, although mostly debased silver and bronze, so the Hoxne Hoard's claim to be the largeset hoard of gold and silver coins still stands. I have created a stub, but have to go to work now .... BabelStone (talk) 08:14, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

And Stanchester Hoard created today. I sense a rash of Hoard articles coming up... – B.hoteptalk• 22:30, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Or perhaps a horde? -- ChrisO (talk) 22:51, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Ow... - PKM (talk) 03:47, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
If someone wanted to set about improving Wikipedia's coverage of Hoards I'm sure you could find a BM curator who'd be willing to help (try Richard Abdy!). Hordes are probably someone else. The Land (talk) 12:55, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

You would need several different curators depending on the type and date of the hoard. ;) —Preceding unsigned comment added by AgTigress (talkcontribs) 08:28, 13 July 2010 (UTC)


"The large armlet of pierced gold (opus interassile) showed traces of hematite on the reverse side, which would have been used as a type of jeweller's rouge."

The wonderful reference work "Wikipedia" mentions that this substance was in use as a cosmetic. Why is it thought to have been polish rather than cosmetic that a piece of jewellery was contaminated with? Was it unworn? Rich Farmbrough, 17:26, 13 July 2010 (UTC).

Polish: see Johns 2010 p.187. The position of the traces on the burred inner surfaces of the piercing, which would not have contacted the wearer's skin because of the outer borders of the jewel, make an interpretation as a transferred cosmetic extremely unlikely. As traces of polish used on the exterior, they make perfect sense. Quite apart from the fact that it would be unusual to rouge the upper arm. AgTigress (talk) 23:18, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

I have added a reference to Johns 2010 p.187 for this. BabelStone (talk) 00:24, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Two boxes

These were made of "cherry wood and yew". Was it one of each? or both of both? Rich Farmbrough, 17:26, 13 July 2010 (UTC).

See Johns 2010, 144-5. One box made of Prunius avium (wild cherry), one of Taxus baccata (yew). AgTigress (talk) 23:22, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, clarified accordingly. BabelStone (talk) 00:19, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Separate article - List of items

It has been suggested in the FA review and seconded that we create a separate article List of items in the Hoxne Hoard. (Actually, "thirded", as I agree as well.) No one has objected, and following the defense of Thomas More qui tacet, consentire (which translates roughly as "silence gives consent"), I plan to start that list article and move the four collapsed tables out of this article and into the new one, with links. Not sure how soon I can get to it. If anyone feels strongly that the tables should not be moved, please let us know.

The new list article will need attention from folks who participated in the Challenge on site, but I am happy to do the wikiwrangling to create the skeleton, copy/move content and references, and add cats and links (unless someone else is anxious to do that). - PKM (talk) 20:34, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

I can't think why, but I'd wait until FA process is complete Victuallers (talk) 21:46, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

I am still not quite clear what this list would include, and what it is for. The tables in the current article list only the inscribed silver objects, so it is primarily a list of inscriptions. Is the proposal to list all of these individually, or all of the inscribed objects (by adding two of the gold items), or all the silver, inscribed or not (nos. 30-184), or the gold and the silver, or everything, including the iron and the organics? Each and every object in the assemblage can already be looked up on the BM registration database, with descriptions, weights, other measurements, etc., so whatever the list covers, it will simply be extracted from the registration sequence. I'm not trying to be awkward, but I simply don't see the rationale here. AgTigress (talk) 22:13, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

The original comment is here, extracting:

When I got to the tables of inscriptions I went back and looked through the discussion on this on the talk page. I feel that it would be best to create a separate article called something like List of items in the Hoxne Hoard, and move these two tables to that. That article could have as detailed a list as we have time to create, because it would not be primarily interpretive. If the BM experts are concerned about undue weight, splitting seems a reasonable answer; and I don't feel that hiding the tables fully addresses this. - FA review comment by Mike Christie

It sounds like we don't have consensus at this time, so I will hold off. That's why I raised the issue again, as it seems like a fairly major change. Thanks for the comments. - PKM (talk) 23:10, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
I think that on balance I am in favour of a separate list article, but I think that such a major change to the article should not be made at this stage as removing the tables will necessitate rewrites and changes to the surrounding text. We have just about cleared all the FAC comments, but if we make this change we are likely to elicit a whole load of new FAC comments. The article seems to be quite stable now, so I would rather leave it as it is for the time being (note that no FAC reviewer who was not involved in editing the article has made any complaints about any of the tables). BabelStone (talk) 23:35, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Everything in the hoard can be sourced to the database, so the exclusion of a given item from the article is on the grounds of notability -- i.e. whether reliable sources have said that article is worth discussing. At one point there was a debate about whether the tables of inscriptions unduly implied that the inscriptions were one of the important facts about the hoard; per Catherine Johns, they are not, so we should not imply that they are of particular interest. I am not fond of the tables in the article because I was concerned, per CMJ's comments, that they might imply too much to a lay reader. However, since the tables start out collapsed (with their contents invisible), and the supporting text does make it clear that very little can be deduced about the owners of the hoard from the inscriptions, I feel it's OK to leave them in. If we cut them out we don't automatically have to have a separate list article, but it would be harmless to do so. My point was that the inscription table would be fine if embedded in a list of all the contents of the hoard -- it would clearly be just a list, and not have any particular implications. Placing it in the article risks misleading the reader, though I think that's been addressed, as I said. One other point: I don't think the existence of the BM database is by itself a reason not to create a Wikipedia version of the list -- Wikipedia list articles often duplicate external sources, by their nature. I don't think it's a high value or high priority article, though, so I think things are OK as they are. Mike Christie (talk) 01:34, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
I find the tables vaguely intrusive in the narrative flow of the article, and my personal preference would be to move them into the Wiki equivalent of an appendix, which is how I was viewing the list article. But a proper list would have everything in it and would then be rather redundant with this article. So neither solution would make me entirely happy, and aside from the tables I think this is a very fine article. So, "okay as is" works for me. Standing down. - PKM (talk) 03:47, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

A very summary list of all the material in the hoard could easily be incorporated into the main article, but it would need to be brief, and the fact that numbers cannot be precise would also have to be explained: where there are fragments and composite objects as well as complete objects, it is not possible to have neat, precise numbers (e.g. do 5 small separate silver nails all belong to three of the angle-brackets that have lost their nails (total, 3 brackets), or does each nail represent another (missing) bracket (total 8 brackets)?) Bearing that in mind, a summary list would look something like this:

"15,234 coins

29 pieces of gold jewellery

circa 170 complete and fragmentary silver objects

circa 50 iron fragments and nails

5 fragments from an ivory box

circa 265 tiny pieces of bone inlay

traces of wood, leather, straw and linen textile".

Inscriptions could also be summarised much more succinctly than in the existing tables, thus:

"49 of the gold and silver objects bear inscriptions, giving personal names, Christian symbols or references, or both. The total number of Christian, or probably Christian, inscriptions is 26. 9 personal names appear, eight male and one female". (That can be referenced back to the summary in Johns 2010, which I think is p.263-4).

It seems to me that if a separate article were written based mainly on a list of the contents of the hoard, it would need to provide a level of detail and interpretation that would start to duplicate much of what is already in the main article. AgTigress (talk) 12:34, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

I don't think it would be a separate article, in the sense that there would be much text there; it would really just be a list. PKM's phrase above, that it would be an appendix, is essentially how I was thinking of it. See List of manuscripts in the Cotton library for an example -- there is a great deal that can be said about each of those manuscripts, but a single list with minimal commentary on each item has some value, just as a list. You comment that a list would enable us to more succinctly describe the inscriptions: that's exactly what such a list should do -- enable the text article to concentrate on what is important to describe. Without such a list/appendix, there is pressure to include the details of the inscriptions in the main article as otherwise they are simply omitted, and editors here hate to omit information that is sourced and interesting. With the list, editorial selection becomes possible. Mike Christie (talk) 13:13, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Last hurdle?

We seem to be nearly there on the FAC, but Sandy Georgia, the FAC delegate, has pointed out that the four collapsed tables (2 on coins, 2 on silver spoons etc) are contrary to MOS:COLLAPSE. We need to either agree to show these in full again, or move them to a subsidiary list article - preferably quickly, as this is probably all that now delays promotion to FA. Prvious discussion on the spoons is here. Can we have quick comments below? Johnbod (talk) 12:02, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

  • My view I don't have a strong preference, but the lists could also be used as the neucleus of a "list of items" article. This has utility imo, as although they are all on the BM database, that is not good at navigating quickly around them. Johnbod (talk) 12:02, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Disagree - MOS:COLLAPSE states this is okay when used to "consolidate information covered in the prose". Even if you do not think these tables consolidate (in the sense of strengthening the prose) then an exception to a hard-line interpretation of MOS is okay so long as we have a local consensus that this is useful and not confusing for the reader. (talk) 12:14, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
That's not Sandy's reading, & I think she is right. The information expands rather than consolidates what's in the prose. Johnbod (talk) 12:27, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
  • keep tables in article -- I believe that all four tables are useful and interesting, and add value to the article. They are not so long as to adversely affect the visual appearance of the article if shown in full. I have never understood the "undue weight" concerns about including these tables, as both the coins and the spoons are important components of the hoard, and including these tables seems to me to be simply giving them the attention they deserve and the detail readers would expect from a FA. And however much some people appear to dislike inferring anything from inscriptions, the inscriptions on the spoons etc. are the only concrete evidence we have as to who the items in the hoard belonged to (note that I am not saying who buried the hoard), and as such they are crucial evidence that should not be hidden away in an appendix. BabelStone (talk) 12:21, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Keep the tables I am not one of the main contributors here, but I like the tables. I don't think they give undue weight. Though I understand CJ's concern that the article not present a distorted view of the importance of inscriptions in the hoard, I believe that the text adequately explains the context and importance of the information in the tables. Revcasy (talk) 12:47, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
As a further thought, I find the coin tables more useful expanded in the main article than the inscriptions. Johnbod (talk) 17:54, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I vote for removing the incomplete tables of the inscriptions on silver objects into a new article aiming to list the entire contents of the hoard, where they will appear in a proportionate fashion, and including in the main article the kind of summary I posted above. AgTigress (talk) 18:07, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

I agree. Mike Christie (talk) 00:15, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
On second thought, this is not a major issue for me. I like the tables, but I do not think that losing them detracts from the article in any crucial way. I do not oppose the above suggestion. Revcasy (talk) 01:22, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Keep the tables for now. I like the idea of the list article, but I think it should be thoughtfully and thoroughly built, not thrown together as a place to stash the tables so we can clear this hurdle. (That's a bit of change in position for me.) But I don't feel strongly about this point one way or another at this stage.. - PKM (talk) 02:10, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Ok, based on the above I have "revealed" them again. Johnbod (talk) 03:19, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Size of the chest

One can read : "The hoard was buried as an oak box or small chest" and, further: "The hoard was concentrated in a single location, within the completely decayed remains of a large wooden chest". So, what was the size of the wooden chest? --El Caro (talk) 09:48, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Good point. I have deleted "large" as it wasn't a large chest. Thanks Victuallers (talk) 16:35, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

The wooden chest was about 60 x 45 x 30 cm (2 ft x 1'6" x 1 ft.); that is, about the size of a medium-size suitcase. With the contents, it probably weighed around 40 kg (90 lb.) (Johns 2010, p.201). Small or large? AgTigress (talk) 18:03, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

We have "The hoard was buried as an oak box or small chest filled with items in ..." and later "....amounting to a total of 3.5 kilograms (7.7 lb) of gold and 23.75 kilograms (52.4 lb) of silver.[23] It had been placed in a wooden chest, made mostly or entirely of oak, that measured approximately 60×45×30 cm (23.6×17.7×11.8 in)...", which I think covers the ground. As a "chest", it is certainly "small" I think. Much below that & you have a box or casket. Johnbod (talk) 18:31, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Arcadius was alive

In the Historical spread and minting section, I've read: "So the latest coins in the hoard[...] belong to [...] the lifetime of the Eastern Emperor Arcadius" . I presume that the latest coins are identified by portraits of Honorius and Constantine. But, how do we know that Arcadius was alive? This interesting point is worth an explanation, in my opinion. --El Caro (talk) 12:27, 26 July 2010 (UTC)


In the first table, concerning silver siliquae struck between 402 and 408: Lyons = 2; Rome = 3; Total = 8. Who stole the missing 3?

In this table, the Rome total is not consistent with the cells of its line, too.--El Caro (talk) 19:54, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

I've corrected the 2+3=8 problem and Aquileia line (using google books, on which the table is only partially visible), but Constantinople and Rome lines remain incorrect. --El Caro (talk) 20:15, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Problem with siliquae numbers

I see El Caro has hidden the table of mints and periods of the silver siliquae. I think it would have been OK to just post a note here and follow up, but since it's hidden I wanted to let editors know. The errors are:

  • Constantinople: the row includes 22 coins but the total given is only 15
  • Rome: the row includes 377 coins but the total given is only 335

Could someone with the source (Guest 2005) check this?

In addition, I see that the table gives the total of silver siliquae as 14,119, but the "Items discovered" section lists 14,212 siliquae. Can someone reconcile these numbers? Mike Christie (talk) 00:50, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Lions & Tigers

I have commented out a claim about paleolithic cave drawings of European cave lions which seemed to be claiming that the silver tigress might have been a representation of a lion. Before doing so I did briefly and unsuccessfully look for sources to back up the claim. Please do not re-insert the statements without citing some published material, particularly since all documentation on the Hoxne hoard currently calls the item in question a tigress, not a lion. Revcasy (talk) 22:23, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for using the comment format, that is okay with me. Leaving it there, I will chase down the references. Putting it into comment format allows me time to get to that. I almost put all of my entry into comment format when making it, as you saw part was and part was not. Well written article, very little tidying up needed. Sorry I could not attend the museum access, as invited. ----83d40m (talk) 01:11, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

I would be interested to know of any authoritative sources about this lion/tiger issue. Of course there were some different sub-species around, and some very different geographical distributions, in the Roman period, but this was still less than two millennia ago, quite recent in evolutionary terms. Lions, tigers and leopards/panthers (Panthera leo, P. tigris and P. pardus, both standard and melanistic forms of the last-named) are all very abundantly represented in Roman art, and Hoxne no.30 is pretty typical of tiger representations. Tigers in Roman art are frequently specifically represented as female, with well-developed dugs (see discussion in Johns 2010, pp. 68-9). Jocelyn Toynbee drew attention to this in her standard Animals in Roman Life and Art (1973), pp.69-82. Anyway, more about any alleged lion/tiger confusion would be welcome. I don't think that the Romans did confuse them! AgTigress (talk) 16:28, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Yes, it is very interesting. I will make an attempt to chase that down. The distinctive nature of the tuft at the end of the tail of a lioness or lion is a characteristic that usually would not be put onto representation of a feline of another species by peoples familiar with them, and of course the lionesses are represented accurately as the fierce and strategic hunters for the pride in many cultures. This often is not noted by people studying artwork. I often see lion or tiger identifications that fail to differentiate and sometimes it can be misleading. Similarly, showing ears on a lion in artwork lends itself to the interpretation of lioness. Interpretation by people who are unfamiliar with the animals in nature or captivity, has led to many discussions of panthers and such when a lioness clearly is presented in artwork (presenting a tufted tail). Since the markings on this feline were uncharacteristic of a tiger, said to be more like a Tabby Cat by one of the editors, it made me wonder about possible confusion since cubs of lions can present them and females can retain the stripes in some groups. Look at the enlarged image of these lionesses,
Lions taking down cape buffalo.jpg
the central one, second from the left in the foreground, shows darkening along the spine and retains stripes. I asked one of the other editors who saw the body chain whether the ears of the "lions" showed, it looked that way to me, and he said, yes. Lionesses often display a minor ruff that may be read as a mane, but it never covers the ears as in so many lion groups. That made me suspicious about them, so when the question of odd stripes on a feline with a tufted tail also arose, it became even more interesting. It is a minor point, not really important for this article, but enough to arouse my interest. I'll follow up on it and contact you directly. ----83d40m (talk) 03:03, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

The comment in the monograph that one aspect of the animal's markings is 'reminiscent of the classic striped tabby' (Johns 2010, p.64) alludes specifically to the presence of the wide black dorsal stripe. We have to be very careful when trying to identify species precisely from artistic representations that may well have been made by artists and craftsmen who had never seen the animal in question, and who may have been using as a source a half-remembered figure or painting by another craftsman who had likewise never seen such an animal in the flesh. Ask the average person to draw a wombat, and you'll see what I mean. Even if the person can (a) draw fairly well and (b) has at some time seen a wombat, the results may not be precisely accurate. I can draw, and I have seen wombats, but I should shrink from that challenge.

I think most of the Roman tigers I have seen, in paintings, mosaics and so forth, have tails that are thickened, though not necessarily obviously tufted/tasselled, towards the tip; in any event, not smoothly tapered. This point, too, is addressed in the published catalogue (Johns 2010, loc.cit.). If we start to analyse the appearance of the Hoxne tigress very closely (let alone the lions and leopards on the repoussé gold bracelets, for example), we find so many elements that are wildly unrealistic or unnatural that we realise that we must shift our standards for identification, allowing for a wide 'grey area' of imprecision. As you will see if you take a look at some of the bracelets, there are some animals that simply cannot be identified at all; there are creatures that might be hounds and might be lions, and one strange beast on bracelet no.12 that looks much like a hare, until one sees that it has an extra, small ear, so that its 'ears' may be horns -- a goat, perhaps? (Johns 2010, p.40). Leopards in Roman art are often very sparsely spotted, with very simple spots or rings, not an attempt at photographic realism, but simply a symbolic indication that there are spots. Indeed, one characteristic feature will often be emphasised to differentiate one animal from another: the Roman artist who had seen pictures (but not photographs!) of lions, leopards and tigers, but at best had seen the live animals only from a distance in the arena, probably thought of them in this way: 'Very big cats. Tigers have stripes, leopards have spots, lions have neither, but the male lion has a mane'. Those features -- stripes, spots, manes -- are important when other details may be vague and inaccurate. Minutely accurate observation of the ears and tails of different large feline species probably lay somewhat somewhat outside the likely competence of a late-Roman craftsman in precious metal.

I am wholly in favour of trying to identify species in Roman art as far as possible, and have always tried to do so in my published work, but I think it is important first for a person to familiarise himself with the relevant artistic conventions, and with the widely varying levels of realism, within Roman art. Have a look at conventional Roman dolphins some time: nearly all of them have tail flukes with THREE lobes; not to mention bodies that can coil into one or more complete spiral loops, and frequently what appear to be bristly manes, like those of a wild boar, along the top of the head. It can actually be difficult to differentiate between a Roman boar and a Roman dolphin where only the head is shown, and at a small scale. And scales remind me -- conventional dolphins in Victorian art frequently have scales.  ;-) :-) AgTigress (talk) 14:44, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

This sounds intuitively correct to me. I have no background in art history, but it seems to me that works in silver, particularly household items, might be a lower order (whatever that means) of Roman art than say marble sculpture, and therefore more likely to contain conventional (mnemonic) representations which are not precisely lifelike. Revcasy (talk) 15:54, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Yes: it isn't necessarily a matter of artistic competence -- though that, too, plays its part and adds to potential confusions. It is that the balance of 'photographic' realism and symbolic, stylised presentation varies a lot according to the purpose of an object, its size, and the material of which it is made. Most of us can recognise images that have been deliberately stylised to an extreme degree (stick figures, or human faces -- even when shown sideways thus:  :-) ). One of the real challenges in understanding the art of another culture is learning where to draw some of the lines. (Or lions...) I warmly welcome any new information about the species of animals extant in the Roman world (it was only a few years ago that I discovered about a now extinct sub-species of African elephant which may be depicted in some of the Roman mosaics from North Africa), and I am eager to learn more about striped lions/lionesses, but from my background of studying Roman art and artefacts very carefully for some 50 years, I remain to be convinced that the Hoxne beastie is anything other than a tigress.  ;-) AgTigress (talk) 16:14, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

I concur that one can not extrapolate one from the other, but was raising the possibility for consideration of those who had seen the items in the museum collection (which I had not) rather than as an assertion. I also agree about the degrees of separation from subjects that often exists between subjects and craftsmen. Such things may be very minor points seen in many cultures and their artwork, and significance often is lost on those of other cultures and times. At other times they may be very significant. Interjection of another perspective always could be helpful, however, and curiosity can lead to new discoveries, as you noted. I share your cross-discipline interests. Thanks for your first-hand opinion of the figure. ----83d40m (talk) 20:49, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Concern with introduction to the jewelry

Although I now realize thanks to Johnbod, that the introduction to the jewelry contains two words within quotes that are from a reference that is not available to me, the sentence, None of the jewellery is "unequivocally masculine", although several pieces, like the rings, might have been worn by either gender., seems awkward and gives an odd innuendo to me since it is not followed by anything to balance readers going away with the impression that the jewelry is thought to have been masculine in the main—except for several pieces such as rings. I have the feeling that it could have read ..."unequivocally feminine"... as readily, so it implies an interpretation that is not warranted by my understanding.

The two words in quotes do not convey a quote to me, rather, they seem to convey a characterization and could be interpreted as an editor's stress rather than coming from the authority of the reference. The double-negative, none...unequivocally masculine leaves a presumption of what ought to be, masculine. Certainly there are pieces that clearly seem to have been designed to be worn by a woman and significant pieces at that, such as the Lady Juliane bracelet and with high probability, the body chain, and then there are pieces that could have been designed to be worn by either gender. Although this is dealt with later in the article and is summed up at the opposite end of the speculation spectrum, stating the jewelry could have belonged to a single woman or family, I would be more comfortable with a simple introductory statement that some pieces of jewelry could have been worn by either gender and then allowing the discussion later go into the detail of particular pieces; another possible statement might be that few pieces seem to be gender-specific; or, gender-related discussion could be left out of the introductory paragraph altogether.

If left unaltered, perhaps an identification of the author as the one who made such a double-negative statement and a more complete quote of her text might be useful for our context.

Since I misunderstood it, the chance that other readers might as well, should be considered as a reason to consider a redraft of that sentence.

The remainder of the article is well written and all contributing to it, should be proud of the revision. ----83d40m (talk) 01:23, 9 August 2010 (UTC) ----83d40m (talk) 11:49, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

I agree, the quotes around "unequivocally masculine" could easily be read as "scare quotes" or some other form of emphasis. If it is a direct quote, it seems that this is a problem with the style of the source (with all due respect to the author/s thereof). Changing the phrase to "unequivocally feminine" preserves the double negative however, and so is perhaps less open to misinterpretation, but still not stylistically ideal (much like this sentence =). Revcasy (talk) 16:06, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Okay, I haven't actually edited the article itself at all, so my conscience is clear. The sentence seems quite clear to me: nothing that has to be masculine-only, so it must all be feminine or 'unisex'. But if that still bends people's brains, here is the deal with the jewellery in more detail: the Hoxne assemblage contains only jewellery that is feminine or gender-neutral. It does NOT contain any pieces that are associated solely with masculine personal ornament in the late-Roman period. The body-chain could only have been worn by a female, and the other chain necklaces were also specifically feminine ornaments. Finger-rings (only three are present) were worn by both sexes throughout the Roman period: bangles/bracelets were normally worn only by women (though some exceptions might be possible in certain regions and ethnic groups). I think all the Hoxne bracelets are feminine jewellery. There are no earrings (women only, except sometimes in certain Eastern provinces), but there are also no belt-buckles, belt-stiffeners and other mounts and strap-ends, all jewels that were clearly, indeed, 'unequivocally', masculine in this period. A woman would have worn them only if she was in drag. Fibulae and plate-brooches are also absent from the assemblage, and certain types of these, in gold, were strongly associated with the costume of high-status males in the Imperial service.

Does that help to clarify it? The discussion in Johns 2010 is on pp.58-9. AgTigress (talk) 16:41, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

A thought strikes me about the surprising confusion evidently engendered by the 'unequivocally masculine' sentence: while I have no idea of the nationality of any contributor here, I do know from experience that speakers of American English are often not as comfortable as we (Brits) are with litotes, like 'It was a not unpleasant experience' or 'the play was not unenjoyable'. These constructions, and deliberate understatements, too, are pretty standard in BE (British English) but far less common in AE. We are writing in BE in this article (hence jewellery rather than jewelry), so I think that a characteristically British style is perfectly appropriate.  ;-) AgTigress (talk) 19:00, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

I confess to being a colonial (though not the sort that needs sub-titles when watching BBC America). Saying that a play was "not unenjoyable" when one means that it was enjoyable strikes me as typically British reluctance to praise. An American would go the other direction into hyperbole and say that the play was "awesome". I, for one, am not unwilling to yield the point on British usage. =) Revcasy (talk) 19:20, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

No, no, no!! This is a common misconception, Revcasy! Saying in all seriousness that something was 'not unenjoyable' is NOT a grudging way of saying it was 'enjoyable': it is a very polite way of saying that one didn't think all that much of it, but it had its moments -- not great, but not TOTALLY hopeless. The construction can be used with the positive meaning in jest, of course, and one needs to watch the context. But this is another thing that Brits like -- very understated humour. The opportunities for misunderstanding between BE and AE speakers are legion.  :-) AgTigress (talk) 19:41, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

I still would be more comfortable with a rewrite of the sentence. You may be a Brit, I may be an American, and we may have different ways of expressing things -- but we still should seek to make what we write as clear as possible for our readers, who could be reading with unsophisticated English skills or worse, through translation. Colloquial uses should not be creeping into our articles. Humor usually entails the most colloquial use of language, and few removed from the subject subculture get it. I would much prefer no statement about the presumed gender in the introduction and let the discussion following, allow the reader to make up one's own mind by the details. The quote leads me to presume a bias in the mind of the source, that may be far from the truth, but it led to confusion when seeing that most of the jewelry seemed designed for women. (Forgive me, but for me to write in talk pages using foreign spelling seems pretty silly -- so long as I retain the spelling conventions used in some articles, what harm can there be? Just curious, never did understand the choice by Wikipedia, an American enterprise, to make Brit English the standard, why is that?) It seemed so out of place that in first edit, I changed it and was lucky enough to have someone clarify that it was supposed to be a direct quote. It was put right back to the original. It is the only thing in the entire article that seems needing change. With all of the explanations above, I still do not understand the context. The statement should not be debatable, it should be clear, if not, it should be crafted differently. I gave three alternative suggestions. Perhaps, one would appeal to most here. ----83d40m (talk) 20:49, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

As I mentioned, I have not written or edited any part of this article, so I am not quite sure why I am allowing myself to be drawn into this debate! (If I had written the sentence myself, I should not have used gender to mean sex.  :-) ) I have tried to explain the composition of the jewellery above, and I simply do not know how to make it any clearer: there is NO jewellery in the hoard of types worn only by men; there are 3 items that might have been worn by either men or women; the rest of the jewellery was all designed for women. The full quotation from which the disputed expression comes (Johns 2010, p.56) reads as follows: (heading) Was the jewellery designed for male or female wear, or for both? This is the one question that is relatively easy to answer. Three facts provide the evidence: first, there is no item of unequivocally masculine jewellery in the group; secondly, finger rings could be worn by both men or women; thirdly, the body chain, necklaces and bracelets of the types represented here were designed for female wear. Overall, the selection of jewellery in the Hoxne hoard may therefore be regarded as belonging to a woman, or just possibly ... to more than one woman.

What 'bias in the mind of the source' do you see here? I am still at a loss to understand your misunderstanding. Perhaps it would, indeed, be best to delete the reference entirely. It is not a crucial point, in any case. The presence of exclusively masculine personal ornament would actually have been more noteworthy than its absence. That's a thought; would you prefer the adjective 'exclusively'? 'None of the jewellery is of exclusively masculine types'? AgTigress (talk) 21:30, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

I'm on holiday at the moment, but I think you are showing your own biases 83d40m in saying "most of the jewlery seemed designed for women"! Is this based on a knowledge of Late Antique costume customs? Letting people make their own minds up seems worse than OR. Why not just read what the experts say in a straightforward maNNER - then everything should be clear. Johnbod (talk) 21:48, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

We all make judgments, appropriately, my personal observation is for our discussion, it has not been inserted into the article. Saying that it seems to me, clearly, expresses my personal opinion. It relates to what I thought and why I find that sentence worthy of being crafted differently. Several in our discussion have confirmed that because of design and size the larger portion of the horde jewelry is interpreted as being designed for women. What I determined from the rest of the article, is supported by several above. Facts presented correctly, should support a reader coming to a correct conclusion. A straightforward manner -- is what I am seeking. It is not present in this sentence. There certainly isn't consensus about what it means. Ag's suggestion is satisfactory, as would be cutting the sentence, I do not see it as pivotal, just eliminating the one thing in the article that doesn't jive.

I see no problem with the current wording, though I think the quotes are unnecessary. "Unequivocally masculine" seems concise and unambiguous to me: it conveyed to me exactly what AgTigress indicates is the correct interpretation. To say "of exclusively masculine types" is less pithy and no more precise. As far as the usage is concerned, I'm British but have lived in the US for over twenty years; my ear may not be completely converted to American usage but I would expect a reader on either side of the Atlantic to digest the phrase without remark. Mike Christie (talk) 00:23, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

That would be another solution, which I could support, can we poll about that? ---- (talk) 22:26, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Yes ----83d40m (talk) 22:31, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Done. Mike Christie (talk) 10:16, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
The quotes are necessary because it is a quotation, using distinctive language! I have expanded it slightly to "None of the jewellery is "unequivocally masculine" in terms of Late Roman fashion..." which may help. Johnbod (talk) 00:00, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

New articles?

Actually we badly need a good Wikipedia article on Roman jewellery. I am too inexperienced to know how to start an article yet, but if one does get started by someone else, I warn you all that shall be in there, throwing my weight about. The general 'Jewellery' page on Wiki, which seems not to have been edited for a while, has a fairly poor section on the Roman period, but you simply cannot deal with the subject in a paragraph. AgTigress (talk) 16:41, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Very interesting. How about creating new articles, such as Animals in Roman art? --El Caro (talk) 18:26, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Well, yes: but I think separate articles on 'Roman art' (which would be a monster) and on 'Animals in Roman culture' would make better sense. The latter would need to include the issues of symbolism and mythology, as well as (like all 'Roman' subjects) addressing the issues of metropolitan/traditional Graeco-Roman as opposed to provincial. The basis for the animals topic already exists, of course, in Toynbee's classic study: Jocelyn Toynbee, Animals in Roman Life and Art, London 1973. AgTigress (talk) 18:47, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Ouch! My reply is misplaced... "Very interesting" refers to your explanations of lioness and tigress. To create a new article, just click on the red link : Animals in Roman culture and write a stub, you may improve the article later. --El Caro (talk) 19:32, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Don't worry -- I realised that that was what you were referring to. I wouldn't really want to embark on a new page until I had done a basic framework for it, anyway.  :-) AgTigress (talk) 19:44, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

What fun we can have as we follow our noses! Let me know when you embark upon the new task please. ----83d40m (talk) 20:55, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

external link

The external link is broken. (talk) 17:27, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Fixed now. The BM had changed some of their urls again -- why is that so many museums and other important sites think that the internet is a giant mad hatter's tea party ? BabelStone (talk) 20:06, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. (talk) 18:53, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

Rarely have I read so much anglo-centric bilge in my life

oh thank goodness we were conquered by the romans, it a) demonstrates the inferioroty of the britons prior to the invasion of various danish tribes, thus elevating the status of those jutes, angles and assorted mercenaries (i.e. saxons - lit. knifemen); b) by extension provides us with some pretext to impliciate neighbouring tribes who were not conquered in a failure to participate in civilisation - contradictions with a) notwithstanding ... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:07, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Please add new comments to the bottom of talk pages and note that article talk pages are intended for discussion about article improvement, they are not a general forum. Thanks, (talk) 05:19, 16 November 2010 (UTC)


It would look much tidier if the list of coin types was directly under the map, to the right. This is probably not apparent if your screen is an old IBM type but on a modern wide screen or laptop it looks badly placed. It tried to move it across and couldn't make it work. Could someone who knows how see if they can fix it?

Amandajm (talk) 22:07, 15 November 2010 (UTC)


One of the more interesting reads/success stories on Wikipedia. Was actually compelled to read the whole thing start to finish =) Good job guys. ResMar 00:11, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

False/Unsupported Information

The assertion at the end of the introduction that the find influenced changes in English Law is "supported" by citation #7 - Johns & Bland 1994, p. 173. After reading the linked article, there is no mention on page 173 of any changes in law or relationship between Archaeologists & metal-detector enthusiasts. The first footnote of the linked article does thank the finder for not disturbing it, but this is not a description of the relationship, and makes no mention of any legal changes.

From the article:

in the other great treasures of the fourth and early fifth centuries, ranging from Thetford,

Canterbury, Water Newton and Traprain Law to finds from further afield such as Kaiseraugst, Desana, and Tenes. It is atypical in one vital respect; as a complete deposit, systematically excavated and recorded, it has a unique potential for deepening our understanding of late- Roman treasure hoards and their significance. It may well hold answers to questions that we have not yet thought of asking.

The British Museum

Note: The "Traprain Law" you see above is another archaeological find, not an actual law.

FunkyDuffy (talk) 06:38, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

"A hoard from Traprain Law in Scotland contains decorated Roman silver pieces cut up and folded, showing regard for the value of their metal alone, and may represent loot from a raid.[112]" is later in the article. Johnbod (talk) 13:13, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
I suspect the Bland & Johns article is not the best reference for this - 1994 is too early. I am 90% sure there are words to the same effect as the relevant sentence of the article in Johns 2010, however. The Land (talk) 19:44, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Do you have a link to that source? If not, we need to chop the implication that the find was significant enough to induce legal changes. FunkyDuffy (talk) 20:13, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
It's not online, I might have to go to the BM and check. It's not that this find in itself prompted a change in the law - more that it was a significant step in the relationship between archaeologists and metal detectorists, and highlighted the need for a change in the law. The Land (talk) 12:13, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Impact from being Today's featured article

Page view results from being on the main page yesterday can be seen at Over 57,000 page views in one day, wow. (talk) 07:27, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Yeah congratulations everyone who worked hard on this. It's really cool to see in the talkpage-archives all the teamwork that got this article rolling, and how editors got useful feedback from experts.--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 07:51, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Yep! I reckon, although I'm biased, that this is the best FA in all of Wikipedia. Witty Lama 21:05, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Latin translation

One or two of the Latin inscriptions on the silverware may be mistranslated.

  1. VTERE FELIX DOMINA IVLIANE: this has been translated as "Use this happily, Lady Juliana", but should read "Use this happily, mistress of [the slave] Juliana" - IVLIANE is a common corruption of IULIANAE, IULIANA in the genitive case. The E as the vocative case was used only for males.
  2. DATIANIAE VIVAS: translated as "May you live, Datianus". The spelling is admittedly garbled, but a more likely reading is "May you live, Datiana"
  3. VIRBONE VIVAS: translated as May you live, good man". Technically, this is correct, but given the use of the vocative case, it is more likely that VIRBONUS was a (converted Christian) name, thus reading: "May you live, Virbonus"
  4. QVISSUNT VIVAT: translated as "May Quintus live". It's understandable that this has been seen as a corruption of the common Roman given name, Quintus; but there is a possibility it is a Latinised form of a Celtic name, probably the same name as that borne by the island of Ushant (Ouessant) in Brittany. EraNavigator (talk) 00:47, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
My feeling is this infringes on original research as we should use translations available in sources where possible (as translations would vary and be debatable given context and likely usage in this period; particularly speculative comparisons with Celtic names). I have emailed your suggestions to an established historian of this period for (possible) further comment. Thanks, (talk) 13:45, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Received an opinion by email from a (non-Wikipedia contributing) expert in this field as below. They noted that they would invariably defer to Johns' book where translations are available but have provided a quick reply without double checking with the source text:

(talk) 15:46, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Regarding point (3) above, VIRBONUS is an attested early Christian name. A quick google yielded the following examples:

  1. A bishop named (Saint) Virbonus, who attended the Roman Council of 595 (Source: D. Pringle: "A group of medieval towers in Tuscania" in Papers of the British school at Rome Vol. 42 (1974) pp 179-223)
  2. A Roman abbot named Virbonus (ca. 650) (Source: E. Wellesz: "Recent studies in western Chant" in Musical Quarterly Vol. 41 no. 2 (April 1955) pp 177-90)

I note that the Thetford treasure also has the inscription VIRBONE VIVAS. Given that all the other dedications are to persons, it seems more likely that this one is likewise, rather than the vague dedication to a "good man". EraNavigator (talk) 17:30, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

The general principle on Wikipedia is to stick to published, reliable sources rather than to attempt to perform a re-analysis in the manner of primary research. So if these views are published in, say, journal articles then we can include them; otherwise not. The Land (talk) 19:40, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Point (4): USSANT remains a family name in Britain today - especially on the Celtic fringe (Ireland, Wales, Scotland). Its etymology, as with that of the island of Ushant in Brittany (clearly related), is obscure, but most likely means "high rock". A Latinised form QUISSUNT is obviously more likely than Johns' lame explanation that it's a misspelling of QUINTUS EraNavigator (talk) 21:02, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
As stated previously, you would need to show documented similar inscriptions from the same period (c. 400AD) in peer reviewed journals or an alternative published version of this inscription. There seems no reason to include unsourced "obscure" material based on someone feeling it seems "likely", particularly in a featured article. Even if Johns' suggested translation is little more than a guess, it is published and peer reviewed. Thanks, (talk) 22:07, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I followed up yesterday on Point 3 with the same historian as emailed above. With further known examples provided by EraNavigator, their informal opinion is that Virbonus may well be a reasonable alternative translation of VIRBONE. However, as a Wikipedian I would still see this as an original research problem (see SYNTH) if we were to add this alternate if not specifically published in a reliable source for the Hoxne Hoard. Any suggestions from editors experienced in similar situations? Thanks, (talk) 21:48, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Regarding point (1), I remain unconvinced by Johns' translation. Johns (who clearly knows little Latin) appears to think that there was a woman called JULIANE. But there was no such name among the Romans. Either the name was JULIANUS (male) or JULIANA (female). JULIANE could be either JULIANUS in the vocative case ("O Julianus") or JULIANA in the genitive ("of JULIANA"). The former is impossible here (because of the DOMINA qualifier), so the latter must be intended. Your expert said above that "AE" and "E" were interchangeable. This is not entirely true. "E" was a common substitute for "AE", but not the other way round. Ask any Latin specialist: he will tell you that this inscription can only mean "mistress of Juliana". EraNavigator (talk) 23:52, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
It seems unlikely to me that Johns, a specialist in Roman history, would know little Latin, but in fact it doesn't really matter whether she knows Latin well, since we need to have a reliable source for any translations we introduce. If you can find a reliable source (in the Wikipedia sense of an RS) that supports your comments then we can mention these translations; otherwise we can't. Mike Christie (talk) 23:58, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
I am well aware of Wiki rules - and I am actively searching for published back-up. A major problem is that Johns seems to have a monopoly on writing up British treasure hoards, so we are stuck with her interpretations. Anyway, the great advantage of Discussion Pages is that we can say what we like and I can see no reason why we should not challenge Johns' translations. Regarding point 1, I must concede that JULIANE may be just a spelling mistake for JULIANA. But the twist is that, if so, then DATIANIAE must by analogy be a misspelling of DATIANA and not the vocative of DATIANUS, as claimed by Johns. EraNavigator (talk) 00:22, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
It is not Catherine Johns, but the specialist who wrote the chapter on the inscriptions in the new book you are disputing. I don't think you have read the book, and there is little point going into all this detail here until you have done so - clearly none of us are competent to engage in debate. As you know, the article here will reflect published views and ignore unpublished ones. Johnbod (talk) 00:36, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
OK, on point (1) I must now eat my words. JULIANE (sic) (genitive: IULIANETIS) is an attested female name of this period. (Source: Inscriptiones Latinae Christianae Veteres #137 and several other inscriptions. EraNavigator (talk) 18:56, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

As Johnbod has already pointed out, the Latin translations are fully discussed, with detailed references, in chapter 9, 'The Inscriptions', by Professor R.S.O. Tomlin, on pp.165-173 of the monograph. Dr. Tomlin is a very distinguished Latin linguist and epigrapher, and has, moreover, been familiar with the Hoxne material since its discovery. The translations are certainly not 'Johns's translations'! Johns is an archaeologist, and would not attempt epigraphic research any more than she would attempt to carry out the metallurgical analyses. EraNavigator is perfectly entitled to disagree with the current published research on these (often rather idiosyncratic) inscriptions, of course, but I feel that he should first read the full published report on them, so that he can follow Tomlin's arguments and sources, and then, if he still holds a dissenting view, he should write up his own interpretation and submit it for publication in an appropriate journal. AgTigress (talk) 16:03, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from MarkFengya, 16 November 2010

Please change "jewellery" to "jewelry" for all instances in this very interesting article because it is inferior English usage according to the Oxford Dictionary Online (which indicates that such usage is "widely regarded as uneducated") and The New Oxford American Dictionary application available with the Apple operating system ( which indicates "Avoid the pronunciation |ˈjoōlərē|, widely regarded as uneducated"). The root word is "jewel" expanded to "jewelry" indicating items containing jewels. The all too common mispronunciation as |ˈjoōlərē| in the United States as well as Great Britain apparently has yielded the all too common misspelling "jewellery". The fact that this mispronunciation and misspelling is ubiquitous doesn't make it right, and allowing it to remain perpetuates through dissemination the inferior English. Thank you, Mark Fengya. MarkFengya (talk) 19:28, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

The article is written in British English. TbhotchTalk C. 19:30, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Template removed - it won't happen. Johnbod (talk) 21:35, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Very amusing, good job they didn't notice the use of "artefact". (talk) 22:10, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Here's the 'Oxford Dictionaries Online' page for both jewellery and jewelry -> [1]. No trace of the "widely regarded as uneducated" statement.--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 07:41, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
MarkFengya, you just got pwnt. FunkyDuffy (talk) 20:15, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Actually, the Oxford Dictionaries Online page for "jewelry" says pronouncing the word as three syllables is "widely regarded as uneducated". Clearly he thinks if it is spelt "jewellery", it must be pronounced wrong. As usual, the British spelling is the original; the opposite of what Mr Fengya claimed. McLerristarr | Mclay1 12:44, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Spelling scripts

I would like to propose that auto-spelling scripts like WP:EngvarB are not applied to this article. This particular script forces a choice between "British English" or "British English Oxford spelling" which in my opinion is arbitrary change for the sake of change as English need not be polarized between these choices and I see no absolute standard for what "British English" should be. There is no reason to force "ise" or "ize" endings on all words in the article so long as the article is (tolerably) consistent in itself for particular words. Some words consistently use the primary spelling chosen by the OED and it should be noted that the other "British English" forms are also listed by the OED as British alternatives and in my opinion would be acceptable if used in a consistent style. (talk) 19:35, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

I think that it is wrong that any auto-spelling script should be applied to any article, and in particular I agree that it wrong to change Oxford spelling (-ize) to non-Oxford spelling (-ise) as -ize and -ise are both acceptable British English spellings. The {{British English Oxford spelling}} template was created for use in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings articles where there was consensus to use the same OED spellings in the article that were used in Tolkien's books, but there would probably be little reason to arbitrarily apply this template to any British-related article. I use Oxford spelling myself, but don't really mind whether editors use -ise or -ize; however in order to promote conformity in the article I would not oppose the use of the {{British English Oxford spelling}} template in this article. BabelStone (talk) 20:02, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
It is completely against Wikipedia guidelines to have two different English variations within an article. Standard British English and Oxford spelling are two different variations of British English. One or the other must be used for consistency. This article seems to mostly use Oxford spelling so I have applied the Oxford spelling script. McLerristarr | Mclay1 03:25, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
No, it is not against the guidelines as this is not a choice between English variations, there is no clear definition of "British English" as the article on British English makes clear. You are being mislead by Wikipedia:Manual of Style (spelling)/Words ending with "-ise" or "-ize" which incorrectly includes a table of "British English" words as if this were meaningful. MOS incorrectly assumes that the definition of "en-GB" which is a convenient ISO standard standard is an enforceable definition of British English, it is not.
Again, the guidelines suggest that an article is consistent, this does not mean you have to choose between an arbitrary definition of British English and the primary spellings listed in the Oxford English Dictionary (and thereby ignore all the secondary spellings in the OED). This article is not being improved by the changes you suggest and it is already self-consistent. (talk) 07:50, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I am also unconvinced of the merit of auto-spelling scripts, particularly when applied to articles that have undergone thorough manual review processes. And I agree entirely that there is no problem having a mixture of OED and non-OED spellings in the same article. So please give the script a rest. The Land (talk) 12:29, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't matter whether you think Oxford spelling is British English or not, that's irrelevant. What's important is that an article doesn't use both -ise and -ize endings. Brits don't randomly choose which to use whenever we write. It's one or the other, they're different variations or styles of spelling, whatever you want to call it. "US" and "U.S." are both acceptable but you have to use one or the other in an article. It's only about consistency – nothing else. McLerristarr | Mclay1 15:19, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
You appear to be completely misinterpreting the point; you are applying a definition of British English for which there is no consensus and you are factually incorrect when you state there needs to be a local style choice between 'ise' and 'ize' as no dictionary, including the OED, recommends always using the one spelling over the other. The only Wikipedia style guideline that matters is that the article is consistent. Consequently we can consistently use the words "demonize" and "theorise" but should not use "demonize" and "demonise" in the same text. Please do not use these scripts if you do not understand this point made several times. By the way, I would appreciate it if you laid off the term "Brits" to describe who you think "we" are. Thanks, (talk) 16:18, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
"Brits don't randomly choose which to use whenever we write" - personally I do, actually ;-) The Land (talk) 17:17, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I am not misunderstanding anything. I just disagree with your interpretation of Wikipedia's guidelines. But since you control this page, I won't interfere. McLerristarr | Mclay1 05:12, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

What is "Northern Province" ?

I am translating the article, but I am wondering what is the meaning of "Northern Province" in the sentence "evidence of mineralized black pepper at three Northern Province sites recovered in the 1990s".

The Wikipedia page for Northern Province lists several areas, but none of them in Europe. Could you please disambiguate the term? Thanks! Nicolas1981 (talk) 08:49, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Good question; I find this list: Britannia Inferior, Britannia Superior, Belgica, Germania Superior, Germania Inferior, Lugdunensis, Aquitania, Narbonensis, Alpes Maritimae, Alpes Cottiae, Alpes Penninae - See File:RomanEmpire 117.svg. However the term may be used loosely to mean Britain, Gaul and Germany and in practice different academic sources might be using the term to mean slightly different areas. As the boundaries of these areas change over time it might prove unhelpful to over-define it.
I'll look around for a decent source unless someone else points it out first. We probably should link to something like Roman province though unhelpfully that page does not actually define the term. (talk) 09:23, 29 March 2011 (UTC)