Coleraine Hoard and Romano-Irish links

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Coleraine Historical Society’s monthly talk programme continues on Tuesday November 15 with a special talk by Dr Peter Crawford entitled The Coleraine Hoard and Romano-Irish Relations in Late Antiquity.

The talk will take place at Coleraine Town Hall rather than the usual venue.

The talk Peter is going to give , entitled The Coleraine Hoard and Romano-Irish Relations in Late Antiquity, stems from a joint presentation Dr Crawford gave with his QUB colleague, Dr Raoul McLaughlin as the inaugural event of the Classical Association in Northern Ireland. Originally envisaged as a brief look at the

origins and make-up of the Coleraine Hoard, it quickly ballooned into something much, much more.

Not only do the stories of the unearthing and cataloguing of the hoard contain far more depth than might be imagined, how it came to be in Ballinrees goes to the root of what is a changing perspective of Ireland in the setting of the Roman world.

The seemingly straightforward choice between “raid or trade” to explain the presence of such a large silver hoard at Ballinrees is no longer so straightforward. Now it points to more intricate and sophisticated social and political Romano-Irish interactions, such as army recruitment, the movement of migrants and Irish settlements on and even conquests of Roman territory.

It is these potential explanations that Dr Crawford will expound upon with plenty of colourful photographs and maps, demonstrating that the story of the Coleraine Hoard suggests that Ireland was a lot more ‘Roman’ than has been previously considered.

Dr Peter Crawford was born, raised and still lives in Ballymoney.

He was first introduced to Ancient History during his time at Dalriada School before working his way through undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral studies in the subject at Queen’s University Belfast, culminating in his PhD thesis on ‘Late Roman Recruiting Practices’ in 2011.

He is the author of War of the Three Gods: Romans, Persians and the Rise of Islam and the forthcoming Constantius II: Usurpers, Eunuchs and the Antichrist. He is currently working, amongst other things, on a biography of the emperor Zeno.

When he is not writing, he is a Teaching Assistant at Queen’s University and co-founder of the Classical Association in Northern Ireland, with all the organising, planning and executing that such positions entail. There is also a museum exhibition running at The Town Hall. Called ‘Through the Lens’ the exhibition is mainly photographs focusing on Killowen.