Harold Mattingly

Harold Mattingly (1884 - 26 January 1964) was a British art historian and numismatist, who specialised in the history of Ancient Rome, especially Etruscan and Roman currency. His son, Harold B. Mattingley (d. 2015) was also a celebrated numismatist, and President of the Royal Numismatic Society 1999-2004.[1]


Harold Mattingly was born in Sudbury, Suffolk in 1884. He studied at Gonville and Caius College of the University of Cambridge. In 1910 he joined the Department of Printed Books of the British Museum.

In 1909 and 1914, showing his interest in Roman history, he publish two books on the subject.

During the First World War, worked for the Postal Censorship Bureau. At the close of hostilities he returned to his work at the British Museum and his attention carried him towards the study of antique coins.

From 1912, Harold Mattingly was a member of the Royal Numismatic Society.[2]

He completely revised of the chronology used for the study of Roman coins. He was awarded the medal of the Royal Numismatic Society in 1941.[3]

He also translated Tacitus' works "Agricola" and "The Germania". His translation is considered one of the best and is still used (albeit in edited format) today.

He died on 26 January 1964 at the age of 79 in Chesham, Buckinghamshire.


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