The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 18, Number 28, July 12, 2015, Article 10


A newspaper in Marion, IA published an article about a local author's new book with a numismatic theme: The Denarius -Editor

The Denarius Robert Buckley has just released his latest book, The Denarius, and if you are looking for a fine read, this is it. A denarius is a silver coin which originated in Rome in Biblical times and went with the Romans wherever they traveled.

About two years ago, we interviewed Buckley about his hiking experiences: on the Appalachian Trail, and in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. During one of the hiking journeys to Great Britain, he heard that farmers sometimes allow groups of foreigners, headed by reputable British guides, to take metal detectors and explore their fields. These excursions occur in the spring before planting and in the fall after the crops are harvested.

When we interviewed Buckley for Two Miles an Hour, in late August 2013, he was planning just such a trip. As he researched about the treasures a person might find, he learned that as Nigel, the guide in The Denarius put it, "There's been people living and warring and dying around here for over 2000 years."

Indeed, in Norfolk County where part of the story takes place, Celts, Romans, Picts, Vikings and Saxons plus other groups had fought, plundered and left items. Old coins, in particular, were among the treasures those with metal detectors hoped to recover. One of the coins Buckley learned about was a Roman one made of silver and called a denarius; hence, the title of the book.

The beginning of the book starts not in Great Britain, but in Milan during Biblical times. Buckley includes information and tales about the coin striker Severus and his role in the creation of a special silver denarius created in honor of the emperor Caesar August. From there, a number of people, including Jesus, hold that coin at one point or another.

Buckley provides excellent historical background about the way of things in Milan and Rome as well as in England and near the North Sea where Roman soldiers built garrisons and fought the local tribes. He seamlessly shows us the path of the denarius.

The story then skips ahead to modern times and a restauranteur named Larry Watkins who lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Larry had joined a club for people interested in metal detecting. At one of the meetings, a speaker told of guided tours to hunt in England and showed some of the coins, pieces of jewelry, etc., that he had found on such a tour. Larry was instantly attracted to that kind of adventure and signed up for one.

Despite the vast coverage in years and geography, Buckley has a gift for helping us see the connections and the history. He has been to both Rome and England and gives us necessary background information.

And as he puts it, "My characters are regular people. They make mistakes; they do good things." He writes with clarity and an ease that helps us understand the various situations, feel concern when there is a reason to do so, and enjoy the fun events and conversations.

If you would like to buy The Denarius, you can contact Buckley by email at and receive an autographed edition. The cost of the softback book is $15. It can be purchased from in both print (postage additional) and ebook formats. It is also available for sale at the bookstore Next Page in the New Bo area of Cedar Rapids.

To read the complete article, see:
Marion author Buckley completes fourth book (

From Amazon:

Rome, Italy. A new coin, a handsome silver denarius, is struck during the reign of the Emperor Caesar Augustus. The year is A.D. 8. Fated for an amazing journey, the coin changes multiple hands as it travels from Imperial Rome to ancient Jerusalem where it plays a key part in a life changing event. Following the rule of the mad Emperor Nero, the denarius travels with a Roman soldier to the outposts of northern Britain where it is eventually lost during battle. For over 2000 years the coin remains buried in the rural English countryside until it again sees the light of day when it is dug up by a terminally ill treasure hunter from Milwaukee, WI. Strangely, the coin appears undamaged by the ravages of time. Thus continues a puzzling series of events as the mysterious coin touches and changes the lives of not only the dying treasure hunter, but an alcoholic Catholic priest, a Mayo Clinic researcher and an abandoned Chippewa Indian girl.

For more information, or to purchase, see:
The Denarius (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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