Over recent years the question of ancient hoards, in particular of precious metal, coins, plate or jewellery, has been the subject of numerous considerations (notably S. Gelichi and C. La Rocca (eds), Tesori. Forme di accumulazione della richezza nell'alto medioevo (secoli V–XI) (Rome, 2004)) in order to try to grasp the characteristics of a complex phenomenon that relates to multiple aspects of society in whatever period is under consideration: the economy, social organisation, the possible role of the images … The difficulties encountered by researchers when addressing these problems are illustrated by the ambivalence, indeed the ambiguity in many languages of the term ‘trésor/hoard’. Richard Hobbs has thus chosen, very judiciously, to take as his subject here ‘deposits of precious metal’, which defines the topic perfectly. On the other hand, one could question the descriptor ‘late Roman’ when applied to the period covered here, five centuries, from a.d. 200 to 700. There could be discussion over whether the third century should be included in Late Antiquity; others will challenge whether the sixth century still belongs to that same world. But from the first page H. effectively corrects his title by stating that it also covers the early Byzantine period, something I would feel is a better definition. It may certainly be felt that these are just questions of nomenclature, but they do have their importance for the topic of this study. All the same, the important thing is that H. wanted to study an extended period, as stated by the book's sub-title. One cannot but approve of his choice.