Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Tejas, Jan 22, 2021.
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Two Victories, 18mm, 2.69g (cf Sear Amiens 18815, RIC VIII 7).
There was something of an explosion of barbarous coin production in Britain and Gaul in the 350s due to coin shortages. I believe this was caused by the coin reform of Constantius II and Constans in 348AD. The London mint ceased production in 325, which wouldn't have helped.
Quite often at the periphery of the Empire the Romans didn't pay too much attention to unofficial coins (or, indeed, ensuring there was adequate supply of official ones).
The barbarous coins of this period are usually quite good - fully literate legends rather than I's or scribble marks. I guess they probably were meant to circulate at par with the official pieces, although as mentioned, they are usually smaller and lighter than official coins. Probably didn't matter so much as long as they spent the same in the local economy.
I have one too, different reverse and struck with dies much too large for the flan
Type: Bronze AE2
Weight: 5.39 g
Diameter: 24.00 mm
Obverse: DN DECENTIVS CAESAR, bareheaded cuirassed bust of Decentius right
Reverse: VICTORIAE DD NN AVG ET CAE, two Victories holding shield inscribed VOT / V / MVLT X
That’s missing the L in MVLT!
That is a very interesting interpretation and something I had not really thought about before. These coins would therefore reflect a temporary breakdown or weakening of Roman control over the area. Roman urban life, complete with a monetised economy continued, but some of the imperial institutions like the mints were no longer fully operational, causing local officials, like town magistrates and the likes to step in. Had Roman control not been reestablished following the battle of Argentoratum (Strassburg) in 357, coin production (at least for small change) would have likely petered out and vanished completely.
That is interesting. It supports the view that these imitations were made by unofficial mints, but by order of Roman (or Alamannic?) officials during this period of instability before Julian II restored imperial rule in 357 to 358.
The prevailing view is that like other waves of imitation in the 4th century, the Magnentian copies were produced by profiteers as a response to shortage. As an analogy, consider the abundant imitation halfpence of George III which circulated in the UK and America.
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