Is this supposed to be a Roman coin?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by monetarium, Jan 18, 2021.

  1. monetarium

    monetarium Member

    Please see the images. It definitely shows the features of a 4th century Roman coin, but I haven't seen one like this before and I can't identify the emperor.
    Any clues?
    Thanks! :D

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  3. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Barbarous imitation of a "two victories" type.
    randygeki, +VGO.DVCKS, Scipio and 6 others like this.
  4. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark standing on the shoulders of giants Dealer

  5. monetarium

    monetarium Member

    Thank you very much Roman Collector!
  6. monetarium

    monetarium Member

  7. monetarium

    monetarium Member

    I guess this is my first ancient counterfeit! o_O
  8. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Careful with the term counterfeit; while some imitations were meant to defraud the general public, many of them filled the gap that the officials were unable to - in other words. many barbaric imitations served the same purpose and value as regular coinage.
  9. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    To add to hotwheelsearl's post, coins like yours are usually called "barbarous."
    monetarium likes this.
  10. monetarium

    monetarium Member

    Good point, hotwheelsearl. I should have used quotation marks for counterfeit... But still, those barbarians!
  11. dltsrq

    dltsrq Grumpy Old Man

    In this context, "barbarous" and "counterfeit" are effectively synonymous. "Barbarous" should not be taken to imply 'barbarian', only that the workmanship is un-Roman (unofficial) to a greater or lesser degree. The evidence suggests that the minters were in it for profit and were knowingly violating the law. The markets seem to have accepted the copies as small-change due to regional shortages of official coin. There is debate regarding to what level such imitations were "tolerated" by the government. Some suggest that it was not so much tolerance but an inability on the part of the authorities to control the problem.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2021
    monetarium and +VGO.DVCKS like this.
  12. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark standing on the shoulders of giants Dealer

    On my page I make a distinction between counterfeits and unofficial coinage. Counterfeits were made to deceive; while most of the unofficial coinage would not fool anyone-- specifically the unofficial VLPP's, besides crude style, were usually undersize and underweight.
    monetarium, ambr0zie and +VGO.DVCKS like this.
  13. dltsrq

    dltsrq Grumpy Old Man

    For those interested in this topic, I can suggest the seminal study by Pierre Bastien (1985), 'Imitations of Roman Bronze Coins, A.D. 318-363' in Museum Notes 30, American Numismatic Society, New York, pp. 143-177 and pls. 41-44.

    Most ANS publications are available for free reading and/or download at
  14. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    There also seems to be a whole range, especially for imitations of 4th-century issues, from "barbarous" examples (referring to the style) to, maybe less commonly, ones issued by real live barbarians, whether on the borders of the empire, for instance across the Rhine, or in the case of the Vandals in the 5th -6th centuries, in North Africa.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2021
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