Numismatic and History Discussions > Celtic, Barbaric & Tribal Imitative Coins

Help ID Unknown emperor ???

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Virgil H:
Shawn'
Thanks for your response, very interesting and informative. One thing I would say is that my "definitions" did not preclude tribes within the official empire necessarily. I always come back to the great Asterix cartoons on this one. The tribes were inside the empire based on what the Romans thought, but they were not as far as they themselves thought or wished. From what you said, my thoughts seem somewhat correct if I change the wording a bit. I will check out the articles you provided. I haven't read the articles, but I am struggling to understand how a hoard contents could really be so cut and dried to make an inference like "made within the empire." Used for sure, made I don't see how for unofficial coins. But the empire was full of groups that really didn't see themselves as being part of the empire I would imagine. An example would be my experience in Afghanistan. Literally no Afghan I met recognized the US as being the empire in charge (even when they collaborated with us) except when they had to. The US, of course, said otherwise. I am willing to bet it has always been so with empires and occupiers. I just don't think things are always that simple.

Regards,
Virgil

lawrence c:
For the terminology, it's probably easier (and less subject to confusion) to use what seems to be the most common term for contemporary counterfeits: fouree. (There's an accent there that I'm not smart enough to add). Generally, these were made of base metal with a thin layer of silvering, and definitely were intended to deceive. I agree with the other comments about there being a lot of gray area in this, particularly because there is a gradient of how 'barbaric' some of these coins are. Especially with some of the coinage of Tetricus and (to a somewhat lesser degree) Claudius II, there is somewhat of a judgment call with some coins as to whether they were unofficial or simply miserable die cuts. All this is complicated with some of the earlier semi-official coinages such as limes denarii and the lightweight sesterces made even earlier under Claudius.

Victor C:
The best way to figure out where unofficial coins were struck is where were they found? Hoard evidence is limited in usefulness because coins have probably been gathered from various places. Most helpful is site finds for single coins or just a few coins, as they would most likely have not circulated far from where they were struck. There is a useful and interesting article by C. E. King, "Roman Copies" Coin Finds and Coin Use in the Roman World. Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag (1996) : 237-263.

Victor C:

--- Quote from: lawrence c on October 19, 2021, 10:25:54 pm ---For the terminology, it's probably easier (and less subject to confusion) to use what seems to be the most common term for contemporary counterfeits: fouree. (There's an accent there that I'm not smart enough to add). Generally, these were made of base metal with a thin layer of silvering, and definitely were intended to deceive.

--- End quote ---


none of the coins in this topic so far have been silver plated; rather they are bronze unofficial issues struck contemporary with the coins that they are copying.

my page on 4th century unofficial issues
http://www.constantinethegreatcoins.com/barb2/

Virgil H:
,
I am in agreement with both of your posts. I have one known contemporary counterfeit and it is not a fouree, it is a bungled copy that would look real if the engraver had not transposed letters and screwed up on the reverse a bit (and the folks on Forum pointed all these things out to me when I was stumped trying to identify it). As for hoard studies, I am very aware of the limits of scholarship and how wrong it can be. I agree you have no idea where coins from a hoard came from unless you know precisely who left the hoard there. It is all conjecture. Proximity is one thing only, unless you know who the person was (and did for a living) and where they got the coins, you have no idea. Such are the limitations of many studies and I trust none of them without a big grain of salt. LOL. In any field. Your point about single or a few coins found is a really good point, I think. I hadn't thought about that. I guess even that needs context, such as a military camp versus a caravan stop versus a farm versus the roadside.

Regards,
Virgil

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