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

Help ID Unknown emperor ???

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Victor C:

--- Quote from: Virgil H on October 19, 2021, 10:52:44 pm ---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.

--- End quote ---

here's an example of what I was talking about.

The map is from the article written by J. P. Callu and J. P. Garnier. “Minimi constantiniens trouvés à Reims, Appendice II: Corpus des imitations.” Numismatica e Antichità Classiche 6 (1977) : 330- 315.  This map shows the locations of imitations from A.D. 330- 348.  The article lists the locations and types of imitations found, and the publication information of the finds, i.e. Numismatic Chronicle.

Sorry, I often used the term "hoard evidence" as a short form for: evidence from documented hoards and finds.

No single hoard or site find will ever prove anything.  But it is studies like the one from Callu & Garnier that Victor just posted that help our true understanding.  The conclusions we have are based on a compilation of data beyond a simple single hoards or sites.

That map shows where one kind of imitations (minimized of 330-348) were found in W. Europe.  There is similar data for other types, dates and regions.  This can then be compared to finds from outside the Empire.  When imitations can be found scattered around a large region they are unlikely to have been the product of one small tribe.  When imitations are more common within the Empire than outside they are more likely to have been a product of the Empire than an outsider.  Etc.

There are other studies (I do not have the names to hand right now) that show 4th century imitations are common on military sites - which has implications for the question of their acceptance or not as semi-official coinage, but are actually more common (as a % of total finds) in the canabae - surrounding civilian settlement - than in the actual military base. 

There have been several finds, primarily in Gaul, of suspected "mints" for these unofficial coins and they are almost all in urban sites - which have been "romanized" for centuries. 

These are just examples of all the bits of data that can be drawn on to understand this phenomenon and to explain why the older, simple assumptions have been challenged over the past several decades.


Virgil H:
All great points, thanks for the comment, scholars do the best they can with what they have. That is all they can do and it is all good. It is one reason I was very critical of the Peter Green book, Alexander to Actium. I loved the book for the most part, but did not like some of his conclusions/statements regarding what he clearly saw as "facts" that, to me he had no way of knowing. Perhaps that is just the nature of scholars writing books for a more general audience or maybe he just has/had a really big ego. LOL. I have done scholarly writing in a different field and half of what I ever wrote was reasons why what I said might be wrong. Again, LOL.



Is this Otacilia sestertius also a barbaric imitation?

At first I thought it clear that this is a product of modern tooling. The obverse is blocky.  The style is odd.  And imitation sestertii are rare and often have very soft details due to the difficulty in striking such large coins.

But I am not sure.  I hope for other comments.



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