Several Roman coins long thought to be counterfeits have been declared genuine after a new investigation. His one of the gold coins features a portrait of an “emperor” named Sponsianus, who does not appear in the history books. This coin proves that he actually reigned in the 260s AD, possibly he was the isolated Roman province of Dacia where the coin was discovered in 1713.

For most of Rome’s history, the Roman mint produced coins depicting the emperors of the day. A large number of such coins were reportedly found in Transylvania in 1713, four of which bore a portrait of him with the inscription IMP (Emperor, Emperor) SPONSIAN, Sponsianus, but Ssponsian There is no other historical evidence that there ever was a Roman emperor called

Transylvania occupies most of what is now Romania in the north and west. The Romans conquered the region, which had abundant gold mines, in 106 AD and remained the Roman province of Dacia until 271 AD.

Transylvanian coins fit the general style of mid-3rd century Roman coins, but had certain stylistic features. Wrong.

When the coins were first unearthed they were considered genuine and classified as other imitations of Roman coins made outside the borders of the empire. Due to its altered and unfinished appearance, it was dismissed as a counterfeit made to sell to collectors.

That remains the prevailing opinion to this day, and some of the coins that reached Britain were kept in cabinets at the Hunter Museum at the University of Glasgow.

Trajan's Column in Rome was built to celebrate the victory over the Dacians. This column depicts scenes from the Dacian War. Here, Roman soldiers are fighting the Dacians in the First Dacian War.

still really

It was strange that the “counterfeit” was not a coin that would have been of interest to collectors around 1713. It is also interesting that the name Sponsianus, which was not known in ancient Rome, is written.

Olay, to verify the authenticity of the gold coins, Professor Paul Pearson of University College London and his team conducted a detailed examination of four coins, including one featuring Sponsianus. We also compared two Roman gold coins whose authenticity was confirmed.

The team examined the coin’s surface using powerful visible and ultraviolet light microscopes, scanning electron microscopes, and spectroscopy techniques to determine which wavelengths of light are absorbed or reflected.

The study showed patterns of wear and tear typically found on coins that have been in circulation for a long time. In addition, minerals were also found on the surface that corresponded to what would be expected if the coin were buried in the ground for an extended period of time and then exposed to air. These minerals were attached to the surface by naturally occurring silica from long-term stays on the surface.

Together, these new discoveries provide strong evidence that the coin is indeed authentic.

Professor Pearson and Jesper Erickson, head of the Hunter Museum's numismatics department, examine Sponsianus' coins under a microscope.

Dacia ruler

“Scientific analysis of these extremely rare coins will save Emperor Sponsian from oblivion,” said Pearson, who is also the lead author of the coinage study. “Our findings suggest that he ruled an isolated gold-mining outpost, Roman Dacia, at a time when the empire was plagued by civil war and frontier regions were invaded by invaders. increase.”

Archaeological studies indicate that Dacia was separated from the rest of the Roman Empire around 260 AD.

Sponsianus was surrounded by enemies and assumed supreme command to protect his army and civilians in times of civil war and turmoil until order was restored in Dacia between 271 and 275 and the province was evacuated. It may have been the local commander who forced the

The issuance of coins has always been an important symbol of power and authority, and Sponsianus, who was unable to obtain official coins from Rome, seems to have permitted the minting of coins locally, some of which bear his likeness. was drawn. In this way, he was able to support the functioning of the economy in isolated border areas.

Sponsianus coin in the Hunter Museum.


Only four coins in total are known to bear the image of Sponsianus. One of his coins is kept at the University of Glasgow’s Hunterian Museum and the other at the National Brukenthal Museum in Siniu, Romania.

The coin was also examined under a powerful microscope and found the same clues about its authenticity.

Jesper Erickson, head of the Hunterian’s numismatic department, said: “Our findings will support further discussion of Sponsianus as a historical figure and further investigation of coins associated with him in other museums in Europe. hope to promote

: The interim curator of the National Brukenthal Museum called the results important for European history, especially those of Transylvania and Romania, if recognized by the scientific community.

Meanwhile, the “counterfeit” has been repaired. Four of his coins examined, including those of Sponsianus, were recovered from the Hunter Museum and are now on display. A coin depicting Sponsianus from the Burchenthal Museum is also currently on display.

A study by a team from the University of Glasgow and University College London pro swanThis article is based on press releases from University College and Public Library of Science.

Source: vrt


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